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Carnival of Retirement – Cruise Edition

I was away for about a week with a cruise that I’m posting about in a few minutes, but here is the Carnival of Retirement as planned.


This is not how it looks when it is raining…

It’s a little simpler than I usually go, but check out these great posts!

Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents writes Is A House Right For You? Or is renting better? – It seems like a hot topic in the personal finance community is whether a person should rent or buy a home. What if you’re not sure if a house is even right for you? Maybe an apartment would be better? There are many factors to think about before you buy a home.

Roger Wohlner @ The Chicago Financial Planner writes Choosing A Financial Advisor? Ask These 6 Questions – Deciding to hire a financial advisor can be a tough decision for many investors. Once you make this decision, how do you go about finding the right advisor for you? Here are six questions to ask when choosing a financial advisor.

Michael Kitces @ Nerd’s Eye View writes Do Today’s Guaranteed Living Benefit Annuity Riders Really Offer Enough To Be Worthwhile? – Using variable annuities with guaranteed retirement income riders have been increasingly popular in recent years. Yet as the guarantees become more expense, returns get lower, and the contracts become more limited in their investment options, do today’s guarantees really offer enough to be worthwhile?

Mike @ Annuity Rates HQ writes Is an Annuity Right for Me? – Since annuities are complex, they may have been simplified too much by some financial advisers which incurred horror stories ending in lawsuits. However, it is not because some investors got fooled by their advisers that annuities are evil. Annuities can be customized according to your personal financial situation. You can also combine more than one product to make sure that everything is covered.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes Is it Really Possible to Negotiate Lower Auto Insurance Quotes? – Like anything worth having, it will take a bit of work cheap auto insurance rate quotes, but those who are up to the challenge will likely reap the rewards. Here are the ways to go about it.

LaTisha @ Young Finances writes Jumpstart your Career with an Unpaid Internship – An unpaid internship can lead to greater experience and eventually, a paid position. Many college students and young adults look for internships after college.

Mrs. Accountability @ Out of Debt Again writes How to Automate Your Finances – Sometimes I feel like a massive accounts manager just handling my personal family’s finances.

Cat Alford @ Budget Blonde writes How to Make Your Dream Holiday Within Reach – If you want to go on a dream holiday but can’t afford it, here are some tips to make it within reach!

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes Are You Getting the Benefit of Low Natural Gas Rates? – Are you getting the benefits of low natural gas rates? You’d be surprised how much it can save you.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes Company Car or Car Allowance: Which one to choose? – One of the employment benefits most often talked about in Australia must be the company car. It’s a valued benefit, but with a variety of options due to tax law changes back in 2002, it’s hard to tell what is the right choice for you. Let’s walk through the two options…

Robert @ The College Investor writes How You Can Invest and Profit From Obamacare – Obamacare is now a fact of life for Americans, as it is the law of the land. Even though the gridlock in Congress surrounding Obamacare is reason for concern, most would argue that it’s here to stay.

Chris WIlliams @ Big Day Coming writes Getting Started: Setting Your Bills and Savings on Auto-Pilot – Describes how to get your finances automated so you can focus on longer term goals – and also help set and enforces a budget and savings.

Robert @ Entrepreneurship Life writes The Most Profitable Industries to Pursue Entrepreneurship – An entrepreneur is someone who starts, grows, and manages his or her own business. You can do this in many different industries. Knowing which industries are the most profitable can help you achieve the financial goals you’ve set for yourself.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes How to Find the Right Auto Insurance for Your Family – Been a while? It may be time to shop for a new auto policy.What you need to know to find the right auto insurance policy for your family.

Robert @ Cult Of Money writes Should You Get a Credit Card? – If you’re weighing up getting a credit card there are a few things you might like to think over before settling on one. With so many lenders and a huge range of products available, it’s worth shopping around to see what is on offer.

Robert @ Beat The 9 to 5 writes Are Side-Entrepreneurs The Weakest Link in the Company? – In the intro, he said something that really struck me – my boss fired me because he found out about my side job and figured that my heart wasn’t all into the company. That sucks…but it got me wondering – are side hustlers and side entrepreneurs a weak link the company?

Tushar @ Start Investing Money writes Living with Cash: Would You Spend Less? – Every now and then you read a report or story that suggests one day we’ll live in a cashless society. However many people would argue that it’s easier to spend less money when you live with cash instead of using credit or debit cards.

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Taxing Issues on Tax Avoidance – Tax avoidance is habitually blamed on companies downplaying their need for profits. Governments allowing loop-ravines are equally, if not more, to blame.

MMD @ My Money Design writes Recognizing Opportunities to Build Multiple Streams of Income – Ever since I’ve started reading about how people find different ways to build multiple streams of income, I find myself becoming more aware of them as I recognize them in even the tiniest things throughout my everyday life. Here are my thoughts on what we can do to try to achieve the same.

MMD @ IRA vs 401k Central writes What Does IRA Stand For Anyways? – If you’re wondering “what does IRA stand for ?”, then you may be surprised to find out that the IRS defines it as an “individual retirement arrangement”. Let’s see how that is different from the “individual retirement account” that everyone thinks it is.

Tushar Mathur @ Everything Finance writes Three Tips to Prepare Your Family For the Cost of Aging – Admitting that your loved one is getting older is hard but not as hard as trying to figure out how your family will afford the overwhelming costs associate

Christopher @ This That and The MBA writes Why savings goals matter? – We set goals so that we can have something to work towards. It helps us to have an end in sight. All too often in life we work and work and we do not have an end goal in mind. It might be retirement; it might be a new jet ski, or a new set of golf clubs. Whatever it is having a goal gives us something to work for.

DW @ Great Passive Income Ideas writes Passive Income Opportunities You Can Take Advantage of From Home – No matter what your financial situation is, there are plenty of passive income opportunities that are easy to do right from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few you can start trying now.

Mr FD @ Financial Debauchery writes You Don’t Have Any Emergency Money? How Dare You! – You wouldn’t jump out of an airplane without a parachute, would you? They why do you go day-to-day without a stock pile of emergency money to take care of a disaster if one arises? Here are some tips for manning up and being prepared financially!

Brent @ PersonalFinance-Tips writes Best Tips on Saving Interest on Your Home Loan – Saving money on your home loan is very easy if you strategize properly. Many people concentrate so much on the interest rates when shopping for loan. They forget that even the other features are very important. Below are tips on how to save interest on home loans: Paying in lump sum.

Dollar @ Easy Extra Dollar writes Make extra money through working from home – If you want for make money easy without your company, you should be dedicated and determined. You should ensure that you believe the role of your employer; you will also be the servant so you should release these two functions. As a result set the actual everyday detects to perform and be sure that you fulfill up with them on a daily/regular basis.

Daisy @ Suburban Finance writes Grow Rich with Real Estate – There is some money to be made in housing, and we have a practical guide as to how to be rich in real estate investing.

Eva Baker @ TeensGotCents writes Real Estate Careers – Shopping With Sarah – Sarah shares about her latest adventure. After reading, you may want to check out real estate careers yourself. It’s like being a personal shopper!

Bank Free Credit @ Bank Free Credit writes How to View Your Credit Score for Free – You can start by visiting, which is a central website for getting a free credit report from the reporting agencies. The credit reporting agencies are TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Consumers can request a report from all three agencies or just one. Requests are made by phone, mail or online.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes The Part-Time Worker Trend – The cheery headlines in the news today, such as “Hiring revs up, bit it’s mostly part-time, low-pay” and “Here’s who’s really living with mom and dad,” prompted me to write an article proposing solutions in an ever increasing part-time worker economy. Notice the tongue-and-cheek reference to “cheery.”

Joshua Rodriguez @ writes How To Make A Budgeting Spreadsheet That Makes Budgeting Fun – This post is a very detailed tutorial that walks people through the process of creating a budget spreadsheet. In this post, Joshua Rodriguez talks about the need for a budget spreadsheet that works for him and builds one taking screenshots step by step so it’s easy for others to repeat the process!

IMB @ Investing Money writes Investing in China – A Time for Caution – The Chinese economy is in a state of transition. Investors, time to watch China’s banks carefully! Read here to learn more about China’s economy.

TTMK @ Tie the Money Knot writes Counting on No Social Security Benefits – We can only control so much. One thing we can’t influence is future social security payments, so to be safe why not pretend that they won’t exist when planning for retirement?

Harry Campbell @ Your PF Pro writes Another Tough Run In With Best Buy – Even though I often see a lot of negativity towards Best Buy, they are still in business and somehow opening more stores than they’re closing. When was the last time you saw one of their stores go out of business(a la Circuit City)? I have even noticed a trend of lower prices at Best Buy over the past year or so that seem to coincide with when online retailers had to start charging sales tax.

Harry Campbell @ The Four Hour Work Day writes Vacation is More Meaningful When You Have a Job – I’ve often found that returning to work after a long and restful vacation is one of the most depressing feelings on earth. I know you’re supposed to feel refreshed and relaxed after vacation, but for me, going back to work is what I dread most about vacation. It’s not like I’m thinking about work during my vacations, but when I’m back at work I can’t help but remember how much fun I was having the week before.

THE BOSS @ Like A Boss Blog writes How To Make Money From Your Garden – If you enjoy gardening- have you ever thought about making some money from doing so?

Jon Haver @ Pay My Student Loans writes Student Debt Management – Whether your financial difficulties have been caused by a job loss, overwhelming medical bills or by everyday overspending, you can turn your debt around and, once again, face the future with a rosier outlook. It won’t be easy; it won’t be quick.

Corey @ 20s Finances writes 5 Tips to Starting Your College Year Off Right – Heading off to college, whether you are a freshmen or a senior can be a stressful time. Packing up your belongings, saying goodbye to family and friends and then unpacking everything are emotional tasks.

John @ writes Family Health Insurance Requirements – In most cases, these plans have a deductible that has to be met, and then a certain percentage of each prescription will be covered. However, these plans are extremely beneficial since the Canadian health plan does not cover prescription drugs.

Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes Get All those Sexy Nutrients for Less – Sexy drink beverages, supplements, and super foods sourced from exotic locations—the Amazon, the Himalayans, the Andes—and promising amazing benefits have flooded the grocery market.

Matt Becker @ Mom and Dad Money writes Where Should Buying a House Fit in Your Financial Priorities? – There are a lot of positives to buying a house, many of them having nothing to do with money. It’s certainly a worthy goal if it fits into your vision for your ideal life. But don’t assume that owning a home is a signal that you’ve “made it”. There are many other financial stepping stones that will do more to bring you closer to the goals of security and freedom.

JP @ My Family Finances writes How Important is Credit Rating of a Life Insurance Company – Most websites that provide whole and term life insurance quotes provide the insurance company rating next to the quote.

CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes The Reset Button: When to Declare Bankruptcy – Although filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision, there are several red flags on when it’s time to start fresh and consider the option. Read here!

Alice @ OnBetterTerms writes Why Has Cable Become A Necessity? – Is cable a necessity? Count how many channels you actually watch, and you will be surprised how expensive cable is.

Tushar @ Finance TUBE writes 5 Tips On Saving Money In The UK – You want to save money? Here are a lot of plain ways to make considerable savings on your normal spending, which could clear your debt of the British credit card many times over in less than a year.

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes How to Take a Frugal (or Free) Vacation or Trip – What if I told you I am able to take a free vacation or trip at least once a year? Would you believe me? I would be doubtful too if someone told me that, but the truth is that it’s rather easy to do if you have a rewards credit card and work hard to maximize your earning potential with it.

Lindy @ Minting Nickels writes Modifications that Add Value to a Used Car – Just as new granite countertops can improve the value of a home, the right modifications can boost your car’s value.

Tushar @ Earn More and Save writes Tips On Setting Up A Bank Account Whilst Abroad – Offshore banking is frequently linked with a high point of financial superiority. Nevertheless, the truth is that the common person can set up an overseas bank account with only some hours of work.

Minimalist @ Minimalist Finance writes Setting a Home Maintenance Budget – Setting a Home Maintenance Budget has been published on Minimalist FinanceFirst time home buyers don’t always consider all of the expenses of purchasing a home. In reality, it’s not just down payment and closing costs that can cost a lot of money, what happens after you sign those papers can also cost you a pretty penny.

Pauline @ Make Money Your Way writes Investing in commercial property – This post talks about investing in commercial property which can be a way to diversify your retirement nest egg.

Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence writes Would you buy a 5 bedrooms, $100 house? – Detroit is dirt cheap, is it time to invest?

GD @ MLIQ123 writes Keyman Life Insurance – Key man life insurance should be a consideration for every business owner, whether you work from home and manage other employees or own a small/medium-size business. Insuring a key employee, executive or partner in your business can cover the costs of recruiting, hiring and training an essential part of your organization, as well as provide the funds to buyout a partner’s share of the business. Check out our guide on key man insurance and see if it right for your business needs.

DPF @ Digital Personal Finance writes What to Do With Side Income – Side Income can play a big role in people’s financial success, perhaps even retirement. This post discusses the question of what to do with side income, including setting it aside as savings.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes Three Reasons Why Your House Is Not Selling – What can you do if months and months later you’re still stuck in the same place after being unable to secure a sale? You are sure to be wondering why your house is not selling.

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes Making College Affordable – How can we make college affordable? The first step is to limit student loans. That might sound crazy but…

Mike @ Personal Finance Journey writes Quick Ways to Decorate your Bedroom on a budget – Easy simple ways to decorating your bedroom on a tight budget that still gives that new bedroom feeling.

Grayson @ Debt Roundup writes Credit Cards Are Only Tools In Your Financial Toolbox – How many times do you use the tools in your toolbox? Do you feel good when you use your tool the right way and it achieves a positive outcome? I know I do. Today, I am talking about using your credit card just as it is supposed to be used, a tool in your financial toolbox.

Simon @ Airline Miles Experts writes 4 Common Credit Card Pitfalls and How To Avoid Them – A credit card is an alluring concept for many individuals. You can pay for the items you need or want without actually having the money in the bank. While credit cards are convenient and beneficial- they can also be problematic if used irresponsibly. Here are some common credit card pitfalls and steps for avoiding them.

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes When Paying Down Debt, Downsizing, Decluttering and Simplifying Allows Your Universe to Open Up – Anyone who has read this blog long enough knows about my transformation with finances and my relationship with “stuff”. Along the way, I have (hopefully) helped others as well with this notion. But I never would have guessed that it would all lead to where I am today.

Todd @ Modest Money writes Are You Watching Mortgage Interest Rates Surge Through The Roof? – Have you been diligently tracking mortgage interest rates? You should. They’re surging. Recently all the way up to 4.625%. That’s the largest weekly increase in FIFTY years! Just in January mortgage rates were 3.25%. There was no way to predict that they’d surge up 50% by 1.5 percentage points in less than half a year.

John S @ Frugal Rules writes Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest in the Stock Market First? – There can be a fine balance between paying off debt or investing in the stock market first. The truth is that it’s a personal decision and one that will aid your wealth building, debt reduction and saving for retirement at the same time.

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes 10 Items for Your Last-Minute Travel Checklist – A list of things to take while traveling, including money, clothing, water, toiletries, clothing, passports, and medications if needed on your trip

Pat Murphy @ Feeling Financial writes Why Bond Prices Drop When Interest Rates Rise – As people approach retirement they often shift assets to bonds. But even bond prices can fall when interest rates rise quickly.

Jon @ Novel Investor writes Traditional IRA Rules: Everything You Need To Know – Everything you need to know about the traditional IRA rules (and probably some stuff you don’t) so your retirement plan goes off without a hitch.

Mr. Frenzy @ Frenzied Finances writes Finance Tips: 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 – There are some things you just don’t know when you’re 20. Read here for the top 10 things 20 year olds should know on finance.

Investor Junkie @ Investor Junkie writes How to Become Wealthy – Becoming wealthy is something I consider important, at least when I define my financial goals. This post isn’t about how to get rich quick, but how to get rich slowly via savings and investing. In my opinion, over 20 – 30 years everyone should be able to at least achieve some level of financial independence, but most don’t.

Luke @ Learn Bonds writes Would I rather buy a home or own $50,000 of bonds? – Here is a look at the connection between housing prices and interest rates and how to decide when to cash in an investment to buy a house.

Michael @ Financial Ramblings writes Dividends Are Not Free Money – The past few years have seen an explosion of interest in dividend investing. While there are (arguably) good reasons for this, many investors don’t seem to fully understand what dividend payments actually represent.

Anton Ivanov @ Dreams Cash True writes Portfolio Planning Basics – Choosing Investments – A detailed look at choosing investments for your portfolio. I discuss why index funds are your best option and how to pick the best ones.

MR @ Money Reasons writes Both Best and Worst Personal Financial Times This Year So Far – Oddly, I’m having both the best and worst of financial times this year from a cash flow perspective. Read why I’m in such an odd financial state of being!

Bargain Babe @ writes How to start couponing the easy way – You’ve seen the shows on TV about extreme couponing – basically a money saving contact sport. But how do the rest of us coupon without it taking over our life? With just a few tips…

Ryan @ Cash Money Life writes What You Wear Matters … When You Shop – Dressing the part can play a large role in getting a good deal, or being treated well by store clerks, especially in high end shops and car dealerships.

krantcents @ KrantCents writes 12 Things that Successfully Convert a Great Idea into a Reality – 12 Things that Successfully Convert a Great Idea into a Reality. These are the things that work best for me.

Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes The Key to A Second Mortgage: Pros and Cons – There are many pros and cons to getting a second mortgage. Read here for help and information on the dreaded/savior second mortgage and how you can use it.

Mr.CBB @ Canadian Budget Binder writes August Net Worth: +1.90% The calm before the storm – This month I talk about how we did in August with our finances but I also talk about how much money we did spend on shopping at the mall and purchases such as a laptop. The point of the calm before the storm means that we can’t prepare for all situations where we need to go out and spend money but in some cases it is necessary.

Jessica Moorhouse @ Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses writes When in Doubt…Go Back to School? – Remember when you thought you would get a job right out of school? Then remember how hard it was to actually find a job post-grad? Well moving to a new city is no different, and since I have a lot of free time on my hands job-hunting I’ve been thinking about going back to school.

Carnival of Financial Planning B – Belated Edition

Sorry for the delay!  Apparently my spam folder was hungrier than I thought.  Without further ado, here are the submissions for The Carnival of Financial Planning that should have been posted May 31, 2013 (last Friday)!!!


Adam @ Money Bulldog writes Investing in Bitcoin: A New Frontier? – What exactly are bitcoins, and why should they be on the radar of any serious investor? Find out here.

SB @ One Cent at a Time writes Modern Home Bookkeeping with Less Effort and No Cost – This article provides the steps towards household bookkeeping using new technology and tools. If you are the one who manages the finances for your family then this article is for you to read to get rid of traditional pen and paper bookkeeping.

Jules Wilson @ Fat Guy,Skinny Wallet writes My New Plan Of Attack: Fighting Against A Strong Enemy! – Here is my plan to combat the things going on that caused my worst month in history. I need to protect myself both financially and physically and here is how I’ll do it.

MR @ Money Reasons writes Awareness of Liabilities and Your Business – Your business is important for you, and one of the important aspects of is how you can protect it. Protection comes in a number of ways, but the legal protection takes precedence over any other.

Travis Pizel @ Enemy Of Debt writes The Winds Of Debt Only Blow In One Direction – A recent morning run reminded me of my journey to get out of debt.

Steve DiGioia @ Customer Service Stories writes How Good Service In a Restaurant Affects Your Family Budget – You know the drill…money is tight so your spouse tells you to not spend too much. So you start ‘brown-bagging-it” to work. You feel a little foolish, maybe a little humiliated, that you’re forced to do this but you have no other choice. So you make up some story for your co-workers like, “I’m trying a special diet” or “My wife made me do it” so you don’t look like a cheap-skate.

S @ Making Sense of Cents writes How To Pay Off Student Loans Fast – $40,000. That’s the total amount of student loans that I accumulated while I was getting my undergraduate and graduate degrees. The amount that is left is still at $38,000 now, mainly because I haven’t paid a lot on them and interest has stupidly been building up. I would have taken out more in student loans but the last couple of semesters I paid for in cash.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Cost of Living Comparison – No matter how much income you generate you should always try to live in a state you can afford, save more than you spend and keep your debt in check.

Penny Thots @ Penny Thots writes Download Thousands of Audio Books FREE! – Do you have time each week when your eyes and hands are busy but your ears and brain are not? Then audio books are for you! And you can get more books than you’ll ever be able to listen to in this lifetime absolutely free.

DPF @ Digital Personal Finance writes Self-Discipline and Financial Success – A key to success in personal finance is the ability to have self-discipline when it comes to our money decisions. This post discusses the topic of discipline and financial success.



Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents writes Pursuing What I Love or What Brings in the (Stable) Money – I’m sure that a lot of you can imagine and/or see where my posts have been going lately. Last year I made the post Do You Want To Be Self Employed and I have been thinking about it ever since. It seems like passion has been taking over the personal finance world a lot lately, with Jen, Holly and numerous other wonderful ladies and gentlemen who have decided to strike it out on their own.

Suba @ Broke Professionals writes 3 Things You Must Do Before Traveling Abroad – Traveling abroad is far more complicated than staying closer to home. Here are the three calls you’ve got to make before heading overseas!

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes How to Buy the Right Car for Your Family – Looking for a new car? If you have a family, you want to get the right one. Here are tips on buying cars fitting your family’s finances.

Green Panda @ Green Panda Treehouse writes How Do You Excel at Your Summer Job? – How-to get your next summer job guaranteed.

BARBARA FRIEDBERG @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance writes IS MONEY THE ONLY MEASURE OF SUCCESS? – Every job makes a contribution. And doing one’s job enthusiastically and competently can make you a success in any area.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes Budgeting in Your Summer Fun – Looking for some summer fun, but unsure of how you’ll pay for it all? Here’s some tips on how to plan your finances during the busiest season of the year.

Robert @ Entrepreneurship Life writes Young Entrepreneurs are Some of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs – If you’re in your twenties wanting to start a business, you may be headed right towards entrepreneur stardom. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs started their business in their early to mid-twenties. Find out who these entrepreneurs are, why they succeeded, and how you can do the same.



Irfan Ahamed @ Everything About Investment writes How to Deal With Erroneous Credit Card Transactions – When it comes to credit card charges, you don’t have to immediately assume that they are telltale signs that will enable you to identify credit card fraud. Sometimes, these are just erroneous charges or double billing that can and will be reversed. Here is how to differentiate, as well as how to deal with errors in your credit card entries.

Daniel @ Sweating the Big Stuff writes Where To Invest Extra Money When The Stock Market Is On A Hot Streak – Since I have a lump sum investing strategy, it’s time to decide where to invest my checking account balance.

Kevin @ writes Pell Grants for College – The application for Pell Grants is easier to do in the 2013 season than ever before.

Jon Haver @ Pay My Student Loans writes – When it comes to repaying your federal student loan, there are many options to consider. Make sure you know when repayment starts, how to make your payments, payment options, forbearance and deferment option.



Adam @ Money Rebound writes Speed up your Climb from Debt – Getting out of debt can seem like an impossible task but it can be done. Find out where to start in this encouraging post.

Jon @ Novel Investor writes Stock Basics: All About The Dividends – Whether a stock pays dividends may play a big role in your investment strategy. This is what you need to know when investing in dividend stocks.

Michael Kitces @ Nerd’s Eye View writes The Rise Of The Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT) – As the estate tax system shifts, most people will no longer be subject to Federal estate taxes, but more than 20 states still have a state estate tax. As a result, new planning strategies – like the Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT) – become necessary to deal with the new environment!

Mike @ Personal Finance Journey writes Are you chasing the coupon dream? – Do you spend time saving money with coupons and is it worth your time. How your coupon spending can benefit others and your family.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes Are Your Budget Assumptions Throwing Off Your Family Finances? – You need a budget, but you need an accurate budget. Budgets are built on both facts and assumptions. Are your budget assumptions throwing off your family’s finances?

IMB @ Investing Money writes Is Tesla Motors Another Apple or Google? – Let’s talk cars! We know you love ‘em. Today we want to look at Tesla Motors, the custom electric car company and its 10-year struggle to profitability.

Jacob @ AllPersonalFinance writes 5 Characteristics of Successful Traders – Many people have different ideas about what makes someone good at trading stocks. It’s a stressful job, full of risk and strategy, and saying 10 percent of traders make a profit would be a generous estimate.

Pete @ Intelligent Speculator writes Dividend Yield on Cost Is Irrelevant – Why we don’t care for the dividend yield on cost.

Martin @ Studenomics writes Are You Too Scared to Invest Real Money in Stocks? Try This! – Let’s start off with stocks without going broke!

Roger Wohlner @ The Chicago Financial Planner writes Should You Tap Your 401(k) to Buy Real Estate? – There was a recent article on the CNN/Money website entitled Amateur investors tap 401(k)s to buy homes that discussed an increasing trend of 401(k) investors who tap their accounts to buy houses. The thought process is to take advantage of the hot housing market in some areas on the country with money that would otherwise be locked up in a 401(k) until retirement. Home prices are appreciating in some markets, so what is wrong with this strategy?

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Ways to Give When You Don’t have Much Money to Spare – The end of the year is a wonderful time to donate. But what about the rest of the year, during times when there are no natural disasters to rally our wallets?

Super Saver @ My Wealth Builder writes All ETF Strategy for Two Retirement Accounts – I’ve decided to implement an all ETF investment strategy in our retirement accounts during the next stock market correction.

Ryan @ Cash Money Life writes 4 Creative Ways to Be Frugal – You’re accustomed to finding ways to be frugal and save money. But what are some more creative ways to be saving money over the long haul? Here are a few!

Invest It Wisely @ Invest It Wisely writes 5 Fees You Should Never Ever Pay – These 5 fees that no one should pay result from being careless, disorganized, impulsive or distracted.

Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes Resolve to Declutter – Spring is the perfect time to declutter. The effects are so immediately apparent, they’ll give you a sense of accomplishment — a perfect way to go about tackling more challenging goals.

John @ The Investing writes Five Must Know Personal Finance Basics – This post outlines five basics of personal finance and financial planning that you need to know. These will help you be more cognizant about saving and investing.

Adam @ Money Rebound writes Simple Ways to Save Money – Sometimes it can feel impossible to save even a fraction of your income. But if you take a step back and look at the big picture, you will find that you can always figure out a way to save a few bucks.



Glen @ Making Money Online @ Making Money Online writes Stop Loss in Forex Trading – Learn about how to set a stop loss to limit your exposure when trading currencies on the Forex market.



Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank @ Monster Piggy Bank writes Should I Buy a Rental Property as an Investment – A post about deciding if getting a rental property is worthwhile as an investment decision.

Brent @ PersonalFinance-Tips writes Financial Management Tips for First Time Home Buyers – Purchasing any sort of real estate can be a stressful time, especially if you’ve never done it before. Thanks to the high pressure and large amounts of money involved, it is important to manage your finances in the right manner, ensuring that you don’t end up wasting your cash and inconveniencing yourself in the future.

Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes Buying a Home Is Exhausting – Here are my tips to combat what I call “home search exhausting”, because buying a home is super stressful!

Corey @ 20s Finances writes Real Estate Investing: Single Family Unit vs. Multi-Unit – If you’ve read any piece of financial news lately, you’d know that American real estate is back on an upward trajectory. Last month it was reported that single family homes in the United States had increased in price at the fastest pace since 2006. This trend looks sustained.

Crystal @ Married (with Debt) writes We Sold Our House – If you’ve been following along, you know we’ve been trying to sell our house. Shortly after my last post, we got an offer. This was about 60 days after listing.

Lynn @ Wallet Blog writes Just in time for 5/29: 529 College Savings Plans – During the past 10 years, the cost of tuition and room and board at 4-year public universities has risen by nearly 49%. To offset this sticker shock, simple investments specifically designated for college planning are a good way to go.



Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes Will You Lose Your Home Mortgage Deduction In 2013? – One of the main questions taxpayers will face this this year is whether or not their home mortgage deduction will be phased out.

Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes Steps to Start Down the Extreme Early Retirement Path – It is exciting to me that extreme early retirement is not some exclusive club that is unattainable for those of us with moderate incomes.

Best of Money Carnival Carnival #149 – April Fool’s Edition

Welcome to the Best of Money Carnival – April Fool’s Edition. In honor of a pranky time of the year, I am including 10 April Fool’s gags for next year that I found on April Fool Zone.  I am not a fan myself, but I know entire groups of friends that try to one up each other every year.  Enjoy!

Editor’s Pick

Minor Accident

Put a note on your victim’s car that says “Sorry about the dent. Call me so we can swap insurance information.” Include a fake name and phone number. Be sure to hide nearby so you can watch them search in vain for the “dent.”

The rest of my Top 10 are in no particular order…

Keep Searching

Print out this word search puzzle and give it to your victim. It looks like a normal word search puzzle, but none of the words listed at the bottom of the page are actually in the puzzle. So your victim will search and search endlessly, until they pull their hair out in frustration. Wait until just the right moment to point out that the words “APRIL” and “FOOLS” are in the puzzle!

Sneaky Snow

Buy a can of fake snow. Early on April Fool’s Day, sneak outside and spray the fake snow around the edges of your victim’s bedroom window. Put some more on the ground wherever it will be visible from inside. Now wake up your victim and tell them it snowed during the night!

Pulling A Con

Is there a ceiling fan with an overhead light that your victim turns on using a pull cord? Trick them by substituting a fake pull cord attached to a cup of confetti balanced on top of the fan blade. Many fan cords detach which will make this easy to set up–otherwise use a substitute cord and tuck the real cord out of sight.

Hanky Painty

First scope out a local park, college, or other public area that has benches where people frequently sit. Note the color of the benches. Now find some paint that matches the color of the benches. Take some old clothes and paint stripes on the back of the clothes – make them look like you sat on a freshly-painted bench. Let the clothes dry, then put them on. Now go to the park. Tape a “Wet Paint” sign to the bench, then sit down with your back covering the sign so no one can see it. Wait for someone to come and sit next to you. When you are sure they are watching, stand up with your back showing and act upset that you just realized you sat in paint (point to the sign which is now visible). The person will freak out thinking they sat in paint!

Candle Caper

Take a candle, light it, and let it burn until some melted wax builds up. Blow out the flame, then set the candle on its side on some waxed paper, allowing the melted wax to drip into a puddle. Wait for it to harden, then remove the waxed paper. Now you can place the candle “mess” on something valuable–like your wife’s favorite coffee table!

Wild Flowers

Buy some fake but realistic-looking flowers from a craft store and “plant” them in your victim’s garden. They will be shocked to find they have a greener thumb than they thought!


Offer to make a sandwich for the victim. But don’t remove the wrapper from the slice of cheese. When they bite down they’ll get a chewy surprise.

Old News

Take a few pages from the inside of last week’s newspaper, and substitute them for today’s issue. (Sports pages work great, or comics–whatever is the victim’s favorite section!).

Chip Changed

Take a small bag of chips, and carefully open it by pulling apart the top, then remove the chips. Replace them with crackers, some other type of chip, or fake cardboard “chips.” Then glue the top back together and offer them to your victim.

Remember to submit your post for next week, which will be hosted by One Cent at a Time.

Best of Money Carnival #131 – 10 Funny Gift Ideas

Welcome to the Best of Money Carnival – 10 Funny Gift Ideas. In honor of  all of the online shopping I did over the weekend, I am including 10 gag gift ideas for the holidays I found on eZine Articles. Enjoy!

Editor’s Pick

1. Have Some Dough. What you will need to do is find out the person’s favorite type of cookie.  Make the dough and store a majority of it in a Tupperware container you can give them after you give them their gag gift! In a card place a dab of the dough, and write in the card “Here’s some dough for your Birthday!” Once the joke is over, give them the fresh dough so you can kick back and make some cookies together.

2. For the friend of yours that has a fear of bugs you can give them the Bug Killer Kit. In this kit get some plastic roaches and two blocks. Have one block be an A block and the second block be a B block. Include a handwritten note that says, “Sophisticated bug killer, smash bug with block A and follow up with Block B”.

3. Redneck earrings are another great idea for funny gifts. With these you will have to find the perfect scent of air freshener shaped like a pinecone. Put a fish hook and nicely wrap them. When they open their gift have a note that reads “Bubba’s Quality Earrings. Look Great and Smell Better.”

4. For the single gal in your life you can give her the perfect man! This is a fun one that you can make in your own kitchen! Make several gingerbread men cookies and decorate them with various candies and make them look real sharp. Attach a note to the cookies that reads, “The perfect man. Quiet and sweet and guaranteed to never give you any trouble.”

5. For the those with a short fuse give them “Happy Pills” for a present. Make sure you get a clean empty jar. Produce your own happy pills brand by wrapping it in paper. Inside the jar fill it with M&M’s or the person’s favorite candies. Every time they feel the short fuse coming they can then make use of their happy pill.

6. Cowboy Bubble bath is another great homemade solution to the person you need to get laughing. If you have a friend who is big in the cowboy culture they will laugh at this one. Get a package of dry beans and pour them into a bag. On the bag make a label that reads “Cowboy Bubble Bath”. Tell them that’s the way they did it in the old days to save water. You could eat your meal while you took a hot bath.

7. For the business professional they need something they can take to the office. Be sure they have the latest Redneck Briefcase to help them make it through the day. This is the perfect gift for your co workers. Grab a pair of men’s briefs (brand new) and sew the legs shut. Attach a holder to the side of the briefs so they can be carried. As one of the funny gifts it needs accessories as well. Place a nail in it for a toothpick, an old key to be used for earwax removal, newspaper strips for toilet paper, matches for a belly button cleaner and stick pens inside the fly. For good measure have them dig the items out, with fake poop at the bottom of the pile.

8. Dustpan cookies are another great idea for funny gifts. Place cookies you baked into a clean dustpan and break them in half. Attach a note that reads. “The cookies I prepared fell onto the ground. Didn’t have anything else to give you….hope the crumbs are good enough.”

9. Certificates also make great funny gifts. Think about the person you are making the certificate for and reward them on something they are embarrassed about. Let is say something like “Biggest Procrastinator” or “Biggest Slacker Award”. They are in fun and jest and can give people a great laugh.

10. Finally the last idea for funny gifts is the “Cool the Spender” gag gift. For the person who blows money quickly, give them a twenty dollar bill frozen in ice. Have it in a cup that you pull from the freezer and let them wait for the ice to melt before they can spend it.

Remember to submit your post for next week, which will be hosted by Retire by 40.

Festival of Frugality #294 – Employment Jokes

Welcome to the Festival of Frugality #294!  I have been self-employed for more than a month now, but I still remember cubicle living.  In honor of all of my readers that still have to commute every day, I’ve given each section its own employment one liner that I found at Weird Websites.  Have fun!

Editor’s Picks!!!

Deja Moo: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before.

Save Money

A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.

Budget and Travel

Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.


Vacation is what you take when you can’t take what you’ve been taking any longer.


Don’t be irreplaceable; if you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.


I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.

Banking and Insurance

A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the ass.

Credit and Debt

Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?

Thanks for reading!!!

Best of Money Carnival – Gambling Edition

My husband and I were in Las Vegas all of last week, so I do have gambling on the brain.  I also like making people laugh, so here are my Best of Money picks of the week along with 10 funny gambling jokes* too.  Here are my top 10 picks, the first 9 are in no particular order.  :-)

The reason Las Vegas is so crowded is that no one has the plane fare to leave.

I know a guy at the casino who won’t gamble. He just watches the games and makes mental bets. Last week, he lost his mind.

I’m going to the casino tonight. I hope I break even. I need the money.

I walked around the casino with a pocket full of chips. I’m still trying to get the salt and grease out of my trousers.

Rodney Dangerfield joined Gamblers Anonymous. They gave him three-to-one he wouldn’t make it.

“There is a very easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune: go there with a large one.” – Jack Yelton

“My husband’s going to a casino in central Asia.”
“Of course, why else would he go!”

Q: How do you get a sweet little 80-year-old lady to swear?
A: Get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell BINGO!

“What’ll you have, Normie?” “Well, I’m in a gambling mood, Sammy. I’ll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap.” “Looks like beer, Norm.” “Call me Mister Lucky.”

And for the EDITOR’S PICK:

A man comes home to find his wife packing her bags. “Where are you going?” demands the surprised husband. “To Las Vegas! I found out that there are men that will pay me $500 to do what I do for you for free!” The man pondered that thought for a moment, and then began packing HIS bags. “What do you think you are doing?” she screamed. “I’m going to Las Vegas with you… I want to see how you’re going to live on $1000 a year!”

Remember to submit your posts for next week since Prairie EcoThrifter will be hosting!

*The jokes came from Funny Jokes 4 Me, Casino Jokes, Turn Key Gaming Portals, and Gambling Jokes.

New Owners at Totally Money Blog Carnival!

Great news! FruGal and Miss Moneypenniless at are the proud new owners of the Totally Money Blog Carnival! Please welcome them on!

They have also chosen to keep me on in a webmaster fashion, so it will be business as usual for hosts and participants. The hosting schedule is already set for the rest of the year thanks to all of you, and I will still be handling any questions you may have for now. The only real change you will see is that I will now be promoting the carnival solely as a weekly participant and employee rather than as an overly proud parent.

Thank you all for your continued support! FruGal, Miss Moneypenniless and myself look forward to working with all of you!