Coffee heat rising

w00t! Carnival of Money Stories headed this way!

On Monday Funny hosts the Carnival of Money Stories, now being overseen by Mrs. Accountability. A few posts have already come in. Don’t forget to send yours by Sunday evening. Says Mrs. A:

Here is a reminder of the guidelines for submissions. . .

The article should be a personal money story or experience. Any other type of article will not be included in the carnival.

The article should be related to some form of personal finance/business.

Only one submission per blog per week.

The article should be less than one month old.

So send your posts in now—I’m looking forward to reading the greatest money stories ever told!

Carnival of Money Stories: Springtime in Arizona Edition

Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Money Stories! I wish all our contributors and all our readers could be here in Arizona just now, where the weather is in the 70s, birds are singing in ecstasy, flowering plants are shivering with joy, and there’s not a snowdrift to shovel as far as you can see.

Editor’s Picks

Kaitlyn Cole
Econ 102: Money Tips for the Rest of Us (Infographics)
This is cool!

Being Frugal
Taylor Bean & Whitaker Bankruptcy: Who Is Representing the People?
This will make your jaw drop. It’s not even Hallowe’en, but here’s a real-life horror story.

Trees Full of Money
My Experience Selling Clothes a Consignment Shop
Amazing! Makes me wish I had something better than rags in my own closet.

Madeleine Begun Kane
Mad Kane’s Humor Blog
How to Muck Up Gift-Giving
Amazing story! Amazing verse.


What Matters: Where the Spiritual Journey Meets the Financial Journey

Bible Money Matters
Practical Steps to Becoming a Cheerful Giver
In a guest post, Fred describes his evolution from a young man reluctant to give to an adult married man who shares his wealth willingly.

Oilandgarlic’s Blog
The Battle between Frugality and Simplicity, Part 2
This is a pleasant rumination.

Christian Personal Finance
How (and Where) to Donate Your Car to Charity
Get rid of the rolling stock, perform a good work, and write it off your taxes.

Bloggers Sound Off on the Move Your Money Movement

Life Tuner
Move Your Money…to a Credit Union?
Rumination on getting one’s cash out of costly bank accounts

J. Money
Budgets Are Sexy
The 11th Reason Credit Unions Kick Ass
Chiming in on the move-your-money discussion, J. Money adds a little-known feature to Jim at Bargaineering’s 10 reasons to move to a credit union.

Earn More Invest Wisely at The Sun’s Financial Diary
Why I still Bank at Bank of America
If it ain’t broke…
And Funny’s contribution:
Why I Moved My Money to a Credit Union

A Whole Lot of Stories and Reflections on Money, the Economy, and Life

Wisdom from Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket
D-I-Y Economic Reform—Starving the Evil Piggies
Well said, Wenchy! And I’ll bet a lot of Americans will agree you’ve got something there.

Matthew Paulson
American Banking News
Horizon Bank of Washington Is First Bank Failure of 2010
Matt reports that some 200 banks are expected to fail this year. That’s all the more alarming when you read what the first failure cost the FDIC.

Greg McFarlane
Control Your Cash
Man of the Year
Funny story, good thoughts

Dave Ozment
Do You Dave Ramsey
You Owe What You Owe
w00t! A double rant!

Neil Uttamsingh
First Rental Property
How I Made over $65,000 on My First Rental Property by Doing Everything Wrong
An interesting article: not quite a cautionary tale, but close.

My Dollar Plan
35 Best Personal Finance Books
The list is compiled from readers’ favorites and includes remarks by recommenders.

My Wealth Builder
College 529 Plan Accounts Are Now Breakeven
With some help with dollar cost averaging, SuperSaver’s college savings funds have about recovered from the market collapse.

Free Money Finance
What We Got for Christmas
The comments are an important part of this post!

Jeff Rose
Good Financial Cents
The New Reward Credit Cards
Good discussion of the current and coming changes in reward cards

Allan Inocente
Rich Money Habits
My Financial Goals for 2010: Get Into the Money Game
Hanging on in the Philippines, the Inocentes have made it through the Great Recession in pretty good shape and are now ready to start building wealth.

Adam Baker
Get Rich Slowly
9 Sneaky Expenses That Eat Away at Your Income
An in-depth look at figuring your “real” hourly wage

Big Cajun Man
Canadian Personal Finance Blog
Birthday Things to Remember
A basketful of things consider and steps to take on your birthday

Buck$ome Boomer’s Journey to Retirement
Smaller Isn’t Always Cheaper
Bucksome discovers a little secret about fast-food drink pricing.

Evolution of Wealth
Diversifying Your Income Streams
EofW notices something in a pitch from an insurance company and segues into an interesting and insightful rumination.

Joe Plemon
Personal Finance by the Book
Is There Such a Thing as Good Debt?
Joe examines a variety of loans before making up his mind.

Jacques Sprenger
The Digerati Life
Measuring Job Satisfaction: How To Be Happy With Your Job
On finding a job that doesn’t feel like work

The Amateur Financier
Fifteen Things to Tell a Younger Me
If we could go back in time…

The Smarter Wallet
How to Save Money on Groceries: A Simple Four-step Plan

Wallet decides to live on an amazing $80/month grocery budget! Wait till you see the combined cost of shave gel, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and shampoo…

Rainy-Day Saver
Don’t Stress: Get Prepared for Tax Time!
A fistful of tax credits and deductions will make their returns complicated this year, so the Rainy-Day Savers are getting ready now.

Dough Roller
How to File Your Annual Tax Returns Online
Nicole is not alone in wanting to move forward with filing.

Matthew Paulson
Fine-Tuned Finances
Turn Your Personal Finance Resolutions Into Reality
In a nutshell, several strategies to bring your financial dreams to life.

Lean Life Coach
Eliminate the Muda
Budgeting Review = Red Flags!
The Coaches find themselves over budget after the dog ate a…well, you have to read it to believe it!

Mrs. Accountability
Out of Debt Again
Christmas 2009 Target 90% Off Sale—What a Disappointment!
Is Target understocking because of the economy, or has it changed its Christmas merchandising strategy?

Carnival of Money Stories: Labor Day Edition

Welcome to the 75th Carnival of Money Stories! The prospect of a three-day weekend must have brought out the best in our storytellers: quite a few submissions are great tales of financial adventure, some of them very entertaining. I wish I could mark all of them as Editor’s Choices. Those that spun a really fine money yarn are highlighted in Day-Glo red.

Many submissions were good posts but not stories. We saw reports, reviews, hacks, lists of tips, opinion pieces, and even an ad for a convention. A few of these were so interesting I was sorry not to be able to include them. But once again, I’ve reserved this space for actual stories in the classical sense: narratives with a plotline.

The Carnival of Money Stories is recruiting hosts! If you’d like to host a carnival, please visit the carnival’s hosting page to volunteer. It’s a pretty easy job, you get to see a bunch of interesting posts, and it brings a lot of traffic to your site.

* Adam
Your Money Relationship
The Age of No Negotiation: Apartment Edition
Good story! How landlords take advantage of college students

Free from Broke
Not Having the Police at a Car Accident Can Cost You
FFB keeps his wits about him after being rear-ended

Free Money Finance
Review: Macy’s (and the Problem with Gift Cards)
The FMFs receive a gift card for a store that’s not their choice of shopping venues

* Connie Brooks
Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
Babies Are Expensive! Total Cost of Having a Baby
Nothing theoretical here: what childbirth really costs real parents

J. Money
Budgets Are Sexy
Procrastination and Two of My Very Best Friends
How dawdling saved the author a pocketful of dough

Living Almost Large
Making Big Purchases
A couple works together to make big financial decisions.

My Daily Dollars
Please Take a Number
How paying off debt is like waiting in line — a very long line

Funny about Money
Back Again — Temporarily?
The psychosocial cost of a cheap Internet connection

Silicon Valley Blogger
The Digerati Life
15 Fire Safety Tips to Protect Your Life and Home
What you think about when a big sign reading “Fire Danger High” goes up on your block

Single Guy Money
Instant Credit — No Thanks
How long can you stay polite in the face of a high-pressure pitch for a product you didn’t ask for and you don’t want?

Mighty Bargain Hunter
Save Money While You’re Young
Older and wiser, Mighty regrets wild oats thrown to the wind…or to the pizza parlor.

* Lauren
The Business Ethics Blog
Bad Administration is Bad Business
Noxious customer service strikes at the doctor’s office

Harvesting Dollars
The Opposite of Me
An unjudgmental rumination on some people’s kids

Dorian Wales
The Personal Financier
Outsourcing Our Chores — Do We Overvalue Our Spare Time?
What’s your free time worth? Really?

My Dollar Plan
My New Retirement Lifestyle Cash Flow
What comes next, after a young mother decides to quit working

Not the Jet Set
Frugal Lunch Time Style
How one little kid got her own custom-designed school lunch bag.

* The Happy Rock
Just Canceled Netflix — Trimming the Budget Fat
Interesting (not to say amazing) cautionary tale!

Photo by Katie Rommel-Esham
Wikipedia Commons

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.