The Simple Dollar Time Machine: September 12, 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 (September 6-12, 2008)
Our Path to (Finally) Merging Our Finances It took about five years of marriage for my wife and I to finally merge our finances together. Here’s why we decided to do it – and how we did it.

The Aldi Question: Does One Bad Experience Spoil the Soup? I had a very bad experience at Aldi several years back which has made me wary to ever shop there. Is this a fair conclusion? This is a great discussion on that question.

Fifteen Ways to Have Cheap Fun With Your Kids Using a $1 End Roll of Paper We have a GIANT end roll (we paid $5 for it) right now that we use for all kinds of art projects, from paper hats to homemade wrapping paper for gifts.

Financial Success Isn’t About Who Has the Most (or Best) Stuff In fact, I’ve often seen that financial success is often related to having less stuff (with the stuff you have being of the highest quality).

Please, Recommend a Personal Finance Product to Me! I decided to compile all of the financial services that I use into one post. This one could actually use a bit of updating…

Two Years Ago (September 6-12, 2007)
Fifteen Ideas For A Deeply Fulfilling Money Free Weekend You don’t have to spend money during your free time. Here are fifteen deeply fulfilling ways to spend your spare time without popping open your wallet.

Starting Out And Overcoming A Financially Disastrous Background My childhood experiences involved mostly just scraping by financially, and during my early adulthood, that seemed like the norm. How can you overcome that mentality?

Does Cooking At Home Really Beat The McDonalds $1 Double Cheeseburger? Surprisingly, the cost isn’t that far apart, nor is the time. Cooking at home also tastes better, builds personal skills, and is substantially healthier. The value menu isn’t really a value.

Review: Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes This is a really good book for well-educated people to read. In fact, when I think of the book right now, I can actually think of several people who ought to read it.

Personal Finance and Nostalgia I love vintage baseball cards – really old stuff, like Goudy Gum cards from the 1930s. Unsurprisingly, that’s a really expensive hobby.

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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