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April is Financial Literacy Month, so there's no better time to get your finances in order. That I why I'm honored to be hosting the Carnival of Personal Finance #304: Financial literacy edition!
If you've never visited Blogging for Change before, I invite you to explore the site. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook. Now, without further adieu, here's the Carnival of Personal Finance beginning with some of my favorite posts from this past week.
FMF from Free Money Finance shares Personal Finance Insights from HGTV. It's great to know that a couple fun TV shows can also teach us all about personal finance. (Editor's note: This post had me at the title. I am a huge HGTV fan and have even received a backyard makeover from the show Carter Can!)
In this very thoughtful post, Philip from PT Money discusses Special Needs Planning for Your Child. Studies have shown that many parents of children with special needs aren't adequately prepared for the life of their child once they are gone. Setting up a will, special need trust, and letter of intent are key elements to a good plan.
Job hunting? Kathryn from Financial Highway covers 30 Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them. This guide not only tells you what the interview questions are but also provides insight into what the interviewer is really asking and what types of answers will help you get the job.
Wojo from Fiscal Fizzle understands that one budget does not fit all. In his post titled Types of Budgets, Wojo covers seven ways to keep track of your money.
Pat from Compounding Returns cautions readers to avoid The Worst Things You Can Do With Your Money.
In Spend? Save? Or Invest?, Mike from Green Panda Treehouse confirms that regardless of what we choose to do with our money, it’s good to know that we have options.
Net Worth Journey uncovers the characteristics of financially successful couples in 4 Tips for Healthy Finances in Marriage.
In Surviving the Ascent out of Generational Poverty, Revanche from A Gai Shan Life talks about how things aren't as black and white as they used to be.
In Basics of Last Will and Testament, Jeff from Living with Clarity asks: Would you want someone else deciding your affairs for you after you’re gone?
In How to Tweak Your Budget When Unemployed, Jeff from Good Financial Cents offers some things to consider as you tweak your unemployment budget after you lost your job.
Big Cajun Man from THE Canadian Personal Finance Site covers the advantages and disadvantages of On Line Financial Services.
Echo from Boomer & Echo presents Things I Hate Spending Money On: Shaving, and says, "I hate spending money on shaving. If I could get away with it, I’d only shave once a week. Unfortunately shaving has become increasingly more expensive in the last decade, leaving consumers to seek out new ways to cut costs."
Have a headache but want to avoid taking pills? Donna from Surviving and Thriving presents 8 Ways to Get Rid of a Headache. (Nine, if You Count Divorce.)
Should you get the priciest items at the fixed cost salad bar just because they're the most expensive (even if you don't like them)? Nicole and Maggie of Grumpy Rumblings take on Nate Silver of the New York Times in False Economies in the NY Times.
Mmmmmm....Len from Len Penzo.com presents My Peanut Butter Taste Test: What 8 Choosy Mothers Really Chose.
In Saving on Medical Costs, Elizabeth from Modern Gal offers ideas on how to manage healthcare costs.
John from Wallet Blog presents Did a $12 fee Increase Really Make AMC’s Rewards Program More Rewarding? John believes that the best way to beat the prices is to sign up for various rewards programs, but wonders if the new AMC Stub Program any better than its old "Movie Watcher" plan.
As any parent knows, clothing for children can get expensive with them outgrowing the clothes and generally wrecking them. Glen from Parenting Family Money presents 4 Ways to Save Money on Your Kids Clothing.
Credit & Debt
Janet from Credit, Eh thinks the worst excuse for buying something is that you want the credit card rewards. In her post Credit Card Use: Buy Things That Make Sense, Janet asks if you really want to pay interest on a laser pointer or some other useless gadget.
Abigail from CreditDonkey Tips presents How Helpful is Credit Card Car Rental Insurance Coverage, and says, "Not all credit card car rental insurance coverage is equal. Before you turn down coverage from your car rental agency, read your credit card fine print."
If you are one of the millions who received word that your email information may have been involved in a data breach, you'll want to read Consumers, Bank Customers on Alert Following Major Email Theft by Jeremy from Taking Charge.
Christien from Integrated Loans answers the question: Are Stated Income Loans Still Available? Apparently, stated loans, also referred to as the “liar loans,” are making a comeback.
In How to Build a Good Credit History, Kevin from Moolanomy explains that even if you want to live a cash only lifestyle, having a solid credit history can't hurt.
Ben from Money Smart Life offers tips from Debt Free for Life author David Bach on How to Improve Your Credit Score.
Fitz from Ready To Be Rich believes that getting out of debt is hard enough, but doing it the wrong way is harder. Here are his Top 10 Signs That Say You’ll Never Get Out of Debt.
Wondering if it's possible to get a credit score with no strings attached? Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents Credit Karma – Get Your Free Credit Score and More – A Review.
Michael from The Dough Roller says "We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to reduce our debt considerably over the years." He shares how you can do the same in How We Paid Off $237,428.13 in Debt in 5 Years.
Getting rid of debt can take months, if not years, depending on the amount. Fanny from Living Richly on a Budget presents 5 Ways to Eliminate Credit Card Debt Fast.
In Government Shutdowns, Late Paychecks, and Real Motivation, Flexo from Consumerism Commentary asks: Are you prepared if your source of income were to be delayed?
Apparently, the latest accessory for the job hunt is plastic surgery. In Plastic Surgery is Now Part of the Job Hunt? Darwin from Darwin's Money asks if this is the new normal in today's economy.
It can be easy to get inspired when you read about the success of others. In Working Your Way to The Top, Mike from The Financial Blogger explains how to turn your inspiration into action.
Bret from Hope to Prosper believes that Living on Less is the New Reality for Millions of Americans and that earning a respectable income is going to take a lot more courage, effort, and creativity in the future.
Jason from One Money Design gives advice on How to Handle Being Laid Off from Work.
In a very timely post, Consumer Boomer covers some Independent Contractor Tax Rules. There are special tax rules for independent contractors and the self-employed that you need to know.
If your improvement plans include purchasing energy-efficient equipment, or installing renewable energy systems, don’t put it off too much longer. Ramsay from Moneyedup warns of looming deadlines in Federal Energy Tax Credits.
Cathy from Cool to be Frugal shares three ways to Reduce Tax Liability: How to Lower The Taxes You Pay.
While most people would agree that Canadians pay a lot of tax, Jim Yih from Retire Happy Blog offers A List of things not taxed in Canada.
In a post titled If You're Buying Or Selling A House, Keep Your Social Networking To A Minimum, Money Beagle advises readers to assume that every single person that might be on the other side of a potential deal has access to your social networking information.
Andi from Modern Tightwad knows from experience that Buying a Bank-Owned Home Requires Infinite Patience. While the process has been stressful, it looks like the reward is in sight!
Outlaw Finance offers tips for saving money on rent, likely one of your biggest expenses, in How to Save Money on Apartment Rent.
In The Process of Breaking Your Lease, Tom from Stupid Cents shares his first hand experience of breaking a lease, including the costs and steps involved.
Clint from Accumulating Money offers five steps you can take to free up cash, save money, and increase your income in Your Retirement is not Enough: What to Do When You’re Broke.
Mike from Do Not Wait presents Objective Investing, or Not, and asks "what kind of investment personality do you have?"
In Targeted Retirement Funds | Can Investing Really be this Easy?, RJ from Gen Y Wealth answers the question: Can you just login to your 401(k) or IRA account, select the target date fund offered, and call it a day?
Ashley from Money Talks believes that saving and investing are the same thing and explains her viewpoint in this post titled Saving vs. Investing.
Sean from Grow Money covers the basics of futures trading in Introduction to Futures Trading.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance. If you missed the last Carnival, you can read it over at Funny About Money. Next week's Carnival will be hosted by Financially Digital.
One of my coworkers is having a baby shower next week (Congratulations, CV!) Planning for the event makes me think back to my own baby shower days. Friends and family gave us a lot of wonderful, useful baby supplies; however, there was one gift that really stood out.
Starting on the day of my baby’s shower, my grandparents started buying him one share of stock (K) for every family occasion. This includes his birthday, my birthday, my husband’s birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas.
This type of one-off investing is made possible by Direct Purchase Programs that allow companies to sell shares directly to investors. A partial list of companies offering Direct Purchase Programs can be found at DRIP Central. Or, if you don’t want to go it alone, there are privately held companies that specialize in helping people give the gift of real stock ownership.
While it may not be exciting for my son to continually receive the same piece of paper as gifts, I can assure you that he will appreciate it in the long run. I know I do. As the years go by, it is amazing to see how small investments over time can really add up. I also appreciate the fact that these gifts do not add to our already overwhelming piles of “stuff.” And, while I am sure there are those who think the money could be better invested, I believe that my son is learning a valuable lesson about the importance of saving.
Of course, it is important to remember that investing in stock carries an element of risk. For a more detailed analysis of your options for this type of investing, read MSN’s article titled Invest One Drip at a Time.
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