Hello my friends and other readers. Hopefully, you’re all having a more pleasant autumn than those of us here in Pennsylvania; it’s been a cold, rainy fall so far, and there’s talk of early winter weather on the way. It’s like the year without a fall, which is especially hard as fall is my favorite month.
Luckily, there’s plenty to keep me occupied inside. Given that the seasons are changing, I figure it’s as good a time as any to work on changing my passwords. If I get in the habit of changing passwords with the changing of the seasons, I’ll switch my passwords every three months, a wise precaution to ensure that my personal information (to say nothing of my money!) stays personal. I’m also taking the precaution of encoding my password reminder notes, on the hopefully very off chance that said password notes fall into the wrong hands. A little bit of personal protection in these uncertain times never goes amiss.
And on the subject of things that don’t go amiss… let’s consider some of the interesting posts that put up by my fellow personal finance bloggers last week. (How’s that for a subtle transition?)
Good Posts This Week
Why I’m Not a Frugalista and Monavie Sucks – Two interesting stories were discussed over on Mrs. Micah, both involving bloggers and trademarked terms. In both cases, the entities in question are attempting to squash the free speech of others, either to prevent bad press (the Monavie situation) or to turn a semi-common phrase into their own personal brand (the ‘frugalista’ thing). In both cases, these complainers have no reasonable expectation that the terms used would be their own exclusive property and never, ever used by other people, ever, and should just shut up already. That is all I have to say on both situations.
Five Lessons of the Great Recession We Probably Won’t Learn – After the last six months of stock market recovery, I doubt even the name ‘Great Recession’ will stick around for too much longer. (If we really are in the recovery now, the whole thing lasted, what, two, maybe three years? Not really that Great…) Hopefully, this will serve as a teachable moment and help to prevent a repeat (and potentially worse) performance in the future. But, Frank Curmudgeon doesn’t have much faith in that outcome, and frankly, while I’m doing all I can to keep the memory of these events in my mind, I’m not terribly optimistic that the broader public will remember. But, the advantage of being a pessimist is that you’re always right, or pleasantly surprised; here’s hoping for a pleasant surprise.
Which Debt to Pay Off First? – There are any number of debts that you might have outstanding, which come in a variety of different flavors. Trying to decide which one(s) to focus your extra money toward paying off can prove difficult, especially if you are just getting started in the world. Studenomics has come to the rescue, though; making up a cheat sheet showing what order in which to pay them off. I agree with just about all the points he makes, although I would say that depending on whom you owe your ‘personal debts’, they may actually prefer that you put your money towards other debts first (particularly if they are parents or other relatives). Be sure to check first before bumping any personal debts down the list, though.
Foreclosure and Personal Character – Over on Mr. ToughMoneyLove, there’s some discussion of ‘stripping’, the unethical practice of a homeowner who is being foreclosed on taking all the furniture, flooring, paneling, and anything else of value from a house before the bank forecloses. I can’t even begin to imagine what being foreclosed on must feel like, but doing something like that out of spite is just plain wrong. Besides being illegal, decreasing the values of the neighboring properties and generally making things harder for everyone around you, it just makes you come across as a petulant child and loses whatever pity you would gain from losing your house in the first place. I just don’t know what to make of the world sometimes.
Finally, a quick little fun fact, shared by My Life ROI: Apparently, if you have alcohol in your blood stream, you are more likely to survive head trauma. So, next time you do something where you risk serious head injury, be sure to drink up first! (WARNING: The Amateur Financier is not a doctor (or a financial professional, for that matter; everything he says about your health should be taken with a grain of salt, and possibly a strong drink, before you attempt to act on it.)
Where The Amateur Financier Has Been Featured
The Money Hacks Carnival – 84th Edition, hosted by the Military Finance Network, hosted my article Scams, Schemes, and Scam: Protecting Yourself