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Carnival of Financial Planning – Keepin’ It Real Edition #237

May 18, 2012
Personal Finance
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Welcome to the May 18, 2012 Edition #237 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 week, you’ll find true-to-life advice for budgeting, buying a house, improving your credit score, and much more. We’ve got everything you need to keep it real in the money management department.

Without further ado, here are this week’s best personal financial planning and personal investment articles from the top personal finance blogs. This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.

Enjoy!

The Skilled Investor, Editor

Budgeting and Economics

Earth and Money presents Planning a Green Frugal Wedding – Guests posted at Earth and Money, saying, “At most weddings, there is a fixed cost associated with every guest that attends – food, dishes, venue, all these things are related to the number of guests that you have. So that begs the question – do you really want to invite your dad’s cousin’s nephew’s boyfriend who winds up getting drunk at the open bar?

Liana presents What Do the VISA & MasterCard Digital Wallets Have to Offer? posted at Card Hub, saying, “On your mark…Get set…Go! Digital Wallet Service – Is it a race to see whose the fastest at getting their technology out or a race to see whose the fastest at making spending easier? One other question does remain, will consumers adopt using this technology fast enough to sustain that race?

Ashley presents The Envelope System Works: Even on a 10 Year Old posted at Money Talks Coaching, saying, “I’ve talked quite a bit about my frustration with my daughter and her lack of concern when it comes to money. She wouldn’t save money to save her life.

Janet presents Expense budgeting posted at Fee Only Financial Planner , saying, ” Many people do not track their living expenses and do not understand the magnitude of their consumption. Failure to monitor your consumption expenditures means that they are flying blindly regarding their future finances. ”

Financial Planning

Steve presents Frugality or Decluttering, or Both posted at Brip Blap, saying, “Now that we have a four-person family I’ve noticed that I avoid purchasing things more and more out of a desire to declutter.

Don presents What is Inflation? posted at My Dollar Plan, saying, “You hear about inflation all of the time, yet many do not understand what it is or how it is measured. If you’re one of those people, this is a must-read!

John presents Give Yourself a Raise No Boss Required posted at Married with Debt, saying, “When my boss revealed how shitty my raise was going to be, it didn’t bother me that much because I already had a plan to give myself a $1,800 per month raise.

Eddie presents How to Access Cash in a Hurry posted at Finance Fox, saying, “Your home is equipped with smoke detectors, and your car carries a spare tire in the trunk, but are you equipped for a financial emergency?

Invest It Wisely presents How CDs and GICs Are Rip-Offs for Long-term Investing posted at Invest It Wisely, saying, “Is there such a thing as a guaranteed rate of return? There seems to be a trend for people to flock to safety by buying certificates of deposit

Steve presents Frugality or Decluttering, or Both posted at Brip Blap, saying, “Now that we have a four-person family I’ve noticed that I avoid purchasing things more and more out of a desire to declutter.

John presents Finance and investing education  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.”

Raj presents How to Achieve Financial Freedom in Four Steps posted at eMoneyLog, saying, “In this post I explore what ‘Financial Freedom” means to various people and how one can go about to try to achieve it in a methodical manner which requires efforts but will help you achieve financial freedom.

Mike presents 1 Year From Now, I Had a Plan… posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “My one year financial plan. Do you have one?

PFP presents Financial planning reading list posted at Best Financial Planner , saying, ” When I work with clients to develop their customized lifetime financial and investment plans, they often ask what they should read to improve their financial literacy. ”

Tim presents How to Improve Your Credit Score posted at Faith and Finance, saying, ” Your credit score is your most important number financially. Here’s how you can improve it.

Bob presents Residual income: What you need to know posted at Christian Personal Finance, saying, “It is a good thing when we can work an hour and get money in return, but it is a far better thing when we can work an hour and continue to earn for years to come.

Aloysa presents How to Lose Friends and Alienate People posted at My Broken Coin, saying, “Money is very important in our society. We are all working very hard for all the money we can get our hands on.

Dave presents Active 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. ”

Sustainable PF presents Green Tip #242: Sharing Toys posted at Sustainable Personal Finance, saying, “Share toys, keep your baby stimulated but save money.

Suba presents Should you buy Supplemental Unemployment Insurance posted at Broke Professionals, saying, “Should you buy Supplemental Unemployment Insurance is a post from: Broke Professionals if you enjoy it, please visit us and subscribe to the Feed. Unemployment is one of life’s setbacks that can seriously damage a person’s financial security. It can happen to anyone, even you.

Income

Miss T. presents Want to Impress Your New Boss? Here’s How posted at Prairie Eco Thrifter, saying, “Bosses don’t want to lay off staff with whom they have a genuine work friendship. Here is how you can get started on the right foot

Mike presents Should You Work For a Startup Company? posted at Do Not Wait, saying, “We consider working for a startup firm.

MMD presents Yes, People Still Fall for Pyramid Schemes posted at MyMoneyDesign, saying, “Do people still fall for get-rich quick schemes? This group of people I came across in OH did. While traveling for business, I stumbled upon a meeting of people at a restaurant who were being given a sales pitch for something that clearly sounded like a pyramid scheme. Here is my story.

Insurance and Risk

John presents How’s a Little Medical Bill Transparency Sound? posted at Wallet Blog, saying, “What are you talking about? The system for payment of services in the healthcare industry can’t possibly be broken! Yeah, sure, tell me another one…

Jeff Rose presents Life Insurance For Parents posted at Life Insurancey By Jeff, saying, “Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding and difficult times of your life. You’re no longer responsible for just yourself, but for the life of your child as well.

Sarah presents Investment risk and 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.”

Emily presents What to Ask Your HR Department About Life, Health, and Disability Insurance posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Each company offers different benefits. It’s always a good idea to ask some important questions to your HR department when you start your hob so you better understand your employer sponsored insurance options, costs, and portability.

Investing

FMF presents Style Boxes and the Efficient Frontier posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “By using these two advanced investing techniques, you can greatly improve your total returns.

Jack Parker presents NoLoad Index 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?”

Lance presents Rental Property – The Financial Side posted at Money Life & More, saying, “There are many numbers that are important when making a decision on buying a rental property. The first one that we calculated was how much we would offer for the townhouse. It was listed at $73,500 which may not seem like a lot but would probably be about 5,000 under market value IF it was in great shape and ready to rent out. It wasn’t, so we definitely would not be offering anywhere near that amount.

Larry presents Your investment risk tolerance posted at Independent Fee Only 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.”

Don presents The Money Conversation for Couples posted at MoneySmartGuides, saying, “I found this article at US News. It lists six topics related to money that you should have with your significant other before getting married.

Pierre presents Facebook : It’s Not All About Revenues posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “There’s more to Facebook to consider.

William presents Superior Mutual Fund Performance posted at 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.”

Tushar presents What to Do When an Investment Pays Out posted at Start Investing Money, saying, “What to Do When an Investment Pays Out on Start Investing Money.”

Managing Debt

Jason Steele presents Key Things You May Not Know About Your Credit Card Until Your Account Is Opened posted at SBT Credit Card Blog, saying, “Credit card companies have bad reputations for a reason, one of which is the fact that they hold back key information from consumers when they apply for credit cards.

Jon the Saver presents Why You Should Be Debt-Free on Your Car posted at Free Money Wisdom, saying, “There are many reasons why you should be debt free on your car. You can spend the money elsewhere instead of on a car payment.

Nick presents Sometimes it’s about way more than math posted at Step Away from the Mall, saying, “Am I the only one who gets way too caught up in “math” sometimes? Sometimes I lose track of what’s really important to me.

Debt Guru presents Basic Rule to Use Credit Cards and Avoid Debt posted at Debt Free Blog, saying, “Find out how to use credit cards and avoid debt all together. It can be summed up in one basic rule, but it often implies much more.

Real Estate

Penny Thots presents Why I May Never Buy a House posted at Penny Thots, saying, “Ultimately choosing to buy or rent a house is a decision only you can make. Right now, it is easiest for me to rent an apartment. In the future I hope to have children and hopefully an English Bulldog. If this is going to be the case, I would like to own my own place. Mint.com put out an excellent chart a while back that covers a lot of the issues a person should consider before they decide to rent or buy.

Corey presents Facing Foreclosure? Here are Some Programs that Might Be Available for You posted at Steadfast Finances, saying, “Here are several programs that you can take advantage of when facing foreclosure. The possibility of foreclosure isn’t without hope to evade it.

Retirement

Wayne presents Why Hobbies Save You Money posted at Young Family Finance, saying, “Staying active and finding things that you enjoy can actually save you money. Find out how to define yourself not by the things you buy.

Brock presents Retirement Spreadsheet Software 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.”

Daisy presents Life Lessons From My Mother posted at Add Vodka, saying, “Yesterday was Mothers Day. You all know that. I dont live near my mom, so I was sad I wasnt able to take her out for breakfast or anything like that.

Franklin presents Traditional IRA Versus Roth IRA  posted at Better Retirement Planning , saying, ” Many taxpayers puzzle over whether to contribute to traditional versus Roth tax-advantaged retirement plans. For most people, contributions to traditional tax-advantaged plans will probably provide a higher net present value over their lifetimes.”

KT presents Can You Afford NOT to Save for Retirement? posted at Personal Finance Journey, saying, “Saving for retirement can be difficult. With the recent increases in the cost of gas and groceries and other basics combined with a loss of income because of the economy or a lack of raises over the last few years, saving for retirement can seem like a goal that is out of reach.

Savings

Jeffrey presents Setting Financial Goals 101 posted at Money Spruce, saying, “The most fundamental step in setting financial goals is to gain control over your daily financial affairs by setting up and sticking to a budget. Thereafter, you will need to set longer-term financial goals. At this point, you will need to build a financial safety net to ensure financial independence.

TSI presents Hard work determines 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.”

Jeff Rose presents Best Online Checking Accounts posted at Good Financial Cents, saying, “Online checking accounts can be convenient, and many of them come without the fees that are starting to crop up at “regular” banks.

Taxes

PPlan presents Would Jesus Support the Buffet Tax Law? posted at Provident Plan, saying, “Find out if Jesus supports the Warren Buffet Tax law and what the Christian response to paying taxes should be.

Monroe presents 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.”

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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