Over the years we have seen “free enterprise” enter the world of professional sports, with Baseball starting it all off with Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally and the Seitz Decision, now it is common place in all sports for players to leave franchises “high and dry” to get more money from another team. I applaud this ability that Athletes have only recently been given, and with this in mind, here is a tenuous thematic concept for this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance #421 Free Agent Mania Edition!

This week many hockey players, basketball players, soccer players and maybe even a few cricketers will exercise their right to have folks “show them the money!”

Michael Jordan (aka Editor’s Choice)

These articles were my favorite and I will call this section, the greatest Free Agent That Never Was , aka Michael Jordan  (for many years). These top 5 posts tickled my fancy the most from the ocean of articles submitted to the Carnival this Week:

Air Jordan, if you please

  1. Miss T. from Prairie Eco Thrifter presents Protect Your Home: Don’t Go Without Home Insurance, and says, “I believe that home insurance should be mandatory for every home owner. Unfortunately it’s not mandatory once the mortgage is paid off here in the great white North, and some people go without to save some cash. This can have big,m ugly consequences, and can end up bankrupting families as a result.”
    This one scares me to know that there are folks (in Canada) that don’t carry some insurance on their homes. Yes it costs a bloody fortune, but you need it for so many reasons (even if you have paid off your home). I like this one Miss T.
  2. Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents DOMA Goes Down: What Does it Mean for Same-Sex Finances, and says, “Parts of DOMA have been ruled unconstitutional. This has a number of effects on the finances, taxes and estate planning, of same-sex marriages.”,
    OK, so I guess DOMA is a big topic in the news these days, and Glen elaborates about some other topics that same sex marriages will need to consider (financially). A good explanation of the important stuff that new same sex couples might not consider right away.
  3. Mike from The Financial Blogger presents My Biggest Issues With College, and says, “I look over the biggest issues with why college isn’t always the best idea.”
    OK I gotta admit, that any post that starts with a quote from Frank Zappa gets my attention every single time! I almost demoted this off the Editor’s Choice, since it didn’t really have a money angle, but it sneaks in just at the end.

Reggie White (testify minister)

Reggie spent many years toiling with the Eagles, but he decided to go to Green Bay and with that move he got himself a Super Bowl ring, a good free agent pick up. Reggie White was a force throughout his career and sadly his life was cut short, as he might have been a great role model for younger players (he is still, but his presence might have helped even more).

Reggie was a skilled orator, and enjoyed explaining things, as these posts do as well:

  • Glen from Credit Card Smarts presents Credit Sesame Review - Free Credit History and Score Monitoring, and says, “Credit Sesame offers consumers free monitoring of their credit history and credit score. See more about their service and if it’s good for you.”,
    These kind of on line systems always worry me about putting all of your info into aan on line system, but a good review none the less.
  • Ryan from The Better Credit Blog presents How Secured Credit Cards Help You Repair Your Credit, and says, “Secured credit cards aren’t the best, but they might be your only option if you have bad credit.”,
    Secured credit cards are again a subject I did not know much about, but this helps as an introduction (but I don’t think this is a good idea, maybe you should just not use credit cards, if you are in this situation).
  • D4L from Dividend Growth Stocks presents 9 High-Rated Dividend Stocks With Above Target Returns, and says, “It doesn’t take a genius to determine that most dividend stocks are now trading in excess of their calculated fair value. However, capital appreciation is not the primary reason for investing in dividend stocks. Dividend fundamentals are what drive my purchase decision, and if I could only look at one metric it would be…”
    An interesting list of dividend paying stocks, and lots of self-promotion too.
  • GD from MLIQ123 presents Different Types of Life Insurance, and says, “Every financial planner and adviser touts the importance of having life insurance, and this isn’t just because it is their job, but because the real life benefits are tangible and significant. Yet with so many policies and companies available, how do you which type of life insurance is best for you? Here is a detailed explanation of the different types of life insurance policies, from term to whole to universal coverage to help you reach your financial goals.”
    Good stuff, an explanation of all the different insurances and such, however,it is posted by a site that sells life insurance (or at least gives you quotes), so keep that in mind too.

Andre Dawson (worth every penny)

When Andre Dawson decided he couldn’t continue his career on the concrete turf of Olympic Stadium in Montreal, no one would sign him (can anyone say calusion?) however, the Cubs finally signed him for a pittance and he flourished in the friendly ivy-lined grass turfed confines of Wrigley Field (even if Harry Carey kept calling him Andy Dawson). Dawson in my heart will always be an Expo, but I know why he left.

Andre Dawson was an exceptional bargain and well worth the money, as these posts are worth the read:

  • Emily from Evolving Personal Finance presents First Values and Goals, Then Strategies, and says, “Don’t jump straight to picking a PF strategy; first you must evaluate your values and goals. Without what makes you unique in mind, you may not use an appropriate strategy.”,
    A good overview of the steps you need to take when you start a Personal Finance Strategy of any kind, if you can’t live with the strategy, why use it?
  • Pauline from Reach Financial Independence presents 5 ways to get out of debt, and says, “This post presents 5 easy ways to start your journey toward debt freedom, and how you can accelerate your debt payments to become debt free earlier.”
    Pretty straight forward list, doesn’t mention don’t get in debt in the first place, but I suppose that is obvious?

Reggie Jackson (in it for the money)

The greatest baseball hired mercenary player of the 20th Century was Reggie Jackson, who won World Series with the Oakland Athletics and then pulled up stakes and went to George Steinbrenner’s New York Yankees. Reggie deserved the money, Steinbrenner’s gamble paid off too, and the Billy Martin/Reggie Jackson Circus in New York was most entertaining.

If you are also in it for the money, the following posts should help you out a great deal:

  • Gary from Gajizmo presents Highest Paying Jobs, and says, “Here is a list of the highest paying jobs, job requirements and descriptions, average salary figures, and the number employed in the field.”,
    knowing how much certain jobs pay is important, but at the end of it, let’s hope you are doing something you want to do, and not just doing it for the money
  • Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Dividend Growth Investing is a Perfect Strategy for Young Investors, and says, “One of the most common misconceptions about dividend investing is that it is not a good strategy for building your nest egg, and therefore it is not suitable for younger investors. Being a youngster myself, I (not surprisingly) disagree.”
    An interesting article with lots of self-promotion, but useful information about Dividend investing for the younger folks too.
  • Jon from Novel Investor presents Create A Stock Watch List, and says, “With a watch list, you create a personal list of “best stocks” to own when the price is right. Then, when a stock drops on some short-term bad news, you can pick it up for a steal.”
    Stock watching is a dangerous thing especially if you are planning on using a Buy and Hold strategy, this is more useful if you are planning on being a day trader (which is a really bad idea (IMO))
  • Amanda from My Dollar Plan presents How to Get Rid of an Escrow Account During a Refinance, and says, “If you’re contemplating a refinance, this is a must-read!”
    Interesting concept that I don’t really understand, and strikes me as very specific to someone refinancing their home, which I have always thought was a scarey thing to do.

Warren Moon (toiled in the frozen North)

Warren Moon came out of U of Washington highly touted, but no NFL team wanted to draft him as a Quarterback, so Warren  went North (and I do mean NORTH) to Edmonton to play for the Eskimos (that’s how far north he was) and won them a few Grey Cups before the Houston Oilers (you know the Tennessee Tuxedos) finally took a chance on him and signed him for not much, and got a Hall of Famer.

Mr. Moon seemed very off topic for the NFL, as these articles are to the Carnival of Personal Finance, but still interesting:

  • Lynn from Wallet Blog presents Selling a Domain Name with Escrow.com, and says, “While it should never be recommended that domain-name speculation is a no-risk avenue toward untold profitability, it has been known to happen.”,
    this isn’t really a personal finance article (although folks claim you can make money buying and selling domain names, hokum in my opinion), but still interesting to read.
  • Martin from Studenomics presents Insanely Helpful Tools That Changed My Life (and free money), and says, “Tools that you need on your side.”
    Seems to espouse make it rich by blogging about finances and such? Guess I must be doing it wrong, because their isn’t much Gold (Au) in these thar hills, that is for sure (IMHO)

Editor’s Note: This is the smallest number of submissions I have ever seen for a Carnival of Personal Finance, must have been a slow week. There were also a few posts that seem to have nothing to do with Money, so if I am posting the Carnival of Personal Finance, it might need to have something to do with Finance.

If you have reached this part and are still reading, as you can see I don’t agree with many of these posts, however, I included most of them so I didn’t end up with the same Unhappiness with my Hosting a Previous C of PF (hey I can include my own links too!).

If you want to volunteer to host the C of PF (shameless plug) click there!

 

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A day late admittedly (and now in Canada a penny short, thanks to the penny being banned), but here we are with the Carnival of Personal Finance #355 the April Fool’s Edition.

I am fairly sure that the links submitted are not the old “switcheroo” type of posts (say the opposite of what you think and then say April Fools!), but I will group the posts by some of my favorite April Fool’s jokes over the years.

Editor’s Choice

As editor I get to pick a few posts as the pick of the week, you should definitely check them out:

  • Sustainable PF from Sustainable Personal Finance presents Nobody Cares what You Think, and says, “There are all sorts of reasons why people spend too much money. They might be trying to impress people. They might be over compensating for something. They might not be very good at math. There are a thousand psychological reasons to explain why a lot of people aren’t good with their money. But we don’t care about any of that, because I can sum up why a lot of people suck at money in one sentence.”. I like one sentence sums up, especially when they are curt.
  • Jefferson from See Debt Run presents Ain’t Too Proud to Use a Big Bird Spoon, and says, “Our cabinets are filled with a variety of bowls, glasses, and silverware collected over the years. While getting matching a set would be nice, it isnt a need.”. Matching plates and forks and such? That is for the RICH FOLK, not for we poor folk, trying to get out of debt. My plates will match when I don’t have debt.
  • Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents Fie on the residents of [state]., and says, “Nicole and Maggie discuss getting a credit card hacked. Check out the comments for more stories and suggestions on how to avoid getting haxxored.”. Call me a sucker for a good, “… don’t get burned like I did…”, story.
  • Jim Yih from Retire Happy Blog presents Active investing or passive investing - Which is better?, and says, “The debate between active investing and passive investing has been around for quite some time. The historical data suggests there is a clear winner. Who is it?” I love a good Passive vs. Active Investing discussion, because no one is ever completely right (or wrong).

The Spaghetti Crop Failure (Frugality & Real Estate)

Look that one up on Youtube, I believe it was the BBC that spoof’ed their TV viewers with a story that the Swiss spaghetti crop had failed, and the prices were going to go up (and they showed the spaghetti trees that were having problems). A classic bit of English humor:

  • Teacherman from Canadian Finance Blog presents Can Anyone Really Deny The Real Estate Bubble Any Longer?, and says, “Canada is in the middle of a large real estate bubble. Looking at Vancouver and Toronto, can anyone really deny the real estate bubble any longer?I see no bubble here in Ottawa, but my front lawn has a large dome in it?!?!
  • Donna Freedman from Frugal Cool presents Earn $37k a year by hosting travelers, and says, “Renting the spare room through sites like Airbnb and Roomorama do more than just bring in extra cash — they acquaint you from people from around the country, and the world.” Let foreigners live in my house? Why not just let my mother move in?
  • Young from Youngandthrifty presents Coupon Codes and Promo Codes and Why They are so Awesome, and says, “I’m not sure if many of you readers were around when I wrote my beloved post: Ode to Promo Codes but I thought of that post the other day and thought I would elaborate on why I love coupon codes and promo codes.” Awesome? Maybe you should get out a bit more?

Fake Snow Storm Warning (Credit & Debt)

It’s funnier in a place like Arizona to have a fake weather story, which predicts a Snowstorm (a snowstorm in Ottawa on April 1st isn’t really that big a joke, happens all the time), but I would guess folks in Hawaii might think it was a funny joke too (snow on April 1):

  • Peter from Bible Money Matters presents What Comprises Your Credit Score, and says, “Before they take a look at your score, you should get to know your credit score. Here’s a breakdown of what comprises your credit score. Use this to target the most weighted elements of credit scores, especially if you struggle with a certain area.” Snips and snails and puppy dog tails?
  • Odysseas from Wallet Blog presents Occupy Wall Street & Credit Score Reform, and says, “In an economy where so much depends on credit score, maybe it’s time for the credit scoring system to be improved. But, is the Occupy Wall Street movement on target with their proposal? Maybe not.” How can you improve on a perfect system like this?!?
  • Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance presents How to Rule 0% Financing, and says, “I recently wrote a post discussing whether it is best to get a new or used car. One astute commenter got me thinking about car loans, and zero percent financing in general. If you do it the right way, you can rule 0% financing to come out on top.” Zero percent usually means a higher price, don’t it?

The Taco Liberty Bell (Money Management & Budgeting)

Yes, Taco Bell had a good one about how they had bought the rights to the Liberty Bell and they were going to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell, now that is a good one:

  • Miranda from Planting Money Seeds presents 4 Tricks Restaurants Use to Make More Money, and says, “When you go out to eat, watch out for these tricks meant to boost the restaurant’s bottom line.”
  • eemusings from Musings of an Abstract Aucklander presents Personal finance topics I’m so over, and says, “Can we please put these three topics to rest?” Only Three Topics?
  • Rob from Dough Roller presents 5 Ways To Automate Your Finances, and says, “By automating our finances we can spend less time managing our money and more time doing things we really want to do. ” I hired a robot accountant, does that count?
  • SB from One Cent At A Time presents Bad Financial Habits That You Might Be Not Aware Of, and says, “There are a number of bad financial habits and ways of doing things that can result in financial ruin. This article is written to warn you off before you reach that depressing pit called “bankruptcy”.
  • Green Panda from Green Panda Treehouse presents Get Rich by Having No Car Loan, and says, “How to not finance a car.”
  • Pierre from Intelligent Speculator presents The One Reason You Are Not Saving Enough, and says, “Why your savings aren’t where you want them to be.”
  • Roshawn Watson from Watson Inc presents Your Financial Crisis Manual, and says, “You can come out of financial hardship, and the best way to do this is with a plan. Here are 9 steps to navigating a financial crisis.” To quote Supertramp, Cris, what Crisis?
  • Jeffrey from Saving Advice presents How to Quickly Reduce Expenses, and says, ” If you find yourself needing or wanting to cut your daily expenses, here are some ideas that are easy to do and can quickly have more money in your pock”
  • Justin from The Family Finances presents The Costs of Raising Baby: Medical Care, and says, “If you’re looking to start a family or add another child to your family, know that the cost of medical care will probably be your largest expense for that first year. But here are some strategies for softening the blow.” You have to take babies to the doctor? That explains a lot… oh dear.

Tax Deadline Moved to September 1st ( Finance & Taxes)

Now that might be funny too, if you made up a story about how the IRS or CRA were so overloaded, or they had laid off so many employees they were going to extend the filing date for your taxes to September 1st (not true by the way, submit on the regular dates, and don’t blame me if you are late):

  • Eric J. Nisall from DollarVersity presents Yes, Tax Refunds ARE Evil, and says, “Many people like getting tax refund. A large refund may be nice to receive, but it’s not always the best option. In fact, it may hurt more than it helps.” They may be evil, but we all love them.
  • Jake from I Am 1 Percent presents Can You Answer These 3 Simple Finance Questions?, and says, “Most Americans (66%) could not answer all 3 correctly. Something needs to be done about this, but what? I assess the options.” What was the question again?
  • Sandy from Yes, I Am Cheap presents What the Baby Boomers can teach us about saving for retirement, and says, “This innovative new program is helping high school student become certified tax preparers while helping low-income individuals get their taxes prepared for free!”
  • Victoria Lindsay from Lend Not Borrow presents April 16th is quickly Approaching….Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock!!, and says, “Informative article on the benefits of contributing to a Roth IRA. Gives the good news that there is still time to contribute for the 2011 tax year.” April 16th? We aren’t celebrating Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s birthday?

The Salt in the Sugar Bowl Trick   (Saving & Career)

More than once I have had very salty tea in the morning thanks for various pranksters in my life. I don’t particularly like this trick, but it is known as a classic (for others, not me):

  • Echo from Boomer & Echo presents Air Miles Cash vs. Air Miles Dream: What You Need To Know, and says, “Here’s what you need to know in order to set-up your allocation between Air Miles Cash and Air Miles Dream rewards balances:”
  • Christopher from This That and The MBA presents National Financial Literacy Month: What it means to you!, and says, “As we move into National Financial Literacy month we should all take a moment and review our financial situation.”
  • Mike from The Financial Blogger presents Would You Declare Your Income?, and says, “This piece looks at the idea of being transparent with your finances.”
  • Lindsey from My Next College presents 5 Mobile Apps for Nurses, and says, “You may not have much time to think when you have a health crisis on your hands, and mobile apps can be literal lifesavers for your patience and virtual lifesavers for you.”
  • Kathryn @ Financial Highway from Financial Highway presents Interview Questions, and says, “This guide not only tells you what the interview questions are but also provides insight into what the interviewer is really asking and what types of answers will help you get the job.”

Bogus Sports Trade Section (Investing)

More than once as a kid I was woken up to the story that Guy Lafleur had been traded to the Los Angeles Kings for some unknown future star (I grew up in Montreal in the 70’s), and more than once I fell for the joke (yes I was very gullible), but given this is a trade joke, let’s put the investing posts here:

  • Miss T. from Prairie Eco Thrifter presents Understanding Your 401k, and says, “Planning for retirement sucks. In a world filled with instant gratification, who wants to delay the fun? Nobody - which is why governments have nudged workers to save for retirement. If one defers the salary they receive, then the government will defer the taxes owed as well. The most common salary deferral plan is the 401(k).”
  • Evan from My Journey to Millions presents How Are the Top 10 Stocks from 2007 and 2008 Doing in 2012?, and says, “I find it interesting when the financial media makes bold predictions for individual stocks or mutual funds and as time passes the reasoning for the pick erodes. My interest may be based in on my love for history or it may be because of people’s failure to apply sense of accountability.
  • Philip from PT Money Personal Finance presents Roth IRA: What It Is and How It Works, and says, “A post designed to help explain IRAs and bring awareness to the benefits of IRAs. It’s a part of the #RothIRAMovement.”
  • Ken Faulkenberry from AAAMP Blog presents Roth IRA Movement: What’s So Great about the Roth IRA?, and says, “Tax free income in retirement and compounding earnings tax free are the greatest benefits of a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA).”
  • Ricky from Qwoter presents Beneficiary IRA, and says, “Do you know what happens to an IRA when owner dies? You’ll need to know the importance of a Beneficiary IRA along its specific requirements and rules.”
  • Teacher Man from My University Money presents Picks, Shovels, and Rent, and says, “There is an old saying that during the gold rush, it wasn’t the guys who found the gold that got rich, it was the businessman that supplied the picks and shovels. I’m wondering if a similar situation is not developing right now as North America embraces its energy craze, and the newfound riches that working with oil and natural gas has brought.”
  • Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents Withdrawing Money From a Roth IRA: How Does It Work and When Can I Do It?, and says, “A Roth IRA is a great retirement tool. But a question that comes up is how to go about withdrawing money from a Roth IRA? See how withdrawing money woks and when you’re able to.”
  • J.P. from Novel Investor presents The Roth IRA: The Piece To Your Retirement Puzzle?, and says, “The popularity of the Roth IRA has brought a myriad of questions about which IRA is best for retirement savings. The answer is, it depends.”
  • Miranda Marquit from Personal Dividends presents 3 Reasons to Love the Roth IRA, and says, “The Roth IRA can provide you with a great way to save money for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis. Here are 3 reasons that I love the Roth IRA.”
  • Tom Drake from Stupid Cents presents Tips for Maxing Out Your Roth IRA, and says, “The best way to save for retirement is by maxing out your Roth IRA. The Roth IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account that gives you tax-free growth.”

The Old Hand in the Warm Water Trick (Other)

Yes, a crude bit of humor, that is more camp humor, than April Fool’s day, but wasn’t too sure what to put on the Other section:

  • SB @FPR from Finance Product Reviews presents Credit Karma Review, How Reliable is Credit karma?, and says, “Review of Credit Karma service offered through their web site. Covering every aspect of the software.”
  • Madison from My Dollar Plan presents 11 Unusual Roth IRA Strategies, and says, “Most readers know the basics of Roth IRAs (contribute after tax money and withdraw tax free in retirement), but there are some additional, unusual strategies that you can use the Roth IRA for that make it an even better tool for wealth building.”

Apologies if I missed your post, or I missed a good April Fool’s joke as well! (there were just so many to choose from!)

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Welcome to the Carnival of Personal Finance #315 where we will be celebrating that in Canada and the U.S. at this time of year there are many long weekends, specifically: Saint-Jean Baptiste Day (in Quebec), Canada Day (in all of Canada) and of course the 4th of July in the U.S.. What a wonderful time and this year is especially great because all of these holidays fall on a Friday or Monday so bring on the long weekends!!!

I have removed a few of the more blatantly promotional posts (or non topical (imho)), but have attempted to include as many relevant posts as were submitted, unlike my previous attempt on the Carnival of Personal Finance #192 Family Day Edition (I still get angry comments on that one).

Editor’s Choice

As Editor I get to choose the submissions for the week that I enjoyed the most, now remember I am not claiming these are the best posts of the week submitted, only that they resonated with me and I enjoyed reading them (for clarity):

  • Mike from Experiglot presents A One Week Guide for Raging Your Way to Personal Finance Success, and says, “One week to master your finances.”
  • Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents Prom Memorie$, and says, “Nicole and Maggie discuss the cost of prom and ask: Has the cost of prom really increased or just expectations? Is it worth going to prom if you don’t pay for the whole shebang, limo and all?”

Saint Jean Baptiste Posts

Quebec Proud

Gens Du Pays, c’est à ton tour…

In this section we have posts that help celebrate the Joix de Vive of our Quebecois amies.

Amanda from My Dollar Plan presents 5 Scary Foreclosure Fiascos, and says, “Here are some crazy examples of foreclosures gone wrong. Some you wouldn’t believe!”

Boomer from Boomer & Echo presents Are Store Brands As Good As Name Brands, and says, “If the price difference is only a few cents I tend to buy name brands, but for the most part I don’t find much difference in generic and store brands.”

FMF from Free Money Finance presents I Joined a Credit Union, and says, “What’s not to love about 4% interest?”

Janet from Credit, Eh presents Business Credit Card: Separating Personal Expenses from Business Expenses, and says, “One of the best ways to organize your finances so that your business expenses are easier to track is to make sure that they are separate from your personal expenses. One way to make sure that you are keeping everything separate is to get a business credit card.”

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey from My Personal Finance Journey presents American Growth Fund of America - An Example of Things That UPSET Me!, and says, “According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, the American Growth Fund of America, Symbol AGTHX, is the largest equity mutual fund in the world (by assets).However, does the performance history of this fund warrant it’s popularity? This post takes a detailed look at this question.”

Junior Boomer from Consumer Boomer presents Saving Enough Money for Retirement, and says, “To determine if you are currently on track for retirement, complete the following steps…”

Canada Day Posts

Canadian Flag

Canada Day or Dominion Day or Whatever les Quebecois call it.

This year Canada turns 144 years young and with special celebrations with Prince William and Kate in Ottawa, theses posts show the joy that is shared in Canada, land of Peat Moss, Potash, Mosquitoes, Black Flies, Poutine, Beaver Tails and Lacrosse (and Hockey I hear too):

Tom Drake from Canadian Finance Blog presents The Three Legal Documents Of An Estate Plan, and says, “The Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Personal Directive are the three legal documents in an estate plan”

Jim Yih from Retire Happy Blog presents A Personal Directive gives direction for health care decisions, and says, “A Personal Directive is a written, signed, dated and witnessed document that appoints someone else to look after your health matters.”

Control Your Cash from Control Your Cash presents Public Enemy #1, and says, “Why do we let a man with a 5-digit credit card bill make financial decisions for us? ”

Sustainable PF from Sustainable Personal Finance presents How Menu Planning Saves Time and Money, and says, “If you have a menu, you are less likely to go off the rails shopping”

Ben from Money Smart Life presents Investing on a Budget, and says, “5 things to consider when investing on a budget”

Nathan Richardson from ComplexSearch presents What is a Good Credit Score, and says, “Credit scores are vital to your financial health, managing your credit score can save you thousands of dollars a year. Learn what it takes to score high, and how to improve your score.”

Miranada @ Financial Highway from Financial Highway presents 35 Ways to Make More Money, and says, “Even the best of times, one of the most common questions asked is, “How do I make more money?” While an increase in income can ease the way things work in your personal economy, it won’t necessarily solve all your problems. ”

Mike from Green Panda Treehouse presents Everything You Need to Know About Automatic Savings Plans, and says, “How you can automate your savings.”

4th of July Posts

4th of July

Fourth of July

These posts really sum up all that is great about our Big Brother to the south, and all that their celebrations entail (I will be watching and enjoying them as well).

Lindy from Minting Nickels presents Steal My Ideas for Businesses I’d Never Run, and says, “I’m giving away free business ideas! Well, they’re mostly free… ”

Philip from Deliver Away Debt presents Best Get Out of Debt Books, and says, “Ten of the best advice books for getting out of debt.”

Tim from How to Make Bankable Savings presents Credit Card at Gas Pump: A Money Saver with Many Virtues, and says, “This is a new personal finance website. I intend it to be about my thoughts, ideas and experiences about personal finances”

Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents presents Average Cost of Law School Tuition- Is it Really Worth it?, and says, “So is the average cost of law school really worth it? Let’s find out…..”

Ryan from Cash Money Life presents Unexpected College Expenses, and says, “College is expensive, but it’s even more costly when you let things sneak up on you. Do your best to avoid these unexpected college expenses.”

Money Thinker from Money Thinking presents Reader Question: Are there Alternatives to Student Loans, and says, “Money Thinker answers a reader question about alternatives to student loans. ”

Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents Save Money on Vacation Plans with Frugal Staycation Ideas, and says, “Sometimes a full-on vacation is too expensive or impractical. See how you can save and have a blast with a staycation instead.”

Cathy Moran from Money Health Central presents Breaking Out of the Bank Draft Web, and says, “The convenience of automatic bank drafts is soon forgotten when you struggle to stop the automatic payment.”

Sean Smarty from Grow Money presents Micro-Lending: How Not-For-Profit Investing Is Sweeping Across America.

NCN from No Credit Needed presents Structure and Freedom, and says, “These are the systems that we have put in place to help us manage our finances, get out of debt, and save money.”

Bob from Christian Personal Finance presents 3 Hotels Offering Summer Promotions For Free Nights, and says, “Most of the major hotel brands know that this is a prime travel and vacation time, so they’ve tried to help us out by offering some discounts to entice us to stay in their hotel brand. While there are a lot of current hotel discounts, below are some ways to get free hotel nights…”

Tom from Stupid Cents presents 401k Allocation, and says, “Want to improve your 401k allocation? Here is a look at a few of the more popular asset classes that available for 401k plans.”

Philip Taylor from PT Money Personal Finance presents Roth IRA Rules, and says, “Article discusses what a Roth IRA is, the advantages and disadvantages, rules for contributing, and why people should consider utilizing them.”

Outlaw from Outlaw Finance presents The Real Difference between Roth IRA and Traditional IRA, and says, “Looks at the Roth and the traditional IRA individually and then compares the two. ”

Frugal from TotallyMoney presents Are arts graduates being exploited?

Pat S from compounding returns presents Buy and Hold vs. Buy and Own Investing, and says, “Buy and hold is dead. Buy to own.”

Kevin Mulligan from RothIRA.com Retirement Planning Blog presents Should You Change Your Employer’s Automatic 401k Enrollment?, and says, “Many employers automatically enroll their employees to invest 3% of their salaries into the company 401k plan. But is that enough? Is it too much?”

Neal Frankle from Wealth Pilgrim presents Creating Wealth - Avoid These 3 Mistakes, and says, “If you’re interested in creating wealth it’s a good idea to study the people who achieved financial success. Of course it’s important to have a great entrepreneurial ideas. But it’s also important to learn from the people who had it and lost it. Here is one story that provide 3 invaluable lessons”

Meg from CreditDonkey presents How to Get Better Gas Mileage, and says, “With gas prices rising, let’s learn how to save money by getting better gas mileage.”

Damon Day from Damon Day & Associates presents Taxes on Debt Settlement, and says, “Consumers are typically confused about why they may be required to pay taxes on a debt they have forgiven. This article breaks it down for them and provides a logical explanation. ”

D4L from Dividend Growth Stocks presents 11 Higher Yielding, Lower Risk Stocks To Perk Up Your Dividend Income, and says, “If your goal is to accumulate wealth for a comfortable retirement, then there is no risk-free path. Throughout time every angle has been tried and failed. Inherently, individual stocks will carry higher risk due to the lack of diversification when evaluated on a stand-alone basis”

Squirrelers from Squirrelers presents First Job Lessons Learned, and says, “Many times it’s easy to dismiss first jobs, but we can often learn a lot of lessons from our experience”

Matt Bell from Matt About Money presents How to Be a Smart Organic Food Shopper, and says, “With the high cost of organic food, it can easily feel like you can either eat healthy or spend smart - not both. Here are some ideas for spending smart on organics.”

Shawanda Greene from You Have More Than You Think presents Money Lessons Learned from the NFL Lockout.

What do you mean the Next Long Weekend is Labour Day?!?!

These posts make us long for yet another long weekend, and soon! I guess we can burn some vacation days to enjoy them…

Adam from Rabbit Funds presents HOW TO: 6 Steps to starting a home business [Part 1], and says, “The purpose of this post is to give you a basic overview of how to go about starting a business.”

Shaun Connell from Retirement Blog presents How Much Do You Need to Retire?, and says, “A comprehensive guide for doing the math to figure out exactly how much you need to achieve your retirement dream. It’s probably less than you’d think.”

Sara Nunnally from Smart Investment Daily presents Black Swan Event: Will the S&P 500 Drop 40%?, and says, “Yesterday, the chief investment officer for Universa Investments predicted that the S&P 500 could drop 40% in the next couple of years. Smart Investment Daily editor Sara Nunnally explains how you can protect yourself and profit if this Black Swan event happens.”

Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Kinder Morgan Partners - One Company three ways to invest in it, and says, “Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. owns and manages energy transportation and storage assets. This master limited partnership has consistently increased distributions since 1997. There are three ways to invest in the partnership:”

PCC from Promo Code Center presents Why Buying Online is Better.

Clint from Accumulating Money presents How to Be a Stay-at-Home Investor, and says, “The good news is that it definitely is possible to become a stay at home investor. The bad news is that it won’t be easy and the odds that you’ll have the fabled four hour workweek are slim to none.”

Matt from Dividend Monk presents Dover Corporation Dividend Stock Analysis, and says, “Dover Corporation (DOV) is a collection of several businesses that develop engineered components and systems. All things considered, I find Dover to be a reasonable company to invest in at the current price. ”

Roger Wohlner from Chicago Financial Planner presents Investing is Not Sexy, and says, “In a recent post for US News Smarter Investor I said the following: “Sorry to disappoint, but investing is not sexy or trendy. It takes persistence, monitoring, and commitment.” I want to elaborate on this a bit here.2″

Jim from Bargaineering presents Visa Signature Perks.

Ken from Spruce Up Your Finances presents 9 Quick Facts About The Traditional IRA Contributions, and says, “Some facts you should know about when making a traditional IRA contribution”

Sun from The Sun’s Financial Diary presents The Fall Of Blockbuster: A Lesson On Keeping Your Business Model Current.

Wrap Up

Don’t forget to check out the Carnival of Personal Finance site, to see where the next Carnival is posted and such!

 

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Weekend Comment Wrap Up

Where are the Videos?

I ran out of videos that I could post that were of Personal Finance interest so I have decided to try out a review of the comments that I got this week, since I did seem to get a lot of comments about a few of my posts. All of the “How to run a Blog” documentation suggests the success of a Web Site can be reflected in the comments that the site receives, but I just like comments because many times that is where I get my best ideas for posts and such.

For CPI up Thanks to HST

Andy R. commented: “Just saw an Ontario HST charge on a parcel shipped to me in Alberta. Doesn’t seem right, but apparently everyone gets to share the pain and pay Ontario taxes now? CPI increases for all around, yeah!”

If you’d like Dalton McGinty’s mailing address I can supply it to you. I bet you can get that rebated if you filled in 6 forms and mailed each of them individually, but then again you will have spent more than your rebate doing this.

With Trust Only In Fire I was mostly fiddling around with video, and was surprised at the number of comments that I got:


Michael James said “It might be fun to shred and then burn. I’m guessing that shredded paper would burn incredibly quickly.”

AndyR chirped in with “The shredded paper does burn real quick. Shred and burn is better than just burning. If you don’t shred, burn AND stir, you soon find that even loose paper may not burn completely, leaving charred fragments that “THEY” may forensically reconstruct to rip you off. BTW, an open fireplace is so last millennium and quite energy inefficient. Install an air-tight unit, use a stainless steel pipe inside the old brick chimney, then you can slow cook those financial records, and scrub the soot yourself with the brush and pole kit from Canadian Tire. In the winter, we have few recyclables since they all get converted to BTUs.”

I’d like to point out I am nothing, if I am not old School, and as for using this as a methodology for heating my house, I waste more BTUs up my chimney burning this crap than I do getting any kind of heating benefit. Interesting comments though.

My Advice to Future University Students caused a flurry of responses (which just goes to show if you write about Teenage Drinking you can never go wrong). You should go over and read all the comments, but some of the more interesting ones are:

Elizabeth wrote a long tome outlining what you can do in first year to get involved, very useful.

Nancy (aka Money Coach) pointed out “…In retrospect though, I think I would have hung out more with some of the high achievers. It’s a way to start building a network and also pick up good habits and ways of engaging with the world…”,

Garrett commented “There were many mornings in University where I’d wished I’d taken that sage advice from your father!”, see sometimes free advice is worth something!”

Echo of Boomer and Echo Fame, did a thesis on using Gatorade in the equation, lots of useful commentary there.

I don’t condone Teenage drinking, I simply offer this as a service, but the Gatorade comments were an interesting twist on the advice (and at the time, Gatorade was not as prevalent as it is these days).

With RESP Wrinkles I managed to mix up the CESG and EAP and was told about it by a few folks.

Money Smarts Blog pointed out, “This is really interesting information - the government has always required financial institutions to verify enrolment when someone requests a withdrawal, so the fact that TD wasn’t doing that is a serious breach of the RESP promoter rules.”

Michael James added, “Just a few more wrinkles and RESPs will become deposit-only accounts.”

George pointed out my blundering with the wrong terms, but did point out “One thing to note, though - you should be able to make a withdrawal of your contributions to the RESP without ANY documentation regarding enrollment. The contributions are after-tax money and they are always ‘owned’ by the account contributor. You should be able to withdraw some of your contributions to cover the initial payments to the university, and then make an EAP withdrawal later on to pay for subsequent expenses.”

Personal Finance added,“I’m not surprised at all. This seems to work in every field. Just because few “knuckle heads” to quote you, took advantage of the system, now they screw the entire system. I often wonder if RESP is really the best. I have my kids money “in trust” founds. Is less headache and less government involvement and the boys will have a chance to do whatever they choose to.

Do you know how long is going to take until you will receive the money? Do universities charge you for their documentation? “

And Alex C chirped in with,“I’m surprised you never had to prove it before? I always had to get a Verification of Enrollment letter which cost me about $10 each year. (actually it was only $3 the first 2 years which then went up to $10, but that’s a gripe with the university not the RESP system).

Even bigger issues come if you don’t have the cash to cover the tuition prior to the RESP collection, which can often be a while after the tuition deadline. The same thing happens with student loans, in that you dont receive them till well after your tuition is due, causing students who already can’t afford school to incur excess fees and interest while they wait for their loans to arrive.”

All very good points, I think I should be allowed to take out the money I put in directly with no need for documentation, but needing it for the EAP portion (which includes the CESG and growth) makes some sense, but now the Universities are piling on by charging me to get a letter of Enrollment, so I am not too happy about all of that either.

OK Here is a Video

Yes, you have already seen my burning video, but this one is nice because anyone reading on an iPod can watch it as well (isn’t YouTube Great)

There may be a follow on video to this one, showing the whole methodology.

Carnivals this Past Week

I was mentioned in a few Carnivals too:

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Sometimes it Just Take a Long Time

All Long Journeys Need to Start

The trite statement that a journey of 1000 miles starts with a step, is kind of where I am coming from today. I am just finishing up Stephen King’s Under The Dome which is a very long book and a very long Book on CD as well (over 30 CD’s in length). I enjoyed the book (I listen to books on my drives to and from work), but it has taken a fair amount of time to get through all of the content, but it shows that no matter how big the task, as long as you keep working at it, it will eventually end.

Many times a lot of Personal Finance goals seem much like Sisyphus’ tasks (constant and very pointless), but unlike laundry and taking out the garbage (those tasks I do count in the Sisyphean task), if you are trying to pay off a debt and you keep at it, it will eventually go away (as long as your plan to pay it off is sensible).

Sysiphus and Personal Finance

Sisyphus and Personal Finance

What types of Personal Finance tasks do I lump into the Sisyphean Challenges list?

  • Paying off Credit Card Debt
  • Paying back relatives you have borrowed money from
  • University Loan pay back
  • Paying off your Mortgage
  • Building up enough in your RRSP to be able to retire

You get the flavour of what I am talking about, the type of task that unless you had a huge amount of money appear in your lap, it is going to take more than 3 years to complete your task.

My only advice or comment can be, it is up to you to keep up the challenge you have put before yourself, but if you keep plodding along and following your plan, you will eventually succeed.

My next book for commuting is going to be Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol yes, I figure I’ll be lucky to be nearly finished it by the time that Labour Day rolls around, but not starting it means I’ll never finish it either.

 

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