Welcome to the 164th Carnival of Personal Finance: City Slickers Edition! If this is your first time visiting Squawkfox, welcome! Check out my best stuff under Top Squawks and be sure to get free Email Updates or free RSS Updates in your reader.
Moving from the city to the country takes some getting used to. Once upon a time I walked my heels down concrete sidewalks moving with the crowds on my way to work. Today I mooove cattle along grassy paths towards greener pastures on a ranch.
I’ve come to understand it doesn’t matter where you live. Proper personal financial planning is essential whether you ride a train to work or drive a tractor to make hay. The bloggers in the 164th Carnival of Personal Finance: City Slickers Edition live all around the world. Despite geographic differences, all of these bloggers have something in common – they all strive to improve themselves financially. They all get personal with their finances.
Editor’s Picks: The Farm Dog
The farm dog is an essential component to any working ranch. Without a smart canine to help move the herd, the farmer has few tools to help bring the cattle home. These bloggers are the top dogs.
- No Credit Needed reflects on why “money can provide peace of mind” in Yet Another Motivation For Keeping My Financial House In Order. Between hospital trips to visit his baby girl, NCN is thankful to be out of debt, have a budget, and maintain an emergency fund so he can focus on the needs of his family.
- Money Answer Guy, a newer blogger, shares the humble secrets to his financial success in How I Live on Just $600 a Month. He says, “it’s not pretty, it doesn’t have a lot of luxury in it, but it’s more than enough to give me a very satisfying standard of living and allow me to do the things that I enjoy doing and save a whole mess of money in the process.”
- MoneyNing decodes corporate up-selling techniques in Saying Yes to Up-Sell is Saying No To Being Frugal. MoneyNing suggest we “resist the temptation to up-sell tactics by always having a plan.”
- Quest For Four Pillars bridges the gap and brings North America together in Comparison between American 401(k) and Canadian RRSP Accounts.
- My Two Dollars is convincing in Following The Rule Of 10 Percent Is Easy And The Savings Add Up. My Two Dollars says, “Saving money frees you from having to worry about money.” Read his ways to save that golden 10 percent!
- Antishay Ventenne lets her feet do the talking in In Defense of Expensive Shoes. Antishay isn’t ready to give the boot to quality shoes and offers some tips for making your soles last longer.
Money Management: The Herd
All farmers know the money is in the herd. If you can’t manage your herd, you’ve got no moooolah. These bloggers know a thing or two about money management.
- Blueprint for Financial Prosperity shows us how times have changed in Online Banking: How’d We Do Without It?. Jim admits he’s a bit of a late adopter, he says, “I used Bill Pay for the first time this month.”
- Budgets are Sexy ponders fast cars and Steve Martin in You mean if i have a Porsche I’m not rich? Ahh, come on. On the ranch we call this the “big hat but no cattle” phenomena.
- Journeyer’s Chronicles shares the Challenges to being frugal. Journey shares lessons from house maintenance issues, playing catch up with bill payment, inflation, and motivation.
- Not the Jet Set once spent frivolously, was oblivious to finances, let the Mrs. handle everything, and refused to get involved. Find out why he changed in The Reluctant Spouse.
- The Family Wallet wonders Do You Need Short-Term Disability Insurance? Find out if this type of insurance is something you should consider.
- Uncommon Cents looks for a solution to the financial literacy problem in the U.S. in Ask the Readers: Where to Start with Financial Literacy?.
- Chief Family Officer discusses job prospects for Californian state employees in Emergency Funds: Another example of why you need one
- Credit Withdrawal is being conscious with his money in Watch that First Step, It’s a Doozy – Starting Down the Path to Financial Control. He used the word “doozy”. Smile.
- Amateur Asset Allocator questions Is Your Safety Deposit Box Really Safe?, and says, “The contents of your safety deposit box may not be as safe as you think.
- Coupon Artist shares The Best Money Advice I Ever Received.
- Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck wonders if “saving on one income any different than saving on two” in Saving on One Income
- Christian Financial Help shares advice from “a bunch of people” in 12 pieces of the best advice about money, life, and business
- Frugal Pursuit shares how managing her income “is a full time job” in Managing my income. Frugal Pursuit sticks to a spending plan and has savings goals.
- One Snarky Chica with Issues notices where others could save money in Observing others financial choices, the wrapup.
- Poorer Than You declares a call to action in “Know Where The Money Goes” Challenge. She wants you to “Track your expenses for one month, and see where it gets you!”
Frugality: Farm Fresh Eggs
Frugal farmers know not to count their chickens before they hatch. These frugalicious bloggers are making every egg count.
- Persistent Illusion isn’t about to buy buckets of paint in Decorate Your Home on the Cheap. Decluttering involves less rollers.
- Wide Open Wallet shares 5 easy ways to increase your savings. Number five is a good one.
- American Consumer News does not want fries with that in Cut Out The Foods of Convenience.
- Financial Reflections has put the brakes on buying a new car in How Much Does Your Car Cost. He says, “I considered buying a new car until I added up all the costs involved.”
- Personal Finance Analyst considers the games car salesmen play in Read This Before You Buy That Used Car. Let me give you hint, it’s not about Scrabble!
- Sallie’s Niece is sneaking into movies in Save Money at the Movies This Weekend. Just don’t get caught with a fist full of Swedish Berries!
Investing: The Farm Auction
Some days you buy. Some days you sell. Every farmer wants to sell his herd when the markets are up. These bloggers are keeping their eyes on all market conditions.
- Generation X Finance warns of the awful annuity, praises the marvelous employer match, and tells you if your retirement plan “sucks” in How to Tell if You Have a Bad 401k Plan.
- Miss Thrifty, over on the other side of the pond, isn’t buying into property developer’s energy price increases in New-build homes: a thrifty option?
- No Debt Plan may need a new retirement plan in Unthinkable: Should I Discontinue My Roth 401k Saving?
- Accumulating Money is taxed with employee stock purchase plans in Understanding ESPP Stock and its Manipulation.
- Dividend Growth Investor is looking to live off his investments in My Dividend Growth Plan – Strategy. He believes “a good solid plan is essential in achieving one’s goals.”
- Fiscal Zen channels the new math in Understanding and Quantifying Stock Market Risk. Does the term “geometric standard deviation” send your heart into uncharted territory?
- Harvesting Dollars wants you to put your glasses on in Don’t Blindly Invest In A 401K
- Single Guy Money wants you to “DO IT NOW” and Invest in Your 401k – Now. He said “NOW”, people. But…what if you’re Canadian?
- The Financial Blogger says, “We are about to die from our own greed” in I Hope You Have Lived a Good Life Because The End Is Near… You’ll have to read the story to find out why.
Finance: Bull Fight
What to do when two bulls fight? A good farmer releases the hound! These bloggers nip at the heels in all bullish (or bearish) conditions.
- Not Made Of Money channels Edward Scissorhands in Storing Your Financial Documents: What to Keep and What to Shred .
- InsureBlog discusses “what happens if your insurance carrier accidentally sends your records to thousands of people” in Double Cross.
- Happiness is Better looks at the Safe & Sound CAEL rating system in 3 Ways to Know if Your Bank is in Trouble.
- Our Fourpence Worth draws a moneyed time line in Our Family Financial History
- Taking Charge sends the kids to camp millionaire in Financial boot camps shape up kids’ financial knowledge
- The Sun’s Financial Diary asks some tough sub-prime questions in EverBank Direct President Answers Some Questions about EverBank .
- Value For Your Life unleashes the mystery behind the 7 Secrets For Accomplishing Your Goals.
Economy: Making Hay
Hay is a prized farming commodity. Without hay, you can’t keep your herd. These bloggers are watching economic conditions to help keep food on the table.
- Funny about Money considers the cost benefits of forgoing national retailers in Celebrate America: Shop Local.
- Gather Little by Little gets his motor running in 10 least expensive to own vehicles – not one is hybrid.
- The Personal Financier believes that Scandinavian countries have got it right in Would You Be Willing To Pay 60% Tax For a Higher Level of Social Equality?
- Money and Such wants indebted home owners to “enjoy my money” in The Great Money Give Away. Money and such asks, “Is anyone else struck by the sheer stupidity of the new housing bill?”
Real Estate: The Barn
Every farm needs a barn. These bloggers will help put a roof over your head.
- Everyday Finance may get you to rethink a mooove to the “exurbs” in How Moving to the Bigger, Cheaper House in the Exurbs is Actually More Expensive!
- Saving to Invest explains Why you should be angry with the 2008 Housing Relief Bill. Is Congress or the borrower to blame?
- Searchlight Crusade discusses the loan market in Conforming and Jumbo Only Apply to A Paper Conventional Financing.
Debt: Screaming Cow
Does debt keep you awake at night? Well, so do screaming cows. These bloggers are keeping the cows quiet and taming debt.
- Almost Frugal wonders what stays and what goes in When Should You Sell Something? She’s sold her CDs to beat back debt.
- Fiscal Liberty is not a huge fan of joint accounts in 7 Things Women Need to Know to Avoid Bankruptcy.
- Smart Easy Money compares her debt to poor parenting in Tales From the Air: Ignore and Endure.
Credit: Ominous Black Cows
Credit can lead you to a dark place if not managed correctly. This group of bloggers are watching out for ominous credit situations.
- The Dough Roller explains what all those credit card terms and conditions mean in Credit Card Fees and Fine Print–What’s In Your Wallet?
- The Wisdom Journal uncovers how to Build Good Credit Habits In 5 Steps. Looking in the mirror is a good first step.
- Ask Mr Credit Card runs a survey among fellow bloggers in Personal Finance Bloggers Credit Card Survey.
- FIRE Finance dons her specs in Sneaky Credit Card Trick #9 – 0 percent APR – Take Care with the Fine Print
- The Digerati Life wonders if you should pay to score Your Free Credit Score: Is There Such A Thing?
- Discover Debt Freedom educates us on How Your Credit Report Affects Your Finances.
Careers: Jack of all Trades
A good farmer is a jack of all trades. S/he must adjust their skills to meet farm requirements at any given time. If machinery breaks, the farmer must become a mechanic. If cattle fall ill, the farmer must understand veterinary practices. Like the farmer, these bloggers are looking at their skills to meet market requirements.
- The Happy Rock deals with a job loss in At a Crossroads, considering a new career.
- FiveCentNickel gives some good Advice for Entrepreneurs.
- Free Money Finance shows us the money in How to Ask for a Raise.
- Greener Pastures questions those Thinking of Going Back to Graduate School? Make Sure There’s a Payoff.
- PennyJobs does a review of Emerging Markets & New Jobs.
- The Copyeditor’s Desk asks “Do you want fries with that?” in An Ideal Job.
Budgeting: Calves On Pasture
Sometimes you have many calves on pasture. Sometimes you have none. Regardless of the herd size, all farmers must budget their business. These bloggers are counting their calves and sticking to a budget.
- Saving Advice channels the 80s in What The Atari 2600 Taught Me About Personal Finance.
- Financial Ramblings counts his lucky budget in 19 FREE Personal Budgeting Spreadsheets.
- Learning the Ropes has found the magical key to bring spending down in July Budget: No Expense Day Edition.
- Queercents questions What Accounts Are You Setting Up and Where.
- This Wasn’t In The Plan tell us: Don’t Hate the Budget since it’s not the budget’s fault.
Miscellaneous: Tool Box
Farmers need a lot of tools. These bloggers write on miscellaneous matters and provide valuable tools for the right situation.
- Broke Grad Student has some honest explaining to do in Why I Never Give Money To Homeless People. This one sparked an interesting discussion in the comments.
- My Open Wallet wonders What Are You Embarrassed About?, and says, “Sometimes we can be embarrassed about our financial choices, especially if we blog about them.” The thoughtfulness of this article elicited many views.
- Can I Get Rich On A Salary chooses between Sex or Credit?, and says, “Which is more uncomfortable to discuss with someone you don’t know well, sex or credit-card debt?”
- Counting My Pennies wants you to make copies in The Importance of Backups.
- LivingAlmostLarge discusses the church and tithing in Part II: Family Financial History, and says, “I don’t tithe because my mom never did. And now that I’ve grown up I still don’t see a reason to.”
- Mighty Bargain Hunter explains How to cash in on Food Lion’s stimulus deal without a check, and says, “There’s still time to get 10 percent more from Food Lion’s gift cards, but only if you know how.”
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