I think it was our last Weekend Reading where I mentioned we knew the gender of lil’ SPF but I never spilled the beans! We’re having a boy! Big news from us! It has been over 5 months since I decided to stop smoking cigarettes after doing so for the better part of 18 years. Mrs. SPF’s folks are celebrating the 35th wedding anniversary this summer and are in town – we’ll treat them to a fine meal tonight. They are role models for us in our marriage. Oh, and my gout is back. Seems i’ll deal with it forever. The most painful arthritis one can get – and the young don’t normally get it this early. C’est la vie.
Some readers may have noticed (or not!) that there have been no Weekend Reading posts in June. The reason? Well, a few. First, I try to make the Weekend Reading unique and comment on each and every article – and this takes time / effort. Second, we weren’t getting a lot of feedback on the posts: about the articles or from the authors I highlighted. We did get some feedback – much appreciated! However, spending 2-3 hours every Thursday, month after month, writing material that wasn’t garnering much attention started to feel like poor use of my time.
I figure instead of doing a weekly roundup I can work toward writing articles our readers come to our site to read. In the place of a weekly Weekend Reading post, I decided to highlight my absolute favourite posts over the past month. Of course I will also be linking back to the great sites who posted about our articles over the past month or so. I’ll start with our editor picks then present the best of the rest by category. I’ll finish up with some link-love-thanks.
Echo of Boomer & Echo put a guest post up at Young & Thrifty asking Are Defined Benefits Pensions a Blessing or a Curse? This article is of particular interest to Mrs. SPF and I as we both work in the public service and have DBPs (decades down the line). An example of teachers is discussed in this article and the concept of being “handcuffed” to the job due to the pension. Where we work we have opportunity to try, literally, hundreds – if not over 1000 different types of jobs. So the pension,
assuming hoping it is still there in the 2030s, is a blessing for us.
Million Dollar Journey asked his readers: Can You Save Too Much Money? Heck yes! Life is here to be lived. You’re only young once. Yes, we want to make sure our future is comfortable when we’re old and gray but we also want to do things that are easier for our 35 and 26 year old bodies! I believe you save based on a plan and when that plan is being fulfilled and you have extra money – enjoy it!
How to invest, where to invest. Questions that anyone interested in personal finance asks themselves. Here in Canada we now have a choice (actually since 2009) on nifty places we can stash our retirement funds. Dividend Ninja states Max Out Your TFSA, and Forget the RRSP! This is how we feel too! Well, there are a few exceptions which i’ll outline Monday when I post part 2 of our Sustainable Personal Financial Plan. Tune in.
Canadian Finance Blog once again graces our editors pick list. This week the site explored The Cost of Online MMORPGS. I’ve spent, easily, thousands of hours playing online multi user games. If you ever wondered how I find the drive to blog and be involved in the blogosphere without tiring I attribute it to my OCD traits. But back to the games – I started in ’87 and made a few hundred dollars building and selling characters on a BBS and then spent well over a decade playing MUDs. In time I played Diablo II and so numerous virtual items to help pay for college. I’ve kicked the gaming habit since about 2008.
I do like a good rant and i’ve been known to show my national pride and love of Canada. I love the fact that we are independent, have the best banking system in the world, have national health care and other social programs and that we’re resource rich. In the spirit of Canada Day our final editors pick goes to Money Energy a fellow Canadian living in the United States who discussed Canadian Sovereignty and the Security Perimeter.
Here are the other great articles I read over the past month:
Baby / Parenting
- The Art of Manliness provided a comprehensive post: A Man’s Guide to Pregnancy: Getting Ready for the Baby Bomb. Perfect timing, as always, from this stellar site.
- Canadian Finance Blog tells us about Making Smart Financial Decisions With A New Baby. Good points on things to pay attention to.
- Smart on Money blew their baby budget and shares how to avoid their mistakes. Thanks – noted.
- Now Beating Broke pleads, yes PLEADS that bloggers stop talking adding up the cost of children. Yes, they cost money! Duh! A lot actually – deal with it!
- Darwin’s Money discussed Peak Oil. It is good to see others accept that this resource WILL run out.
- Get Rich Slowly wrote on a topic we’ve covered, The Costs and Savings of Bike Commuting. Our article had more of a save gas focus.
- Balance Junkie sold their house in 5 days! Wow! Awesome to see others have success selling as we did.
- Prairie Eco Thrifter tells us we can Save Taxes: Negotiate a Reduction in Your Assessed Value. My take? Tread carefully …
- Sustainable Life Blog explores Friends and Finances. No, not lending money – more like keeping up with the Joneses.
- My Journey to Millions asks What Do You Do at Night? I Try to Make Money. In a way I guess I do the same but I get the feeling MJTM does a much better job of it.
- Sweating the Big Stuff tries to figure out How Do You Determine Which Charities to Donate to? We take it personally when giving to charity.
- Canadian Financial DIY takes a look at SRI and ESG Issues for Corporations. Good read.
- Free From Broke showed us how to use a stock screener and build your dividend stock analysis template. Thanks FFB!
- I mentioned the great read from Dividend Ninja in the editor picks – here is a tool to compare the TFSA vs RRSP.
- Money Mamba gives us 6 Reasons Why I Dislike Dividends. One of the few i’m guessing but I can always appreciate a man who takes a stance and gives his reasons.
- Bank Nerd wonders where the better place to invest is - ETFs or Home Ownership. We like both but buying a home was not something we would pass on for low cost funds.
- Our pal Big Cajun Man gives his entertaining take about Saving Money By Saving Gas. Mooching sounds good.
- Squirrels is proud of his Frugal Trophies. I understand the sentiment, perhaps not the fashion statement!
Big thanks to all the links we received this past month. For the carnivals – apologies for being late (if I am late) in linking back. I will need to change my approach to linking back going forward. I’ll likely just add a note to the post that gets included then save this space for links outside the carnival world. This list is long … apologies.
- Our Sustainable Personal Financial Plan highlighted by Boomer and Echo and Money Smarts Blog
- Sustainable Business? Is This a Realistic Concept? lighted by The Financial Blogger, Well Heeled Blog and Financially Consumed.
- Sorry…I Recycle for the Money was picked up by Canadian Finance Blog.
- Gardening Tips for Beginners Like Me Like Me was highlighted by Million Dollar Journey and Couple Money.
- A Green Mid Twentieth Century was highlighted by Home Life Weekly.
- Are Investment Experts Ethical was highlighted by Personal Dividends.
- Less is More: From 2 Cars to 1 highlighted by Canadian Finance Blog and Spruce Up Your Finances.
- How to Stop Smoking Cigarettes was highlighted by Maximizing Money.
- Save Gas: The Financial and Health Benefits of Walking or Biking to Work highlighted by Stupid Cents.
- Avoid Underinflated Tires highlighted by Bucksome Boomer.
- Waste Not Want Not: Clothes highlighted by Miss Thrifty.
- Digital Music highlighted by Bible Money Matters.
- Bug Juice is important in Canada. Invest it Wisely understands.
- Waste Not Want Not: Paper highlighted by My Own Advisor.
- Shop at your Local Farmers Market highlighted by Sustainable Life Blog.
- Use a Commercial Car Wash highlighted by Agaishanlife.
- And last but not least, our friend Tom Drake @ Canadian Finance Blog who has somehow shown up in this list 4 or 5 times already … you’d think I was on his staff. Nah, he brought on some other guy … I look forward to the uproar. ;) He did link to our Use a Crock Pot tip. Thanks for all of the support this past month Tom – we appreciate it.
1500 words later, i’m DONE. I’ll need to figure out how to streamline this in the future – 1500 words for a “round up” seems excessive. Thing is, I read SO much great stuff every week, let alone every month, I need to starting hating more or something. Thing is,
we’re having a boy!
And totally stoked about it!