Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #97 – July 10, 2009

Welcome to the July 10, 2009 Edition #97 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.

The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.

This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.


The Skilled Investor, Editor


ChristianPF presents 7 free budgeting worksheets posted at Money in the Bible | Christian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “These worksheets will help you keep your budget on track…”

Abigail Perry presents Spending: Frustration and irrational guilt posted at i pick up pennies, saying, “Even the strictest budgeter will generally allow for some small treat. But, especially in the middle of debt reduction, even the tiniest indulgence can trigger an overactive guilt complex. How do you cope?”

Barry presents Learn To Survive On A $100 Grocery Budget posted at Associate Money.

Kevin presents Creating a Budget: Start with a Financial Affidavit posted at Surviving the Law School Money Crunch!, saying, “This blog post is about a document which is really helpful in beginning a budget. It is used in Colorado Divorce court, is easy to fill out and requires people to dig deep into their spending habits and finally discover where their money is going. This document is a fantastic worksheet to use when developing a budget!”

Craig Ford presents A Sneak Peak into Our Budgeting Process posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “Introduces my personal approach to budgeting along with resources and suggestion to help people budget successfully.”

Michael Schindler presents Prepare A Budget & Save Money posted at Your Personal Finance Source, saying, “In order to successfully begin saving money, you must first put together a budget. Developing a budget will allow you to eliminate unnecessary expenses and invest this extra money to reap the benefits of compound interest. Moreover, to ensure that you will consistently save money, you should always first allocate a small percentage of each paycheck towards your savings plan.”

Joshua presents Re-Using For The Family Budget posted at Family and Parenting, saying, “Recycling is not only good for the environment but also good for your family finances.”

kathryn presents Michael Jackson’s Financial Legacy posted at Out of Debt Christian, saying, “There’s no doubt Michael Jackson lived large. With fame hitting at such a young age, fortune was not far behind. Business Week reported that Jackson supposedly spent up to $30 million a year on clothes, travel and toys for the Neverland Ranch. With the artist’s passing, he not only leaves a legacy as the King of Pop, but also a financial legacy that includes millions in debt and two very valuable assets.”

Dorian Wales presents The Personal Financier: Personal Finance Management: Budget vs. Net Worth posted at The Personal Financier, saying, “While it may be recommended to manage both a budget and net-worth sometimes focus leads to better results.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents Free Online Money Management Tools posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “Here are the best free online money management tools, including Mint, Quicken Online, Yodlee, and others.”

Susan Saverton presents Living Expense Tracking Methods posted at Family Financial Planner, saying, “If you do not understand how much you spend and how much you are saving and investing, you simply do not have a financial plan. This situation dramatically increases your family’s long-term financial risk.”


Finance Tips 101 presents Car Donations ? Knowing The Facts posted at Finance Tips 101.

Roshawn Watson presents The Rich Get Poorer posted at Watson Inc, saying, “The implications of this recent recession have been far-reaching enough to put a big dent in American and world wealth. Both the magnitude of wealth and the number of millionaires decreased profoundly in 2008.”

Dorian Wales presents On Causality and Correlation in Economics posted at The Personal Financier, saying, “Causality is perhaps the most fundamental element of empirical evidence available to economists. However, it is also the source of many misconceptions due to its elusive nature.”

Silver Investor presents Debt Doesn’t Always Mean Inflation: Remember Japan posted at Gold Investing Info, saying, “The mammoth amount of government debt about to be issued does not guarantee inflation is inevitable.”

Financial Planning

MoneyNing presents Side Hustle, Self Employed, Entrepreneurship posted at Money Ning, saying, “There’s really not many overnight success. Work hard and take it one step at a time!”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents What’s The Best Savings Account? posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Thanks!”

Big Cajun Man presents Mid-Year Personal Finance Check Up posted at Canadian Personal Finance Blog, saying, “Mid year is a good time to go over your plan for the year to see how well you are doing, so do it now!”

KCLau presents Why Robert T. Kiyosaki is a best-selling author? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “Robert T. Kiyosaki is the best personal finance author I follow. I started reading his books back in 1999. Although some reviews you found written by readers on Amazon say that he keeps repeating most of the points, I still find them interesting every time. It works as a revision whenever he repeats.”

Susan Saverton presents Efficiency of Personal Investing Strategies posted at Family Financial Planning, saying, “When pursuing optimal financial planning and investing strategies and controlling your costs and capital gains taxes, you also need to establish a time-efficient system to monitor, adjust, and adhere to your financial plan. You need to control and limit the time that you spend on your financial planning, and you need to focus your planning efforts on the most effective activities.”

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Honeymoon Planning Tips posted at Financial Highway, saying, “It’s wedding and honeymoon planning season, here are some tips to make honeymoon planning easier for you.”

Financing a Home

Finance Tips 101 presents Tips To Help You Qualify For A Home Mortgage | Finance Tips 101 posted at Finance Tips 101.

Tallahassee Real Estate presents “My Home Hasn’t Lost Value Like Everybody Else’s!” posted at Tallahassee Real Estate Blog, saying, “Perhaps the greatest thing about the Zillow real estate survey is that we can look at past and current surveys to see the trend of homeowner “consumer confidence” as it is measured using the home as the standard. Not surprisingly, homeowners are much more aware of the depreciation that has occurred in the past two years than they were just last year. But what do they think of their home value versus that of their neighbors?”

Alex Fotopoulos presents When is it Smart to Refinance a Mortgage? posted at My Trader’s Journal, saying, “Some key points to consider when refinancing your home.”

Financing Education

Patrick @ Military Money presents Tax Advantages of 529 Plans posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Tax advantages for the 529 College Savings plan.”

Praveen presents Students Beware! Colleges, Tuition, Loans, and Debt – Will Education Follow the Housing Bust? posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Tips for students to avoid excessive loans and debt”

Chris McClelland presents In the long run, college will end up hurting your savings. posted at Lucrative Investing.


FMF presents Interview Lessons from a Video Contest posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Learnings from one good and one bad video interview.”

Praveen presents Easy Ways to Generate Cash posted at My Simple Trading System, saying, “Easy ways to generate extra cash”

FMF presents How to Make the Most of a College Degree posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Do these things to make the most of your college investment.”

MoneyNing presents How to Be a Millionaire posted at Money Ning, saying, “Several ways to become a millionaire is given but more importantly, one way is guaranteed to work (no pun intended).”


Tushar Mathur presents Can’t Control the Markets? Try controlling the Costs posted at Everything Finance, saying, “As 2008 proved, the financial markets are prone to unpredictable periods of turbulence. That can make investing feel a bit like a roller-coaster ride. The disappointing results that many mutual funds posted in 2008 and at the outset of 2009 may have left you feeling concerned over your financial future. You’re not alone.”

Marc Ryan presents – Morningstar’s verdict: Canada still last for mutual fund expense level posted at, saying, “mutual funds, morningstar, self investing, DIY investing, investor”

Puneet Kapoor presents The Art of Selection – Part 2 posted at KuberKhana -Indian Stock Fundamental Analysis, saying, “A discussion on how to select stocks. It has universal appeal.”

The Smarter Wallet presents Use Candlestick Charts, Trading Signals To Evaluate The Stock Market posted at The Smarter Wallet, saying, “We look into how to use candlestick charts to analyze the stock market.”

Tom Escent presents Introduction to Nerds on Wall Street posted at Quantitative Finance, saying, “Think of this book as sort of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to Wired Markets. There are no robots parking cars for six million years, but there are robots trading millions of shares in six milliseconds, so maybe that’s close enough.”

nickel presents Index Mutual Funds vs. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) posted at, saying, “Taking a closer look at low-cost index mutual funds vs. exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track the same indices.”

Zach Scheidt presents Three Investment Trends Benefiting From Cap and Trade posted at ZachStocks, saying, “Cap and Trade will likely be a negative for the economy as a whole, but there are three primary investment themes which could benefit from this legislation. Alternative Energy, Financial Exchanges, and Construction / Infrastructure.”

Zach Scheidt presents LogMeIn IPO Plans to Raise $67 million – Where Will the Money Go? posted at ZachStocks, saying, “The LogMeIn IPO will raise $67 million for the remote PC access firm. New stock offerings may boost investor confidence, but this offering could prove to be dangerous.”

Frank Vertin presents Just Buy Index Funds Directly posted at Best Index Funds, saying, “Buying an S&P 500 index fund through an investment counselor can substantially increase your initial purchasing costs and and drive up your annual management expense fees. Unfortunately, the vast majority of individual investors buy mutual funds and ETFs through brokers and investment advisers. Rarely do financial advisors recommend that you buy index funds with low fees. This is because low cost, no load mutual funds do not pay them as well as loaded, high fee mutual funds.”.

Alex Fotopoulos presents Moved MON and SLB Options to July Expiration posted at My Trader’s Journal, saying, “Alex posted details of how his options finished this month’s options’ expiration on June 19th.”

ABC presents Some Index Funds and ETFs Are Not Diversified posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “Some ETFs and index funds are too specific and risky for a passive investor.”

Dividends4Life presents Four Stocks With Strong Dividend Growth Metrics posted at Dividends Value, saying, “When evaluating a company as a potential income investment you look at its calculated fair value, ability to generate cash, debt position and the net present value of its dividend stream compared alternative “safe” investments.”

Mike smmrs johnson presents Financial Planning Your Investments with Money Management posted at System Trading | Stocks Trading Systems.

jim presents Best Options Broker Review posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

ABC presents Different Types of Stock Market Indexes posted at ABCs of Investing, saying, “How different types of stock market indexes work.”

Dividends4Life presents Nine Stocks Giving Shareholders A Raise In The Second Quarter posted at Dividends Value, saying, “In 1985 took my first job as a staff accountant with a $21,000 annual salary. Now I am over the same department that I was hired into and entry level staff accountants earn $56,500 per year. That equates to a 4.2% annual increase. Just as employees expect an annual raise, so do dividend investors.”

Larry Russell presents 7 Ways to Pick the Best Noload Mutual Funds and ETFs posted at NoLoad Mutual Funds, saying, “Taken as a whole, the vast body of investment research studies show that there really are better approaches to buying and owning mutual funds and ETFs. You do not need to frantically chase fund performance. Performance chasing simply does not work.”

KCLau presents What is the best investment? posted at KCLau’s Money Tips, saying, “The best investment comes in many forms. I was frequently asked this same question over and over again. Let’s see how some successful people answer the same question”

The Skilled Investor presents Most Individual Investors Are Poor Personal Portfolio Managers | Personal Investment Management posted at Personal Investment Manager, saying, “Investors more easily understand investment costs that are directly measurable, such as fees deducted on investment statements. However, many investors ignore or are unaware of the opportunity costs of their sub-optimal investment behaviors. Opportunity costs are usually much more difficult to measure directly, but these investment costs can be even higher than more visible investment fees.”

Managing Debt

Four Pillars presents Balance Transfer Credit Cards – What Are They And Why You Might Want To Get One posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Some benefits and drawbacks of zero percent balance transfer credit cards.”

Ray @ Financial Highway presents Debt Reduction-Financial Planning Guide Step 10 posted at Financial Highway, saying, “Debt Reduction is the first step in building wealth, here are some strategies that can help you reduce your debt.”

Cindy Morus, The Money Mender presents Did Your Bank Flip You posted at Mend Your


Jeff Rose presents How To Avoid Investment Fraud posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Prevent yourself from being taken from another Madoff.”

Tyler Tervooren presents Save $550 a Year by Hypermiling posted at Frugally Green, saying, “If you want to green your life and save money doing it, start with the low-hanging fruit. A few simple changes to your driving habits can net you impressive fuel savings that you can apply to other areas of your life.”

Pinyo presents Gas Guzzler Rebate, Get Cash For Clunkers posted at Moolanomy, saying, “If you are planning to buy or lease a new car, you may want to learn about the new Cash for Clunkers bill and get up to $4,500 instant rebate from your car dealer.”

Noload Bonds presents Bond Mutual Fund Fees posted at Bond Index Funds, saying, “Simply put, if you pay higher bond mutual fund fees, then these bond management expenses tend just to be a deadweight loss to you. The best bond fund buying strategy is to pick only very low-cost no load bond funds.”

kathryn presents The 20 Best Twitter Users To Follow For Money Tips posted at Out of Debt Christian, saying, “Twitter can be a great way to get a regular flow of tips, ideas and information about money, budgeting and investing. But with so many people on Twitter, how do you know who to follow? Check out this list of 20 Twitter people to follow if you’re looking for tweets about money.”

Retirement Planning

Dan at Everydayfinance presents 401K Cuts to Matching Contributions Coming – Time to Exit? posted at Everyday Finance, saying, “This article examines an alarming trend of companies cutting their 401K matching contributions and questions how you’d handle such a move by your company.”

Jeff Rose presents Should you roll over your pension into an IRA? posted at Jeff Rose, saying, “Deciding what to do with your pension? Here are a few items to consider.”

Super Saver presents Planning to Retire Later also has Risks posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “The option to continue working is no longer easily controlled by the employee.”

Top 10 Index Funds presents Top 10 S&P 500 Index Funds posted at Top 10 Index Funds, saying, “Buy these top 10 very low cost no load S&P 500 index mutual funds directly. You do not have to pay the heavy added expenses of buying through a stock broker, financial adviser, investment adviser, or investment counselor.”

Kristine McKinley presents Don’t Underestimate Social Security When Planning For Retirement posted at Social Security Retirement Income, saying, “Most people underestimate the impact that Social Security will have on their retirement. They either assume it won’t be there for them, or that it won’t be enough to make a difference…”


Four Pillars presents Benefits Of An Online High Interest Savings Account posted at Quest For Four Pillars, saying, “Analyzing some of the benefits of getting a good rate for an online high interest savings account.”

Patrick @ Cash Money Life presents Ally Bank Review posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “A comprehensive review of Ally Bank – formerly known as GMAC Financial. The high interest rates make Ally a great place to stash your cash while awaiting a better investment opportunity.”


Super Saver presents How Taxes are Increasing for the Not-So-Rich posted at My Wealth Builder, saying, “Surprise, it seems that taxes are going up for those that are not-so-rich.”

Patrick @ Military Money presents Disabled Veterans to Receive $250 Stimulus Checks posted at Military Finance Network, saying, “Information about who receives the $250 economic recovery check (or stimulus check), including retirees, social security recipients, railroad retirees, and disabled veterans.”

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

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4 Responses to “Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #97 – July 10, 2009”

  1. Brian says:

    Financial planning is an absolute must for everyone, especially these days. Good to see you have covered so many aspects for people to consider.

  2. Mike S. says:

    Great job with the carnival. Thanks for hosting and including my post!

  3. Patrick says:

    Thanks for hosting! 🙂


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