Carnival of Personal Finance #341: Christmas in Australia Edition
Welcome to the 341st edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance: Christmas in Australia Edition. Hopefully you are enjoying some post Christmas fun with friends and family.
This edition comes to you from Australia where we are currently enjoying a nice hot summer. As many people like to theme their carnivals, I figured I’d do the same and take you on a brief tour of Australia’s states and territories.
Although there were plenty of fantastic submissions, my top picks reflect the things that had the biggest impact on me personally. I have selected 3 posts below that I consider must-reads. Once you get through these, visit as many of the others as you can!
Paula from Afford Anything has a great view on why it is good to be frugal with your time, rather than your money and tells us why she is Investing 100 Percent of her 2012 Income into her website and real estate ventures.
Barbara Friedberg from Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance presents HOW TO LIVE WELL WHEN YOUR PASSION DOESN’T PAY WELL (part 2); How to Live Well if You Work in a Low Paying Field, and teaches us how to live a wealthy life on any salary.
Kevin from Thousandaire tells us why College Kids Need Skills, Not Good Grades, and presents a pretty compelling argument.
South Australia is the state I live in. Apparently we have the honor of being the driest state in the driest country in the world… not a great claim to fame. The capital, Adelaide is know as the city of churches and with a population of around 1.5 million it isn’t too hard to find your way around. While it can be a little quite at times, South Australia has some redeeming features, like great beaches, we also make some of the best wines in the world.
Odysseas from Wallet Blog presents Think Miles & More is Bad? Check Out What British Airways Has to Offer, and says, “Recently, I decided to shift my airline loyalty program allegiances over to the British Airways card due to some glaring flaws with my previous Star Alliance membership. Unfortunately, my experience thus far has made Star Alliance look terrific by comparison. While BA’s problems are numerous, they can be separated into two primary categories: effectively worthless rewards and unprecedentedly bad customer service.”
A Blinkin from Funancials presents How To Stop Receiving Credit Card Offers, and says, “This article will show you how to stop receiving credit card offers and junk mail.”
Marjorie from CardHub.com presents How to improve your credit score?, and says, “Credit scores are calculated from a lot of different credit data in your credit report. The first step to improving your credit score is understanding what a credit score is and what affects it.”
Money Thinker from Money Thinking presents 5 Tips for Keeping Your Credit or Debit Card Safe this Holiday Season, and says, “Traveling or shopping online this holiday season? Money Thinker shares 5 tips about how to keep that information your own.”
Nerd Wallet Credit Card Blog presents Chase Ink Bold Reveals New Rewards Program, and says, “In addition to offering a killer 50,000-point signup bonus, the Chase Ink Bold kicked its rewards program up a notch.”
Mike from Rewards Cards Canada presents Choice Rewards Program: How It Works, and says, “Choice Rewards is a pretty neat loyalty program for credit unions, but the earning potential is limited. You can only accelerate your earnings by shopping at participating merchants who are offering bonus points.”
Victoria has a population of around 5.5 million (the second largest in the country), but it is also Australia’s second smallest state, covering 227,600 square kilometres – roughly the size of the British Isles. The capital Melbourne boasts the best shopping on the continent and hosts many of the Australian football games (Aussie rules) during the winter, which attract huge crowds of spectators. Although there is great coastline all over the country, Victoria does have some very scenic and famous coastline drives as well.
Sustainable PF from Sustainable Personal Finance presents The Dividend Payout Ratio and Retained Earnings, and says, “When a company has a payout ratio that high, you have to dig a little deeper to find out how the company is expecting to continue paying out all of earnings plus some and still survive.”
Teacher Man from My University Money presents Why Am I Writing An eBook?, and says, “In the last couple months I have watched several bloggers who are much more established than myself work extremely hard to put out high-quality eBooks, and then watch as their efforts have appeared mostly in vain. I have seen them get frustrated by the whole process, and have read their articles about how difficult it is to publish a successful eBook. So why in the world would I decide to try my hand at an eBook you might ask? Here are five reasons”
Money Beagle from Money Beagle presents With 401(k) Rollovers, It’s Not The Amount That Matters, and says, “No matter how small or large the balance, don’t ever fail to roll over your 401(k)”
Matt from Ultimate Smart Money presents Investing the Social Security Income After Retirement, and says, “Utilizing the Social Security benefit for investment during your retirement years may not be an advantageous option for everyone. However if managed appropriately, you could come out ahead.”
Maria@moneyprinciple from The Money Principle presents Gaming and life: lessons from Cashflow
Alex Garcia from Value Investing HQ presents Warren Buffett in 2011, and says, “A timeline of Warren Buffett’s news, investments, acquisitions, interviews in 2011.”
IS from Intelligent Speculator presents An Important Component Of International Dividend Investing: Withholding Taxes, and asks, “Are you well versed in international dividend stocks?”
Boomer from Boomer & Echo presents Is Your Investment Loan Tax Deductible?, and says, “If the interest you are paying on your investment loan is tax deductible, then it’s usually considered good debt, as it is the equivalent of paying a lower rate of interest on the loan.”
Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Margin of Safety in Dividends, and says, “Dividend investing is a form of value investing, where investors do not realize all of their return all at once, but rather on regular and consistent intervals. Dividends provide a direct link between the financial performance of a company, and the returns of its shareholders.”
Sean Smarty from Grow Money presents Pick A Life Insurance Policy, Any Policy
Div Guy from The Dividend Guy Blog presents Darden Restaurants (DRI) ? Should You Put Money Where Your Mouth Is?, and asks, “What’s your investing pattern like?”
Most people think of Sydney when they think of Australia, which is probably why it also has the largest population. There are roughly 4.5 million people living in Sydney and about 7.5 million in total for the state of New South Wales. Sydney is home to a couple of very famous Australian landmarks, the harbor bridge and the opera house and while it isn’t the capital of Australia, it was home to the first settlement. You may or may not know that Australia was settled as a penal colony by the British, so many Australian’s actually have criminals for ancestors.
Dave Hilton from Debt Black Hole presents RICH: Defined, and asks, “What is YOUR definition of RICH? How about FILTHY, STINKING RICH? A recent GALLUP poll shows what most Americans think RICH is- how do you compare?”
Kris Bickell from Debt Tips presents The A-B-C’s of debt and credit – Begin fixing your money problems today
Daniel from Sweating the Big Stuff presents IRA Contribution Income Limits Should Be Based on Tax Rates, and says, “When taxes rise there is less disposable income, so contribution limits should rise, but they don’t.”
YFS from Your Finances Simplified presents 401k Is Not Enough: Alternatives to Your Retirement Planning, and says, “Nowadays, it’s disconcerting to realize how employee retirement plans just don’t seem to be enough to cover one’s retirement.”
Kacie from Sense to Save presents When you’re acting contrary to the financial experts
Dannielle Brathwaite from Odd Cents presents 10 Financial Tips for Women
Jason from Live Real, Now presents Three Ways to Make Christmas Cheap, and says, “Next year, we’re going to handle the Christmas budget differently. This year’s model isn’t working. It’s a lot like pushing a car down a hill to get it started, but ignoring the cliff at the bottom.”
Clint from Accumulating Money presents Surviving Christmas Financially!, and says, “Smart spending and creating a Christmas budget, can reduce the financial burden and alleviate some of that unwanted Christmas stress. Here are some money-saving strategies and tips to weather the financial blizzard.”
Evan from My Journey to Millions presents Why Corey Doesn’t Want to Be a Millionaire, and says, “Having a million dollars does not equal financial security and you don’t need Nicholas Cage’s financial failures as an example to tell you this. While growing up, I used to think that having a million dollars would be a sign of success, now I look at it differently.”
FMF from Free Money Finance presents The New Parents’ Guide to Managing Money, and says, “Raising kids does affect your finances. If you’re a parent it can be hard to know what you need to do to handle the changes. Here’s what has worked for us and what I wish we knew earlier.”
Jon the Saver from Free Money Wisdom presents The Bible and Finance: The Myth of the Prosperity Gospel, and says, “Make no mistake about it; The Prosperity Gospel is more than a simple misunderstanding or poor reading of Scriptures; it’s pure heresy. The Prosperity Gospel teaches that if you are a “good” Christian, you will be rewarded with success in worldly endeavors, i.e. your wishes and desires, whatever they may be, will be fulfilled.”
Ashley from Money Talks Coaching presents Why I Don’t Give to Charities, and says, “I don’t normally go around and announce that I don’t donate money. I guess the cat is out of the bag now.”
John from Passive Family Income presents Physical and Financial Reasons Why You Should Get an Annual Physical, and says, “Some people see the annual physical as a waste of time, but if your health insurance already covers the cost of an annual physical, you would be well advised to take advantage of it, both for your health and your financial bottom line.”
Darwin from Darwin’s Money presents How Does Your Personal Capital-To-Income Ratio Stack Up with This Recommendation?, and says, “Check out how your personal Capital to Income ratio stacks up against the recommended level for your age. You might be surprised!”
Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents Mint.com Review – Manage Your Money Online Free, and says, “Looking for an easy and FREE way to track your money? Take a look at this Mint.com review! You can track your money, spending, investments, credit, and more.”
Green Panda from Green Panda Treehouse presents Creating Financial Goals You’ll Actually Accomplish, and says, “It’s time to setup real financial goals.”
Mike from The Financial Blogger presents I’m Giving You $500! It Pays to be Bad!, and asks, “Do you want to win free money?”
Neal Frankle from Wealth Pilgrim presents 5 Unique Ways to Slash Your Cost of Debt, and says, “If you are in debt, especially credit card debt, you might be so focused on getting out of debt that you overlook one of the most important steps – reduce your cost of debt first.”
Martin from Studenomics presents How Can You Kill That Annoying Credit Card Debt?, and says, “The most detailed piece on how you can kill off your debt.”
Australia’s Capital Territory is actually a pretty small place, with a total area of just 2,358 square kilometers. This territory was established as the location for the nation’s capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne. To be honest, I don’t particularly rate it as a destination (it is full of politicians) but it does have a few things worth seeing like the national war museum and of course parliament house.
Colin Williams from humble savers presents How To Set And Achieve Goals For Your Money – Three Step Guide, and says, “Goal setting for your money is vital for financial success. Our three step guide will help you to understand and prioitize your goals; and achieve them”
Squeezer from Personal Finance Success presents Dental Care: It’s important for your health and your wallet, and says, “My article is about the importance of seeing a dentist for regular check ups as well as methods one can use to reduce his or her dental bill.”
Peter from Bible Money Matters presents Will There Be a 2012 Payroll Tax Holiday, or Will an Extension be Blocked and Taxes Rise in 2012?, and says, “Now that the payroll tax holiday will be expiring, the President and Congress are looking to act in order to extend the payroll tax holiday. Nobody wants to be seen as the ones who created a tax increase for average taxpayers – even if the payroll tax holiday wasn’t meant to be permanent.”
Paul Vachon from The Frugal Toad presents Tax Deductions and Year-End Planning Tips, and says, “The end of the year is an important time to consider the tax implications of decisions you have made this past year or are contemplating for the new year. By taking the time now to review recent tax law changes you can ensure that you don’t miss out on any tax deductions that you are entitled to.”
Trent Green from Money for Regular People presents The Drama of the 2012 Payroll Tax Break Extension, and says, “What should you do financially now that the political drama of the payroll tax break has temporarily subsided? Here are some ideas.”
Eric J. Nisall from DollarVersity presents Ask Questions Before Letting Someone Do Your Taxes, and says, “Tax preparation is a very big deal. Don’t trust your tax return to just anyone. Do your research before choosing a preparer by starting with these questions”
Queensland is Australia’s party state. ‘Beautiful one day, perfect the next’ is the Queensland motto and I wouldn’t really argue with this. There is a lot of coastline to explore and plenty to keep you busy (if you can manage to get out of the Gold Coast). The most well know attraction in Queensland is actually located offshore and is best seen through a pair of goggles or by plane. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven wonders of the world and attracts people by the thousand every year, did you know it is even visible from space?
Marissa from Thirty Six Months presents Live to work, or work to live, and says, “There seems to a be an overabundance of over educated people in the workforce. This examines the different mentalities when to comes to working in today’s workforce.”
Ron Haynes from The Wisdom Journal presents My Interview With an Expert House Flipper, and says, “I was fortunate to be able to interview an expert house flipper while on a business flight out of Atlanta. What questions would you have asked? Check out this article to see what she had to say to me!”
Briana Myricks from How’s Married Life presents Top 5 Things Newlywed Homebuyers Need to Know, and says, “Newlyweds should know these 5 things before going into the home buying process.”
Mr. Money from Smart on Money presents How to Choose Good Tenants for Your Rental Property, and says, “After watching the saga play out with my in-laws, and after what happened across the street from me, here is what I would do if I were choosing tenants”
Martin from Passive Income Now presents What’s The Point of a Landlord Credit Check?, and asks, “As a new property owner, why should you do a credit check for all tenants?”
Tasmania is a beautiful green island separated from the mainland and is roughly the size of West Virginia. Luckily the population is a little less than half a million, so there is still plenty of wilderness to explore. There is a very famous boat race that starts from Sydney, NSW the day after Christmas and finishes in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. The trip can often be dangerous and people have drowned in the past, let’s hope it is a safe race this year.
Suba from Broke Professionals presents Get Your Accomplishments Noticed, and says, “It’s tough at work these days, companies are trying to do more with fewer employees. Employees are struggling to meet increased workloads without ruining their personal lives. Most are probably just making it through the critical, must do, tasks each day. In this kind of environment, it is sometimes hard to make sure that you Get Your Accomplishment Noticed”
SB from One Cent At A Time presents How to feel good and increase productivity, and says, “When I am happy, I finish a lot of tasks, I complete long pending assignments and I do my things faster. In other words my productivity increases when I am happy and I feel good. Your earning power is directly related to your productivity. Now you know why this article is a personal finance in true sense.”
vh from Funny about Money presents Personal Finance, Academics, and the Perpetual Recession, and says, “Recession never ends for adjunct university and college faculty. This article discusses career strategies for those who land the newly invented, rather exploitive full-time non-tenure-track positions.”
Miranada @ Financial Highway from Financial Highway presents 50 Home Business Ideas, and says, “Many of us want to earn extra money from home. And, indeed, starting a home business can be a good way to cultivate additional income, and help you reach other financial goals that you might have. From creative business ideas, to the more mundane, here are 50 home business ideas.”
Philip from PT Money Personal Finance presents What to Do if Your Job Is Dying, and says, “A few thoughts and tips for anyone whose job is considered “dying.””
Western Australia occupies around one third of Australia’s total landmass (about 2.5 million square kilometers), but only has about 2.3 million people living in it. There is a lot of very uninhabitable land, but it is very good for mining. There are some very beautiful and secluded beaches worth visiting along the vast coastline and if you go far enough, the Kimberley is a pretty amazing place too, it’s home to the only ‘horizontal waterfalls’ on earth.
Shaun from Smart Family Finance presents Who Spends More UK or US Parents: Average Family Christmas Gift Spending Per Child 2011, and asks, “How similar are UK and US family spending on Christmas gifts in 2011? Do parents in both nations spoil their children the same?”
Emma from CreditDonkey presents History of Gift Wrap, and says, “With the average American wrapping 15+ presents, we’ve put together an infographic on the fun history of gift wrap.”
Pam Whitlock from The MoneyTrail Blog presents What do our Kids Really Understand about Money? 5 Assumptions the Parents Often Make
Denise @ The Single Saver from The Single Saver presents Chase Bank, you have pissed me off for the last time!, and says, “After years of sketchy customer service from Chase Bank, they have finally pissed me off for the last time. I am firing them and switching banks.”
Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents Paris on a Budget, and says, “My husband (then boyfriend) and I took a trip to Paris for 2 weeks about 10 years ago. Since it’s been so long, I can’t give exact numbers, but I can certainly give you money saving tips!”
Corey from 20s Finances presents Turn Around Your Finances, and says, “People often find themselves with a bad credit score due to poor financial choices in the past. The sooner the credit score is repaired the better. It is a good idea to put aside money every month to cover any emergencies that may arise.”
Julie from The Family CEO presents Pets: The Gift That Keeps on Eating, and says, “Just imagine the look on your child’s face when, from underneath the Christmas tree, comes a Golden Retriever puppy. The unbridled joy, unconditional love, but let’s take a look at the other side of the fence: ownership costs!”
Miss T. from Prairie Eco Thrifter presents How to Bake Cheap Holiday Cookies and Breads, and says, “Here are a few of my favorite, relatively cheap, holiday treats.”
Control Your Cash from Control Your Cash presents The Ultimate Christmas Gift, and says, “Don’t buy a trinket for a Christmas gift. In fact, don’t “give” anything. Lend something instead.”
Melissa from Mom’s Plans presents Why I Had My Wedding Reception in a Trailer Park, and says, “A trailer park is the not first location you think of when you are looking for a place to celebrate your new marriage. It wasn’t my first choice either.”
Khaleef @ Fat Guy, Skinny Wallet from Fat Guy, Skinny Wallet presents Are Obesity And Low Income Related?, and says, “Obesity and low income seem to be related Find out a few of the reasons why, as well as discuss ways people with low income can remain healthy!”
Money Walks from Money Walks presents Post-Holiday Sales You Just Can’t Miss!, and says, “Brave enough to venture out to a store after Christmas? Money Walks shares some sales to keep an eye out for if you do.”
Visiting the Northern Territory is almost like going to another country, it can be hot and humid and full of things that sting and bite. despite this it has some of the most beautiful sights to see and explore, there is also plenty of room as the total population is a mere 250,000. If you don’t mind driving, then Uluru (a giant sandstone mountain) and Kakadu National Park (both world heritage sites) are worth visiting, but they are around 2,000 kilometers apart!
krantcents from krantcents presents What is Rich?, and says, “Gallup survey says if you earn $150,000 a year and have a net worth of $1 million you are rich.”
Chris Holdheide from Stumble Forward presents How To Make $20 An Hour Writing Articles Online, and says, “Learn how simple it can be to earn a part time or full time income writing online content for others.”
Elle from Couple Money presents Time to Look at Home Insurance Quotes, and says, “We’re comparing our current home insurance policies with other companies’ quotes to find the best deal for our family.”
Hank from Money Q&A presents One Time Is Too Many With Identity Theft, and says, “How do you protect yourself from identity theft? What are the warning signs of identity theft? One incident is too many when it comes to protecting your identity.”
Eddie from Finance Fox presents Christmas Gift Guide For Your New Relationship, and says, “This gift can say the world about you or it can become a ticking time bomb, especially if you’re in a new relationship.There are no rules per se when it comes to gift giving, ultimately you place the final value on the gift. Buying too much, too early in the relationship can be a disaster too.”
Penny from Penny Pinching Professional presents Financial Lessons From Unexpected Places, and asks, “What personal finance lessons do you think can be learned from a board game based on subsistence farming in 17th century Europe? ”
Brennan Sayre from BuzzRaid presents 20 Ways To Make Extra Money
Peter from IPersonalFinances presents Lessons from “How the Grinch stole Christmas”, and says, “Fighting over physical possessions only strengthens the underlying belief that more is better, regardless of how you get it. To end the fear of poverty that drives the need for more, you need to see happiness doesn’t come from money.
101 Centavos from 101 Centavos presents almost Live from Sao Paulo – random notes, and says, “Notes about my trip to Sao Paulo, another fascinating place!”
Erika from Newlyweds on a Budget presents Rich and single or Poor and In Love?, and asks, “Do finances affect the way you look at potential mates? Should financed play such an important role in marriage and relationships?”
PITR from Passive Income To Retire presents Owning Blogs vs. Staff Writing, and says, “To earn money online, you can do one of two things. Find out what is the best way to make money online.”
Aloysa from My Broken Coin presents Five Things Everyone Should Know About Twitter, and says, “I’ve recently learned the value of twitter! Read these 5 things that everybody should know about twitter too!”
Mike from Experiglot presents What Is the Most Productive Type of Reading?, and asks, “How often do you read?”
Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings presents Christmas gifts, and says, “Are you tired of the cash vs. gift card vs. gift debate yet? Here’s grumpy rumblings’ contribution to the discussion.”
Khaleef @ KNS Financial from Faithful With A Few presents Pay For Spray: Firefighters Let Another House Burn Down Over $75, and says, “A pay for spray policy has lead to firefighters standing by and watching multiple houses burn down over $75. Share your thoughts about this form of insurance, and read how it can be improved.”
Roshawn Watson from Watson Inc presents 4 Reasons You Should Set Unrealistically High Goals, and says, “Should goals have a strong basis in reality? Not necessarily. Here are 4 reasons you should set unrealistically high financial goals. ”
I hope you enjoyed this great list of articles and my short tour of Australia’s 6 states and 2 territories. If you have visited Australia before please let me know if there is something that you loved but I missed.
Thanks for visiting Money Cactus!