Carnival of Personal Finance #323 – Better Late than Never Edition

Sometimes life tosses you a curve ball.  Sometimes life tosses you a juicy 85 mph fastball down the middle of the plate.  When you get that fastball served up you best jump on it as you never know when you’ll see another pitch like that again.  Such was the opportunity I found today as I noticed the heralded Carnival of Personal Finance had not gone live Monday morning at 9am, it’s usual publishing time.  So I fired off an email and low and behold, here I am, another opportunity to host this wonder Carnival.  I stepped up to the plate to host last minute right after the New Year and gladly take on the challenge again here today!  So, I present to you all the 323rd edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance, better late than never!

A slew of entries, as usual.  I’ve read through them all.  There are some categories that got a ton more submissions than did others.  So what I decided to do this week was select a maximum of 5 posts per category and I selected a choice few as my top 5 editors picks for this weeks Carnival. You’ll need to read through the article as the editor picks are at the end of this carnival of fantastic personal finance articles.  Enjoy!

Budgeting

ElizabethG (Modern Gal) has been Budgeting for Inflation and tells us how she is going about it.

Career

Mike from Green Panda Treehouse thinks about whether it is Time to Make the Leap to Running a Business Full-time?, and asks his readers, “Are you ready to quit?”  Most of us aren’t but we’re seeing more and more bloggers take the leap.

Credit

Money Beagle asks Did I Really Just Add Two More Credit Cards To My Wallet? wondering why on earth would I willingly add two more credit cards to the fray?   Why complicate my life?  Have I lost my personal finance mind? You don’t really want an answer, do you Money Beagle? For 5% rewards, perhaps you don’t need one.

Emily provides a review of how Lending Club works over at Deliver Away Debt in Peer to Peer Lending Review: Lending Club. This is an investment type we have been interested in for some time.  Emily helps us along.

There are 4 Quick And Surefire Ways To Raise Your Credit Score, and Echo from Boomer & Echo says, “If you aren’t happy with your credit score, there are some things you can do to improve matters relatively quickly.” Sometimes the facts need to be presented in a consolidated and logical format, thanks Echo.

Debt

Some commentators on personal finance like to repeat that there’s good debt and bad debt. They talk as though the nature of the debt itself changes, which is nonsense. Debt is debt, and adding good debt or bad debt to a decisions doesn’t make it a good decision or a bad decision.  Robert from Canadian Dream: Free at 45 discusses the topic Is There Such a Thing as Good Debt? I think there is debt and worse debt.

Glen from Parenting Family Money tells us that college expenses aren’t going down anytime soon (ever?). What’s a student to do? Here are 5 ways to help get around the student debt trap. I didn’t avoid the trap.  If i’d known then what I know now ….

Cathy Moran from Money Health Central presents What’s Left After Debt Is Gone, and says, “The drive to pay off debt may distort your relationship with money as thoroughly as the behavior that got you into debt.”  Don’t ignore other parts of your financial health.

Economy

Donna Freedman from Smart Spending asks Is there a bright side to this economy?, and says, “It’s the tough times that show us what we’re made of and what we’re capable of achieving. Personal financial crises might even point us in the direction of the kinds of lives we never knew we wanted.”  U nfortunately Briana Myricks from 20 and Engaged may not see the bright side right now as she writes 20 and Laid Off…Again?.  Briana is looking closely at their options but does she share Donna’s perspective on a potential silver lining?

Want to make a quick 5% ROI?  Jen from Master the Art of Saving presents How to Get $100 in Visa Cards From UsBank, and informs us that this is a savings program where they reward you for reaching your saving goals. In fact, you can earn a total of 2 $50 Visa cards. Free money sounds good and this process appears painless.

Frugality and Vehicles

Rent or Buy?  Appreciating or depreciating asset? Nelson from Canadian Finance Blog discusses Leasing A Car: At Least It’s Always Shiny.  He discusses ownership as a part of personal finance.  We bought.  Eddie from Finance Fox asks Are you car poor?, and says, “There are a lot of people I know who are car poor, fortunately for me, I’m not one of them. Sad reality is that none of these people are aware that they are car poor. Instead they live on this high of driving a fancy set of wheels, while they allow the fancy set of wheels to define them and who they are. Anyone who defines them selves by the car that they drive are a shallow fool, who is hiding their insecurity behind the car.”

Investing

Dividend Growth Investor states that Now is the perfect time buy dividend stocksWell-run companies are on sales.

There are certain realities when you delve in the stock market.  Jim Yih from Retire Happy Blog presents The Five Realities of the Stock MarketThings haven’t really changed but they happened sooner than we hoped.

Here are some things that will help you succeed and thrive when the bear puts his paw print on the market:” D4L looks at How To Manage Your Dividend Portfolio In A DownturnIt hasn’t been easy to hang on these past few weeks but the lure of dividends help.

The Wealthy Canadian is Making Our RESP Contribution, and tells us about his decision to purchase shares of Enbridge (ENB-T) within his self-directed RESP family plan.  When lil’ SPF enters our lives in a matter of weeks we’ll need to make our first RESP contribution as well!

Money Management

Ever wonder “What is the Average Retirement Income?“, well, Crystal from Stupid Cents has and takes a closer look at the numbers.  Numbers are relative based on where you live but interesting nonetheless.

FMF from Free Money Finance presents Five Bills Not to Automate, and says, “Do you automate every one of your monthly payments? Should you? Not according to this piece…”  Yahoo doesn’t know all, right?

Dough Roller use to write bad checks to just stay afloat and lived to tell the tale in Writing Bad Checks Will Cost You More Than Just MoneyThis was a one and done statement by George Costanza in a Seinfeld episode I saw last night.  Eerie.

When It Comes To Battling Debt, Women Kick Men’s Butt, Jeff Rose tell us. “Women are typically more engaged in the entire process of getting out of debt. Here’s a closer look at why this is true.” Paying off debt is more risk averse than is investing yet still returns great benefit, and peace of mind. Mrs. SPF and I discuss this from time to time.

Suba from Wealth Informatics provides a thorough examination Impulse spending : How to break bad habits.

Real Estate

Darwin is Borrowing $50,000 From My 401(k) – It’s His Best Option!, and says, “Borrowing from your 401(k) isn’t always a bad idea – especially when you can make 20% on your investment and diversify your assets!  Is any investment guaranteed? I mean, other than less than 1% in a big bank savings account?

Savings

Ever wondered How to Negotiate for a Car (Even if You Suck at Negotiation)I didn’t do great myself ($300 below invoice) but, RJ Weiss from Gen Y Wealth tells me that this “A negotiation strategy that anyone can use.”

Many people have crummy savings accounts but Jason Price from One Money Design helps us Find the Best Savings Rates.  I think I get 1.5%.  I could move to a 2% bank but we like to pay off debt and invest more than squirrel away money at lousy rates.

Taxes

Oblivious Investor explores Taxes on a Gift: Do I Have to Pay Any?, and says, “When you receive or a give a gift, do you have to pay taxes on it?”  I’d never thought about this.  Go figure more rules about money.

PT Money Personal Finance asks (and answers) Common Questions about 529 Savings and College Plans, and asks “Have you heard about the 529 college savings plan? Are you curious if you should get started with one?”  As a Canadian this is a foreign concept but it sounds a bit like our RESP.

Narrow Bridge Finance discusses Buffet and the Great Tax Debate, looking at his recent comments on our tax system and expressing his thoughts on whether he is right or wrong.  Which way do you think he leans?

Other

Kay Lynn Akers from Bucksome Boomer presents Are You Safeguarding Your Identify?, and says, “Identify theft has become the most popular crime in the world; make sure you know how to protect yourself.”

md from Passive Income Now presents Is Passive Income Online The Way of The Future?, and says, “We look at the notion of making money online.”

Madison from My Dollar Plan presents Retirement Calculator Review: Optimal Retirement Planner, and says, “A lot of what we do is plan for retirement by accumulating money. However, there’s some planning that goes into the decumulation phase too…read this to find a great calculator that will help!”

Editors Picks! Top 4

Consumerism Commentary warns that Retail Marketers Attract Shoppers With 13 to 20 Seasons, telling us that stores are a bit more sneaky when it comes to attracting customers than you might think.”  Businesses are sneaky.  Oh, and they pump tons of money into market research too.

Sandy from Yes, I Am Cheap acknowledges that Charity Begins With You, but reminds us that charity is more than writing a check.”  Agree, 100% Sandy.  Helping out is worth so much in the community.

Jackie from MoneyCrush says: Quit Trying to Save Money. Ya, quit trying and start DOING!

Bob from ChristianPF presents a unique take on allowances in Money Lessons at Home: Our families allowance systemThe guest poster really put a lot of thought into how child allowance was going to work in her household.

EDITOR PICK

Jacob at My Personal Finance Journey proudly presents The Office Of Tomorrow, saying, “With the way technology is rapidly advancing these days, who knows what sort of office environment we will go to work to earn our money in 50 years!  Nonetheless, this post hypothesizes what several aspects of future offices will be like, including social networking communications, energy sources, and computer-user interfaces.”  How the world will change.  Great post Jacob.

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