Welcome to the February 17, 2012 Edition #224 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.
The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.
This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.
The Skilled Investor, Editor
Budgeting and Economics
Miss T. presents Save Money on Rent posted at Prairie Eco Thrifter , saying, “Whatever the reason causing you to rent, you most likely want the rent payment to be as reasonable as possible. You can save money on rent, I know because we got rent reductions.”
Kay Lynn presents How to Find Financial Accord posted at Bucksome Boomer , saying, “It took us a few years to completely stop arguing about money. This is what worked for us”
Cash Flow Mantra presents Network Up Over 28% in 6 Months posted at Cash Flow Mantra , saying, “I was pleasantly surprised to find that in the previous six months, my net worth had increased just over 28%! It was a combination of increased balances in the retirement accounts and decreased debt.”
Crystal presents We’ve Updated Our Budget posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff , saying, “Now that Mr. BFS and I are both working from home, I finally took the time to sit down and update our budget. We didn’t actually have many changes. Even our basic income stayed in the same general area. We pay ourselves $2550 after taxes every two weeks, so we are basing on our numbers on that $5100 minimum per month.”
Jeffrey presents Stupid Survey Questions posted at Saving Advice , saying, “I got a survey the other day about my attitudes on the economy. I had to laugh when I got to the question that read, “Do you find yourself striving to save more money on your everyday purchases or foregoing those purchases so you can treat yourself to a more expensive indulgence?” I guess my participation blew the bell curve because every time they made some suggestion like this, I said no and explained why their questions were stupid.”
Janet presents Living Expenses posted at Independent Retirement Planner, saying, “If you do not understand how much you spend and how much you are saving and investing, you simply do not have a financial plan..”
D.J. presents The Allowance: How to Teach Your Kids about Money posted at The Family Wallet , saying, “Besides managing your own money well so your kids mimic positive financial choices, you can also teach your kids the practices of frugality, budgeting, saving over time, and much more with effective use of an allowance.”
Miranda presents Should You Care About European Financial Problems? posted at Personal Dividends , saying, “Europe is in the middle of a financial crisis. There are concerns about defaults on sovereign debt, and a banking crisis as individual banks borrow at high levels from the European Central Bank.”
Beating Broke presents Creating a Simple Budget the Beating Broke Way posted at Beating Broke , saying, “Here’s how we have the budget set up at the Beating Broke household.
Marie@familymoneyvalues.com presents Dividing Your Estate Unequally Between Children posted at Family Money Values , saying, “Expert sources all agree that you have the right to do whatever they want to with your estate. If you want to leave unequal distributions, that is your business. However, they also agree that leaving unequal distributions can lead to more legal challenges to your estate’s distribution as well as to more anguish and conflict between your heirs. Here are some ideas on how to set it up so those things don’t happen.”
Megan Durham presents Passing the Torch: A Story of Succession Planning and the Family Business posted at Yes, I Am Cheap , saying, “My mother and her siblings decided it was time to meet with a professional to discuss succession planning. It was an arduous process, mainly because their lawyers insisted that everything be put down in writing. 60 plus years of tradition, unofficial communication, and oblique decision-making processes had to be deciphered, documented and made official in a way that made legal sense.”
Marie at Family Money Values presents Five Fabulous Financial Moves posted at Family Money Values , saying, “These are the things that we did right that moved us along to financial independence. Maybe they will work for you as well, but always consider your own situation and get the best advice about your own moves that you can. These things aren’t at all unusual, you have probably already read about them and maybe you are already doing them. They certainly aren’t complex or hard to understand. However, they are very effective if you can pursue them with diligence and long lasting persistence.”
FMF presents Picturing Your Destination, Part 1 posted at Free Money Finance , saying, “It seems a small order, asking you to list your personal financial goals. And, in fact, it is quite easy for most people who are asked by their financial advisors to complete the traditional. Yet, developing a clear picture of your financial destinations can be anything but simple, especially when you try to push beyond vague generalizations to get into the specifics.”
Walter presents Best Bond Funds posted at Fixed Income Investing, saying, “The bond investment fund market is no place for an individual investor to try to beat the market and get higher returns through attempts at clever fixed income investing. Even professional bond market money managers do not beat the bond market.”
N.W. Journey presents Get Organized with your Money posted at Networth Journey, saying, “Getting organized with your money is the first step towards financial health.”
Larry presents ID theft protection posted at Personal Financial Planner, saying, “As a threat to your financial security, you should take the potential for identity theft very seriously. Identity theft sometimes entails a loss of your money, but whether or not you lose money, it can take a very large amount of your time to rectify.”
Colin Williams presents Financial Plan Checklist – What To Check In Your Financial Plan posted at humble savers , saying, “Financial planners are often criticised for not providing a ‘good’ financial plan, but what does a good financial plan look like? This is a practical guide for making sure you have got a financial plan, just for you.”
Frank presents Best Index Fund posted at Individual Investment Strategies, saying, “Short-term mutual fund trading is a zero sum game played against other very well informed mutual fund traders and other securities market traders. On average, higher mutual fund turnover is far more likely to result in lower investment fund performance — instead of superior risk-adjusted performance.”
Financing a Home
Karl presents Refinancing your home mortgage, save thousands for what you have now posted at CultOfMoney , saying, “Appropriately refinancing your home mortgage is likely the pinnacle of the frugal living meme that you can accomplish in your lifetime. Go ahead and compare this to not buying a coffee every morning, or living like a pauper for 30 years. You can save thousands of dollars by refinancing, and still have the exact same house you have now! And most people don’t put in the few hours of effort that it takes, essentially turning down consulting work paying several thousand dollars an hour. ”
Lisa presents Can Your Finances Handle Home Ownership? posted at Thriftability , saying, “When you’ve saved that 20% for the down payment, where do you go from there… and what considerations should be made in regard to mortgages and financing, home owner’s insurance, and other variables that may exist?”
LaTisha presents First Rental Property: Find Investors or Go It Alone? posted at Financial Success for Young Adults , saying, “Starting your first rental property? Deciding whether or not to take on investors has many advantages and disadvantages.”
Colin Robertson presents 20-Year vs. 30-Year Mortgages | The Truth About Mortgage.com posted at Mortgage Tips and Credit Help, saying, “When it comes down it, 30-year mortgages have some drawbacks, with the most obvious one being the long amortization period. They also come with the highest interest rates relative to other loan programs.”
Glen presents Financial Literacy: What to Teach Younger Children posted at Parenting Family Money , saying, “It’s important to start teaching financial literacy to your children from when they are young. See what to teach then and when.”
Charles Chua C K presents Is It Wise and Effective to Get a Student Loan? posted at All About Living with Life.
Corey presents Health Insurance – An Important Financial Benefit posted at 20s Finances , saying, “Have you ever stopped to calculate how much you make from your job? When you took the time to calculate this, did you include all of your benefits!”
Kevin presents How I Quit My Job and What I Plan to Do Next posted at Invest It Wisely , saying, “I finally reached the point in my life where it was time to move on to a new adventure. Yes, you read that right: I quit my job!”
Linsey presents Help a Reporter: How to Answer HARO Requests and Get Free PR for Your Small Business posted at 1099 Mom , saying, “I have been using Help A Reporter as both a journalist/blogger and a publicity seeker for 3 years, and have seen amazing results! My quotes and features have been seen in Better Homes and Gardens, All You, Family Circle, Shape, Reader’s Digest, and many more. I have secured radio interviews and even conference speaking engagements! If you are not using HARO yet, you are missing out.”
Sustainable PF presents Be Careful When Using Your Social Network as Part of Your Career posted at Sustainable Personal Finance , saying, “Sometimes using your social network to find work can backfire on you. Additionally, helping members of your social network to find a job can also be a real problem, resulting in reputation damage.”
Ashley presents Battling Your Income Related Fears posted at Money Talks Coaching , saying, “People have a lot of fears when it comes to their income. That’s totally understandable. Your income is your primary source of survival. When it comes to income most are afraid of losing their current income. Some are also afraid they won’t make enough. “
FIRE Finance presents What Should We Do If Our Mutual Fund Goes Belly Up? posted at FIRE Finance , saying, “What happens to our money if a mutual fund goes out of business i.e. the fund goes belly up?”
Pat Huddleston presents Technology: Every Scamster’s Friend posted at Investor’s Watchblog, saying, “Forgery is centuries old and will always be with us. In this age of fraud, detection skills are not a luxury; they’re a necessity.”
Dividend Growth Investor presents Dividend investing for monthly income posted at Dividend Growth Investor, saying, “Many novice investors are focusing on stocks that pay monthly dividends. However, by laddering dividend stocks with different payout dates, investors can generate a dividend stream of income every month.”
Super Saver presents Extended Low Interest Rates – Another Bubble or Deflation? posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “How will low interest rates affect the economy? There are two possible scenarios based on recent history.”
Janet presents Investment manager performance posted at Personal Investment Manager, saying, “The effort to find those few supposedly superior money managers willing to sell their services sufficiently cheaply is a costly, time consuming, and futile, “Where’s Waldo?,” searching exercise for the individual investor.”
What Next presents Great Returns from Buy and Hold posted at What Next, saying, “First a definition. Buy and hold investing is where you invest with the intention of holding onto your investments for a long time period. What buy and hold investing is not is: buy and forget, buy and ignore, buy and hope, buy once and hold.”
Frank Pinter presents No Load Bond Funds posted at Lowest Cost Bond Funds, saying, “Investment research overwhelmingly shows that lower cost fixed income funds tend to yield higher bond investing returns.”
Madison presents How to Calculate Real Estate Investment Returns posted at My Dollar Plan , saying, “What was the return on our real estate investments?” If you’re wondering what the answer to this question is, this post is a must-read!”
Dividend Ninja presents It’s Only Castles Burning posted at The Dividend Ninja , saying, “Investor Seth Klarman, founder of the hedge fund Baupost Group, wrote a book on value investing, called Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor. Read an update on Klarman’s activities”
Jack Parker presents Top NoLoad Funds posted at Preferred Investment Funds, saying, “Some mutual funds and ETFs must be better than others, but which ones are they? How can you tell before the fact?”
Marissa presents How to use a mock investment portfolio posted at Thirty Six Months , saying, “One of the best ways to start feeling comfortable with investing is by using a mock investment portfolio.”
Dr Dean presents Can You ‘Like’ This Post on Facebook posted at The Millionaire Nurse Blog , saying, “You may already be an owner of Facebook shares. How? Will you make a fortune when that IPO finally happens? Find the answers right here. “
Managing Credit and Debt
Matt presents eCredable Should Replace the FICO Score posted at Living in Financial Excellence , saying, “Today I interviewed Steve Ely, CEO of eCredable. eCredable is a credit reporting agency but they do things a little different than the big three (Experian, Trans-Union, and Equifax). eCredable looks at more than just your debt payments and history. They actually consider your utility bills, rent, and any other payments you’ve made over time. How cool is that? ”
Jason presents Back to Cash posted at Live Real, Now , saying, “If it weren’t for my side hustles, we’d have been growing our debt recently. As of the beginning of this month, our credit card has once again been relegated to automatic bills, the gas station and online purchases.”
Jen presents The Downside of Using Credit Cards Responsibly posted at Master the Art of Saving , saying, “In the personal finance blogosphere, youll find many mixed views regarding the usage of credit cards. Some will say theyre evil and you shouldnt ever use them, others will say go ahead and use them as long as youre responsible. On top of those, youll find those who suggest only using them for emergencies. Here’s my take on using Credit Cards Responsibly! ”
Aloysa presents How Realism and Creativity Can Help You Get Out of Debt posted at My Broken Coin , saying, “Sometimes I get frustrated with my life and myself because it seems that paying off debt is an endless process, a perpetual torture of saying no, a continuous refusal to spend on something that makes me happy.”
A Blinkin presents Loyalty is for Losers posted at Funancials , saying, “Remember years ago, when you could walk into a bank or a bar and they would greet you by name? If you visited an establishment enough, you would be known as a regular. This is not a desired outcome and here is why.”
101 Centavos presents Travel Like a Boy Scout posted at 101 Centavos , saying, “And by that, we don’t mean humping it with a sleeping bag, pack frame and tent, and hot dogs over a campfire. Merely to be prepared, as best as you can…”
Jeremy Biberdorf presents Buy An eReader & Save Money On Books posted at Modest Money , saying, “For some people, books can be a major expense. At $10-20 each, the price can really add up a lot if you read much. Many people are discovering the convenient way to save money on books, buying an eReader. Learn more about why you should consider buying an eReader and find out which model may be best for your needs.”
Brock presents Best Retirement Calculators posted at IRA Account Investment, saying, “Whether or not to make investments into “traditional” tax-advantaged employer accounts and IRAs versus investing in “Roth” tax-advantaged employer accounts and personal IRAs is never a straightforward nor simple financial planning decision.”
Kevin presents My Guilty Pleasures posted at Thousandaire , saying, “I have a bunch of guilty pleasures that are probably pretty embarrassing to admit, but they are there. What are yours?”
Tushar presents Numbers are Down on Entrepreneurial Activity: Trend or Time Out? posted at Small Business Resource , saying, “In a post-election survey sponsored by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council SBE Council, respondents were not overly optimistic about the outlook for entrepreneurship and the U.S. economy. However, given the fragile state of the economy it wasn’t total doom and gloom. Read our results.”
PITR presents Why Cash Flow is Important posted at Passive Income To Retire , saying, “Find out why cash flow is important in an early retirement plan. The importance of cash flow rests the 2 ways it helps me fulfill my dream.”
Erika presents So I think I need to reevaluate my goals posted at Newlyweds on a Budget , saying, “I think I made my goals too easy for the year because we’ve already completed a huge chunk. 1. Pay off credit card debt. We’re on track to pay this off by April 1. Hoping the move doesn’t put a wrench in our plans. 2. Contribute full company match to 401K. Done! I contribute 3 percent, read my other accomplishments”
Frank Knowles presents S&P 500 Funds posted at Best Large Cap Funds, saying, “The no load index fund strategy of the Schwab S & P 500 Index Fund tracks the S and P 500 stock index. This no load index fund was listed as one of the top 25 lowest cost index mutual funds in a research study.”
Andy presents The 6 Most Reliable Ways to Save For Retirement posted at My Retirement Blog , saying, “Many Americans are planning for retirement earlier than ever. While the reality is that tough economic conditions may force them to retire years later than they wanted, this is having the dual affect of encouraging more foresight and planning.”
Whitney presents Retirement Savings Worksheets posted at Retirement Savings, saying, “While personal wealth should measure current financial investments and other salable assets, it should also measure your ability to sustain your household budget, build up your investment portfolio, and weather potential financial risk and misfortune across your lifetime.”
Ryan presents Why Your Children Should Open a Roth IRA at Age 18 posted at Early Retirement Investments , saying, “These are the reasons why children should open at Roth IRA at 18 years old or earlier.”
Risk Management and Insurance
Hank presents Five Insurance Policies That You Do Not Need posted at Money Q&A , saying, “There are tons of insurance you do not need. Whether it is flight insurance, cancer insurance, or others, do not buy extra insurance that you do not need.”
John presents The Best Travel Tip I Ever Learned posted at Married with Debt , saying, “Don’t be scared of the words fine dining. Going to a chain restaurant, or a non-fine dining restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be saving money.”
SavingMentor presents The Biggest Secret There Is to Saving Money? Stacking posted at HowToSaveMoney.ca , saying, “There is only one true secret to saving money that can be applied to almost any purchase you will ever make in your life, and that is stacking. What exactly is stacking? Well it is an art form really – something that you become really good at over time with lots of practice.”
Wayne presents How to Have a Cheap Vacation posted at Young Family Finance , saying, “Find out how to have a cheap vacation. The poor economy shouldn’t ruin your right to get away.”
Sabrina presents Save Like Your Nana Did: Tips for Yesteryear posted at Frugalist , saying, “Now days the price of living and the cost of housing is much greater but wages are also higher and the range of goods available is much greater. Perhaps by looking at the daily lives lead by our forebears we can get a few tips for living more frugally today.”
krantcents presents Invest Your Tax Refund or Send It to Me! posted at KrantCents , saying, “Invest your tax refund or send it to me! It is all about choices. What are you going to do? I know some will pay down debt, add to savings or fund an IRA. If you are going to go out and spend it on dinner, clothes, electronic toys or something that will break, wear down, etc they you’re better off sending it to me!”
Money Cone presents How to View Your Schedue K-1s Online and Import Them Into Turbo Tax posted at Money Cone , saying, “If you own MLPs, it can be quite a pain to manually enter those pesky K-1s. But if you do your taxes in TurboTax, there is a way to automate most of it!”
Jon the Saver presents Turbo Tax Is the King of Tax Filing posted at Free Money Wisdom , saying, “It’s tax season and the TV commercials are in full swing vying for your money. Who will you choose this year? Instead of going back and forth between the multiple tax preparation companies, why not go with the big man on campus, Turbo Tax.”
Paul Tabbet presents Retirement Software posted at Tax Planning Worksheets, saying, “Retirement planning software should automate the development of lifetime projections that incorporate tax laws and rules associated with tax-advantaged retirement investment incentive programs such as traditional IRA, Roth, 401k, 403b, SEP, Keogh, and other retirement plans.”
FMF presents Review of Major Tax Software Products Reveals Limits posted at Free Money Finance , saying, “These reviews were from seven different readers all with different life situations and tax issues. And yet they all (in general) came to the same conclusion: the programs are great for basic, uncomplicated returns, but not-so-great if you have any sort of issue that’s considered “unique.”"
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Financial Planning using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
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