Weekly Round-Up: Fifth of July

It’s the Fifth of July (actually, a bit later than that, by the time I get this post finished and published, but not so much later to completely invalidate my points), and that’s always a little disappointing here in the US.  On the Fourth of July, there’s always a sense of camaraderie and shared history that seems to connect our frequently divided public.  It’s not like Democrats and Republicans go out dancing together in the street or anything, but there’s a certain willingness to hold off on the attacks for at least a day.

Come the Fifth of July, though, the gloves come back off, the rancor starts to increase again, and the disagreements and insults start to fly again.  The current hot topic being debated (more properly, argued about) is the debt ceiling and whether it should be raised (and if so, what conditions should be attached to that ceiling raising).  You might remember that I mentioned this issue back when we first hit the debt ceiling; for those keeping score at home, yes, that’s a month and a half (at least) when this issue was realized to be a major problem, with essentially no progress made.  But that’s the subject for another day (if I feel like writing about it, at least; honestly, if I start to write about all the financial complications involving the US Government, it will be the only subject I write about).

For today, I have one simple request for my fellow Americans: Keep the spirit of the Fourth in your heart at least a little while longer.  Try not to see the people who disagree with you as hateful, or nasty, or evil, or even *Gasp* Un-American, but as fellow Americans who, because of different values, beliefs, experiences, or teachings, just happen to disagree with your views.  You don’t have to give up defending your views, just remember that that you aren’t fighting some monster, but your fellow Americans.  I don’t want to play the Founding Fathers card, but it’s worth remembering that they, too, had some pretty heated disagreements, and somehow, our country didn’t end then.  Just…try to keep the venom to a minimum, alright?

With all that out of the way (and thanks for letting me get that off my chest, dear readers, while we’re on the subject), let’s get to the real purpose of this post: sharing some of the great posts from this past week.  Read, enjoy, pass them along:

Great Yakezie Posts

Was the ‘Lost Decade’ Really Lost For Investors? – In spite of all the complaints you’ve more than likely heard about the ‘Lost Decade’, you could actually do pretty well if you invested properly.  What do I mean by ‘properly’?  Well, check out Jacob’s post on the Yakezie website to find out!

Ten Ways to Travel Smart – It seems I’m not the only one who has had travel on my mind; Miss T (writing for Passive Family Income) has also been thinking about how to make your traveling safer.  Check out some great tips on keeping yourself safe (and your money secure) while you gallivant around the world.

Teaching Children About Compound Interest – It’s the most force in the universe (at least, if the quote attributed to Einstein is to be believed), but good luck getting your kids to realize that when they’re young enough to REALLY take advantage of it.  Luckily, Tim of Faith and Finance provides a good way to give your kids an idea of the power of saving (with interest).

Seven Reasons to Avoid Penny Auction Sites – They sound so good; bid just pennies, and you can end up paying a small fraction of the total price on any number of goods.  But as Marie points on Prairie Eco Thrifter, what sounds too good to be true usually is, and penny auctions can end up costing you much more than pennies.

The Best Career Advice From a Mentor – A good mentor teaches you lessons that last your entire life.  Financial Samurai had one such mentor, who made him realize the importance of always being one of the best performers at his place of work.  Good advice all around.

9 Movie Extras We Could All Do Without – Leave it to Len Penzo to point out some of the biggest frustrations you can encounter when attending the movies.  From loud babies to endless advertisements (oh, the advertisements!), Len hits the nail on the head when it comes to movie theaters these days.

Work Smarter Not Harder – I can’t resist including an article with a title like this.  But Suba shares some good tips on how to make the most of your time on Bucksome Boomer, which is definitely worth a read through for those of us with more things to do than we seem to have time to complete.  (That is, most of us, nowadays.)

Making Your Nest Egg Last Through Retirement – I realize that if you’re my age, right now you’re more concerned about building a nest egg than making it last (if you’re thinking about retirement at all, that is).  Still, while this Consumer Boomer post might not seem to apply, it provides some good tips that should help you keep your spending lower, both now and when retirement comes.

Why Earning More Money Trumps Frugality – Now, I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t try to save money; frugality is important, as spending all the money you make, no matter how much money that is, is a sure ride to the poor house.  But, as MD points out on The Financial Blogger, focusing your efforts on earning more money has advantages that frugality just can’t touch.

Should Couples Get a Prenup? – An interesting question, one I hadn’t even considered for my upcoming marriage to Sondra (neither of us is particularly wealthy or otherwise has possessions we don’t want to see distributed by court order).  Still, if you meet one of the conditions Flexo lists in this Consumerism Commentary post (or even if you don’t, and just want to be prepared), you could consider a prenup in your wedding preparations.

There you go, plenty of great posts for your “After the Fourth of July” Enjoyment!  Have a great, holiday-shortened week!

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