Welcome to the #344 issue of the Carnival of Personal Finance. I had big plans for a theme for this carnival but life had other plans. When I signed up for today’s issue, I thought that since it was a holiday I’d have unlimited time on my hands to craft a beautiful post; I actually was going to create a theme of Diva’s of all Time.
Yesterday I spent the majority of the day preparing for a garage sale next weekend, selling items on Ebay and Craigslist and hanging out with my niece and nephew. Last night after several hours of playing Scrabble and Dominos with them I finally remembered that I was to host the Carnival today. I quickly logged in at 11:33 pm and started working. WOW! I cannot believe how many people submit articles to the carnival each week. It was overwhelming. Here is my carnival submission for your reading pleasure. Next time I host, I promise to have a well prepared and themed Carnival.
Matt Bell from Matt About Money submits that “true financial success isn’t just about how much money we have in the bank. It’s about how well we’re connecting our use of money with what matters most.” His post The Purpose of Money is one of my Editor’s Choice.
Intelligent Speculator shares The Biggest Investing Mistake I’ve Made… This is a Editor’s Choice because it reminded me of my biggest investing mistake.
I’m doing my best to take back my power in many areas of my life. SB at One Cent at a Time encourages us in Consumer is King, Believe It or Not. Now Act Like One to take back our power as consumers. ”If consumer wants to be treated like a king it should act like one. Consumer should say what it likes and what not, aloud. The consumer now has a collective voice, thanks to the social media and a relatively easier access to mainstream media. Corporates beware of us!”
My next editor’s pick comes from Roshawn Watson at Watson Inc. Roshawn says ”having a strong desire towards high goals is a phenomenal way elevate your performance. Here are 3 reasons to cultivate your true desires. ” Goals are NEVER Enough: 3 Reasons You MUST Cultivate Your Desires.
Paula @ Afford Anything from Afford Anything presents 11 Indispensible Financial Principles, and says, “Here’s a list of 11 core financial principles, including: don’t assume that credit card debt or a monthly car payment is “normal,” find creative ways to boost your income, treat your spouse like a teammate, and beware of scams!”
Money Beagle from Money Beagle presents Debunking The Amazon Prime Pricing Myth, and says, “Does Amazon charge you differently based on your Prime membership status? Yes, but maybe not for the reason you think.”
Ashley from Money Talks Coaching presents The Dream Budget, and says, “I think about my own dream budget all the time. I look forward to a time when I’m totally and completely debt free. No mortgage, no car payments, a few paid off rental properties bringing me steady income. Every day I wake up and try to take another step towards that goal.”
Martin at Studenomics, says stop reading this blog right now. No really. His post The Young Professional’s Guide to Staying Focused on a Side Business offers ways to focus on your side business.
Shaun from Money Cactus presents How Your Employer Can Make You Wealthy, and says, “Many employers these days are interested in ways they can attract and keep employees. Here are some ways you can take advantage to increase your wealth.”
Teacher Man from My University Money presents How To Crush the College Experience (The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received), and says, “When I was given the opportunity to write at My University Money, I was extremely excited. I have a strong desire to inform and educate young adults with their finances. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for personal finance tips – you might as well stop reading. This article has nothing to do with ‘Money,’ but everything to do with ‘My University.’”
Kevin from Invest It Wisely presents Why I Am Switching Career Tracks, and says, “After I became quite successful (financially) with my first blog in only a short period, I began to think of the possibilities that the internet gives me. After giving it some thought, I developed an early retirement plan. My plan is to expand my online efforts to the point that it replaces day job.”
Phillip from PT Money Personal Finance submits a post that “discusses whether or not Orman’s pre-paid debit card is a good financial option for the middle class,” in Suze Orman’s Pre-Paid Debit Card – The Approved Card.
Looking for ways to reduce the use of credit cards? Take a look at NCN from No Credit Needed’s article Reduce Credit Card Use.
Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents How to Make Your Own Pre-Paid Debit Card – And Suze Orman’s Approved Card, and says, “A prepaid debit card allows you to put money on a card to make purchases but they tend to come with lots of fees. See how to make your own. Also check out Suze Orman’s new Approved Card.”
Liana from CardHub.com presents Chase and Southwest Airlines Strike Rewards Program Partnership, and says, “Chase adds Southwest Airlines to its network of rewards affiliates, providing an interesting opportunity for savvy consumers.”
Connie Prater from Taking Charge presents Citi’s ThankYou rewards sharing Facebook app an exercise in frustration, and says, “If you’re a rewards point junkie, you might be interested in a new Facebook app that lets you share your points with your Facebook friends. My review of the sign-up process, however, revealed more than a few glitches.”
Anisha from NerdWallet Credit Card Blog presents What’s in Our Wallets? The Nerds Name Their Credit Cards, and says, “Team NerdWallet eats the dog food and tells which credit cards they personally use.”
Todd R. Tresidder at FinancialMentor.com shares Debt & Credit – The Only Guide You Need.
There are approximately 1.2 billion financial literacy quizzes out there. What makes this one different? Well, the questions are, shall we say, interesting. The Only Financial Literacy Quiz You’ll Ever Need from Financial Uproar.
Squeezer from Personal Finance Success presents The differences between debit cards and credit cards, and says, “You may ask yourself what are the differences between debit cards and credit cards? Are they similar or what makes them different?”
Squeezer from Personal Finance Success presents What to do with unwanted gift cards and making an instant 7%+ return when buying gift cards, and says, “With the holiday season over, you may be left with gift cards you do not want, or you may have cash that you intend to purchase items with, but want to know how to get the most spending power with your cash. ”
Brr! How to Take the Chill out of Heating Costs from Money Walks. Learn How to take the chill out of heating costs this winter.
In It Must Be Nice, Right? Mike at The Financial Blogger asks “do others have it better when it comes to spending money?”
Money Thinker at Money Thinking presents 5 Random Money-Saving Tips.
Bryan from Pinch that Penny! presents Dieting is NOT Frugal, and says, “This article describes my experience with trying to eat better for a diet. Healthy food is expensive, yo!”
Young and Thrifty from YoungandThrifty presents How I Cured My Shopping Addiction, and says, “My closet was getting fuller and fuller and my bank account was getting emptier and emptier. I realized that buying for the sake of buying had to stop.”
Sandy from Yes, I Am Cheap presents Best In Personal Finance January 8, and says, “A list of the most helpful personal finance articles this week.”
Big Cajun Man from THE Canadian Personal Finance Blog presents Resolutions for 2012, and says, “Are new year’s resolutions really that good a thing, I put mine down for your reading pleasure.”
Juhli Newkirk from A Boomer Girl’s Guide presents Planned buying.
Clint from Accumulating Money has shared The Duties of a Brokerage Firm and Discount Brokerage. He writes “By hiring top investment firms, a company or individual has a legal representative who will act on their behalf on the stock exchange floor. Clients are informed of the most lucrative stocks, advised on how many stocks to buy or sell and at what price to buy or sell.”
Modern Gal at Modern Gal presents Coping with Low Bond Yields.
What’s Your Investment Strategy? Do you have a financial plan? Learn more from Green Panda at Green Panda Treehouse.
Do you know what the Best Canadian Dividend Stocks for 2012 are? Div Guy at The Dividend Guy blog thinks he knows the best Canadian dividend stocks. Check it out.
Dannielle from Odd Cents presents Beginners’ Tips for Trading on the Stock Market, and says, “If you want to trade on the stock market, but you don’t know where to start, this article is for you.”
Barbara Friedberg from BARBARA FRIEDBERG PERSONAL FINANCE presents WHAT IS ASSET ALLOCATION?, and says, “Understand how a proper asset allocation will lead to excellent investing returns. It’s easier than one would think!”
Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents We may not contribute to an IRA this year, and says, “#1 discusses why she may be giving the IRA a miss this year. Hint: It’s not because she isn’t saving for retirement.”
Bret from Hope to Prosper presents 2012 looks like a Good Year for the Stock Market, and says, “The year 2012 may seem ominous based on the Mayan calendar, but it doesn’t look like the world is going to end on the stock market.”
Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents My Dividend Retirement Plan, and says, “I invest in dividend stocks, in order to generate a sufficient income stream, that would meet and exceed my expenses in retirement. Retirement to me is the point where my dividend income exceeds my expenses, which means that I no longer have to work for money. I would only consider myself financially independent whenever the dividend income stream generated by my portfolio exceeds 1.5 times my annual expenses. In order to get there, there are several simple, but crucial principles I need to follow.”
John from Buy Stocks Online presents How to Start Investing with No Money, and says, “You don’t need thousands of dollars to start investing in the stock market. In fact, for far less than $100, you can start buying stock in blue chip companies that pay dividends. What many new investors don’t realize is that stocks don’t have to be bought and sold through a stock broker.”
Mike Piper from Oblivious Investor presents Using REITs to Save for a Down Payment, and says, “If REIT prices tend to correlate closely to home prices, would a REIT fund make a good choice for home down payment savings?”
D4L from Dividend Growth Stocks presents 2011 Dividend Increases Nearly Doubled, and 7 Dividend Stocks that Led the Way, and says, “Have you noticed that investing in dividend growth stocks has gone main stream? What a change from a couple of years ago when dividends were considered “stodgy, for old people, yawn, boring!” With its new found attention, dividend growth stocks aren’t disappointing their newly acquired fans. When all is said and the last word is written, 2011 was a great year for dividends!”
Ricky from Qwoter presents Buying Penny Stocks, and says, “We all know that penny stocks can be a very risky investment. That’s not to say that there isn’t any potential to make huge profits by trading penny stocks. Get some basic advice on how to get your starting buying penny stocks.”
Sean Smarty from Grow Money presents 7 Emerging Markets to Invest In.
Dan from ETFBase presents Strategy Combining High Dividend Yields with Option Income, and says, “If you’re an investor interested in both dividends and income from options, here’s the strategy for you!”
Suze Orman’s card may target the unbanked, but there are better alternatives which Ginger from Girls Just Want to Have Funds lists in this article Alternatives To Suze Orman’s Prepaid Debit Card + Backlash Continues.
Cathy Moran at MoneyHealthCentral opines “to find your way to long term financial health, you need to stop watching your feet and look to the horizon. Month to month thinking won’t cut it.” Her article is titled How To Chart The Course To Your Financial Future.
Jeffrey from Saving Advice presents Best Entertainment Value for Your Money, and says, “So how do you make certain that your entertainment money is used wisely? Here are three tactics.”
Evan from Smart Wealth presents What to Pay Off First, If You Could?, and says, “This situation got me thinking, if I had good sum of money coming in that was unexpected, what would I do with it???”
N.W. Journey from Net Worth Journey presents Six Steps to Managing Your Money Better, and says, “Important steps for better money management.”
Kay Lynn from Bucksome Boomer presents A Plan for Success 2012, and says, “After taking a look back at what worked and didn’t in 2011, I’m ready to make 2012 the best year ever! Instead of making resolutions and getting the baggage that comes with that word, I make goals in several areas of my life.”
John from Passive Family Income presents Setting Finance Resolutions that You Will Keep, and says, “Follow these five tips to set and resolve your financial goals for this year.”
Jon the Saver from Free Money Wisdom presents E-Campus Textbook Rental Review, and says, “Saving money the smart way is sometimes not the most popular thing to do. If it’s your goal to graduate debt free like I did a year ago, then use eCampus to help you save some serious coin.”
Squirrelers from Squirrelers presents 15 Ways to Grow and Protect Your Net Worth, and says, “Growing your net worth involves more than just making more money or spending less. This post explores 15 steps that can be taken help you both grow and protect your net worth.”
Neal Frankle from Wealth Pilgrim presents The 5 Best Side Jobs You’ve Overlooked, and says, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior in high school or a senior citizen at the Social Security Office. It never hurts to have a few extra dollars in your pocket. Here are five of the best side jobs to help you achieve just that.”
Miss T. from Prairie Eco Thrifter presents How to Volunteer More, and says, “Volunteering opens doors to unforeseen possibilities. It benefits the organization you volunteer with; it benefits the individual volunteer and also benefits society at large. People are especially time-poor these days and wonder how to volunteer more.”
Beating Broke from Beating Broke presents Powerball Lottery Tickets to Cost Twice as Much, and says, “CNN had this post on the Association behind the popular lottery game, Powerball, announcing that, starting January 15, 2012, the price of a ticket to play Powerball would be doubling, to $2 a ticket. If you read the article, you’ll notice several things.”
Sustainable PF from Sustainable Personal Finance presents Should You Turn Off Business TV?, and says, “Perhaps I’d be better served to turn off business TV. Here’s a few reasons why.”
FMF from Free Money Finance presents The (Often Understated) Cost of Inflation During Retirement, and says, “The most stark retirement (surprise) reality that I’ve had, and I was warned about it by a good friend, is “the inflation factor” which prominently figures into the retirement mix. It’s definitely highly understated and has played largely in my mid-course retirement adjustment.”
Colin Williams from humble savers presents Financial Planner Checklist – Eight Questions You Must Ask, and says, “A comprehensive guide to help you find the right financial planner for you. Includes a free One Page Checklist that can be easily downloaded for immediate use.”
Echo from Boomer & Echo presents Shopping For Mortgage Rates: Fixed Vs. Variable, and says, “Since variable rates are always initially cheaper than 5-year fixed mortgage rates, the decision ultimately comes down to saving money now vs. the potential of saving money in the future if interest rates rise.”
Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents Mortgage Payoff Update – First of 2012, and says, “As I proclaimed, lol, my husband and I are attempting to pay off our mortgage within 6 years or less – specifically, by the end of 2013. My personal goal is to shave another year off of that – so by the end of 2012. In order to stay on track, I’ll be posting updates here as we make progress. I have really stunk on the updates, but here’s what we have accomplished so far.”
Lindy Mint from Minting Nickels presents Double the Funds, Double the Fun, and says, “In this article I introduce my two emergency funds. One likes to party, the other is all business. Together they make a great team.”
PK from Don’t Quit Your Day Job… presents How to Define ‘Savings’, and says, “My co-writer and I had a discussion about how to define ‘savings’ and what activities should be counted in a savings rate. Petty? Perhaps, but the details matter! Here’s his response to the prompt.”
Squeezer from Personal Finance Success presents Save on your cell phone bill by using BillShrink or switching carriers, and says, “With the average cell phone bill costing $80-100 per month, there are several methods that one can use to save on his or her monthly cellphone bill.”
Why wait for your tax refund when you have money needs today? Wouldn’t you rather pay your debt down or save for retirement quicker than you already are? Eric J. Nisall at DollarVersity says Don’t Wait For Your Tax Refund – Increase Your Take Home Pay Today.
Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance presents Tax Time Strikes Again – Preparing for Your 2011 Taxes, and says, “Time to get those tax forms together for your 2011 taxes. This post explains what you need to know.”
Mr. Money from Smart on Money presents Tax Preparation Checklist: All the Things You’ll Need at Tax Time, and says, “I thought I’d get everyone ready for the day that they finally plan to file by giving a tax checklist you can use – so you have everything you need in one place on tax day.”
Peter from Bible Money Matters presents Payroll Cut Temporarily Extended for 2012, and says, “Congress extended the payroll tax holiday through February for employees meaning the 2 percentage point drop in Social Security taxes from 2011 will continue for at least 2 more months.”
Madison from My Dollar Plan presents Readers Share More Free Finance Apps, and says, “There are some great finance apps out there and some of our readers shared their favorites!”
Craig Ford from Help Me Travel Cheap presents The Mileage Combination Short Cut for Earning Your Free Trip in Record Time, and says, “Proper program selection may allow you to combine frequent flyer miles. Craig also presents The Blessing Journal | How to Be Thankful Even When You’re Not Feeling It, from Money Help For Christians and says, “A Blessings Journal is a great way to remember how much we have.”
Chris Holdheide from Stumble Forward presents My Email Has Been Hacked: What To Do If Your Email Account Has Been Hijacked, and says, “Learn what you should in the moments after your email has been hijacked by scammers.”
So there you go! I really wanted to practice inclusion in this week’s carnival. There were only four submissions that weren’t included. Don’t forget to actually include the link to your post when you submit people!!
Thanks to Flexo and Revanche for letting me host this week. I promise next time will be better. Now I’m off to make breakfast for my niece and nephew and take them geocaching! Fun times!