Welcome to the 152nd Edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance!
Each week, the carnival features the best personal finance blogging on the Web. In this week’s carnival you’ll find money-saving tips, ideas for your investments, commentaries on taxes and the economy, and even a couple of financial posts inspired by Mother’s Day!
In This Edition
Do you frequently fall victim to impulse buys from store checkout aisles and displays? If so, check out You Don’t Need That! 8 Tricks for Impulse Control at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already.
Kevin from No Debt Plan has a post that is humorous, but also dead-on. Check out his post 10 Steps to Avoid Becoming a Millionaire, and if you are doing any of these things, stop!
Is your portfolio in a rut? MoneyNing looks back on his investments year-to-date and rehashes some investing basics that have taken him from a yield of -99.79% to +9.99% so far this year. And, if you’re good at keeping your monthly budget, but lose track of cash purchases, Dorian Wales from The Personal Financier reflects on four ways to account for cash expenditures in your budget. Finally, you spend a lot of time building your financial security, but Megan from A Dollar a Day asks are you ready for a disaster?
I have to give a nod to two posts inspired by mom’s day yesterday: Shuchong from But WHY Doesn’t It Grow on Trees reflects on financial lessons learned from mom, and Finance Girl from Finance Gets Personal wrote about giving mom an experience for Mother’s Day… of course this is also good for father’s day, a birthday, or anybody deserving!
Relevant to Money Under 30 Readers
Before I dive into the bulk of carnival posts, there are a few more I wanted to highlight for this blog’s regular readers. Ben from Money Smart Life covers health insurance options for recent graduates, GBlogger from Can I Get Rich On A Salary lists generalizations made about Generation Y and money and ponders whether any are accurate. Steve from brip blap talks about how the smartest financial move he made in college was learning a foreign language. Also, Denina covers five avoidable money mistakes students make.
Due to a glitch in the email host that collects submissions, the following posts were omitted when the carnival was first posted. Sorry! They are here now, and the carnival organizers are working on fixing the delay in submissions.
Foxie from Dreaming of Ferraris is focusing on the future, learning to balance paying for past mistakes, spending a little now, and saving for the future. Junger from Online Savings Blog asks What Would You Do For $1 Million?.
The Financial Blogger presents Conquering The World From Your Bedroom. Todd from Harvesting Dollars presents Index Funds Are A Commodity, and Checking Accounts Are Too. Eden from Finance and Fat looks at Prosper.com, and asks: Why Bother?
Saving Money and Frugal Tips
Seeking strategies to supercharge your savings? Lazy Man and Money shows you how to snowflake an emergency fund, and Bob from Christian Personal Finances suggests living a minimalist life. Need a thing or two? Mrs. NtJS from Not the Jet Set tells you how to shop garage sales like a pro. And for anything you can’t sell at the garage sale, Free Money Finance recommends you throw it out to avoid spending $3k a year on storage.
Mighty Bargain Hunter is impressed with Amazon’s food selection, while Free From Broke is keeping costs down on oil changes. J. Savings from Budgets are Sexy needs your help with a list of 100 bargains for $1.00 or less!, while Biff from basicfinancial is learning to have fun while being frugal.
If fuel prices have gotten you down, Living the Cheap Life tells you how to get a free haircut, Maria O’Brien at Financial Tips suggests buying locally grown food, Margaret from You Might as Well Burn $5! suggests saving on food with a price book, and Sun from The Sun’s Financial Diary provides some tips to save money on fuel itself from Consumer Reports. Also, Chief Family Officer asks Why roll over ECBs at CVS?
Looking for something fun (and free) to do with the kids? Amy at The Q Family suggests taking them to this free family activity at Home Depot. Speaking of kids, Bill from Money Hacks recently learned just how much his wife’s work is worth. Moving soon? Shawna from Bumblefucked has some words of warning for anybody who is moving as she explains how changing her address cost her $75. Finally, Mom from Wide Open Wallet writes about why what you drive does not equal what you are worth in Millionaires Drive Minivans.
Credit and Debt
Debt Freedom Fighter tells the story of getting into lots of debt, and how he plans to get out with the post: Record Breaking Debt: How did We Get This Way and How Do We Get Out SGM from Single Guy Money looks back at his year of finances as he tries to get out of debt. In debt yourself? Perhaps you’re wondering: do you need a credit history to get a cell phone? Mrs. Micah fills you in. Meanwhile, Ryan from Uncommon Cents talks about 401(k) Loans.
Jonathan from Master Your Card discusses the differences between good debt and bad debt, FIRE Finance warns about the over limit fees on the Citi CashReturns card, and Feminist Finance writes about marrying debt.
Ashley from College of Cash hates being angry and stressed about loans, Lisa Spinelli from Greener Pastures I had a dream she maxed out her credit cards (sounds like a nightmare), and Shana from Smart Easy Money presents an alternative look at her history with credit. Amanda from Me vs Debt got her FICO score into the 700s (congrats!), meaning she could probably get approved for Credit Addict’s three best credit cards. Speaking of credit cards, Mr Credit Card reflects on the Fed’s proposed rules for credit card banks.
Financial Planning and Investing
The legendary Sequoia Fund has reopened to new investors, but Dan from Everyday Finance asks whether you should avoid this fund.
Relliksc from Goal of Financial Freedom tells you why to put time and money on your side.
Jim from Blueprint for Financial Prosperity takes a look at the best online brokers.
Clint from Accumulating Money tells you why you need life insurance and Squawkfox points out how to buy it without getting screwed. FiveCentNickel shares his investment portfolio’s asset allocation and location, while My Retirement Blog reviews Sharebuilder IRA.
Pinyo from Moolanomy presents a roadmap to better financial health and The Dividend Guy looks at why most mutual fund managers under-perform the market. Enoch Ko from The Wealth Accumulator asks What is your risk (or volatility) tolerance?
Henry Stern InsureBlog discusses ways to shelter your assets should you need long term care. Jacob from All About The Ben takes a detailed look at PharmaNet Development Group Inc.. Dividend Growth Investor presents Valspar Corporation (VAL) Dividend Analysis. Raymond from Money Blue Book Finance looks at Warren Buffett’s single most important piece of advice for stock market investors, Barb from Pasadena Financial Planner writes about independent investment counselors and financial advisors, and Smarty from Growing Money takes a look at his goals and progress in 2008.
Dividends4Life looks at whether stock dividends are worthless and Journey 2 Retirement points out why you should not chase the highest yield, and The MoneyGardener presents ways tohedge yourself against rising gasoline costs.
Not many folks wrote about real estate this week, but Dan Melson from Searchlight Crusade discusses how to write real estate offers that can beat out a higher competing offer. Hunting Happiness writes about beginning experiences in residential investment properties, and Steve Faber from Debt Free looks at the dangers of reverse mortgages.
Wonder where the presidential candidates stand on taxes? DR from Dough Roller presents Presidential Candidates’ Tax Proposals–A Complete Guide. Speaking of federal taxes, Hank from My Investing Blog asks: What Do You Say About Dumping Our National Income Tax And Switching To A National Sales Tax?.
Still looking for your rebate? Paula Wethington from Monroe on a Budget asks: Are you really on the IRS direct depost list? Meanwhile, Broke Grad Student is still waiting for the 2008 tax rebate. Prime Time Money suggests you use your tax rebate to get free groceries. Finally, ever wondered how sales tax applies to online resources? Anthoney Grigsby from HelpMyCashGrow.com checks it out with his post: Amazon.com vs. New York & The Internet sales tax.
Gather Little by Little shares what you need to do now to survive a recession, while Chris Kakaras shares some sobering facts about the state of our country’s personal finances in this situation analysis. The Money Kings thinks GM should stop pretending to be a green company, and Heather Allen from DebtFree Playbook Blog looks at the language of money and how the economic landscape changes the way we speak.
Budgeting and Money Management
It’s one thing to set a budget for your family vacation, and another thing entirely to stick to it once you are on the road. Here are easy tips for living within your budget, even while you’re on vacation, from Debbie at DeliciousBaby.
MITBeta from Don’t Feed The Alligators explains how to use Google apps to track spending, while Joe D from Know The Ledge recommends keeping a lean checking account.
Shannon Christman from Saving Advice Blog presents ten great bits of financial advice, and from American Consumer News points out that with the increase in electronic payments, it’s not so easy to float checks anymore. AndyS from Saving to Invest recommends starting to budget for $5 gas, and Andy from Finance Viewpoint answers some reader questions about taxes and allocating $100k.
Last but certainly not least, Debbie from Destroy Debt offers some pointers for spending less to free up available income.
Fathersez looks at how applying Kaizen, the Japanese science of continual improvement in our daily lives, can help us improve our personal finances, while Aryn from Sound Money Matters asks How much car insurance do you need? The Happy Rock discusses simplifying your finances, and Super Saver from My Wealth Builder tells you how to identify and avoid advertising mind tricks.
Deepali from Paradigm Shifted suggests that wealth is not a material gain, but a state of mind, Kaye from Mrs Nespy’s World presents teaching children about money, part two (giving). My Money Adventure lets us in on the personal finance book I’m going to “read”.
About the Carnival of Personal Finance
The Carnival of Personal Finance is the Web’s premier weekly collection of blog articles on financial topics. Bloggers are invited to submit articles for consideration before 5 p.m. Eastern time each Sunday. Next week’s Carnival will be hosted at Canadian Dream: Free at 45.