Welcome to the 99th Edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance. Since there is a lot to read below, we will skip on the introductory blah blah. The entries are organized into 12 different categories and a table of content is provided to make it easier to navigate through the 55 articles featured in the carnival. Just click on the link in the table of content and it will take you the the corresponding topic. To browse another topic, hit the browser’s ‘back‘ button and click on a different link. Alternatively, you could just use your mouse’s scroll wheel to go through the entire carnival (good luck there!).
To add a bit of a flavor to the carnival (sometimes it gets a bit monotonous to read long lists of things), a few short money quotes have been sprinkled under each of the above listed topics. Some are relevant to the topic, some are philosophical, and some are just there to give you a break. To break the ice, let’s start with the mother of all money quotes ever:
The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments. - Mad Magazine
Go ahead and indulge yourself.
- The Four Terrible Money Mistakes We Make With Our Kids by Cap @ Mint’s Minty Blog. Cap shares his thoughts on how some parents may be shielding their children from important lessons in life and suggests better ways of dealing with your kids when it comes to money. Here is an excerpt:
If you arenâ€™t careful with how you help your child financially, you may find yourselves becoming the Bank of Mom and Dad. The last thing any parent would want is for their adult child to call them in the middle of the night, asking to borrow money because of the childâ€™s reckless spending.
- A Collection of Financial Literacy Resources by J. D. Roth @ Get Rich Slowly. Almost everything you wanted to know about personal finance. JD promises that you will be better educated about personal finance after reading all the material highlighted in this post.
- Dear Apartment, Youâ€™re Charging Me Too Much For Rent! by Juan @ Millionster. An amusing letter by Juan ranting about the problems he faces in his current apartment. He wraps it up by dictating his own schedule of rent! - way to go dude!
Personal Finance Stories
When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous. ~Wayne Dyer
- My Daugher’s Millionaire Dreams Aren’t Far From Reality by CJ @ The Coin Jar. It’s about CJ’s daughter Jessica - a 19 year old with $1600 in a Roth IRA and no student debt - she sure sounds like she is on the right path to be a millionaire.
- 4 Ways to Simplify Finances Where Possible by Flexo @ Consumerism Commentary. Read about how Flexo plans to simply his finances. He has outlined his plans with some specific objectives in mind towards a more manageable financial life.
- Top Ten Ways Personal Finance Blogging has Helped Me by Lazy Man @ Lazy Man and Money. This probably resonates with thoughts of other personal finance bloggers too. If you have something to add, head over to Lazy’s and drop a line.
- Stupid Money Crap I’ve Done by KMC @ Advanced Personal Finance. Sounds like money trouble most college students get into. Here is an excerpt:
A night of drinking at the bar? Card. Furniture for apartment? Card. Books? Card. Late fees at the library? Freakinâ€™ card. I even paid for food with a credit card. I paid the bill for one card with another card at one point.
- The Cost of School Books is Killing Me! by Wilks @ Highest Echelon. I understand Wilks’ pain; some books are way too over-priced, and some professors seem to have a fancy for new and expensive books (irrespective of whether it’s an improvement over other older and/or cheaper books)
- Identity Theft/Stolen Credit Card in the Middle of an Airport by FMF @ Free Money Finance. FMF eyes folks at airport suspiciously, and whispers his credit card number like this:
While walking/talking, I turned around a couple times (casually) so my voice was not projected in any one direction for the entire reading of the card number. It would make taking the information much more difficult.
- Using My Emergency Fund To Buy A Car? by NCN @ No Credit Needed. NCN runs a few numbers in trying to figure out an efficient way to buy car. Basically, the message is - delay a purchase by a few years - save in the meantime.
- The Chocolate Croissant Effect by Story Girl @ My Money and My Life. Not really like the “latte factor” - it’s more about *enjoying* the full worth of what you buy.
When I didnâ€™t buy a chocolate croissant, I was fully aware that I was not buying one and was very proud of the money I was saving. When I did buy one, I took my time and thoroughly enjoyed it, instead of letting myself feel guilty about spending the money.
Credit and Credit Cards
Credit is a system whereby a person who can not pay gets another person who can not pay to guarantee that he can pay. ~ Charles Dickens
- 3 Things You Should Know About Credit â€“ Before You Apply for Your Next by Steve Faber @ Debt Free.
Make sure you check in the bowels of any contract you sign to verify weather or not youâ€™ve given permission for your credit to be checked. Youâ€™ll have a hard pull the next time you apply for a credit card, make a major purchase on credit or get a mortgage.
- What Does it Mean to Pay Your Credit Card Balance in Full? by Clever Dude @ Clever Dude Personal Finance and Money. Watch out for the “two-cycle billing” practice when you don’t pay your credit card bill in full. Plus, you also need to consider the “grace period” - that’s what kicks in the finance charges - the situation is only made worse by two-cycle billing.
- God Can Help You Eliminate Credit Card Debt says Nina @ Queercents. Remember what the wise folks say? God helps those who help themselves. It’s a good topic for arguments.
- 10 Common Sneaky Fees Credit Card Companies Charge by Sagar @ Credit Card Lowdown.
Fees for not using your card: Maybe you want to put your cards on ice for a while. It’s a good thing, but beware of the fees your issuer may charge for not using your card. It’s true; you can be fined for not charging anything to your card during a specified period of time.
- What’s the Point of Points? by English Major @ An English Major’s Money. Look for reader feedback on how they use their credit card points.
October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February. ~Mark Twain
- Making Bonds Part Of My Portfolio by Super Saver @ My Wealth Builder. The post starts with this:
Gentlemen prefer bonds. - Andrew Mellon
Lol…that will get you to read the rest of it.
- Financial Independence Series #4 - How To Get Started by Jeremy Reeves @ The Road To A Perfect Life. Jeremy gives a few investing ideas towards achieving financial independence. Not all ideas are *easy* to implement for the average person (real estate, foreign exchange, etc.) but it’s always good to know about the available options.
- Playing the Percentages: The Effects of Gains and Losses by Nickel @ Five Cent Nickel. Nickel answers a tricky question that is of interest to investors:
When is 50% not equal to 50%?
- 5 Ways to Make Money from Global Warming by Jon @ Smart Money Daily. Jump on the green bandwagon and invest your money in ventures that stand to gain as global warming concerns intensify in time to come.
- Biggest Tax Cheats? Lower Income Investors by Kay Bell @ Don’t Mess With Taxes. Here is what is bothering Kay:
According to a story in today’s New York Times, the Committee’s acting chief of staff, Thomas A. Barthold, wrote a letter to Emanuel contending that “the majority of the dollar amounts of underreported capital gains income from securities transactions” were among people in the 10 and 15 percent tax brackets.
- Speculative Charitable Giving, how the tax laws create an incentive for you to gamble with your charitable contributions by LAMoneGuy @ It’s Just Money. The post is about a type of investment in which the investor buys a stock with the intention of donating it to charity.
- Vanguard or T. Rowe Price Funds: Actively Managed vs. Index Funds by TFB @ The Finance Buff.
After you knew who won and why, there’s still the question of who will win going forward. That’s what you want to know. If T. Rowe Price funds won in the last 5 years, will they win again in the next 5, 10, or 30 years?
Banking and Saving
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. ~Bob Hope
- Direct Deposit to Bank Account - Handle With Care! @ FIRE Finance. A brief discussion about the merits and the demerits of direct deposit facility offered by most banks now-a-days; and things to look out for if you opt for direct deposit.
- What I Consider When Selecting an Online Savings Account by Sun @ The Sun’s Financial Diary. Apart from high interest rates what other things would you consider when selecting an online savings account? Sun tries to provide an answer.
- Keep the Change Programs by KMull @ Personal Finance at KMull.com. An extensive review of two indirect savings programs: Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” program and AMEX’s One Card.
Loans and Debt
If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments. ~Earl Wilson
- Getting Out of Debt Would be Easier by Plonkee @ Plonkee Money. An interesting thought here - is getting out of debt easier than trying to increase your net worth when you are not in debt?
When you’re in debt, you have that initial target that you can motivate yourself for, getting to the stage where you have no debt.
- Types of Debt Consolidation Loans by Abdulrasool Sumar @ Debt Consolidation. The post is a brief note on a few ways to consolidate your debt - including home equity line of credit (HELOC) and 0% APR credit cards.
- Sources of Financial Liquidity by Mr. Credit Card @ Ask Mr. Credit Card’s Blog. An article similar in concept to the one above - a list of resources from which you can borrow in an emergency.
- Advice for New Graduates: Student Loans by DDL @ Make Your Nut. A few tips for students on how to handle their debts after getting out of school.
- Loan Pre-Approval Means Nothing by Dan Melson @ Searchlight Crusade. Remember those “pre-approved” credit card offers?
Not to mention the fact that nothing about a pre-approval or pre-qualification is binding. In fact, until the underwriter writes a loan commitment, there is nothing that says you have a loan at all. Furthermore, it’s rare for loans to be rejected outright. What happens far more often is the underwriter puts an unmeetable conditions on it.
- My Experience with Prosper.com by Dan @ Everyday Finance. Dan’s experience comes in the form of an extensive primer on using Prosper.com for lending money.
Net Worth (or the lack of it)
Wealth - any income that is at least one hundred dollars more a year than the income of one’s wife’s sister’s husband. ~H.L. Mencken
- Net Worth: How am I Doing? by Pfodyssey @ My Personal Finance Odyssey. The author ponders on various benchmarking tools to compare his net worth progress.
- What is Real Net Worth? by Broknowrchlatr @ Broke Now, Rich Later. Some thought provoking stuff about the meaning of net worth. There is an interesting suggestion about including your anticipated rate of return and inflation in your net worth calculations. I have had similar thoughts on the concept of net worth a few months ago.
- What Are Exemptions (or What Can I Keep in Bankruptcy?) by Brett Weiss @ Bankruptcy Law Network. Bankruptcy doesn’t mean you loose everything - here is an article that tells you what you can keep.
Exemptions let you keep assets less than a specific dollar amount (such as a bank account or tax refund worth less than $1,000) or a specific type of item, regardless of value (such as a 401(k), or in some states, a family bible or wedding set).
Tips and Suggestions
Almost any man knows how to earn money, but not one in a million knows how to spend it. ~Henry Thoreau
- 10 Energy Saving Home Improvements by Plus6 @ Plus6 Personal Finance. Save energy (and hence the environment) and save some money by following these tips - it’s a win-win situations.
- Spring Cleaning Saves Money by Patrick @ Cash Money Life. Simple message: less clutter = less chaos = more time to think about earning money. Of course, you can sell some of the clutter and earn more bucks.
You might think this last one is a stretch, but ask yourself if youâ€™ve ever looked at a sink or dishwasher full of dirty dishes and decided it was just easier to call Dominoâ€™s?
- Tips for Running a Successful Seasonal Business by Michelle Cramer @ GreatFX Business Cards. 3 simple tips for entrepreneurs. But, if you think of it, you could extend these tips to your personal financial life - whether you are an entrepreneur or not.
- Why You Should Become a Personal Finance Blogger by Ben @ Money Smart Life. Get more from life - become a personal finance blogger. Ben lists 13 ways you can benefit by blogging about personal finances.
- Confessions of a Fundraiser @ Carolina Bound. 6 handy tips to make your charity money do what you want it to do.
Business is the art of extracting money from another man’s pocket without resorting to violence. ~Max Amsterdam
- Best Price Guarantee - List Of Top Retailers With The Great Purchase Policies @ Savvy Steward. A pretty useful list of price guarantee policies offered by a variety of retailers. There is Starbucks in the list - wow…I want a return policy on my latte Fooling apart, the Starbucks policy is with reference to the Starbucks Store.
- How To Avoid Paying Retail by @ The Frugalist. A list of 35 tips on how to avoid paying retail price for purchases. The list culminates with “Cut Hair at Home” - oh man!
Housing and Mortgage
People are living longer than ever before, a phenomenon undoubtedly made necessary by the 30-year mortgage. ~Doug Larson
- Renting, Rights and Money Mistakes by Dawn @ Frugal for Life. This is a must read for all apartment dwellers like me. It helps to know things like:
Most states require landlords to return refundable portions of a security deposit within 14 to 30 days after the tenant has vacated the premises, even in the case of eviction.
- Don’t Make This Mortgage Refinance Mistake by Nigel Swaby @ Salt lake Real Estate Blog. Nigel quotes a story about a disillusioned homeowner’s refinancing mistakes and explains how unscrupulous lenders can put homeowners in trouble.
- An Interesting Fixed-rate Mortgage by MBH @ Mighty Bargain Hunter. MBH runs a quick analysis to compare conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a different type of fixed-rate mortgage.
The loan is fixed rate, 30 years, but the payment increases after 10 years. Itâ€™s not a negative amortization loan or an interest-only loan for the first ten years. Principal is still paid back with each payment, but not as quickly during the first ten years.
- Why I Say Buy A Big New House by Teri Newton @ Personal Finance Advice. An interesting take on buying a house with controversy written all over it.
It amazes me how sometimes when it comes to a purchase as big as a house, people throw their ideals of value out the window. To me, the bigger the purchase, the more something like value becomes important. Just some things to think about next time you are house shopping.
Travel and Vacation
If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion. ~George Bernard Shaw
- No Gas Day: Good Intentions, Horrible Idea, Worse Follow-Through by Stephanie @ Poorer Than You. Why would a “No Gas Day” work in the US? Is there a better way to address the rising prices of gasoline? Stephanie address these question in her post.
- Frugal Vacations: Traveling With Friends (Part 2) by ISPF @ Grad Money Matters. ISPF shares some tips on squeezing the most fun out of vacations with the least amount of efforts. Here is something we have always experienced more often than we would like:
Even the best laid plans can fall apart. So donâ€™t get too attached to a plan.
- Traveling to New York City on a Budget by Matthew Paulson @ Getting Green. A brief note on enjoying The Big Apple without burning a hole in your pocket. Here is one tip from me on this subject - stay with a friend in New Jersey and save money on hotels when you want to visit New York - come on..everyone has a friend in New Jersey.
Interesting Financial Posts
Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it and thought of other things if you did. ~ James Baldwin
- 5 Money and Currency Facts Your History Teacher Never Told You by SVB @ The Digerati Life. Read some interesting stuff about $10,000 bills and about how the dollar sign got invented.
- The 4% Retirement Rule by FrugalTrader @ Million Dollar Journey. A brief explanation of the 4% rule with a couple of simple examples.
- Scammers and Fools by Henry Stern @ InsureBlog. A rant about an insurance rip-off and the apathy of a government organization in handling the situation.
- The Beatitudes of Money by Vause @ Active Duty Military Money and Matters. Blessed are those who manage their money and life wisely.
- College Student Identity Theft by Colonel @ Money and Credit. A quick thought importance of credit for college students and the dangers of identity theft.
- Spider-Man 3 - Will you pay to see it in the theater? by PT @ Prime Time Money. PT shares a few thoughts on frugal movie watching. About Spider Man 3, we got our student tickets at $4.00 apiece - it was surely worth that kind of money.
Interest works night and day in fair weather and in foul. It gnaws at a man’s substance with invisible teeth. ~ Henry Beecher.
That’s all for this edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance. Take a moment to read more about the Carnival of Personal Finance and click here to submit your article to the next edition to be hosted at My Open Wallet.
About a dozen articles were not published because of various reasons; primarily, because they were published in other carnivals earlier, or they were old, or they were too specific to be of general interest. If your article was not published, don’t worry too much about it (”Worry is the enemy of productivity.” ~ Golbguru) and try harder and submit your articles to the next edition. To ensure the acceptance of your articles, make sure you follow these guidelines.
Source of money quotes: www.quotegarden.com, http://en.proverbia.net