Welcome to the Miss Thrifty Blog for the 419th Carnival of Personal Finance! This is one of my favourite blog carnivals, rounding up some of the best personal finance blog posts from around the globe. If you are new to Miss Thrifty you can subscribe to posts, connect on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.
I always enjoy hosting the Carnival of Personal Finance, and thinking of a fun theme. This time around, I have settled upon the humble toad: the subject of one of my favourite poems about work and money:
Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can’t I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off?
Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills!
That’s out of proportion.
Lots of folk live on their wits:
Losers, loblolly-men, louts-
They don’t end as paupers;
Lots of folk live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
They seem to like it.
Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets – and yet
No one actually starves.
Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout, Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that’s the stuff
That dreams are made on:
For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,
And will never allow me to blarney
My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
All at one sitting.
I don’t say, one bodies the other
One’s spiritual truth;
But I do say it’s hard to lose either,
When you have both.
Without further ado, here are this week’s picks:
One reason why I like Toads so much is that it makes its point – but it does so with plenty of dark humour. Likewise, all of this week’s Editor’s Picks made me smile, in one way or another.
Gary from Gajizmo.com presents Questions To Ask The Interviewer. This is a post about how to take advantage of every part of the job interview process. While most interviewees begin to relax during the end of the interview, knowing what questions to ask your interview may just give you a leg-up on the competition. There are some corkers here: I think the first one (“Is there any reason why you wouldn’t hire me?”) is for the brave, but is my favourite.
Adam from Adam Hagerman – Financial Coach presents 9 Tips and Tricks To Kick Your Bad Spending Habits. We all have those troublesome spending habits that cause pain to our budgets on a monthly basis. Here are Adam’s nine top tips to help break those habits and get on a better path to financial freedom. Some of the ideas, you will have come across before; others, such as the suggestion to write DO YOU REALLY NEED THIS? across your bank card, may have sudden and marked effects on your spending.
Nicole from Grumpy Rumblings presents Money can’t buy love, tracing through 13 years of joint financial decisions with her husband. I rather like the decision to splash out on Le Creuset early on!
Here is the best of the rest. (And scroll to the bottom for some bonus Larkin toadiness…)
Ray from Squirrelers presents 3 Time-Related Factors to Consider Before Spending Money. When we spend our money, it’s important to consider the role of time! This post discusses how time can play a role in increasing the true “cost” of our purchases. (Incidentally, the same theme is explored in a guest post I have coming up…)
Ross from Wallet Hub presents How credit scores work?, which sets out a beginner’s guide to what your credit score is, and how credit scoring works.
Matt Bell from Sound Mind Investing presents Bling at the Box Office. During the recession, Hollywood pulled back on displays of conspicuous consumption. But no longer. What do today’s movies say about our economy, and our culture?
SB from One Cent at a Time presents Why your Neighbor is Richer than You, listing five reasons why your neighbours may seem richer than you are. For example they may be better at budgeting, or may earn earn extra money on side. I read this post with curiosity because I have never worried that my neighbours are richer than I am. APATHY. Tsk.
Mrs PoP from Planting Our Pennies presents Securing Your Accounts Against Fraud. After a recent bout with identity theft, Mrs PoP outlines some of the steps the PoPs are taking to secure their online financial accounts from fraud.
Mike from The Financial Blogger presents Forcing People To Save – The Best Idea a Gov’t Could Never Have. He asks, “Could we force people to save?” I read this one with interest, given the UK Government’s bid to make people do just that.
Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents How You Can Use a Prepaid Debit Card and Get the Most From It. Prepaid debit cards aren’t always a great deal – in fact, the deals are often rotten. But Glen argues that there are ways to use a prepaid debit card wisely.
Emily from Evolving Personal Finance presents Rethinking Our Student Loan Repayment. If you had student loan debt with an interest rate under 2% that you could pay off today, would you get rid of the debt or invest the money? Emily investigates.
Lindsey D from Canadian Cents & Sensibility presents How to Earn Rewards Points without a Credit Card. This post is for people who don’t want to use their credit card for everyday purchases, but who still want to rackup points in rewards programmes.
Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance presents How to Start Retirement Savings in Your 40s. Following a post on saving for retirement, one of Eric’s readers took the topic to heart, and posted a heartfelt comment about starting to save for retirement in your 40s…
D4L from Dividend Growth Stocks presents 3 Styles Of Successful Dividend Investing. There are many ways to categorise the different styles of investing in dividend stocks: yield, risk, growth and so on. An investment strategy based on any of these can be successful. Over the years, however, D4L has found that most dividend investing styles fall into one of the three major categories…
Jon from Novel Investor presents Building An Investment Checklist. He argues that an investment checklist keeps you in your comfort zone, and helps you to stick to your own guidelines, making methodical investment decisions.
Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Lower Entry Prices Mean Locking Higher Yields Today, and says, “If you pay a cheap price for stocks, you essentially lock in a higher current yield. In this situation, your margin of safety is higher as well. The advice is usually to buy stocks when there is blood on the streets.”
Don from My Dollar Plan presents Should You Reinvest Dividends? Reinvesting dividends can have a huge impact on your returns, for better or for worse…
Money Beagle from Money Beagle presents 6 Ways We Saved On Our Kids’ Birthday Parties. Here is a post that shows how celebrations can be fun without breaking the bank.
Edward Antrobus from Edward Antrobus presents Basic Car Maintenance You Can Perform Yourself. Car maintenance is important, and doing it yourself can save a lot of money. Here are quick guides to five of the most important DIY car maintenance tasks.
Green Panda from Green Panda Treehouse presents How and Why to Host Your First Yard Sale This Summer. British readers: replace “yard sale” with “jumble” or “car boot sale” and you’ll get the picture.
Mochimac from Save. Spend. Splurge. presents You don’t desire what you’ve never had. The argument here is that if you have never experienced the luxuries of life, you don’t really miss or desire them.
Stefanie from The Broke and Beautiful Life presents Peer Pressure: When They Make More Than You Do. This post looks at ways to avoid embarrassment when out and about with less frugal friends.
Career & Travel
Martin from Studenomics presents You Need to Stop Hiding Behind College, and tells some of his student readers to pull their thumbs out.
Miss T. from Prairie Eco Thrifter presents 4 Reasons Why Traveling Alone Rocks: a paean to a rewarding way of travelling and new, unforgettable experiences.
For American Readers
Michael Kitces from Nerd’s Eye View presents Latest Social Security Trustees Report For 2013 Confirms Most Benefits Will Still Be Paid, and says, “Recently, the Social Security trustees’ report was released for 2013, revealing that while Social Security is on an unsustainable path, even if NOTHING is done to fix it, the consequences will merely be a 23% benefits cut beginning in 20 years. Does that mean we’ve been overstating the true consequences of Social Security’s “insolvency” after all?”
John from Card Hub Blog presents Ask the Experts: Policy Changes for a Brighter Retirement, and says, “We’ve all heard there’s something of a perfect storm brewing on the retirement front, what with the U.S. population aging rapidly, Congress preoccupied with partisan politics, and the Great Recession wreaking havoc on our net worth. But do those of us who aren’t facing imminent retirement really care? Read on!”
PK from Don’t Quit Your Day Job… presents Don’t Look Now – Rapidly Changing Mortgage and Predicted Inflation Rates! and says, “I wrote this piece Monday, before we got a bit of Federal Reserve clarity – but the point remains. The game has changed in mortgages and inflation expectations!”
Philip from PT Money presents An Expert Interview About Long Term Care Insurance. In this post, he talks with expert Wendy Boglioli about long term care insurance. She answers questions about when to buy, what to buy, and where to buy it.
Andy from Saving to Invest presents 2014 Obama Health Care Reform Changes, and says, “See which health care changes Americans are going to see a lot more of in 2014.”
Michael from Financial Ramblings presents Does Car Insurance Cover Tire Damage? Ever wonder if your car insurance covers tire damage? Well, in most cases, it does. But you still might not want to file a claim. This post explains why.
Walking around in the park
Should feel better than work:
The lake, the sunshine,
The grass to lie on,
Blurred playground noises
Beyond black-stockinged nurses -
Not a bad place to be.
Yet it doesn’t suit me.
Being one of the men
You meet of an afternoon:
Palsied old step-takers,
Hare-eyed clerks with the jitters,
Still vague from accidents,
And characters in long coats
Deep in the litter-baskets -
All dodging the toad work
By being stupid or weak.
Think of being them!
Hearing the hours chime,
Watching the bread delivered,
The sun by clouds covered,
The children going home;
Think of being them,
Turning over their failures
By some bed of lobelias,
Nowhere to go but indoors,
Nor friends but empty chairs -
No, give me my in-tray,
My loaf-haired secretary,
What else can I answer,
When the lights come on at four
At the end of another year?
Give me your arm, old toad;
Help me down Cemetery Road.