Best and Worst of a Crazy October

November 8, 2008

Self-relection is the key to growth and improvment so I thought I’d take a moment to look back over the best and worst of the last month or so.

Worst of October

My main failure in October was efficient use of my time.  I have to apologize for having been so horrible about responding to comments on the site and to emails from readers.  I can give you a few excuses for it : )

My new job has kept me busy, learning the ropes and working on new projects.  I’m really enjoying it but it has kept me hopping. 

One downside is that my access to webmail is blocked in my new office so I can no longer handle messages as they come in through the day.  After getting our son to bed in the evening, it takes forever to plow through all my daily emails. I’m probably going to get the new G1 Phone for Christmas so I can get online when ever and where ever.

I’d like to give a big thanks to Erik Folgate from Money Crashers for all the great articles he’s contributed to the site, it’s really helped pick up my slack.

Best of October

By far the most exciting thing for me last month was announcing that we’re having a baby!  We don’t know boy or girl yet but we should find out in about a month, we’re very excited!

Mobile Money Series

We had a fun series in October that looked at managing your money with your mobile phone.  I know that a lot of people may not be using their cell phone for these types of things yet but I wanted to let everyone know what the opportunities are.  We took at look at mobile coupons, mobile banking, mobile shopping, and mobile personal finance.

Moving Money Series

It’s not prime moving season but it seemed a lot of people we knew were moving so took a look at some of the financial aspects of moving.  We started off by offering tips to save on moving expenses, talked about managing bills and fees when moving, looked at the best credit card to help you move, and reviewed some ways you can find doctor’s, accountants, plumbers, etc you can trust in your new city.

Energy Savings

As the cold weather sets in we teamed up with some energy experts from the Home Depot to find things you can do to save on your home energy costs.

Economic Events

It’s been a crazy month for the economy and your money, we took a look at some of the major economic and political events we’ve experieced.

As election day neared we wrote about the economic policies of Barack Obama as well as the financial plans of John McCain.  I offered my take on the secret to success of the economy as well as some tips on spending less and saving more when money is tight. 

Short selling is thought to have played a role in the meltdown of some of the major banks so we explained what it is and the effect it might have had.

Last but not least we took part, although a day late, in the coverage of global poverty.

Reviews & Deals 

Online brokerages are really looking to add customers these days and offering some nice bonuses.  TradeKing is still offering their $50 bonus for new accounts, Zecco offered unlimited trading last month, and the ShareBuilder $50 promotion has been extended through the end of the year.

Some other deals I mentioned during the month, you can now use Quicken Online for free and you can get a Wall Street Journal free trial of the online edition.

I shared in my FNBO Direct review how I was pleased with their interest rate, stability, and customer service.  I know I’ve said it before but I really like the fact that they offer an ATM card : )

I also documented through the process of applying for a loan with my Lending Club loan review.  Now that Prosper has temporarily shut down to take care of some government red tape Lending Club is the best peer to peer lending option for people looking to borrow money. As this ABC news video discusses the credit crunch is making banks pretty stingy and more people are turning to peer lending.

What’s Next on Money Smart Life?

As the weather gets cold and we’re all stuck inside, we’ll take a look at some things you can do for entertainment indoors and how you can save money on your fun.

We’re also going to be running a series this week on Christmas shopping and Christmas deals in this tough economy.

Finally, as the future Obama administration looks to stimulate the economy and create jobs, I figure I should do my part as well.  I’m going to be running a contest to help readers who want to start up their own business.  I’m still hashing out the details but I’ll let you know more as plans are made.

If any of these sound like they’d be useful to you be sure to subscribe for free daily updates.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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2 Responses to Best and Worst of a Crazy October

  • Erik

    Congrats on the baby, I didn’t know! Thanks for the props, but you’ve been great to work with as well. I’m looking forward to helping with the growth of money smart life.

  • marci

    Congrats on the new baby-to-be, and on the new job that allows you the precious time to spend with your family! Time – more precious than Gold!