The Simple Dollar Time Machine: September 4, 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 (August 29 – September 4, 2009)
Revising My Money Goals – And Setting New Ones This isn’t just a one time thing. For me, it’s something to constantly revisit, think about, and reformulate.

Seven Tempting Places – And Eight Ways to Minimize Their Impact My best tactic is to simply avoid them. I rarely go to bookstores at all at this point, simply because I know they’re really tempting for me.

Some Thoughts on Building a Successful Friendship Relationships of any kind aren’t easy, especially if you aren’t blessed with a natural gift of social skills. Here are some thoughts on making friendships wirk.

21 Ways to Reduce Your Spending Without Making Your Life Miserable Many people associate cutting back with “lack of fun.” That doesn’t have to be true at all.

Your Mileage May Vary Not everyone has the same experiences with the same things in life. Something that works well for me might not work for you, and vice versa. That doesn’t mean that the ideas are bad, it just means you need to try lots of things and stick with what fits you.

Two Years Ago (August 29 – September 4, 2008)
Everything’s So Easy for Pauline: Thoughts on Luck, Fate, Money, and Life This is my single favorite post I’ve ever written on The Simple Dollar. I have felt like it was the pinnacle for two years now. It just clicks for me in a way that’s hard to describe.

The Personal Finance Secrets “They” Don’t Want You to Know About I just don’t think that paranoia and personal finance mix well. Making choices out of fear almost always results in more failure and fear.

How to Avoid the Trap of Splurging as a Reward for “Being Good” It’s tempting to splurge when you’re doing well, but when splurges undo all of your good work, it’s worthwhile to keep an eye on how far you’ve come and how much you can undo with just one choice.

Some Thoughts on Plasma Donation It works in a desperate pinch, but there are enough drawbacks that I don’t recommend it as a big money maker.

What’s An Appropriate Home Food Budget for a Family of Four? This post certainly stirred up some debate. It’s important to keep in mind that I only matched the USDA numbers buy buying expensive food items – organics, saffron, and so on.

Three Years Ago (August 29 – September 4, 2007)
Seven Nifty Tactics Credit Card Companies Use To Get Into Your Pocket – And How To See Right Through Them It’s all about the marketing – and big marketing firms, like the ones that represent credit card companies, are good at getting your attention and getting into your pocket.

Is An “Entertainment” Coupon Book Worth It? It really depends on your lifestyle and your willingness to really figure out the big values in the book.

The Real Scoop On Debt Elimination Programs Most of them repackage the advice you’ll find elsewhere and sell it to you as something fresh.

Potential Pitfalls For Paying Off Someone Else’s Debt The pitfall is that it adds a lender-borrower element to a personal relationship. Do you have a deep, unabiding love for your bank? I don’t either, and I don’t want to inject that feeling into my relationships.

What Constitutes An “Emergency” Where One Should Use An Emergency Fund? The answer varies for everyone, but I think it mostly comes down to the things you can’t handle in your monthly money cycle.

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!

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