Welcome to the 289th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance!
If you’re new to Blonde & Balanced, feel free to take a look around. I’m Amber and I blog about spending wisely and leading a balanced lifestyle. A few fun tidbits about me: I passed the CPA exam this year, I’m getting married next June, I live in Kansas City, and I love to workout … among many other interests. 😉
- Mark from Buy Like Buffett presents The Number One Reason Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Any Money. (Great article from Mark on how to increase the income you generate from your blog – no matter how big or small!)
- Shaun from Money Cactus presents Do Nothing and Grow Wealthy, and says, “Doing nothing can actually be a lot harder than you think, but sometimes doing nothing is the best way to create real wealth.” (One of the biggest techniques that helped me get out of debt was doing nothing – otherwise known as avoiding places where I tended to overspend.)
- Henry Truc from Go Banking Rates presents Common Financial Myths Debunked – Part 2: Mortgage Loans. (An interesting article about common myths associated with mortgage loans. Henry takes what could be a dry topic and turns it into an interesting article – not an easy feat!)
- Mike Piper from Oblivious Investor presents Retiring (at 65) Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy, and says, “We hear all the time about how most people aren’t saving enough for retirement. What if we just abandoned the idea that retiring at 65 and traveling the world is a normal thing to do?” (I love the idea of retiring early and Mike expands on this topic in his article. Why do we have to play by the rules? Why can’t we make our own rules?)
- Mike from The Financial Blogger presents Running Multiple Blogs, Earning 6 Figures, Working Less Than 40 Hours – A How To Guide To Financial Freedom, and says, “An extensive look at how to build a strong internet business empire. Everything from hiring writers to finding creativity to put together blog posts.” (Mike has put together an awesome guide on how to manage several successful blogs while working full-time. He goes beyond the usual “make a writing schedule” advice and provides in-depth tips on how to generate ideas and increase your writing efficiency.)
BUDGETING & MONEY MANAGEMENT – THE MIDNIGHT KISS
Ah, the midnight kiss. Like budgeting with your money, you can’t go blow all your kissing on someone that doesn’t mean anything to you! You have to search long and hard for that perfect person before you decide to give to them your midnight kiss. They have to earn it, just like stores, companies, and products have to work for your hard-earned money!
- Jeff Rose from Soldier of Finance presents Importance of Running Battle Drills in Your Family, and says, “Are you ready for the unexpected financial emergency that WILL occur in your household? Run battle drills to ensure you’re prepared.”
- Big Cajun Man from The Canadian Personal Finance Blog presents Disaster Planning or the Worst Case Scenario, and says, “Any financial planning you may be doing for next year, needs to include a Disaster Recovery plan. If you don’t plan for the worst, the worst will be pretty darn bad!”
- Len from Len Penzo dot Com presents Why Choosing Debit or Credit Is Like Picking Salad Dressing.
- Donna Freedman from Surviving and Thriving presents 10 financial lessons from ‘True Grit.’, and says, “Mattie Ross is a hell of a protagonist. She’s strong, determined, relentless and, above all, frugal.”
- Marie from First Generation White Collar presents Build Assets, Then Pay for Liabilities.
- Echo from Boomer & Echo presents A Look Back At Expenses This Year, and says, “One of the benefits of setting up a monthly budget as well as forecasting income and expenses is that at the end of the year I can review each of the areas where we spent our money and make improvements for the future.”
- Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents Luxuries Are Not Necessities!, and says, “A professor complaining about making ends meet on $250,000 a year sent me over the edge. Luxuries are not necessities!”
- Flexo from Consumerism Commentary presents Your Relationship With Money, and says, “How important is your money to you?”
- Bret from Hope to Prosper presents The Night Before Christmas, and says, “Just a little poem to bring out the Holiday Spirit. Merry Christmas everyone.”
- Miranda from Personal Dividends presents Counting Christmas Blessings: Adventures in Unexpected Holiday Expenses, and says, “How we managed to keep our flooded home from financially devastating us during the holidays.”
- Adrian from Passive Income Now presents You Need To Make More Money!, and says, “The harsh reality is that sometimes you need to make more money instead of worrying about passive income.”
- FMF from Free Money Finance presents An Example of Why to Give Appreciated Securities Rather than Cash, and says, “A GREAT way to give — appreciated securities. Perfect post for those looking for end-of-year giving/saving/investing strategies.”
- Silicon Valley Blogger from The Digerati Life presents Why An Extended Warranty Program Is Insurance You Don’t Need, and says, “Beware of an extended warranty program — it’s an extra cost you don’t need!”
- mbhunter from Mighty Bargain Hunter presents Seven things to do when facing a pay freeze, and says, “Raises happen, and pay freezes happen, too. Here’s what to do …”
SAVING & CREDIT – RESOLUTIONS
Many of the most popular New Year’s resolutions involve saving more money or paying off credit card debt. Maybe the posts below can help you conquer both!
- Jenn D from Smart Balance Transfers presents Common Balance Transfer Mistakes, and says, “This article takes a look at three mistakes people make when using balance transfer credit cards and shows them how to avoid them.”
- Marjorie from CardHub.com presents New to Credit Guide, and says, “My submission answers a variety of questions for people with limited or no credit history. There are a number of steps you can take to help build your credit, no matter what your situation.”
- Stu from pennywise2pennyworth.com presents Question for the Ages: Paying off Debt or Saving, and says, “To save or pay off debt? I ran the numbers see what I found out!”
- Trent Green from Money for Regular People presents Any Credit Card Strategy Should Include Paying Off Your Balance Each Month, and says, “Should you pay with cash and avoid credit cards at all costs? Not necessarily. Paying by credit card offers some unique advantages, but only if you’re committed to paying your bill each month in full and on time.
- The Smarter Wallet from The Smarter Wallet presents 3 Good Reasons Not To Hide Money Under Your Mattress, and says, “Why we should not hide our stash of cash under our mattress!”
INVESTING – AULD LANG SYNE
The song Auld Lang Syne literally means “days gone by” or “old times”. Let’s forget all those bad investing memories of the past and move onward and upward. Here’s to a great economy in 2011 and beyond!
- Russ Thornton from The Wealthcare Revolution presents Understanding Monte Carlo Simulation – Part 2 of 7, and says, “This is the 2nd in a 7-part series on understanding monte carlo simulation and how it can help you make smarter financial and investment decisions.”
- Sara Nunnally from Smart Investing Daily presents Three Investment Predictions for 2011 Put to the Test , and says, “Three investment predictions for 2011… emerging markets, information technology and bonds.”
- Sean Smarty from Grow Money presents Advantages of Index Funds.
- Roger Wohlner from Chicago Financial Planner presents Where to Invest in 2011? – I’m Clueless, and says, “This is the time of year when financial magazines and the cable business news shows are filled with tips on where to invest in 2011. I’m not sure why a change in the calendar from December 31 to January 1 makes much difference for your investments. Where should you invest in 2011? If this means what will be the hot stocks, funds, ETFs, or market sectors, I don’t have a clue.”
- Div Guy from The Dividend Guy Blog presents 3 Reasons Why I Go Dividend Investing in 2011, and says, “A synopsis of my currently revised investment strategy.”
- Mike from Do Not Wait presents Retirement Planning – Where Do You Start?, and says, “A look at how you can get started with your retirement planning right now.”
- Adam from Magical Penny presents Beginning Investing, and says, “This week I’d like to submit a transcript of a conversation Austin of Foreigner’s Finances blog and I had. In the interview we talk about about investing as a twenty-somethings and the differences between money in the U.S. and the UK.”
FRUGALITY – BLACK EYED PEAS
Legend has it that if you eat Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day, you’ll have good luck all year long. And it doesn’t hurt that peas are about as cheap as food comes, so frugalites everywhere can rejoice!
- Clint from Accumulating Money presents 5 Easy Ways to Cut Down Grocery Costs.
- Super Saver from My Wealth Builder presents Inexpensive Christmas Activities, and says, “While buying presents can be expensive, there are lots of activities we do at Christmas time that are low or no cost.”
- Steve Zussino from Grocery Alerts Canada presents Is Buying Organic Really Worth It?, and says, “Organic food is an interesting option for those who are more and more concerned with their health as well as the environment. But many people wonder whether it’s really worth paying more for these products. Is organic food simply a passing trend, or has it become a necessity to ensure good health? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of food.”
- Elizabeth G (Modern Gal) from Modern Gal presents Avoiding Last Minute Financial Temptations.
- Matt from Bruce Bucks presents Confession Monday: $35 Hair Cut.
DEBT – THE BALL DROP
He he – get it? The ball drop? As in, you drop the ball when you’re too deep in debt? No? 😉
- Jonathan from CentsToShare presents The Minimum Payment Trap – Be A Debt Rebel.
- Darwin from Darwin’s Money presents Who Would Lend Money to This Guy? You’d Be Surprised, and says, “You’ll be astounded by the audacity of this guy who keeps borrowing money he can never repay – and those who keep lending. And then, you’ll learn who he is – you know him quite well.”
REAL ESTATE – FIREWORKS
I think we all know there’s been some fireworks in the real estate industry over the past year or so! Although the market is down, first-time buyers are snagging great deals and interest rates. There is an upside to every bad situation!
- Sandy from Yes, I Am Cheap presents Finance 101: How To Avoid Bad Tenants, and says, “I have a tenant from hell, but she taught me exactly what to do to avoid another tenant like her.”
- Money Thinker from Money Thinking presents Should I Buy a New Home or Should I Build One?.
- Paul Williams from Provident Planning presents Is Renting Throwing Away Money?, and says, “A look at why owning a home can be throwing away money just as much as renting can.”
- Ryan from The Military Wallet presents Options For Homeowners Who Can’t Sell Their Home, and says, “My wife and I can’t sell our home right now, so we are evaluating our options.”
- Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents presents Gifting Tax Rules for 2011, and says, “Wanting to give a gift to help ease your estate taxes? Here’s what you need to know regarding IRS gifting rules.”
- Kay Lynn Akers from Bucksome Boomer presents 5 Reasons You Should Update Your Will, and says, “As we approach retirement, the last thing we want to think about is death. Making sure your will is in order is a responsibility that is as important securing your finances for retirement.”
- Michael from The Dough Roller presents Top 7 Finance and Productivity Apps for the iPad, and says, “For those lucky enough to get an iPad this Christmas, these financial applications are a must have.”
- pfblogger from Personal Cents presents How to Ask for a Raise in a Recession.
- Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents Women need MORE MONEY, and says, “Nicole and Maggie grumble about how they’d prefer more money to dancing dogs.”
- MD from Studenomics presents What is Lifestyle Design & Why is it So Damn Popular?, and says, “Some thought provoking thoughts on the whole world of lifestyle design.”
- IS from Intelligent Speculator presents How I Would Run AOL For a Year, and says, “A quick synopsis of how I would run AOL if I were in charge.”
- Mike from Green Panda Treehouse presents The Slacker’s Guide to Following Your Resolutions., and says, “A few effective ways you can get your financial resolutions on track this year.”
- Jessica from MomVesting presents How is Inflation Affecting Your Cash Investments, and says, “Simply leaving your money in a mattress may not be as safe as it seems.”
- Ryan from Cash Money Life presents Your Financial Lingo Cheat Sheet, and says, “Here are a few personal finance terms with short definitions – some terms you’ve probably heard before, but may not know.”
- Ben from Money Smart Life presents Why I Quit My Job, and says, “How preparing financially allowed me to quit a job that made me miserable.”
- Jason from One Money Design presents Common Tax Deductions for the Christian Taxpayer, and says, “It is important to know what deductions you are permitted to take by law so that you only pay unto Caesar what he is due.”
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