So, I am apparently quite an idiot when it comes to blogging, after all. I was looking at my Feedburner information, and made an edit to my feed address. Low and behold, when I finally returned to Feedburner, I discovered that the number of people following my feeds had dropped to about one fifth the previous total. Non-techie that I am, I didn’t think that changing the feed address would automatically cut off the feeds of everyone who had been watching me. (Being a man, and a fan of multi-tasking, I didn’t read the warnings listed on Feedburner until AFTER I made these changes.)
Well, what’s done is done, and I lack both the knowledge and ability to reverse the feed address now that I’ve changed it. I’m going to have chalk this up to a valuable learning experience, and do my best not to repeat it any time soon. In the mean time, I need to just spread the word on my change of feed address (although, I’ve already regained nine of my original sixty some odd readers, so apparently word is getting around somehow. I’ll have to do my best to alert the rest of my former followers to my mistake and ask them to start following the new feed.
Now that all the important announcement type stuff is out of the way, it’s time to get to the real fun of this post: the great articles from around the web that I’ve come across. Because I’ve been so sluggish about getting back to reading my feeds following my trip with Sondra, I’ve got several weeks backed up that I’m to go through.
Let’s start with a contest that I won: The Find the Kraken contest held by Money Funk! (It was also announced here.) I managed to find the Kraken, followed the instructions, and won a $25 dollar Fandango gift certificate. I’m absolutely ecstatic about it; now I just need to find a good movie or two I can take Sondra to.
Reader Input Needed: Let’s Solve Our Problems – A contest from 20s Money, with prizes yet to be announced, that asks readers to help solve some of the most pressing problems in the world today. Here’s hoping some good solutions come up, and that some politicians happen to be listening in!
Good Yakezie Posts
Doing Anything You Can to Survive-Silence and Surprise in the Night – A chance encounter with a ‘lady of the night’ leaves Financial Samurai wondering about prostitution and what you would be willing to do in order to survive.
Combat the Closing Techniques: The Consultative Closing – Finally, a closing technique that you don’t have to fight with every fiber of your being. Here’s hoping more corporations start putting an emphasis on cooperation with the consumer as a method of selling, so that Eliminate the Muda doesn’t have to keep doing these posts.
Greenwash: Clorox Green Works – With environmentalism being one of the latest big things, businesses are looking to cash in, making their products ‘greener’ with natural ingredients and less harmful preparation methods. Of course, as Mrs. Money notes, some companies find it better to make their products appear green without actually making them more environmentally friendly (that is, ‘greenwashing’).
14 FREE Ways to Spend a Friday Night (Fun Included) – A guest post on the Canadian Personal Finance Blog, a whole list of good ways to spend an evening that won’t cost you a cent. I especially like the movie critic night and book club; it’s good to be social as well as frugal.
The Fair Tax: Is It Too Good to Be True? – In a word, yes. Joe Plemon makes an excellent case for the Fair Tax (one which I’ve made in the past) and I ended up playing Devil’s Advocate and pointing out some of the flaws (or at least, unanswered questions that remain). If you’re looking for a good view of the tax, pros and cons, it’s worth reading. (I’ll have to post my own ‘problems with the Fair Tax’ entry later this week.)
What’s An Emergency? – A good question, especially since so many of us have ’emergency funds’ devoted to paying for just such situations. Ninja of Punch Debt in the Face discusses his pending need to buy furniture for a new place, but wondering how to pay for it. Definitely food for thought (as I’ve nearly exhausted my own emergency funds…)
Maximize Your Retirement Account – A good examination of the advantages of investing in a retirement account, as well as ways to find money to invest. Christine of Money Funk fame provides some excellent advice, as well as sharing her own situation.
The Scarlet “D” – If you’re eager to get a clean financial record, “Debt” can be as much of a mark of shame as a big red A sewn on your clothing. Stay At Home Mom CFO talks about the shame that her persistent debt still causes her.
Why 99.7% of Investors Should Avoid Actively Trading Stocks – From the cost of trading that adds up when regularly trading to the competition with corporations armed with supercomputers and dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees, there are many reasons why active stock trading doesn’t work for most small investors. Luckily, Austin is here to remind us of all these factors.
Fixed or Variable Mortgage? – A question posed by Young and Thrifty, though dealt with by anyone who needs a mortgage to purchase a home (which is most of us). High risk tolerance and healthy finances seem to be the key if you are looking at a variable mortgage.
Never Lend Money to Friends and Family! – Excellent advice; there are few things that strain relationships more than money issues (politics and love being the few that pop in my mind). As Elle of Couple Money notes, if you must give money to a friend or family member, it’s probably best to make it a gift, not a loan.
Recurring Expenses Can Kill Your Budget-Choose Wisely – Recurring expenses, those you have to pay on a regular (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc) can quickly add up, costing you much more than you expects. As Free From Broke reminds us, we have to choose which of these expenses we consider truly worthy and limit ourselves to those if we hope to grow our wealth.
Financial Freedom…Now What? – Reaching that point where you have enough money to do whatever you want is a goal many of us have, bu what then. Ryan of Planting Dollars asks what you would do if you had health and wealth enough to indulge your deepest desires.
9 Overlooked Tax Tips for Self-employed Folks like Me – Seeing as I’m slowly moving towards self-employment, it seems (if I can turn this blog into an even better source of income, I’d stop looking for another job in a heartbeat). This guest post on Wealth Pilgrim provides a nice list of possible tax deductions for the self-employed out there.
5 Ways You are Wrecking Your Finances – A nice list of ways people get into trouble in the first place, as noted by SingleGuyMoney. Avoid making these mistakes, and you’ll never need to use advice on how to fix your finances.
What is Your Credit Card Payoff? – A nice article on Redeeming Riches about a tool to figure out how long it will take you to pay off your credit card balance. I’ve been able to pay off my card every month, but if I wasn’t, I’d definitely want to know when’s the soonest I could get the debt monkey off my back.
Where The Amateur Financier Was Mentioned
Monevator made some excellent points about the nature of markets (and human reactions), as well as explaining why pessimism of the ‘the market is down, it will never rise again’ type is never a good thing. Oh, he also mentioned my review of On the Wealth of Nations.
My article on the new health care bill here in America was referenced as background information for Joe Plemon’s article about said bill; before too long, the Amateur Financier will standard classroom study material!