Saving Money in Crazy Ways – Carnival of Personal Finance #297

February 21, 2011

Even though the recession is technically over, many of us are still looking for creative ways to save money. Or at least make more money. Or better our finances. This Carnival of Personal Finance highlights great ways to improve your personal economy — no matter what the national economy is doing. Most sections has a video of crazy things that people do to save money. Enjoy!

Editor’s Choice

Here are a few posts I found especially helpful this week.

  • Who has your personal financial information? Prairie Eco Thrifter has 8 ideas for protecting yourself from ID theft.
  • Squirrelers really puts things into perspective by helping you see how many hours you are working to buy your stuff. Eye-opening. And a little depressing.
  • A Gai Shan Life presents an interesting look at the financial (and emotional) issues that can accompany having your parents move in with you.
  • Dealerity is taking a challenge to live near the Federal poverty line for a month. It’s a fascinating challenge, and I also found his update for Day 15, focusing on accepting help from others, quite interesting.
  • Moneyed Up offers some good advice on how you can be good at what you do — whatever that is.

Budgeting & Money Management

It’s important to consider your budget. This means planning your spending and doing your best to avoid buying things you can’t afford.

  • If you are looking for help with your financial goals, You Have More Than You Think offers you an idea of what your #1 tool could be.
  • As your net worth calculations become too complicated, Money Beagle asks if perhaps you should ditch the earmarks you have been using.
  • First Generation White Collar shares some thoughts on why financial willpower is so difficult to come by — and what you can do to get beyond it.
  • Let’s get real. Couponing may not always save your finances. Sometimes you have to sweat the big the stuff, insists Moolanomy.
  • Net Worth Journey helps you understand how debit card transactions work.
  • Set a good example and teach your children something worthwhile. Christian Personal Finance offers good ideas for helping your kid buy a car.
  • Matt About Money takes principles from the business management classic Good to Great and applies them to personal finance.
  • Len Penzo dot Com offers a look at the Personal Finance Anarchist Cookbook. Watch out for these dangerous money items.
  • Money Walks presents some ideas for keeping your food budget under control.
  • Activity isn’t always the same as achievement. This is true in money management, insists THE Canadian Finance Blog.
  • Do you have a variable income? The Dough Roller provides insight on budgeting in such situations.
  • Adjust your budget to cope with rising food prices with some help from Modern Gal.
  • Review of best personal finance software. One Money Design helps you find a program to keep you on the right track.


What sorts of decisions are you making with your career? Are you impressing others with your good ideas? Or have you neglected to think things through?

  • Looking for a legitimate work from home job? Living Richly on a Budget looks at the site as a source for telecommuting jobs.
  • If you want to start your own business, this post on using your IRA for that purpose is a helpful resource from Good Financial Cents.
  • Personal Cents provides practical insights on being self-employed.
  • What if becoming a stay at home parent is the next step in your career? Well Heeled Blog takes a look at what you need to know.
  • Dividend Stocks Online helps you figure out when you can retire. The ultimate in career goals.

Credit & Debt

Running up debt? Spending on credit instead of saving? Here are some things to think about.

  • You never can be too careful. You want to save money on credit card interest, but Credit Card Assist Blog points out that you might be heading into a rate reduction scam.
  • Someone is always trying to part you from your money. Consumer Boomer offers you a look at these debt relief scams to be wary of.
  • Know your rights. The Credit Card Forum Blog shares some of the legalities behind whether or not credit cards companies can sue you.
  • Even good debt can go bad, points out Money Help for Christians.
  • Learn how to pay off debt quickly with some tips from Accumulating Money.
  • Find out how you can get a free credit score when you read The Sun’s Financial Diary and a take on Credit Sesame.
  • Free From Broke reviews the Platinum Card from AmEx.
  • It’s hard to stay motivated when trying to pay off debt. PT Money offers some encouragement.
  • It would be great if debt free living was good for your credit score. Unfortunately, points out Canadian Finance Blog, it’s not.
  • Learn how you don’t need a personal guarantee for a business credit card at
  • Gen X Finance talks about how to shop for the best mortgage
  • NerdWallet Credit Card Blog cautions readers against buying extra AAdvantage Miles.
  • Is Yes I Am Cheap crazy for purposely adding $20,000 to credit cards?
  • Lazy Man looks at how to get a free credit score.

Economy & Finance

In this tough economy, it’s important to find ways to save money, from saving energy in the home to saving money on transportation. How are you dealing with the economy?

  • Did you inherit an IRA? New IRA Rules offers a helpful look at what you need to know about an inherited IRA.
  • Why is wage inequality on the rise? Don’t Quit Your Day Job offers an explanation of the economics behind wage differences.
  • Can you really trust financial simulations? The Oblivious Investor takes a look at the situation.
  • The children are our future. Barbara Friedberg looks at the importance of teaching financial lessons to your kids.
  • There are special financial challenges when you are in the military. Compounding Interest takes a look at finances and military members.
  • Darwin’s Money provides you with a look at the difference between financial accounting and managerial accounting.
  • Food inflation is coming. Financial Uproar wonders if you’ll even notice.
  • If you are a common consumer, Money Thinking offers a helpful look at deal-making and the price mechanism.
  • Are you ready to recognize the truth about your financial situation? Until you do, points out Hope to Prosper, you won’t be able to make solid progress.
  • The Military Wallet warns that military personnel had better get used to fee increases to TRICARE Prime.


There’s nothing more frugal than free. But, free isn’t always an option. Here are some articles that will help you live a little more more frugally.

  • A new addition to the family on the way? Fiscal Fizzle offers a look at 10 things you can do to save money on a new baby.
  • Protect your home, fortifying it against would-be intruders. Live Real, Now tells you how to do it frugally.
  • Is it such a good thing that everyone is talking about “frugal fatigue?” Surviving and Thriving is a little worried about what it could mean to trivialize the idea of frugality.
  • The Red Stapler Chronicles shares the personal finance hall of shame.
  • Want to save money? Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured says that sometimes it’s as easy as asking.

Investing & Real Estate

What sort of investments are you making? How do you scrape together the money to invest more, anyway?

  • With a good brokerage firm, points out Qwoter, you can get better returns..
  • Green Panda Treehouse can help you learn a little bit more about exchange-traded funds.
  • Once you have learned the basics of ETF investing, Experiglot can help you figure out ETF allocation.
  • Shareholders of Google might be interested to know about the new CEO, Larry Page. Intelligent Speculator is ready to provide a little background.
  • For most ordinary investors, marketing timing is probably not the best investment strategy. The Dividend Guy Blog tells you why marketing timing might be a bad idea.
  • Young? Interested in investing? Do Not Wait offers tactics that can help you find investing success.
  • If you pick right, according to Compounding Returns, your long term stock investing strategy can pay off big.
  • Interested in a solid retirement vehicle? Smart On Money explains why the Roth IRA is a popular choice.
  • Investor Junkie offers a review of the online broker TradeKing.
  • Back Nine Finances shares the process of looking for an income property.
  • A great interview with an energy fund manager from Investing Thesis.
  • An overview of different types of mutual funds from Buy Like Buffett.
  • Learn more about timing your stock trades with help from The Digerati Life.
  • The Smarter Wallet encourages you to own stocks for long enough to make a profit on them.
  • Emerging markets are enjoying a boom. Retire Happy looks at emerging market investing.
  • Learn how to maintain your asset allocation as new funds come in from Dividend Growth Instructor.


You want to save all the money you can when it comes to what you owe the government. After all, it’s about keeping what’s yours anyway.

  • Want to know the difference between married filing jointly and married filing separately? Bargaineering gives you a crash course in filing status.
  • If you adopted in 2010, Spruce Up Your Finances can help you navigate the adoption credit on your tax return.
  • Want another chance at a tax deduction? Bible Money Matters points out that you can still open an IRA for 2010.
  • Curious about whether or not credit card rewards are tax deductible? My Dollar Plan has an answer.
  • Wallet Blog points out that even if you are unemployed, you still have to pay taxes — and on your unemployment income.


In the end, how you save money says a lot about you. How do you keep from spending too much?

Next Carnival will by hosted by Saving to Invest. Be sure to get your submissions in using the form.


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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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