With three weeks left in the year, have you started to plan out your 2009 finances? Where do you want to be in December of next year?
It's time to figure it out.
The best way to reach your goals is to plan for them. If you don't know where you're going, there's no way you're going to get there.
This week, we participated in 3 (count them, 3!) carnivals:
Check out some of the great posts, including:
FNBO Direct vs ING Direct - Reader Compares Online Savings Accounts - Money Smart Life
The main complaint I hear about FNBO Direct is that it’s user interface is a little behind the other online savings accounts available in terms of functionality. The reader seems to agree with this sentiment, preferring the ING Direct web site but he isn’t as pleased with their interest rates. I agree the interface isn’t as flashy but the FNBO Direct interest rates and customer service are better.
8 Money Management Tools for iGoogle - About.com Financial Software
You probably already know that iGoogle pulls information from a wide variety of sources to give you a highly customizable online personal start page. Here are some of the best financial gadgets to add to your iGoogle pages.
How to Save Money on Your Monthly Technology Bills - Free Money Finance
Here are some thoughts from Kevin Brand, EarthLink's SVP of product marketing on how to save on tech bills.
- Assess your Needs
- Take Advantage of Freebies
- Avoid Bundles
- Study your Bill
- Pay Smart
With Thanksgiving only one week away, one of the biggest shopping days of the year — Black Friday — is on the horizon.
Most years, I get caught up in the consumerism, but this year — there's just not that much that I need. Add in the fact that most deals aren't actually that great, and it just makes sense to save and not spend.
Check out some of the highlights from the carnival.
Investing vs. Paying Down Debt - Which Way Should You Go? - Personal Finance Analyst
Personal finance isn’t always crystal clear and making a decision between heftier debt payments and investment is a perfect example of that. In order to get the right answer, you’ll need to compare the actual “dollars and cents” value of each option and to assess that result in terms of your own personal outlook and money management skills.
Get a higher return for your money - Blogging Banks
Most individuals have money in regular checking accounts which they use for their regular day to day expenses and deposits. The main issue with these regular checking accounts at banks is that they pay very little in interest rates – sometimes lower than half a percentage point per year.
Free Online Personal Finance Tools - Hustler Money Blog
Here’s a complete free list of online account aggregation services for personal finance.
Well, the presidential election is finally over. But the work is just beginning — as we saw by the quick 1,000 point drop on Wall Street in the first two days with president-elect Obama, nothing is going to change overnight.
An election/economy post — 4 Tips for Shopping at Thrift Stores (Or How Not to Spend Like Sarah Palin) — was included in this week's Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted by The Sun's Financial Diary.
Check out a few of the great posts from the carnival:
Manage Money - Outsource Your Money Handling Tasks - Minding My Own Business
In today’s world of the Internet, e-commerce and e-banking there exists another viable option. You can outsource the tedious tasks. I don’t mean hire an employee to pay your bills, but rather take advantage of modern day conveniences to automate routine Money Handler tasks. Doing so will enable you to spend your valuable time being a Money Leader and a Money Manger instead.
How Much Should You Pay to Save Time? - Political Calculations
Jim, as we recently noted in the latest edition of OMM, saved a lot of out-of-pocket money by butchering his own chicken, but wondered if it was really worth his time to do all the extra work, rather than just buying the various chicken parts already prepared. Cathryn wondered the same thing about buying pre-peeled onions, pre-manufactured lunches for children, and baking a pie from scratch.
We've set up the tool to answer Jim's question about whether or not it's worth his extra time to do his own chicken butchery, but you're more than welcome to change the input values according to the make-vs-buy scenario you may be more interested in.
10 Ways to Become Financially Independent - Happiness is Better
There are many ways to becoming financially independent. I don’t think most people become financially independent through any single method. I’m sure it’s an iterative process that usually takes many years, at least 10 (I threw that number out there), to complete.
Wow — it's tough to believe that it's already November. It's been exactly one year since we made the move from Boston to Washington DC.
Some of the good reads from the carnival include:
The Dangers of Online Bill Pay and Automatic Deductions - The Smarter Wallet
When our money travels along the ether, we don’t usually think about it much. But according to the Electronic Payments Assocation (or Nacha), the electronic payment network upon which our automated payments travel, the error rate for our money transactions occur at a rate of 38 for every 100,000 bill payments.
That doesn’t seem like much, but if it happens to you or to me, it’s one time too many.
Mobile Banking Review: Online Banking With Your Cell Phone - Money Smart Life
Do you need to transfer money from one account to another? Do you need to check your available balance before making a large purchase? Mobile banking is the way to go for those of you who don’t want to use the automated robot that answers the customer service number. In this article, I’ll highlight the major players in the mobile banking sector, costs associated with it, the capabilities available, and benefits/consequences of mobile banking.
Saving 10% of your money is like "paying an extra bill" - Budgets are Sexy
The point is that it's all budgeted into "bills" really. The mortgage, the credit card, the utilities, the savings, the 401k, etc.
I really like this "way" of thinking, so it's totally going into my back pocket for the next time someone asks for advice A nice and simple concept to get your mind right. You gotta like that.
It's been a slow week here, thanks to being offline for some holidays and traveling for the day job. But we're back in the swing of things and have a great week lined up for you.
We participated in this week's Carnival of Personal Finance, #175 hosted by Budgets are Sexy. We submitted The Declaration of Financial Independence: ING Direct.
Check out some of these great stories:
10 More Money Saving Websites With Ongoing Big Fat Deals - Greener Pastures
10 time saver and money saver sites I use to get a little extra mileage out of my budget.
My criteria: I don’t lay out my credit card number unless I know the site’s legit.
How to Maintain Optimism in Tough Economic Times - Tough Money Love
But you know what? We have not given up hope. We can still see the light and are more determined than ever to finish the job we started, to reach the financial goals we set, and do it on our schedule. How is that possible after the all of the damage that has been inflicted upon our net worth? That’s a question that I am now asking myself because to be honest I am surprised at how calm I am at this point.
Saving Is In Again: Thomas Stanley on the Glutton Economy - Cash on the Barrelhead
It includes a quote from Thomas Stanley, author of The Millionaire Next Door. At the time I wrote it, the idea of being frugal still seemed quite out of step with the culture, but Stanley says it’s a habit that never goes out of style for those who hold onto their wealth.
This week, we participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance #174, hosted by Greener Pastures. As you can imagine, many of the posts dealt with the up-and-down stock market and the general state of the economy.
The carnival included our own 3 Things the Presidential Candidates Can't Say About the Economy (But Should).
While there weren't many posts about online banking or using the Internet to save you money, there were a number of good stories to read.
Be Careful Where You Get Your Investment Advice - Military Finance Network
Here are some investment tips you should beware:
An “inside tip” isn’t inside information if it is published
Beware of agendas and scams
Beware of the office day trader
There are no guarantees
Stop Thinking About That Year-End Bonus - Tough Money Love
Mr. ToughMoneyLove has lots of experience with year end bonuses, both as a recipient in my younger days and more recently as an employer distributing them. My message today is to encourage all of you who have reason to expect a bonus to stop thinking about it.
Pay Yourself First: How to Do It and How It Works - Money Under Thirty
What does it mean to pay yourself first? Think about how you usually manage your money every month. If you’re like most responsible people, you get your paycheck and pay your bills. Even if you don’t stick to a budget, you probably have an idea of how much your bills are and how much you have left over. After your bills are paid, you kind of spend the rest without much thought.
We're going to try posting the Money Saving Links on Sundays from now on — hopefully you'll have some light reading and we'll be able to highlight some great content from around the Web.
This week, we participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance #173 hosted by Girls Just Wanna Have Funds, who has a lot of great stories on finance for women.
Some of the highlights from this week's carnival include …
Mint.com Review: Beautiful Money Management Tool - Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
In Summary, I think Mint is a pretty slick tool (after looking at the screenshots, I think you have to agree with me there). Can you live without it? Of course you can. Will you likely learn more about your spending if you use it? Definitely. Is it worth the security risk? That depends on your level of risk aversion and how well you trust the securities measures they’ve taken with your data.
Six Ways to Get Intense About Your Money and Finances - Prime Time Money
Read Personal Finance Blogs
Browse the Personal Finance Sections of Your Local Paper and Online News
Head to the Library and Check Out a Few Personal Finance Books
Learn About Other People Who’ve Had Success With Their Money
Find a Money Mentor
Analyze the Details of Your Own Finances
My 3 Biggest Personal Finance Successes - Value for Your Life
These are my three biggest successes because they changed my focus, my relationships, and how I live my life and look at money. They have made my marriage stronger, my life happier, and my relationship with money so that I rule it–not the other way around.
I can't believe it's already October — it's tough to believe that 2009 is only around the corner.
For the first links of October, we participated in the 172nd Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted at DebtKid.
The Carnival — called the "Meltdown Edition" — included our own Inside the Root Cause of the Flailing Economy.
Here are a couple of highlights from the carnival.
20 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth - Orange Dealing with Money
Regardless of if your net worth is a positive or a negative number, every effort to increase it counts. Here are the several ways to increase your net worth.
Where Do We Go From Here? How About Back To The Basics - The Wisdom Journal
Our “leaders” won’t listen to reason, so what are the financial basics WE need to focus on to insure that we, as individuals, have a secure financial future and that we don’t have to be bailed out (a personal bail out is called bankruptcy)?
Influence Others to Save Is An Effective Frugal Tip - Money Ning
Instead, make it a point to influence someone you know to start a frugal activity. It doesn’t matter if it’s getting them to cook at home more often, getting them to understand the power of clipping coupons or even showing them how great walking can be. Influence everyone to become frugal, and they will in turn help you save more.
This week, we participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance #170, hosted by The Personal Financier.
It included the embarrassing, but true story of how I went to the wrong airport for my flight to Denver.
There are a number of great posts in the carnival, but here are three right up our alley:
Switching to Paperless Statements to Save Money, Time and the Planet - Our Fourpence Worth
But after years of accessing my accounts and paying bills online, and running out of places to stash all my account statements, I’ve decided that it’s probably a better system that will end up saving me money, time (which is also money), space and paper cuts.
Protecting your identity and financial information online - Finance ViewPoint
In today's cyber-age these type of scams and phishing emails are growing and unfortunately new victims are found every day. However there are a number of easy and cost effective ways you can protect your identity and financial information if you transact over the Internet.
Why Paying Bills Electronically Is Good for the Environment - BrokeFamily.com
Want to go Green?
Well, here’s an easy way to be kind to the environment - receive and pay your bills electronically.
It's been a while since we've had a Money Saving Links post, but we're back at it.
We participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance #168, hosted by One Caveman’s Financial Journey. The carnival included our popular post The Secret Catch to Bank of America's "Keep the Change" Program.
Here are a few of the interesting posts from the carnival:
Risk-Free Banking - fivecentnickel.com
Four banks have failed since July, nine so far this year, and there are upwards of 90 more on the FDIC’s “troubled” bank list. It’s a nerve-wracking time, to be sure. So what can you do to reduce you risk when it comes to banking?
Put Tuition Refund in a High Yield Savings Account as an Emergency Fund - Green Panda Treehouse
The tuition refund is a great way to start an emergency fund. It’s not the most fun way to spend the money, but it’ll benefit you the most. Since college students tend not to have large incomes, this is a way to quickly set up a financial cushion.
The X Files and Your Money: Strange Similarities? - The Wisdom Journal
I watched the X-Files with my wife every Friday evening, then on Sunday evenings when it moved to a new time slot and we rarely missed an episode. Lately, after thinking about the show, I realized that a lot of its central themes are similar to how we work with and use our money.