Monday, May 19, 2008

Carnival of Personal Finance #153: the Q & A edition

Welcome to Money and Values, where I'm pleased to host the 153rd edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance!

Do you have questions about personal finance? We have answers! Presented in Q&A style, here are almost 100 great posts from fantastic bloggers with their take on some of the most interesting and important personal finance questions out there. Take a look and find answers to questions you might not have even known you wanted to ask...

(Posts are of course the individual opinions of each blogger and are not definitive financial advice or consensus answers to the posed questions.)

Editor's Choice

Q: What do I need in order to have a happy retirement?
A: Four Things You Need For Retirement (Lisa from Greener Pastures)

Q: How can I make sure that my actions and measures of success match my priorities?
A: Mind vs. Brain Part II: Priorities, Pursuits and Productivity (Kent from The Financial Philosopher)

Money Management

Q: Can I end up financially worse off after getting a pay raise?
A: The Negative Effect of Pay Raises: Be Careful How You Manage Your Pay Raise (Ben from Trees Full of Money)

Q: How can I teach my kids about money management?
A1: Use an allowance system: Our Allowance System: New and Improved (nickel from FiveCentNickel)
A2: Teach them about purchasing items: My Son's First Real Purchase (Shadox from Money and Such)
A3: Demonstrate by example: Thanks Mom For The Financial Training (Super Saver from My Wealth Builder); Teaching Kids About Money: Lead by Example (dad from Raising4Boys)

Q: How should I create an emergency fund that fits my needs?
A: Emergency Fund Options (Todd from Harvesting Dollars)

Q: Should we get life insurance for a stay-at-home spouse?
A: Insuring Mom (or Dad) the Homemaker (Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC from InsureBlog)

Q: How much life insurance should I purchase?
A: How much life insurance do you need? (Chief Family Officer from Chief Family Officer)

Q: What are some ways that women can succeed at personal finance?
A: How to Be a Woman (squawkfox from squawkfox)

Q: What things can Star Trek teach me about finance?
A: The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (Preet from

Q: Could my money or items be declared "unclaimed"?
A: Your Safe Deposit Box Isn’t As Safe As You Think It Is (BeThisWay from Are You Going To Be This Way the Rest of the Time I Know You?)

Q: Can focus sometimes be a bad thing financially?
A: Where Is Your Focus? (FFB from Free From Broke)

Q: What are some important ways that planning ahead can help me out financially?
A: Plan Ahead: 6 Steps to Secure Your Financial Future (Madison DuPaix from My Dollar Plan )

Q: What documents/tools do I need for estate planning?
A: Estate Planning (Enoch Ko from The Wealth Accumulator)

Q: How can I make my finances more convenient and comfortable?
A: Automate Your Finances, Feel Comfortable (Jason from Online Savings Blog)

Q: Are there personal finance lessons I can learn from Grand Theft Auto IV?
A: What GTA IV taught me about personal finance (Seb from Pinching Copper)

Q: How can I take ownership of my financial situation?
A: 10 Things That Bring Success in Personal Finance #10 Part 1: Take Ownership (PT from Prime Time Money)

Q: What are some key personal finance principles and guidelines?
A: I have a confession to make (Steph from The Debt Hole); Saving 101 (Allen from Good Money Blog); The 10 Commandments of Fiscal Fitness (GP from Innstyle Montana-Your Home on the Range); 7 Personal Finance Planning Tips (Ryan Taylor from Millionaire Money Habits)

Q: How do I balance a checkbook, and do I need to do it?
A: Balancing a Checkbook (David Ning (MoneyNing) from Personal Finance with Money Ning)

Q: What personal finance principles can I learn at yard sales?
A: Personal Finance Lessons Learned from Yard Sales (Shannon Christman from Saving Advice Blog )


Q: What are some ways to save on energy costs?
A: Slash your energy costs with these 6 money saving tips (Jacob from All About The Ben)

Q: How can I have a frugal, safe barbecue?
A: Summer Barbeque Safety and Savings (Debbie from American Consumer News)

Q: How can I be environmentally friendly without spending lots of money?
A: Budget-Friendly Ways To Save The Environment (Frugal Babe from Frugal Babe)

Q: What are some affordable ways to get exercise?
A: Moving More for Less: Frugal Fitness (Grey from Frugal Fu)

Q: How can I spend the least and get the most selling my used car?
A: How To: Sell A Used Car: Episode 1 (NtJS from Not the Jet Set)

Q: Is there an affordable way to compost in an urban/suburban area?
A: I Just Paid a Stranger To Mail Me $29 Worth of Worms (That One Caveman from One Caveman's Financial Journey)

Q: How can I be smart and frugal about getting a new cell phone?
A: 5 Mistakes I Didn’t Repeat When Buying My Cell Phone (Stephanie from Poorer Than You )

Q: How can I get free or cheap furniture and decorations, and maybe even make some money, if I live near a college?
A: How to Furnish or Re-Decorate for FREE! (or pretty darn close to free) (Shana from Smart Easy Money)

Q: How can I save money on car insurance the smart way?
A: Getting Your Car Insurance Right (SmallNotebook from Small Notebook)

Q: How can I save money on over-the-counter drugs?
A: Your Mate Is Sick, So You Wind Up Broke. (MoneyKing from The Money Kings)

Q: How can I live frugally in an RV full-time?
A: Living cheap... in an RV (Mike from Living the Cheap Life)

Q: What websites can help me save money?
A: Using the web to save money (Luke from Money & Fitness Blog)

Q: How can I save money by talking to customer service representatives?
A: 20 Minutes Can Save $180 & Tips for Receiving Better Customer Service (Penelope Pince from Our Fourpence Worth)

Q: How can I save money on gas?
A: 12 Ways to Save Money on Gas (Aryn from Sound Money Matters)

Q: What are some ways to cut spending that don't hurt too much?
A: 10 Ways To Reduce Spending Painlessly (Momma from Tales from the road less traveled)

Q: Is there a stress-free way to plan out meals that doesn't end up wasting ingredients?
A: It's Time for Dinner (Mrs. Accountability from Out of Debt Again)


Q: Should I be concerned about going over budget sometimes?
A: A Good Budget Is Not An Iron-Clad Contract (paidtwice from I've Paid For This Twice Already); The Best $50 I've Spent in Awhile (Ashley from College of Cash); Not being frugal with my wife (Biff from basic financial)

Q: How should I make a budget for house-related expenses?
A: The new super sexy House Budget! (J. Savings from Budgets are Sexy)

Q: Is there something I can make that will help me keep track of bills?
A: How to Make Your Own Bill Organizer (Debbie the Debt Destroyer from Destroy Debt)


Q: How can I keep in touch with customers of my small business and keep them loyal?
A: Email Newsletter benefits for Small Business Owners (Debbie from American Small Business News)

Q: How much money do MBAs make?
A: What Can You Make As an MBA? (GBlogger from Can I Get Rich On A Salary)

Q: How should I act with my employer when I quit my job?
A: How to Resign Gracefully (Patrick from Cash Money Life)

Q: How long will it take me to find a new job?
A: How Long Should It Take to Find a New Job? (FMF from Free Money Finance)

Q: Should I/my kid go for a bachelor's degree?
A: Are College Degrees Overrated? (vh from Funny about Money)

Q: What are the most common reasons employees are unhappy with their jobs?
A: Unhappy with your job? You’re not alone (glblguy from Gather Little by Little)

Q: Why are older people still working and what are the most common jobs they do?
A: Working Past Retirement: Job Seekers Over Age 55 (Silicon Valley Blogger from The Digerati Life)

Q: What's the difference between hard and soft credit inquiries, and what're their effects on my credit score?
A: Hard vs. Soft Credit Checks and Your Credit Score (Credit Addict from

Q: What kinds of hidden charges might I get from American Express?
A: Sneaky Fees from American Express Charges (Smarty from Growing Money)

Q: I've recently graduated from college; what do I need to know about credit cards?
A: Best Credit Cards for New College Graduates & Young Professionals (Ben from Money Smart Life)

Q: What does "no interest for 12 months" really mean?
A: No Interest For 12 Months Does Not Mean No Interest At All (David from My Two Dollars )

Q: Why do stores want people to apply for store-brand credit cards?
A: An Interesting Conversation About Store Branded Credit Card Applicatons (NCN from No Credit Needed)

Q: What are the current trends of Americans using credit cards?
A: Until the nation is broke, viva la credit card (AndyS from Saving to Invest)

Q: What are some strange things people have done with credit cards lately?
A: Hookers playing ‘Halo,’ charges from the grave and more: Wacky credit card stories (Emily Starbuck Gerson from Taking charge)

Q: What and when was the first effort to make credit widely available to the average person?
A: The Origin of Credit (Ricardo Bueno from The Industry Report)

Q: What are some of the best cash-back credit cards?
A: Best Cash Back Credit Cards (Sun from The Sun's Financial Diary)

Q: What do I need to know to manage my credit cards successfully?
A: Successfully Managing Your Credit (Clint from Accumulating Money)

Q: What can I do to improve my credit score?
A: 5 Steps to Take If Your Credit Score is Hurt By Non-Credit Card Debt (Margaret from You Might as Well Burn $5!)


Q: If I go into debt to pay for college, should I count on coming out ahead financially?
A: Student loans are not "good debt" (bluntmoney from Blunt Money)

Q: How can I develop self-discipline to accomplish my goals?
A: Learn to say NO (Bob from Christian Debt Help)

Q: Is a home equity loan a good way to pay off debt?
A: Home Equity Loans: Why They Don't Make Sense as Part of Debt Reduction Plans (Debt Freedom Fighter from Discover Debt Freedom)

Q: Should I pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible?
A1: No! Contrary to popular opinion, paying off your mortgage is the dumbest move you can make... (AJC from How to make $7 million in 7 years)
A2: Yes! Pay off Your Mortgage Early (Toblerone from Simple Mom)


Q: What are the differences between investing billions and investing thousands?
A: Don't Invest Like Warren Buffett (Kyle from Amateur Asset Allocator)

Q: Are there good dividend investments that don't show up on the usual lists?
A: Dividend Conspiracies (Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor)

Q: Are companies with increasing dividends over time a good investment?
A: Rising Dividends = Rising Returns (Dividends4Life from Dividends4Life)

Q: How many investments does the average investor need?
A: Money's Only 7 Investments You Need is Wrong (Kevin from No Debt Plan)

Q: What's more important, the amount of dividends paid out or whether the amount is growing over time?
A: Dividend Yield or Dividend Growth? (The Dividend Guy from The Dividend Guy)

Q: What's the current situation with I Bonds?
A: May 2008 I Bond Rates Go to 0.0%, Total Rate 4.84%-What Does This mean? (RC from Think Your Way To Wealth)

Q: What is diversification and why is it important?
A: Working Backwards: What's DIversification? (Ryan Suenaga from Uncommon Cents)

Q: What are some great U.S. money market funds?
A: The Top 25 Best Low Cost US Money Market Funds (The Skilled Investor from The Skilled Investor Blog)

Q: Is it better to spend my time trying to get the best investment returns or spend that time working?
A: Labour vs. Investment Income (Mr. Cheap from Quest For Four Pillars)

Real Estate

Q: What cities are doing well in these tough financial times?
A: Is Your City Recession-Proof? These 10 Are! (FIRE Finance from FIRE Finance)

Q: Are more people getting stuck in their homes because of falling housing prices?
A: Upside-down, still paying, and stuck (mbhunter from Mighty Bargain Hunter)

Q: How can I use online real estate tools wisely?
A: How to Use Internet Based Real Estate and House Hunting Sites (Dan Melson from Searchlight Crusade)

Q: What's it like to have a real estate agent sell your house?
A: Using a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home (JS from Smart Money Daily)

Q: How should I handle offers and counteroffers?
A: Home Pricing (Brooke from Dollar Frugal)


Q: How can I earn money besides a job?
A: how to make money without a job and why you should (Steve from brip blap)

Q: How can I file a claim for the diamonds class action settlement, and how much will I get?
A: Diamonds Class Action - How Much Can I Get Back? (Sean from Financial Ramblings)

Q: What do I/my kid need to change to keep winning new scholarships after starting college?
A: Updating the college scholarship resume (Paula Wethington from Monroe on a budget)

Q: What do I do if I'm in or witness to a car accident?
A: Near Collision (Bryce from Save and Conquer)

Q: Is "MicroTrends" a good book?
A: Everyday Finance Book Review: MicroTrends (Dan at Everyday Finance from Everyday Finance)

Q: What would happen if Indiana Jones were filing his taxes?
A: A Memo From the Office of Steven R. Lawlor, CPA, to Indiana Jones (RwR from Riding With Rickey)

Q: What are some of the typical personalities of wealthy people?
A: Six Ways to Get a Ton of Money & the Attitudes That Go With Them (Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck from Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck)

Q: What ways of thinking might help me become a millionaire?
A: Get The Millionaire Mindset (Money Millionaire from Money Millionaire)

Q: Is it our patriotic duty to spend our stimulus check?
A: To Stimulate Or Not To Stimulate? (The Happy Rock from The Happy Rock)

Q: Could higher gas prices have some benefits?
A: Higher Gas Prices: A Blessing in Disguise or America's Wakeup Call (Dorian Wales from The Personal Financier)

That's all for this week! I hope we've helped answer some of your questions; please submit your post for next week's edition of the Carnival.


H G Stern said...

Outstanding job, Penny!

Thank you for hosting, and for including our post.

Everyday Finance said...

Hey, thanks for including my review of Microtrends!


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for hosting the carnival! Wonderful job. - Rachel

Anonymous said...

Great Carnival! - Thanks for posting my article, and choosing me as the editor's choice this week. there's so many great articles here, must be tough to pick!


D said...

Thanks for hosting and including my article Dividend Conspiracies!

Best Regards,

Dividend Growth Investor

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including my post. Great job in getting it all together.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including my article. I will link back on Friday in my weekly Link Love section.

Anonymous said...

Love the Q&A format! Thanks for including Funny's squib on the relevance (or not) of a college degree.

Anonymous said...

Very cool format. I'll post a roundup later today.

The Financial Philosopher said...

Thank's for the "editor's choice" honor!

I do not often participate in carnivals but was particularly drawn to your alignment of money and values.

I will certainly return as a reader!

Thanks again...

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Free From Broke said...

Thanks for hosting. I love the Q&A!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the work hosting.

Format was superb, very usable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including my article on safe deposit boxes! Great format!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting Q&A style. Thanks for all the work and for including my post.

Mrs. Accountability said...

Wow, what a lot of work you put into this week's carnival! Thank you so much and thank you for including my post on meal planning!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting this week and including my article "Rising Dividends = Rising Returns ".

Best Wishes,
D4L said...

Thanks for including my post!

Anonymous said...

Love the Q&A format. Thanks for hosting!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for including my article on saving money on energy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for hosting!

[...]including the Carnival of Personal Finance #153, posted in a tidy Q&A theme on Money and Values[...]

Anonymous said...

..[Carnival of Personal Finance #153: the Q & A edition, hosted by Money and Values, selected my article Dividend Conspiracies]..

Anonymous said...

Penny! Thank you for hosting and for including my post. I have linked back via: Carnivals.