Carnival of Personal Finance #33

Welcome to Fat Pitch Financials! I am your host for this weeks Carnival of Personal Finance.  I have loosely organized this weeks submissions by topic below. 

While you are here, I encourage you to explore some of Fat Pitch Financials most popular content.  This includes my Special Situations Real Money Portfolio, which tracks the transactions and performance of my son’s Coverdell Education Savings Account that is mainly invested in “Going Private” transactions.   The 30 Days to Becoming a Better Investor series is also very popular.  More recently, my exploration of Joel Greenblatt’s Magic Formula for investing in stocks has also attracked interest. You can subscribe to Fat Pitch Financials via RSS feed or by email if you like what you see. Premium content is also available in Fat Pitch Financials’ Contributor’s Corner.

Next week’s Carnival of Personal Finance will be hosted by Financial Reference.  And now for this week’s Carnival, I present the following submissions:


More Changes to Ford Credit and Other E-Bill Gripes by Josh Cohen at Multiple Mentality discusses how Ford Credit continues changing their billing and e-billing rules without telling anyone.  Not very nice.  I find e-bills be to cause more trouble than they are worth.

Money Saving Tip Reminder: Review Your Statements at Free Money Finance reminds us that you can save money in reviewing the details on your bills and bank statements.

Book Reviews

Book: Family Wealth-Keeping It in the Family by Trip at MusingMoney is a review of the 2004 book by James E. Hughes Jr. that examines how wealthy families maintain wealth across generations.

60-second Book Review: “The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need”  by InvestorGeeks provides a brief review of Andrew Tobias’ book.  I personally liked this book when I read it several years ago.

Budgeting and Planning

Cheapy the Cheapskate at Frugal Cheap Pants shares her struggle on keeping her newly created budget as unexpected events occur.

New Money Awareness Here at Contrary1’s Money Musings discusses how good money related things begin to happen when you focus on your personal finances.

Progress and Prosperity at Princess Perky’s Ramblings is about how simply being properous forces us to spend more money.

5 Beginners’ Steps To Personal Finance by Harrison Loke at Journey To Financial Freedom provides the some first steps in starting your personal finance journey.

Goals by Frank the Financially Savvy Atheist (The F.S.A.) discusses his family’s financial goals, both long-term and short-term and the rationale for them.


The Real Me by Kay Bell at Don’t Mess With Taxes explains by example that even if you follow all the rules, ID thieves can still get you. Kay’s tale of discovering an impostor had made her into a deadbeat.

Prepayment Penalties are Illegal in Maryland by Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity talks about how one individual discovered that his lender’s deal to cover closing costs if the loan was kept for three years didn’t hold up in Maryland court since prepayment penalties are illegal in Maryland.

Bridge Loans by Dan Melson at Searchlight Crusade teaches you about what bridge loans are and when they are used.

Credit Card Debt vs Emergency Fund by Jeffrey Strain at Personal Finance Advice looks at whether you really have an emergency fund if you have credit card debt.

Cash Back Credit Cards by No Credit Needed takes a contrarian position on cash back credit card programs.


Multiple Sources of Income (MSI) by Financially Independent discusses the benefits of having multiple sources of income.  The tips on taking advantage of multiple opportunities are on target.  I think the key to MSI is making sure it involves something you like.

Kids Allowances by Big Cajun Man at Canadian Financial Stuff provides a real world example of what to do to make sure kids get their allowances.  I’m not sure I would want my kid to get guaranteed weekly payments.

Dangers Of Overtime Dependancy by Laura at Keeping It Frugal in Texas discusses the danger when you start to count overtime pay into your regular budget.

To Be Or Not To Be by Bill at Ask Uncle Bill is about his daughter’s decision making regarding her first job out of college.

Income Disparity by State by Flexo at Consumerism Commentary looks at the latest report that determines the disparity between upper-income and lower- and middle-income salaries for each state.


Section 105 for Dummies at InsureBlog provides a tutorial on a controversial, sometimes useful but potentially dangerous, tool that small businesses can use to lower health insurance costs.


Making a DCF Spreadsheet by Mike Price at Investing only at the Right Price provides instructions on how to make a DCF spreadsheet.

Rate Chaser Calculator – Just Plug It In! by Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog is simple calculator is designed for people who are thinking of transferring their bank deposits to another higher-yielding bank, but are unsure if it is really worth the effort due to the potential interest lost during transfers.

Investments – Step 1 by Brian at Financial Reference talks about how the first step to investing is discovering the type of investor you are.  I couldn’t agree more!

What are REITS? by Clint at Million Dollar Goal provides an explanation of REITS.  I’ve made some good money with REITS in the past.  It’s definitely something you want to know about.

Comparing Coke and Pepsi Stocksby The Real Returns compares the financials of Coca Cola and PepsiCo.  Coke looks like the better deal to me at this point.

Index Funds v. ETFs by JLP at AllThingsFinancial looks at when it is better to use an index mutal fund versus an ETF.  This is an important decision if you plan on investing in indexes.

Staying in the Market on Old Niu’s Blog discusses the pitfalls of getting in and out of the market.

Real Estate

Should Home Buyers hold off buying for 2006? by David Porter at Pacesetter Mortgage Blog provides some wise words on home buying decisions.  Looks like David has applied some value investing philosophy to real estate buying decisions.

Is Now A Better Time To Rent Than Buy? by Alex at Wealth Junkie takes a look at the ratio of home price to market rent.  Alex asks if not buying could save you $1,000 per month or more, would you be better off with the benefits of compound interest on that savings?

On checking real estate prices by mapgirl at Mapgirl’s Fiscal Challenge is a brief article on her totally unscientific methodology for figuring out what real estate is worth.


Using Retirement Funds to Pay for College at discusses the pitfalls of tapping your retirement funds to pay for college.

Smart Shopping

The Best Time to Buy Everything by Will Kirby at Kirby on Finance recaps a recent article on CNNMoney that discusses some of the best times of the year to buy the big ticket item.

Save Money With Your Mail Order Pharmacy by Cathy at Chief Family Officer discusses how purchasing your prescriptions through your mail order pharmacy can save you lots of money. Cathy notes, “I have found that the easiest way to place an order is to have my doctor’s office call the mail order pharmacy.”  Great tip! 

eBay is Not Just for Antiques by Sarah Lewis at Frugal Underground discusses how eBay can sometimes be used to find great deals on unusual items, like vanilla beans.

The Prodigal Get Frugal and the Frugal Get Frustrated by Nick Ferris at Funny Munny discusses the notion of Frugality Frustration and ways to prevent burning out and undoing all that hard work.

Planning the Summer Vacation by Amanda at Young and Broke is about researching and planning a summer vacation ahead of time. Some great money saving tips are packed into this article.

My recent purchase by Jane Dough at Boston Gal’s Open Wallet recounts how some comparison shopping online saved Jane big bucks on a small chair.

I KNEW they were out to get me! by Mighty Bargain Hunter is a sarcastic look how bargain hunting shoppers can get back on the good side of retailers and regain good customer status.


Tax Filing Options: A Mini-Roundup by Caitlin at Clutter2Cash provides a list of online e-filing options with a price comparison table.

So When Does He Get Back On The Island? by Joe Kristan at Roth & Company P.C. Tax Update takes a look at how long Richard Hatch will be spending at Club Fed for his tax “planning”. 

Other Topics

In Flight by Nina Smith at Sitting Pretty recounts her in flight discovery of daily money managers and a potential career in that field.

Cash in the Attic at Zorro’s Retirement puts money and spending into the Big Picture  and evaluates your time versus money.

Wow, you have made it to the end!  Go out and have some fun.  You deserve it after learning so much about personal finance in this week’s carnival.

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