Weekly Thoughts: Competition Time!

Well, this weekend is turning out to be much more exciting than I was expecting.  My post on the Ten Commandments of Credit Cards is up on Free Money Finance’s March Madness post that’s active as we speak.  Feel free to pop over and check it out.

Of course, I find myself wishing I knew more about self promotion and advising, so I knew better ways to get the word out and promote myself.  I’m hoping that if there are any readers who haven’t yet voted, this post could spur some action; ideally, you’ll want to vote for my article, but I’m honestly happy just to be included.  All I can do is continue to write the best articles I can and hope they continue to impress others.

Speaking of articles that impressed others, here’s the list of the posts I really liked from last week:

Good Articles From Last Week

Would You Do Three Years in Prison for $20 Million? – An interesting question about an extreme version of the trade we all make, exchanging our time for money.  Darwin summarizes the situation of a UBS banker who is serving a jail sentence for his role in fraud, but is likely eligible for a whistleblower reward in the tens of millions of dolars.  I doubt I will ever be in a similar situation, but I’d be very, very tempted to make this kind of deal; it’s an amount of money that could easily change my life.

I Went on a Cash Diet…and It Worked! – I like to report good news; there’s too much bad news in the world already.  Luckily, there is still some good news in the world: Mrs. Money decided to not use cash for the past few weeks, and has noticed a major improvement in her spending habits.  I might have to try the same sort of thing with my credit cards; try as I might, it’s hard to keep my spending in check when I’m spending with credit cards.

A History of Investment Bubbles – A great look at some of the many (it’s amazing how many) investments bubbles that have occurred through history.  My Life ROI does a great job of showing not only the where, when, and how of every bubble from tulips to real estate, but also provides some of the take home lessons from each.  Remember, if you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat it.  (Although, you can say much the same about most of your classes, really 😉 ).

Tax Refunds Are Good For Most People – In what seems to be an ongoing quest to argue against every piece of popular investment wisdom, the Financial Samurai argues that getting a tax refund is a good thing for most people, as many people are better at using a lump sum of money properly (investing or paying off debt) rather than small amounts distributed over time.  It’s an interesting argument, although I would make the counterargument that if you’re spending your time reading personal finance blogs, you probably have the discipline to save and invest throughout the year (or at least, set up an automatic saving/investment plan to do the heavy lifting for you).

Cutting Down On My Electric Bill – One of the pains of living in the snow belt is needing to have the heater on near constantly, just to keep your blood from freezing.  Lulu gives some recommendations on how she cut her down on her electric bill, all good ideas for those of us who are freezing to death.  If you are in the Southern Hemisphere and need to know how to cut down on your air conditioning bills, you’ll need to look elsewhere, though.

Seven Things You Must Do To Prepare for an EmergencyLazy Man and Money provides a very solid list of things to have on hand in the event of an emergency.  There’s not much more I can really add; hopefully, you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you need to use your emergency kit, but it’s excellent to have all this on hand, just in case.

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