The Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance #5

Welcome to the fifth edition of The Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance, where every featured post is an Editor’s Pick!  A couple weeks ago I had the bright idea to take the family to Palm Springs where we could all just kick back, relax and have a nice little summer holiday.  That’s why the top selections for this edition were based upon entries that came closest to predicting the average daily temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit) during our stay at the desert resort.

The correct answer: 2,139 degrees (which, coincidentally, is only slightly cooler than the surface of the sun.)

If you think that is hot, check this out:  For the month of July I received 133 articles for consideration, excluding the prodigious amount of spam, and other flotsam and jetsam that I typically receive every month.

It was a pleasure reading everyone’s submissions again.  Thank you all for contributing and if you didn’t make it this month, please try again next month!

Here now, in no particular order, are the best of the best in money and personal finance for July 2009:

The Investor presents Young People are Already Rich, posted at Monevator, saying, “Why all young people are wealthier than they think.”

Is youth truly wasted on the young?  This is an outstanding piece of work by The Investor, who explains why Facebook proves that the young are already rich.  In the process he doles out some sage and fatherly advice to 20-somethings everywhere.   Will most of those young pups heed The Investor’s words of wisdom?   Nah.  :-)

Billeater presents Dorm Life – Cheap College Living Tips, posted at Billeater.

Billeater, this is one very thorough list of over 70 tips and tricks for saving money while in college!  In fact, I can already see it hanging on the refrigerators and dorm room bulletin boards of millions of university kids all around the world.  What makes this list so special, you ask?  It’s because Billeater was smart enough to devote an entire subsection of nine tips for saving money on alcohol.  Absolutely brilliant, Billeater!   Now where’s the kegger?  :-)

Money Ning presents How to Buy a Used Car, posted at Money Ning, saying, “Knowing how to buy a used car can not only save you thousands but sometimes tens of thousands.”

As MoneyNing deftly points out, one of the biggest ways to save money is to buy a used car.  In this thorough article, he explains the best way to buy one without having any regrets down the road (no pun intended).   :-)

Speaking of cars…

Tyler presents Save $550 a Year by Hypermiling, posted at Frugally Green, saying, “If you want to green your life and save money doing it, start with the low-hanging fruit. A few simple changes to your driving habits can net you impressive fuel savings that you can apply to other areas of your life.”

What the heck is hypermiling, you ask?  Hypermiling is a method of increasing fuel efficiency via improved driving habits, and this very informative piece from Tyler shows you exactly how to do it.  In fact, he claims hypermiling improved the fuel efficiency of his Ford Ranger from 17 mpg to 24 mpg!  So the next time you are stuck behind some guy in a pickup truck cruising at 15 mph down Portland’s main drag, or driving 45 mph on the freeway, be sure to give Tyler a wave!  Of course, the number of fingers you use is entirely up to you.  ;-)

Alisha Harmann presents 10 Essential iPhone Apps for Intelligent Investors, posted at ETF Database.

I still don’t own an iPhone; I know an 8-year-old down the street that has one though.  You can bet I’ll be sure to direct him to this short and sweet article that offers up 10 iPhone applications that allow you to track your portfolio, research investments and execute trades.  The best part is that seven of the ten featured applications are free!  Why don’t I have an iPhone yet?  Well, why should I when I already have a perfectly good cell phone?  In fact, it’s the exact same cell phone model that Michael Douglas used when he portrayed wealthy financier Gordon Gecko in Wall Street.  Life is good, baby!   :-)

Britannica Blog presents About Fixing the Economy: Obama, Weak; GOP, Clueless; the Masses: Distracted (by Michael Jackson, et. al), posted at the Britannica Blog, saying, “Vice President Joe Biden says the administration “misread” the severity of the recession…Yet the statement still seems odd: Even during the campaign economists and politicians alike were talking about the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. Misread, indeed.”

Here is another provocative piece from Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton, who also happens to be the proprietor of the blog Rogue Columnist.   After reading a few of Jon’s pieces, I think it is safe to say his perspective is clearly to the left of mine.   In this article, Jon examines the question of whether it is too early to consider the Obama Administration a failure.  Regular readers of my blog already know what I think.  Here is an analysis from the other side of the fence.  :-)

Woman Tribune presents 5 Tricks to Get a Handle on Unnecessary Spending, posted at Woman Tribune.

The personal finance blogosphere is awash with articles on how to control your impulses to spend, but this post from Carrie Davis, who is the lead columnist for SpendOnLife, is one of the best.  Although the article is written from a female perspective, the advice applies to everybody.  By the way, I learned from the article that women apparently have “no” and “yes” muscles.  Guys, think about that for just a minute.  “No” and “yes” muscles.  If you’re brave enough to try it, you have everything you need to come up with a cute retort the next time your honey tells you she’s not in the mood.  ;-)

Jason presents 7 Things You Don’t Want to Be Caught Dead Without, posted at Redeeming Riches, saying, “No one likes to talk about their demise, but did you know that what you do with your estate plan could be the single biggest factor in how much you pay Uncle Sam and how much stress you leave for your loved ones. Here is a no-nonsense guide to 7 documents you NEED to know about.”

Jason submitted this very good article on the seven key documents used for estate planning purposes.  And although it wasn’t on Jason’s list, I know Mel Gibson now warns anybody who will listen to never be caught dead without a prenup too.  ;-)

Wisebread presents What’s the Right Way to Save?, posted at Wisebread.

In life we are continually faced with many difficult decisions like:  Buy or rent?  Republican or Democrat? Private school or public?  Abercrombie or Fitch? But in this excellent piece, the Silicon Valley Blogger, proprietor of both the The Digerati Life and The Smarter Wallet, skips those burning questions in favor of addressing five personal finance conundrums with respect to saving money like “To budget or not to budget?” and “To pay down debt or build an emergency fund?“  Hopefully, after reading her post, you’ll have a little more insight to make your own decisions.  :-)

Big Larry presents Stupid Ways to Get Cash, posted at Out of Debt Christian, saying, “When you are desperate for cash, there is always someone willing to lend you money, but of course at a tremendously high price. We reveal the high price of popular ways to get quick cash and provide more sensible alternatives to each.”

Big Larry not only reminds us of four really idiotic ways to get a little extra cash in a hurry, he provides more palatable alternatives as well.  My loyal readers at the state penitentiary will tell you that Big Larry did neglect to mention two other really stupid ways to get cash: printing counterfeit bills and robbing banks.  ;-)

FMF presents What to Do When You Don’t Get a Job Offer, presented at Free Money Finance, saying, “When you get declined for a job you really wanted, there are certain things you should do that may end up getting you the job after all.”

By his own admission, FMF likes to apply for jobs that he is not qualified for.  Thankfully, that predilection enabled him to put together this excellent post, based upon first-hand experience, on what to do when you don’t get that job offer.  The moral of the story is if you play your cards right, you just might end up with that job after all.  A really informative post, FMF!   Well done!  :-)

And that concludes the July 2009 edition of the Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance!

Please send your entries for the August 2009 edition of the Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance using our carnival submission form.  For more information, check out our carnival index page.

As a friendly reminder, please please please stick to the carnival guidelines.  Submissions for the next carnival should include only posts written during the month of August 2009.

Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t subscribed to my RSS feed yet, please consider doing so!  It would be an honor to have you on board!  :-)

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