Welcome to the sixth edition of The Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance, where every featured post is an Editor’s Pick! The top selections for this edition were based upon entries that came closest to guessing the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
The correct answer: 9,001 (and if you don’t believe me, just ask Mr. Owl.)
Hey! Here’s something sweet: For the month of August I received 147 articles for consideration, excluding the prodigious amount of spam, and other flotsam and jetsam that I typically receive every month.
As always, 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 August 2009:
Nickel presents Attention Finance Freaks – Consider Your Loved Ones! , posted at Five Cent Nickel.
Matt Jabs, the proprietor of Debt Free Adventure, is definitely one of my top five personal finance writers. The guy is utterly amazing with the consistent quality of his posts and personal finance insights. So I’m not surprised that Matt has yet again managed to crack The Best of the Best. This time, Matt talks about the importance of not making critical personal finance decisions in a vacuum. I couldn’t agree more. Regular readers here know that the Honeybee and I have shared financial responsibilities since we were married 13 years ago – she as the Household CFO and me as the Household CEO. Great post, Matt! Again.
Money Ning presents Rental Property vs. REIT, posted at Money Ning, saying, “Which is best? Getting a rental property or investing in REITs? Here we weigh in.“
In this short but informative article, David discusses the benefits of investing in Real Estate Investment Trust Exchange Traded Funds (REIT ETFs) as opposed to owning actual rental properties. Too bad the slumlord of the rental property I lived in during my college days hadn’t decided on a similar strategy. He was so bad. One day we called him to tell him the place was infested with roaches; three days later he stopped by with a couple of cans of Raid and then chastised us for being problem tenants. What a guy.
Pinyo presents How to Sell Your House Fast – 9 Tips to Get the Most from Your Home Sale, presented at Moolanomy, saying, “Need to sell your house in a down market? These 9 tips could give you the edge you need to sell your house quicker.”
Not everybody is a renter, you know. Anybody who is a House Hunters junkie like I am – I think I’ve seen all 3 million episodes – can appreciate this no-nonsense article on how to get the most out of selling your house. In it, not only does Pinyo discuss how to sell your house as quickly as possible, but he also shows you how to maximize your profits – or minimize your losses, whatever the case may be. Suzanne Whang would be proud!
Wenchypoo presents The Labors of Labor, posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo’s Mental Wastebasket.
Why are people paid what they are paid? Inspired by the recent federal minimum-wage hike, Wenchypoo pulls no punches in this excellent piece detailing the various methods that management has at its disposal to determine how much to pay its workforce, be it by union contracts, merit pay, or minimum wage. Wenchypoo then deftly explains the drawbacks of non-competitive pay and why folks making the minimum wage have no right to complain about their income and benefits. In a perfect world, this would be Chapter 1 in any high school economics class. Of course, the powers that be would never let our kids hear such a frank explanation. For that reason, I will be discussing this article with my kids at the dinner table later this week. Nice job, Wenchypoo!
Amanda L. Grossman presents A Trade Secret of Frugality, posted at Frugal Confessions, saying, “Mastering one secret of frugality will save you money on every purchase you make, whether it is a home, a pack of underwear, or next week’s groceries. Learn this secret, and you will simultaneously simplify your life and save yourself money.”
You’ve probably heard this old saw: “Patience is a virtue, learn it if you can; never in a woman, seldom in a man.” Well, Amanda shatters it to pieces with this nice article showing how patience can save us all money over the long run. I’d like to say a little more on this topic, but all of this writing is starting to really wear on my nerves.
Patrick presents Pick the Low Hanging Fruit to Get your Finances in Order Quickly, posted at Cash Money Life, saying, “These are some simple steps you can take to make big wins with your personal finances. Sometimes the small wins are more important than the big wins!”
Meanwhile, for those who lack the patience gene there is still hope. In this excellent piece, Patrick shows how by taking advantage of the “low hanging fruit” in your personal finances you can set easily achievable targets or goals which do not require a lot of effort. As an added bonus, please make sure you read through the comments at the end of the article as there is an additional nugget of wisdom in there regarding the advantages of saving money over earning it.
Darwin presents How do Stock Options Work? Trade Calls and Puts – Part 1, posted at Darwin’s Finance, saying, “This is a comprehensive review of how stock options work as well as online brokerage options to secure the best value.”
While we’re on the topic of primers, Darwin has started an excellent series on the various types of available stock options strategies. This informative piece starts with the most basic stock option strategies: trading put and call options. The article is absolutely perfect for investing newbies as Darwin starts his post with basic definitions followed by several real-life examples. Really well-done, Darwin!
Silicon Valley Blogger presents Repair Bad Credit, Avoid the Scams, posted at The Digerati Life.
What’s the best way to repair your bad credit? The Silicon Valley Blogger tells us how, but to tease you here is a little hint: it ain’t going to happen by paying someone to do it. By the way, SVB, I hope Logo Girl liked the flowers I got her last week! Yes, my heart still skips a beat every time I see her.
Surfer Sam presents Is an Annuity Insurance Retirement Plan Best for You? Five Essential Points, posted at Surfer Sam and Friends.
I don’t normally go to a carpenter for tips on how to repair my car. So it is just a bit out of character for me to recommend you check out this bit of personal finance advice from a surfer on annuity insurance retirement plans – but that is exactly what I am doing! Surfer Sam has put together an excellent and very thorough primer on these plans that you really don’t want to miss. Excellent article, Sam.
Anne Simone presents 100 Essential Money Rules for Life After College, posted at Online School.
For the second time in three months here is one of those tour de force posts that just about covers every conceivable personal finance subject known to man. This time, Anne did a terrific job assembling 100 suggestions covering a wide range of topics including debt, savings, budgeting, investing, bills and credit. If I counted correctly, over 80 of those suggestions include separate links to various personal finance blogs. Like the last time, none of them led to my blog. I’m okay with that though. “Hey, Len. If that is true, you better tell your face that.” Hey, I’m fine! Now can we just move on please?
Tyler presents Improve Your Water Heater Efficiency and Save $125 A Year, posted at Frugally Green, saying, “Don’t let your electricity bill get you down. If you spend the next weekend implementing a few really simple changes to your water heater, you could improve its performance by 25% or more. That’s cash in your pocket, bank account, or investment portfolio, not to mention less carbon in the atmosphere.”
Tyler makes his second appearance in two months on The Best of the Best with this very informative article on how to squeeze out a few extra bucks each year by improving your water heater efficiency. You know, if my old slumlord could have got away with it, he would have simply disconnected our water heater and told us whiny college kids to go outside and boil the water over a camp fire.
And on that note, the August 2009 edition of the Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance is officially over!
Please send your entries for the September 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 September 2009.
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