The Simple Dollar Time Machine: September 18, 2010

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 (September 12 – September 18, 2009)
Addition by Subtraction: The Benefits of a “Fall Cleaning” I absolutely love big cleaning projects where we get rid of collected stuff that we just don’t really need. I don’t do it often enough.

The Sleeping Fox Catches No Poultry You’ve got to be alert and aware of what’s going on around you if you really want to succeed financially. Blinders don’t really work outside of very specific, narrow tasks.

Nostalgia The happiness of the past is a very powerful emotional tool, one that marketers are absolutely unafraid to manipulate as much as they can. Don’t let ’em.

A Beginner’s Guide to The Simple Dollar This post outlines some of the elements of what makes up The Simple Dollar and how it works.

Frugality as a “Spending Transfer” This is exactly how I’ve come to view frugality. When you cut back spending in one area that you don’t care about very much, you’re transferring that spending to another area that you do care about.

Two Years Ago (September 12 – September 18, 2008)
Using TreasuryDirect for Conservative Investing TreasuryDirect is a great resource. Now, if we could only roll back such investments to their 1982 rates…

Friends and Goals I am an enormous believer in the power of friends and family to help you achieve goals. In fact, it’s something I’m going to touch on again this afternoon.

What a Frugality Expert Is – And Why I’m Not One I don’t want to be an “expert.” I’d rather just be a real person.

If You’re Not Using It, Get Rid of It: Ten Ways to Declutter and Put Cash in Your Pocket I’m constantly looking for ways to cut down on my possession count. The best part? Quite often, cutting down on your possession count results in money in the pocket.

Eight Tactics for Handling Greeting Card Occasions I really don’t like pre-written cards from Hallmark. I’d far rather see a handwritten note with a personal sentiment, even if the words aren’t perfect (in fact, it’s better if the words aren’t perfect, but real).

Three Years Ago (September 12 – September 18, 2007)
Patience Personal finance success doesn’t come overnight. It comes with time, and to make it there requires patience.

Teaching Yourself To Cook At Home: Ten Tips From My Kitchen To Yours It’s really not too hard to teach yourself how to prepare food at home. Once upon a time, I would completely mangle scrambled eggs, for example, but today I can pull off a good eggs benedict.

Your Stuff And You: Figuring Out What You Really Value – And Eliminating The Rest So much of personal finance is about self-discipline and cultivating a deep understanding of what you really value, much deeper than the marketing that’s out there.

There Are Two Guaranteed Ways To Improve Your Financial Situation … But Which Is Better? I think the question really boils down to short-term or long-term. If you’re looking for an immediate improvement, frugality wins. If you’re looking for a bigger return but are fine with more time until you see returns, improving your income is the best way to go.

What Should Your Net Worth Be? Why “The Millionaire Next Door” Equation Falls Short – And What A Better Thumbnail Calculation Might Look Like The biggest thing I didn’t like in the otherwise-excellent book “The Millionaire Next Door” was their net worth calculation. It’s absolutely absurd for anyone under 30 – and pretty dodgy for people in their thirties, too. Here, I propose some alternatives.

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

Ten Ways to Get More out of The Simple DollarUpdated!
This is kind of a FAQ for new readers and is posted each week along with the Time Machine. Here are ten 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. Become a fan of The Simple Dollar on Facebook. I put up questions and other materials about once every week or two on Facebook (so you won’t be flooded with Simple Dollar updates). Join in the conversation with other Simple Dollar fans and occasionally get some interesting freebies, too.

4. Follow me on Twitter. I post 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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!

9. 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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