Totally Money Carnival – #51

By | January 23, 2012

Welcome to the Totally Money Blog Carnival. If you want to be featured in upcoming editions, please use this submission form.

This week’s edition had a lot of great articles. I am happy to have the privilege of presenting them all to you. Sometimes, financial writing turns into the same old conversation, but every once in a while you see a new idea or topic. Many of those new topics are featured in the “editor’s picks” section below. At the same time, I also think it is important to continue to talk about the basics. Because this edition of the Totally Money Carnival is already large enough, I have decided to get right to it. Enjoy!

Editor’s Picks

ETZ25 presents Starting Up A Roth IRA For Kids posted at Entertainment Timez. My son now has earned income and we are starting up a Roth IRA for him to participate in. Read why are are starting a Roth IRA for Kids!

Erika presents My Plan to Lose Ten Pounds in Three Months posted at Newlyweds on a Budget. Have you joined the 10-Pound Challenge yet? Lose ten pounds in three months, win money! Everyone needs a plan to lose ten pounds in three months. We all want to lose weight fast and find the easiest shortcut to get there.

LaTisha presents What is a Portfolio? posted at Financial Success for Young Adults. A portfolio is made up of assets. There are five major asset classes of intangible financial instruments; Stocks, Bonds, Options, Futures, and Foreign exchange.

101 Centavos presents How NOT to Invest in Water posted at 101 Centavos. I’ve been reading quite a bit about water lately. Set a Google alert for water scarcity India China, and your inbox is bound to fill up with stories of water scarcity.

Evan presents Most Readers Will hate What I Did with Part of My Bonus posted at My Journey to Millions. My initial goal was to increase my term coverage with a 20 year term policy. I ultimately decided against this for two reasons, one my available income ratio would decrease which wouldn’t be good for getting that mortgage I mentioned earlier, and two, I got blood work back the other day and it wasn’t that great.


Stephen Vanderpool presents The Approved Prepaid Debit Card: Suze Orman Falls Short posted at NerdWallet. With the unveiling of her “Approved Card,” Suze Orman pens yet another harrowing chapter in the long, haunting chronicle of celebrity prepaid debit. Following in the footsteps of Kim Kardashian and Lil Wayne, Orman has discovered another way to leverage her fame to fatten her wallet. Unfortunately, introducing a prepaid debit card is not a victimless endeavor. It preys on the unbanked and financially illiterate, taking advantage of bad credit and limited options. We’ll tell you why the Approved Card is trash and what you should do instead.

PK presents S&P Ratings Cuts in Europe posted at Don’t Quit Your Day Job…. What do you do when S&P cuts the debt rating of nine countries at once? Well, if you’re anything like me you graph S&P’s credit ratings for the entire world.

Darwin presents US Debt Now Equivalent to Entire US Economy – Investing in This New Era posted at Darwin’s Money. The United States has just reached the dreaded 100Det-to-GDP ratio with its $15.2 Trillion debt level surpassing the value of all goods and services produced in-country. This is important because it vaults us into a whole new echelon of debt-ridden societies with financial crises of their own: only Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Portugal have debt-to-GDP ratios exceeding 100 This is scary stuff folks!

Don presents Radical Idea to Create Jobs posted at MoneySmartGuides. I have many crazy ideas. Most aren’t fit to become reality like my spray-painting lawnmower for when the summer heat turns your grass brown. But every so often, I come up with something that I feel holds merit.

Control Your Cash presents We Learn Nothing posted at Control Your Cash. What happened with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and why we’re doomed to have it happen again.


Aloysa presents Live A Little: Have A Latte posted at My Broken Coin. This is a new series I am starting on this blog. It is called Live A Little, and it is not about how to save more by cutting expenses and living frugal. It is about spending, but in an intelligent way.

Kennedi presents Getting Fit on a Budget posted at Face and Fitness. Not everyone can go out and pick up an expensive gym membership. Here’s a list of free or low-cost resources to help you stay healthy on a budget.

Paul Vachon presents How Frugal Living Can Build Wealth for the New Year and Beyond posted at The Frugal Toad. Frugal living does not mean shopping in thrift stores and having soup every night for dinner. Being frugal simply means being deliberate in how you spend money, not impulsive. There are many ways to be frugal but the key to making frugal lifestyle changes permanent is to find ways to save money that will work for you.

Teacher Man presents Pay Off Debt Fast or Build Assets? posted at My University Money. Yes, I would rather have all my currents debts paid off than be in my current financial position… because then I could turn around and put myself in much better debt all over again!

SB presents all you need to know about 2012 taxes posted at One Cent at a Time. All you need to know for filing income tax for the year 2011, which is needed to be filed on or before April 17, 2012. Contains links to relevant IRS notices and web pages for you quick reference.

Glen Craig presents 10 Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions posted at Free From Broke . Don’t pay more taxes than you have to. Take a look at these ten common overlooked tax deductions and see how you can save on your taxes.

KT presents Is Outsourcing Household Chores a Luxury or a Smart Money Move? posted at Personal Finance Journey. I don’t like cleaning; and I make no secret of that fact. Dust can multiply for months, and I might notice that it is there, but I probably won’t clean it. I do have the basics that I do every day – dishes, and general picking up. I clean the bathrooms and sweep and mop the kitchen floor, so I am not a complete slob, but I hate deep cleaning.

Suba presents Five Ways to Save Money and Get Fit at Work posted at Broke Professionals. Now that the New Year is here, we are all looking for ways to trim down the expenses and the waistlines. Here are a few ideas on how to do that before or after work or at lunch time. Use Lunch Get some exercise on your lunch break. Read this article for more ideas!

Marie presents Easy Ways to Improve Your Gas Mileage posted at Money Spending Mommy. Many drivers have sought to cut their spending on gas by driving less. While this is certainly a good strategy, we can’t stay home all the time. Here are some tips for using less gas when you do drive.

Amanda L Grossman presents Health Insurance Companies Give Financial Incentives for Good Habits posted at Frugal Confessions. Since I discussed a ‘stick’ approach my health insurance company began on January 1, 2012 by charging a higher premium for smokers than for non-smokers, I’d like to take the time to discuss a ‘carrot’ incentive approach!

D.J. presents How to Save When Hiring Professional Movers posted at The Family Wallet. There are a number of ways you can cut down on the expenses associated with hiring professional movers.

Jason presents 20 Happy Thoughts posted at Live Real, Now. In the past 32 months, I’ve reduced my total debt load by $42,859.70. That’s an average reduction of $1,339.37 per month.

Corey presents Why Financing a Car Can be a Bad Idea posted at 20s Finances. If you are looking to get a car and you don’t have enough money saved to purchase the car outright, you may be tempted to get a car loan so that you don’t have to wait. But is this really the best route to take?

Matt presents What To Do After You Are Debt Free posted at Living in Financial Excellence. You are debt free! The cycle of debt that you have lived before is starting to break. But now that you have gotten over that mountain and can now see from the top the question most people ask is, “What’s next?” The answer I give you is: plenty. Here are some tips and things to do to keep you motivated and focused now that you are debt free.

Roger the Amateur Financier presents Resolution Success – Saving More Money posted at The Amateur Financier. A guide to saving money, in order to put aside a sizable reserve for use in emergencies (or possibly as part of your retirement funds).

Mr. Money presents American Express Bank Personal Savings Account Review posted at Smart on Money. American Express is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Most people know about them because of their credit and charge cards (that’s where I first came upon them), but they’ve also quickly become a good solid option when it comes to online savings accounts.

Evan presents The Cost of Owning a Pet posted at Smart Wealth. Although having pets is expensive at times, it is also great, just be sure that you know what you are getting yourself into.

Echo presents Capital One Aspire Cash World MasterCard Review posted at Boomer & Echo. The Capital One Aspire Cash World MasterCard rivals the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard as the best cash back credit card in Canada.

W presents Additive vs. Multiplicative Thinking About Money posted at Off-Road Finance A look at two different ways of thinking about money, and some ideas about which is appropriate for a given problem.

Bob presents How to Make A Budget: A Step-by-Step Guide posted at Christian Personal Finance. This article is an exhaustive look at everything you need to know to get started creating your first budget. Whether you want to dive deep or just set up a quick and easy budget it will show you the ropes.

Madison presents How to Lower Your Taxes on Savings Bond Interest posted at My Dollar Plan. Reporting savings bonds on your tax return usually follows a standard course of action, you get a savings bond, hold it for multiple years, then redeem it and report it on your taxes in the year of redemption. But did you know there’s another way to report the savings bonds interest, which could potentially save money on taxes?

Linsey presents The World of High Stakes Sweepers – Is It Real? posted at 1099 Mom. Suddenly, just as “Extreme Couponing”caused a bunch of new people to start furiously clipping, there is a new interest in entering sweepstakes, and some people are left wondering if winning prizes will be their ticket out of debt, poverty, or working a regular job.

SavingMentor presents How to Eliminate Your Home Phone Bill and Long Distance Charges! posted at The Internet is becoming the only infrastructure necessary to do many of the things that used to require special mediums before like making phone calls, watching TV, listening to music, and so on. Yes, the internet can even help you completely eliminate your monthly home phone bill as well as the long distance charges you may have become accustomed to!

Sabrina presents Party Tips for the Broke Young Professionals posted at Frugal Living. How can you open your home and make your friends feel welcome without going broke in the process? Check out the frugal party tips below.


Andy presents The Number One Retirement Fear posted at My Retirement Blog. According to an AARP study recently released, health care issues are the number one biggest fear retirees have. Is retirement affordable? The biggest challenge for most potential retirees is the cost of care and the ability to stay healthy through retirement. Experts claim one will need an extra $200-$300,000 to pay just for health care.

Wayne presents Retirement Planning for Young Families posted at Young Family Finance. Find out what the first step of retirement planning should be for young families.

Eddie presents Million Dollar Question: Should I Use My Savings To Pay Down Debt or Fund My Retirement Plan? posted at Finance Fox. Mortgage vs RRSP. TFSA vs Student Loan. Credit Card Debt vs RRSP. TFSA vs Mortgage. RRSP vs Car Payment. Lots of different situations, some of us are in one of these and others may have two or more different forms of debt to pay down.

Kevin presents Claim Your Unclaimed Property posted at Thousandaire. Check to see if you have unclaimed property free money waiting for you. Just search at your state’s website and you might have something!

PITR presents Generate passive income – How to do it posted at Passive Income To Retire. If you want to generate passive income, you need to know the two ways that people establish a passive income.

A Blinkin presents CD’s are for Hypocrites posted at Funancials. I would venture to say that there are two investment products people learn about before any others Stocks and CDs Certificates of Deposit. Assuming most people learn about these two options when theyre young, I would think the way they were explained was elementary. Something like stocks are risky CDs are risk-free. But are they remembering inflation?

Daniel presents Tax Evasion Costs Over $300 Billion Each Year posted at Sweating the Big Stuff. Think tax evasion is a small problem? Thing again: tax evasion in the U.S. amounts to $337.3 billion a year.

Philip Taylor presents 2012 Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits posted at PT Money Personal Finance. A list of the 2012 IRA contribution limits to help readers plan their retirement savings this year.



Don presents My Son Is A Young Entrepreneur posted at Money Reasons. This is about my son’s transformation in becoming a young entrepreneur. Not bad considering he is only eleven.

Kyle presents 4 Reasons You Should Not Invest in Real Estate Right Now posted at The Penny Hoarder. A few weeks ago we shared with you some reasons why this might be a good time to invest in real estate and this week we wanted to present the other side of the argument. Here are four good reasons not to buy real estate right now…

Justin presents 10 Ways to Raise $100 in Less than One Day posted at Money Is the Root. I am going to give you 10 ways to make, raise, find, or simply get $100 in less than one day.

Roshawn Watson presents 3 Reasons to Focus on Household Cash Flow posted at Watson Inc. There is clearly a significant disconnect between our knowing the importance of cash flow and our actions. Here are three reasons for a renewed focus on cash flow.

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey presents How To Make Money on Your Old Phones posted at My Personal Finance Journey. This post illustrates way in which one can make money by selling their old phones, and suggests environmentally friendly alternatives if it is too old and worthless.

Jester presents A Side Income posted at The Ultimate Juggle. Finding a side income can go a long ways to meet your financial needs. Find out how to manage your time and make it happen.

Jeffrey presents Five Reasons to Give Up Goal Setting posted at Money Spruce. Should we give up goal setting to achieve more success? Goals are something everyone uses, but is it the most effective for getting things done. Here’s a discussion why it might not be.

Squirrelers presents Crazy Job Interview Stories posted at Squirrelers. Have you ever been a part of a job interview that was on the other side of normal? This post discusses a few examples of memorable job interview stories.

Colin Williams presents Financial Planner Checklist – 8 Questions You Must Ask posted at humble savers. We provide a comprehensive guide to help find a financial planner that is right for you. There are 7 questions for the financial planner and one big question for you.

Marie at FamilyMoneyValues presents Real Estate Investing Resources – More Real World Experience posted at Family Money Values. Are you considering an investment in a rental property? If so, one of the considerations is whether or not you can be and want to be a landlord. Of course everyone’s temperament, experience and desires are different, but it helps to read about what other people have experienced as landlords as part of your research and preparation to be one yourself, and we will do that here.


Mich presents NAL Energy to Underperform in 2012? posted at Beating The Index. I believe the stock will underperform in 2012 based on running 2 set of scenarios which indicate the company is not in its best shape.

Shaun presents Lottery Winner Loses Everything in Four Years: Smart Approaches for Families with Income Windfalls posted at Smart Family Finance. Lottery winners are famous for winning fortunes and then losing them. That is because it is easy to make financial mistakes when families run into income windfalls. However, there are a few approaches to help you to make smart decisions and minimize the risks of losing everything.

Hank presents Four Great Benefits Of Buying A House posted at Money Q&A. There are many great benefits of buying a house such as wealth creation, tax savings, forced savings, and others. Renting should not be your default option when there are so many great benefits of buying a house.

YFS presents 4 Tips to Improve Credit Even After A Bankruptcy posted at Your Finances Simplified. A bankruptcy can be a financial event which wrecks credit and hurts a consumers ability to qualify for loans. Its effects can be felt for years afterwards, as it appears on a credit report for 7-10 years depending on what type of BK you file for.

Lazy Man presents Meet the New Juice Scam. Same as the Old Juice Scam posted at Lazy Man and Money. I’ve written enough about MonaVie over at MonaVie Scam to prove that MonaVie is a grossly overpriced product, with little nutritional value, wrapped in a poor business opportunity that appears to be an illegal pyramid scheme, which is itself wrapped in illegal medical claims, supported by nonsensical “scientific” studies, and tied to a fraudulent charity.

Ken Faulkenberry presents Saving, Investing, and Gambling: The Importance of Differentiation and Compartmentalization posted at AAAMP Blog. Definitions of saving, investing, and gambling with an explanation for the need to differentiate and compartmentalize each.

Robert presents Keeping Hackers Out Of Your Online Bank Accounts posted at The College Investor. Important steps you need to take today to keep hackers out of your online bank account.

Money Beagle presents Amazon Mishandles A Necessary Change To Amazon Mom posted at Money Beagle. I love Amazon and I realize they needed to make changes, but they blew it by missing a couple small points.

Miss T. presents The A-Z of the Top 20 Foods for Increased Brain Power posted at Prairie Eco Thrifter. Today I want to share with you the top 20 foods you can eat for increased brain power. Eating these foods will increase your energy, provide clarity of thought and help sustain a good memory.

Sustainable PF presents How to Spot a Work from Home Scam posted at Sustainable Personal Finance. Before you sign up for a great work from home “opportunity,” consider these signs that it might be a work from home scam.

Jeffrey presents Don’t Make A Long-Term Commitment If You Don’t Have To posted at Saving Advice. While many places try to force you into a lengthy contract or make you think you have to pay every single month, there are also many alternatives to that ongoing monthly bill. Here are some ideas for getting out from under those monthly payments without giving up the services you love entirely.

Crystal presents It’s Vegas, Baby! posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. There are a lot of things you can do to make your Vegas vacation much better and cheaper than it otherwise would be. Here are some of my favorites collected over my years in Sin City.

Matt presents Don’t Sell Yourself Short on Investment Return Expectations posted at RamblingFever Money. Do you think 10 to 12 percent is unreasonable when it comes to expectations for average annual mutual fund returns? The funds I invest in hit these numbers and I created a chart to explain.

Ray @ Financial Highway presents RRSP Deadline 2012-Limits posted at Financial Highway. The RRSP season has begun! Every bank, every branch and every teller will remind you to contribute to your RRSP before the deadline. With so many people vying for your RRSP contributions, who should you trust?

Paula presents Does Collective Wisdom Really Exist? posted at Afford Anything. When people try to guess the number of marbles in a jar, the group’s average guess is amazingly accurate. In other words, the group’s collective knowledge is superior to that of any of it’s members. Why, then, do housing and stock market bubbles happen? When does collective wisdom become collective folly?

Marissa presents The importance of investing in the new year posted at Thirty Six Months. This article discusses why you should make investing a top priority this year.

Eric J. Nisall presents Organize Your Office And Improve Business In Many Ways posted at DollarVersity. Organizing your office can help solve problems with lost bills, unsent invoices, having to duplicate work, wasting time searching for things, & more.

Steve Zussino presents Differences between TFSA and RRSP – Explanation and terms posted at Canadian Personal Finance. According to the BMO Financial group, 40% of Canadians still don’t know the difference between a TFSA and RRSP. This sounds like a high figure but in speaking to some of my peers, personal finance is not a topic most people enjoy to talk about.