Carnival of Personal Finance #333

Welcome to the 333rd edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance!  We are happy to finally host the CoPF on a schedule instead of being a last minute replacement/fill in.  I don’t feel as rushed to get this done and as such more time has been devoted to reading each article.  Our editor picks are at the end of the round up and but I also add some comments about other articles I have some sort of opinion on too!


Craig Ford from Money Help For Christians presents How Financial Loss Can Be a Blessing, and says, “Always remember that good news can come from bad news.”

Roger Wohlner from Chicago Financial Planner presents Yes, You Really Do Need a Financial Plan, and says, “A recent report by HSBC revealed the following:  Americans with a financial plan have accumulated on average $127,000 in retirement savings vs. $56,000 for the average U.S. household. Non-planners have an average of around $23,000 saved. Almost 44% of those without a plan associate retirement with financial hardship, while this number is only 19% for those with a plan.  Scary numbers.

Mr. Money from Smart on Money presents What’s Next for Employer-Sponsored, Tax-Advantaged Retirement Accounts?, and says, “From retirement account contributions, to the mortgage interest deduction, you could soon see some of your tax breaks disappearing. This means that you will need to plan for the possibility. Decide what’s important to you, and what you can handle without the tax break”

Hank from Money Q & A presents Why You Need Umbrella Insurance, and says, “We now live in a society where everyone is very quick to sue anyone for almost any reason. Find out how to protect yourself.”  More insurance! Yay!

Darwin from Darwin’s Money presents When Faith Kills – Life, Death and Your Finances, and says, “Sometimes, having “faith” can wreck your finances, your friendships or even kill you. Steve Jobs learned this too late.”  Interesting that such a brilliant guy would place so much faith, in faith.

Bret from Hope to Prosper presents Money Fail: Spending to Impress, and says, “This is the fifth post in my Money Fail series. I hope you are enjoying the series.”  Interesting series.



Ron from The Wisdom Journal presents 10 Coupon Strategies to Save Big Bucks, and says, “It takes more than just clipping to make couponing worth your time. Learn how to multiply your coupon savings by applying specific strategies to save even more.”  I have never gotten into the art of coupons.  This may be a good place to start.

Edu @ DollarMusings presents Finding Discounted or Free Theater Tickets, and says, “We love the theater… and have found several different ways to enjoy going to the theater several times a year… without breaking the bank. We even attend shows for FREE!”  Free is good.

Money Management

Big Cajun Man from THE Canadian Personal Finance Blog presents Cheaper Mortgage or Free Banking, and says, “Is it better to get free banking or a lower interest rate? BOTH of course!!”  Not much else needs to be said.

SB from One Cent At A Time presents Personal Finance Basic, Finding Balance Between Earning and Spending, and says, “This article reiterates the very basic fundamental aspect of personal finance, earning more and spending less. In order to get over debt and save for retirement we need to find ways to earn more and cut back spending to trim fat”  PF 101.

Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents Single Mindedly Spending Money – Halloween Addiction, and says, “I fully admit that I get through life by focusing on a single thing at a time and all other stuff falls to the wayside. For the past week, I have become nearly addicted to spending money on Halloween.  And this is why Crystal has a site about getting the fun stuff into her budget!

Karen Bryan from Help Me To Save presents How to Live Below Your Means, and says, “Leaving below your means enables you to set aside money to reach your financial and life goals.” PF 102.

Junior Boomer from Consumer Boomer presents What Is Life Settlement Contract, and says, “If you are looking at ways to raise cash, one thing you may want to consider is a life settlement contract.”

fruGal from TotallyMoney presents Housemates from hell: the real cost, and says, ?? If effort had been made to add a comment I would have made the effort to go read the article!

Philip from PT Money Personal Finance presents Free Online Checking Accounts, and says, “Includes 4 ways to go about getting a free checking account and the best online checking accounts.” In Canada I think PC Financial is still the best.

Echo from Boomer & Echo presents Why IKEA Is Killing My Finances, and says, “We’re undergoing a bit of lifestyle inflation since moving into our new house and IKEA stands to benefit the most as we continue to fill up our new spaces.”  Not an IKEA fan – I find their furniture falls apart too quickly.  I prefer to invest in well made stuff.

ElizabethG from Modern Gal presents The Time Versus Money Tradeoff, and says, likely something about adding a comment would have taken time but not earned much money.


Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance presents Occupying America, and says, “A look at Occupy Wall Street (and Occupy Denver) from a sort of objective point of view.”

mbhunter from Mighty Bargain Hunter presents HARP all you want: LTV cap removed, and says, “The HARP has relaxed restrictions on the kinds of loans that can apply for relief. Is yours one of them?”

Corey from 20’s Finances presents Obama’s Finances: How to Solve the Debt Crisis, and says, “With the recent debt crisis, Americans are left wondering how we are going to dig ourselves out of this deficit. I suggest that we start by cutting expenses, starting with the top. Find out what I propose.”  From a foreigners perspective cuts are met with objection, increasing taxes – same result. 

Matt Bell from Matt About Money presents Let’s Occupy Our Own Streets, and says, “Whether you agree or disagree with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, they’ve stirred up some healthy discussion and debate. However, real change begins at home.”


Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents presents 5 Tips for Starting a Business, and says, “Here are 5 tips to cut through the confusion of starting your own business.  I will be doing number 1 in short order.

Mr. Harvey from My University Money presents Tips On Note Taking # 2, and says, “More tips on note taking, which is not just for students. Its great for any industry!”  Not really a PF article but I like the site, so I included it.


Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents Marginal tax rates: why they make sense, and says, “Professors Nicole and Maggie explain how diminishing marginal utility means that flat taxes are actually unfair. An economics primer to get you through the primaries.”

Eric J. Nisall from DollarVersity presents The Truth Behind Tax Deduction Advice, and says, “Lots of sites throw out advice articles without full explanations or even qualified writers behind them. Do your research before following these “tips”.”  Or hire a professional.

Money Thinker from Money Thinking presents Changes for this Upcoming Tax SeasonThe lack of comment means I have no idea what the changes may be!

Daniel from Sweating The Big Stuff presents Social Security Taxes May Increase in 2012Or they may not.  Or perhaps they will. Who knows!


Colin Williams from humble savers presents Save Money by avoiding Impulse Buying (Part 2), and says, “Simple yet effective ways to reduce ‘the urge to splurge’. Marketers are employed to tempt you to buy items that you wouldn’t normally by. These quick tips are designed to help you to resist temptation and keep those hard earned saving for something more worthwhile.” PF 103.

Justin from Money Is The Root presents Advantages of Credit Unions, and says, “Just a few more reasons why you need to pull your bank account and join your local credit union”.  I looked @ the local CU but their mortgage rates were beat easily by a big bank.

Real Estate

MD from Passive Income Now presents Why Does Everyone Want to Buy a Home Instead of Renting?, and says, “Do you want to own or rent?”.  We bought and are happy about it.


Kaye from Mrs Nespy’s World presents What Lending Club Did for Our Timeshare Loan – Our True Story, and says, “Our timeshare was financed in a way that had us barely gaining ground on paying it off. Check out what we did to really start knocking out this debt!”.  I always thought time shares were a money pit.

Briana from Broke Professionals presents Should You Intentionally Go Into Student Loan Debt?, and says, “If you can’t pay for your tuition out of pocket, should you intentionally go into student loan debt?”  Sometimes there is no other choice.

Green Panda from Green Panda Treehouse presents How Young People Get Into Debt…And How To Get Out Of It., and says, “Are you getting into debt? Do you want to get out?”  Not sure many people would respond “no!”.


Paul Vachon from The Frugal Toad presents How to Control Spending in 5 Easy Steps, and says, “Controlling spending habits does not need to be difficult, in fact the process is a simple one. The difficult aspect of reigning in spending is deciding what you are willing to give up. By following these 5 steps, you will be well on your way to controlling your spending.”

Dan Meyers from Your Life, Their Life presents Would you rather have rich or poor parents?, and says, “How closely is your parent’s wealth correlated with your potential wealth?”


Squirrelers presents Credit Rating Downgrade and Stock Prices: It was a Money Making Opportunity!, and says, “When the U.S. credit rating was downgraded, many people immediately thought it would be disastrous for the stock market. Several months later, we can see that things turn out differently. Are such situations buying opportunities?” Yup.

Mike Piper from Oblivious Investor presents What Are Stable Value Funds?, and says, “Stable value funds are a common choice in 401(k) and 403(b) plans. But what are they? And how safe are they?”

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey from My Personal Finance Journey presents My Current Asset Allocation and Net Worth Growth – July – October 2011, and says, “This article gives an update on my current asset allocation and net worth growth, in order to share how I approach various financial issues that come my way, and to give me accountability for my financial goals. Through my experiences in this post, one may be more prepared to tackle similar financial decisions in their own life.”

D4L from Dividend Growth Stocks presents My Five Top And Bottom Performing Dividend Stocks, and says, “Investing in dividend growth stocks is a long-term proposition. One of the beauties of following a dividend growth strategy is that you don’t have to watch your portfolio or the market on a daily basis. For the most part, daily, monthly and yearly movements are just noise in the system.” Nice list.

Div Guy from The Dividend Guy Blog presents 9 Stocks That Go BOOM With Their Dividend, and says, “Are you aware of these stocks?”  Am now!

Ricky from Qwoter presents IRA Do-Over, and says, “Did you know that you can take advantage of an IRA do-over, or re-characterization, in order to fix an IRA conversion? Learn why you should do this and the rules for your do-over.”

IS from Intelligent Speculator presents Thoughts On 5 Technology Stocks, and says, “In-depth thoughts on 5 stocks.”

Tyler Wright from Debt Reckoning presents How to Ladder Dividends, and says, “Those familiar with the concept of laddering CDs may be interested to read Tyler’s idea for laddering stock dividends to create monthly income.”

N.W. Journey from Net Worth Journey presents College Savings 529 Plans, and says, “Learn basic and important information about 529 plans.

Peter from Bible Money Matters presents 401k Contribution Limits and Rules for 2012, and says, “Today I thought I’d look at some of the 401k contribution limits, rules and regulations when it comes to the 401k portion of my investing plan, as the IRS released their new guidelines this week.”

PKamp3 from Don’t Quit Your Day Job… presents Avoiding 401(k)s: Bypassing The Worst Financial Decision Possible, and says, “When I hear “I’m not investing in my 401(k) now, I’m going to wait until later in my career” it makes me shake my head. Here’s my 401(k) manifesto, with a compound interest calculator which defines, mathematically, why the 401(k) is a must have.”

Nathan Richardson from presents 10 Largest Rogue Traders, and says, “These traders can make a lot of money – but sometimes they go rogue as mistakes prompt them to hide losses and make big gambles in an attempt to turn the tide. Take a look at the 10 biggest rogue traders.”  Jerks.

Dave from Dividends For The Long Run presents How To Use A Margin Of Safety, and says, “Would you pay $50 for a box of cereal? How about $5,000 for a used paperback book? You don’t want to overpay for stocks anymore than you do for your everyday purchases and using a margin of safety can ensure that you do exactly that.”

Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Roth IRA’s for Dividend Investors, and says, “I am always on the lookout to legally minimize my investment taxes as much as possible. In fact there is a way to invest in dividend paying stocks without ever having to pay taxes on your investment.”

Chris Holdheide from Stumble Forward presents Target Date Retirement Funds: How Do They Stack Up, and says, “Learn about how target date mutual funds really stack up and if they are really worth investing in.”

Clint from Accumulating Money presents Crowdfunding Platforms Raising Money For Common Interests, and says, “Crowdfunding is a term which describes a group of individuals who come together to fund and support projects initiated by organizations or other individuals. It supports the concept of there being power in numbers. Money and resources are pooled together usually by means of online fundraising.”

Sean Smarty from Grow Money presents Protecting Your Nest Egg: Top Five Investing Scams Targeting Senior Citizens, and says, ….


Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card | Review – 2 Free Flights and More, and says, “The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus credit card is has a limited time offer that can net you 2 free flights. See the other benefits of the card in this review.”

John from Wallet Blog presents Secured Credit Cards: The Expected, The Surprising & The Best For Your Needs, and says, “Think all secured credit cards are the same? It’s ok, you can admit it. Interestingly though, our most recent study helps reveals some important differences between secured credit card issuers.”

Madison from My Dollar Plan presents What Happens When Your Credit Card is Stolen, and says, “Here are some lessons learned from a stolen credit card incident…”.  When our wallets were stolen it really sucked.

Jake Gibson from NerdWallet Credit Card Blog presents NEW: Citi ThankYou Premier Offers 50,000 Points Worth Up to $665, and says, “The Citi ThankYou Premier is now offering a signing bonus worth $665 for travelers.”

MD from Studenomics presents What’s a Good Credit Score & Why Should You Give a Damn?, and says, “Do you know what a good credit score is?”

Lazy Man from Lazy Man and Money presents A Lazy Man’s Guide to Managing Credit Cards, and says, “I’m a lazy man when it comes to managing my credit cards. Let’s look at the lazy man’s guide to managing credit cards in your 20s…

Jason from One Money Design presents How to Cancel a Credit Card, and says, “Follow these steps to cancel your credit card and understand credit score impacts.”

Marjorie from presents How can stay at home parents get credit cards?, and says, “Prior to October 1, individuals were able to apply for credit cards using their household income; however, this is no longer the case. If you are a stay-at-home parent, it’s understandable if you’re now concerned about your ability to build credit under your own name. Luckily, this is neither what the new rule regarding individual income was intended to bring about, nor its ultimate effect.”

Michal from Credit Card Offers IQ presents Cash Back Credit Cards – Which Is The Best Deal?, and says, “Save money by using a cash back credit card.”


FMF from Free Money Finance presents Don’t Pre-Buy at Best Buy Unless You Want to Risk ID Theft, and says, “Why does Best Buy need my driver’s license number when I pre-buy a video game?”  This is kind of creepy.

Money Beagle from Money Beagle presents 5 Emotional Stages of Your New iPhone (Or Other Gadget), and says, “What stage are you in with your gadget?”  Cool read.  I’m looking into a smart phone – big step from my 10 year old phone.

Mike from The Financial Blogger presents How To Generate $5,000 in Private Ads in Less Than an Hour a Week, and says, “How to manage your private ads.”  Very effective tips.

Shaun from Money Cactus presents Wealth Creation: Attitude is Everything, and says, “While there are a lot of wealth influences, success ultimately comes down to your attitude. Here’s how you can develop a winning attitude and gain more wealth.”

Aloysa from My Broken Coin presents Why My Coin Is Broken, and says, … I assume, that her coin is broken?

John Hunter from Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog presents Disability Insurance is Very Important, and says, “Please consider this post for the carnival.”  More insurance Part II.


Jason from Childrens Savings Accounts HQ presents How Dads Can Teach Children About Saving Money, and says, “Dads have a great opportunity to teach their kids how to save money in everyday situations.”  As a new Dad I find great value in the ideas Jason presents.  I plan to make sure my son is well versed in saving money.

Roshawn Watson from Watson Inc presents Too Frugal For Your Own Good, and says, “While I am an advocate for frugality, as I think we should be financially responsible, the dangers of frugality often slip under the radar.”  Yes, you can over do it to a fault.

Suba from Wealth Informatics presents Supermarket Tour : Save money on groceries, and says, “Take a supermarket tour to find areas of visual merchandising and ways to save money on groceries by beating the marketing tricks.”  Good enough for my monthly round up, more than good enough for the editor selection here!

Jon the Saver from Free Money Wisdom presents How I Got Screwed by My Lack of Patience, and says, “I’m going to share with you a story of how my lack of patience slapped me in the face and lost money.”  Guns’n’Roses said it best ….

Nick from Step Away from the Mall presents Does how you cook predict your financial future?  An interesting analogy on finances.

Financial Uproar from Financial Uproar presents Financial Uproar’s 4 Step Guild To Launching Your E-Product, and says, “Have you ever wondered what the key is to launching your own e-product through your blog? Wonder no more, as I slice through the mystery with THE definitive guide. ” Freakin’ hilarious! (as always)

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