The 101st Edition of Carnival of Personal Finance!


[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (http://firefinance.blogspot.com).]

chairA warm welcome to all. Pull up a chair, ease yourself into it with a relaxing cup of coffee and enjoy the 101st edition of this wonderful carnival. For our new audience we share the inspiration that gave birth to this blog. Like millions of people enmeshed in the rat race of corporate America we were living like automatons. We worked to live and lived to work. Caught in this infinite loop we were like horses running with blinders who were absolutely clueless about where we were being led to!

FIRE FinanceFortunately last year we chanced upon a great book by Bob Clyatt "Work Less Live More" which changed our perspective on life. You may say that in a way he took off our blinders and helped us to see that we can get out of the rat race and buy ourselves a life! He sowed the belief that a stress free life replete with activities that we love to do is not a pipe dream but within our reach. So we set forth on a journey to achieve FIRE aka Financial Independence Retire Early.

Money CubeWe decided to share our journey to FIRE with fellow travelers and thus our blog FIRE Finance was born. You will find that our blog portrays real life experiences, practical tips, useful and timely posts related to personal finance and retirement planning. Please explore our offerings, peruse the posts in various categories of your choice and discover several gems akin to your tastes. One good place to start is the mission statement and then perhaps take a peek at our investing philosophies. The next perch might be the comprehensive list of all our publications at various carnivals and festivals. And in the process if you get to like us, you may subscribe to our blog if you so wish.

TidBitsNow let us get on with the carnival. Here are some starting tidbits. This edition received 68 posts, out of which 3 had been published elsewhere. One submission had an invalid URL, another was not a permanent or static post and five submissions were not quite relevant to the theme of this carnival. That left us with 58 submissions which made it to this edition!

With that the time has come to embark on our journey to unfurl some great categorized gems of personal finance this week!

Credit
CREDIT

Wendell Sherk (Bankruptcy Law Network) reports that Stop Unfair Practices in Credit Cards Act has been Proposed. It says "A bill introduced this week will curb abusive credit card billing. It could save folks thousands in interest and other charges, helping them get out of debt much sooner. It's the first major legislation to cut back on the power of credit card companies in years." Keeping our fingers crossed.

Michael Emilio (South Florida Realtor) shares with us 8 Ways To Improve Your Credit To Get a Mortgage. Good suggestions but a few more tips could be added.

Sun (The Sun’s Financial Diary) asks a puzzling question: Is the New Discover Motiva Card Encouraging Credit Card Debt? Seems like it is! After all Discover is in for business not charity.

Linda (Moneymonk) loves Debit Cards. Well we are not yet willing to give up our cash back credit cards any time soon!

Debt
DEBT

DebtWhat does getting out of debt buy you? answered by Frank Pippel (The Happy Rock). The author has verily shared a personal and insightful experience with us.

DebtDDL (Make Your Nut) presents Advice for New Graduates: Credit and Financing (Maxed Out at Graduation). This post talks about students who are graduating with massive amounts of consumer debt.

DebtAn informative post on Almost Debt Free: Good Debt vs. Bad Debt from John (Queercents).

frugality
FRUGALITY

Frugality10 ways to save money in College comes from Ted Reimers (CampusGrotto College Blog). Students should take a printout of it and stick it on their refrigerators. It is by no means complete but is a good starting point.

FrugalityAmelia (Around the Sun) wonders about: Coupon Clipping Services: Are They Worth It?. Hmm........n, takes some planning and timing though.

FrugalitySalem (One Snarky Chica with Issues) tells us A lesson on saving money on gas. We also have 4 gas-saving myths busted from George Courtney Jr (The Authentic Bartender). We can certainly benefit from these - thanks folks!

Frugality180 Money Saving Tips to Turn Your Financial Life Around 180 Degrees from Brett McKay (The Frugal Law Student) is a loooong list of useful tips - print it out for reference.

FrugalityDavid (My Two Dollars) presents Does Bundling Your Cable, Phone & Internet Save Any Money?. His conclusion: "The lesson is to never assume that a bundled package is going to save you money". We agree.

FrugalityJeremy (Generation X Finance) advocates that Carefully Choosing When to Buy Propane Could Save You Hundreds of Dollars.

Investing
INVESTING

InvestingHOW TO: Select a Profitable Rental Property from Plus6 (Plus6 Personal Finance). We feel that this one is not everyone's cup of tea. What do you folks say?

InvestingJunger (Online Savings Blog) narrates a sour experience in Ameriprise Nickels and Dimes My Roth IRA Transfer. Lack of transparency is not good for long term success of a business!

InvestingJustin S. Parr (The Daily Compass) reveals Five things your financial advisor knows (...but will never tell you). Straight from the horse's mouth, no kidding!

InvestingMr Credit Card (Ask Mr Credit Card’s Blog) suggests
Combine Active and Index Investing. We feel that we should do our own study first to understand the concepts and then decide according to our own taste for investing.

InvestingKMC (Advanced Personal Finance) presents I hate the so-called 'core' CPI.
We do not entirely agree but there is certainly some truth to what is written here.

InvestingStock Analysis - Altria Group Inc. (NYSE:MO) performed by Average Joe (Investment Jungle). This is for those who pick individual stocks.

InvestingClint (Accumulating Money) reports
What active investors really do and what it costs them . It is a good read and it pays to be informed about active investing.

InvestingSilicon Valley Blogger (The Digerati Life) presents How Some Money Savvy Bloggers Are Investing: A Collection of Investment Portfolios. A good post to read if you are serious about investing.

InvestingShadox (Money and Such) presents a fantastic post on
Dealing with Fear of Investing. It can indeed be overcome with discipline and planning.

InvestingThe Yield Curve Is Flat - Again
by Babak (Trader's Narrative). Are you concerned? If we have put our investing on an auto pilot, we should not be!

InvestingWe would encourage all would be and new investors to read
this article by Ben (Money Smart Life) on The Simple Secret of Investing. It is a fine post. Experience shows us that simplicity and common sense are uncommon!

InvestingTJP (Investor Trip) has jotted down a very good post on Investing in International REITs.

nest egg
RETIREMENT

RetirementHenry Stern, LUTCF, CBC (InsureBlog) presents The Golden Years, Redux? . Think you're ready for your retirement? This post has some disturbing stats that show you might not be.

RetirementKevin (Personal Finance at KMull.com) is taking a hard look at his 401k Options, Part 5 and says, "I continue my series looking into my 401k fund options. Will this fund fit in?"

RetirementWanna find out 10 Reasons People Retire Poor, then read this post by Jeffrey Strain (Saving Advice). You may find out something that needs to be worked on.

Savings
SAVINGS

SavingsGolbguru (Money, Matter, and More Musings) writes from his own experience about Simple Saving Trick: Pay Yourself First And Then Keep Stealing. Interesting perspective, there is a danger of overdraft though.

SavingsHow's Your Net Worth Stack Up? courtesy FMF (Free Money Finance). Find out how much you are worth in the money game!

SavingsJ (Home Finance Freedom) presents Practical Wealth V. Phantom Wealth: Time Your Money Phantom Wealth? Read on to see where it leads you.

SavingsKRG (Fil-Am Words) reasons Why You Need An Emergency Fund. Any doubts, anyone?

SavingsWhere does the Rule of 72 come from? MBHunter (mighty bargain hunter). Admittedly a little geeky stuff (Taylor Series anyone?).

SavingsCybersavings-Online Savings Accounts
from Allen Young (Living the Dream). Online accounts are a hit with us.

SavingsPiggy (The Piggy Banker) writes a brief Introduction to CDs. If you knew all about CDs then perhaps you could consider Laddering Your CD Investments as advised by Henry (Binary Dollar).

SavingsNCN (No Credit Needed) suggests Breaking Down A Goal Into Micro-Goals. This also prevents one from being overwhelmed and gives a sense of accomplishment.

SavingsLimeade (Fiscal Musings) lists down some lessons learned in Investing with Peter Lynch.

Misc
MISCELLANEOUS

MiscRich Minx (Rich Minx) presents Is Paying for AdWords Worth It? and says, "A lot of 'make money online' bloggers write about Google AdSense, but not AdWords, paying for ads to help increase visitors to your site. An experienced AdWords user writes about the pros and cons of AdWords, with some top tips for attracting targeted traffic." This one is about monetizing your blog - skip it if you are not interested. If you are interested in monetizing your blog Rich Minx has some interesting information for you.

MiscThe Simplest Rule Of Success
laid out by Jeremy Reeves (The Road To A Perfect Life). It is a fine read, take a peek at it.

MiscHazzard (Everybody Loves Your Money) tries to find out What Drives The Craving To Spend Money?, and says, "A post about the urge to spend. No matter how good you are with your money, you will always have the desire to spend it. What are some of the reasons for this?" The solution: awareness and will power.

MiscSuper Saver (My Wealth Builder) ponders Is Anything Really NEW In Personal Finance? Hmm...n this is a question which left us to contemplate and wonder how creative we can be with our finances.

MiscMama Money (Financial Dispatches) presents My Daughter, the Tax Deduction, and says, "There is no area of your life in which personal finances don't matter: why I chose to be induced for the tax deduction in 2006." She learned it the hard way. Congratulations! All is well that ends well :-).

MiscHow to spot fake designer goods? from Sara Goldstein (The Bargain Queen blog). Nice informative post on spotting the cheats.

MiscEasy Change (Easy Change) asserts that There's No Shame In Moving Home, and says, "I've written a small post including some thoughts on how much someone should be trying to earn and save before moving out of the house."

MiscJjoa (I want a sabbatical year) my very expensive car. We leave you to explore it :-)!

MiscFor those ye entrepreneurs. How To: Pitch Your Company for VC or Angel Money presented by Sagar Satapathy (Business Fund.com).

MiscFlexo (Consumerism Commentary) presents Financial Lessons From Television Fiction: House, and says, "The television show House has very little to do with personal finance, but since personal finance is a universal concept, there are a few pieces of advice we can take away from the show."

MiscEveryday Finance (Everyday Finance) feels The Gasoline Boycott is Just Plain Silly. What do you folks say?

MiscIspf (Grad Money Matters) informs us about Culture Specific Oddities in Money Matters , and says, "A look at some of the oddities of one of the Asian cultures in regards to money matters". An interesting read indeed.

MiscPT (Prime Time Money) presents Are You Getting Things Done?
This is an open question and we feel it totally depends on our priorities, discipline and focus to put in a worthwhile effort to reach our goals. If the effort is right the rest will fall in place.

MiscInteresting ways people define Financial Freedom
at Financial Freedom Butchered by Michael K. Dawson (Breaking the Shackles of the 9 to 5 | by The Time & Money Group).

MiscNickel (FiveCentNickel) describes The Importance of Buying Flood Insurance. Fortunately we don't need it or do we?

MiscMike (Clever Dude Personal Finance & Money) frankly blogs on Dealing with Trust, In-Laws and Money. We really liked the ending. Lesson learnt and we are greatly inspired by the positive attitude of Mike.

MiscPete (My Financial Awareness) has experienced that Eating Right, Professional Athletes & Financial Prosperity are all related. The post says, "Why realizing what we eat and its impact on our energy through out the day is an important step in improving our financial abundance. "

MiscNigel (Retire To India) pens down some observations on Immigrants and Personal finance. Some of them were right on spot.

MiscNot Made Of Money (Not Made Of Money) poses a very important question: Taking Inventory of Our Wallets - Who Would We Need To Contact If They Were Lost Or Stolen? Well, we feel it is worth being prepared since losing or misplacing one's wallet is a common occurrence.

FIRE FinanceThat brings us to the end of our journey through this personal finance carnival. Sincere thanks to all the carnival readers, regular and new alike. Without your continued support and interest the carnival would lose its luster.

Please check out the carnival main page for various news and announcements. Do visit the carnival next week at Money Smart Life. You may submit for the next edition using this submission form.

Our compliments to all fellow bloggers for their hard work and willingness to share their unique experiences. Keep up the good effort and have a wonderful week ahead!

Image Source(s): iStockPhoto

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