Welcome to the Money Hacks Carnival #10! This is my first “guest hosting” of the Carnival and I’m excited to get things rolling. There were many submissions, lots of good reading, and all of them included below were very informative and entertaining. I’m calling this the “Your Money, Your Life” edition because money and life are inextricably intertwined.
Grab a good beverage, find a spot to read, and have an open mind. Now, let’s get started!
Best Money Hacks (Editor’s Picks)
The best of the best.
Instead of phrasing the conversation in terms of negatives – like his low credit score or her shopaholic tendencies – focus on your future goals. If you want to buy a home, a car or a business, talk about the positive action steps you need to take to make your dream a reality.
This is by far one of the most important conversations you’ll ever have. Better to find out sooner rather than later. This is not to suggest that money trumps love; rather, you don’t want the resentment caused by money problems to wreck an otherwise rally healthy and mutually beneficial relationship.
Do what you love and you’ll never need a job. If you can begin dabbling in making earning some money from something you truly love and save as much as possible from that endeavor, you’re way ahead of the game. Additionally, in the current economic climate, lots of us with “day jobs” are at risk of getting laid off. If you’ve begun building a client list, referrals, and a body of work, you’ve not only diversified your income, but you’ve laid the foundation for a new beginning.
Another blog post about budgets! Ay! However, this post presents the concept in a really easy-to-implement way. Sometimes, we have to get back to the fundamentals, and creating a budget is one of the most elementary fundamentals.
This is such an entertaining post, comparing the famous martial art with personal finance.
Writer’s Coin wrote The Writer’s Coin » Blog Archive » Someone Else’s Money posted at The Writer’s Coin.
Such a touching story. It reminds us that in the Your Money, Your Life, Life really comes first.
Here are some ways to earn “extra” money (note that there is never any “extra” money — it all goes somewhere — hopefully in savings or investments!)
Fitz Villafuerte gave us Top 8 Things You Can Sell Your Officemates For Extra Income posted at Ready To Be Rich.
Shanti presents Starting a Snowflake Business: (Part 2) The Materials posted at Antishay Ventenne.
Let’s face it: No matter how frugal you are, you will spend money. Here are some novel ways to minimize your spending.
Mike Leonard brought up an interesting perspective in Up to your eyeballs in debt – so what? posted at Until Debt Do Us Part.
A different perspective on debt. Read the whole article and I think you’ll come away with a different takeaway than the title suggests.
S.B. shared some money-saving ideas in the post, Free Products at Drugstores – Rite Aid, Walgreens & CVS Explaination posted at Be Thrifty Like Us.
Lisa Spinelli presents Running the Gauntlet on Debt: A Debt Reduction Plan posted at Greener Pastures.
The most important concept in personal finance: Planning. If you don’t plan for a positive outcome, you probably won’t get it.
Chrysa showed how to Get a 10% Bonus on Your Economic Stimulus Check by Buying Groceries! posted at Thrifty Jinxy.
Not sure about the validity of this story, but if it’s true, it’s worth some investigation.
RC presents How to Simplify Your Finances-Start Small with Automatic Bill Payments posted at Think Your Way to Wealth.
One of the keys to financial success is saving a good chunk of your income. Here, we find ways to save: Some old, some new.
Dorian Wales gave us the How to Make Saving More Rewarding and Tangible: 5 Practical Tips posted at Personal Financier.
Ryan Taylor showed us how to build an emergency fund in 8 Ways to Build an Emergency Fund posted at Millionaire Money Habits.
Building an emergency fund is often difficult, but Ryan walks us through some relatively painless ways.
Will gave us a step-by-step guide to Switching Banks? Step By Step Guide and Tips posted at Your Finish Rich Plan.
I never really thought about switching banks in this way, but it does seem a bit complex, or at least very tedius.
GBlogger asked With Rates Dropping, What Are We Doing With Our High-Yield Savings Accounts—E*TRADE, ING Direct, and One United? posted at CAN I GET RICH ON A SALARY.
As the Fed targets a lower Fed funds interest rate, all other short-term rates will be reduced.
Ken Clark, CFP shed some light on college savings plans in Section 529 Review: Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan posted at Saving for College – About.com.
Not enough is written about college savings/investment plans. 529s are great investment vehicles.
Insulating yourself from catastrophic loss is one of the more mundane, yet totally necessary, personal financial tasks. Here are some posts that touch on the subject.
Jonathan said in Divorce and Credit Card Debt don’t mix! | Master Your Card posted at Master Your Card,
All joint credit cards will continue to be a joint responsibility until either the debt is paid off or until the lender agrees otherwise.
Very important consideration.
MoneyKing presents Sex With Your Ex???? It Might Cost You. posted at The Money Kings – RULE your money at home, at work, and at play!.
Investing your hard-earned money is fun. But you have to do all the other things to build a solid foundation for investing success.
Sally Thompson submitted Recession Proof Your Portfolio: 50 Best Blogs for Free Investment Advice posted at Currency Trading.net.
Big list of web sites with investing advice.
Barb A. Ryan presents Asset Allocation, Investment Asset Tax Location, and Emergency Cash Management posted at Pasadena Financial Planner.
Michael Cohen presents his reasoning on Why I Sold My Apple Shares Today » Free Stock Market Investing Tips posted at Stock Tips.
Joe Manausa wrote The Real Estate Market – When Will We See The Turn? posted at Tallahassee Real Estate Blog.
Bull Returns presents Stock Investment Resource: Stock Market Investing Tips – Is Small Cap Value The Key For 2008? posted at Stock Investment Information.
KCLau shed some light on a foreign stock exchange in Everything you are looking for about Bursa Malaysia posted at KCLau’s Money Tips.
These posts could be placed in multiple categories, or they don’t fit at all. Nevertheless, all offer sound ideas and advice.
Aryn gave us a great tip in When Are You Entitled to a Free Copy of Your Credit Report? posted at Sound Money Matters.
Heather Johnson presents 3 Lesser Known Factors Affecting the Forex Markets. posted at You Are The Worst dot Com.
Steve Faber presents Debt Relief – Do Settlement, Counseling, or Debt Relief Programs Really Work? posted at Debt Free.
And Now For a Little Humor
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this carnival. We shared a wide range of blog posts about everything from earning, spending, saving, preserving, and investing.
Thanks to all for your participation. Until next week…
Normally, I save these money-saving tips for Two for Tuesdays, a weekly feature post that contains 2 money-saving tips each week, delivered on — you guessed it! — each Tuesday. However, I thought this post should stand on its own.
The telephone is one of the technologies that we use every day and totally take for granted. It’s like a birth right in this country (at least) and we simply rely on making and taking calls from all across the globe. We love voicemail, caller ID, and call forwarding. Local and long distance service is pretty cheap. In fact, with the deregulation of the telecomm industry quite a few years ago (24 years ago?), long distance prices have fallen through the floor.
I’m about to tell you how to save even more money on your phone service. It’s called Voice over IP, or VOIP for short, and it uses the public internet to route calls. How does it do this? Does it really matter 🙂
My VOIP provider is Vonage, whom I truly love. If I could marry a phone service, I’d marry Vonage. Now, don’t get me wrong, I would not divorce my wife, but I would consider bigamy.
It’s that great.
Here’s how it works (not a technological, but rather an operational issue). Trot on over to vonage.com and sign up (or email me with your email and I will send you an invitation where you could save money on your first two months, rather than just on your first month, which is Vonage’s standard offer). Wait for the package to arrive in the mail. Follow the directions. Within minutes, you’ll be making and taking phone calls over the ‘net. You can even keep your existing phone number (note, however, that doing so will add days if not weeks to your ability to use the service, and it’s not Vonage’s fault, it’s your existing phone company’s fault. There’s this thing that became law a few years ago, where you could transfer your phone number to another service, but all the phone providers drag their feet on fulfilling your requests).
Vonage offers all of the same features, and more, that your current “landline” provider offers, all at an all-you-can-eat price of $24.99. All calls within the US and Canada are included in the flat rate. Calls cost a few cents per minute to most countries in Europe.
Here’s a list of features:
Some pretty nifty features! Back when I worked for “the phone company” I would have paid over $100 for all of this (had I not been an employee). I have had one issue with Vonage in the last 4 years and it was Comcast’s fault.
I highly recommend the service. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about 3 possible negatives (and their solutions). The first is that when you call 911, you’re not really calling the national or state-level 911 system, but rather you’re calling Vonage’s who then connects your call to the 911 system. I cannot tell you whether there’s any delay.
The second is if your power or internet connection goes down, your phone service is down. The power situation is easily mitigated: Buy a backup unit. If your internet connection goes south, count on using your cell phone, provided you have one.
The third issue is that Vonage may go bankrupt. They’re been saddled with numerous multi-million dollar lawsuits from the phone companies, over patent infringement, and they’ve lost. So they’re paying tons of dough in fines, fees, and settlements. They also were bleeding cash before the lawsuits due to huge marketing expenses.
Time will tell if they go belly-up.
But since there are so many other VOIP providers, Vonage going out of business is not that damning to me; I can simply pick another provider. With the wealth of value-packed features VOIP offers, I will never go back to traditional phone service.
Empty Spaces presents US Economy Going South? posted at Adventures in Money Making, saying, “A depressing look at the hardships that American families are now facing. But there’s no recession, right!”
Kelsey presents Family Finance – Family Budget Making, Planning, Creating, & Saving posted at Vanilla Joy – Family Fun and Education.
Realm of Prosperity presents Great Financial Aid Advice For College Students!!! posted at Realm of Prosperity, saying, “Useful information for all college students.”
7million7years presents Should you pay your children to read? I don?t think so! posted at How to Make 7 Million in 7 Years™.
Richard M. Rothschild presents The Best Mutual Funds Have NO Sales Loads and NO 12b-1 Fees posted at Best No Load Funds.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of kids and money using our carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
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In a previous post, I outlined the Ten Commandments of Personal Finance, the first of which was to earn more than you spend. I went on to say that in order to do this, you need to spend less, make more, and/or do both. This post is about earning more.
You can only cut your spending to zero. There are limited gains from doing this. You have limited upside and a lot of downside. Like living in a box and eating cat food.
But your income potential is limited only by your creativity. There are thousands of people less qualified than you who are making considerably more money than you. How do they do it? They create it. Here’s how you can create more income.
Ask for a raise, but only after you’ve earned it. There is a shortage of great employees, so endeavor to become your boss’ right hand person. Be your boss. Be indispensable. Be a revenue-making machine for your employer. Show your boss, in monetary terms, how much you do for the company.
Take time off. It’s good for your health, your soul, and it will show your boss how much she needs you. Don’t leave your boss hanging, but give him the chance to experience business life without you. If he doesn’t miss you, you’re as good as gone next time there’s a “belt tightening” or, in today’s vernacular, “rightsizing.”
Network. Join LinkedIn. Go to fundraisers and business lunches. If you own a small business, join your local Chamber of Commerce. Always be on the lookout for a better opportunity. And here’s the key: Always give your employer the courtesy of keeping you. You really may not want to change jobs, but you do want to be a free agent. Look at professional sports: As soon as players could “shop” themselves around, salaries skyrocketed. Don’t be afraid to test the waters.
Sell assets you no longer use. It’s amazing what people will buy and how much they’ll pay for it. I sold a speedometer on eBay for $200. I paid $85 for it brand new 20 years ago. Granted, it’s not readily available any more and it was for a very popular car, but still. Sheesh.
Sell books. Amazon, eBay, and half.com are 3 places where you can sell your “previously read” (or in my case, “never read”) books. Sure, you’ll make less than you spent, but those are sunk costs. The idea here is to get “extra” money for things you no longer use or need. Getting rid of stuff you no longer need also will make you less likely to think that you need a bigger house, which can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sell assets others no longer use. For example, collect cans. I’m not kidding. One year, a friend of mine wanted to take his young son on a fishing trip to Alaska, which is very expensive. He collected aluminum cans for a year, by going up and down the highway searching for aluminum cans. It’s good for the pocketbook as well as the environment. You can go around to local shops and offer to take their cardboard. Businesses never have enough space or recycling capacity. Help them and then help yourself by turning it in to your local recycling center or waste management facility. You’d be surprised how much you can make just being the middle man.
Start a side business. Do you have a hobby that you can “monetize” (which is a made-up word that means turning something into a revenue or income generating method)? Are you a photographer? Sell your photos online; there are many stock photo agencies that will pay you for your photos. Are you a computer geek? Talk to local businesses about their technology needs. Many businesses are wholly inadequate when it comes to technology. Offer ways to help them by cutting their costs, raising their revenues, or becoming more efficient. Office automation, once a buzzword, is ever-elusive.
Perhaps you’re a “crafty” person. Start a scrapbooking service. Or a basket making business.
Are you an expert at work? Parlay that expertise into a side business. Or a book. You can publish your own books now with the availability of PDF programs and the Internet. Or you can publish your own traditional paper book by working with firms like Lulu.com.
Are you a homemaker? Do you love the Food Network? Try a business like Amway or Pampered Chef or Tupperware or Mary Kay.
If you’re reading this post, you’ve found a method for getting online. Now, turn that expense into a revenue stream. Become an affiliate. Sell your own goods or services online. Become a publisher for advertisers through Commission Junction, LinkShare, or amazon. Set up an eStore through Amazon. Sell on eBay.
Doing one or more of these things will increase your income. One of the best paths to increase income is creating multiple streams of income. Don’t just settle for a “job.” In your spare time, learn to create income. It is a surefire way to the path of earning more than you spend, the First Commandment of Personal Finance.
Here’s legendary investor Jim Rogers’ take on the state of the economy, the stock market, the Fed, and commodities. Very interesting read.
Among other things:
In short, it’s an article worth reading, if only for its contrarian viewpoint.
Along with George Soros, Jim Rogers earned his wealth and fame through the Quantum Fund, one of the earliest hedge funds. His opinions deserve to be respected, even if you think he’s wrong.