Coffee heat rising

Moments of Fame

MoneyNing hosts the 161st Festival of Frugality this week, with a very large selection of highly entertaining and interesting posts, among them (possibly not highly entertaining, but at least making the grade) is Funny’s report on the success of the space heater at cutting power bills. Christian PF has a really goodlist of legal places to score free movies and TV shows, which I’m bookmarking forthwith. Single Guy Money has made up his mind to kick the killer weed (by which we mean the truly toxic one, tobacco). Tiffany at NatureMom’s Blog talks about saving money (!) on organic foods. And if you’re in the market, as I am, for recipes that will produce several days’ worth of meals, check out Cheap Healthy Good’s list of 65 such dishes…plus the adorable George Clooney photos. ?

The Make It from Scratch Carnival is hosted at A Dusty Frame this week, with a presidential inauguration theme. Funny’s recipe for slumgullion made the cut here. For those of you who are enjoying temperatures in the negative numbers, HomeEc 101 offers some serious (fancy!) comfort food. Sherry at Happy to Be at Home offers a series of tasty-sounding recipes for ground beef, plus some good advice for how to handle ground meat; we’ll be bookmarking that one, too. Here’s one from Fine Crafts Guild that I wish I’d had a few years ago: How to make your own stencils. And speaking of DIY, learn to make your own bath salts from Mrs. Accountability at Out of Debt Again.

I’ve much enjoyed the renamed and redesigned Pecuniarities, which this week hosts the 188th Carnival of Personal Financewith a fun and pretty Jane Austen theme. Funny’s report on house-swapping appears in this round-up. Sound Money Matters holds forth on one of my favorite hobbyhorses: are we morally obligated to spend ourselves stupid? Speaking of hot topics in my frying pan, as I’m struggling through editing a textbook for personal trainers, FruGal’s post on how to get the best from a gym membership rings my bell. And speaking of heat and space heaters, as we were, check out the good survey of space heaters at The Paycheck Chronicles.

Pimp Your Finances came up with a very cool presidential theme for the 48th Money Hacks Carnival, with nifty and apposite presidential quotes. Funny’s squib about the importance of reading contracts before signing them appears under (gasp!) Ronald Reagan’s handsome photo. Budgets are Sexy brings up the question of pet insurance again. Here’s something interesting: The Strump has a thoughtful article about working for a family-owned business, a subject about which I once, in my magazine-writing days, published a long feature article. Living Almost Large has a moving story about her family’s escape from poverty. Are you military? According to Military Finance Network, you’re eligible for free tax preparation. (IMHO, you should be eligible for no tax at all…but that’s one woman’s opinion, I guess.)

So it goes. Funny will host the Carnival of Personal Finance on February 2 and the Money Stories Carnival on February 10. Looking forward to both—and hope to see something from everyone! Be sure to send your stuff in!

Moments of Fame

The 183rd Carnival of Personal Finance is online at The Frugal Duchess. Funny’s long-term care article appears in this week’s line-up. LOL! You’ve heard the term”filthy lucre”? It must have been invented by a banker: check out Broke in the Suburb’s tales from the (corner bank’s ) vault!In less lurid realms, I’d noticed Room Farm’s Lessons from the Depression before and was happy to see it in this carnival. In the weird department, check out the strange pitch Squawkfox got from some advertiser. Retire at 40 discusses a topic that has become especially apposite of late: lifestyle deflation. Absolutely do NOT miss The Digerati Life’s 21 Deal Sites and Online Tools to Help You Save Money—I’m bookmarking this page right now!

Retire at 40 has posted the 89th Carnival of Money Stories, where Funny’s first report on the Yard Sale Adventure appears. Here’s something strange: instead of cutting credit availability, American Express actually increased Credit Addict’s limit—by 25 percent! Dough Roller tells how, in a moment of amazing ingenuity, he figured out how to earn $826.75 in ten minutes. The Greenest Dollar discusses the pro’s and cons of paying off your mortgage early. Across the Pond, Find Financial Freedom realizes that buying a rental property could now be a profitable move; don’t know how that would apply in other countries, but note the calculations and try applying them to your own circumstances. And Peter at Bible Money Matters tells of being high-pressured when he went to cancel an old, inactive credit card.

Funny made Editor’s Pick with the squib on saving your pay stuns at this week’s Money Hacks Carnival, hosted by surfer François Viljoen at Liberta. This is a pretty entertaining site by a guy who has freed himself financially and is now volunteering for a South African aid group and…well, surfing a lot. Check out Living Almost Large’s story of diverting her husband from his craving for a new vehicle. At Monevator—another new-to-me site—the Investor offers three ingenious ways to control (or at least defer) spending. Cash Money Life describes how to collect unemployment benefits…and along the way reveals that the average amount states pay is a heckuva lot more than my state pays. Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity lists the annual year-end tax strategies. And, good anytime, Wenchypoo discusses the art of saving big (and small) bucks through negotiation.

Moments of Fame

Dough Roller selected Funny’s rant about the couples culture as an editor’s pick in the 88th Carnival of Money Stories! So I certainly was tickled about that, particularly since quite a few distinguished pieces appear in this edition. A propos of an earlier FaM post question about whether you should try to turn something you love into a living, The Financial Blogger reflects on the success he’s had with blogging. At Budgets Are Sexy, I got a boot out of J. Money’s story of having taken out a whole paycheck in cash. My Dollar Plan tells a cautionary tale that underscores the importance of keeping records related to your pay and your job. Single Guy Money tells a story of helping a friend organize her personal finances, an experience some of us share.

The Carnival of Personal Finance is up at Free from Broke. The “turning what you love” post was included in this round-up, which as usual is huge. At this carnival, The Strump pushed my button with a report on how she got suckered into taking a contract at significantly less than the client’s going rate…been there, too! Everyday Finance predicts that many of us mutual fund holders will be rudely surprised at the capital gains taxes we’ll be paying for 2008, thanks to the current economic fiasco. LOL! I’ve become rude, all right, but I’m no longer surprised at anything emanating from the Bush economy. Mighty Bargain Hunter worries that the bailouts will ultimately harm everyone’s standard of living; this post offers several good points that add to my own slowly germinating theory that Big Auto, alas, should not be rescued by the taxpayer.

Moving on, Simply Forties has posted the 93rd Make It from Scratch Carnival, always a boot. Whaa? “How to Make a Horseshoe?” Check it out at Midwest Neurotica! Who’d’ve thunk it? The proprietor of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker had an end-of-season tomato extravaganza that involved a lovely spaghetti sauce. And don’t miss Simply’s amazingly delicious-looking parmesan and herb-crusted beef tenderloin (ohhh hunger! I shouldn’t be reading this stuff before breakfast…). Funny’s blurb on nabbing nice picture frames on the cheap appears in this round-up.

MSN Smart Spendingpicked up my discussion of long-term care insurance and is running it as a guest post today. Check out proprietor Karen Datko’s article, posted yesterday, about the long-term implications of the mentality instilled by the need for kids to go deep into debt to get a basic college degree.

At Financial Wellness Project, FWP has posted another gigantic Money Hacks Carnival. Check out Dividends4Life’s rumination on when (or if) the market will bottom out. Mr. ToughMoneyLove warns about cash-out refinancing deals; at you’ll find seven steps to reduce the hassle when you have to (or just want to) change checking accounts. And Prime Time Money’s post about shows up here—I’ve seen this post before, & it’s a very handy thing to know about.

Moments of Fame

The current Carnival of Personal Finance is up at Mighty Bargain Hunter, celebrating CyberMonday. Funny’s rumination on the hollowness of the “consumer economy” appears here. If that post didn’t cause enough hyperventilation, drop by My Family’s Money for a discussion of Arizona and Ohio ballot measures regarding payday loans. Bravely, Brip-Blap points out that we as individuals ought not to need bail-outs, despite the tough times. And here’s an interesting post from Dough Roller on the 50-50 Rule of Mutual Fund Investing. American Consumer News talks some common sense, thank you, Categories Carnivals & Festivals Tags 4 Comments

‘Nother moment of fame

Last week Funny’s hint on how to get better, cheaper hamburger made the Money Hacks Carnival, which went live at Steadfast Finances with an eye-catching ferris-wheel photo. For some reason this is a carnival I tend to overlook, possibly because it doesn’t go up on the same schedule as my usual haunts. And it shouldn’t be missed: this week, for example, the carnival gathers quite a few interesting and useful posts.

Check out the Online Savings Blog, where Fred Siegmund has the temerity to suggest that teachers should be paid fairly, and that to get there we need to update the FLSA. Passive Family Income reports the growth of mini-Hoovervilles in the woods near his home; reminds me of the clusters of six to ten homeless people I’ve seen camping together along the Arizona Canal. Over at Financial Wellness Project, FWP figures ways to reduce the cost of vehicle insurance (he drives a motorcycle, but most of these would apply to your car or truck). And at Bible Money Matters, Peter gets a conversation going about the advisability of borrowing against your 401(k).

The 86th Carnival of Money Stories

Welcome to the Thanksgiving 2008 edition of the Carnival of Money Stories. Before we begin, I think we should pause to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for, despite the darkening economic clouds and the tough times they seem to presage. Money, thanks be to God, isn’t everything. As we discover the stories our friends offer this week, let’s consider life’s little lagniappes with them.

First, thank goodness for story! Story is the basic way we humans speak the important truths we want to share with our children and our tribe. And folks, some people can really tell a tale!

The Financial Wellness Project
The Beginnings of Debt (Or, How I Was Unable to Resist a Free T-shirt)
An old tale and a true one.

*J. Money
Budgets Are Sexy
What’s Up with Your Pictures, J? Did You Get Them? Tell Us?
Okay, okay, it’s NOT funny…but J’s strategy is pretty darned hilarious. The saga continues….

*Michael Bass
Debt Prison
Should You Cosign for a Friend for Family Member?
Would anyone like to lay a bet that the answer is “why, sure”?

Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
How to Close an Account at Washington Mutual
Uh oh! There’s a wrong way to do this…

Let us give thanks that we’re not in this alone…

KCLau’s Money Tips
Buy Term and Invest the Difference
The puzzle of whether to buy term or whole life insurance faces people in Malaysia, too. Ah, the glories of globalization!

Miss M
M Is for Money
I Feel Guilty When I Spend Money
Has Miss M trained herself too well for frugality?

Harvesting Dollars
Fundraising at Work
Todd faces a charitable conundrum.

Ryan Suenaga
Uncommon Cents
When Emergency Spending Becomes Overspending
Ryan continues to struggle (expensively!) with the attempted theft of his vehicle.

Dollar Frugal
School Projects and Crafts
Feeling flamboozled about the constant flow of requests for school materials, Brooke seeks advice on where to find affordable stuff for the kiddies.

Five-cent Nickel
The End of the 401(k) Match?
Based on a recent news report, Nickel imagines corporate life without matching 401(k) contributions.

The Happy Rock
Gas Prices: The Silver Lining of the Recession
Rock is grateful for cheaper fill-ups but wonders how much longer that will last.

The Sun’s Financial Diary
Citibank Closed My Dividend Platinum Select Card
What are the ramifications when a lender decides to close a dormant account?

…That hard work and persistence eventually do pay off…

FIRE Finance
Three Quick Steps to Get Out of Debt
In which we learn how the FF’s used “TCT” to dig themselves completely out of debt.

Mr. ToughMoneyLove
Year-End Retirement Funding? The Moment of Truth Approaches
Mr. T confronts questions of what (or whether) to do about his various investment vehicles.

…That fits of high dudgeon can be pretty entertaining, at least to others…

Free Money Finance
Memo to Self: Yes, I Really HATE Sears!
LOL! Another Don Quixote tilts at the consumer (dis)service windmill.

…That we are wily and clever and figure out how to get deals…

Green Panda
Green Panda Treehouse
How We Saved Money by Creating Our Own Cable, Phone, & Internet Bundle
Smart panda!

Gas Prices Not Dropping Fast Enough? How about Free?
Our hero figures out how to score free or nearly free gasoline. Maybe.

Chief Family Officer
Works for Me: Duplicate Checks
You’ve heard that when baby is born, there’ll be some changes made? Yup.

Silicon Valley Blogger
The Digerati Life
Last-Minute Gift Ideas and Shopping Tips for Holiday Procrastinators
How SVB learned to put Christmas shopping off till the last minute…and what she does about it.

Mr. CC
Ask Mr. Credit Card
Turned Down for a Student Loan
This post uses a couple of brief reader’s stories as kick-off points for advice; also check out the interesting comment from reader Kayleigh, which will stand your hair on end.

Prime Time Money
An Update on My ESPP Flip
How PT generates almost immediate cash from an employee stock purchase plan.

Funny about Money
Costco and the Single Girl
A day in the life of a bulk shopper

…And that some things are more important than money!

The Smarter Wallet
Create Your Family Holiday Traditions and Save Money
Some strange (and funny!) commercial Christmasisms lead Wallet to build more meaningful Christmas traditions.

Next week’s Carnival of Money Stories will be hosted by Financial Wellness Project. Be sure to submit your stories to the Carnival before the December 1 deadline!

Best of wishes to everyone for a happy Thanksgiving. Or, if you’re reading this from outside the U.S., for many good things in your life to give you joy and thanks.