One Year Ago This Week – In the Beginning

I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time now, but I just haven’t been able to swing it with all that’s been going on around here… Anyway, now that FiveCentNickel is over a year old, I thought that it might be a good idea to start pointing out posts from back in the day (before most of you were reading the site) that I think are worth highlighting. My plan was to do this on a weekly basis, but I’m nearly a month behind. Thus, I’m going to cover a few weeks this time around…

A year ago this past week:

• E-mail Overload: Digging out from Under – I have a really bad habit of letting my inbox get out of control. And it hasn’t gotten any better over the past year.
• Personal Finance Blogging Takes Off – April and May of 2005 marked the leading edge of the explosion of personal finance blogs. PFBlogs.org now aggregates an amazing 469 weblogs in this area (and counting).
• Home Values, Appraisals, and Fraud – Talks about the potential effects of fraudulent (or at least biased) home appraisals on the real estate market.
• Don’t Believe Everything that You Read – A cautionary note about the risks of taking personal finance writings (including mine!) at face value.
• Don’t Believe Everything that You Read

The week before…

• Kids & Money: Setting an Allowance – I first laid out the details of our allowance system (which has continued to evolve somewhat over time).
• Pay Down Your Mortgage With ‘Found’ Money – My thoughts on throwing unforseen windfalls at your mortgage.
• Tracking CDs with Quicken – As the name suggests, a quick tip on how to track CDs in Quicken.

The week before that…

• Saving for College – Tips on prioritizing your investment needs in the context of planning for your kids to go to college.
• Kids as a Tax Dodge – A tongue-in-cheek article about how best to minimize your tax burden.
• Why Gas Won’t Get Cheaper – A particularly prescient piece on why the price of gas won’t go down (guess what? it didn’t).
• Dave Ramsey is Bad at Math – The most talked about article that I’ve written. Provides a mathematical analysis of various debt reduction strategies. Despite the name, this was really intended to be an indictment of David Bach’s debt reduction strategy, which is just plain dumb. And yes, I do realize the psychological benefits of Ramsey’s approach. I even mentioned it prominently in the article, although many devoted Ramsey-ites seem to have missed that point.

And the week before that…

• Time is Money – A review of one of my all-time favorite personal finance books.
• Reshuffle Your Retirement, Part Deux – More thoughts on structuring your retirement savings.
• The Upside of Costly Gas – Some thoughts on the silver lining when it comes to high gas prices.
• Turn $1/Day into $67, 815 – A bit of simple math to underscore the important of regular investing.
• The Best Dollar(s) that I’ve Ever Spent – How we bribed our son into learning to ride a bike.
• Max that Roth! – Thoughts on why you should max out your Roth IRA, even if you’re not sure that you can afford to do so.
• Get Yourself a Fax Machine – This is just plain great advice, especially if you’re going to be buying and selling a house (trust me, after the past two months, I speak from experience).
• eBay, Taxes, and You – A quick rundown of the rules when it comes to the tax consequences of selling stuff on eBay.
• Reshuffle Your Retirement – Throughts on structuring your retirement investments.
• From the Mouths of Babes: Made in China – Insights into globalization from none other than my seven year old son (he’s now eight, and just as wise as ever).

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