Carnival of Personal Finance: The March Break Edition

Welcome to the Carnival of Personal Finance #299 (so close to 300!!)

Take a load off and take a break.

EDITOR’S PICKS

I tried to keep it to 10 but I couldn’t.

The submissions were too good!!

  1. Being shy about how much I make (Little Miss Money Bags)
  2. How to fix America (Red Stapler Chronicles)
  3. Outrageous Outsourcing (Money Thinking)
  4. Choosing Foreclosure to be a Stay-at-Home Mom (Cash Money Life)
  5. Do you really want to be your own boss? (Passive Income Now)
  6. Pros and cons to being an employee (Green Panda)
  7. Money Success (Millionaire Nurse Blog)
  8. There is no “best”! ( Grumpy rumblings of the untenured)
  9. How misplaced financial priorities lead to lame excuses (Len Penzo)
  10. How not to retire by 40: Emergency Funds (Aloysa’s Kitchen Sink)
  11. What I learned from a conversation with Warren Buffett (GenWealth)
  12. Paying off your mortgage is like working a second job (Money Reasons)
  13. 10 Bizarre Signs of a Recovering Economy (Christian PF)
  14. Measure what matters (Free Money Finance)
  15. Generation Y Ninja Skills: The Power of Asking (Money Cactus)

Plug! Plug!

FruGal actually submitted a guest post written by yours truly :) on how minimalism improved my finances.

BUDGETING

Apparently it isn’t uncommon for those under 29 such as myself to have recession lessons make a lasting impact on finances (The Wisdom Journal) budgeting has become second nature and one of the methods is trickle down budgeting (Moolanomy).

We do things like check grocery sale cycles (Living richly on a budget) and learn how to save on airline tickets (Credit Donkey).

As a result, this is what we can learn from the financial crisis (The Financial Blogger) and here’s how much we should save a year(Oblivious Investor).

If you’re new to budgeting, you might want to check out some envelope budgeting software if that’s your thing (One Money Design) or the review of the USAA iPad Application (The Military Wallet).

You could always try to bring in more green by getting paid for your mad skills (Minting Nickels), or trying out these small business ideas (Experiments in Finance) and passive income ideas (Money Crush) and break free of the debt myth (Pay Off Debt).

If you are starting to feel the pinch of those cellphone bills, check out an overview of which family cell phone comes out on top (Dough Roller).

PURCHASES

Historical gas prices and money saving tips, we are paying $2/gallon than we did 20 years ago (Squirrelers).

Buying a door? Check out the breadth of door options (Funny about Money) and how to save when using disposable diapers (Money Beagle).

Or are you one of those who hide your spending from your spouse (Budgeting in the Fun Stuff)?

If you are in the market for insurance, whole life insurance might not be what it seems (Small Biz Big Dreams), and you might just be scared straight for finances one day (Big Cajun Man).

TAXES

The Tax Man cometh (Sustainable Life Blog) and you shouldn’t miss these 10 common tax deductions (Debt Free Adventure).

How about checking out reviews of the Turbo Tax software here (Canadian Finance Blog) and here (My Dollar Plan)?

I’m thinking of moving to Texas, so learning things like what a Form W-2 is (Bargaineering) would be handy.

If you’ve just gotten hitched hopefully you had a discussion before getting married (Clarity) and communicating with your spouse (Net Worth Journey); if not, here are some post honeymoon tax tips (Growing Money) and perhaps you might want to make a note about things to teach your kids about money (Live Real Now) and start thinking about how to take cheaper vacations (Moneyed Up).

INVESTING

I’ve been looking at dabbling in stocks lately and taking some advice from top financial advisors (Saving to Inve$t) and learning what my investing style is (The Dividend Guy).

Perhaps SIRIUS is the stock to buy (Hedge Honcho) and Netflix should be avoided (Intelligent Speculator), but precious metals considered (Learn Gold Coins)?

I could always read up on how to buy ETFs free of comissions (Personal Finance Reviews) or at least consider that management expense ratios (MER)s may not be the be-all and end-all (Retire Happy Blog).

Remember that investing experts may not be ethical (Sustainable Personal Finance) but let’s not forget the power of compounding interest (Compounding Returns).

If you’ve gone over the 6 considerations of where to invest (Do not wait), and you have saved enough to get a think about where to invest your money next (Think Your Way to Wealth) don’t forget about researching which retirement vehicle is the best one for you (Compounding Returns), even if you have a  fear of financial markets (Modern Gal).

That said, if you look at these 11 dividend stocks to make you wealthy (Dividends Value) and pick great dividend stocks using criteria (Dividend Growth Investor)don’t forget to claim dividends on your taxes (Dividend Stocks Online).

CREDIT CARDS & DEBT

When your birthday comes around, watch out for those “birthday gifts” from retailers (Diva in Debt) and start confronting those skeletons in your closet (Soldier of Finance).

I may be debt averse especially when it comes to stupid things we do with credit cards (Money Walks), such as pay for balance fees that can take a bite out of your wallet even with 0% interest rates (Smart Balance Transfers).

As always, be wary of credit card companies skirting the law (Wallet Blog) and striking back against new laws (Clear Choice Credit Card Blog).

Even if you are careful with your money and you use your credit card but pay it faithfully every month it becomes a cost for other credit card users to bear (Credit Eh), but is it really a good idea for credit card markets to ease up (Free from Broke)?

MORTGAGES & LOANS

What is a home equity loan versus a home equity line of credit (Good Financial Cents)?

If you want to turn it into an investing machine, maybe you should read about when it makes sense to refinance for cash flow (Mighty Bargain Hunter) or perhaps if you have to sell ASAP, you might want to check out the psychology of selling the house at a loss (Consumerism Commentary).

I did however own a student loan to the tune of $60,000 and sometimes I wondered how much student debt was okay (The Financial Student) but chasing bank interest rates could be a waste of time (Studeconomics).

As my car gets older I have to think of a replacement, so I’m asking myself what is the best kind of auto insurance (Personal Cents) and I am watching out for scams in Vacation Rental Homes (Wealth Informatics).

RETIREMENT

Ever wonder how to evaluate if you are ready for retirement (The Consumer Boomer)? You could also have a tax-free retirement (Qwoter)!

And thus ends your personal finance ‘break’.

Have an awesome week!

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About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.