Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #227

Best Personal Financial Planning and Personal Investment Articles this Week from Personal Finance Blogs

Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #227

Carnival of Financial Planning - Edition #227Welcome to the March 9, 2012 Edition #227 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.

The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.

This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.


The Skilled Investor, Editor

Note from Forest: It’s 23:30 right now and I am just back from a long day out walking down to a town south of Auckland. I have only been here a month and am still getting to know the city and it’s surroundings. It’s expensive here and now more than ever I am finding it important to keep my finances in order. Keeping up with ideas to help me do that is essential and this is exactly why carnivals like the CoFP are great resources for us all. I must say I did well today. I was in the town of Manukah to save some cash and see a new area. I purchased some great Indian foods from a spice store and had some drinks and food in an Irish bar. In both cases using 50% of Groupon’s, a serious saving in both areas.

Ok, on with the carnival, thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who submitted. Please spread the post by using the social buttons to the left and feel free to leave any comments.

Forest parks, Today’s Host

Budgeting and Economics

Linsey presents Small Business and Your Credit Score posted at 1099 Mom, saying, “With so many companies offering to show you a free credit score, it may be confusing to know the importance of it. If you are a small business owner who is in the start up phase, or one who may need to expand your business soon, it’s an important thing to understand.”

Miss T. presents Learn How to Eat Healthy on a Budget posted at Prairie Eco Thrifter, saying, “More people would eat organic if it didnt come with such a high price. This doesnt have to be the case. Here is a list of foods that you dont have to buy organic (some people refer to it as the clean 15) as they are not heavily sprayed with pesticides making them healthier options.”

Little House presents The Minimalist’s Guide to Debt posted at Little House in the Valley, saying, “You might think the minimalist lifestyle sounds empty, boring even unexciting but is it boring or empty to be completely debt free What about having a savings account that you could be proud of How about leaving your family with memories instead of clutter and a house full of things that dont really matter”

Eddie presents Do You Budget posted at Finance Fox, saying, “Prior to budgeting I spent money I didn’t have because I didn’t want to feel deprived of anything. I wanted to experience life to the max. I always found a way to justify the purchase to myself, and bought whatever I wanted in the end. Obviously I didn’t think about the repercussions and after years of being in debt I woke up and realized the mess I had created.”

FG presents Why are Manufacturing Jobs Leaving the US posted at Financial God, saying, “There’s a neat post on just why manufacturing has been leaving the U.S. to other countries in drove. Why is this Is it cause of wages High costs Perhaps excessive regulation and cronyism has something to do with it.”

David presents An Illustrated History of Wired Capital Markets posted at History of Wall Street , saying, ” Looking into the workings of modern securities markets is like looking under the hood of a Prius hybrid car. There are so many complex and obscure parts it’s hard to discern what’s going on. History repeats and informs in market technologies. From the days when front-running involved actual running to the “Victorian Internet era” brought on by telegraphy, we can learn a great deal from looking back at a simpler era. ”

Financial Planning

Daniel presents Gas Prices are Skyrocketing. How High Will They Go posted at Sweating the Big Stuff, saying, “The cost of gas has gone through the roof. I saw gas at nearly $4.50 last week. in Los Angeles. What will gas prices look like this summer for you”

Tushar presents The Golden Rule of Smart Investing: Pay Yourself First posted at Start Investing Money, saying, “It is incredible how many people live from paycheck to paycheck. It might be the way of millions of people, but it isn’t the smart way. It certainly doesn’t make life easy when it comes to investing for your future. If you put everyone and everything else first financially, you won’t have any money left by the end of each month to invest in something for you. Get smart pay yourself first!”

Stephen Vanderpool presents NerdWallets Top 10 Personal Finance Apps posted at NerdWallet, saying, “With personal finance apps tailored for every conceivable need and purpose flooding the market, smartphone users have no excuse for losing track of money. Within a single handheld device, you now have access to an entire team of robot analysts and advisors programmed for the sole purpose of keeping your wallet in check. Weve chosen a few of our favorite finance apps that make money management a little more convenient.”

Sandy presents Get Out of Debt in 2012: The Debt Snowball and Snowflakes Methods posted at Yes, I Am Cheap, saying, “The Debt Snowball and Snowflakes Methods”

Larry presents ID theft protection posted at Personal Financial Planner, saying, “As a threat to your financial security, you should take the potential for identity theft very seriously. Identity theft sometimes entails a loss of your money, but whether or not you lose money, it can take a very large amount of your time to rectify.”

Dave presents Passive Investing – Active Investing – Alpha Returns posted at Wall Street Nerds , saying, ” The Old Testament of indexing is Burton Malkiel’s classic A Random Walk Down Wall Street, first published in 1973 by W.W. Norton and now in its ninth edition. For typical individual investors, without special access to information, it offers what is likely the best financial advice they will ever get: It is hard to consistently beat the market, especially after fees. A passive strategy will do better in the long run. ”

Corey presents 5 Inflation Survival Tips That Will Save You Money posted at Steadfast Finances, saying, “Learn about 5 inflation survival tips that will help you save money.”

Walter presents Best Bond Funds posted at Fixed Income Investing, saying, “The bond investment fund market is no place for an individual investor to try to beat the market and get higher returns through attempts at clever fixed income investing. Even professional bond market money managers do not beat the bond market.”

KT presents Why We Decided Not to Buy a House…. posted at Personal Finance Journey, saying, “Many people think that homeownership is the American dream, but I disagree. I’m a proud renter, and it’s not that I can’t afford a house I can actually afford a really nice, big house. I just choose to rent a nice big house instead. Here’s why…”

Financing a Home

Lazy Man presents A Decision to Buy Into a Time Share posted at Lazy Man and Money, saying, “A couple of days ago, I gave some details about our Maui vacation. However, one point that I glossed over was that my wife and I own a timeshare. Yep, one of those things that the financial professionals tell you never to buy. The back-story to how the timeshare came into our lives, but I think its an interesting story and I hope that someone will learn something.”

Kevin presents Why I Live in a Condo (and Not a House) posted at Invest It Wisely, saying, “I have written a lot about our first home together, and also about living in a condo versus living in a house. After living in a condo for more than a year, I thought it would be fun to go over the major advantages and disadvantages, and recap just how its gone for us so far”

Suba presents 5 Things to Consider Before Deciding To Pay off Debt or Invest posted at Broke Professionals, saying, “Owning a home with a white picket fence is beginning to cost more than we expected, not to mention consumerism that is brainwashing us to get the latest deal on a gadget we don’t even need. Because of the way society is shaped, many of us end up in loans we never would have gotten into if it wasn’t for the normalcy we attribute to it.”

Kyle presents How to Buy Your First Rental Property posted at The Penny Hoarder, saying, “Buying an investment property is a big deal. It is a huge asset for most individuals, and it requires work. Many individuals actually view owning a rental property as being more similar to a small business than an investment, because it involves tenants customers and vendors.”

Financing Education

LaTisha presents The Hierarchy of Financial Aid posted at Financial Success for Young Adults, saying, “Financial aid packages such as grants, scholarships and work-study are considered \free\ money that does not have to be repaid. Learn about money for college.”

John presents Learning about personal finance and investing posted at Personal Financial Planning , saying, ” I have reached the conclusion that 99+% of the financial information that is easily available through the media and the Internet is: self-interested and biased, superficial and non-implementable, historical in nature or just current “noise” reporting without any actionable utility, and/or poorly researched, just plain wrong or unmitigated rubbish. ”

Financing Healthcare

Super Frugalette presents How Much Will You Pay for “Free Contraception” posted at Super Frugalette, saying, “What is a moral issue for Catholics could end up becoming one of the largest economic issues in recent years. Hence, you will receive free contraception under the Obama mandate. However, the trade off may include having to pay a higher insurance premium or no longer having a job if you work at a Catholic hospital. Both of these options are far costlier than paying for contraception.”


Mike presents If You Cant Buyem, Buildem! posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “How you can build a new site.”

Karl presents Lifestyle trade-offs Hurray for diabetes posted at CultOfMoney, saying, “It was a conscience choice to change both my lifestyle and career path. Some people love to travel and can do it forever, some people burn out after a year or two. The benefits are nice. First class upgrades all the time, no fees, premium salary, eating at nice restaurants. But do realize you are making trade-off all the time, and your employment is not different. Start making choices that lead you to live the life you want, have a plan and execute on that plan to achieve your desires.”


Martin presents Whats The Best Bank Account For Freelancers posted at Studenomics, saying, “Where do freelancers keep their money”

Div Guy presents Underperforming stocks when you should sell posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “Time to ditch those stocks.”

Frank Pinter presents No Load Bond Funds posted at Lowest Cost Bond Funds, saying, “Investment research overwhelmingly shows that lower cost fixed income funds tend to yield higher bond investing returns.”

Investor Junkie presents Best Margin Rates posted at Investor Junkie, saying, “Using margin can be a powerful tool, if used carefully. Though finding out which stock broker has the lowest margin rate can be time consuming. Weve collected the most popular brokers, and list the best margin rates at various deposit amounts.”

Dan presents Tracking Error Explained posted at ETF Base, saying, “There’s a hidden killer in your portfolio you probably don’t even know about (and it’s not fees). Find out how to avoid being duped.”

Jack Parker presents Top NoLoad Funds posted at Preferred Investment Funds, saying, “Some mutual funds and ETFs must be better than others, but which ones are they? How can you tell before the fact?”

FMF presents The Key to Great Investment Returns posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Here’s a piece from Smart Money that profiles what they call 401k Millionaires — people who have managed to save $1 million or more in their 401ks.”

Darwin presents Is Apple stock a better investment than a house posted at Darwin’s Money , saying, “Is Apple stock a better investment than a house According to front page news on CNBC it is; I say highsight’s 20/20.”

Managing Credit and Debt

Everything Finance presents 2 Easy Ways to Save Money and Pay Off Debt posted at Everything Finance, saying, “Theres always an excuse for not saving money or paying off debt. But saving money and paying off debt doesnt have to be extremely difficult or arduous. There are two very easy and simple ways to save money and pay off debt.”

Lisa presents Your Credit Score: Priceless posted at Thriftability, saying, “Confused about the differences in your credit score and your credit report Trying to build credit or repair damaged credit Weve assembled an overview of what goes into these important metrics, to help explain why maintaining good credit is important.”

Kevin presents My Girlfriend Signed Up for PerkStreet posted at Thousandaire, saying, “The PerkStreet Rewards Checking Account is a great way to earn rewards for debit card purchases, and doesn’t charge a monthly fee. It’s a great account.”

Dana presents 8 Reasons Why You Should Not Transfer Your Student Loan Debt to a Credit Card posted at Not Made of Money, saying, “The average American college student graduates from college with $25,000 in student loan debt according to CNN. That student loan debt can be repaid in 10 to 20 years. Often, if you stretch it out over 20 years you may have a more manageable monthly payment, but you will spend nearly as much on interest as on the loan itself.”


Aloysa presents Do You Know Why You Spend Money posted at My Broken Coin, saying, “If you think that shopaholics want to go shopping all the time, you are wrong. The urges to run to the blissful place that I call The Mall come and go in waves. Usually it happens on days when I am stressed and feel vulnerable. Here is a list of reasons we spend money.”

DJL presents Financial Nerds Gone Wild – Global Markets in Distress posted at Nerds on Wall Street , saying, ” Stock markets are almost perfectly transparent, with full information available to all, and the best electronic clearing and settlement in history. These technologies were omitted in building the skyscraper of cards (“house of cards” seems too mild) out of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), credit default swaps (CDSs), synthetic collateralized debt obligations (SCDOs), and the rest. ”

krantcents presents The 3 G’s of Success posted at KrantCents, saying, “The 3 G’s of Success is the Seventh in a series of articles to help you reach your goal. What are your goals I know you thought about it! You know, it is your dream, wish or resolution you made! Before you can get to where you want to be, you need to know where you have been.”

TSI presents Where’s Waldo? – The illusion of superior professional mutual fund manager performance. posted at Skilled Investor Blog , saying, ” If investment mutual fund managers were truly skilled at beating the market, then you would expect mutual fund manager performance prowess to persist over time. Unfortunately, the evidence indicates that superior past professional performance among mutual fund managers tends not to persist. Past superior mutual fund performance is simply not a predictor of future superior mutual fund performance. ”

Brock presents Best Retirement Calculators posted at IRA Account Investment, saying, “Whether or not to make investments into “traditional” tax-advantaged employer accounts and IRAs versus investing in “Roth” tax-advantaged employer accounts and personal IRAs is never a straightforward nor simple financial planning decision.”

Crystal presents Spent $1000 in 24 hours, Ouch! posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, saying, “We bought a new desk, a new office chair, and a new tablet Asus Transformer.”

Retirement Planning

Jon the Saver presents Top 10 Dream Retirement Locations on the Cheap posted at Free Money Wisdom, saying, “Retiring in a tropical paradise doesn’t have to cost much. Check out these top ten retirement locations that will leave your wallet alone.”

Ryan presents Finding Money for Retirement When Your Paycheck is Small posted at Early Retirement Investments, saying, “Why Your Children Should Open a Roth IRA at Age 18″

Ken Faulkenberry presents Two Simple Investment Concepts for Retirement Investing – Most Investors Fail at Least One of These posted at AAAMP Blog, saying, “Most people fail to meet their retirement goals because they fail these two simple investment concepts: Invest your money and don’t lose your money.”

Mike presents Does it Make Sense to Work Past 65 posted at Do Not Wait, saying, “How long do you plan on working”

Frank Knowles presents S&P 500 Funds posted at Best Large Cap Funds, saying, “The no load index fund strategy of the Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund tracks the S and P 500 stock index. This no load index fund was listed as one of the top 25 lowest cost index mutual funds in a research study.”

Risk Management and Insurance

Larry presents Investment risk tolerance posted at Independent Financial Planner , saying, ” Individual investors with different levels of investment risk tolerance for financial risks tend to be more satisfied with risk management strategies, which are better aligned with their financial risk and return profile. ”

Evan presents Life Insurance Payback Rider posted at Smart Wealth, saying, “I recently learned of a payback rider on the life insurance policy; you are able to recover ALL the money you put into the policy if you are still alive at the end, only kicker is that it is about $22 a month more expensive.”


Nathan presents A Five Minute Guide to Estimate Emergency Living Expenses posted at Everyday Money Info, saying, “This is a quick-and-dirty way to estimate what x-number of months of emergency savings actually means ”

Marie presents How to Furnish a Baby’s Nursery on a Budget posted at Money Spending Mommy, saying, “In todays economy, many parents are shopping around for less expensive baby furniture to help offset the costs associated with the introduction of a new infant into the family. Here are some cost-cutting tips for finding good deals on nursery furniture.”

A Blinkin presents I Love Bank of America And Their New Fee Schedule posted at Funancials, saying, “When you read this title you probably thought I was being sarcastic, but I wasn’t. I know a lot of America is outraged over Bank of America’s announcement this morning to revise their fee schedule, but I’m not jumping on the bashing bandwagon. I happen to love what they’re doing.”

John presents BP Makes a Mess of Its Credit Card posted at Wallet Blog, saying, “If you’re trying to save at the pump by using a gas rewards card, this isn’t the way to go. As if BP didn’t have enough PR problems, changes in the BP Credit Card rewards program create a card not worth having. An oil spill and now a rewards card that gives the customer virtually nothing Will they be able to plug this customer retention leak in time”

Financial Freedom presents Savings and Withdrawal Rates posted at My Financial Freedom Plan , saying, ” Understand how your current savings rate and retirement withdrawal rate would affect all of your lifetime personal financial planning goals ”

Colin Williams presents How To Value Frequent Flyer Miles Cash Or Fly posted at humble savers, saying, “Frequent Flyer miles programs can be difficult to understand and we all seek ways to get a free flight. However, are you better off cashing your free miles (points) in for a gift card instead This post includes a free calculator to help you decide.”


FMF presents Roth IRA Conversion 2012: Are You a Good Candidate posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “A tax tsunami is coming at the end of this year. And this is the absolutely last chance for a massive Roth conversion. Two years ago the Bush tax cuts were extended for two years. But the snooze button is running out, and this time the likelihood of another extension is slim. You have just 10 more months to do a Roth conversion under these lower tax rates and move your money to where it will never be taxed again.”

Steve presents A Tax on ALL Sinners posted at Money Infant, saying, “A sin tax a regressive tax that is levied on items considered to be vices such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling. These taxes can also be called a sumptuary tax.”

Paul Tabbet presents Retirement Software posted at Tax Planning Worksheets, saying, “Retirement planning software should automate the development of lifetime projections that incorporate tax laws and rules associated with tax-advantaged retirement investment incentive programs such as traditional IRA, Roth, 401k, 403b, SEP, Keogh, and other retirement plans.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Financial Planning using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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