The Simple Dollar Time Machine: October 24, 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 18 – 24, 2008)
When Networking Doesn’t Work: There’s No Value in Just “Touching Base” This article actually sums up much of the thinking that is running through the recent discussions about Never Eat Alone. To put it simply, just making small talk and “touching base” doesn’t amount to much of anything at all unless it’s merely a bridge into something more meaty.

Stop Wasting Money on Disposable Things Whenever you spend money on something disposable and use it, that money is now gone – no future value can be obtained from it. Instead, focus on reusable things which don’t have a replacement cost. Over the long haul, you’ll almost always save money – and you’ll benefit the environment as well.

Giving Outside the Box: Generosity on a Limited Budget How do you give if you don’t have a lot of money? Much of the most powerful giving happens in other ways: giving your skills and giving your time, for starters. Here are some ways to turn your other assets into generosity.

Eleven Tactics for a Cheaper Christmas The Christmas season is often overloaded with little expenses of all kinds that really add up. As always, keeping your eyes on the little things means that the big things will take care of themselves. Here’s how to trim some of those little things without putting a damper on your holiday season.

How to Keep Important Stuff from Slipping Through the Cracks With our busy lives, it’s really easy to find that important matters have simply slipped through the cracks – a bill left unpaid, a piece of correspondence left unread, an idea forgotten. Here are some tactics to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Two Years Ago (October 18 – 24, 2007)
Spam Emails About Individual Stocks: What’s The Scam? I get tons of emails, both personal and otherwise, about great stock deals. They usually tout some very low priced stock and argue that I can make a killing by buying that stock right now. How does this scam work if these are publicly traded stocks? Here’s how.

My Five Greatest Financial Fears – And How They’ve Changed Over The Last Year A big part of my reason for starting The Simple Dollar was to face down my financial fears and conquer them. Here are five of my biggest fears – and how I tackled them.

Organic Foods and Frugality Is it really a frugal choice to buy organic foods and vegetables? It really depends on your values – how valuable is it to you to eat a diet free of preservatives and other elements?

Increasing Your 401(k) Contributions: Benefits and Drawbacks Many personal finance guides argue that it’s always good to increase 401(k) contributions. But is it? I dig into that question here and find that in some cases, simply increasing 401(k) contributions is not the smartest choice.

Your Money or Your Life: The Stunning Implications of Redefining Work This is another segment of the Your Money or Your Life book club, with this portion discussing what happens when you begin to look at work as something different than just a way to make money.

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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