Nov 17

Anyone that starts their article with the Quadratic Equation certainly gets my attention. And I’m sure that was The Financial Buff, Harry Sit’s goal with his post How Many People Contribute The Max to Their IRA. This was a roundup in its own right, and Harry shared what he read the prior week.

At Generation X Finance, a Credit Karma Review. I’m a fan of this company and have written a number of articles on different components of the credit score with information supplied by Credit Karma. For a great overview and review, check out the article.

Food Stamp Reform: Unethical or Overdue? This was the question asked and answered by Jessica Sommerfield at MoneyNing. It’s easy to find examples of fraud wherever we look, and this social program is no different. For every 100 people who genuinely need some support, there are going to be some who are drawn into the spotlight as frauds, gaming the system. I think all programs should have proper oversight, but in the greatest country on earth (ok, I’m biased) there’s no excuse for us not to help keep our citizens from starving.

Next, Barbara Friedberg offered her book How to Get Rich; Wealth Building Guide for the Financially Illiterate for a special deal just until Tuesday Nov 19th, at $.99. I’ve not read it yet, but here’s my change to do it for less than a buck. As I’ve written recently, I’ve met Barbara a number of times, and had great discussions with her. I know her book will be a great read.

Clever Dude’s Brock wrote What Would You Do? Money Left Behind in the Self Checkout Lane. The story is simple, money left at the self check-out at a Walmart. Would you take the money? Turn it in? If instead of $20, it was a full wallet, more money plus a license, would your answer change?

We’ll wrap the week up with Roger Wohlner’s question – Do You Have a Back-Up Financial Plan? It’s pretty simple, like happens, jobs are lost, people get sick, have accidents, get divorced. Few people get through life with no bumps. What’s your back up plan?

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Jun 24

Happy Summer, if you are fellow Northern Hemispherian, else, if you are on the south side you’re heading into winter, right? Me, I don’t care for the hot weather, I’ll take 40F over 90F any day, but I know most people life the warm weather, so I’ll go along with it.

I just caught an article at Debt Princess titled What NOT to Do: Justify a Bad Purchase. I often find that sometimes the negative examples are as much of a lesson as the positive ones. By all means, look at what people are doing right and learn from them, but also, learn from others’ mistakes to know what not to do. In this case, we have a case that’s probably worse than buyer’s remorse, it’s convincing yourself a bad purchase was good.

The Mighty Bargain Hunter explained The secret to getting rid of things by selling them. Some great tips on how to declutter and make a few bucks wile doing so.

Next, at Careful Cents, some Non-Traditional Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill. For many people, after their mortgage, the grocery bill is the biggest expense in their budget. It’s also not cast in stone. Spend a bit of time with this great advice as to how you can trim that grocery bill down. A lot of ideas here, use one, or all, and save some bucks.

At I Am 1 Percent, a guest post from Debt and Buried – Worst Money Mistake. It’s tough to look back and ask what you could have done differently because at the time it feels like you’re doing it right. I’m thinking about my own mistakes and whether I should share them in a future article.

We’ll wrap up this week with Generation X Finance’ Mortgage Rates Are Low, But It May Still Cost You. Indeed, refinancing often comes with costs, among them, the closing fees, and points. There’s a bit of math you need to do to make sure you’re not throwing good money after bad.

Stay cool.

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Apr 08

This week, let’s start the roundup with S*** is F***ed up and Bulls***. This not safe for work article (actually, just the full title is NSFW, the content is great) is by Sam at Financial Samurai. It’s taken from the signs many of those Occupying Wall Street are holding. Unfortunately the occupiers aren’t really good at elaborating on the problems, nor suggesting the possible solutions. Sam, on the other hand will tell you, point by point what’s f’ed up, sorting the particulars by topic: government power abuse, taxation discrimination, human rights violations, integrity compromised, corporate abuse, and work & career injustices. A list worth reading, and you are a Wall Street Occupier, you might want to adopt it, and focus your message a bit more precisely.

Canadian Personal Finance Blog says Bye Bye Penny and Random Thoughts. Canada has lead the way, they have officially canceled the penny. Later this year they will stop minting new pennies. Will the US be far behind? Will the mint make them just for collectors as part of the annual coin sets? Will we miss them?

This week Miranda Marquit discussed How Much House Can You Afford? which is a great question. She offers some great guidelines to avoid going overboard, buying a house that’s a bit over the line.

At the Mighty Bargain Hunter, Talking about money? Please do! Somehow money has become a bit taboo, along with sex, religion and politics. There are things friends and family might choose not to share, but MBH feels it’s good to talk about money and I agree. There’s always something to learn, something to share when it comes to this topic.

And to wrap it up, at Money Help for Christians, When Helping Goes Terribly Wrong: The Risk of Giving.  A personal story from Craig, with examples about how it’s not always easy to help others and get a good outcome. Helping doesn’t always turn out the way one would hope.

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Apr 11

This week, the roundup is a day late, but not a bit short of excellent writing as I am offering the best reading from my fellow Money Mavens this week. One more week until our tax return is due, heading to the 2010 finish line.

At Wealth Pilgrim, Neal Frankle posted Need To Borrow Money? 5 Tips to Keep You Safe. Some excellent advice from my friend Neal, but the line I’ll remember most? “Relax.” I’d say that more mistakes are made in haste than after stopping and thinking on the subject for a time. Rush into any deal you don’t understand and you are far more likely to regret it. “Act in Haste, Repent at Leisure” as the saying goes.

Craig Ford asked What Role Does Education Play in the Eradication of Poverty? Before you dismiss the question as self-evident, consider that Craig is a missionary in Papa New Guinea, where the per capita GDP was just $1358 as of 2010. I’d say this gives Craig a unique vantage point, and an interesting article.

At Monevator, we discover why The UK consumer is on the brink. Pretty resilient till now, the signs are starting to appear. The recent VAT increase certainly didn’t help the cause.

Len Penzo thinks there’s 12 Good Reasons Why You Should (and Should Not) Pay Off Your Mortgage Early. The deck is a bit stacked, 8 reasons to not pay early, but truth is, I agree with Len’s reasoning. If you are not getting your company’s match on your 401(k), you are turning down a far higher return than paying your mortgage will save you. Check out Len’s post for the other reasons to not pay along with 4 good reasons to pay early. Me? I’m paying at just the rate needed to end the mortgage the month our daughter goes off to college. In the end, we will have had a loan against the house for 21 years.

Tom at Canadian Finance Blog hosted Jim Yih’s 10 Things To Know About Tax Planning.Jim lists 10 tax related articles from his Retire Happy blog. Great for when you just can’t get enough tax reading.

And to wrap up this week, at the Military Wallet, Ryan shared his thoughts on How to Know When the Time is Right to Get a Master’s Degree. Ryan offers some great guidance on this topic. I waited 3 years after I graduated and went for my masters part time, 2 classes per semester for 3 years. I was still single, and have to say, I don’t have any regrets, for me that timing was perfect.

Have a great week.

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Aug 22

Let’s start with one list I couldn’t overlook, 50 Best Finance-Related Movie Quotes of All Time. I’ll share my favorite one:
(From) The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Martin Frohm: “What would you say if man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him?”
Christopher Gardner: “He must have had on some really nice pants.”

Next, are you getting overwhelmed? If so, BSimple has the Cure for the Financially Overwhelmed. Steps that you can take to simplify your finances and reduce your stress in this department.

I enjoyed the article Money Matters, But Money Isn’t Everything. This is one of the recurring questions and discussions bloggers enjoy. In the end, the issues are not so simple, it’s not a matter of “would $100000/yr make you happy?” even though 99% of the world appears to live on less than this. Part of it is relative, if you make less than your friends and neighbors, you may not be as happy regardless of the absolute amount. I often wonder how one can measure happiness, people are so complex, can they even report their own feelings accurately for such studies?

Next Neal Frankle tells us What to do when your wallet has been lost of stolen.One bit of advice I’d add myself, before you lose it or have your wallet stolen – photocopy everything in it. (Well, maybe not the cash, but everything else, front and back.) It will help you know who to call and what account to cancel.

Craig Ford at Money Help for Christians post a list (I told you, I am a sucker for lists) 31 Signs that it is Time to Start Budgeting. The bar is set pretty low here, if you identify with just 3 items on the list you should consider a formal budget. Me, I am off scott-free. I am guilty of one sign (5) You try to tell your kid “no”, and [she] looks at you like you just swore in front of her. I am still learning to say no more often.

My friend Jeff at Deliver Away Debt asks himself Am I a Poser Now? You see, he started hacking away at his debt with pizza deliveries, and for a number of us, provided some very entertaining tweets regarding his customers and how they tipped. Now his day job has him working a lot of overtime, so no time for deliveries. Poser? No, Jeff, you are still an inspiration to those who think there’s no way out.

And last this week, Len Penzo’s A Little Fun with My Dog and Some Peanut Butter. I read this post, and I’m thinking you had to be there to find it funny. I’ll trust Len on this one.

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