The Last Carnival of Personal Finance of the Year!

By Mike

Welcome to the last edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance for 2009! In today’s edition, I will share what I have enjoyed the most during the last 2 weeks of the year.

#1 Editor’s Pick: This is my Favorite Holiday!

I actually love Christmas time (who doesn’t?). This is the special period of the year where everything is touched by magic. We spend time with our families, we play with the kids outside and we are able to watch the world through the eyes of a child especially to see the amazed look on their faces when they unwrap their gifts. Definitely, this is my favourite time of the year. So here are my favourite articles for this Carnival:

J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy presents 3 Simple Steps To Rock Your Finances. Those are 3 easy steps that everyone should follow. I particularly like the third one: ACT NOW!”

J.D. Roth from Get Rich Slowly presents The Basic Law of Frugality, and says, “Frugality doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality. And it doesn’t have to mean you never buy anything you want ever again. You can’t always get what you want “” but you can sometimes!”

Jim from Bargaineering presents Automating Your Finances is an Expensive Mistake.

Madison from My Dollar Plan presents Top 10 Financial Stories of the Decade. This is great financial review of the past decade

#2 Frugality and Debt Management: The Month of January is the Best Month for Deals!

The end of the year is the perfect time to save a few bucks. While you shopped for your gifts during Christmas time, you probably identifed what you need in stores and may wait until the first week of January. For those who are Canadian (or shop online), you don’t even have to wait for the January rebate as they have the Boxing Day (looks like Black Friday in the US). Everything is on sale right after Christmas (starting December 26th). The key is to find great deals and then transfer your purchase to a zero percent balance transfer credit card ;-) Seriously, you would be better to leave your credit cards at home if you go shopping! So here are the frugal and debt management articles of this Carnival:

WellHeeled from Well-Heeled Blog presents Old Cars: Unsung Heroes of Personal Finance, and says, “Old cars lack the flash and dash of new models, but they are wonderful for your personal financial situation. I drive an old car, and I love it. ”

Elle from Couple Money presents Saving on Pet Care, and says, “Being frugal doesn’t mean being skipping on vet visits and buying low quality food (which in turn can aid a pet in gaining weight and developing other problems). It means saving money in case a serious problem comes up and you don’t worry about paying the light bill or your dog’s surgery.”

Helen from Science and Money presents How to Reset Your “Check Engine Light”: OBD-II Code Readers, and says, “How I saved $1,800 and became the most popular person in my office.”

David from Credit Card Offers IQ presents List of Credit Card Foreign Currency Transaction Fees, and says, “Most credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee when the card is used outside the United States. ”

DR from Dough Roller presents Consolidate Debt with LendingClub or Prosper, and says, “LendingClub recently launched a new section of its website that lists statistics about borrowers and lenders.”

Clint from Accumulating Money presents Wholesale Mortgages, and says, “Thanks”

Matt from One Million and Beyond presents Overspending at Christmas – Now What?.

ElizabethG (Modern Gal) from Modern Gal presents Maintaining the Saving and Investing Momentum.

LeanLifeCoach from Eliminate The Muda presents The Saving Game – Save To Splurge, and says, “Another way to control your spending habits is to make a game out of saving. If you have ever worked a job on commission or in a retail environment you’ve likely been exposed to some type of incentive. I take this idea from the world of business and how incentives are used to drive desired behaviors.”

mbhunter from Mighty Bargain Hunter presents Pay off your car loan before paying off other debts?, and says, “Yet another method for paying off multiple debts”

#3 Money Management: The Time to Establish Goals

During December, I always take a few hours to look at what I have accomplished financially in 2009. I updated my balance sheet, looked at my net worth, my salary and my debt load! Then, I establish financial goals for the next year. I have been doing this for the past 3 years and it has helped me a lot, helping me grow my net worth and prioritize paying off my debts. In order to get some tricks about money management, here are the articles about this topic:

MLR from My Life ROI presents General Tips to Avoid Fast Depreciation, and says, “Purchasing a car can be a huge financial mistake. Often times the factor that makes it a mistake is the depreciation cost. If you can offset the depreciation cost as much as possible, you may be able to justify a new car purchase.”

Fabulously Broke from Fabulously Broke in the City presents Researching Rental Cars, and says, “Comparing rental cars against each other based on a set of criterion:

1. Daily Rates mean nothing. Final total is more important.
2. Not all discounts for car rentals and airplane flights make the rental or purchase cheaper
3. Cutting down on expenses by getting a credit card with no fee that can cover your rental insurance saves you $16.95 – $25.95 each day you rent p>

pfstock from presents Yodlee: A Love/Hate Relationship, and says, “This is my personal experience with Yodlee’s account aggregation website.”

FIRE Finance from FIRE Finance presents Americans Living Without Bank Accounts?, and says, “Last weekend we were wondering how many Americans live without bank accounts. Our first thought was not many. Curious to know the facts we started researching on the web. We were stunned to find that 17 million Americans have no bank accounts! And 18% of the rest of the population that do have bank accounts use non-traditional banking services like pawn shops and payday lenders.”

Adam from Money Relationship presents Big Changes and An Even Bigger Confession.

Kris Bickell from Debt Tips presents Credit card interest – how high is high?.

Dr Dean from The Millionaire Nurse Blog presents Mega-Consumer, or Careful Consumer-Dr Dean’s Rant.

FT from Million Dollar Journey presents 3 Ways to be More Like Scrooge

Austin from Foreigner’s Finances presents 8 Money Tips I Learned from Clark Griswold and Christmas Vacation, and says, “A look at my favorite Christmas movie – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – and the money tips that can be learned from it.”

Clarence Haynes from Personal Finance Analyst presents Robert Kiyosaki, Another False Profit in the Financial Guru Game .

#4 Investing: The Time to Review Your Portfolio

This is the perfect time of the year to look at your stock portfolio and see if there are any capital losses you should take advantage of. You can review your investing strategy while looking at an  investment guide. I always take a few hours to balance my portfolio and make sure I am ready for next year. Here are some great investment articles:

Zina from Tonka Beans Blog presents 2012: End of the World? Or the End of Your Target-Date Fund? (Part 2/3), and says, “This is part two of a three part series on Target Date Funds. In the first part of this three-part series we reviewed the fundamentals of target-date funds. What are they? Why do they exist? How are they different from other mutual funds?

Paula Wethington from Monroe on a Budget presents What’s happning to the scholarship funds?, and says, “I gave examples appropriate to my local audience, but this post works just as well for the national readers.”

Carlos from Tiny Money presents Stock market of the 2000’s: Worst ever?, and says, “Why the poor performance of the stock market in the 2000’s doesn’t mean much, and why stocks are still the best way to invest over the long term”

D4L from Dividends Value presents Best Stocks For 2010, and says, “This is the season for stock predictions! Virtually every financial writer will pen an article selecting his or her top picks for the upcoming year. I enjoy reading them and the logic behind the picks and sometimes there is a gem to be found.”

Susan Tiner from Brain Dead Simple! Financial Organizing presents Expected Return of Income Property, and says, “Follow-up to Mike Piper’s post on computing expected return for a home purchase for a real estate investment property.”

Darwin from Darwin’s Finance presents Study: Smart Investors MUCH Better Stock Pickers than Dumb Investors , and says, “A surprising study sheds light on how investor IQ is correlated with actual stock-picking performance. Results, analysis and what you should consider as an investor in common equities.

Craig Ford from Money Help For Christians presents How To Become An Accidential Millionaire, and says, “Saving to become a millionaire only requires a simple, disciplined investing plan implemented early in life. ”

The Smarter Wallet from The Smarter Wallet presents A 529 College Savings Plan As A Child’s Gift, and says, “On opening a 529 college savings account for your kid.”

The Dividend Guy from The Dividend Guy presents Contributions Matter (Most), and says, “No matter what you do as an investor, the more money you put into your account the more money you will end up with in the end.”

Revanche from A Gai Shan Life presents On the non-retirement investments front.

The Dividend Guy from The Dividend Guy presents Dividend Safety and Warnings, and says, “There are a number of warning signs that suggest potential problems to your dividends. Here is a summary of a few of them.”

#5 Others: Take Some Time Off and RELAX!

While shopping and visiting are 2 activities that require a lot of time, it is also important to take a few days off and relax. We used to take a day in pyjamas and watch movies all day long (usually the 26th!). So for all the other things, here are the rest of the articles of the Carnival of Personal Finance:

TIP Guy from presents Year 2009: A Bit of Nostalgic Reflection, and says, “It is not necessary to reflect back only on your professional goals. You can also look at your personal life or your hobbies or your side projects or extra curricular activities. Do you reflect back like this?”

FMF from Free Money Finance presents Four Things I Like About Quicken, and says, “I’ve used Quicken for years and love it! Here’s why.”

Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC from InsureBlog presents Look, Overhead!, and says, “Summary: What happens to your business if you’re disabled? InsureBlog explains how business overhead insurance works, and why it’s important.”

Silicon Valley Blogger from The Digerati Life presents Employment Discrimination, The Glass Ceiling & The Gender Wage Gap

vh from Funny about Money presents Bumhood: The Fruits of Financial Freedom, and says, “An interview with a practicing idler: How a man quit his job at 47 and lived happily ever after in “Bumhood.””

Jason from One Money Design presents Christian Giving: When to Give to Christian Ministries, and says, “This post explores when we should give to Christian ministries in our overall giving plan and also which is a helpful tool in deciding if a ministry is worthy of financial support.”

Curt from presents The True Author of Economic Stability Is None Other Than Jesus Christ.

Kyle from Suburban Dollar presents T’was the Night Before Christmas.

Author: Mike.

Image source: the suss man, Duncan Rawlinson, lululemon, bramu, eye of enstein

13 Responses (including trackbacks) to “The Last Carnival of Personal Finance of the Year!”

  1. Monroe on a Budget Says:

    Thanks for including my post!

  2. Dr Dean Says:

    Thanks for including my post. Great presentation.

    And Happy New Year to all from “The Millionaire Nurse Blog”

  3. hgstern Says:

    Great job, Mike!

    Happy New Year!!

  4. Adam Says:

    Thanks for hosting and including my post! I really took a step forward in coming out that I was deeply in debt.

  5. Funny about Money Says:

    Huge! Thanks for doing all the work in putting this week’s carnival together, and thanks for including Funny’s post on bumhood.

    Happy New Year!

  6. LeanLifeCoach Says:

    Great job on the carnival. What a way to finish the year.
    Thanks for including EliminateTheMuda and thanks for the Google coupon, I can’t wait to use it…

    I’ll make sure to use it on something that counts!

  7. J. Money Says:

    Haha, I LOVED that one free google search graphic ;) In fact, I actually clicked on it to see where it would lead me! A helluva marketing idea if you ask me. (hint hint)

    Appreciate the Editor’s Pick my man, here’s to an even better 2010!

  8. Austin Says:

    Hey, thanks for hosting!

    Here’s to a great new year!

    -Austin @ Foreigner’s Finances

  9. pfstock Says:

    Thanks for hosting and including my post.

  10. Tim Moon Says:

    The editors picks are rock solid. Nice way to finish out 2009.

  11. Duncan Says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you for for using my photograph in this post!

    Please attribute the photograph to Duncan Rawlinson and link to me @

    Thank you.

  12. Helen Says:

    Great wrap-up. Thanks for including my post. Best wishes for a happy 2010.

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