Welcome to the March 16, 2012 Money Management Edition #228 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.
The Carnival of Financial Planning focuses 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
Budgeting and Economics
Lazy Man presents A Tale of Two Buffetts posted at Lazy Man and Money, saying, “Even if the person making $50,000 in taxable income isn’t paying 25%, it still seems wrong that billionaires can pay 15% on dozens of millions of dollars and an average Joe (not necessarily Joe the Plumber) is paying 17% on his ordinary income. That’s a raw deal and it isn’t going unnoticed.”
D.J. presents Tips for Getting Your Household Budget Under Control posted at The Family Wallet, saying, “Carefully monitoring your spending allows you to save money for retirement, your kids education, and any other goals you may have. Setting up a budget is not as difficult as it sounds. All you have to do is list and prioritize. It may not be the worlds most exciting activity, but its quick and painless.
Jason presents Cooking Poor posted at Live Real, Now, saying, “Frugal cooking can be an intimidating concept. Its easy to turn a meal into a huge expense, but its not that hard to trim your grocery budget without sacrificing variety and flavor. It just takes some planning and a few money-saving techniques. We usually feed our family of five, often with guests, for about $100 per week.
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.”
Sustainable PF presents Would You Buy an Engagement Ring at a Pawn Shop? posted at Sustainable Personal Finance, saying, “Do you risk getting your sweetheart pawn shop jewellery to save a few bucks? First, the pros:
Matt presents The Cost of Gas: Who to Blame and What To Do About It posted at RamblingFever Money, saying, “People love to save money and people hate that they are forced to pay high prices for gas. Its a necessary evil that everybody has to put up with. Who is to blame for the high prices and what can you do about it?
101 Centavos presents Investing in Farmland posted at 101 Centavos, saying, “So the world is running out of food, water and natural resources. We’re all gonna die. Eventually, sure. But not just yet. In the meantime, the land gets mor scarce.
Ashley presents How Has Your Childhood Affected Your Money Habits? posted at Money Talks Coaching, saying, “Think back on your childhood and choose one word to describe the feelings you had about money as a child.
FG presents Should You Worry About Gold Confiscation? posted at Financial God, saying, “Are you worried about the government coming in and outlawing private gold possession again? After all, it wouldnt be the first time they had done so the same was done by the FDR government, back in the Great Depression.
A Blinkin presents The Rule of 100 posted at Funancials, saying, “Who doesnt love rules of thumb? They are typically an oversimplified solution to a complex question. The only problem with them is that everyone is different. Its difficult to dish out such broad applications to such unique situations. There is one rule of thumb that I do like. Its the rule of 100.
Daisy presents Financial Protection: Pretending You’re Broke posted at Add Vodka, saying, “Protecting yourself financially by pretending you have no money, even if you do
Jester presents How Much Time Do You Waste? posted at The Ultimate Juggle, saying, “Find out the two biggest places that people waste their time and what you can do to avoid it.
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. ”
Kevin presents Michigan Gives Food Stamps to Lottery Winner posted at Thousandaire, saying, “The state of Michigan is giving food stamps to Amanda Clayton, the winner of a $1 million lottery prize. Blame Michigan for this blunder, not Amanda.
Amanda L Grossman presents Procrastination has Actually Paid Off: Refinancing Our Mortgage posted at Frugal Confessions, saying, “I cannot think of many examples where procrastination has paid off in either my life or in someone elses life.
PFP presents Asset Allocation, Investment Asset Tax Location, and Emergency Cash Management posted at Pasadena Financial Planner , saying, ” As you move your cash, bond, and stock financial assets into lower cost, more broadly diversified investment mutual funds and/or ETFs, you should also consider how to “locate” your investment asset allocation with respect to more optimal taxation. ”
Savvy Scot presents The Thailand Wedding – The Finances Explained posted at Savvy Scot, saying, “This post details the costs behind having a wedding in Thailand. It is more affordable than you might think!
Erika presents How to make money as a mystery shopper posted at Newlyweds on a Budget, saying, “Mystery Shopping has a lot of perks. It may not be a lot of pay, but you can get free groceries, oil changes, restaurant meals and more!
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. ”
Daniel presents What March Madness Has In Common With Choosing Investments posted at Sweating the Big Stuff, saying, “It’s march madness time! Who doesn’t love this time of the year? Avoid these pitfalls in picking your investments and these bracket busters!
Tushar presents How To Activate Your Score Gains Thinking posted at Start Investing Money, saying, “Youll never score a goal if you arent charging for the end zone.
Linsey presents Where Can I Find Work at Home Freelance Jobs posted at 1099 Mom, saying, “Many of the really good jobs freelance jobs don’t come from boards. Most of my best clients come from referrals, word-of-mouth, or from networking with past clients at their new companies. I did, however, have to start from square one, with a job board. Here are some of the best places to look
Analytical Planner presents Job Search 12 Steps to Getting a Job: From SAHM to Working Mom posted at Planning Makes Cents, saying, “Personal Finance is more than just money. That’s why it’s important to to choose the right job for the sake of your family. In this article, I write about 12 steps I’m going to take to find the right job and go from a SAHM to a working mom.
Insurance and Risk
Teacherman presents Does EI Inhibit the Overall Economy? posted at Canadian Finance Blog, saying, “Artificial stability that Employment Insurance (EI) brought to borderline-sustainable areas prevented the natural supply-and-demand from bringing workers to western Canada.
Sarah presents Lifetime trade-offs between investment portfolio risk and investment returns posted at Do-It-Yourself Financial Planning , saying, ” When making personal finance and retirement planning decisions, individuals must confront the dilemma that, historically, more conservative portfolio investments have yielded substantially lower investment returns than the returns that riskier investments have delivered. With either lower or higher risk-adjusted market return strategies, you simply cannot have your financial cake and you eat it too. ”
Darwin presents Internal Rate of Return Equation Reviewed posted at Darwin’s Money, saying, “Here’s a primer on how to calculate the Internal Rate of Return in excel, which is a great tool that everyone should understand.
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. ”
Teacher Man presents RRSP Contributions vs Paying Off Credit Card posted at My University Money, saying, “After the seasonal marketing push for RRSP contributions that we recently seen exert its pressures the last few weeks, it struck me just how single-minded the whole thing seemed to be.
Dan presents 5 Lowest Cost ETFs on Earth posted at ETF Base, saying, “Want to know what the 5 lowest cost ETFs on Earth are Come check them out, since cost matters more than strategy when it comes to passive investing.
William presents Inferior Mutual Fund Performance posted at Best No Load Funds , saying, ” Screen out inferior mutual fund performance — but only after using other ETF and mutual fund selection criteria. Superior or even average mutual fund performance in the past simply does not predict similar fund performance in the future. ”
J.P. presents Beware: ETFs Should Come With A Warning Label posted at Novel Investor, saying, “The continued growth of ETFs isnt going to stop anytime soon. Now anyone can be a trader for a day and the growing number of exotic and specialized ETFs just makes it easier. There in lies the dilemma.
Darrow Kirkpatrick presents An Early Warning System for Your Investment Portfolio posted at Can I Retire Yet?, saying, “Every investor’s worst nightmare is checking their portfolio one morning and finding it’s worth much less than they thought. In my experience, that usually happens due to a lack of diversification. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a simple system in place that could tell you if you’re veering off track?
Jack Parker presents Top No Load 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?”
Barbara Friedberg presents MBA lecture recap: How to benefit from cyclical investment markets posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance, saying, “This article answers the following questions and more for investors. Where are the stock market returns of 9%? What happened during the first decade of the new millennium to change the market returns and interest rates?
Ryan presents Is It Better to Bank With a Credit Union? posted at Early Retirement Investments, saying, “So is it better to bank with a credit union? Read what I think and why!
Don presents American Debt Levels Back on The Rise posted at MoneySmartGuides, saying, “The New York Post recently posted a story about Americans deb levels. After the financial meltdown of 2008, Americans were on a tear paying down their debt levels and saving money. Sadly, the trend looks as though it is ending
Liana presents March Madness Credit Card Matchup posted at Card Hub, saying, “With the recent release of Federal statistics that summarize the national consumer credit card debt for 2011, you know basketball isn’t the only game in town! Find out how top credit cards stack up in a “March Madness tournament (evaluation) of cards used for varying financial planning purposes.
Ben Feldman presents Is Debt Consolidation a Good Idea posted at ReadyForZero Blog, saying, “People often get confused by what Debt Consolidation is and whether it’s the right choice for them as far as Debt Relief is concerned. In this article, we outline the different types of consolidations as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Dana presents Getting Started With a Good Credit Rating posted at Caffeinated Finance, saying, “While most people realize that they are rated financially by way of a credit report, many may not know just how important this report, along with its corresponding credit score, can be in terms of obtaining loans and other credit, approval for long-term contracts that require payments, and even in securing employment.
Scott Skyles presents FHA Loan Requirements After Bankruptcy posted at Mortgage 1A, saying, “Unfortunately, many people have struggled due to economical conditions that were out of their control and forced into bankruptcy. The good news is that in as little as 2 years from the discharge date (not the date you filed bankruptcy) of your chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can apply for a FHA home loan and you only have to wait just one year after a chapter 13.
Marie presents Tips for Paying Off Your Mortgage Faster posted at Money Spending Mommy, saying, “Throughout the first few years of your mortgage, the majority of your payment will go towards interest. These tips can help you avoid the interest-trap and work towards living the mortgage-free life you deserve:
Evan presents Our House Is on the Market posted at My Journey to Millions, saying, “It was about a week ago that we put our house on the market. I never really understood peoples fascinations with their home insofar as I just looked at is as an asset (or liability) if it costs too much to hold on to you just sell it. If the home no longer meets your needs you sell it. That has all changed for me recently.
SB presents IRA vs. 401K Should You Rollover posted at One Cent at a Time, saying, “Should I leave my money where it is or should I roll it over to Individual Retirement Account? Read more to find out what you should do to maximize benefit.
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.”
Jim Yih presents Financial Planning is a road map to financial freedom posted at Retire Happy Blog, saying, “Financial planning is a broad, generic term that means different things to different people. There are 12 key areas as you plan for financial freedom.
MMD presents A Better Way to See If Youll Run Out of Money During Retirement posted at MyMoneyDesign, saying, “Want the most realistic simulation possible for figuring out if youll run out of money in retirement Try a Monte Carlo simulation using random numbers to simulate the future market performance. Download my Excel worksheet to test your withdrawal rate and see how your balance will do!
Whitney presents Retirement Savings Worksheets posted at Retirement Savings, saying, “While personal wealth should measure current financial investments and other salable assets, it should also measure your ability to sustain your household budget, build up your investment portfolio, and weather potential financial risk and misfortune across your lifetime.”
Adam presents How to Stop Yourself Dipping in Your Savings | Saving Lessons from Up posted at Magical Penny, saying, “Whilst a strong mindset is the most important thing, here are some things that helped me grow my Emergency Fund.
TSI presents Personal earnings, expenditures, and savings determine wealth posted at The Skilled Investor , saying, ” How much you earn, spend, budget, and save are by far the most dominant determinants of your long-term financial well-being. Self-control in your financial decision-making regarding budgeting and consumption is far more important than clever investing. ”
Jeffrey Strain presents 11 Ways to Save Money While Skiing posted at The Frugal Toad, saying, “Whether you ski locally or abroad, saving a few dollars while youre doing it might help you enjoy more trips per year and have a better time while youre there. Heres a list of several ways to keep costs down when you go. Hopefully youll find one or two you havent thought of.
Dee presents Best Uses For A Tax Refund posted at Money Sprinkles, saying, “Are you eagerly awaiting your tax refund? Do you know what you are going to do with the money you receive? Chances are, if you dont decide how to use your tax refund before it arrives, itll be gone before you know it. Most financial advisors offer the same advice: use it to pay off your credit card debt or build your savings account.
Philip Taylor presents Giving a Car as a Gift and the Gift Tax Exclusion posted at PT Money Personal Finance, saying, “PT answers a reader’s question about tax incentives for giving a car to a relative.
Justin presents It’s Tax Time Again posted at Budget Snob, saying, “Its great to get tax refunds, but wouldnt it make more sense to actually get your money when you earn it Heres an easy tip to use to avoid giving The Man too much on pay day:
Monroe presents Evaluating Roth IRA Conversions posted at Do-It-Yourself Financial Planning , saying, ” This article could help you to make a more informed decision about your family’s Roth investment strategy. Key to you making a better decision about your lifetime Roth account contribution and asset conversion strategy is the need for a sophisticated financial planning software tool. ”
Corey presents Pay off Your Student Loans posted at 20s Finances, saying, “Whether you read through magazines or listen to personal finance experts, they all say the same thing: there is no rush to pay off your student loans. They will cite reasons such as tax-deductible interest and higher returns on your money by investing. I disagree with both. You should pay off your student loans as quickly as possible.
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