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The Carnival of Wealth, Money and Life: Spring Fling Edition

Welcome to the (slightly belated) April 25, 2009 edition of Carnival of Wealth, Money and Life. The economy may not exactly be blossoming, but as April showers bring May flowers, wise investing during the gloomy recession may lead to a great crop when the stock market stops getting rained on by sour economic reports.

This edition takes a look at ways to best prepare for that recovery…


Matthew Paulson helps with tips on How to Choose a Good Financial Advisor posted at American Consumer News.

Summer Munyon offers up tips on How To Find The Bottom Of The Real Estate Market posted at Tallahassee Real Estate Blog, saying, “If you want to know the beginning of the next phase of the market turn, just keep an eye on the green line in the graph below. You can visit this graph (updated twice per week) at The Market Bulletin.”

Darwin presents 6 Prudent Uses for your Tax Refund This Year posted at Darwin’s Finance, saying, “How to avoid squandering a great opportunity: 6 prudent uses for this year’s tax refund.”

Dividends4Life presents Who is Irving Kahn and Why Should We Listen to Him? posted at Dividends Value, saying, “Comfort in your investing process only comes from having been there before and experiencing the gains after coming out of a downturn. Today we have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of someone who has lived through many downturns and profited from it.”

Get to know more about investing when bargains in the market are abundant. MoneyNing presents Ins and Outs of a Stock Exchange posted at Investing School, saying, “Stock exchanges perform a critical function in the world of trading. Find out what they do by going through the article.” As the stock market goes through turbulent fluctuations en route to recovery, you may want to check out Verna MorrisThe Definitive Inverse ETF Guide posted at ETFdb. cody butler presents What Is Forex Trading? posted at Investment-For-Beginners Blog, saying, “An introduction to the basics of forex trading.” Nesher presents Global Watch List to monitor your trades from around the globe posted at Internet Stock Trading for Beginners. Silicon Valley Blogger presents Best Online Stock Brokers For Cheap Stock Trades posted at The Digerati Life.

Sarah Scrafford presents 100 Lectures That Will Teach You to Be Rich posted at Clear View Education Blog.


Looking for cash-saving tips? Gregory E. Rouse presents Family Meals for Under $5 posted at Frugal-Living-Skills Blog. Lindsay presents Home Brewing to Save Money (and have fun) posted at Off the Urban Grid. Lulu presents Save Money By Packing Your Own Snacks posted at How I Save Money.net, saying, “Small savings add up over time.” Wren Caulfield presents Why Commute by Bike? posted at True Adventures in Money Hacking, saying, “How biking to work can save you money and improve your health and well-being.” Joseph presents Budgeting Tips posted at Penny Pinching. Michael Gvirtzman presents Expense Allocation Between Wants and Needs posted at Mind Listings, saying, “Discusses expense distribution between golden categories: needs, wants, savings.”

Teach your kids about money starting today. Madison presents Summer Jobs for Kids – Ideas for Summer Jobs for Kids posted at Kids and Money.

Kim Staudenraus writes Feeding the Vending Machines posted at Tranquility Financial Visioning, saying, “Do you really know where you money goes each month? Many lose track of a dollar here and there from vending machine purchases. But is it really a dollar or two?”

Chris presents Is my money safe in a bank? posted at Home I Own.

MoneyEnergy presents Goals on Fire: The Link Between Personal Finance and Positive Thinking posted at MoneyEnergy.

Jeff Rose writes on Managing Your Money While Deployed, One Soldier’s Story posted at Jeff Rose.

debt kid wants to know What Would You Do with a $5000 Interest-Free Loan? posted at DebtKid.

Andrew Peel asks How Will You Manage Your Money After The Recession? posted at APeel Solutions Blog, saying, “President Obama has endorsed them, Donald Trump has so has Robert Kiyosaki. What are they? Small businesses is the answer. In particular online home businesses. The main reason some heavy hitters back them is because they have a global reach from your home PC. But do you know how to get wealthy and stay wealthy?”

Clair Schwan writes a post on How to Make More Money – at work at Frugal Living Freedom, saying, “Here are some ideas about how to make more money as an employee of another. That’s where most of us fit in, so it’s reasonable to know some of the ways that we can earn more without the need for another job or an enterprise of our own.”

Finance Tips 101 fills us in on how Scholarships Come In All Shapes And Sizes posted at Finance Tips 101.

Mark Aucamp writes Credit crunch means talking about money and the lack of it posted at Money Saving Tips, Consumer Finance, Expert, Advice and Help | Talk Money Blog, saying, “It’s not difficult to get involved with the debate about the credit crunch and the current national and global recession.”

Want to learn more about credit cards? jim presents Understanding FICO Credit Scores posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. Debt Free Destiny informs us Why Repairing Your Credit Makes Sense and Saves You Money posted at Debt Free Destiny. Joseph presents Understanding Credit Repair Is Very Important posted at How To Raise My Credit Score.

Savings Toolbox presents Property and Casualty Insurance – What You Should Know posted at Savings Toolbox.


Corbett Barr presents How you can live the good life without being independently wealthy or retired posted at Free Pursuits.

offers up advice on How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft and E-mail Scams posted at fivecentnickel.com.

Leave Debt Behind asks Are You Responsible for Your Deceased Parents Debt? posted at Leave Debt Behind.

Billeater presents Electric Choice- Compare Electric Providers, Switch and Save posted at Billeater.

Joel Gray gives tips on staying healthy: 24 Hour Fitness – For Today’s Fast Paced Lifestyle posted at Health Tips 101. Gal Josefsberg presents Five Quick Ways To Save Money By Being Healthy posted at 60 IN 3, saying, “Wealth is not a prerequisite for health. Join me and learn a few simple ways in which being healthy can save you money.”

Mikkal Travvis presents How To Start An Organic Garden posted at Organic Health.

kathryn says it’s important to Treat Yourself to a Free (Or Cheap!) Treat posted at Out of Debt Christian, saying, “Economy got you down? Pay a huge tax bill last week? Or just feeling the need for a special treat? This is your week! Here are three great free (or super cheap) treats to take advantage of…”

Samir Bharadwaj presents Taking Stock of Your Life in Short Text Messages posted at Samir Bharadwaj dot Com, saying, “Taking stock of where you have come from and where you are heading is a required activity, a milestone along your continuing journey. Here is one way of going about it, and asking the right questions.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents How Much Life Insurance Do You Need? posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Life insurance is essential for protecting your family against the worst thing possible. Be sure to insure yourself.”

Dorian Wales presents Challenging Happiness – Exploring the Irony of Human Nature posted at The Personal Financier, saying, “The irony of human nature – anxiety for those that have everything and depression for those that have nothing.”

Michael Miles presents Freedom and choice posted at Effortless Wealth and Abundance.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
carnival of wealth, money and life
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

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The Carnival of Wealth, Money and Life

Welcome to the (belated) January 25, 2009 edition of carnival of wealth, money and life.

First off, I wanted to apologize (again) for this carnival being delayed. My first priority has been my job (working my ass off so I don’t get layed off), so I’m only finding time now to go through the submissions and get this carnival up.

In this economic climate, for most of us we want to know how to make the most of the jobs we currently have, the money we’ve made in the past (esp around tax time), and what to do if we’re caught unemployed – like so many who are losing their jobs each day around the world during this “Great Recession.”

Your Job (or lack thereof)
and Ways to Make Money in Tough Times

To start off, I’ll point y’all to Matthew Paulson’s write-up Are You Getting the Most from Your Employee Benefits posted at American Consumer News. Here, Paulson details how to get the most out of a Flexible Spending Plan (FSA.) I don’t have one, but if you do, he’s got some good advice for you.

Here’s some more invaluable advice. Wenchypoo offers up tips on how to Fireproof Your Job over at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket. So the tips are fairly obvious, and directly quoted from CNN (do a lot and make the company money and remain positive), but Wenchypoo also links up to her related past posts on getting the most out of your job, and keeping it. Also check out her bullet-point post Bail YOURSELF Out in 2009 for more of that obvious wisdom we need to hear daily.

Knowing how to deal with stress is always important, but when bills are piling up and your next paycheck is looking more and more uncertain, you need to keep your stress in check. Can’t afford a therapist, or a treat-all pill? Joel Gray presents Healthy Stress Management Tips over at Health Tips 101.

If you’re working as a freelance copywriter, the economy is probably hitting you hard. I’m aware of that first hand – my freelance writing well has dried up. Steven Lohrenz links back to an older post about the Prediction On Copywriters During The Financial Mess (posted at Stephen Dean’s Copywriting And Internet Advertising Blog – Copywriter.)

Whether or not you’re employed, you still have to pay taxes. (Who said life was fair?) Check out Ben’s post on Tax Forms to Gather For Your Tax Return over at Money Smart Life to get a head start (or a late start, if you’re one of those do-everything-ahead-of-time type people.)

Whatever Happened to the West-Coast American Dream?

the baglady asks Is this the death of the California dream? over at xynny. Apparently there has been a “mass exodus” from Cali over the past four years. How ironic that I moved into the state around that time. She writes “It’s really not a surprise to me because I have seen the rapid rise in cost of living, taxes, and unemployment in the past few years.” For her, California may no longer be the best place to realize the “Californian dream.”

Enough of This Pessimism, Start Making $$$!

*FIRE Getters lists the Top Ten Paid Survey Sites to Make Extra Money over at FIRE Finance.

*Dave presents Extra Income Ideas I at Cheapo Groovo.

*Malcolm Clarke writes why You Should Start a Business Now! at Mal255 – Poker Strategy, saying, “Why everyone should start a business and take control of their future today.”

*Kevin writes you can be Making Money with Affiliate Programs at Trafficteria.com Blog Optimization.

*Praveen presents Making Passive Income With Minimal Niche Sites posted at My Simple Trading System.

Save Your Pennies

Savings Toolbox presents Stashing Cash at Home posted at Savings Toolbox.

MoneyNing presents 50 Ways to Budget Travel and Save Money on Vacations posted at Money Ning, saying, “Being a frugal traveler can save you so much money!

Deposit Accounts presents Understanding the Differences Between a Money Market Deposit Account and a Money Market Mutual Fund posted at Deposit Accounts.

Frugal Living Tips

Annette Berlin presents How To Cook A Restaurant Quality Meal For Fifty Cents posted at Craft Stew, saying, “I just made myself a meal that was so good, so fast and so cheap that I have to brag about it.”

Denis O’Leary presents Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling in Today?s Economy posted at LEAD Construction.

The Smarter Wallet presents A Look At Costco, Sam’s Club and Other Wholesale Shopping Clubs posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “Thank you!”

Z.Petals presents Frugality and the Environment posted at zpetals.

Invest Now or Forever Hold Your Pense

Jeff Williamson
presents Best Way To Invest Money posted at PE Financial Services.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Lending Club Review: A Leading Peer To Peer Lending Network posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “With tighter credit these days, here is one option for obtaining liquidity in the financial system — through social lending.”

Pinyo Bhulipongsanon presents Five Reasons Lending Club Beats Credit Cards When Funding a Small Business posted at Moolanomy.

Investing School presents Bid Ask Spread posted at Investing School, saying, “Learn everything there is to know about bid, ask spreads”

Jed Norwood presents Volatility And Wider Spreads posted at Forex Strategy, saying, “This article is about the forex market, it helps explain why the market is the way it is. Fore ix a unique way to invest so if you haven’t already considered it I would look into it.”

The Shark Investor presents It’s Not Hard To Be Good posted at The Shark Investor.

Banks and the Housing Market

Dividends4Life presents Bank of America Headed Back to the TARP ATM posted at Dividends Value, saying, “Someone once said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. I think Bank of America (BAC) would take exception to that statement. BAC has been in the news all week and it has not been flattering. This once proud dividend aristocrat continues to struggle even after slashing its dividend.”

Tristan presents How Long Does It Take To Remortgage? posted at Find Financial Freedom, saying, “How long does it take to remortgage if you don’t have adequate income? A long time, same problem if you are in negative equity, or have bad credit. It’s a brave new world out there thanks to the credit crunch, the mortgage market is a much different place now than it used to be.”

presents Home, Mortgage, Landlords and Renters Insurance explained posted at Home I Own, saying, “How to choose the right type of insurance that will save you money.”

David presents How Much Home Can You Afford To Buy? posted at Personal Finance Ology, saying, “Calculating how much home you can afford is an important precursor to house hunting. Do your homework before investing your time and money!”

Keep Your Credit In Check

Finance Tips 101 presents Identity Theft Prevention Tips posted at Finance Tips 101.

Woman Tribune presents Living Off of Your Credit Cards posted at Woman Tribune.

The Investor presents The really obvious thing we all forget when borrowing money posted at Monevator.com, saying, “Have you ever wondered who you’re borrowing money off when you go into debt? If you think you’re being given money by a bank or credit card company, think again.”

The Dough Roller presents Business Credit Cards Guide posted at The Dough Roller, saying, “A complete guide to some of the best business credit cards.”

Debt Freedom Fighter presents Why Reading a Credit Card Review is Important posted at Discover Debt Freedom!. CreditCardAssist.com presents How to Travel With Credit Cards posted at Credit Cards Blog | CreditCardAssist.com. apply4-credit presents And the Credit Fraud Continues posted at Credit Card Applications Expert | Apply4-Credit.com. Mr Credit Card presents Fraud Alert vs. Freezing Your Credit Report posted at Ask Mr Credit Card. Credit Shout presents 0% Introductory APR: Golden Opportunity or Quicksand Trap? posted at CreditShout. David presents Citi PremierPass Elite Review posted at Credit Card Offers IQ, saying, “The Citi PremierPass Elite offers industry leading points rewards, including 20,000 bonus points.”

Finance Philosophy and Life Musings

Broderick Allen presents Persistence posted at Broderick Allen – Personal Growth and Enjoying Life’s Journey.

presents Procrastinator, plucker, plotter, and prober posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Recently I was reading the book titled “The Number: What do you need for the rest of your life and what will it cost?” A rundown on what the book has to offer”

Isaac Yassar presents How To Realize Happiness posted at Isaac Yassar’s Overture, saying, “People seek happiness. That is the reason of their studying and working, improving their personal quality to achieve success. The question is what will happen after we reach success. Probably the answer is getting piles of money and massive personal consciousness, the mediums to reach happiness. At least that is what most people think. Is that true?”

Ariel Bravy presents What Is Abundance? | You Are Truly Loved posted at You Are Truly Loved, saying, “Let’s better define “abundance” and notice how much it can positively affect our lives.”

Chris presents If You’re so Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich? posted at financial reflections, saying, “A few ideas on how to be smart with your money and end up rich.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of wealth, money and life using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Put that rebate check into your emergency fund, before it’s too late!

If you work a full-time job and aren’t making a gadzillion dollars, chances are you’ve received (or will receive) a $600 check from the government.

Whatever you do, DON’T use it to “stimulate” the economy.

Don’t let the Iraq war fool you –
It’s not patriotic to be in debt.

For all of you folks out there who always say that you don’t have enough money to start an emergency fund, this handout really is a prime opportunity. Take your $600 (or whatever amount you received), spend, say $100 of it, if you feel the need to, and put the rest of it in a high-interest savings account.

If you haven’t started an emergency fund yet, this is now your emergency fund. While an emergency fund should have more than $500 in it, at least that’s a start.

Try to add $20-$50 a month to this savings account. Otherwise forget the money exists.


The Wealth Money & Life Network is a team of personal finance bloggers ranging in age from 20-60. Each month, we choose a different topic to focus on and write posts about from our perspective. This month’s topic, if you haven’t guessed, is “emergency funds.” Check out some of the other great posts on this topic over at the WEALTH, MONEY AND LIFE NETWORK

Emergency Funds: Save Yourself


Sometimes it’s easy to spend every last time we earn and then some. Being in debt is almost synonymous to “being American.” The American Dream is to not have to worry about money spent because, at some point, it will magically reappear. Maybe the streets aren’t paved with gold, but opportunities will eventually balance illogical spending.

The fact is, for most of us, that’s not true. That’s why it’s vital to have an emergency fund. An emergency fund is basically a certain amount of money that’s set aside in a liquid savings account, that can be accessed in cases of – here’s the keyword – emergency.

Having to go on a last-minute vacation does not qualify as an emergency. Needing to get a new shirt definitely not does qualify as an emergency. Losing your job and needing money to pay the rent and eat, does.

It’s actually fairly easy to save up an emergency fund if you budget wisely. Even these days when the economy is so awful, there are ways to save. Skip your morning Latte at Starbucks, put your change into a piggy bank, don’t buy a new outfit this month, etc.

If you’re starting from scratch and your salary seems too low to start a fund, start small. Open a savings account online, pref. one that earns “high interest,” and put in your first $25 when you get your next paycheck.

Every month, promise yourself that you’ll save $25. When you get into this habit, bump it up to $35, and keep going until you’re saving $50 – $100 a month, more if possible.

Ideally you should have about $5000-$8000 in your emergency fund.

I was keeping $5000 in a liquid CD which I considered to be my emergency fund. I’ve recently liquidated that CD, but I’m moving the money over to my ING account which I’m planning to label “DO NOT TOUCH.”

It’s so much better to have that money to tap into when something wicked this way comes in one’s life. Having the fund means you can avoid at least some of the stress that comes with not having enough money to pay for an emergency – bounced checks, collection agencies, bad credit, or even bankruptcy.

Here are some more tips for saving money:

Bring cash to the grocery store, and a list of things you need. Overestimate on the cash that you bring a bit, but stick to your list when you go shopping. Put all of the change into a piggy bank in your room. Every six months or so, bring that to the bank to put into your emergency fund.

Turn off your lights except when you need to use them at night. Take the estimated savings on your electric bill and put it towards your EF.

Don’t go overboard on gifts. This is a hard one for some people. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. The money you spend on a gift for someone else is money that could be saved. I’m not advising you to stop giving gifts entirely, but you don’t need to spend large sums of money for your friends OR significant others. (Especially in boyfriend/girlfriend land, where sometimes gifts can end up costing hundreds of dollars.) Enter into a relationship (or friendship) in a healthy way, including setting gift expectations, will help everyone involved save money and get into good financial habits for the future.

Rebate check? Screw saving the economy, “save yourself.” \ You know that $600 rebate check you received (or will receive) this year? Put it directly into an emergency fund. I know it won’t necessarily help the current economy that way, but what do you owe the economy? Poor spending habits got us all into this mess. To really help the economy, everyone in this country needs an emergency fund and needs to learn how to save!

What do you do to save?

Read what other WLM-Net Bloggers have to say about emergency funds:

Dollar Frugal: Emergency Fund Etiquette (sorry to DF for leaving this post off of my list originally!)
The LocoMono Website: Defining Your Emergency Fund
How I Save Money: Save Money in an Emergency Fund
Saving for a Home of My Own: Rebate Check —> Emergency Fund
Dividends4Life: Are there cracks in your foundation?

Introducing The Wealth, Money & Life Network (WML-Net)

I’m thrilled to announce the debut of The Wealth, Money & Life Network (WML-Net). Composed of a select group of kick-ass personal finance bloggers, The Wealth, Money & Life Network will provide information on saving, smart spending, and how major finance topics effect different locations and age groups.

The WML-Net is made up of a diverse group of individuals. Our ages span across the 20s, 30s and into the 40s (I’m the youngest at 24!). We are located in different parts of the U.S.; ranging from the east coast to the west coast, from the midwest to the southwest to the deep-south. Our backgrounds are varied and include careers, education, income streams and lifestyles. Some of us have debt, while others do not. There are those who are married, with and without children, while others are single. Some of us have a college degree, some us are prospering without one.

We are excited about this opportunity to share with you what we have to offer. Realizing that no two situations are alike, our diverse group will provide multiple perspectives and insights which will allow you to identify the one that most closely aligns to your circumstances.

Each month we will present a topic and approach it based on our own unique experiences. This month, we are going to discuss Emergency Funds. I certainly look forward to hearing about each member’s approach to establishing and maintaining an emergency fund. If you would like to share your thoughts on an emergency fund, feel free to contact any of us to add it to the network post at The Wealth, Money & Life Network site.

Be sure to pay a visit the other The Wealth, Money & Life Network member sites and subscribe to their feed, and my feed, if you haven’t done so already. The links below will get you there quickly!

Also, be sure to visit The Wealth, Money & Life Network site. If you would like to participate in our first Carnival of Wealth, Money and Life, click here.

We look forward to sharing our financial and life experiences with you in the future!