Best of Money Carnival #57

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Welcome Best of Money Carnival readers!

Welcome to Debt Free Adventure and the 57th edition of the Best of Money Carnival… where carnival hosts strive to serve up the very best in Personal Finance each and every week.

This week the carnival saw over 60 article submissions so it took me an extra day to narrow things down to the top 10.  Apologies for publishing a day late, but as promised… here is your top 10 America.  Read, learn, and act!  🙂

Number 10

Madison DuPaix brings us Bill Includes New Student Loan Forgiveness Program on My Dollar Plan

After 20 years of consistent, on-time payments, a student’s loans will be forgiven. Furthermore, public service workers (teachers, nurses, military service) will have debt forgiveness after 10 years.

This article looks at key points of the student loan reform included in the new health care bill.

Number 9

Mr. Money Smarts brings us How Much Money Are You Saving In Your Emergency Fund? Have You Ever Had To Use It? on Smart on Money

We’re currently sitting on a nice 10 month cash reserve in our online savings account, and we’re building it to 12 months.  With the economy as it is, and with one spouse staying home to be with our son, we just feel more comfortable having a bigger cushion in case something were to happen.  And something WILL happen.  What about you?

Mr. Money Smarts is smart indeed!  Currently my wife and I have a 2 month cushion.  We plan on making it 3 before resuming our super aggressive debt repayment.  (We are saving $650/month and paying an $400 toward debt on top of regular payments.  Once that 3 month cushion is reached we will likely put it all toward debt again.)

Number 8

The Oblivious Investor and Neal Frankel bring us IRA Beneficiary Rules: The “Stretch” IRA on The Oblivious Investor and IRA Beneficiary Rules You Need To Know But Don’t on The Wealth Pilgrim.

In short, the longer a beneficiary’s remaining life expectancy, the smaller percentage of the IRA he has to withdraw each year, and the more he can take advantage of the power of tax deferral. As a result, to the extent practical, it often makes sense to choose your younger loved ones as the beneficiaries for your IRA.  ~ Mike

There are a few IRA beneficiary rules you need to know that can save your family money and grief.  ~ Neal

I decided to feature both these articles because I wanted to highlight the topic as well as the writers.  Both Mike and Neal are knowledgeable, helpful, and most importantly their writing takes confusing topics and makes them easy to understand.  Check out both their sites and subscribe.

Number 7

Antonia brings us Why I’m going to stop saving money on A Nomads Lot.

I have to admit, saving money does feels good occasionally. However, the feeling is short-lived. Most importantly, saving comes to a natural end. Once I’ve cut all the corners I can, there’s no forward movement. It’s like setting up a line of dominoes and knocking them down. Once the last domino hits the ground, it’s over.

I love the point.  It is one of those things that can only be understood by those who have already walked in budget crunching shoes.

Number 6

Vered Deleeuw brings us Learning to Say “No” to Your Kids on MoneyNing

It’s tough to raise kids in such a materialistic environment. The United States has always been a heaven for innovators, inventors and savvy businesspeople, and this has been part of its strength and amazing growth. But money is not, cannot be the only value, and this is something that grownups and children alike must realize.

I LOVE the tone of this article.  Adults are always complaining about, “Kids these days.”  But as adults we need to step up to the plate and teach our children proper values… even (and especially) when they’re unpopular!

Number 5

Jason brings us Do You Know About Crown Financial Ministries? on One Money Design

Crown Finanical Ministries offers a wide variety of tools to help you on your financial journey and grow as a financial steward.

I dig Crown’s product offering and think many people can benefit from it, not only financially… but also spiritually – and we all need that!

Number 4

Joe Plemon brings us What is the Difference Between Saving and Investing? on Personal Finance By The Book

Most of us innately know that saving and investing are not the same, but do we understand the difference? Because clarity in this distinction can greatly impact one’s financial well being, realizing these difference is vital. The key is in two words: risk and liquidity.

Although a simple subject to some, it is a haze of confusion to others.  I love how Joe lays it out there in layman’s terms… for all to easily understand.  Make sure you are saving and investing!  (PS… debt reduction can be one of the best investments.)

Number 3

Ella Moss brings us Shrinking Dollars on Zodiac Times

I am no longer a middle class girl, I am a working poor one, and my future looks pretty bleak. I have no extra dollar to save, I have no pension coming, and as an entrepreneur I have no other safety nets like unemployment benefits.  Instead, I am working 3 times as much as I used to, and spend so much more just to get the same shrinking dollar.

While a lot of what Ella says is true, there are still many reasons for American’s to count their blessings.  That said, listen to Ella… BUY AMERICAN and BUY LOCAL!

Number 2

Ace of Wealth brings us Facing the Truth about my Debt on Ace of Wealth

Do well in school.  Go to college.  Get a good job.  As a kid I heard those phrases all the time. One thing they didn’t tell me was how much debt I would have. When I graduated, I accumulated nearly $60,000 in debt.

Amen!  People need to rethink everything now-a-days… especially diving headfirst into humongous loans.  Many times I am unpopular for advising people against taking student loans, but I’m sticking to my guns and I like the way Ace brings home the point in this article.  Sure, student loans aren’t inherently evil, but explore all other possible options before partaking, and many simply don’t because loans are the norm.  Ace, check out the how much debt costs spreadsheet… you and others should find it useful.

Number 1

Peter brings us Can You Go To Jail If You Don’t Pay A Debt? on Bible Money Matters

…to stay out of jail, follow up on your debts, and if you are being sued or given a court date – show up!  If you don’t you could end up losing by default, and have a warrant sworn out for your arrest.

This article was my fave this week because it addresses a basic element of personal responsibility we all need to be reminded of.  Thanks to the advice column offered on Debt Free Adventure, I have been privy to many-a-reader who is in dire financial straits.  There are a lot of hard cases out there, and they need sound advice to help them do the right thing… and Peter delivers nicely.

What do you think?

Which one is your favorite?  Be sure to visit the blogs of the authors you enjoy to read, subscribe, and leave them some encouraging comments.

Cheers and Godspeed!



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1 Joe Plemon

Matt,
Thanks for hosting. I appreciate your commentary in each selection…enticing me to read them all. I am honored to be included with this list of great money articles.

2 Mike Piper

Hi Matt.

Thanks for including my post on IRA beneficiaries. 🙂

3 Neal

The Pilgrim thanks you Matt. It was an honor to be on this list.

4 Jenna

My favorite was Vered Deleeuw brings us Learning to Say “No” to Your Kids on MoneyNing, I think it is really critical for parents to teach their kids good financial skills and not to rely on schools to do it. Most of my money skills (for better or worse) have come from my parents and not my finance and accounting courses. By high school and college, most of our views on money are pretty much set in stone.

Thanks for sharing your top 10!

5 Peter Anderson

Thanks for the link love, and for making me number one! 🙂

6 Ace

Thanks for including me in the list Matt! As Joe said it, you add great commentary to everyone’s article. Really great job!

7 Jason

I’m glad you enjoyed my post about Crown. Thanks, Matt!

8 Rebecca

I wish I had listened to your advice (and the advice of Ace of Wealth) about student loans! I owe more on them (75K) than my mortgage (37K).

Love the article about kids and materialism on MoneyNing, too. I’m contantly trying to get my nieces to realizes the FREE riches in art, music, culture, games, and personal story telling, over consumer-driven disney-ized canned experiences via the TV that encourage buying and trips to the mall to fill the bottomless hole of meterialism. Hopefully I will have a tiny influence, though competition for their attention is great.

9 Tiffany

Random question, and I’m sorry, but several months ago I read a post about having diversified income sources. You gave examples like your “day job” for yourself and your wife, the blogging you do both here on Debt Free Adventure and also with FiveCentNickel. Today I got the urge to re-read it, but am having trouble remembering the title. I looked through the archives twice to see if I could find it by viewing the title and short synopsis, but no such luck. My next option is reading every post again, which is a bit too time consuming to be realistic. Can you help me out and give me the title and/or month you posted it?

10 Matt Jabs

Hi Tiffany,

I believe this is the article you’re looking for: How and Why to Diversify Your Income

Enjoy!

11 Rishi

Found out about your site through the GRABBBR giveaway. Liked the Can You Go To Jail If You Don’t Pay A Debt?

12 Griffin T.

I had many friends in college who came from wealthy families with no concept of working or saving their money. Coming from a middle-class family myself, I had already achieved financial stability 2 years after graduating. Teach your kids fiscal responsibility when they are young!

13 Dolla Thug

The student loan articles really speak to me – although personally, I’m not trying to wait around for 17 more years (I graduated in ’07) for them to be forgiven – I have $24K left that I plan to go after with a vengeance!

14 Matt Jabs

Ditto DT… I’m kicking debt to the curb the old fashioned way!

15 Jizzo

Dude,

I’m beginning to drowned in debt. How come you are not posting regularly to keep my nose above water?

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