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Carnival of Personal Finance 246: March is the month for … what?!?

Daniel Ray

One of the many ways I annoy my co-workers is to break out one of my favorite books, “Chase’s Calendar of Events,” and regale them with the random events that have taken place on this particular day in history. For example, I will say, “Did you know that today is .. ” and as their eyes reflexively begin rolling back in their heads, I’ll continue, “… National Pig Day?”

So when we got the chance to host this, the 246th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance, and it happened to fall on March 1, I knew I could spread my passion for random, obscure facts. March is noted for many things, according to Chase’s. Among them: March is International Ideas Month. It’s National Clean Up Your IRS Act Month. It’s International Mirth Month, too. International Expect Success Month is in March, as well. And don’t forget, March is also Spiritual Awareness Month. Finally, cheer up, because it’s also Optimism Month.

So enjoy this week’s best of personal finance blogs in this carnival, sorted into the events they most closely resemble. But first, here are the top picks:

Editor’s choices:
The Personal Finance Ninja shows via cartoon why he’ll never have to feel guilty about spending again.

CashMoneyLife offers straightforward advice on how to write a financial mission statement.

Kyle from Amateur Asset Allocator delves into a favorite topic of ours: Why it is that consumers, on average, spend
more with credit than they would have with cash

Jim at Bargaineering doesn’t just get mad when he gets taken for $3.60
on his credit card — he gets even. Along the way, he does a nice job
of describing how to dispute a credit card charge.

Paul Williams from Provident Planning presents Raising a cow for beef: month 6, in which he describes the costs involved in a month in the life of Bambi, the beef cow he’s raising. That’s one expensive burger, and he’s chronicling the costs and time of raising a steer from cradle to cutting board.

You Have More Than You Think went an extra mile and gathered responses from 12 personal finance bloggers to the question: Do you prefer a used car? Or new? And why?



March is International Ideas Month: What ideas do personal finance bloggers have for keeping your finances sound? Many!

The Wisdom Journal relates how NOT to foul up your life insurance.

Temptation lurks around every corner. The Penny-Wise-Life gives lessons on how to avoid the worst stock market temptations.

Studenomics 2.0 brings unconventional  financial advice to the table, including this one: Stop thinking credit cards are evil.

MD from Passive Income Now presents The problem with real estate as an investment, and says, “Real estate is the best investment, right? Well this article looks at some of the hidden and not-so-hidden real estate fees.”

Beware, says Mr. Credit Card: A large rental car agency plays loose with your credit card data.

Is the world ending tomorrow?” Mr. Tough Money Love asks in regard to the recent credit card law. The short answer is no, but he tells it so well.

Silicon Valley Blogger at the Digerati Life presents her basics of investment hedging. Don’t paddle your kayak down the river if you have no plan for confronting the waterfall, she says.

RJ Weiss from Gen Y Wealth is all for automating some aspects of your personal finances, but wisely warns that the price of automation is awareness.

Financial Uproar takes a contrarian view in “You’re a sucker to have a big emergency fund.”

DR from DoughRoller looks critically at the cash-for-gold outfits, and asks whether it’s a deal for suckers.

The Smarter Wallet demonstrates how to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. Yes, there’s math involved, but it’s not fatal.


IRSMarch is National Clean Up Your IRS Act Month:

What do we all hate worse than debt? Filing taxes! March is National Clean Up Your IRS Act Month, which you can enjoy for a full month, and still have time left over to file your taxes in April.

Did you donate to Haiti earthquake relief? Whether you claim a
charitable deduction on your 2009 return or wait until next year, you
still need substantiation — and that could include your credit card
. So says one of the best tax bloggers out there, Kay Bell from Don’t Mess With Taxes.

Money Help for Christians thoughtfully analyzes the pros and cons of various college savings plans, including their tax consequences, and comes up with a hybrid approach.

Sun from The Sun’s Financial Diary presents Why you should e-file your taxes.

Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents presents What to bring to a tax accountant to file your taxes, and says, “Tax time is here again and this is the year that you don’t wait till the last minute to file your taxes, right?”

Should you plan on dying in 2010? InsureBlog recommends against it, since your
heirs may face some surprising, and nasty, tax consequences

March is International Mirth Month: Its focus is to show people how to use humor to deal with not-so-funny stuff.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job describes the hilarious ways that credit card issuers have reacted — wink, wink — to the new credit card reform law. A credit card that has an 80 percent interest rate? That’s gotta be a joke, right? What?!? It’s for real?Kevin from The Red Stapler Chronicles looks deeply within himself and realizes that a lot of the necessary personal finance advice that people, including himself, need to hear isn’t just mathematical — it’s psychological, too. Move over Suze Orman, and make room for Dr. Phil.

Len Penzo dot Com gently breaks the news to his kids: “To me, I’ve planned my retirement perfectly if I pass away with enough
money and assets left over to cover my funeral and provide for the
Honeybee until her time comes.” In other words, kids, don’t expect an inheritance check.


March is International Expect Success Month. Your mindset leads to success in personal finance, or any other endeavor. So thinking successful thoughts can lead to success.

LuLuGal at is determined to lose the love handles by giving up Ben & Jerry’s Triple Caramel Chunk for Lent.

The Well Heeled Blog offers 7 steps to overcoming job-hunt rejection.

Fiscal Geek reviews the much-awaited Quicken Essentials for Mac.

Madison from My Dollar Plan looks at social lending arbitrage — not a game for everyone, but the upside is strong.

Don’t know whether to invest in CDs or fixed annuities? The Consumer Boomer will walk you through the choices.

Darwin’s Finance brings some serious attitude toward his savings plan in “What Does Financial Freedom Mean to You?

The Oblivious Investor demonstrates math prowess to set the optimal size of an emergency fund.

Mike at Gather Little By Little rounds out his top 10 financial principles he learned from his father with Nos. 6-10.

FB at Fabulously Broke looks at the statistics of gender and income, and she is not happy with what she sees.

The Financial Blogger demands that you stop investing without a plan. Good advice — and a funny photo, too!


March is Spiritual Awareness Month: It’s time to make a list of the values you cherish and work toward incorporating them in your life. No, money isn’t to be cherished for itself, but having some makes it possible to enjoy the values you do hold.

LifeTuner rethinks her decision to buy 40 pairs of running shoes.

Want peace — at least in your domestic abode? Over at Foreigner’s Finances, there are great tips for how to equitably split bills with your significant other.

Live Real, Now dispassionately describes  what must have been an anxious time: You sell your friend your old truck. The friend stops paying on the loan. You become a repo man.

As a Canadian in Toronto during the Olympics, Tom at Canadian Finance Blog is all for patriotically waving the flag. But $200 for a Team Canada jersey you’ll only wear a couple times? He thinks not.


bw-optimism.png March is Optimism Month: Yeah, it’s been gloomy, but we appear to be coming out,
painfully slowly, from the recession. Spring is around the corner — and
so may be better times.

Getting hitched? That’s cause for optimism. But go in with your eyes open by taking these 10 financial premarital steps from Jason Price at One Money Design.

ModernGal has help for you in building financial resilience.

Can a nap actually save you money? It can — or more accurately, the lack of a nap can cost you, says Miss Bankrupt.

Over at the Magical Penny, Adam presents something to look forward to: a really spiffy car for your midlife crisis. Plan for the crisis now, he says, and you’ll be able to afford it.

Brad at Enemy of Debt accurately points out that feeling you are bankrupt isn’t the same thing as actually being bankrupt.

Chris from Stumble Forward recounts how he got ripped off in a time share deal. It’s not a cheery story, but it’s one you can learn from.

LeanLifeCoach from Eliminate the Muda has reason to be sunny, having learned from the power of suggestion that salespeople employ.

Credit Card Chaser takes a graphic-intensive look at the issue of whether credit card issuers should permanently waive their transaction fees for charitable donations, such as those to help Haiti.

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by and letting me annoy you with the random acts of March. By the way — did you know that today’s is Harry Belafonte’s 82nd birthday? And that it’s the 318th anniversary of the start of the Salem Witch Hysteria? And … editorial multimedia intern Anna Bleker created the illustrations with this article.

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  • Thanks for hosting this months Carnival.
    You are a whiz with dates!

  • Thanks for featuring Magical Penny in the carnival. One point though: please can you change it to Adam from Magical Penny rather than Mark please 🙂

  • Thanks for the editor’s choice pick!! Good job on the carnival, too. I like random facts as well so I found it interesting.

  • Thanks for hosting this week’s Carnival!

  • Thanks for the mention in the carnival.

  • Super job, Dan!
    Thanks for hosting, and for including our post.

  • Sun

    Thanks for hosting the carnival and including my article.

  • Wow what a list of great articles. Thank you so much for including mine too!

  • …and I’m going to write my congressman to see if he’ll submit a resolution to make March “The Month for Honoring All Guys Named Dan!”
    What do ya think?
    Thanks for hosting!
    Len Penzo dot Com

  • Thanks for hosting and selecting my article as an Editor’s Choice. 🙂

  • Thanks a lot for hosting!
    Austin @ Foreigner’s Finances

  • Thanks for including me as an Editor’s Choice!

  • Thanks for hosting, Dan!

  • Thanks for hosting and including my article! 🙂

  • I am very impressed and thanks for carnival hosting..
    Mark Ping
    Finance Jobs