I have the honor of hosting this week’s Carnival of Personal Financial Planning, started by The Skilled Investor.  Check out some of the blogs below and hopefully you’ll you can learn something.

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Best Personal Financial Planning and Personal Investment Articles this Week from Personal Finance Blogs

Carnival of Financial Planning – Edition #204 – September 30, 2011

Welcome to the September 30, 2011 Edition #204 of the Carnival of Financial Planning.

The Carnival of Financial Planning takes a long-term view of personal financial planning for individuals and families. We focus on efficient and sustainable personal financial planning practices that can lead to lifetime financial security.

This edition is arranged by subject heading, so that you can browse efficiently.

Enjoy!

The Skilled Investor, Editor

Budgeting and Economics

Jon Elder presents Pay Cash or Finance a Car? That is the Question! posted at Free Money Wisdom, saying, “Whether you pay cash or finance a car, it’s likely to lose value almost as soon as you drive it off the lot. That’s why it takes careful consideration to make sure that you’re making the right decision for your personal financial situation.”

Jonathan presents Is Buying in Bulk for You? posted at Money Mum, saying, “Buying products in bulk can be extremely beneficial for your wallet as you often get more for your money with bulk buys. It can also be a great time-saver as you won’t be running to the store every day to pick up the ingredient or household product you forgot to buy during your last shopping trip. Before you start buying all of your products in bulk, however, there are a few important items to consider:”

misst presents My ‘Free’ Kitten Cost Us Over $9000 | Prairie Eco-Thrifter posted at Prairie Eco-Thrifter, saying, “I hope I don’t sound too mercenary, I do love pets and know that many people consider them family members – and you don’t put a price on a family member. Still, it pays to know the costs related to a family member so you can plan for them in your budget. Put your pet’s needs in your budget.”

Jason@LiveRealNow presents Hiding Money: The Invisible Cushion posted at Live Real, Now, saying, “I’m bad at keeping secrets from my wife, especially about things that affect both of us, but if i let it slip, the invisible cushion will go away.”

Mr. Money Smarts presents Are Your Emotions Getting In The Way Of Your Financial Success? posted at Smart On Money, saying, “Making a plan is a good idea no matter your situation. Whether you are creating an investment plan for retirement, or making a debt reduction plan, having a road map to follow can help you avoid the pitfalls of letting your emotions rule you.”

Rogan Seager presents Retirement Savings Calculator posted at Retirement Savings Calculator, saying, “Valuable future investment portfolio assets and future investment returns slip through many people’s fingers at the checkout stand every day, because they spend beyond their long-term means.”

Jacob presents 10 Effective Things You Can Do When America is in a Double-Dip Recession posted at My Personal Finance Journey, saying, “During recessionary periods, effective financial planning is of absolute importance. This post takes a look at 10 things normal individuals can do to in their finances and career to enable them to not only survive the recession, but perhaps prosper…”

Bob presents How to Stick To A Budget posted at Christian Personal Finance, saying, “Budgets have always been a tough sell. However, in workshops I teach around the country, I’ve noticed a hopeful sign – Instead of flat out resisting the idea, more and more people are asking questions about how to stick with a budget.”

Estate Planning

My Journey presents Why I am Not A Big Proponent of Revocable Living Trusts posted at My Journey to Millions, saying, “In both my law practice and day job Revocable Living Trusts come up often, however, I am not a particularly big proponent of using them for one specific reason discussed below.”

Crystal presents Preparing for the Inevitable posted at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, saying, “Nothing lasts forever and in fact, you can estimate the life of most things you buy so start saving to replace them before you need to!”

Financial Planning

Craig Ford presents Please Don’t Let Your Bank Make Your Financial Decisions posted at Money Help For Christians, saying, “Plan your finances with purpose, not by default.”

Jose D. Roncal presents Can You Spot Fudged Financials? posted at Jos? Roncal, saying, “It’s been more than a decade since the financial scandals perpetrated by Enron, World Com, and a host of others hit the evening news. Yet the images of top executives being forced to do the perp walk are still fresh in the collective mind. So are the memories of millions lost in retirement savings.”

DGB presents 6 Reasons Why You Should Panic and 1 Reason Why You Should Keep Investing posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “Are you going to panic?”

Ciana Locke presents Market Index Funds posted at Best Index Mutual Funds, saying, “The dominant issue in choosing among passively managed index mutual funds and ETF funds benchmarked against the S & P 500 is that securities industry management and trading fees are all over the map from reasonably low to shockingly high.”

Suba presents Big dreams, small income : Financial planning for the middle class posted at Wealth Informatics, saying, “How to find a financial planner for the middle class? ”

Echo presents 11 Steps To Financial Freedom – Determine Your Net Worth posted at Boomer & Echo, saying, “Fewer partnerships would end in divorce if couples thought more objectively about their finances. That means treating your marriage like a business.”

Frank Knight presents Investment Asset Allocation posted at Retirement Planning Software, saying, “When you are already there and invested in an asset class, you are following a passive asset allocation strategy. Tactical asset allocation strategy advocates suggest that you can anticipate the crowd, but flow-of-funds studies show that almost all tactical asset allocation fund flows are late money flows that chase performance after valuations have already moved.”

Financing a Home

Nathan Richardson presents What Is A Good Credit Score To Buy A House posted at Deals & Tips, saying, “Credit Scores and Interest rates are correlated, learn what it takes to achieve a optimal credit score.”

Mckay presents Buying versus Renting: The Last Article You’ll Ever Need to Read posted at Vacancy.com, saying, “A comprehensive look at buying a home versus renting.”

DJ presents Walking Away from Your Home – What Are The Alternatives? posted at The Family Wallet, saying, “Losing your home brings forth a deluge of emotions. It’s a sad event, and it may also make one feel angry or ashamed. It’s certainly not ideal, yet desperate homeowners often feel that they have no other alternative. But in most cases, there is help available.”

Financing Education

Jeri Ford presents 7 Situations Where Cash Back Credit Cards Are Better Than Air Miles Credit Cards posted at Help Me Travel Cheap, saying, “Help determine situations where cash back credit cards are better than mileage credit cards”

Annette presents Higher Education: Economic Boon or Bubble? posted at CreditDonkey.com Tips, saying, “Is college worth it? A look at demographics, degrees and debt”

Andy Boyd presents Bear Markets Explained posted at Wise Bread, saying, “So what exactly is a bear market? It’s the opposite of a bull market (which is why the bear market is sometimes known as a “heifer market”). A bull market is when traders are making a killing on the stock exchange, prices and indexes are rising, people are making money, and optimism fills the offices of the NASDAQ and NYSE. Unfortunately, this means that a bear market is when share prices are falling, traders are panicking, and the economy looks perilously close to tail-spinning out of control.”

Financing Healthcare

Consumer Boomer presents Cheap Medications For Seniors On Line posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Here is a look at how you can save money by ordering your prescriptions on line and some great tips to help you find an on life pharmacy that will work for you.”

Income

David Leeman presents Extra Ways to Make Money posted at Financial Freedom Advantage, saying, “Here are some of the best extra ways to make money to help supplement income. Most of these easy ways to make money require no investment and no special training.”

Kyle Taylor presents Is This a Good Time to Start Selling Real Estate Part-Time? posted at The Penny Hoarder, saying, “A friend of mine recently told me that he is thinking about becoming a real estate agent on the side to help generate extra income. I couldn’t help but blurt out an inappropriate, “Are you crazy?!” Weigh in on our debate…”

Mike @ Green Panda presents Are You Going To Graduate and Go Back To School? posted at Green Panda Treehouse, saying, “Will you boost your income with graduate school?”

Dr. Dean presents Couple Financial Role Reversal! posted at The Millionaire Nurse Blog, saying, “Most couples do things with finances separately in some way..one partner makes the money while the other spends it, right? Jokes aside, preparing for the possibility that you may have to take over the opposite role is a good idea.”

FMF presents Merit Alone May Not Get You that Promotion posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Performance alone likely won’t get you promoted. You must also be liked.”

Investing

Kevin presents The Biggest Unknown Risk of Stock Investing posted at Invest It Wisely, saying, “We say that stocks are risky because we know that prices can suddenly drop hard — stock prices are volatile. But we also believe that stocks are not really all that risky for those committed to holding them for the long term. In the long term, stocks always provide good returns. By following a Buy-and-Hold strategy, we can overcome the riskiness of stocks. I don’t think it is so. I view this as dangerous thinking”

Alex Foster presents What is the Market Multiple posted at AF Capital Management’s Blog, saying, ” if the economy is less than 30% likely to fall into a recession again in the near term, why has the market sold off so much so quickly?”

Ken Faulkenberry presents Top Global Investment Trends to Invest In – 2011 posted at Arbor Asset Allocation Model Portfolio (AAAMP) Blog, saying, “These are some of the top global investment trends that should be included in every portfolio asset allocation in 2011 and beyond.”

Mirelle Rowden presents Fixed Income Funds posted at Best Bond Mutual Funds, saying, “Vanguard dominates this low cost United States bond mutual funds marketplace for direct purchase accounts with both low and high minimum deposits.”

Corey presents Is it Hard to Time the Market in a Recession? posted at 20’s Finances, saying, “With the stock market in a major slump, many people are cutting their losses. If you are investing for the future, now is the time to buy.”

Dividends4Life presents 7 High-Yield Dividend Achievers With 25 Years of Increases posted at Dividend Growth Stocks, saying, “While the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats may be the most recognized list of dividend stocks, it is certainty not the largest. Since the Dividend Aristocrats list is limited to only stocks included in the S&P 500 Index, many smaller stocks are excluded. To expand the population of potential investments, many investors look at the dividend growth stocks included in Broad Dividend Achievers™ list.”

The Financial Blogger presents September Net Worth Update (-5.01%!) posted at The Financial Blogger, saying, “In another fully transparent report, I share my updated finances.”

DGB presents Dividend Growth Index posted at The Dividend Guy Blog, saying, “Are you a dividend growth investor? You need to check this out.”

Intelligent Speculator presents Amazon (AMZN) A Must Buy Stock? posted at Intelligent Speculator, saying, “Have you purchased this stock?”

Glen Craig presents What is a Mutual Fund Prospectus? posted at Free From Broke, saying, “So you want to invest in mutual funds but you are clueless about them? A good place to start is to answer the question: What is a mutual fund prospectus?”

Janet Russell presents The illusion of superior professional mutual fund manager performance posted at Personal Investment Management, saying, “If investment mutual fund managers were truly skilled at beating the market, then you would expect mutual fund manager performance prowess to persist over time. The effort to find those few supposedly superior money managers willing to sell their services sufficiently cheaply is a costly, time consuming, and futile, “Where’s Waldo?,” searching exercise for the individual investor.”

Darwin presents Seriously, a 9% Risk-Free Return in 1 Month. Here’s How posted at Darwin’s Money, saying, “Here’s how I earned a 9% return in 1 month – risk-free! This is a once per year opportunity that few people take advantage of!”

Frank Bertin presents Index Funds posted at Top Index Funds, saying, “Top ten no load index funds that track the Standard and Poors 500 composite index in terms of lowest costs.”

Dan presents 5 Reasons to Avoid the Most Popular Gold ETF GLD posted at ETF Base, saying, “Everyone’s talking about gold – and buying the gold ETF GLD. Here are 5 reasons why you should RUN!”

Managing Credit and Debt

Melissa Batai presents How We Plan to Tackle Our Debt posted at Mom’s Plans, saying, “We would like to have a significant chunk to put down on a house in a few years, and I don’t want to purchase a house if we have other debt. Here is our plan for paying down our current debt quickly:”

Jen presents The Life of The Evil Credit Card- part 5 posted at Master the Art of Saving, saying, “Documenting the life of a recently acquired credit card and my journey to paying it off. Tracking the interest, payments and balances as well as what it would cost to only pay the minimum payments.”

Matt presents 079 Financial Excellence: Why Dave Ramsey?s Advice Doesn?t Make Sense posted at Living In Financial Excellence, saying, “Dave Ramsey has a lot of critics in the financial world. Many of them criticise his methods because they don’t make mathematical or theoretical sense. But Dave isn’t trying to make mathematical sense.”

J.R. Weber presents Current Credit Card Rewards Offer Rankings posted at Smart Balance Transfers, saying, “Consumers who are debt free can benefit from credit card rewards offers, but there are a number of factors that influence whether a rewards card is the right option.”

MainstreamMom presents Get Out of Debt With the Help of Debteye posted at Mainstream Mom, saying, “I had a chance to check out a new program called Debteye. I wanted to find out more about how their program worked, and how it’s different from other debt relief companies out there. I had a chance to speak with Kevin Yu, who is one of the co-founders of Debteye.”

Janet presents Building Good Credit: It Doesn’t Have to Mean Debt posted at Credit, Eh, saying, “One of the misconceptions that many people have is that building good credit means that you have to get into debt. However, this just isn’t true. ”

Miscellaneous

Marie presents Compare DIY Material Costs and Save posted at Money Spending Mommy, saying, “When you hire a contractor, you usually have little say in the materials used for your home improvement project. But when you’re in charge, you can shop around for the best deals. Here are some tips that will help you save money on materials.”

DJ presents Budget Tips For School Trips and Activities posted at The Family Wallet, saying, “Handling requests to go on field trips and participate in activities can be difficult. Here are some ways you can work these things into your budget.”

Tim @ Faith and Finance presents 12 Seasonal Jobs for This Holiday posted at Faith and Finance, saying, “With the holidays around the corner, you might find a few extra job opportunities if you look hard enough. Be prepared and get some good ideas with these suggestions.”

Kevin presents Apple Picking posted at Invest It Wisely, saying, “Apple picking can illustrate three important life and financial lessons.”

MoneyCone presents Using PayPal To Send Money? The Deal Just Got Sweeter! posted at Money Cone, saying, “What if I told you you can send money via Paypal, fund it with a credit card yet not get charged any fees by either the credit card company or PayPal and actually earn cash back on your PayPal payment?”

Tripp Danner presents No Load Funds posted at No Load Fund, saying, “There are over 60,000 different mutual fund investment share classes sold worldwide. Some mutual funds and ETFs must be better than others, but which ones are they? How can you tell before the fact?”

Consumer Boomer presents Beware Of These Baby Boomer Scams posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Baby boomers need to know what to look out for in order to protect their assets. Here is a peek at just a few of the top scams to watch out for.”

Suba presents How sleep affects finances posted at Broke Professionals, saying, “Lack of sleep is often attributed as a sign of hard work and competitive strength. But do you know all the negative effects lack of sleep can have on your finances?”

Jaimie presents Seven Holiday Movies That Put Money and Materials in Perspective posted at Paid Twice, saying, “It’s a little early but here are some movies that put life back into perspective.”

The Skilled Investor presents Market Timing Does Not Work posted at Personal Financial Management, saying, “Always stay invested to earn risk premiums. You must have your money invested and at risk to get risk premium returns. Jumping out and in or “timing the markets” doesn’t work.”

Retirement Planning

James Bush presents Withdrawing from Your 401k Early (If You Absolutely Have To) posted at 401k Calculator, saying, “It’s often not a good idea to tap into your 401K but if you have made the decision to do so here are some things to consider.”

Brockton Eaton presents Long Term Investment Strategies posted at Retirement Investment Strategy, saying, “The investment research literature repeatedly demonstrates that a fully diversified, low cost investment strategy is superior.”

Risk Management and Insurance

FMF presents How to Buy Long-term Care Insurance: What Every Policy Should Include posted at Free Money Finance, saying, “Some of the basics you should look for when you’re thinking of purchasing a long-term care insurance plan (LTCI). There are standards that every policy should uphold as well as additional, more personal considerations to take into account.”

Savings

Matt presents Back-to-School Shopping… Saving Money After the Dust Has Settled posted at Living In Financial Excellence, saying, “To me – both as a parent,and as a thrifty adult – the best part of the back top school sales starts now… just in time for several upcoming occasions.”

Walter Binkle presents Large Cap Mutual Funds posted at Mutual Funds, saying, “You can save a lot by paying attention to mutual fund expenses. Each of these S & P 500 index funds is among the least costly on the market.”

SB presents When and How to Buy Holiday Airline Tickets to Save posted at One Cent at a Time, saying, “Summer is now gone, when you are waiting for the leaves to change color, this is the best time to buy airline tickets for holiday travel. How to get the cheapest airline fare this holiday.”

Bradson Oakley presents Bond Mutual Funds posted at Best Bond Funds, saying, “Higher bond fund expenses tend to mean lower net returns to individual investors. It is not worth paying higher bond fund fees.”

Mike Holman presents How to avoid cell phone data roaming charges when traveling to the United States posted at Money Smarts Blog, saying, “How to save on cell phone data roaming charges when traveling to the US or other countries.”

Jonathan presents Millionaire Master Class: 6 Tips from the Top posted at Wallet Watcher, saying, “When it comes to money management, millionaires aren’t so different from the rest of us after all. In order to maintain their position at the top and avoid the dreaded status of bankruptcy they tend to watch their every dollar and cent, budget, live frugally and avoid financial risk just as we do.”

Taxes

Investor Junkie presents What Does Netflix and Taxes Have In Common? posted at Investor Junkie, saying, “Now you might be wondering what does taxes have to do with Netflix? Everything! This is a classic example of elastic demand”

Gemma Flannery presents Tax Codes and your Personal Allowance posted at Tax Codes, saying, “Each year you can earn a certain amount tax free. This post shows how your tax code is affected by your tax code.”

Finley Merriwether presents Retirement Planning Calculator posted at Retirement Plan Calculator, saying, “Tax-advantaged retirement savings plans give you the opportunity to make investments with deferred taxes in 401k, 403b, 457, Keogh, Simple, or other employer sponsored retirement plans.”

Mark Roberts presents How To Choose The Right Filing Status posted at Tax Brackets, saying, “This article provides a guide to choosing the right filing status for your tax return.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Financial Planning using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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