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Carnival of Money Stories

What’s a story?

Journalists call any article a “story,” and so in newspapers and magazines you’ll see how-to pieces and 10-tips-for-catching-a-man lists described as stories. But these are not, strictly speaking, stories in the sense that the Carnival of Money stories intends.

A story describes something that happened, an action. The action may be internal — a psychological event, for example — or it may be external, something that goes on between two or more people, or between one or more people and a force of nature. It usually involves some sort of conflict, which likewise may be psychological or physical. These principles apply to nonfiction as well as fiction stories.

One effective way to talk about story is to conceive it as a journey. Christopher Vogler described this line of thought in The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters. Taking a Jungian tack, he explains how the most lasting and successful stories in every human culture can be seen in terms of journeys: from one place to another, from one social status to another, from predicament to resolution, from one state of mind to another. The story is probably our most powerful form of communication. Story allows us to transmit cultural values and personal truths in ways that engage and that are remembered. It leads each of us to think through those values and consider how they apply to our own lives and times.

Personal Finance Stories

Personal finance concepts and facts can be told in story form, too, with great profit. That’s why a story such as Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” still speaks to us. A story need not be a piece of fiction: the structure of story also applies in nonfiction. What we’re looking for here is not a list or a how-to or a pointer to some handy new PF tool. It’s the tale, the struggle, the path to enlightenment-all classic elements of each individual’s personal finance journey.

Many submissions to this week’s carnival, though very good, were reports, how-to’s, pointers, or opinion pieces rather than stories in the desired sense. Below are the posts that actually fell under the heading of story. Editor’s Picks are marked with a red asterisk.

The Financial Journey

Progress Update: June 2008

* Benjamin
Trees Full of Money
The Story of My Day Trading Addiction

Fabulous Finances
The Actions I Took that Created My Financial Peak

* Silicon Valley Blogger
The Digerati Life
Making Money through Day Trading: The Secret Lives of Stay-at-Home Mommy Speculators

The Debt Defier
The Happy Rock
How Did This Happen? The Path Back into Financial Trouble

Can I Get Rich on a Salary?
Success Stories: Retired at Age 43 with nearly $2,000,000

Heather Allen
The Debt-Free Playbook Blog
Life’s More Than Debt

Harvesting Dollar
The Benefits of Working at a Fast-Food Restaurant

Passive Income Investor
Living off Dividends and Passive Income
Monthly Passive Income Finally Breaks the $3,000 Barrier!

Earning It

Mrs. Accountability
Out of Debt Again
Is It the Law of Attraction? Or Just Wishful Thinking?

Wanda Grindstaff
Creating Abundant Lifestyles
Retirement or Lifestyle-It Is Your Choice

* Amanda Milne
Value for Your Life
When Career Plans Change

We Like Money
IRA’s: What’s the Deal

Spending It

* Jim
Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
Test-Drove the Toyota Prius

Dorian Wales
The Personal Financier
How Shopping for Groceries Online Can Save You Money As Well As Time

Amateur Asset Allocator
My Personal Finance Confession

Single Guy Money
Single Guy Money
My Health Plan Costs Are About to Increase

The Way Things Are

Free Money Finance
The Other America

Funny about Money
Good Ole’ Boys

Be This Way
Are You Going to Be This Way the Rest of the Time I Know You?
What You Can Expect from the New à la Carte Airlines

Ain’t It the Truth Department

* Finance Girl
Finance Gets Personal
For Me, Spending Leads to More Spending

Money Blue Book
My Not-So-Stimulating Economic Stimulus Payment Has Finally Arrived

Broke Grad Student
Broke Grad Student
6 Reasons Why I Hate Cash

Funny about Money has never regained the functionality lost in Apple’s much-ballyhooed migration from to MobileMe. Consequently you can’t leave comments on this or any other post. I hope you enjoy the many excellent entries in this week’s carnival, and thank you all for participating.

Moments of Fame

J.D. Roth kindly featured, on today’s Get Rich Slowly, one of my comments responding to his post on careers and jobs. That is quite an honor. Thanks, JD! Some of the reader responses to this post are awesome — well worth a trip to GRS just for their insights.

Kevin at No Debt Plan placed Funny’s suggestion that there really is no “crossover point” among the editor’s picks for the sixth Finance Fiesta! This round-up includes some very interesting articles, including an eye-opener from Ask the Tax Pro, who outlines a way to “bank” cash with the IRS at rates higher than you can get at your bank or credit union, and Daily Money Hack reminds us that we can deduct capital losses. Florida Realtor Joe Manausa has been tracking data that suggests Tallahassee real estate inventory may finally be dropping— a tiny point of light in the dark news we’ve heard over the past couple of days. Will someone please tell Wall street?

Pinyo has posted the 19th Money Hacks Carnival at the Money Hackers Network site. Thanks for including Funny’s report on outfits selling futures at the gas pump. Gasoline is on many frugal minds these days; in fact, one of the editor’s picks is Christian Personal Finance‘s highly entertaining survey of hypermiling techniques, complete with assessments ranging from “not worth it” to “worth it” (elaborated with comments). Some very interesting websites and techniques surface here, plus some hilarious ones. Over at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity, Jim has discovered a way for nonmembers to buy Costco gas…a loophole that probably closed about three hours after he posted it! Cash Money Life also holds forth on ways to save on gas.