Time for another Carnival of Personal Finance! This one is the 265th edition, and once again many a PF blogger has submitted their best choice of articles for this week. All of these are good reading, but a few jump out at me. I’ve tagged those Editor’s Choices with little red hearts: ♥
Round Pegs: Posts That Don’t Fit into Square Holes
Surviving and Thriving
Malachi and mud
Research indicates that exposure to soil improves a person’s immune system and increases production of the feel-good chemical serotonin. No wonder gardeners and children always look so happy.
MORE than Finances
Social Security Benefits – The Six Categories Of Benefits
The Social Security Administration offers six categories of benefits. Here’s a brief overview of each benefit and its qualifications.
Career Advice for New Graduates
A few thoughts about life after school
Loans, Lending & Debt
♥ Neal Frankle
Will I Lose My Home If I File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Good question! Interesting article that discusses whether a person with overwhelming credit-card debt need even consider Chapter 13 in the first place.
How to Save Money With a Government-Backed Mortgage
Discusses different types of government-backed housing loans.
How to Get Out of Debt: Step 8 – Celebrate Milestones
During your journey to pay off your debt, it’s important to celebrate milestones. Taking time to celebrate will keep you motivated and help you reach your destination.
Miranda Marquit, guest post author
Good Financial ¢ents
Will Credit Inquiries Hurt Your Credit Score?
There are two main types of credit inquiry: “Soft” and “hard.” Find out which can damage your credit score.
Free From Broke
Payoff Mortgage Faster – How Do I Do It? – Four Ways
Four ways you can pay off your mortgage faster.
Fixing Errors on Your Credit Report
The title says it all.
How to Know If Refinancing Is Worth It,
Today’s historically low rates should pique your interest if you have a mortgage or are thinking about buying a home. Here are some tips to find out if it’s worth it
Credit Card Rewards
Mighty Bargain Hunter
Rewards Giveth, and Rewards Taketh Away
Rewards programs just aren’t as rewarding as they used to be, unfortunately. The article explains why.
The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards
PT shares his thinking opinion on some the best travel rewards cards available today.
Silicon Valley Blogger
The Digerati Life
Combine Credit Cards To Earn Up To 4% In Rewards
Some smart ways and strategies for using your credit cards. Make credit cards work for you, not against you!
The Smarter Wallet
Best Cash Back Credit Cards: Our Picks
Credit cards that give you cash back can be a good deal if you’re a responsible card holder.
NerdWallet Credit Card Watch
Chase Freedom—Now With More Confusion
Tim has made no secret about the fact that Chase Freedom isn’t one of his favorite cards. Chase goes out of its way to make this one of the most confusing credit card offers available—you have to opt-in to the rotating 5% reward programs each quarter, and they seem to like switching the reward program every year out of sheer boredom. Now they’re offering two different versions, to make it even harder to keep track of.
Saving and Investing
Free Money Finance
Great Offense AND Great Defense are the Keys to Wealth
To become really wealthy, you have to do two things well: grow your income and keep expenses low.
The Saved Quarter
10 Things I Want…But I Want an Emergency Fund More
Penny engages in some serious delayed gratification!
Magic Formula Pro
Magic Formula Stocks: Apollo Group (APOL).
A review of Apollo Group’s stock.
Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance
MBA Course: Investing & Portfolio Management-BONDS
Friedberg, a graduate level professor of business, has the advantage of being an educator. Her posts occasionally come direct from her graduate-level courses; this one is an example.
Institutional Investors are Investing In Money Market ETFs
Interesting article about an investment instrument I hadn’t thought about before.
7 Dividend Stocks For The Ultimate In Deferred Gratification
Delivers a nice little jeremiad about self-discipline along with a good discussion of dividend stocks.
American Funds in Your 401k or IRA
Mike asks whether the third-largest mutual fund company’s products are really a good bet.
Hope to Prosper
My Visit with a Financial Advisor
Entertaining story about (yet another) encounter with a newbie in the finance industry.
Gen Y Wealth
How to Really Save Money Every Month
A one-step strategy for reliable monthly saving.
Kimmunications from Kim Snider
Protect against inflation or preserve capital?
Asset allocation for a lengthy retirement
Money Green Life
Trade Stocks Like Stephen Strasburg Rookie Card
Are You as Internationally Diversified in Stocks as You Should Be?
Do you fall into the trap of the home country bias?
10 Ways to Protect Yourself from a Double Dip
There’s a lot of debate about whether or not we’re headed into a slowdown or a double dip recession. These suggestions will help you protect your money if the economy dips. If it doesn’t, you’ll still be in great shape!
One Money Design
Why Your 401K May Not Be that Great and What to Do About It,
401K’s aren’t without challenges. If you have limited investment, consider these tips.
♥ Tool Guy
Home Tool Review
Best Place to Buy Used Tools.
Think of it, guys (and gals)…a whole blog on tools! Weirdly, most of the posts are pretty interesting. This one is useful, especially for single or newly single women who suddenly find themselves in a house or apartment that needs some DIY care.
♥ Guest Post by Rachelle (Landlord Rescue)
10 Resources to Check Before Renting an Apartment
Proprietor Mike describes the author as “a real estate guru who works as a property manager.” Excellent list for prospective renters to check out—issues that you might not otherwise think about.
Which Netflix Plan is the Best Netflix Plan
A comprehensive and economical approach to determining which Netflix plan is the best bang for your buck. Very wiley!
Extended Warranties for Video Game Consoles
Should you get an extended warranty for your PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Nintendo Wii? Find out how you can run the numbers and see if extended warranties are a good deal for you. This is a good survey of what different warranties cover.
Finance and Emergency Kits: Be Prepared Not Surprised.
Lists several preparedness essentials.
Spring Cleaning = Cash
Looking to scrounge up some extra cash? Check out this post to find out how to sell some of your junk for cash!
Saving Money Today
Organizing 101: Filing Your Bills Neatly
You’ll never forget to pay another bill if you follow this simple system for organizing your bills.
Realm of Prosperity
Unemployment” Is Life Giving You Lemons?
Includes a documentary video with a series of examples of people who took creative approaches to surviving unemployment.
Fashionable Ways to Fight Identity Theft
A witty series of product reviews. Some of these gadgets are so hilarious you have to check the post date to be sure it’s not April 1.
Ace of Wealth
5 Tips to Get Started on a Zero Based Budget
After a number of failed budgeting attempts, Ace has found a system that works well for him.
Bible Money Matters
How To Save Money On Health Care
Peter suggests several ways to save money when having a baby or other medical procedure.
How To Get Dirt Cheap Airline Tickets
Chris says he knows how to save tons of money when buying airline tickets.
Rainy-Day Saver presents
How Do You File Your Paperwork?
Getting organized and staying organized can be a challenge.
A Gai Shan Life
The Niceness Effect
Revanche realizes some unintentional savings with a frank approach.
Funny about Money
The Burglar Jamboree: Nine Ways to Protect Yourself
A few strategies—some of them not so obvious—proposed as a gang targets Funny’s neighborhood.
Mr. Credit Card
Ask Mr. Credit Card
Costco Membership Review
Overview of the benefits of Costco membership, with an assessment of the upgraded “Executive” membership
Ten Questions for Jason Kelly, Author of “Financially Stupid People Are Everywhere”
A very interesting conversation with a fellow who’s not afraid to call a spade a spade.
Kim at MMI
Blogging for Change
What Does It Mean to Be ‘in Debt’?
Questions whether the extent of one’s debt should be taken into consideration when applying the term “in debt.”
Money Help For Christians
Christian Lending | Should Lending Be Abolished?
Craig ponders a mind-bending question: “If borrowing enslaves then why aren’t more people going after lenders?” This is a thoughtful rumination on whether Christians should lend or borrow at all.
Live Real, Now
Building 5 Bad Habits
A short list of PF don’ts.
Poverty or Simplicity: The Choice is Yours
A look at how we get to choose what whether we doing without or are lacking.
Obvious and Hidden Financial Risks
We also take financial risks, even if one refrains from “playing the markets.”
3 Reasons Why Your New Business Won’t Succeed.
Good common sense here.
Finance Your Life
Parents Make Bad Money Decisions
Doc S begins to realize that his aging parents are making questionable financial choices and worries about how to discuss it with them.
Symptoms of a Shopaholic
Miss B does does a bit of research into a pop-psych condition.
Correlation of mortgage rates with real housing prices: How increasing inflation could affect housing prices.
Interesting rumination on the possibility that inflation could push housing values down, supported with statistical analysis and graphs.
Buck$ome Boomer’s Journey to Retirement
An Odd Couple Team Up for Long Term Insurance
Nontraditional businesses are now selling insurance. Is that in the best interest of the consumer?
Passport Fees Increase July 13th.
I’ve always considered a passport something that ought to be in one’s emergency kit, in case some reason arises to make you want to leave the country quickly. This makes your passport one of the most expensive items in the kit!
That’s it for this week. Next Monday the carnival will be hosted by NerdWallet. Be sure to send your submissions by the Sunday afternoon deadline through this handy form. And don’t fail to check out NerdWallet’s findings next week!
Rangeland Fence. U.S. Geological Service. Public Domain,
Winona Savings Bank Vault. Jonathunder. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.
Cathay Bank, Boston. House of Scandal. Public Domain.
Wile E. Coyote. Link to screenshot.
Sigmund Freud, by Max Halberstadt. Life Magazine, 1923. Public domain.
Tornado-damaged House, Declared a Total Loss by Insurer, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic License
Cathay Pacific Airbus, by Arpingstone. Public Domain. aaaa