Weekly Round-Up: Contest (and Google Reader) Coming to an End…

You probably know by now, but Google Reader is being axed as of Monday.  If you haven't already, you'll need to migrate your feeds (including The Amateur Financier) to another reader.  Personally, I recommend Feedly (you can easily transfer the files from Reader if you log on before Monday), but there are more than a few readers out there, and plenty of discussion on which is the best.  Just make sure to make your decision by Monday (the same day my contest ends, by pure co-inky-dink), and transfer all the feeds you want to keep following.

Now, onto the more fun things ending Monday: my contest to celebrate 1000 posts.  Yes, the contest will be over in less than 36 hours from the time you read this article.  (Even for those super diligent readers out who wait with bated breath to read my posts the moment they go up.)  That doesn't give you much time to make your last-minute entries.

Alas, as much as I'd like to run the contest forever, it must come to an end; it's a good thing too, I imagine many readers would say, as they'd like to win said contest and they can't do that until it has ended.  You still have a bit more time to enter, in case you haven't done so already, and then it'll just be until Monday when the winners are drawn and contacted about their victory.  While you're waiting, you can be sure to check some of these:

Great Yakezie Posts

Bad at Math? You're Screwed – The title of this article from Money Mamba is a bit of an oversimplification; you're not completely screwed.  Still, as noted, you're going to have a tougher time of it, given how much of life (particularly the money parts) revolve around math and using it right.

The Hidden Cost of Living Away From Home For the First Time – With lots high school grads enjoying their last summer pre-college, it's worth reminding them that getting a place of their own isn't cheap, as My University Money does here (along with telling them plenty of other things about the real world).

How to Choose the Right Charity for You – I definitely recommend charitable giving for, well, just about everyone.  If you need some help figuring out what charity to choose, Sustainable Personal Finance can help point you in the right direction.

Having an Only Child – With only one child (so far, at least), I've been wondering if having more would be best (for her, and us).  These thoughts from WellHeeled (an only child herself) raise some interesting thoughts I'll have to consider and raise with my wife as we debate.

Why Changing Your Behavior Is More Important Than Having a Budget – Don't misunderstand, budgeting is a very useful skill when it comes to keeping your money under control, but your behavior is even more more important, as noted by Krantcents.

Should I Go Into Engineering? –  As a general rule, I'd say it's a pretty good idea (it's a high paying field, for sure).  But as noted on Retire By 40, it's not always that simple, and as with Joe, I'd be a little reluctant to give full on advice to anyone just starting college.  Do your own research and find something that works for you.

Mandatory Savings vs. Mandatory Financial Education – In many cases, mandatory saving programs are being used to ensure that people have money come retirement.  As Squirrelers notes, it'd probably be a better idea for everyone involved to stress financial education instead, to encourage people to save (and make other smart financial decisions).

Would Being a Member of a Bomb Squad Exclude You From Life Insurance? – You'd certainly think so, wouldn't you?  But apparently that's not the case, as this post on Darwin's Money shows.  Not that I'd want to be on the bomb squad, but it's nice to know I could still get life insurance…

Other Great Blog Posts

How to Destroy Debt Like It's Your Job – Far too many people in this country have far too much debt (a group I'm a part of, sadly).  Lance of Money Life and More shares some tips on how to eliminate that debt as fast as you are able (and maybe a little bit faster).

Our Weekend of Unplanned Spending and Adjusting Our Budget – Things happen that we don't plan, and as much as we'd love to have all our spending planned ahead of time, sometimes we need to adjust.  Catherine of Plunged in Debt shares a weekend of such unplanned spending, and how she adapted.

4 Things I'd Be More Interested in if I was Wealthy – There are more than a few pastimes out there that are easiest to take part in when you have money (if not ones that are only possible for the well off).  David on Young Adult Money shares a few he will take up (or take up again) when he has more money to his name.

Couchsurfing vs. Airbnb, Cheap and Free Holiday Accommodation – If you'd like to travel without breaking the bank, there are increasingly ways to do so.  On Reach Financial Independence, a few ways to stay in different places throughout the world without paying an arm and a leg are discussed.

Cut The Crap – It's pretty blunt, but that's what some people need to hear at times.  This article from iHeartBudgets reminds people that they can spend a great deal of their money each month on ‘CRAP', and cutting it can do an immense amount of good for their financial health.

Contests and Giveaways

  • Summer Kindle Fire Giveaway – Don't worry too much that my contest is coming to an end, as other great contests are just starting up.  For example, The Frugal Toad is giving away a Kindle Fire, and you can enter until July 10th.  Good luck (beating me)!
  • Around the Southern Table – Should you want some advice on cooking Southern style, you can check out this contest from Mom's Plans, and have a possibility to win this book should you enter by July 5th.
  • Tundra Comic Book – Another giveaway from Surviving and Thriving, this time covering an interesting  comic book (an apparently ‘sick and twisted' one, my favorite kind).  Enter by 7 p.m. Wednesday (July 3rd) for a chance to win.
  • Tour de Personal Finance – Not the normal inclusion in this section (although perhaps it should be), Jacob of My Personal Finance Journey has started his Tour de Personal Finance contest for this year.  I'll be competing soon, so expect some encouragement to vote for me soon!
  • $175 in CASH! – I know I mentioned it already (it's the theme of the article and everything), but hey, since you only have until the end of the weekend to enter, all the more reason to keep reminding you!

Where The Amateur Financier Was Featured

Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that a chance to practice my stock investing wouldn't be a bad thing.  My article discussing how to Learn to Invest in Stocks with Virtual Investing was included in the Carnival of Retirement at Family Money Values.

Alright, that's just about it for now.  Remember, you have more than a few things to do before Monday, including transferring your blog feeds to a non-Google Reader feed reader and making sure you enter my contest.  Call me biased, but I'd say that the latter is more important, if only because you find a reader and add feeds to it after Monday, something you can't do with my contest.  Do your best to do both, though.

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