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I don’t know what I signed up for, but in the past few weeks, I have been assailed with snail mail asking me to contribute to a various humanitarian and relief efforts across the world — clean water, dying animals, homeless people — you name it.
I had a different topic in mind for this week’s roundup, but then I came home yesterday and checked my mail. Yep, another piece of fundraising mail. This one was in a regular-sized envelope but was strangely heavy and textured, so I decided to open it. It’s from the Children’s Hunger Relief Fund. “Every penny is so important!” the letter claims. “Just 3 cents a day from Children’s Hunger Relief Fund can help provide hope for an African child.” Oh, really? Is that why there are three real pennies glued onto this letter?!?
Here’s one example of the countless fundraiser mail I’ve been getting over the last few weeks.
I’m not kidding. The letter says that three cents is all that’s needed to help a hungry baby, yet they gave me three cents. While this charity is highly rated and uses less than 1 percent of the money it raises on expenses or administrative costs, I question this campaign.
Those are three cents that I don’t need, nor do I want; who carries pennies these days, anyway? I would rather they just keep it and give it to the poor starving children themselves! I can’t fathom who thought it was a smart idea to send thousands or millions of Americans several actual pennies each, which possibly cost them more in postage. They should have just saved the freakin’ pennies and given them to the people who actually need them; not the obese Americans who probably just threw the letter away without realizing it even contained money.
Sometimes, one of the challenges in life is to know when to save those pennies. Is that sale really worth splurging on (if it is really a “sale” at all)? Is it worth going into debt for your wedding? Should you sell your goods in a garage sale and make some change, or just give it away to Goodwill? The following roundup of my top 10 favorite blog posts from the past week includes articles that talk about these very topics, in addition to plenty of other tips and trivia on saving money and being smart with your finances. Enjoy!
1. Debt Kid discusses how the debt snowball repayment method may just be a mind-game, but for many consumers, it really works.
2. I got engaged in late May, and I’m quickly learning just how pricey weddings are. Debt Hater discusses how she catapulted herself into major debt for her wedding and encourages others to avoid doing the same.
3. I love Bargaineering’s trivia posts. Jim created a prior list of fun facts all about bank failure, but with an economy this fragile, you know there are more. This is a follow-up post with even more interesting bank failure tidbits.
4. It’s June, which means most college seniors have graduated on to the real world. Budgets are $exy offers a financial survival guide for new college grads, with tips such as checking your credit score and starting an emergency fund.
5. Credit card terms and reward programs can change in a split-second, and the adjustments are often not too favorable to consumers. I’m not the only one receiving crazy thing sin the mail–The Hustle of Sistah Ant discusses a letter she received from one of her credit card issuers and the unfavorable new terms they are giving her.
6. Are you weighted down by old crap and old debt? Frugal Debt helps readers learn how to have a successful garage sale and make money by getting rid of unneeded belongings. Even if something is just worth pennies, it’s better to get something than nothing.
7. FruGal ponders which of two friends have it better — the one with many life experiences but little financial security, or the one with total financial security but few interesting experiences.
8. My CreditCards.com colleagues Dan and Connie moved here to Texas from Florida, and they know what a pain it is to get ready for a hurricane. Own the Dollar lists the five steps you should take to prepare for the hurricane season that began Tuesday; as you can imagine, one of them is devising a plan to store important documents, such as credit card receipts.
9. Some of us go into credit card debt because we can never pass up a good sale, but what happens when everything is on sale all the time? Well-Heeled Blog discusses the phenomenon of the perpetual sale and why some consumers are no longer tempted by so-called discounts.