Sunday, March 26, 2006

Carnival of Personal Finance #41

Welcome to the 41st edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance. There is a wide variety of submissions this week and I'm certainly ready for a nap after going through all of them (and I didn't have to even read - something I still can't do - but just listen as they were being read). Still, it was worthwhile and will give you plenty of reading this week. Enjoy!


Money and Values: Community Development Banking
Quote: "I know it's not the absolute highest interest rate I could find, but it's a great balance for me personally. I'm happy knowing my money is having a positive social impact, and my savings are at least keeping a little ahead of inflation."

Mapgirl's Fiscal Challenge: Guaranteed 6% Rate of Return?
Quote: "It's participating in a social network of lending through the Korean community, called a 'geh'. Like the old Hibernian Banks and Building and Loan Societies of old, Korean folks raise capital through their social community networks."

Budgeting / Frugality

Thrifty Ray's Red to Black Journey: Whatever it Takes...
Quote: "'whatever it takes' was a very scary territory for me. My family was used to a lifestyle of spending. How could I get them to change?

No Credit Needed: How I Roll
Quote: "Imagine that the checking account is a glass full of water, and the saving account is an empty glass of water. I "pour" a bit of the cash from the checking account, every day or two, into the savings account. This way, I still have convenient access to my money, and I can chose NOT to transfer any amount of money at anytime. I like my system..."

Monkey Trouble: Since It's Been Discussed Elsewhere...
Quote: "Budget. The dirty 6 letter word that everyone hates with a passion. I was talking about my loosely defined budget with someone the other day. Basically this is the deal. I *hate* budgets. Hate 'em. I have good reason for hating them."

Flash's Saving Blog: Desperate Measures For Grocery Budgeting
Quote: "It's difficult. It may seem cruel. It may seem impossible. But when you force yourself to make choices, you start managing your budget."

Five Cent Nickel: Preparing For Our Moving Sale
Quote: "After seeing just how much crap we have, we actually debated about scrapping the sale entirely, and just donating everything to charity ? after all, that would save us the pain of pricing it all. But we ultimately rallied (here again, ‘we’ should be interpreted as my lovely and talented wife) and now have a garage full of stuff that is mostly priced."

Debt Hater: Paying Yourself First, For Real
Quote: "When I budgeted what I "paid myself" it was really easy to simply change that when I ran low on cash. But if I never counted that money to begin with and knew I couldn't just transfer it out of savings, I'd be forced to be a lot smarter about my money."

Common Room: Cost Versus Value
Quote: "So we loaded that heavy thing on the truck (we moved ourselves), friends had to unload it (because we were stranded in a Midwestern state hoping the Headmaster would regain the use of his arm after the car accident en route), and we've never needed it, never will need it, and have no place for it. It would have been more cost effective to leave it behind."

Boston Gal's Open Wallet: The Decisions Involved In Spending Money
Quote: "As I mentioned in my post: My decor is more Sanford & Son less Martha Stewart, I really do struggle with this. I guess it comes down to - I want nice things, I just don't want to pay for them."

2¢ Worth: Gadget Freebies
Quote: "It isn't about comparing like to like. You have to compare it with what you're currently having - and whether there's a burning need to change the status quo."

Career / Work

Find A New Job: The Value Of A Vacation Week
Quote: "No matter what people tell you, vacation time is negotiable, but some times it is not worth to negotiate it."

Career Intensity Blog: Three Steps To A New Career
Quote: "Managing your career is hard work. It is probably the most important thing you can do. If you do not take control of your career you will be subject to the never-ending cycle of unproductive performance reviews and less than thrilling salary increases. "

Aridni: Today's Office Special: Free Money
Quote: "Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing." Meanwhile, I'm still dreaming of that free money at my fingertips."

Credit / Debt

Pacesetter Mortgage Blog: Credit Bureaus Agree To Common Credit Scoring System
Quote: "To this end, the three credit reporting agencies have just announced VantageScore. The VantageScore is a proprietary score, developed by the three credit reporting agencies, designed to compete directly with the FICO score."

Ozarklad: Negotiating Down Credit Card Rates
Quote: "On Saturday I received yet another offer of a loan from that bank, this time for 7.99%. So Monday morning I called again. This time the person ran through various questions, such as salary, rent vs. own, etc. She offered 19.99, which is much better than the others, but it's still in what I would consider a sub-prime rate. I accepted the new rate, because it is reduced 7.5%."

Our Money Matters: Spot a Bad Credit Card Offer Without Reading It
Quote: "If the offer is for a MasterCard or Visa and includes a fake credit card, the terms and conditions are always bad."

Net Worth Blog: The Higher Yield Files: Valuing Leverage
Quote: "It's pretty straightforward to calculate. Just line up your assets and the return you expect to generate from each, line up your liabilities and their respective costs. The difference in returns is your net return and that divided by your net worth is your return on (beginning) equity ("ROE")."

Frank the Financially Savvy Atheist (The F.S.A.): How Credit Card Companies Make Money
Quote: "This presents something of a quandary for the Credit Card companies. They don't necessarily want to tie up $1 trillion dollars worth of capital all the time. Even though they can charge interest rates in the 20%+ range, they're are other things that they want to do with their capital."

Health / Medical

Single Guy High Impact Saving: High Impact Savings My Way
Quote: "You've probably heard that exercising is good for you, but you haven't really considered all the benefits (health and money wise) you can get from it."

InsureBlog: What Price Cancer?
Quote: "This paradox is what is confusing, even to those who seemingly understand the yin and yang of health care. One (drug) has low demand, so the price is inflated. The other (drug) has high demand, so the price is inflated."

Hayek, MD: Welcome To The Jungle
Quote: "Interpretation: Passing Health Savings Accounts legislation was like drafting children to fight in Vietnam or, wait for it, like Bush drafting children for his War in Iraq - did you see that sneeky sleight-of-hand?"


Laws of Finance: Dollar Doomed? Diversify Abroad!
Quote: "Basically, foreigners frantically ridding themselves of U.S. dollars and U.S. dollar denominated assets will send the dollar plunging. As I said before, asset prices will also plummet. So, your savings may not be as secure as you think it is if you have it in U.S. dollar denominated assets. This could lead to a rash of bankruptcies. Hmmm… Maybe I should look into bankruptcy law. I think there might be a killing to be made there in a few years."

It's Just Money: ABCs of Mutual Fund Loads
Quote: "One of the biggest problems is that the clever load funds vary the way that they charge you. This way, if you are looking for the front load, you may not find it, yet still get charged the same amount or more."

Investing Guide: Vanguard Portfolio
Quote: "I am thinking about tweaking the portfolio a little more, but I think this portfolio will do for now. Slice and dicing a portfolio seems like a lot of trouble, but at least it gives investors more control of their asset."

Frugal Wisdom From Wenchypoo's Warehouse: Let's Play The Bird Flu Strategy Game!
Quote: "The Bird Flu makes me wish there was some sort of a meat index. I hate having to buy individual stocks, but I see no other way to take advantage of this occurrence."

Financial Reference: Expected Returns
Quote: "The calculation that should be used is to value the company using a discounted cash flow analysis (whether it’s discounted dividends, free cash flow, etc.) to arrive at a current value for the company and it’s shares. You can then calculate a value for the company at any date in the future using the same assumptions you used in your initial calculation."

Financial Options: Your Financial Roadmap for March 27-31, 2006
Quote: "The earnings releases listed are companies I've chosen because of their industries, because of market capitalization (the size of the company), because they have local plants in my area or for various other reasons of general interest."

Dividend Guy: Stock Analysis - My Approach with GE
Quote: "The important thing to consider about the whole process (whether you are using a software package or not) is that the decision to buy a company is based totally on your interpretation of the data."

Ask Uncle Bill: Market Psychology or The Wall Of Worry
Quote: "So the market should go down because there are a lot of things to worry about. Guess what, there are always a lot of things to worry about and, in the past, a lot more worrisome things than those things listed above."

Personal Finance

Journey To Financial Freedom: Things You Must Do To Achieve Financial Freedom
Quote: "Maybe because of my improvements or because I spend a lot of time with my mentor, suddenly I can see the other side of the world. A world of people who are financial free. This has really helped me so I can analyze and compare and finally I found that there are some things that my mentor always does that other people may take for granted."

"D"igital Breakfast: Sun Tzu and the Art of Personal Finance (III)
Quote: "As many of us knows, success in personal finance is derived from laying plans. I had a project manager once tell me to always remember the 6P’s: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. So regardless of what you want to do in life and how you want your finances to turn out, if you don’t plan you plan to fail. Boy did I just cliche myself through this paragraph!"

Adult ADD and Money: Reasons To Play The Lottery
Quote: "Playing the lottery on a regular basis is a bad financial strategy. Statistically you will get a negative return for the money that you invest in playing the lottery. However if you just focused on these three reasons you might be inclined to make the lottery part of your investing portfolio."

Real Estate / Mortgages

Searchlight Crusade: Lenders Are All The Same
Quote: "Just like Mohandas Gandhi and Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun were all human beings, lenders make money by lending money to people who want it. That's about the limit of the truth in that statement."

Million Dollar Goal: An Introduction To FHA Loan Benefits
Quote: "Many people, especially first-time buyers, use FHA loans because the qualifications are a bit more lenient and they can purchase a house with a 3-percent down payment. While it is possible to get a 3-percent down payment for a conventional loan -- and even zero-down loans -- interest rates are normally higher than with FHA-backed loans."

Blueprint for Financial Prosperity: Do You Care About Housing Market Signs?
Quote: "I believe the only place national stats matter is when you're talking mortgage loan rates and the housing market lags mortgage rates. The rates are going up, that's why housing sales are decreasing, it's not the other way around. So really, I don't think national stats matter at all when you're thinking about selling or buying a home...the local stats matter significantly more."

Shopping / Buying

Single Ma's Fabulous Financials: The Art Of Negotiating
...when buying a new(er) car

Quote: " only works if you're not in desperate need for a car because the entire process takes time. Helpful Tip: Do NOT wait until your car leaves you stranded on the side of the road before deciding to replace it."

Inchoate Random Abstractions: Appearances Can Be Deceiving
Quote: "How well-dressed you are is one indicator of your status, and how much money you have to spend. Makes sense, right? But so not true! If any of you have read the Millionaire Next Door, you'll know what I'm talking about."

Canadian Financial Stuff: Rant: Poor Customer Service
Quote: "Moral of this rant, don't stand for being treated like cattle, or worse still vermin, when you are going to drop a couple of hundred dollars on any item. You are spending your hard earned money, make the sales people treat you well, to earn their commission (or whatever sales pay they receive)."

A Geek's World: A Good Deal From Consumer Reports
Quote: "I do not think I would recommend making a big buy without getting (Consumer Report's) opinion. At the very least you will find out the positives and negatives of what you are buying."


Sitting Pretty: Getting Ahead At Tax Time
Quote: "There isn’t any legal way out of paying taxes. So it’s best to just succumb to the inevitable and do your patriotic part. However, the law-abiding approach is going to leave you struggling like millions of other middle class Americans."

Roth & Company Tax Update: You Made A deal With American Express: Here Comes The IRS
Quote: "When you cut a deal on your credit card debt, put aside something for the tax man. They don't go for for the "I didn't get the 1099-C" ploy."

Multiple Mentality: Random "Tax Refund" Rant
Quote: "Admittedly, if there was no withholding, people wouldn't have enough money to pay their taxes because the preponderance of us (including myself) can't budget our money properly (hence the overabundance of credit card debt in this country), but I still find it unfair that we’re not allowed to create our own "income tax savings account" if we want to, have our money withheld in a bank of our own choosing, and then cut a check to the government in the first quarter of the next year."

Mighty Bargain Hunter: When That Interest-Free Loan Gets Paid Back
Quote: "When I saw the Liz Pulliam Weston article "7 smart ways to spend your tax refund" I saw the word "spend" and thought, "Oh great, just blow it on junk, why don't you!" But I was wrong in this assumption."

Don't Mess With Taxes: The Slings And Arrows Of Outrageous Taxes
Quote: "Poor Ellen. She's learned a sad fact. Tax collectors the world over are insistent on accuracy. They also want substantiation. Among the things that got Ellen in trouble was trying to write off too many things as business expenses when in reality they had only a vague, quasi-legitimate connection to her job."

Centrerion: How to Do Your Taxes Faster
Quote: "On looseleaf, you should write things such as which sections will see the numbers increase or decrease. This means accidental errors will be caught before the end of the process (last year, I added 9K where I was supposed to substract... you can imagine my surprise when I finished and saw that I, a student, owed money to the government!)"

Cap'n Arbyte's: It's Good to Doublecheck
Quote: "As much as I detest knowing anything about taxes, in this instance I think my meager knowledge saved me from an audit. The IRS would know about those sales, but they weren't on my tax returns! As repellent as it is to waste my mental capacity with information about taxes, I think an audit would be even more horrible."

Canadian Capitalist: Over Withholding
Quote: "To find out how much the interest-free loan cost me, I ran a quick calculation: Let's say I am expecting a $6,000 refund on my taxes, which works out to $500 per month. I am also assuming that I can get a 5% risk-free, tax-free return by making a lump-sum prepayment on our mortgage. That works out to $216.45 in lost interest over a period of 15 months."

Time Management

Firevalt: Law of Lost Attention
Quote: "Learning to focus my attention on the worthwhile will bring me the success I seek. In our day and age of mult-tasking, we divide our attention over many trivial things, and focus less on the things that will bring satisfaction and meaning."

That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the reading. Next week’s Carnival of Personal Finance will be hosted at okdork and you can find out more information and the entire schedule at Consumerism Commentary


Todd said...

Thanks for hosting this week. =)

Looks like we have a lot to read up on!

Jane Dough said...

Great job - love the quotes!

mapgirl said...

Thanks for hosting this week! Good job on getting it up early!

hgstern said...

WoW! You really went all out!

Terrific job...thanx for including so many interesting posts, and for all the hard work you (obviously) put into this.

IRA said...

Thanks for hosting! The quotes are definitely helpful.

Kay said...

Thanks for the hosting. Nice job.!

The Carnival of Personal Finance #41 is now open. As noted by Carnival host Financial Baby Steps, you'll find a wide variety of personal finance bloggings. ...

Single Ma said...

Aww the baby is soooo cute!

Thanks for being our hostess this week.

lecentre said...

First, thanks for hosting the carnival! It's a nice format, and you clearly put some effort into getting all the quotations, especially considering all the posts submitted.
I have a couple of constructive criticisms.
This being the carnival of personal finance, the personal finance section might be better at the top; ditto the sections on investing, taxes, and a few others which are more directly relevant than 'health/medical' and such.
Also, would you mind changing the citation from my post on how to do taxes faster to reflect the serious nature of most of the post? You could exchange the current one for another quote, or add something, but I feel it kind of misleads readers to post that part in particular.
Thanks again! Overall top stuff.
lecentre, of
p.s. here's a suggested quote: "
1) Read the forms over and take notes.
On looseleaf, you should write things such as which sections will see the numbers increase or decrease. This means accidental errors will be caught before the end of the process (last year, I added 9K where I was supposed to substract... you can imagine my surprise when I finished and saw that I, a student, owed money to the government!)."

Jose Anes said...

Referenced in
Find New Job and Money And Investing

lecentre said...

Thanks for including us, and for hosting. I hope the taxt tips were useful.
Canadian politics

lecentre said...

Oh this is from a ways back, lol, i remember now. Thanks for updating the post!