Hello Skint pals,
Today for something a bit different – a smorgasbord of some of the best money posts from the web right now. I’m hosting the 58th TotallyMoney Blog Carnival- and for those of you who haven’t come across a blog carnival before, there are no clowns or trapeze artists or even fire-eating tigers (boo!). It’s basically a round-up of lots of different linked articles that you can enjoy, all of which came across my radar via financial site, Totally Money . Maybe you’ll find a new blogger here that you like, maybe not – it’s like dipping your eyes and mind into a giant lucky bag really.
As editor of this carnival I got to pick a theme and I’ve gone for Keeping Up With The Joneses, because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how this is at the root of so many financial woes. Whether it’s buying another car when your old one’s just fine, or scattering new cushions before the neighbours come round for tea, the fear of lagging behind our peers can cause us all to act a little crazy from time to time – and to spend way more than we can afford.
Oh, this little thing? It's just our weekend pied a terre, sweetie . . .
Every week, about 250 bloggers submit to the money carnival. I swear that when I opened the inbox this morning I was hit by an overwhelming urge to go back to bed, pleading double pneumonia. But, though I might be skint I’m no shirker, so I dove on in (is dove even a word?? – that one’s always foxed me) and with a bit of sifting I’ve whittled the submitted posts down to a workable number, starting, in blog carnival tradition, with a few selected Editor’s Picks. Right now I’m loving:
This post from Invest It Wisely explores when – and whether – you should reveal how much money you make. It’s a big minefield, that one. Do the Joneses ever talk about how much they make or do they reveal it more subtly through their lifestyle? This post looks at the reasons for and against being open about your income – it certainly made me think twice.
Here’s another post that made me stop and think. Roshawn Watson makes some really interesting points in this discussion of the perils of focusing on job security instead of financial freedom. Mainly, she says, it comes down to fear. What do you think?
So often, our desire to keep up with the Joneses makes us keep our heads down, work hard, and never think about the alternatives to the day job. That’s why, as well as Roshawn’s post I really enjoyed this one from Barbara Friedberg about people who make money from their passions.
How do you behave in a financial boom? Though the last one may now be so distant that it’s getting harder and harder to remember, I’m surely not the only one who’s thought back to a decade ago and shaken my head at the amount of cash I wasted, thinking the good times wouldn’t end. That’s the theme of this interesting post from Mom’s Plans, who makes the point that your stock can fall just as fast as it can rise and asks the question, do you base your projected future on your past earnings? You might want to reconsider if you do.
And here’s the best of the rest. Hope something takes your fancy here:
Whilst most posts about frugality focus on how to save money, this post from Freedom 48 looks at some of the other benefits of living a frugal life – including expectations from others, increased safety, and not having to keep up with the Jones. Ah, those Joneses again – does anybody even like them? Why don’t we all just tell them to get lost?
Here, Saving Advice shares the scary statistic that 60% of Americans can’t come up with $1000 in an emergency. Luckily, they’ve got plenty of ideas on how to raise cash fast should you need it. while I wouldn’t go as far as selling a body part – one of the suggestions – the rest make good sense to me.
Of course, what makes better sense is to make sure you’ve got an emergency fund in the first place. But ooh, isn’t it easy to dip into it now and then? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time I saw a pair of Marc Jacobs heels and declared emergency. Here, Magical Penny shares how he grew his emergency fund. Good tips, and the boy’s also announced he’s quit the day job to go it along as a blogger – best of luck to him.
This related post on how to best use the money gained in a tax refund from Money Sprinkles has some good ideas. I’ll be putting them into practice if I ever get out of this mess.
There are few things the Joneses love more than taking on a big mortgage. It makes them feel ambitious, like they’re going places. So it was good to get a different take on that from personalfinancejourney, who has decided to rent rather than buy a house, even though he could afford to buy. Read about his reasons here.
If you do decide to go ahead and mortgage yourself up, take a look at this post from Net Worth Journey first on the absolute worst way to buy a home.
Starting out right is important if you aspire to ever end up as a Ms or Mr Jones. That’s why I liked this clear post from Not Made of Money about why you should never transfer your student debt to a debit card.
Managing Your Money
As I’ve outlined before, here, I can be a bit of a financial ostrich. That’s why I’ve always felt that having a minimal number of bank accounts is the best route for me. Still, so many money experts advocate multiple accounts that I’m always interested to read more. Here, Money Spruce takes a look at why you might choose to go down the route of more, more, more.
This post by Broke Professionals looks at the old chestnut of whether to pay off debts before investing, but lays the whole thing out nice and simply. Plus, I love their strapline ‘Personal Finance for the Overeducated and Underpaid.’ Ring any bells with anyone?
Lastly in this category, this post from Master the Art of Saving outlines, very clearly, some baby steps you can take to start saving money. Now, I don’t know where they buy their coffee – $6 a pop? – but the rest is sound advice.
Pulling in the Cash
Of all the ways to earn money, passive income is surely the dream, and the rise of the web has made that seem more possible, with promises of get-rich-click schemes that will get your bank balance swelling as you snore. I can’t say the web’s doing that for me, but I was intrigued by this article from Passive Income to Retire, looking at the cash to be made from blogging. I think I’ll be getting in touch for a few tips.
Hate frugality? Then just earn more. That’s the message from Former Banker, who makes some very intelligent points here about how frugality is, by its nature, always limited (ie there’s only so low you can go), whilst earning has no such limit. I can see his point – no matter how many potato peelings you recycle into coleslaw, it’s never going to make you rich. Are you better spending that time earning a fortune? Ah, if only the choice were that simple.
If you’re firmly in the earn more camp you might be interested in this post from Money Reasons about working two jobs without anyone being any the wiser. Personally, just the thought of doing that made me want to lie down in a darkened room, but it takes all sorts.
Saving for the Future
Retirement’s a biggie, isn’t it? Whilst the Joneses may have it all worked out – winters in Aspen and summers by the sea – for the rest of us it’s a scary thought. That’s why I liked this post from Early Retirement Investments about how to save for your retirement when you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
Using divdends to finance your retirement is another smart idea and I learnt a little more about it by reading this from The Dividend Ninja. Oh, I’ll be running with the Joneses in no time at all.
Meanwhile, for all of us dreamers, this post from Free Money Wisdom about where to find beautiful retirement locations on the cheap from let me dream a little dream of where in the world I might see out my final days.
The Psychology of Spending
I’m really interested in all of our different attitudes to spending, and what drives us to do it. I don’t mean spending on things we all need, like milk and red wine (whaddya means that’s not a necessity?), but on why some people view shopping as a hobby or a stressbuster, whilst others would do anything to avoid it.
So I liked this post by mybrokencoin, looking at the different reasons why we spend money. And yep, those pesky Joneses get a namecheck again.
This post by Frugal Confessions looks at why we can be superstitious when it comes to money, and why our beliefs about it can be so deeply rooted.
Lastly, Afford Anything explores the link between money and happiness, here. Which is something those Jonseses have known about all along.
So that’s it folks. Hope you found something here that sparked your interest. And if you’re a fellow blogger and interested in hosting the Totally Money Blog Carnival, visit Totally Money Blog Carnival Hosting for details, or click here to find out how to submit an article.
Thanks for reading. Skint x
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