Welcome to the 14th edition of the Carnival of Pecuniary Delights. The purpose of this somewhat new weekly carnival is to highlight some of the best posts in the personal finance blogosphere, regardless of when they were written.
Our theme for this edition is based on a little-known holiday that falls on July 2: I Forgot Day. While it’s remembered by few, it can be useful to all.
Have you forgotten to acknowledge birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or other important events? Today is the day to make up for your forgetfulness. So go buy the present or greeting card now.
It’s also a good time to reflect on past financial forgetfulness. Did you forget to make a credit card payment or transfer money into your emergency fund? Did it slip your mind to balance your checkbook or to make copies of your credit cards before you travel? If you find yourself hanging your head in shame, don’t worry — today at noon, the year is exactly halfway over, so you still have half the year to get yourself back on track.
Even this editor is guilty of financial forgetfulness, such as the time I forgot to pay off my credit card balance before leaving the country and came home to a frustrating interest charge. Or the time I forgot to give my gym my new credit card information and phone number and received a letter from a collection agency.
So don’t worry, we all forget things. I guess that’s what Post-It notes are for. Until then, here are some posts that will help all of us remember to take better care of our finances.
1. I am notorious for opening up bills, setting them on the breakfast table and forgetting about them. Things pile on top of each other, and on more than one occasion, I have forgotten to pay a bill on time. That’s why I love this post from Christian Personal Finance, which offers several different tips for effectively managing and paying your bills.
2. We would all like to be financially independent. Frugal Dad offers a simple formula that can help you determine how much you need to save in order to generate enough income to pay for an item. This can also help you figure out how much it will affect you in the future. He discovered, for example, that in the big picture, his family’s Netflix membership puts them $3,600 further away from financial independence. Yikes!
3. The Happy Rock discusses studies that have found consumers are highly likely to spend more when paying with credit cards than with cash and wonders how much more we are paying for this “credit card premium.” When you are making a purchase, don’t forget that money on a credit card should be treated just like cash.
4. Fiscal Fizzle highlights an important and controversial debate: Is it better to spend more money for insurance, or to save that money instead? I sometimes ponder this question. I spend money on renter’s insurance every year — just in case. Because I’ve never used it, I don’t know if it is really worth it or if it would be better to just save money instead. On the other hand, I’m sure the moment I really need it, I’ll be glad I paid for it.
Has this ever happened to you? The night before a job interview, you prepare yourself like crazy by reading sample interview questions online and playing out all your answers in your head. By doing so, you feel ready and optimistic. But when you arrive and are looking your potential new boss in the eyes, you forget your canned answers and draw a blank.
The question that gets me every time is, “What are your weaknesses?” I hope no future boss of mine is reading this. If this happens to you, too, pay careful attention to the blog post below.
1. Free Money Finance uses video applications for a recent job contest to explain what tactics do and don’t work in a job interview.
While sometimes it’s just out of their hands, many people who have money problems often aren’t paying enough attention. They forget to pay their bills on time. They forget how much money is in their bank account and overdraft. They forget to contribute money to their retirement plan and now don’t have enough to live on.
You can only be financially forgetful for so long until you find yourself in a crisis. These posts below will help you learn to better manage your money. The more active a role you play in managing your finances, the harder it will be to forget about them.
1. The Digerati Life explains what makes a good online bank and outlines the best high-interest savings accounts online.
2. Pecuniarities discusses the differences between luxuries and necessities, and says distinguishing the two can help you more effectively manage your spending.
3. Good Financial Cents offers advice on what you should do when you experience a windfall.
Debt and Credit
Forgetfulness will get you into a world of hurt when it comes to debt and credit. If you neglect to pay your bills, you can expect to have some debt collectors knocking at your door. If you don’t remember to protect your credit card information, you may find yourself a victim of identity theft. Every time you pull your credit or debit card out of your wallet, be mindful of how that purchase will affect you. Otherwise, forget about it!
1. Jim at Bargaineering explains in layman’s terms how debt settlement works.
2. Prime Time Money warns consumers against Web sites that claim to offer free credit reports but really do not. The post also shares which site you should use to get a truly free ones.
3. Financial Methods offers advice to those who need funding for college but don’t have good credit.
In our modern consumer society, it’s easy to forget about the old-fashioned ways that once were. We race from place to place, eat unhealthy fast food in front of the television and communicate electronically more than we do in person. The posts below offer tips that will save you money and give you the opportunity to remember how wonderful it is to eat a home-cooked meal with the family, make things from scratch and enjoy some romance with your partner without spending a ton of money.
1. Are your kids home for summer break and burning through money? Almost Frugal lists ways you can entertain your children inexpensively.
2. Debt Free Adventure found a way to create simple and effective laundry detergent from scratch. The post then shares the steps involved — with pictures for each one!
3. Budgets Are $exy offers 10 ways to woo your mate without spending a fortune.
4. Is saving money not enough reason for you to eat at home? Passive Family Income provides eight additional reasons why it’s a great idea to eat your meals at home.
5. The Lean Times says vinegar is a household hero, and lists hidden qualities of the product that might save you time and money.
1. The Canadian Finance Blog explains how to make the most of charitable donations in the form of a tax credit.
Be sure to check out last week’s carnival hosted by Momma’s Blog. Next week’s carnival will be hosted by Suburban Dollar, so be sure to submit a blog post for it.