Totally Money Blog Carnival #50 Martin Luther King Day Edition

Welcome to the Martin Luther King Day edition of the Totally Money Blog Carnival.

In the United States, we celebrate this day to honor civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Born January 15, 1929, he finished high school early, went to college and became a minister.  In 1955 and 1956 he stood by Rosa Parks and helped lead the boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama public transport system, resulting in legislation ruling that segregated buses were not legal.

In 1963, as part of a March on Washington DC for civil rights, he delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his civil rights activities.  In 1964, but initiated during the presidential term of John F. Kennedy, the Civil Rights Act was passed.

It outlawed discrimination in public places on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis.

The United States has celebrated Martin Luther King Day as a legal holiday since 1986.

My editor’s picks this week are:

Setting your child up for financial independence posted at Mother Miser. Jennifer – tells a story of parents who enabled financial dependence in a daughter – Family Money Values was created to try to help parents such as these.

Leaving The Middle Class posted at Off-Road Finance.   I was expecting to see a post about going from the middle class to a lower class and was delighted to find ponderings about what it means to move upward!

Take Advantage of Discounts for the Best Shopping Buys in January posted at Passive Family Income.  – because who doesn’t like getting a discount.  Just for the record Clark Howard is also recommending that you satisfy your desire for a new TV this month – he too thinks the deals are awesome.

6 Reasons Not to Have a Garage Sale posted at Bucksome Boomer. At last – justification for me NOT to expend all that effort on a garage sale!

Now, for your reading pleasure, this week’s Totally Money links.


Sabrina presents 5 Emergency Budget Cuts to Consider posted at Frugal Living. We would all be better off if we forced ourselves to look honestly at our spending, our credit cards and our bank accounts, and identify the things that can be cut out easily and immediately. That will buy you more time if you do lose your job or take a cut in your income, and will help you stretch the money you have. Every family is different, but the list below will give you some ideas to start with.

Echo presents How To Make A Better Personal Budget posted at Boomer & Echo. A personal budget should be about more than just figuring out if your income exceeds expenses.

Sandy presents Starting and Emergency Fund With the Right Amount of Money posted at Yes, I Am Cheap. This post gives some useful advice to successfully creating an emergency fund.

Jason presents Making Up Stories posted at Live Real, Now. Saturday night, as I was walking out of the pizza place, I saw a beautiful young brunette standing on the sidewalk talking on her cell phone….

Penny presents Writing a Resume posted at Penny Pinching Professional. Your resume is an important part of finding a good job so you can make money. Do you know the most important information to include in your resume?

Marie presents Easy Solutions to Clean Up Your Bad Credit posted at Money Spending Mommy. It’s no fun when your credit haunts you in everything you try to do. But it is possible to get your credit back on the right track. Here are some simple steps you can take to get your credit report back into shape.

Money Cone presents Suze Orman’s Prepaid Debit Card: Bad Wine in a New Bottle posted at Money Cone. Suze Orman recently launched a prepaid debit card called the Approved Card. Now, I’m not a big fan of prepaid cards in general and prefer debit cards instead, but this coming from Suze Orman, deserved another look.

Daniel presents How I Made Money on a $371 Visit to the Mechanic posted at Sweating the Big Stuff. After bringing in my car for maintenance, I was given a loaner for a 1,000 mile to and from San Francisco. Just how much money did that save me?

Erika presents Paying down student loans posted at Newlyweds on a Budget. The following is a guest post. My student loans stand at approximately $22,550. I originally had about 9 different loans, but I ended up consolidating them. Debt consolidation loans help minimize the payment you have to pay, which was a huge help back when I was a broke college graduate.

Corey presents Different Types of Financial Aid posted at 20s Finances. Learning the different forms of financial aid can make all the difference in reducing your college debt.

A Blinkin presents Should I Cancel My Credit Card? posted at Funancials. Over the last few years, Credit Reporting has gotten a lot of attention in the media. Part of it due to the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, but I also give a lot of credit to the jingles of Although I love the commercials, I’m not a huge advocate of the website.

John presents The Battle of the Black Cards: American Express’ Centurion Card vs. Barclays’ Visa Black Card posted at Wallet Blog. Thanks for hosting! I think your readers will really enjoy my submission this week because it compares the American Express and Visa Black Cards and shows which one is better for consumers, financially speaking. With knowledge like this, a good decision can always be made!

Lindy presents Symbols posted at Minting Nickels. I used to think credit cards were a symbol of wealth. Maybe that’s why I got into so much trouble with them.

Mike presents CIBC Petro Points MasterCard posted at Rewards Cards Canada. The CIBC Petro Points MasterCard is a no annual fee rewards credit card that lets you save 2 cents off every litre of fuel at participating Petro-Canada stations across Canada.


Suba presents How to Prepare to Give an Effective Presentation posted at Broke Professionals. Presenting ideas, products and information is an integral part of being in business. Whether you are trying to convince the boss to give you a raise; nudge your customer into buying the latest shiny product the company makes; or pry venture capital lose from an angel investor, you need presentation skills. Read on to lean my thoughts.

W presents Leaving The Middle Class posted at Off-Road Finance. A look at what it means to leave the middle class.

Dannielle presents How to Stay Calm in a Financial Crisis posted at Odd Cents.There will always be ups and down in the financial world. But when things go bad, staying calm is the best thing that you can do.

Teacher Man presents What Boxing Taught Me About Personal Finance posted at My University Money. I think there are definitely aspects of boxing you can broadly apply to personal finance. Plus, every “tough guy” out there thinks they can fight, and every guy at the water cooler who has read the business section thinks he’s Warren Buffett – so they both have stupid male egos in common as well.

FMF presents Forget New Year’s Resolutions – Get Real Results Instead posted at Free Money Finance. Forget the traditional way of setting financial resolutions and instead use these methods to get real results.

Kevin presents Do the Experts Know Anything about Picking Stocks? posted at Thousandaire.  I’ve been investing in the stock market for over four years now, and at times it’s been downright ugly. The only investing strategy that makes sense to me is buy and hold. Short term investing, even for just one year, seems like a complete crap shoot to me. Read why!

Dan presents Strategy Combining High Dividend Yields with Option Income posted at ETF Base. If you’re an investor interested in both dividends and income from options, here’s the strategy for you!

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?

Barbara Friedberg presents How to Choose Mutual Funds posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance. Learn the simple way to navigate the mutual fund jungle. Become a better investor after reading this article.

Frugal Living
John presents Take Advantage of Discounts for the Best Shopping Buys in January posted at Passive Family Income. The holiday spending spree is over, and retailers often are looking at much quieter times. However, retailers are anxious to get rid of winter gear to make way for spring clothing. They are also looking to clear their shelves of holiday items to make way for Valentine’s items. As the consumer, that means you can find many bargains, if you don’t follow the marketing trends. Here are some items you can find at a steep discount:

Steve Zussino presents Free tax filing software in Canada posted at Canadian Personal Finance. Tax season is getting started and it is time to start thinking of your RRSP contributions and tax free savings accounts. My favorite tax software, StudioTax, has released their free pre-certified version and I wanted to share reasons why it rocks!

Jon the Saver presents Square Foot Gardening for Sustainable Living posted at Free Money Wisdom. Square foot gardening is a fantastic alternative for those who lack the property. A positive to this method is that your veggies and fruits are not coated with the nasty poisonous pesticides that the o
nes at the grocery store often are.

Evan presents Reflections on My Attempts to Save Money by Driving Less posted at My Journey to Millions. I decided to keep my car but use it less. I would set firm limits on my gas consumption. I would walk, bike, and take transit.

Amanda L Grossman presents A Great Site to Sign up for Email Offers posted at Frugal Confessions. Learn about this great tool to hone your frugal skills like I do!

Andy Boyd presents 101 Free Things to Do in the UK posted at Finance Choices. A list of 101 things you can do in the UK without having to spend a penny. Features everything from museums and galleries to scenic walks and art festivals.

Karen Bryan presents Act Like a Canny Scot to Save More posted at Help Me To Save. Adopting the behaviour of a canny Scot (like me), can help you save more money.

Steve Zussino presents Complete Guide on where to find coupons? posted at Grocery Alerts. One of the most common questions we receive from our readers, is where can I find coupons? Coupons are everywhere that once you become consciously aware of coupons you will spot them in the most unlikely places. It also depends on how much time you spend and how hard you look for them.

Money Management
Sunil presents Emergency Fund Fundamentals, Benefits and Unconventional Uses posted at The Extra Money Blog. Having more than one income stream significantly mitigates unforeseen financial catastrophe. The more the income streams, the less critical it becomes to establish a rainy day fund, especially a large one that ties up a significant enough amount.

Kay Lynn presents 6 Reasons Not to Have a Garage Sale posted at Bucksome Boomer. A garage sale isn’t the most productive way to get rid of your unused items, and you have other, better options to use to get your home organized.

Ken Faulkenberry presents Portfolio Management: Part I of Series on Investment Risk and Returns posted at AAAMP Blog. Explains and provides examples of the importance of understanding investment risk and return in portfolio management.

Crystal presents Learning to Manage Your Finances Early posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.  If you are just starting to take control of your finances, just think of the benefits that you are starting now instead of later. You may still wish that you started saving for retirement or other things in the past, but you can only change the future. Focus on what you can do and take pride in the fact that you are on the path to success.

Jennifer Chauhan presents Setting your child up for financial independence posted at Mother Miser. As parents, it is important to financially support your children while still providing the tools needed to create their own wealth. A story about two sisters with grossly different personalities and how their parents’ financial handouts (or lack thereof) enabled bad habits.

Pam Whitlock presents Teaching Your Kids about Money: January Edition posted at The MoneyTrail Blog. What sources of income are available for kids and teens? We kick off our Teach Your Kids about Money series by examining common resources for kids, from allowances to part time jobs.

Sustainable PF presents Why Use Cloth Diapers? posted at Sustainable Personal Finance. We have now been using cloth diapers for nearly over 3 months and so far we are really happy about using them. What follows are my thoughts on why cloth is more sustainable, not only for the planet but also for your pocketbook – the reasons why we use cloth diapers.

Justin presents 10 Interesting Finance-Related Facts You Never Knew posted at Money Is the Root. I think money and finance is fun and interesting, but if you don’t, here are the ten most AMAZINGLY interesting finance-related facts that I bet you didn’t know…

YFS presents Our Net Worth Increased By 125k in 1 year posted at Your Finances Simplified. So last year turned out to be really good for the YFS household. How good? Well I’ll let you decide. At the start of 2011 our net worth was $122,403.43. At the start of 2012 our net worth is $246,756.54! That is s serious gain, IMHO.

Andy presents Retirement Planning Requires Action posted at My Retirement Blog. If you are starting to think about your own retirement, you are on the right path. You have taken the first step towards achieving that dream retirement. You may need to spend some time writing down your goals and/or expectations for retirement, but asking the questions is where everyone begins.

Jeffrey presents Money Lessons Learned from Birthday Parties posted at Saving Advice. While throwing a big party is fine if it’s genuinely what everyone involved wants and can afford, the truth is that many parties are just a way to make a statement about wealth, class, or trendiness.

Roshawn Watson presents Home Mortgage Leverage SUCKS! posted at Watson Inc.An author recently lam
ented losing the leverage benefit of having a home mortgage; he paid off his mortgage in less than 2 years and regrets his decision. Let me provide you with a counter-perspective: home mortgage leverage sucks!

Ken Faulkenberry presents How Much of Your Investment Portfolio Can You Afford to Lose? posted at AAAMP Blog Summary: A breakeven loss analysis chart demonstrates why your asset allocation and risk management must control investment losses.

Philip Taylor presents 2012 Traditional and Roth IRA Income Limits posted at PT Money Personal Finance. A post endorsing IRAs as excellent retirement tools and discussing the latest income limits.

John presents What is a Good Dividend Yield for a Stock? posted at Buy Stocks Online.

What is a good dividend yield for a stock? The answer depends on your investment strategy. Some investors prefer to buy stocks that have lots of growth potential while others may prefer to target value stocks.

Eddie presents Reasons to Buy a Car in January – After the Holidays! posted at Finance Fox. Consumers used to shop heavily during December in order to reap the great rewards from the retailers. However, times have changed. Consumers are getting more wiser and January has also become a hot month for retail therapy.

Don presents Home Security! Deciding to Spend or Not to Spend posted at Money Reasons. It’s Jan 1, 2012 at 4:14am, my dog started barking like an entire gang was at my front door trying to break in. Much like the dad in Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, Twas the night before Christmas, I sprang out of my bed in an adrenaline pumping state ready to encounter whatever threat might exist.

Wayne presents Appropriate Tip posted at Young Family Finance. Find out what an appropriate tip is when you are eating out. How much are you overspending?

Kyle presents Get Paid to Reduce Your Energy Usage posted at The Penny Hoarder. There are some money-saving ideas that you’ve no doubt heard a million times. Some of the most oft repeated tips are how to reduce your energy bill. Turn off the lights. Lower the thermostat in the winter. Buy an energy efficient water heater. Those are all great ideas, but one company is taking it a step further to help motivate us. Read on to learn more!

Darwin presents No Cost Refinance – A No-Lose Financial Move? posted at Darwin’s Money. A no-cost refi is starting to make more sense to me now that I’ve read more about it, and I was especially surprised to see the number of no-cost refinance companies out there. I’ve been contemplating a refi for some time now and had initially put it off due to the exorbitant fees…

101 Centavos presents Interview With Foster Wilson of MESA EXPLORATION posted at 101 Centavos. Mesa Exploration formerly Mesa Uranium is a junior exploration company active in Utah and Arizona. I bought shares of MSA MSJAF on the pink sheets …

Shaun presents Crash Course in UCC Check Indorsement Rules for Newlyweds and Why You Should Never Use ‘And’ or ‘&’ When Writing Checks to Newlyweds posted at Smart Family Finance. Newlyweds face unique complications in cashing wedding checks thanks to the ambiguity of name changes. Learn what the UCC rules are for signing and cashing checks and never put the word and or & on a check to newlyweds.

LaTisha presents Little Futures on the Prairie posted at Financial Success for Young Adults. Do you remember Little House on the Prairie? If Pa had known about the futures market he could have made money selling a futures contract. Futures introduction.

Don presents The Real Cost of Eating Out posted at MoneySmartGuides. I was looking over my budget for the previous month and something stood out. At first, I thought I made a typo along the way. Maybe I categorized a purchase incorrectly somewhere along the way. After checking and rechecking and I discover the real cost of eating out!

Julie presents A Masterminds List of the Top Ten Posts of 2011 posted at The Family CEO. Check out my 10 most popular posts for 2011.

Aloysa presents Would You Date a Guy From a Trailer Park? posted at My Broken Coin. I try not to judge a book by i’s cover because usually the cover very seldom reveals what is written inside of the book. A few years ago I passed judgment on one of my good friends based on a social stigma. Read my social class dilemma!

KT presents Should You Leave a Life Insurance Policy to Your Kids? posted at Personal Finance Journey. Determining whether or not to purchase a life insurance policy is a big decision. Many of us want to leave something behind for our family, but there are a few things you need to consider before taking on a monthly premium!

Hank presents Seven Car Insurance Myths You Need To Know posted at Money Q&A. There are a lot of car insurance myths that continue to be spread around by consumers. It is important to understand as much as you can about how your car insurance rates are calculated and to debunk the popular car insurance myths.

Real Estate

Evan presents Can You Eliminate PMI? posted at Smart Wealth.Until recently, I always thought that you had to get to 80% loan to value by either paying down your mortgage, or hoping that your home’s value rises and then refinance to eliminate PMI. However, there is another program you may want to consider instead.

Jester presents Easiest Way to Make a Profit in Real Estate posted at The Ultimate Juggle. Investing in real estate can be a great way to set yourself up for the future. If you invest in the right property at the right price, you can create a positive cash flow from the beginning.

PITR presents Is it Possible to Retire on Rental Properties? posted at Passive Income To Retire. Not only is it possible to retire on real estate, there are many benefits that you need to take advantage of.

Marie at Family Money Values presents Real Estate Investing Resources – Real World Experience posted at Family Money Values. The housing market is still struggling, there are still lots of bank owned real estate (REO), foreclosed, and pre-foreclosure real estate properties out there and interest rates are a multi-year lows. Is now the time to invest in some property? Read the real world experiences of these financial bloggers on real estate investing.

Paul Vachon presents How to Avoid Foreclosure with a HUD Approved Plan posted at The Frugal Toad. If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage there are options available to avoid facing foreclosure. These options include: loan modification,forebearance, reinstatement, and a repayment plan.

Eric J. Nisall presents Suze Orman Teaches You How NOT To Handle Criticism posted at DollarVersity. Public figures let the wrong things slip out of their mouths at one time or another. Learn a lesson from one on how not to handle adversity and criticism.

Jill presents End of the Paper Savings Bond Era posted at My Dollar Plan. Savings bonds are going paperless – find out all about how you can still buy them here.


Nathalie Hourihan presents The 2 of Clubs posted at Counting Zeros.Counting Zeros is a blog about how I’m re-wiring my relationship with money — I have weekly assignments based on a deck of cards. This week’s assignment is to take Henry Thoreau’s idea that “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it” and apply that measure to my weekly spending ….

Matt presents Comparing U.S. Budget to Household Budget posted at RamblingFever Money.Ever wonder what the entire U.S. budget would look like if you used ratio’s and compared it to an average household budget in the U.S.? Featuring a short video by Dave Ramsey’s Great Recovery team, then some commentary by me, these numbers are really eye-opening!

Tushar presents What to Do If You Owe Taxes but Don’t Have the Money to Pay posted at Everything Finance. If you know you are going to owe on your taxes and you do not have money to pay, there are a few things you can do to lessen the financial burden.

Glen Craig presents Still Want a Deduction for Tax Year 2011? It’s Not Too Late posted at Free From Broke . Even though 2011 has passed, there is still time to make some moves that will give you a tax deduction and lower your taxes in 2012. See some tips to help lower your taxes.

Want to submit to next week’s carnival?  Do it here.

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