Welcome to the 86th Carnival of Personal Finance! For those unaware, the Carnival of Personal Finance is a series of weekly posts hosted by various blogs in which we highlight great posts on various personal finance topics.
Usually, when I go to read a carnival or festival, I scan the article titles quickly and only click on ones that are really interesting and give short shrift to a lot of blog articles that don’t have titles that grab me right off the bat. This time is a little different: I picked out one sentence from each entrant in the carnival and included it in this post, so you can get a flavor of everyone’s writing style before you click! (I did do a bit of editing on a few sentences so that pronoun references made sense and so forth).
I’ve also grouped the articles into distinct areas of personal finance discussion to help you find articles that interest you. I also start off the whole thing by selecting eight “editor’s choice” articles, which are the ones I happened to enjoy the most out of all of the submissions.
If consumers are motivated to purchase a rebated product, they overestimate their probability of redeeming the rebate in order to make the purchase more attractive.
- Mail-In Rebates, Psychology, And An Interesting Analogy (@ money, matter, and more musings)
People say that you will be amazed when you see how much you spend on the morning coffee by writing it down in a notebook, yet there are other methods to become more aware of my spending that have worked better for me.
- Answers To Common Budgeting Questions (@ my financial awareness)
We have to know what makes us angry and incites a passion to change. In order to make a committed change we have find those buttons, press ‘em down and not let go until the change has been fully made.
- How To Find Your Hot Buttons @ wallerblog
In other words, the new rich — which by the way could be considered the suddenly wealthy as well — may still take time to digest their new status and to work out their tithing strategies.
- Do Rich People Really Give Less? (@ the digerati life)
Where would I come up with the extra $1,000 we would need to move? These are the financial sacrifices and money savers that I can remember that we did in order to make it happen.
- Making The Financial Sacrifice To Get What You Want (@ my two dollars)
Without the desire to follow through, you’re never going to get anywhere, or your results will be overly skewed and present a rosier picture than you think.
- One Month Challenge Review: The Tracking Part (@ we’re in debt)
Corporate executives and Wall Street use financial ratios to distill the numbers down to help compare apples to apples, and we can use similar ratios in our personal finances.
- Stop Comparing Your Finances With Others: Five Financial Ratios To Keep You On Track (@ money smart life)
All of this got me to thinking about simple things that people can do to cut their utility expenditures without impacting their comfort level.
- 12 Simple Ways To Save Money On Utilities (And The Planet) (@ five cent nickel)
Budgeting / Money Management
So the next question should be: how much money is six months of living expenses? I propose two approaches to this: one working forwards, and another working backwards.
- How Much You Need In An Emergency Fund (And Why) (@ my pocket change)
Most teachers don’t make six-figure incomes, so it’s important to have a diversified stream of income.
- What Teaching Taught Me About Money: A Financial Lesson Plan (@ the frugal duchess)
It answers the question, “Will I be able to make all of my payments this year?”
- Financial Ratios For Personal Evaluation: Working Capital Ratio (@ consumerism commentary)
In the first 5 months of my job, I took my 401K from $0 to $10K!
- Towards A Better Financial Future (Even If You Don’t Have A Penny To Save) (@ personal finance for students and fresh grads)
One of the key strategies that I use to save money, or at least to keep myself from spending more of it than I need to, is to convince myself of the notion that I have far less money than I actually do at any given time.
- The Tao Of Perceived Poverty (@ make your nut)
You might be wondering what goes into this magical and mystical “credit score” and what you can do to improve that score so that you can get favorable loan terms the next time you need an auto loan or mortgage.
- Guide To Credit Scores (@ war on credit cards)
Ultimately, shifting your debt from credit to home equity is a risky endeavor that has a significant payoff if you can remain responsible (a characteristic that, arguably, you may not have exhibited when you racked up the debt).
- Pay Off Credit Cards With Home Equity? (@ blueprint for financial prosperity)
These people do not understand that there is always the possibility of your payment somehow not getting to the bank (and it does happen), and you being charged a $39 late fee, and huge sums of interest.
- You Cannot Use Credit Cards Responsibly (@ getting green)
And now that I finally got this limit, I hate to say it but I think I’m going to have to decline it.
- I Just Got Approved For A Credit Card Limit Of $25K (@ money walks)
The personal satisfaction that comes with the security of having some savings, or at least a line of credit, has been more satisfying than having all of the consumer goods that advertisers say we must have.
- Something That Made My Day … It’s Priceless (@ blogging away debt)
Sure, if you have a mortgage or you’re buying a car, making regular payments on those loans will improve your score but don’t spend money on a credit card so you can make minimum payments on a debt that is charging you 20% interest each year.
- Don’t Take Debt To Improve Your Credit Score (@ declare war on credit cards)
It’s a long road, and the journey is never smooth, but you have to take the less-trodden path if you wish to STAY OUT OF debt.
- 33 Surefire Tips To Financial Prosperity (@ debt consolidation lowdown)
This propensity to delve into the world of debt is, in some measure, driven by the American mentality (also shared by the citizens of many other nations) of immediate gratification.
- What Is Debt Doing To Americans, Anyway? (@ debt free)
After continuing to work my tail off and receiving a few additional raises, I began to question why I always felt like I was struggling to make ends meet even though I was making decent money.
- Be Honest With Yourself (@ my new choice)
We live in the most prosperous nation in the world. Many of the poor in America would be at least middle class in a vast majority of the rest of the world. Yet 80 percent (80%! Not 10%, not 15% but 80%!) say they need more money.
- Making The Most Of The Money You Have (@ free money finance)
I know a lot of PF bloggers are selling their books through Amazon or eBay. Great. Good luck to them. I’d rather not wait in a post office line.
- Getting Rid Of My Books! (@ mapgirl’s fiscal challenge)
But, having just shot this whole series in the foot, the two biggest factors in long term financial success are patience and discipline.. and they go very well with cost control and saving ideas.
- Simple Living – 25 Ways To Save Money (@ investmentsloans)
We’ve made the decision to focus on spending less because it is something that we have control over right now – We could sit down at any time and make a list of ways to cut spending, which would make our “spending less” goal immediate (once put into action.)
- Should You Focus On Spending Less Or Earning More? (@ not made of money)
My favorite K Chronicles strips often covered the topic of frugal living – how to get by as a starving artist, tips on raiding art gallery buffets, adventures in public transportation, where to donate your sperm for cash – I gained inspiration from these comic, only-partially-joking takes on cheap living and quick cash-making schemes.
- Keith Knight Of The K Chronicles: Keepin’ Kool On The Cheap (@ wise bread)
Perhaps the formula to determine the percentage of bonds should not be 120-your age, but rather, what is the expected volatility of your non-correlated investments.
- The Role Of Bonds In An Investment Portfolio: A Simplification Of Modern Portfolio Theory (@ making our way)
I absolutely believed the advisor at Merrill Lynch was acting in my best interest – under that advice, my retirement savings tanked, but I really didn’t realize it because I was not tracking it at all.
- My Roth IRA: A Retrospective (@ seeking wealth)
Just keep in mind as you read, listen, or watch different investment ideas being showcased that not every one of those “great ideas” is great for you.
- Be Comfortable With Your Activities And Investments (@ everyday money)
The good news is that the scientific finance literature has shown that there really are better approaches to buying and owning funds – you do not need to frantically chase fund performance.
- Scientific mutual fund and ETF screening criteria: a summary (@ the skilled investor)
It does for 401k plans what the Roth IRA did for Traditional IRA plans – it created a vehicle for folks to save after-tax dollars and allow it to grow tax free.
- Roth 401(k) Versus Regular 401(k) (@ my retirement blog)
If stocks are the best performing investment long-term hands down and you can wait out the ups and downs in the market, then why wouldn’t you be entirely invested in stocks to get the most bang for your buck long term?
- Asset Allocation: If You Are Young Why Wouldn’t You Be 100% In Stocks? (@ my financial journey)
To my mind, there are two major points against dollar-cost averaging.
- No Dollar Cost Averaging For Me, Thanks! (And Here’s Why) (@ an english major’s money)
For this reason, it becomes worse to make a conversion during years of relatively high income, assuming a variable income from year to year.
- Convert Your IRA During Low Income Years! (@ a financial revolution)
The idea is that the financial services industry wants to scare you into saving too much money for retirement, so they can get their hands on your money and charge you lots of fees to manage it.
- Are You Saving Too Much For Retirement? (@ my open wallet)
Since the money inside a 529 plan grows tax-free, is there a break-even point, beyond which it’s more advantageous to invest in a 529 plan than in a regular taxable account even after paying penalty?
- 529 Plans: The 10% Penalty Solution, Part 2 (@ my first million at thirty three)
I would like to suggest that every American take a lesson from the Chinese “Year of the Golden Pig” by starting their own personal golden piggy bank.
- 2007: Year Of The Golden Piggy Bank (@ time and money)
In layman’s terms, it simply means that if you sell a stock at a loss, you can’t repurchase the shares back again within 30 days and claim the loss against your gains.
- How Investing Taxes Work (Part One – Capital Gains) (@ million dollar journey)
Knowing that I can send my return in that same night, without having to get out of my pajamas is a HUGE incentive.
- The Ultimate Guide To Filing Your Taxes Online For Free (@ wallet rehab)
FDIC Chairperson Sheila Bair recently urged low and middle-income taxpayers to use US Government and bank programs to save a larger proportion of their refund.
- FDIC: You Can Keep More Of Your Refund, Even If You Aren’t Rich (@ tick marks)
Most of these deals are really promotions for customers of other services or programs but judging from the last year many will work even if you are not a customer.
- TurboTax Discounts And Promotions (@ pro bargain hunter)
Other / Misc.
However, at this adult stage of our lives, I would rather you keep the cash for your own savings or debt repayments, and give me the gift of your company by visiting when you can.
- When You’re Old Enough To Refuse Cash Gifts From Family (@ clever dude)
If Mexico had regulations for businesses, no one followed them – it seemed like everyone had their own little microbusiness running out of their home.
- Personal Finance Tips From Tijuana (@ frugal law student)
While reading The Simple Dollar’s recent post on Paying Cash, it occurred to me that everyone ALREADY always pays cash for everything, whether they realize it or not. It’s just a matter of how much they pay, and when.
- You Always Pay Cash (@ blunt money)
The fact of the matter behind that common societal expectation is that it is simply too boring, too simple, and can even be more risky than we initially thought.
- Become A Rock Star Of Business (@ dirty mechanism)
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Now that I’ve got my personal finance house “in order”, I really don’t think about money all that much.
- My So-Called Personal Financial Life (@ no credit needed blog)