Carnival Of Personal Finance #447 – The NFL Conference Championship Edition
This is a super-sized, two week’s worth of submissions edition, so there were a lot of articles to read, but let’s start off with the top 4 editor’s picks:
- David from Financial Nerd presents Trends in Interest Rates in 2014, and says, “Interest Rates will likely not change much during 2014.”
- Grayson from Debt Roundup presents The Best Personal Finance Tips of 2013, and says, “Here is a compilation of the best personal finance tips for over 40 other personal finance bloggers. The tips range from making more money to paying off debt and everything in between.”
- Jon from Novel Investor presents 3 Easy Financial Resolutions Worth Doing, and says, “Three easy financial resolutions worth doing this year that will make you more prepared financially than most people.”
- Daisy from Suburban Finance presents Four Awesome But Inexpensive Valentines Day Gifts For Your Wife, and says, “Iâ€™ve seen a lot of Valentines Day gift guides that sort of suck (and if they donâ€™t, theyâ€™re way to expensive for one commercial â€œholidayâ€!). I thought Iâ€™d do my own, inexpensive gift guide for Valentines day for the woman in your life (with gifts under $60).”
Now, it’s time for the best of the rest….enjoy!
Syed from The Broke Professional presents In and Outs of the FSA, and says, “Healthcare is expensive in this country and probably will be for a long time. A Flexible Spending Account can be an awesome way to save money on certain healthcare expenses. ”
Mark Wang from The Money Mail presents Make Your Small Business Flourish, and says, “Running a small business? Growing a small business can be difficult but with the right strategy you can overcome almost any hurdle. If you are a blogger, you are running a small business. In this article letâ€™s take a look at some of the things you can do to make your small business flourish.”
saverspender from Save. Spend. Splurge. presents What it costs to buy a home versus renting one, and says, “Detailed analysis o what it costs to buy a home versus renting one. (Renting wins in my case.)”
Adam from Adam Hagerman – Financial Coach presents Start This Today and I Guarantee You Won’t Hide From The Mail Carrier in January 2015, and says, “If you’re being overwhelmed by credit card bills each and every January, you may want to start budgeting for the next holiday season several months in advance. By saving just a small amount each month, you can avoid the yearly December “budget crunch”. Start saving today!”
Jack from E Money Log presents All you ever wanted to know about emergency funds, and says, “Do you really need an emergency fund? I think you do. But do you know how to set it up? How much to save and what an emergency fund is really for? In this in-depth article on emergency funds, I discuss these points and much more. Letâ€™s take a look.”
Lisa from Secrets 2 Save presents Make money online by filling out surveys, and says, “Can you really make money by filling out surveys? Are all survey sites scams? These are the questions that come to mind when you think about survey sites. Yes some of them are scams but there are also some legit survey sites out there that can be used to make a decent income on the side while providing feedback. Letâ€™s see which site are included in the list.”
Daniel from Make Money Make Cents presents It’s time to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, and says, “More than likely you have heard the phrase keeping up with the Joneses more than a few times in your life. What it refers to is the phenomenon of using your neighbors as a standard for which to compare your own life and material goods.”
Oscar from Money is the Root presents Need to binge shop? Your local dollar store has bargains, but maybe not all of them, and says, “Many people love their local dollar store because it is usually filled with great deals and, like the name, you can get most of them for 1 dollar. Surprisingly however it is not exactly the cheapest place on all items and there are better places for bargains out there.”
Jay from Daily Fuel Economy Tip presents Hypermiling ? 5 Tactics to Reduce Gas Consumption, and says, “With gas prices averaging $4 around the country, the average person is always looking for a new way to save money on gas and get the most mileage out of every tank. Many today are trying something new called hypermiling, a driving technique that many believe squeezes every last mile out of every gallon of gas.”
Matt from Budget Snob presents It’s time to Review your 401(k), and says, “A 401(k) plan is, for many people in the United States, the very keystone of their retirement plan. Now more than ever, especially due to the fact that defined benefit plans are disappearing, many Americans have the responsibility of making their own decisions about their finances and, in most cases, doing so with very little professional assistance.”
Jack from Money Saving Ethics presents Holiday Travel Tips 2013, and says, “If you are planning to travel this holiday season? If so, you definitely should start making plans as early as possible because, as most of us know, traveling during the holidays can be expensive, tiring and stressful.”
Amy from Money Mishaps presents What are the Contribution Limits for your IRA in 2014?, and says, “Preparing for retirement means exploiting tax advantage investments like IRAs but, in order to get the maximum advantage, knowing exactly how much you can put into them is vitally important. To that end, this blog has all of the info on 2014”
Lenny from Best Money Saving Blog presents Prepare yourself for Small Business Success in 2014, and says, “as a small business owner, preparing yourself for success is something that should never stop. The thing is, there”
Hadley from Epic Finances presents Investing in ETFs? Don?t forget to Consider The Total Cost, and says, “While many investors are quick to praise the cost efficiency of ET”
Andrea from So Over This presents Movers Destroyed My Belongings ? Saga Continues, and says, “You may remember that I wrote a post a few months back about my recent move to a new home, and some issues I experienced with the destructive moving company I hired.”
Lily from Paying Debt Down presents Have Financial New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s how to keep them, and says, “If you are like us you can”
Bob from Dwindling Debt presents The Secret to becoming a 401(k) Millionaire, and says, “We recently came across an article from Fidelity Investments where they had analyzed the savings habits of approximately 1100 investors with 401(k)s. All of them were people who earned less than $150,000 a year but still had managed to accumulate more than $1 million in their 401(k) savings plan.”
Katie from IRA Basics presents Benefits of a Budget, and says, “Budget. It is a dreaded word, not one that instills ideas of grandeur and immense fun. It is also a word that”
Sam from The New Business Blog presents How to Build a Brand People will Adore, and says, “Many people outside of marketing think of a brand as sort of this false cover that is given to a product or service in order to con them into buying something that they do not actually want or, even worse, do not need.”
Marissa from Finance Triggers presents The Perks of Living in the Suburbs, and says, “More and more people are moving are looking to move out of the city core, find out The Perks of Living in the Suburbs.”
Marissa from Thirty Six Months presents The Joys of Freelancing, and says, “One of the things that I really enjoy doing is mentoring freelancers. I work in the start-up world, and freelancers are a big part of that. I get to see the ups and downs of that world every day. It is fascinating to see how people price their time, and creative abilities.”
Monica from Monica On Money presents How I Saved $6718 On Home Renovations, and says, “As my readers know, I have been searching for a better flooring option. But the problem is that home renovations are expensive!”
Holly from Club Thrifty presents Bracing for the Spend, and says, “Ugh, we are getting ready to move….and I am already bracing for the spend. Read about the huge purchases we are going to make in the next month.”
Larry from KrantCents presents My 2013 New Year’s Resolutions ? Review, and says, “I decided to take a different approach when I formed my 2013 New Year\’s Resolutions. As I reflect on my results, I am disappointed with some of the results! The results were mixed at best!”
Natalie from Debt and the Girl presents Ahhhh, 2014. Its Good to Meet You, and says, “I have been the equivalent of a lazy sloth lately and have been putting everything off except for my staff writing commitments as I refuse to be unprofessional on those.”
Alexa from Single Moms Income presents Beginner Investing: 12 Investing Books to Read This Year, and says, “Since the start of the New Year I have decided I need to kick my personal finance skills up a notch. I have been just coasting by the last few months but I am ready to hustle, learn, and make 2014 a good year financially.”
Alexa from Defeat Our Debt presents 7 Ideas for Saving Money on Food, and says, “If you want to speed up the debt payment process you need to make budget cuts. Here are seven ideas to save money on food.”
Graham Clark from Moneystepper presents 2014 Goals ? December update of my 2014 goals, and says, “December is a tough month with Christmas and the related costs. Here is my progress for December related to my 2014 goals.”
Jason from The Money Makers presents Monica Wright Gets Engaged: How Much Ring is Too Much?, and says, “If you are a true basketball fan, then you have already heard of the recent engagement of NBA star Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the WNBA star Monica Wright of the Minnesota Lynx.”
Sustainable PF from Sustainable Personal Finance Blog presents Would You Use an Alternative Currency?, and says, “One of the first rules of investing is that you need to have a degree of diversity in your assets. That way, if something goes wrong with one asset class, you will have another asset available to pick up the slack. But how does that work if most of your assets are denominated in a specific currency?”
Justin from Edward Antrobus presents The final 2013 $3k Challenge Update, and says, “The year is now over and with it comes the close of the 2013 $3K Challenge. And I have some great news. For the first time ever, I have completed the challenge! As of today, I have earned $3067.32 for 2013. Actually, I passed the $3000 mark on November 6 when I received final payment for the sale of this blog.”
Aaron from Aaron Hung presents Top 8 concerns for Small Business in the Coming Year, and says, “Anyone who has been in business for any length of time will tell you that the only constant in business is simply this: change.”
GD from MCI123 presents How To Compare Car Insurance Coverage, and says, “Car insurance is a mandatory expense in the U.S., but it doesnâ€™t have to be expensive or super dirt cheap. With our guide, you will learn about the different types of car insurance coverage, when to buy optional coverage like collision, comprehensive, or GAP coverage, and how to compare rates to find the best deals.
J Rodriguez from Modest Money presents Compare the 5 Best Online Brokers, and says, “When it comes to investing your hard earned money, it can get difficult to decide which broker to trust it with. In this post we compare the top five online brokers and let you make a better informed decision on your broker of choice.
Pauline from Reach Financial Independence presents Financial goals for 2014, and says, “Today I will share my Financial goals for 2014. That was a fail for last year, but I am always the optimist and will put that goal back again for 2014.”
Pauline from Make Money Your Way presents Elance: A great way to jumpstart a freelance career, and says, “Elance has provided an excellent platform for starting a freelance business. Today Betsy Muse will help us on how to have a successful freelance career on Elance.”
Pauline from Savvy Scot presents New year financial boot camp: lower your monthly debt payments, and says, “Today we will continue our financial boot camp and now let’s talk about how to lower your monthly debt payments.”
PK from Don’t Quit Your Day Job… presents Stock Picks for 2014!, and says, “I participate in the Financial Uproar stock picking contest annually. The goal is to maximize returns from 4 tickers in a year… which diverges a bit from my normal value strategy. I picked 3 ETF/Ns which force the issue, and give a complete description about what they do… any why they probably aren’t appropriate for the average Joe. Oh, I also picked one stock!”
Miss T. from Prairie Eco Thrifter presents The Top Ten Personal Finance Tips for Recent Graduates; From 10 Different Financial Experts, and says, “10 financial experts weigh in with their best advice for new college graduates.”
Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance presents Start Your New Year Investment Goals for Free â€“ How Loyal 3 Works, and says, “A few months back, I shared a great new investing platform at Loyal3. Loyal3 offers retail investors (that means you and me, not super high volume traders) a way to buy stocks in companies we believe in and use every day with no trading fees. I thought it was too good to be true, so I tried it out and asked the great folks at Loyal3 some questions about how their platform works.”
Ray from Squirrelers presents Freezing Cold Weather and Financial Illiteracy, and says, “Sometimes those of us in the personal finance blogging sphere take for granted that people make rational decisions. A recent day of freezing cold weather illustrated to me that not everyone does just that – and this probably extends to money decisions too!”
Michael Kitces from Nerd’s Eye View presents Investing Around Human Capital â€“ Is Your Career A Stock Or A Bond?, and says, “For most people, their greatest asset is their ability to work and generate income. Yet as an “asset” an individual’s human capital can rise and fall, and be managed and invested in. Are you focusing on nurturing your human capital the way you look to your portfolio and financial capital, and even use one to diversify the other?”
Emily from Evolving Personal Finance presents Anchored in this Anomalous Economy, and says, “How will it affect me to have all my financial anchors emerge from the post-Great Recession economy? I believe the stock market always goes up, interest rates are super low, and that I have high job security.”
Mario from Debt BLAG presents Should I move my emergency fund to Bitcoin?, and says, “I briefly introduce what Bitcoin is, ask whether it makes sense to keep my rainy day fund in Bitcoin, and decide that no, it does not.”
Stu from Poor Student presents 3 Reasons It’s Easier to be Frugal as a Student, and says, “It’s much easier to be frugal when you are a student for many reasons, so students should be taking advantage of the ease of saving money while they are still students!”
saverspender from Save. Spend. Splurge. presents How to look for and choose an index fund to invest in, and says, “How to look for and choose an index fund to invest in — the basics of how to sort through the fees (MERs) and find the best one possible.”
Daniel from Make Money Make Cents presents It’s time to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses, and says, “More than likely you have heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” more than a few times in your life. What it refers to is the phenomenon of using your neighbors as a standard for which to compare your own life and material goods.”
Jack from Money Saving Ethics presents What happens when Art Buyers get Buyer’s Remorse?, and says, “Many people invest in artwork as, in most cases, it steadily goes up in value over time. The fact is however that even the most avid art collectors can sometimes have a change of heart and, when it happens, usually it is the gallery or auction house that takes the brunt of the canceled purchase or broken deal.”
Mary from GOLDCOIN.ORG presents The gold buyer is a contrarian, and says, “We only trust true physical values such as gold, silver and diamonds.”
GD from MCI123 presents Lapse In Car Insurance Coverage, and says, “A lapse in car insurance can be devastating when your goal is to save money and lower your rates. It doesnâ€™t just cost you your loyalty discount, but results in penalties, fines, and huge liabilities. Check out our guide to avoiding a lapse in car insurance coverage.”
Glen from Glennalicious.org presents How To Make A Midlife Career Change, and says, “Making a career change at any age can be especially stressful and financially difficult. If you are planning on taking your career in a new direction, starting your own business, or want to advance faster, learn about the steps you need to take beforehand to ensure your future success.”
TTMK from Tie the Money Knot presents 5 Types of Insurance to Manage Personal Finance Risks, and says, “When it comes to money, there are often risks we have to navigate. Many of these can be circumvented with insurance, but we need to make sure we pay this the attention it deserves!”
Dorethia Conner from The Money Chat presents Loyalty Programs: Are they a Good Bet?, and says, “This article covers some of the loyalty programs that are out there on the market. Basically, it asks the question whether these programs are worth it in the first place and what you can get from them. ”
Jim from Critical Financial presents 10 Reasons Why â€˜The Donaldâ€™, I Am Not!, and says, “Being the small time real estate investor I am, I have to admit, one of the people I find rather interesting in the investing business is the one and only, Donald Trump”
Harry Campbell from Your PF Pro presents When Should You Hire a Cleaning Lady?, and says, “Now that Iâ€™m back working my day job, I have a lot less free time in my life. I generally work online for 2-3 hours a night after work and that severely cuts into my TV watching and forces me to be a lot more efficient when it comes to managing my time. So the last thing I want to do at the end of the night is spend my time scrubbing toilets or vacuuming my apartment. Itâ€™s a tough predicament for me since I do like a clean house but I donâ€™t like cleaning all that much. Iâ€™m not a neat freak by any means but there are rarely dishes in my sink and even though I refuse to make my bed(since Iâ€™m going to get right back in it in 17 hours) I keep a pretty tidy household.”
Harry Campbell from The Four Hour Work Day presents Should You Follow Your Passion?, and says, “When I was little I used to always hear, â€œyou can be anything you want when you grow up.â€ But as time went by and I grew older, it seemed like there was actually less and less that I could be. Iâ€™ve always had an interest in business and finance but my degree in aerospace engineering almost precludes me now from working in those fields. Itâ€™s tough to pick a major when youâ€™re only 18, and thatâ€™s probably one of the reasons why so many college freshmen go in undeclared. But after a year or two, youâ€™re going to be forced to pick between passion and practicality.”
Mitchell Pauly from Snarkfinance presents Shopping and Addiction: A Bad Combo, and says, “A humorous and interesting take on how shopping–chemically speaking–activates the same reward receptors in our brains as drugs do. Hence shopping can literally be an addiction.”
Money Beagle from Money Beagle presents Could We Cut Cable TV This Year?, and says, “I’ve seen so many articles about cable TV and how people are cutting the cord, that I plan to find out whether this is a strategy that might work for us. ”
eemusings from NZ Muse presents What would you pay to change about yourself?, and says, “There’s a few things about my body I’d willingly pay to rid myself of (though not for vanity’s sake). ”
Mark Fitzpatrick from Mortgages By Mark presents How to Shop for Mortgage Rates And Get a Killer Deal, and says, “I’ve been doing mortgage financing for seven years, and this article contains a few tips for how to shop rate quotes and get the best mortgage deal.”
vh from Funny about Money presents The State of Your Health: Is It Your Employer’s Business?, and says, “Am I right? Corporate “wellness” programs that coax or require you to share health information with your employer are intrusive, inappropriate, and unacceptable.”
Kacie from Sense to Save presents How I saved money with Disney Movie Club, and says, “I’ve always been skeptical of the deals available with movie clubs, but after running the numbers and using a great coupon code, I was able to save a lot of money when buying Disney movies for my kids.”
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.
Jon @ Our Fine Adventure says
Those were some great games yesterday!! I am pretty darn excited about the Super Bowl… I live in Denver (though I’m not a Broncos fan) so people are pretty darn excited here, obviously. I’m hoping the Super Bowl will be able to live up to the hype that the two great teams are going to generate!
@Jon – Those were definitely great games! Unfortunately many times the Super Bowl ends up being a blowout…hopefully this isn’t one of them. It has the potential of being a classic!
Grayson @ Debt Roundup says
I really enjoyed the games yesterday. They were nice to watch. Can’t wait until the Super Bowl. I appreciate your making my article an editor’s choice. That’s awesome!
Funny about Money says
Thanks for including Funny’s squib on employers snooping into employees’ health care.
What a HUGE round-up! Thanks so much for hosting and taking on this big job. 🙂
@Grayson – The superbowl has the opportunity to be a GREAT game, doesn’t it? Seattle defense against a record setting Denver offense…I can’t wait!
@Funny About Money – You’re welcome!!! There were a ton of articles to choose from, but I had a lot of fun checking them all out!