The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 28, 2009

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine.

One Year Ago (November 22-28, 2008)
When a Treat Stops Being a Treat – and How to Get It Back For me, a lot of treats stopped being treats during the later part of my years of overspending. Things that were really great just became routine and boring.

Clutter Is Money Wherever you see clutter, you see money lost, because clutter is the result of having more items than you can practically manage or use.

Ten Fundamental Steps for Online Career Networking Careers are now being built on the internet. Here’s how to harness the tools for yourself.

Is Debt Necessary For Generating Income? Many people – Robert Kiyosaki included – seem to argue that it is. I disagree, and here’s why.

Is It Time to Drop Your Land Line? For me, Skype is more than good enoughh for home telephony.

Two Years Ago (November 22-28, 2007)
Should You Help People Who Won’t Help Themselves? I don’t think that you should. I’m quite willing to offer all the help in the world to people who show initiative to help themselves, but if you’re not willing to bother, neither am I.

How Checklists Help Me With My Personal Finance – And How I Trick Myself Into Making Them Work I use checklists on a daily basis to help me keep track of the things I need to know and the things I need to do.

Twelve Important Things To Talk About When Your Relationship Gets Serious Conversations like this are vital in a relationship. Without it, you’re setting yourself up for strong disagreements when you discover you have different assumptions and goals and are working in opposite directions.

The Tug of War Between Frugality, Hobbies, and an Emergency Fund It’s often amazing how out of whack things can get when we don’t spend the time to figure out what our priorities in life really are. The games people play…

Three Years Ago (November 22-28, 2006)
Money For Nothing: Five Ways To Put Money In Your Pocket With Zero Effort I love methods for saving money that involve little or no upkeep work but constantly provide savings to you.

Review: Nickel and Dimed My review of this book ticked off some people. I wasn’t particularly seeking personal finance advice when reading it, though. I think it exposes a lot of class biases in America which do directly impact the financial futures of many of us.

PayPerPost, Paris Hilton, and Violating the Trust Between You and Me The Paris Hilton reference somewhat dates this post, but the idea behind it is still 100% true.

Explaining Simple Interest, Compound Interest, APR, and APY This is a succinct overview of different types of interest, which I see confused all the time in even respected personal finance publications.

If you’d like to browse through more of the archives, visit the chronology, where all posts are listed in chronological order.

Nine Ways to Get More out of The Simple Dollar
This is kind of a FAQ for new readers and is posted each week along with the Time Machine. Here are nine great ways for new readers to dig deeper into The Simple Dollar.

1. Subscribe by email or RSS. Visiting The Simple Dollar’s website is great, but for many people, it’s more convenient to receive the articles in another form. It’s easy to join 60,000 other subscribers and get The Simple Dollar’s content by email or in your RSS feeder (if you’re unfamiliar with RSS, check out Google Reader.

2. Comment. Each article on The Simple Dollar has lively discussion. Just click on the green square in the upper right of each article on the website and join in!

3. Read my story of financial meltdown and recovery. The Simple Dollar isn’t based on what I’ve read in books or learned in school. I’ve made a lifetime of financial mistakes – The Simple Dollar is a record of what works for me during the process of getting my life on a better track.

4. Download my free 49 page e-book. Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance On Just One Page is completely free. It summarizes all of the key lessons I’ve learned along the way about personal finance in one tidy package – in fact, all of the main principles can be found right on the cover.

5. Follow me on Twitter – or other social networks. I post tons of interesting articles, quotes, follow-up material, commentary, and other material on Twitter. Follow me! If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter, it’s essentially an open discussion forum for people to share ideas and thoughts with other like-minded folks – you just choose the people you want to listen to and their ideas and thoughts are all delivered to you on a single page.

I also participate on several other social networks. Feel free to check me out on (it’s where I collect links, from which I select the ones that appear in my weekly roundups), wakoopa (what software I use), GoodReads (what books I’m reading), Facebook, and FriendFeed (which aggregates everything). I also have an irregularly-updated personal site,

6. Dig through “31 Days to Fix Your Finances.” 31 Days to Fix Your Finances is an article series that outlines how you can get a grip on your finances over the course of a month.

7. Send me your questions and suggestions. Send me an email and let me know what you’re thinking, what you’d like to see, and any questions you might have. I try to respond to as many emails as possible and I read them all. I may even use your question in a future article!

8. Email a great article you find to a friend. Find an article that you think your friend would love? At the bottom of each article, you’ll find a link that says “Email this” – just click on that, type in your friend’s address, and send it right along to them!

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