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Nerdy Finance #4

July 30, 2012
Personal Finance
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One month down and we are still going strong. We have been busy investigating student loan debt this week, take a look at what’s going on. Even with our research crunch, we aren’t slowing down trying to keep you informed and save you some money. It might seem taxing, but hey, we love homework after all. The nerds got some great submissions this week, packed with the usual excellent personal finance insight you have come to expect.

The submissions

Jessica Bufkin brings us Road Trip Car Rental: Better to Rent a Car or Drive My Own? She answers a friend’s question about whether or not it’s cost-effective to rent a car for a big trip, especially if your own car is older and/or high mileage.

Roger Wohlner with The Chicago Financial Planner gives us Bond Funds Safe Haven or Risky Asset? – An Update. Check it out to see if bond funds are the right investment for you.

Steve at Brip Blap writes Money from the Sky – In Russia in the early 90s prices changed daily, even hourly. Savings effectively disappeared. With private ownership of land impossible, all net worth other than STUFF disappeared. A good TV was a better investment than a savings account. A freezer could preserve more value than a bank. Banks were offering 100% interest rates or more and it wasn’t a good deal. That can never happen in America, could it?

Paul Vachon at The Frugal Toad writes Family Finances – Tips for Avoiding Conflict – Discussing the family finances causes more arguments between couples – 3 per month on average – than any other topic. So what causes most arguments about finances? The majority of couples state that misunderstandings between needs versus wants are at the root of most disagreements.

Young at Young And Thrifty writes How To Get Your Employer to Pay For School – The decision on whether or not to go back to school to upgrade your skills (whether you are talking about a graduate degree, a diploma, or a certificate program of some kind) often hinges on the financial viability of it.

Teacher Man at My University Money writes Hidden Costs of Owning a Dog or Cat – It’s interesting to see how blind we often are to expenses that are tied to emotional attachments. Some people “love” their sports team and wouldn’t think twice about multi-thousand dollar season tickets.

Investor Junkie at Investor Junkie writes What Is the Best Small Business Accounting Software? – Most of my business uses open source, but not my accounting and billing. In addition, I prefer something that my accountant can work with, which in their case is Quickbooks. So while GnuCash might not be a terrible option, be prepared to support it yourself.

SB at One Cent at a Time writes Forex Trading Pros and Cons – Forex trading and stock trading are two different forms of financial trading. They may both represent two different ways to make money from the financial markets, but they have some subtle differences

SB at Finance Product Reviews writes Barclays Online Saving Account Review – Barclays Saving account product targets US consumers with an instant access saving bank account and longer-term CD products. Read if it is good fit for you

Glen Craig at Free From Broke writes Why You Need a Small Business Credit Card – There are many great reasons for a small business owner to have a small business credit card. See why and how it can help you run your business.

CCS at Credit Card Smarts writes How Many Credit Cards Do You Have? – Do you have a lot of credit card accounts? Do you know how many? Why do you have them? There may be good reasons to have a lot of credit cards. Make sure you have them for the right reasons.

Mich at BeatingTheIndex writes Pinecrest Energy: Highlighting One of the Best Junior Oil Stocks in Canada – One of a few light oil stocks (99% oil) that enjoys a healthy balance sheet, top tier netbacks, high growth and a lot of running room in a proven low risk light oil play.

Hank at Money Q&A writes Five Professional Athletes Who Are Struggling Financially – I always find it so interesting to see some of the inner workings of professional athletes and famous people’s finances. Below are five professional athletes who filed bankruptcy.

Eddie at Finance Fox writes If You’re Traveling, Don’t Forget To Pack Travel Insurance – Travel insurance protects more than just the expense of your flight.

Tushar at Start Investing Money writes Why is it Important to Create Your Own Unique Investment Plan? – Read my article on why it is important to create your own unique investment plan!

Kevin at Thousandaire writes I Saved a Bunch of Money on Food Last Week – I identified a spending problem and I fixed it. I saved a bunch of money by not eating out last week.

Wayne at Young Family Finance writes Tips for Buying a New Car – Learn a basic step-by-step guide for buying a new car. It’s not as easy as you might think.

Maria at The Money Principle writes Cuts in public spending are not going to affect front line services! – In this post how cuts in public spending affect adversely public services is discussed through my latest business trip experience.

Daniel at Sweating the Big Stuff writes The 6 Best Wedding Gifts To Give – Don’t know what to get the bride and groom? Here are some great suggestions that you simply can’t go wrong with!

Daisy at Add Vodka writes Handling Mistakes at Work – When I first started in internship #1, I was so excited to get a little bit of real world experience in my field.

Ted Jenkin at Your Smart Money Moves writes The Best Time To Buy A Home Might Be Now – From a financial perspective, the window for pouncing on a once-in-a-lifetime deal on a home might be narrowing.

Suba at Broke Professionals writes The Hidden Costs of My Husband’s New Job – My husband’s new job has come with some major hidden costs. Here’s what we’re doing to attempt to deflect his job’s negative impact on our bottom line.

Lance at Money Life & More writes Passive Income: Not As Passive As You Think – If there is one topic personal finance bloggers absolutely love it is passive income. According to wikipedia, “Passive income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it.” There are two key phrases in this definition that will help you define what passive income is to you.

Bridget at Money After Graduation writes What you can learn about blogging from 50 Shades of Grey – Oh yeah, you read that right. I promise this is NOT a joke post. I have some serious advice for you guys here. Just like Christian Grey, I don’t mess around! Now, I’m not going to launch into a lengthly review about the book, though I am tempted.

Jester at The Ultimate Juggle writes Starting Out Rich Is Not As Satisifying As Becoming Rich – My background from being poor to working and believing that I could become wealthy.

John at Married (with Debt) writes Does America Need Small Businesses to Fail? – Does the American economy need small businesses to fail? And from this question: does the economy depend on having both losers and winners?

Corey at Steadfast Finances writes Should You Build Your Own Home? – Owning a home is the dream of most middle-class families. Not only does it offer the ability to be in control of your own housing environment (as opposed to renting), but it offers long term financial security. Yet, it’s not always attainable. As we have mentioned before, buying a house can be difficult with the recent economy.

Shilpan at Street Smart Finance writes 5 Life Lessons for Wealth and Happiness from Ben Franklin – Benjamin Franklin’s name embodies timeless wisdom for wealth and happiness. He was an author, inventor, diplomat, and statesman. But he is known for the virtues of frugality, kindness and justice for all.

From Your Finances Simplified comes How I Almost Got Cheated out of 650 bucks – So as you all may know we recently purchased our 3 rental property. I did a lot of talking about in the following posts.

Amanda L Grossman at Frugal Confessions writes My Family’s Circle of Savings – I try to imagine the looks on the faces of Transportation Security Administration Inspectors when they x-ray my bag full of liquids, perishables, drugs

SFB at Simple Finance Blog writes What is Offshore Savings? – Offshore savings is an aspect of offshore banking that focuses on just savings accounts. This is a popular option for many people looking to diversify where their cash is held, but don’t necessarily need the full features of an offshore bank. Having an account offshore can offer diversity that being in a single country cannot…

Corey at 20s Finances writes Five Ways Anyone Can Make Extra Money – Ever since I started making a little extra money from my hobby (and realizing the difference that it makes on your monthly budget), I have been a little obsessed with different ways to make money. There is so much more that you can do with extra money. The idea of it being extra money can be dangerous though because it can encourage more splurging.

PITR at Passive Income To Retire writes Why Blogging is a Respectable Business – Find out why blogging is a respectable business model and why it aligns with the future of online usage.

Jennifer Lynn at Broke-Ass Mommy writes Bitcoin, the ‘Comeback Kid’ – Bitcoin is a fascinating concept! Read about how it’s making a comeback and see if it could have a place in your financial arsenal?

Luke at Learn Bonds writes How to Predict Inflation and Deflation – Inflation is something that market participants care a lot about. How exactly do you go about predicting inflation? Learn here.

Aloysa at My Broken Coin writes My Top 10 Worst Shopping Mistakes – Read these top 10 worst shopping mistakes! Do you do the same ones?

Kyle at The Penny Hoarder writes How to Earn Extra Money by Renting Out your Home Wi-Fi – Why not make more money by renting out Wi-Fi access at your home?

PPlaner at Provident Plan writes Shop Around for Your Property, Not Your Bank – Looking for a home? If so, then you know shopping around for both your mortgage and your new home can save you thousands of dollars.

Sustainable PF at Sustainable Personal Finance writes Do Parents Have To Help? – Just how far should parents go to ensure their children have reduced debt burden after they graduate?

Passive Income Earner at The Passive Income Earner writes Dividend Growth Index – 2012 Q2 Results – We are currently in our 3rd quarter of the Dividend Growth Index (DGI)which started back in September 2011 as a project to see how our picks (a group of dividend focused bloggers) would perform over time compared with an index. Here is a background on the Dividend Growth Index (DGI).

Barbara Friedberg at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance writes 3 PRODUCTIVITY TIPS FROM MY SUMMER VACATION – Put all the same type of tasks together. Work through them quickly and with focus. Next move on. Don’t recheck, reread, and review. It’s a waste of time. Once done with a task, don’t come back to the same task to do just one more little bit. That is totally inefficient. Move on.

Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Life is Too Short to Spend Time Ironing Sheets – Here is the list of things that I refuse to waste time on since they do not give me enough satisfaction to justify the time spent. Life is too short.

Invest It Wisely at Invest It Wisely writes How Hard is It to Become a Freelancer? – Do you find that the world is becoming a little bit more entrepreneurial, these days? Read my experiences and see if you agree!

J Wayne at All Things Finance writes The State of Social Security – Social security has often been called a Ponzi scheme. This infographic details why it has been labeled as such.

Bryan Maltier at writes Millionaires By The Numbers – Up Close and Personal – Meet the millionaires of the United States. With 8% of all U.S. households qualifying as millionaires, the million-dollar club is more attainable than ever with the right financial habits and attitude.

Krantcents at KrantCents writes The 3 Y’s of Success – The 3 Y’s of Success is the twenty-fifth in a series of articles to help you reach your goal.

MMD at My Money Design writes What are Mutual Funds and How Do I Invest in Them? – Have you ever wondered what are mutual funds? This is your complete guide to understanding mutual funds and getting started on them as part of your investment strategy.

Nivene at Credit Resource Center writes Where to Turn When an Emergency Expense Pops Up? – If 71.6% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, what should they do in case of an emergency?

J.P. at Novel Investor writes How Often Should You Do An Investment Review? – Tracking your investments is more than glancing at those monthly statements. A regular investment review needs to be done.

Call Me What You Want Even Cheap at Call Me What You Want Even Cheap writes Is College Or University Really Worth It? – This post is about what I learned from College and what I didn’t learn

Miss T. at Prairie Eco Thrifter writes Budgeting for Life – Planning and preparing for the future is a never-ending process. And as evidenced by my parents’ situation, retirement doesn’t signal that the need to plan has ended.

That’s it for this week’s carnival. Thanks for the submissions and tell your friends!