It's spring time, that time of year when the birds come back, the bees start buzzing, and everything starts to take on a more beautiful hue. With the whole world coming back to life this time of year, it's no wonder that more than a few couples decide to join their lives together in the spirit of holy matrimony now, beginning a new life together when the world around them is also filled with new life. That's why Sondra and I will be getting married next June, exactly one year from today!
So, with the sound of wedding bells filling my head, I figured that I could do my duty to my fellow Yakezie by making a kick rump Carnival post, while at the same time, sharing a bit of wedding trivia with everyone. Since getting the Yakezie Carnival hand-off from The Saved Quarter, I've been wondering how to put my own personal twist on it. It seems hard to be a good ‘wedding' episode! So, let's get started with our first piece of wedding trivia:
The phrase ‘tying the knot' comes from tying the hands of the bride and the groom together to demonstrate their commitment to each other and the start of their new life. This tradition is found in numerous cultures, including Celtic, Hindu, and Egyptian weddings.
Best of the Carnival
Three Reasons Why I Squirrel Away My Money is one of those interesting posts that looks at WHY we do things like try to save. Kevin of Invest It Wisely delves into his own psyche to explain why he saves, looking closely at the reasons why we bother with money at all. Plus, it involves squirrel pictures!
Money Beagle has a simply wonderful story, I Refused to Pay Someone What I Was Charged. I won't spoil the story for you (although, I will note that I greatly misjudged what the article was about based on the title and cursory reading of the first few paragraphs), but it definitely is the sort of story that should be shared much more broadly and widely in our modern world.
As long time readers will know, I've had plenty of unemployment stints since I graduated from my university. If I had a good guide on what to do in that situation, something like Don't Think It Can Happen To You? from Money is the Root, I think I'd have spent much less time trying to find a job. On the other hand, that time enabled me to do things like start this very blog…Interesting predicament.
This probably won't come as a surprise to just about any of you, but Americans are HORRIBLE with Money. I'm sure we could fill the comments with stories of friends, neighbors, and of course, celebrities who have made some truly bad decisions with their money, but having a study confirm all that just makes it worse somehow. (We all hope that people we don't know are smarter than people we do, I guess.) Thanks, I guess, to Darwin of Darwin's Money for bringing this up.
I enjoy reading about new ideas in finance, and the idea of Insuring with Friends, forming a group of friends you select who can help keep down the cost of insurance, sounds like an interesting one to me. So far, it's only available in Germany, but if it's a success, as Krantcents notes, could the US be far behind?
Apparently, there's a Bridemaid's Curse: ‘Thrice a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride'. Don't panic yet, though; apparently, you can reverse the curse if you are a bridesemaid a total of seven times. No word on whether the count starts all over again after seven…
The Other Great Posts
Outlaw Finance shares an incredibly in depth and useful Online Stock Broker Comparison for Do-It-Yourself Investing. Even if you think you've got a pretty good handle on the major players in the discount brokerage field, it's worth checking out; there were a few companies included that I had never heard of before, let alone had a chance to thoroughly research.
Ever think that your would-be clients would keep better track of your business cards if they could use them for a practical purpose like, say, hanging their kid's homework on the fridge? You could have the chance to put that theory to the test; Super Frugalette is working with Uprinting to give away business card magnets to one lucky winner. You'll have to hurry, though; the contest is ending soon.
Barbara Friedberg asks, ‘Is Holding a Garage Sale Worth It?‘ In her case, the answer is rather emphatically ‘NO', as she notes ‘I do not like holding garage sales'. I'll be the first to admit, that can be a tough one, but well, I DO like garage sales, so perhaps it's all a matter of personal taste.
As you might have learned just from reading along with this blog, there's a lot of power in the written word. The College Investor points out some of the times when a physical letter is still required in our modern times, and explains The Power of a Well Written Letter. Particularly when it comes to legal matters, the pen is indeed mightier than the sword (and sometimes mightier than the word processor).
Seeing a lamb, frog, black cat, spider or rainbow on the way to the ceremony is supposed to be a sign of good luck. (Perhaps asking your aunt with all the cats to come to the wedding isn't such a bad idea after all.)
There's a very interesting Ode to Vinegar to be found over on the Sustainable Life Blog. If you think that vinegar is only for cooking and the occasional elementary school science project (that is, to create a baking soda and vinegar volcano), then there's much you need to learn about the handiness of of this little chemical.
While we're on the subject of useful chemistry, how does Turning Plastic into Oil strike you? Well, if the inventors of the Envion Oil Generator have their way, we might just be doing that in the not too distant future. Be sure to check out Beating Broke's article to see an example of such a generator in action.
Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to follow the rules. As Investor Junkie has learned the hard way (is there really any other way to learn these types of lessons?), at times following the rules and playing in the bounds set out by society can end up causing you more trouble than if you went against the rules. In other words, It Does Not Pay To Be Responsible.
When you attempt to be frugal, you sometimes straddle a fine line between being thrifty and being cheap (or doing something outright illegal). The people observed by Tight Fisted Miser at the movies, though, leaped over that line and kept right on running. Please, Stealing at the Movies isn't Frugal, and if you do the things in this article, don't expect anyone to want to attend the theater with you, ever.
Apparently if you are Fijian male, you must be married before you die if you hope to make it into heaven. The god Nangganangg, protector of marriage, will not let you enter if you are a bachelor, and instead will turn you to ash. (Pretty harsh treatment for a guy who might just need to find the right girl…)
Even as the housing bubble has collapsed, we still need places to live. Asking ourselves Are you paying too much for housing? has become almost second nature as we attempt to find the best places to live. Accountant by Day covers some housing costs from around the country, hopefully helping to put it all into perspective.
Can you have fun AND reduce debt? Well, if Money Reasons is to be believed, the answer is yes. Debt Reduction and the 3 Steps for Creating a Repayment Plan that is Almost Fun makes the argument that by sticking with a simple plan, it's possible to pay off your debts and not stress too much while doing so. (Fun, though, I think is still a bit of a stretch.)
Sometimes it's easy to forget that all this fun technology we play with has an impact on the world we live in. Prairie Eco Thrifter helps to put things into perspective, using a graphical display to demonstrate Technology and the Environment – What's the Connection?
It's nice to see that innovation isn't dead yet; companies like Betterment are coming up with unique and different ways to help people invest. This Betterment Review (subtitled We're All Investors Now, which is certainly true for those of us who'd ever like to retire) from PT Money definitely makes me consider Betterment, if not for myself, then to suggest to some of my friends and relatives who don't spend all their free time reading and writing about personal finance.
One of the original roots of bridesmaids and groomsmen in weddings were so they could serve as decoys for angry demons (or roaming barbarians who would try to kidnap the bride; more on them below). They were supposed to dress similarly to the bride and groom to confuse any vengeful demons. (Try telling that the bride if she tries to get you into a hideous bridesmaids' outfit rather than a tasteful dress.)
Are You Worried About Online Security? I certainly am, but there are ways to protect yourself, as long as you use your head and don't take any unneeded risks. As My Personal Finance Journey notes, you can keep your personal information safe if you are smart in your online transactions.
It's always interesting to see what employers might look at in making hiring decisions. Case in point, Should a Prospective Employer Be Able to Check Your Credit Score? I can see why they would want to, although I agree with the article from Free From Broke that such a report loses a lot of nuance and possibly distorts the picture they get of you.
We all need to eat, which is one reason why this list of 10 Refrigerator Essentials could be quite useful. It's always good to have a ready supply of food so you don't need to rely on restaurants to keep yourself fed. (And now you'll know exactly what to feed to the Bucksome Boomer when she comes to visit!)
Some of you readers out there find our blogs via the craziest methods; as noted by Squirrelers, there seems to be an endless array of New Crazy Keywords. I'm partial to ‘allen iverson no longer in turkey', myself. Clearly, I could make my Google search terms much crazier, and still end up on some pretty interesting blogs.
As we weren't always as gentile in the past as we are now, many weddings used to performed when the groom would abduct his intended bride, hide her away from her family, and then force her into marriage. As this did not sit well with bride's family, the groom usually employed a warrior friend to help take the bride and fight off any attempts by her family (or other would-be husbands) to take her back. And so began the tradition of having a ‘best man‘.
When I look into making a side income, as I do occasionally, on possibility that always seems to come up is mystery shopping. Much of what is out is there are scams, sadly, but luckily there are legitimate opportunities as The Saved Quarter notes. The Mystery Shopping to Make Extra Money post helps to demystify the process and allow you to get into mystery shopping on the up and up.
Bond. Treasury Bond. If you want your investing life to be neither shaken nor stirred, a healthy dose of Treasuries will help you add stability to your portfolio. Trust in La Tisha of Financial Success for Young Adults to help point you in the right direction, as you learn the does and don'ts of Treasuries.
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. Late Payments Ruining Your Credit? Automate Your Payments; if you take your memory out of the equation, it won't be that hard to keep up with the payments you need to make. Just follow this method from Little House in the Valley, and those late payments will be a thing of the past.
It's rough when your job puts restrictions on what you can and cannot do with your money. Evan of My Journey to Millions finds himself in just such a situation with his job, and is reaching out for some advice on what to do in Need Help Choosing an Online Discount Broker. Any thoughts for the man?
We can thank Pope Nicholas I for the modern custom of gold engagement rings. In 860, he declared that such rings must be made of gold, to signify a financial sacrifice on the part of the groom. (No word on his position on ‘bling'.)
That's all for this week's Yakezie Carnival; be sure to check out Not Made of Money next Sunday to see the next edition!