Monday Links – My Birthday Edition

Happy Birthday to Me! Okay, enough about that. Let’s talk linkage.

PaidTwice hosted the From Theory To Practice: The Festival of Frugality this week, and my post What I Like About Wal-Mart was included. I was struck by Savvy Frugality’s post Extreme Frugality: Freegans, a much so that it inspired me to write I’ve Finally Found the Line. I also liked But Why Doesn’t It Grow On Trees’ post Cash to Burn: Why a Credit-Only Lifestyle Works for Me. I carry very little cash partially because I’ll fritter it, but mostly because I want to get every cent possible from my credit card rebates. There are tons of great posts there, so be sure to visit!

The Carnival of Family Life: St. Patrick’s Day Edition was hosted at Colloquium this week and included my post What to Know About Buying and Redeeming (Unless They Are from Sharper Image) Gift Cards. Paid Twice’s article One Way To Get Over the Bath and Body Works Habit at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already should have warned me that I’d be called The Devil when I offered a Bath and Body Works Deal of the Day. Sorry, PaidTwice! Also check out Five Cent Nickel’s postThe High Cost of Instant Gratification. The need for instant gratification is a problem for many, and not just kids. Thought provoking, at least in my house.

The Carnival of Money Stories #51 was hosted at Life Lessons of a Military Wife this week. My post Buy One Get One Free. Sort of. was included – and no I have not heard back from Publix yet. That Was Worth the Phone Call! posted at Stop the Ride! is a good reminder to call and talk to someone before assuming you need to pay that late charge. I’ve had great luck with that the few times I’ve lost my mind temporarily. I also liked Top 10 Dollar Store Buys posted at FIRE Finance, as the Dollar Store is one of my favorite places to shop. Don’t assume they’re always the lowest price, though; I’ve found the same things for a few cents cheaper at WalMart and other discount stores before.

I also made an appearance in Carnival of Everything Finance – #15 over at Everything Finance. Don’t Let the Dust Settle Before the Dust Settles settled in quite well over there. I enjoyed CreditAddict’s article FICO Credit Score Changes Looming, and if CA is right Husband and I will see our score increase. That’s a good thing! Livingalmostlarge is pretty peeved about parents spending their children’s education funds in Children’s Gift Money?. I understand how she feels. In my opinion it’s not the parents’ money to take, unless they funded it. That said, when you mix gift money with money you put in yourself, it’s not easy to keep track. In any case touching Son’s college money would be a last resort for us.

Finally, I want to wish Funny About Money a speedy recovery from her recent spill, and thank her for thinking enough of my article Time To Increase the Grocery Budget. Or Eat A Lot Less. to include it in her weekly round-up.


Monday Carnival Roundup – Editor’s Pick Edition

I picked up my first carnival Editor’s pick this week, and I’m thrilled at the honor. A blog I’d not visited before, Green Panda Treehouse, hosted Festival of Frugality #116 : Great Designs this week. Apparently she liked my post Too Much Clutter? 20 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale. Thanks! While there check out Why I’m in love with the forever stamp , by Pinching Copper. I’d just only recently heard about this stamp, and you can bet I’ll be stocking up! Also check out Save Money With Someone Else’s Wireless Internet posted at Money Blue Book. Do you think it’s morally wrong?

Mike at Quest for Four Pillars hosted the Carnival of Money Stories this week. Included was my post about my Mom being able to get a tax rebate even though she has no income, Show Nana the Money!. I liked Million Dollar Journey’s post about determining his life insurance needs. He’s right about Mortgage Life Insurance not being a good product or a good buy. I also thought CashMoneyLife wrote a great article about ethics with The Choice of What is Right, and What is Easy.

I also made an appearance at the fabulous The Digerati Life in her Carnival Roundup post, Buyer’s Regret and Tossing Your Clutter @ The Carnivals. She liked my article Too Much Clutter? 20 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale, too. This post also was mentioned over at Save and Conquer in his Review of the Festival of Frugality and at Pennies to Nickels in her Weekly Links post. Thanks to all of you for the mention!

I also wanted to thank KCLau for including my post Why You Should Consider a Personal Liability Umbrella in his Personal finance money tips – March 08, 2008 round-up.

That’s it for this week. I didn’t enter many carnivals last week. Next week is a different story.

What a Weekend! Monday Evening Carnival Catch-Up

The Carnival of Personal Finance #142 – The Homeless Edition was hosted at BagLady this week. My article Concierge Doctor Plans – Not Frugal But Perhaps Money Well Spent was included, and I’ve gotten lots of good feedback for introducing a subject many people had not heard of.

There’s always a ton of informative articles over there. I liked MoneyNing‘s post Walking to the Supermarket. Before Son was born I often thought about how I would walk to the supermarket, pushing baby in the stroller. Yeah, it never happened. Still, a really nice idea. I also liked Madison from My Dollar Plan‘s article Dear Husband: What to do if I die!. We all should have a plan for the unthinkable, but most don’t because it is, well, unthinkable. Since Husband barely remembers the name of our bank, he’d be totally in the dark if something happened to me. Must get on this straightaway!

There’s a new carnival in the blogosphere and I’m happy to have been a part of it’s inaugural week. The Fresh From the Farmer’s Market carnival hosted by Modern Beet included my post Amazing Maize. This was the first recipe-ish post I’ve done, and I was happy to find the perfect outlet. I can’t wait to try Recipe Bank’s French Bean Casserole!

Also this week my post Shame is a Powerful Incentive, Darn It was included in the Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance hosted at RealEstateUndressed. I also enjoyed The Choice of What is Right, and What is Easy at Cash Money Life.

My old article Why You Should Consider a Personal Liability Umbrella made an appearance at KcLau’s Personal finance money tips – March 08, 2008. Scott Siegel at Scott’s Beat The Gas Pump Blog tells us how to save even more on gas by buying gas gift cards in his article How to save 14% on your gas costs! Now that’s frugal!

The Carnival of Family Life was at Discussing Autism this week, and they were kind enough to include my article Redemption is a Ten Letter Word. I hope to one day be able to use the information in j’blu’s article 7 Family Activities to do in Honolulu posted at Local Kine Hawaii. Yes. Definitely. I also hope a certain person I know runs across Aparna’s article Home remedies for body odor posted at Beauty and Personality Grooming. I remember my Mom making me tell a male friend of mine about his body odor, and I’m still scarred from the experience. Some great tips there, though.

This week’s Festival of Frugality was hosted at Broke Grad Student. Always a terrific carnival, I enjoyed Alison’s article What Do You Freeze? at This Wasn’t in The Plan. I admit I’ve always been a fraidy-freezer . I’m also saving the link for Niharika Das’s article How to Throw a Kickass Frugal Bar Mitzvah at Frugal Panda. After all, it’s less than ten years until Son’s Bar Mitzvah.


Monday Morning Carnival Linkfest

I hope this morning finds everyone ready and eager for the week. And if not, grab a cup of java and peruse the carnivals.

The Festival of Frugality was hosted at No Credit Needed this week, and included my article on Habit Forming. I was intrigued by the Pennies to Publix article at Pennies to Nickels, and then I found out it’s not to be for me. Boo-hoo. I also liked $mall Cents’ article Getting Rid of Books. A great way to make some easy money, and de-clutter at the same time! There are tons of other great articles over there, so check it out.

The first ever Money Hacks Carnival was hosted over at Prime Time Money and included a post I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on: Why You Should Consider a Personal Liability Umbrella. Tip Diva posted a great article called Top Ten Tips – Hitting Holiday Sales. Erica.Biz wrote a wonderfully blasphemous article called The REAL American Dream (Hint: It’s NOT Owning A House!). Her dream isn’t my dream, but if yours is like hers then perhaps you’ll agree with her suppositions. There are many other great entries, so go support the newbie carnival.

The Carnival of Money Stories was at Collecting My Cash. They included my Saving and Spending and Everyone Wins post. Paidtwice at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already… submitted her article It’s Good To Be Broke Sometimes , and it made me chuckle because I’m never affected by these types of technological showdowns, either. I’ll also never get upset about ruining a $200 pair of jeans because I’ll never have a $200 pair of jeans… Also noteworthy was GNIF Brain Blogger’s thought-provoking article Usually It’s Cheaper to Pay Than to Go To Court, and a whole passel of other great, informative reads.

The Rants Carnival included my article If Fat People Can’t Eat at Restaurants then Stupid People Can’t Vote (Really, isn’t that one of the best titles?). I liked Wenchypoo‘s article Comparing Working vs. Staying Home, and I hope it compels a few people who would rather be staying home to do their own math. It wasn’t cheaper for me to stay home (I was making more than Husband at the time, though now he’s surpassing my highest), but I did it anyway. I also enjoyed Matt’s article 5 Reasons to Give Up Watching TV at Life Is Your Career. I have to say that for me the computer has replaced most of my television time, but I get the point. This carnival had so many entries (it’s mostly political rants, go figure) they did two separate posts with all of the participants, so I’m sure there’s something there that will wither have you shaking your head or sending spam. Just not here, please.

There’s so much great content out there. Let me know your favorites!

Feeling the Link Love, and More Carnival Fun

The Carnivals are truly great and I really enjoy them. Here’s what was published this last week.

The Carnival of Family Life was hosted at, and included my post When Enough is Enough. I’m still trying to decide what to do about Son’s school, so I’m sure I’ll be writing more about that soon.

I liked Does Your Costco Card Really Save You Money? over at simplenickel. I knew the answer, but it was nice to see someone else validate what I’ve thought was true. I’m certainly never going to sit down and do the math. I also liked He’s On To Me posted at All Rileyed Up, because I have a three year old, too.

I also participated in the Carnival of Money Stories this week. My post I Walked Out of Target Richer Than I Walked In was included. I always learn something reading the blogs in that carnival. If I ever have a problem with my clothes dryer I’m going to try what PaidTwice did to fix it in her post Sometimes the Little Things Can Make A Big Difference . Also check out The Refund We Didn’t Think We’d Get over at Family and Finances. It never hurts to ask, my friends!

The Carnival of Personal Finance Prison Break Edition was hosted by The Financial Blogger. It included my post Great News on PMI from The Accountant’s Daughter. I liked Lessons I Wish I Learned Earlier over at Smart Easy Money and Ask the Readers: Talking About Money? at Million Dollar Journey.

Even better than the carnivals to me, though, is when other bloggers mention me in their round-ups, or write posts inspired by my own.

I want to thank Emily at Remodeling This Life for mentioning my Sunday Drive post in her Friday Roundup – The Healthy Baby Boy Edition. She was so complimentary I nearly blushed. If you haven’t already checked out the renovations to her former crapshack, done really well on a super-tight budget, head on over!

Alison at This Wasn’t In The Plan was also kind enough to mention my article Habit Forming in her Friday Night Link Love. She’s got some terrific recipes and lots of fun stuff to make from scratch over there, so check it out!

Another round up that mentioned me was Sunday Round-up: Close call edition at Funny Money. She was inspired by my post  Why You Should Consider a Personal Liability Umbrella to go out and buy one. That same article inspired Mrs. Micah to create her post What Could You Have Sued Over? (a darkly amusing post). Both blogs are very well written and is full of great tips and amusing experiences and life-lessons.

So thank you. Very much.

That’s it for this week. I forgot to submit to the Carnival of Personal Finance this week, but I did submit to some new weekly carnivals, and some monthly carnivals will be up soon so I’ll be busy next Monday!

A More Reasonable Round of Carnivals

I took PaidTwice’s tongue-in-cheek comment to heart and stopped entering the same article into multiple carnivals the last 2 weeks. 🙂

Mrs. Micah hosted the 46th Carnival of Money Stories—Living it Out and included my article Shame is a Powerful Incentive, Darn it . Lynnae at had a good article about her trip to the store and why you should always have a backup plan . I really appreciate wealthy_1 at CollectingMyCash (who wrote about her experience buying a car in that same carnival) thinking of me as her idol, but since the sheet is still sitting undarned (and I’ll explain why in a post later this week), I am so not worthy!

My post How Do They Sleep at Night? Part 4 – Banks and their Usurious Fees was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance #139: Valentine Edition. I really enjoyed Alison from This Wasn’t In The Plan’s article Checks and Balances and My Credit Card. She’s a smart cookie. I also liked The Pursuit of Perfection and What Happens Next by Paid Twice. That’s always such a great carnival!

A Carnival I entered awhile ago, Doing it Differently Blog Carnival, published my old article Gross and Not-So-Gross Ways to Save Water, and Money . I think that’s one of my favorite articles, and I’ve gotten some fun comments and-e-mails about it! Wenchypoo over at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket had another great article included: Working for Perks and Benefits—Revised for 2008.

The Carnival of Tips is a must-read for me. They included my article Good to Know In Case Your Disposal Ever Develops a Vile Smell , and had lots of other great tips. John Crenshaw (over at Truthful Lending) submitted his article The Biggest Scam Your Bank Gets Away With Everyday, explaining a bank practice that could cost you lots of money of you ever accidentally overdraft your account. Also check out 10 Inexpensive and Easy-to-Install Green Solutions by Erica Barton at American Consumer News. And there are lots more!

In a shout out to my friend Cammie, I entered the Celebrity Gossip Carnival with my post Hey Legislators! Let’s make a Minimum 24-hour Jail Stay Mandatory . I’m sure Cammie will be bookmarking a few of those blogs to keep her celebrity gossip habit current.

I was also included in a few round-ups, and I can’t tell you how appreciative and flattered I am to be included in those:

The Digerati Life thought enough of my article How Do They Sleep at Night? Part 4 – Banks and their Usurious Fees to include it in the Positive Cash Flow, Emotional Spending, Improving Credit History @ The Roundup. Thank you!

I also wanted to thank KCLau for including my post Auto Insurance 101: Part 2 ~ 10 Tips for Shopping Smart in hisPersonal Finance Money Tips – February 9, 2008 round-up.

You’ll find great articles in all of these carnivals and round-ups, so check them out!

This is What They Call Playing for Both Teams, and Then Some

Getting in the Super Bowl spirit, the hosts of two blogging festivals I entered, Lynnae over at and PaidTwice over at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…, decided to start the first ever Personal Finance Super Bowl.

The inaugural event pits the finesse of the Team Frugal at the Festival Of Frugality against the speed of Team Finance at the Festival of Personal Finance, both of which included the same article by me, Auto Insurance 101 Part 2: Ten Tips For Shopping Smart.


There are lots of terrific articles in both Festivals. Check these out at the Festival Of Frugality:

Things You Never Thought Were Negotiable at Value For Your Life. Amanda shows us how to negotiate to get a good deal. Some good tips here!

12 Strategies for Saving Money While Paying Your Bills at The Digerati Life. Easy things you can do to make sure you’re only paying what you have to. I put EVERYTHING on my credit cards to maximize my rewards, then pay them off each month.

I also really liked these at the Festival of Personal Finance:

Being Frugal shares a step by step guide to investing in Practical Investing Guide for Beginners. Some useful info there!

And if it weren’t bad enough that I’m playing on both teams for those two festivals, that same article on buying auto insurance was also included in The Carnival of Money Stories over at Bankergirl and at Mom’s Blogging Carnival over at Lightening. In my defense I didn’t submit these all at the same time, and I forgot that I’d submitted it so many times before (I am old, as people who I think are just pretending to be my friends tell me). Still, I think it’s time to retire that article…

But please do check out The Carnival of Money Stories. I liked The Stock Market is On Sale! by Kyle about why you should invest now. I hate to miss any bargain, but I’m still too much of a fraidy cat to enter the stock market.

Mom’s Blogging Carnival is a really great carnival that has so many different categories, all written by (call me Ms. Obvious) Moms. That’s why they also accepted my article A Nebulizer Commits Suicide, about my son’s asthma. I was impressed by Woman Tribune’s article Baby Furniture Makeover which showed some great ideas for re-purposing a changing table. Impressive!

Finally, the Carnival of Family Life was kind enough to include my article The Forgotten Foreclosure Victims: Pets. I wrote several other posts the day I wrote that one, so I think it may have been lost in the shuffle. Also at that carnival, I chuckled when I read kailani’s post Do You Flush? posted at An Island Life. She obviously hadn’t read my post Gross and Not-So-Gross Ways to Save Water!

Perhaps next week I’ll enter a few fewer carnivals.

Perhaps not.

More Carnivals than the Miami Archdiocese

Before I started blogging the only carnivals I ever heard of were the kind at the local church. These blog carnivals are a whole other kinda fun.

One of the benefits to me not really deciding on a specific emphasis for my blog is that I can enter all kinds of different carnivals. As such I’m being exposed to some really cool blogs I would not have otherwise found, and have found some readers who would not otherwise have found me.

Yesterday I posted three different articles, but I think my post The Forgotten Foreclosure Victims: Pets may have gotten lost in the shuffle. That’s okay, though, because I was lucky enough to have that article accepted to the Carnival of Family Life, but that won’t be posted until tomorrow. I’ll edit this then with a favorite article or two…

Identity Theft has been on my mind lately, as a friend recently got his credit card number hijacked and is still cleaning up the mess. Protecting ourselves is the purpose of the Information Security Carnival – 2008 1st Edition, and they included my post You Dont Have To Be Gullible To Be a Victim of a Check Scam. I still have a lot to learn about protecting myself, and though some of the articles were way over my not-tech-savvy brain, I did get the gist of some. In particular check out:

Keeping Your USB Drive Safe: Part 1 submitted by Sai, posted at American (Tech) Sai-ko.

My recent spate of political posts got a little more play, too. Any carnival with the word “rants” included in the title would be pretty much the only place to find anything written by me about politics. The Rants Carnival – February 1, 2008 over at Rants ‘n Reviews thought enough of my articles Politics is a Big Pile of Moose Poopy and Hey Legislators! Let’s make a Minimum 24-hour Jail Stay Mandatory to include both. The leanings of most of the contributors are decidedly more conservative than I am, but they make for interesting reading. A few posts I enjoyed are:

Wenchypoo presented Why Your Vote Really Doesn’t Matter posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket. She shares my same issues with the Electoral college, but she’s more schooled in it’s intricacies. And she quotes more Wikipedia than I do. I also loved her post Turning a $55,000 Salary into a Zero Tax Liability posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket. Exactly why I always strive to get NO tax refund.

Harrison contributed 100 Comical and Outrageous Political Quotes posted at Election Tees News. Some very funny – yet disturbing stuff from the leaders of our country, and some other people who’d like to. There are many contenders for the #1 quote, but I think my favorite, attributed to the Governator, is “On Deciding to Run for Governor: “It’s the most difficult [decision] I’ve made in my entire life, except the one I made in 1978 when I decided to get a bikini wax.” Better to laugh than cry…

The Media LiteracyCarnival at Understand Media also liked my Politics is a Big Pile of Moose Poopy article. I swear I won’t submit that ne to any more carnivals! Of note to me was:

Tony H’s article Media’s Coverage of School Violence Borders on Fetish posted at The Scholarpreneur. Really, blood, violence and sex sells and the mainstream media knows it. Heck, my eight year old nephews know it. I think it’s desensitizing all of us, and that’s not a good thing.

The Carnival of Homeowners #23 did include my article Foreclosure Affects New Buyers, Old Buyers and You. There are many great posts included. Of particular interest to me were:

Top 10 Personal Finance Books in History presented by KCLau, posted at KCLau’s Money Tips. I’ve been hearing alot about Dave Ramsey lately, so I’ve put that book on reserve at the library. I’ll read many of the others KC lists.

Ted presented 4 Tips To Surviving The Real Estate Market, posted at Seasoned TradeLines. Many of you know how much we want to sell our house, and I found out yesterday that a similar unit across the street sold for 15% less than the last previous low, from a little more than a month ago. I am sooooo crying.

I think that’s all of them. Please let me know if I missed anyone! Thank you to everyone who submitted articles to these carnivals, and thank you to the hosts!

Creative Carnivals Make for Lots of Link Love

I’m really having a good time with all of the carnivals, and am especially impressed by how creative some of the hosts are getting.

Case in point, Plonkee over at Plonkee Money gets the creativity award this week. As part of the Carnival of Money Stories, she cleverly weaved most of the entries, including my article on Counting Eggs and Chickens and Christmas Bonuses, into a bedtime story. Really, bravo!

Also check out the Festival of Frugality over at On Financial Success. I’m thrilled they included my article Auto Insurance 101: Part 1 ~ Before We Shop Let’s Understand What We Have. There are lots of other great articles, too. I’m really looking forward to writing more insurance articles, now that I’ve gotten started…

Politics has been on my mind quite a bit lately, and all of my political articles are…rant-y. I was happy to see my post Hey Legislators! Let’s make a Minimum 24-hour Jail Stay Mandatory accepted to the Carnival of Political Punditry at I’m a Pundit, too. I voted today, but since I am not affiliated with any party I wasn’t permitted to vote in the primaries. There was an important property tax relief amendment on the ballot, so I showed up and did my civic duty. It will, hopefully, help my house sell…

Another carnival accepted a political post from me. She Blogs, over at Sex and the South, included my article Politics is a Big Pile of Moose Poopy. That’s a cool carnival where all of the submissions are from women bloggers, and the subject matter really runs the gamut.

Women also rule at the Moms’ Blogging Carnival, hosted by Angelawd. My article Gross and Not-So-Gross Ways to Save Water, and Money was included. I really appreciate all of the great feedback I’ve gotten on that article!

The Carnival of Homeowners at Homeowners Insurance Lowdown included my article Foreclosure Affects New Buyers, Old Buyers and You, and had lots of other articles about the subprime mortgage crisis and real estate, most of which made me want to cry. My home has lost 30% of it’s value in a year and a half.

Excuse me while I go cry some more…

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