The Simple Dollar Time Machine: October 10, 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, as well as the five best posts from two years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine.

One Year Ago (October 4 – 10, 2008)
How to Read a Stock Chart in Just Five Seconds Looking at a stock chart on a site like Google Finance can be information overload for a person just getting started. This article breaks down the details into a few simple pieces so that you can quickly find the key information that’s actually useful to an individual investor or stock researcher.

Creating a CD Ladder for Your Emergency Fund or Other Savings to Earn a Better, Safe Return Having a large emergency fund can be really useful, but having a large amount of cash just sitting there means it’s not earning as well as it could be. A CD ladder is a way to get some of that money earning a little more without losing access to it. I use CD ladders myself.

The Entrepreneurial Drive (Or Lack Thereof) Some people have the initiative and the interest to dig into entrepreneurship, while others do not. What is the difference between the two, and is it crucial for personal finance success?

A Do-It-Yourself Guide to a Romantic and Highly Frugal Date Night You truly do not need to bust out your wallet while having a romantic date. You also don’t have to spend your time just doing the “same old thing,” either. Instead, follow up on these ideas and you might just find a great date for very little cost.

Ten Things I Wish I’d Done Differently While Buying a House One of the big themes of The Simple Dollar is mining my own failures and figuring out what went wrong, then transforming them into realistic suggestions for others so that they don’t waste their time and/or money making the same mistakes.

Two Years Ago (October 4 – 10, 2007)
How Can A Frugal Person Buy Expensive Items? A Deeper Look At Frugality For me, frugality often means not buying the cheapest item – and sometimes means buying an expensive one. For example, you’re better off buying one good kitchen knife than a whole set of cheap ones.

How To Minimize The Cost (And Maximize The Benefit) Of Eating Out For Business Sometimes, during the course of work, you’re required to eat out with coworkers, business guests, or other people. This can be a real money sink if you’re not careful. Here are some strategies for minimizing that impact without affecting your effectiveness during the meal.

Ten Steps To Financial Success For A Minimum Wage Earner How can you implement good financial planning if you’re earning minimum wage? Here are ten steps that anyone earning a low income can implement to get their financial life in a better place.

Your Money Or Your Life: How Much Is Enough? The Nature Of Fulfillment This is one of my favorite entries from our month-long discussion of the great personal finance book Your Money or Your Life. The idea of fulfillment fascinates me – it is often a lack of fulfillment that convinces people to spend needlessly.

The $21 Food Week: Is It Possible? Is It Healthy? Is it possible to actually eat well while only spending $1 per meal over the course of a week? How much nutrition can you really get for a dollar? And how does that knowledge affect how you actually eat?

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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