As I am in Australia over the Christmas holiday period, I am giving this carnival an “Aussie” theme for it’s 184th edition. The Carnival of Personal Finance highlights the most interesting and informative blogger-written articles within the broad spectrum of personal finance. Thanks to everyone who submitted articles. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of submissions received, despite many people being away on holidays. It was great to discover a number of great articles written by some inspiring bloggers.
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These are beauties mate (Editors Picks):
– Bible Money Matters presents 125 People Personal Finance Junkies Should Follow On Twitter, and says, “A list of 125 people that personal finance junkies should follow if they’re on twitter!” I have been using Twitter of late and have mixed feelings about it, but this post is a great record of your favourite PF bloggers and their twitter id’s.
– Budgets are Sexy presents My 3 rules on receiving cash gifts! (Hint: re-gifting a no-no), and says, “It’s all about treating yourself to something special you’d normally not get yourself!” Some spot on sentiments here and the reader comments are worth a read as well.
– Brip Blap presents what if saving was stupid?, and says, “What if everything you learned about saving money was wrong?” This article makes you rethink some long established financial “truths”. Here’s hoping for some real change after Jan 20th.
– Four Pillars presents Christian Owner, and says, “A discussion of the appropriateness of a “Christian Owner” sign on a business.” A controversial post that generated a lot of comments.
– Master Your Card presents 42 Ways I’m going to make my 2009 Awesome!. Some great pointers to consider for the year ahead. Many of them are on my 2009 to-do list.
– Passive Family Income presents Saving Money – An important lesson for children, and says, “Teaching our children the importance of savings is one of the most important lessons they will ever learn.” Couldn’t agree more and I’ll add investing as a follow up lesson.
– Free From Broke presents A Mother’s Struggle Between Work and Kids, and says, “One mom’s story of what was more important – Work or raising the kids?” A heart-felt and personal post worth reading for those with young kids.
– 1MansMoney presents The Unemployment Rate Just Went Up A Tad. Sounds like he has a good plan in place to deal with his wife’s layoff.
– Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck presents Year-End Financial Planning Tips including 401(k) Matching Contributions
– Earn What You Spend presents Small Business Slowdown, and says, “Credit is the lifeblood of small businesses, and this crisis is hitting small business’ particularly hard.”
– Cash Money Life presents Self-Employed Retirement Plans, and says, “Information about retirement plans for the self-employed.”
– Money Smart Life presents Second Stimulus Check – Will There Be A 2009 Economic Stimulus Plan?. I think so, the question is when?
– Online Savings Blog presents Should We Have Been Investing in the Country, Instead?. A good analysis of this topic.
– Go To Retirement presents Building a Retirement Emergency Fund, and says, “A retirement emergency fund protects your investments, not your cash flow.”
– InsureBlog presents I Did Not Know That, and says, “Did you know that, when you retire, you can opt out of Medicare? It could also mean a drastic cut in your Social Secuiryt benefits, as well.”
– Investing School presents Order(Price Type) Explained – Market, Limit Orders and the Like, and says, “Never use a market order again now that you know what a limit order is.”
– The Digerati Life presents How To Invest In The Stock Market: New Stock Investor Tips. A great primer for investing.
– Dividends4Life presents American Safari: Stalking Three Great Dividend Stocks, and says, “There are a lot of great dividend companies out there. Unfortunately, everyone else knows how good they are and their stock prices usually carry a quality premium. So what does a income investor to do? Pay the premium and dollar-cost average your way in? Not hardly, there is a better way!” I like the three stocks mentioned in this post
– Free Money Finance presents How to Sell a Coin Collection, and says, “Thoughts on selling a coin collection.” I had a similar experience trying to sell my stamp collection.
– Our Financial Planner presents The Case for Investing in Index Funds. A good vehicle for new investors or a way to diversify and dollar cost average into the current market.
– ABCs of Investing presents Index Funds vs ETFs, and says, “A short comparison of index funds vs exchange traded funds (ETFs).” Timely investments for troubled times.
– Think Your Way To Wealth presents Should You Try To Get Rich Quick or Just Get Rich Slowly. Slow and steady wins the race I say, but no risk no reward either. Finding the right balance is key.
– The Financial Blogger presents Lessons From The Madoff Affair, Investing lessons to learn from the Madoff Affair.
– M is for Money presents Investing with Little Money. You only need a little bit to start given all the low cost options available now.
Frugality and Saving is an Aussie way of life. Cheaper living and money in the bank allows for more days on the beach.
– Blueprint for Financial Prosperity presents Are Reward Checking Accounts Worth It?. With the 6.1% rate mentioned in this post, I think so!
– Single Guy Money presents Beware of Hidden Holiday Costs. A good read for some budget busters this holiday season.
– Fix My Personal Finance presents More Ways to Save on Auto, Home and Health Insurance. Per his last statement, saving money on auto, home, and health insurance takes time and effort, but when it’s your money, it is time and effort well spent.
– Penny Jobs presents 2008 Budget Reflections. A good read as you prepare your 2009 budgets or just want to setup a household budget.
– Dollar Frugal presents Does Cold Weather Save You Money?. Interesting viewpoint.
– Funny about Money presents Planned Obsolescence. A thoughtful look at over consumption and bad quality.
– The Credit Toolbox presents Tricks To Master Your Credit Cards. Steps to take control over your credit cards
– Finance and Fat presents Why I’m Done With Big Banks. A look at his bad experience with Wells Fargo and why he has moved to a credit union.
– My Wealth Builder presents The Discipline of Using Cash Simplifies Budgeting , and says, “Living a cash basis helped me keep budgeting simple.”
– Money Beagle presents Our Energy And Water Saving Washing Machine
– Pecuniarities presents Frugal Christmas: Skipping the Tree and Presents This Year, and says, “Our plan for a simple Christmas…and peace of mind
– Mighty Bargain Hunter presents Store-brand grocery items are 74% cheaper than name-brand, and says, “Food Lion does a side-by-side comparison.”
– Monogamoney presents In which I finally make fudge, in pursuit of a budget gift.
– Amateur Asset Allocator presents 8 Job Interview Tips, and says, “Interview tips to tip the scales in your favor”
– Tough Money Love presents Alternatives to Layoffs in Recession – Why aren’t they Used?, and says, “Alternatives to layoffs exist. Why don’t employers use them in a recession?”
– Don’t Mess With Taxes presents Time running out to tap FSA accounts, and says, “Flexible spending accounts can save you money and taxes, but don’t waste this company benefit. If you still have cash in your FSA, spend it by Dec. 31.”
– Stumble Forward presents Financial Money Traps: Why Timeshares Are A Trap And How To Get Out Of Them, and says, “Learn how time shares can be the biggest money trap to get out of.” I am glad I didn’t invest in one a few years ago!
– Searchlight Crusade presents It Is Illegal Under RESPA to Require Even Prequalification With a Particular Lender.
– One Million Bucks: My Personal Finance Journey presents Should I Pay Off My House? A look at the pros and cons.
– American Consumer News presents Use it or Lose it: What to Do With Your FSA.
– No Debt Plan presents A 30-Year Mortgage Usually Trumps a 15-Year Mortgage, and says, “Several people disagreed with me on this article, but I still think it is true simply because most people can’t afford a 15 year mortgage.
– Breaking Even presents Test Drive Your Dream Job With A Vocation Vacation, and says, “At a time in an uncertain economy when we are all reflecting on our careers…I stumbled upon this vocation vacation idea this week and think it’s a worthwhile one to consider.”
Taxes, Credit and Debt. Australia is one of the highest taxing nations. The average income tax rate is 30% plus a 10% goods and services tax. Which means the locals hate taxes, just like the deadly funnel web spider shown here. Debt is just as bad.
– FiveCentNickel presents Income Tax Breaks in the Bailout Bill. Pays to look at the fine print.
– Debt Free Destiny presents 4Things You Need to Do Before Tax Time. Actions in 2008, can result in a lower tax bill during 2009.
– The taxguy presents Find a Tax Preparer that is right for you, and says, “If you are thinking about hiring a tax professional ask yourself “why would I or do I need a tax preparer”.
– Living Almost Large presents Is it time to kick Dave Ramsey to the curb?, and says, “Is it time to stop repaying debt and living with a $1k ef?” A lot of these financial experts, including DR, need to look at some of their theories in the current context and revisit some long held principles.
– Credit Card Assist presents How Credit Involves Itself In Your Life. The lifeblood of the American business and consumer.
– Discover Debt Freedom presents Should I Rely on Credit Card Rental Car Insurance?.
– DR’s Money Management Blog presents The Federal Reserve Approves Sweeping Credit Card Reform, and says, “The Federal Reserve last week adopted sweeping credit card reform. Check out how these new regulations may lower (or raise) the cost of credit cards.”
– Let’s Blog Money presents Try Taking A Different Approach to Paying Down Debt, and says, “Paying down debt is a prime concern for many people. Taking a different approach may help you see more noticeable changes quicker.”
– The Sun’s Financial Diary presents Highlights of New Credit Card Rules . A very topical subject in this carnival and around the blogosphere.
– Ask Mr. Credit Card’s Blog presents The New Rules. Is this really going to change the credit culture of America?
– Harvesting Dollars presents Consider Doing Your Taxes Now! Too early for me due to my variable income, but a very proactive approach.
– Adventures in Debt presents Success! One Card Paid Off, and says, “Just a small post about a small success in my Adventures to pay off my Debt.”
– Cash on the Barrelhead presents 8 Things You Don’t Know About Your Credit Score, and says, “Here’s how your lender evaluates your credit worthiness..”
Gifts and Education. With the holiday season upon us, a lot of personal finance posts are related to finding and saving on gifts. One of the most priceless gifts you can give or get is that of education.
– ChristianPF presents 12 cool gift ideas for girls!. Cool gift ideas for girls from his wife’s perspective
– MoneyNing presents Read This Before Getting Yourself a Christmas Gift, and says, “It’s Christmas and while most of us will buy something for ourselves, consider these points before you spend your money!” Some great thoughts and I agree, giving to loved ones first is much more worthwhile.
– Good Financial Cents presents Unique Gift Ideas-Stock Market Style.
– The Smarter Wallet presents 12 Homemade Gift Ideas To Fit A Small Budget. Some great ideas here that I never would have thought about.
– Rich Credit Debt Loan presents The Dangers of Financial Illiteracy, and says, “Are you literate in financial matters?”
– Uncommon Cents presents Down to the Wire, and says, “It was tough getting the holiday shopping done this year!”
– Almost Frugal presents Talking About Finances With Your Children.
– The Happy Rock presents Gift Cards Are Bad Gifts And A Waste Of Money. Can’t say I agree, because they are very convenient gifts.
Great Articles in the Misceallneous Personal Finance Category
– Financial Reflections presents How to Set SMART Financial Goals, and says, “People always set financial goals this time of year, only to come up disappointed early in the next year. I give my thoughts on how to use the SMART acronym to develop better
goals.” I agree and all my goals are set using SMART principles.
– Early Retirement the Middle Way presents Security Breach!!! A first hand experience with credit card security
– My Journey from My Journey to Millions presents What is a Default Judgment? How does it Affect your Personal Finances. I definetly did not know about this before reading the post.
– Your Money Relationship presents Make the Most of Your New FDIC Insurance.
– Finance Your Life presents Year End Review: Motivation for the Future, and says, “Sometimes a mediocre year end review can be just the kick in the butt needed to get the next year going.”
– Saving Advice presents Don’t Tell Me Your Money Problems. An excellent post on parenting, children and sacrifices. Good reader comments as well.
– Everyday Finance presents Beware the Verizon FIOS Exploding Offer at the Door , and says, “This article highlights the pushy tactics Verizon is using to sign up new FIOS customers and what you should know before falling for a hard sell at your door.”
– Personal Finance Reviews presents Mint: A Free Online Personal Finance Tool For Everybody. Straighforward review of Mint’s budgeting application.
– Growing Money presents How Much Do YouTube Celebrities Make?, and says, “Analyzing Income of YouTube Celebrities”. A vouyeristic post.
– BretFrohlich.com presents No Diamonds or Cars this Christmas, and says, “Spread little love this Christmas, instead of wasting money on over-priced items.”
– The Strump Financial Blog presents Is Personal Finance Obvious?, Is it?
And that wraps up the 184th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance! I received a number of entries and had to narrow them down to what was most on topic. Next week’s carnival will be hosted at the Fraud Files blog and you can submit articles via this form . Past carnivals and schedules can be found on the Carnival’s homepage. Consider volunteering to host a future edition of this Carnival– it is a worthwhile experience both from discovering new bloggers and exposure of your blog.
Pictures credits: Gojca, absolutwade, mtchm, pedro_qtc, viad, swisscan, iko, California academy of sciences