Welcome to the 269th Carnival of Personal Finance: the Diva$ Edition! Oh yes: it is an all-singing, all-dancing week for this popular Carnival, and all the songs are about money, so don’t forget to turn up the sound…
EDITOR’S PICKS: THE NINA SIMONES
I’ve got life, I’ve got freedom
I’ve got life, and I’m gonna keep it.
- Nina Simone, aka The High Priestess of Soul.
Without further ado, here are our Nina Simones: they look good, sound good and have their (financial) priorities firmly in order…
Mr. Credit Card from Ask Mr. Credit Card presents New Tricks and Traps Evolve. As regular readers of this blog will know, I am none too keen on credit cards. However Mr Credit Card highlights some of the sneaky new ploys upon which American card companies are drawing to fleece their customers – so if you are an American reader, this post is a must-read. Also, I’m pretty sure that it is the only blog post that I have read in which Citibank is compared to Lisa Simpson…
Kevin from Financially Poor presents Are You A Poser?. This is a short but sweet post – and it’s another credit card one. Why do I like it so much? Well, it’s pithy and I found myself nodding in agreement all the way through. Here’s an extract: “Start paying off your credit card every month. That’s how people who refuse to give into the system use them. They don’t let the system use them; They use the system for their benefit. They are getting better credit to save them money so they don’t have to be posers”.
Donna Freedman from Surviving And Thriving presents Yet another reason to order your credit report. Apparently lenders aren’t the only ones with an interest in our credit histories – prospective employers may wish to take a peek too. Glurk.
MONEY MANAGEMENT: THE GWEN STEFANIS
No man could test me, impress me, my cashflow would never end,
‘Cause I’d have all the money in the world if I was a wealthy girl.
- Gwen Stefani
ElizabethG from Modern Gal presents Lengthening Your Financial Horizon. Elizabeth recommends starting small and celebrating early accomplishments.
Daniel from Sweating The Big Stuff presents Response: How Long You Have to Act Poor Until You’re Rich, answering a question that has been posed by a few other personal finance bloggers recently.
Kristia from Family Balance Sheet presents When Automatic Billing Isn’t So Green, and says, “I got caught asleep at the wheel!” Don’t worry – Kristia didn’t really fall asleep in her car.
Tom from Canadian Finance Blog presents Mint.com Has Added Canadian Banks – good news for Canadian readers!
Revanche from A Gai Shan Life presents I almost lost 22K Starpoints!. Looks like she’ll be getting them back (phew), but if you participate in loyalty programmes, this is a reminder to keep regular tabs on your progress.
Kim Snider from Kimmunications presents Is running out of retirement money a fate worse than death?. She provides advice on how to avoid destitution in later life.
Rob from Daily Financial Solutions presents Paying Off Too Much Debt. This is Rob’s take on the much-debated debt repayment v. emergency fund issue.
Lauren from Richly Reasonable presents Avoid Money Mistakes. Lauren has been reading Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich by Lois Frankel, PhD: an author who, in my experience, has plenty of interesting things to say about how female behavour. In this book, Frankel cites “75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money” – and Lauren looks at some of these in more detail.
Adrian from Passive Income Now presents Is Chasing Passive Income Opportunities Worth It?, taking a look at if it’s worth chasing some of thesources of supposed “passive” income.
Craig Ford from Money Help For Christians presents How to Accomplish a Financial Goal, which aims to show readers how they can realise their financial ambitions – instead of just talking about them.
Jennifer from Momcents presents Digging out of a $108,000 hole., and says, “This is the condensed version of my efforts to pay back $108,000 in debt. Only $25,000 to go!” Go Jennifer – what a great achievement!
FRUGALITY: THE DONNA SUMMERS
She works hard for the money,
So hard for it, honey.
- Donna Summer
Len from Len Penzo dot Com presents My 2nd Annual Brown Bag Survey: The 10 Most Economical Sandwiches, and says, “If you think PB&J was the cheapest sandwich on the list, think again! ”
FMF from Free Money Finance presents How to Ask for a Discount When You’re Embarrassed to Ask. This is a post for those who need to summon some courage when asking for discounts. The tips left by commenters are very good too.
Jim from Bargaineering presents Convert Purchases from Dollars into Time. Converting purchases into hours of works appears to be a good, simple strategy that works for many.
Money Beagle from Money Beagle presents Three Ways To Control Impulse Spending. There is a lot to be said for a good old-fashioned shopping list.
story from My Money and My Life presents Stop waiting and use your stuff before it expires. Story dug out a bunch of expired coupons and giftcards, and isn’t happy!
Miss T from Prairie Eco-Thrifter presents 4 Ways To Keep Your Spending in Check. She begins by recommending that we “eliminate emotional spending”.
CAREER: THE DOLLY PARTONS
9 to 5, yeah they got you where they want you,
There’s a better life – and you think about it, don’t you?
- Dolly Parton
Barb Friedberg from BarbaraFriedbergPersonalFinance presents 3 Amazing Career Tips. Her message? “Quit working, take a break, change, your scenery, and increase productivity and quality of life!”
vh from Funny about Money presents Working Smarter: Applying a Few Insights. Funny has three sources of income and says that only one earns a decent hourly rate. In this post she explains how careful time management makes all the difference.
B Simple from Simple Financial Lifestyle presents Don’t hate yourself for not having a job loss plan, just do it , and says, “It’s better to prepare yourself with a plan then stress yourself out without one”.
Here is a look at what it takes to start a small business and expand to the big time. Eric from Narrow Bridge presents Go for the Big Time [Starting a Small Business].
CREDIT: THE BEYONCES
Can you pay my bills?
Can you pay my telephone bills?
Can you pay my automo’bills?
If you did then maybe we could chill.
- Destiny’s Child
Andy from Saving to Invest presents 25% of Americans Have a Credit Score of Less Than 600. Here’s How To Improve Your FICO Credit Score. He offers plenty of tips to help American readers understand and improve their FICO credit scores.
Here’s another post on the same theme: clearly it’s a hot topic right now. Craig from Free From Broke presents How Can I Improve My Credit Score? 8 Ways to Increase Your Rating. This is a post that does what it says on the tin, with plenty of useful pointers.
And a third post on the subject: a hat trick! Jesse from The Penny Saved presents Fixing your credit score – Fight for your score!.
Matt Schulz from Taking Charge presents Susie gets her Super Bowl tickets. This is the tale of a Bank of America customer who runs afoul of a reward points policy change. It has a happy ending. What is this? Bank in BEING NICE shocker?
Tim Chen from NerdWallet Credit Card Watch presents Why do Banks Offer 0% Balance Transfers?. Hint: It’s not to help you out!
Cheapskate Sandy from Yes I Am Cheap presents Pay More Than Your Minimums…Or Else. Sandy explains that although the CARD Act was passed to protect consumers, there is one thing in the fine print that can cost you money.
MD from Studenomics takes a long-term view with The Pros and Cons of Getting a Credit Card in College .
SAVING: THE BILLIE HOLIDAYS
Yes, the strong get more,
While the weak ones fade.
Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade.
- Billie Holiday
Mrs. Not Made of Money from Not Made of Money presents 7 Best Ways to Start Preparing Financially for Christmas Now. Hey, it’s never too early to start!
Amanda from My Dollar Plan presents Back-to-School Shopping Tips to Stretch Your Budget. Her tips range from coupons in the Sunday papers to the “Drugstore Game”.
PT from PT Money presents Passbook Savings Account vs Online Savings Account, noting, “Back in the days of the passbook savings account you didn’t have to worry about fees, statements, or ATM cards. They were also great tools to help kids learn more about saving”.
pfincome from Passive Family Income presents 9 Simple Ways to Save Money. As he explains, even as little as saving an extra $100 per month can help start a high yield certificate of deposit, invest in the stock market, or pay down some lingering debt.
Paul Williams from Provident Planning presents Personal Finance in the Bible: Proverbs 21:20: In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.
Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents presents 3 Unusual Ways to Save Money. This is a fairly short post, with some good ideas – and don’t be misled by the title, because it isn’t one of those posts in which you are exhorted to go and do something random and unappealing in order to make a little extra cash. Instead, the guest blogger suggests three ways in which we can save money by making the most of what we have.
INVESTING: THE MADONNAS
You know that we are living in a material world,
And I am a material girl.
Silicon Valley Blogger from The Digerati Life presents Stock Trading For Dummies: How To Profit From Trading . Sounds like a good book title, doesn’t it? Anyway, there are some great tips here and if you are thinking about dipping your toe into these murky waters, I recommend that you check them out.
Sun from The Sun’s Financial Diary presents Options Trading: Increase Your Reward with Less Money. This post looks at trading options beside traditional stocks and bonds.
Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Dividend yield or dividend growth? , and says, “I have always had a requirement for a minimum dividend yield, whenever I have analyzed and purchased dividend stocks”.
Adam Lass from Taipan Daily presents How to Profit From Your Morning Cup of Joe. Definitely a post for those of you who like your graphs and charts…
Arjun R. from Investing Thesis presents Searching For High Return on Equity Companies with Jason Donville of Donville Kent Asset Management. This is an enlightening interview with a portfolio manager who relies heavily on the use of return on equity as a screening tool.”
Clint from Accumulating Money presents How To Keep Track of Stocks using home computer software.
FT from Million Dollar Journey presentsa list of Canadian Dividend Stocks.
D4L from Dividends Value presents Income Annuities vs. Dividend Stocks, recommending that the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), consider the various retirement income options that are currently available to them.
Adam from RabbitFunds presents 5 Steps to changing your company’s 401k plan. This is a post that extols the benefits of taking the time to research, understand, and actively create a great retirement portfolio.
Dan from discover the truth about money, economy, government presents Averages…Why advisors had to change the look back period. This post was inspired by the financial advisor who came on the radio while Dan was driving through southern Idaho.
FINANCE: THE CYNDI LAUPERS
We think we know what we’re doing,
We don’t pull the strings.
It’s all in the past now -
Money changes everything.
- Cyndi Lauper
Jason from One Money Design presents Should You Opt In for Over Draft Protection?, and says, “Earlier this year, I chose to opt out of overdraft protection. I didn’t see any need for the bank to provide me this service and charge me outrageous fees for a personal mistake. Rather, it’s my responsiblity to manage my account balance. What about you?”
Adam from Magical Penny presents Why Being Bad can be good. Some of the ideas? Get rid of ideas of loyalty, practice your scary phone voice, step out of your comfort zone and learn that you can do the wrong thing for the right reasons…
Nathan Richardson from ComplexSearch.com presents The Financial Habits of Men vs. Women. This post explores the results of a recent CNN survey of men’s and women’s financial habits.
Money Smarts from Smart On Money presents How Does A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Work?. This is an in-depth look at FSAs: what they are, how they work and how they can save you hundreds of dollars.
Peter from Bible Money Matters presents New 1099 Reporting Requirements In Obama Health Care Plan: A Small Business Paperwork Nightmare?, looking at how the new healthcare laws that are set to take effect in America could give headaches to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Some of the comments are pretty teabaggy but don’t let that put you off: Peter’s post is a sensible, considered look at the situation.
Briana Ford from Go Banking Rates presents Wall Street Reform is Finally Here, But Why Should We Care?, which provides a detailed overview of what is in the Bill.
Neal Frankle from Wealth Pilgrim presents IRA Beneficiaries – How To Safeguard Yourself and Family, and says, “How you select and name your IRA beneficiaries is a central part of your estate plan. It’s the only way you can make sure your beneficiaries will get the money when you’re gone.”
REVIEWS: THE ANNIE LENNOXES
I got DIAMONDS…
You heard about those.
I got so many that I can’t close my safe at night in the dark,
Lying awake in a sick dream
- Annie Lennox
Aaron from Prepaid Cards 123 presents Prepaid Cards That Offer Free Activation. This post reviews some of the American prepaid cards out there.
The Smarter Wallet from The Smarter Wallet presents OptionsHouse Free Trades & Other Promotions. OptionsHouse is a broker offering free trades and more.
REAL ESTATE: THE LORETTA LYNNS
Well, a lot of things have changed since way back then
And it’s so good to be back home again.
- Loretta Lynn
Squirrelers from Squirrelers presents Home Equity Vanishes, Dead Fish Appear, looking at how property prices in one lakeside area in Iowa plummeted by 75 per cent in a matter of minutes, after a dam burst. Squirrelers recommends looking at all the risks before purchasing a home.
Sean from Grow Money presents 5 Things New Homebuyers Should Know Before They Dive In. Caveat emptor:this is a tough-talking post!
Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents The pre-paying the mortgage question, noting that even if you are overpaying your mortgage, it isn’t a good idea to neglect retirement and other important savings. ”
FruGal from FruGal presents Moving house: keep costs low. Good luck with the move, FruGal: it sounds as if you are pretty well prepped!
OTHER: THE SHIRLEY BASSEYS (Well, I thought we should go out with a bang!)
The minute you walked in the joint,
I could see you were a man of distinction…
- Shirley Bassey
Tim from The Econ Man presents Achieving Goals – “I will work harder”. I am enjoying this fairly young blog: the posts, like this one (which draws upon Orwell’s Animal Farm for inspiration) are always careful and considered.
Kim at MMI from Blogging for Change presents Telling a loved one you’re in debt. Some useful advice here.
Bob from Christian Finances presents Financial Crisis: Help!, suggesting that if you are a Christian, you should begin by drawing upon your faith for strength and guidance.
Jaime from LifeStyle Moms presents Money Facts – You Are Not the Numbers. “The only thing the numbers mean is that your choices weren’t smart”, she notes.
Bret from Hope to Prosper presents Economic Trends Affecting Americans, looking at some of the “very disturbing trends that seem to be gaining momentum”.
Thanks to all the DIVA$. Next week’s Carnival of Personal Finance host is Live Real, Now – so if you blog about personal finance, get your entries in!