After a lot of hard work, my new self-hosted website is up and running. I have put a lot of work into modifying my theme (which meant re-learning html), importing my current blog posts and setting up plugins, feeds and stat counters. I’ve updated my about section and hope that I can foster a more personal atmosphere at my new site, which will hopefully lead to a strong community for learning about personal finance.There is still a lot of work to do, but the site is functional and I will now be posting strictly on that site.
After posting my goals for 2009, I began looking into buying a domain name and domain hosting services. For the next few days I will be putting all of my efforts into setting up my new domain, new theme and transferring my blog. For this reason I will not be blogging until after the weekend. I apologize for those of you who are subscribed to this domain, but the new website will be even better and I hope you sign up for the RSS feed at my new site. I will let you know what the new site is as soon as I have it up and running.
Today was one of those days where you feel great all day, and then all of a sudden you feel like a truck hit you. It pretty much means I’m incapable of thinking currently. I was hoping to get a post out about my credit score, which I checked for free through equifax. Look for this post in the near future, it’s rather interesting.
Also, I discovered around 5:00 p.m. today that I have to serve jury duty. As a stand-by juror I was supposed to call to see if I was needed. The recording stated that if the first letter of your last name fell between F and M you were needed. So, by one letter I will be taking the train early tomorrow morning to perform my civic duty.
For now I suppose I will hit the sack so I don’t feel so terrible tomorrow.
** Edit: Nothing like a big $17.20 for 6 hours of sitting in a waiting room. That translates to a $2.87 hourly wage. Why is the compensation not at least minimum wage? **
Despite my hectic week due to closing on my condo, I was able to participate in three carnivals.
I participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance – 173rd Edition, which was hosted by Girls Just Wanna Have Funds. Girls Just Wanna Have Funds is a blog dedicated to women taking charge of her own personal finances and focuses on budgeting, investing and frugality. The following are some of my favorite posts from the carnival:
- No Credit Needed writes about savings account asset allocation, which is something I will be doing in the very near future.
- My Dollar Plan informs you about 7 moves you haven’t made in your 401k. In times like these it’s always a good idea to make the most of a 401k.
- So Cal Savvy offers great advice about buying stocks on sale and dealing with the current turbulent market.
- Money Smart Life discusses the benefits of the FNBO Direct Online Savings Bank, which I will be investigating along with ING and HSBC.
- Value For Your Life reflects on 3 big personal finance successes. Sometimes it is good to look at past personal finance successes to derive inspiration in such depressing economic times.
I also participated in the Carnival of Twenty Something Finances, which was hosted by Lava. Lava is blogging while in college to get out from under a mountain of debt. The following are a few of the best posts:
- How I Save Money wants everyone to check out a new CVS page, which details the adventure of spending as little money possible at CVS. I will be taking my first stab at CVSing in the next week or two.
- Write to Right blogs about how to start a small business opportunity. Small business opportunities have always been very interesting to me.
Finally, I participated in the Investing Carnival, which was hosted by Barel Karsan who focuses on value investing. The following are some of my favorite posts:
- Contrarian Profits discusses 8 inverse ETFs to profit from the economic meltdown. I am not knowledgeable about shorting the market, but I hope to become so in the future.
- Slow Down Fast presents 6 ways to benefit financially in a bad economy.
- Lazy Man and Money writes about his alternative income streams for October 2008. It’s always nice to read about the alternative income streams of other bloggers.
I only participated in one carnival this week, The Carnival of Twenty Something Finances hosted by we like money. We like money is a blog about a young married couple’s adventures in finances, early marriage and digging out of debt. Here are a few links to the articles that I found most interesting:
- FutureNestEgg cautions readers about the top 5 dirty little credit card tricks, which admittedly are easy to fall into. My best advice is to read the fine print. If there’s something you don’t understand, call the company and talk to someone in person. If it is still fuzzy, don’t apply for the credit card.
- Realm of Prosperity shares a story about a college student buying a home instead of renting. This would be a great idea if at all possible, but with lenders unwilling to loan out money without a solid down payment, I believe the days of doing this are over.
- ChristianPf discusses the pros and cons of money merge accounts. I would have to run the numbers myself, but it seems rather risky.
- Actorlicious details ten ways to save a dollar during hard times. I particularly like number 2 about going to thrift stores. Where else can you find awesome used t-shirts?
- Shark Investor outlines the alternatives to a 9 to 5. There are many times that I have thought about doing my own consulting work or starting my own business, but those are only a few ways to quit the 9 to 5.
This week I am hoping to get back to increasing my carnival participation and maybe even hosting a carnival. We’ll see how it goes, but I imagine I will be super busy until I move into my condo in 9 long days.
I’ve been trying to increase the number of carnivals I participate in to bring more traffic to my sites so maybe I start getting some comments and feedback on my posts. I participated in the Carnival of Personal Finance #170, which was graciously hosted by The Personal Financier. If you were unable to guess, the Personal Financier is a blog about personal finances. Visiting the carnival was my first time checking out this blog and I will most likely be returning. Here are some of my favorite posts from the carnival:
- Moolanomy presents everything there is to know about asset allocation, which is my next major research topic.
- Value Investing and Entrepreneurship Blog details a few good ways to find stock ideas. As soon as I have some play money for personal investing I will be employing these good ideas.
- The Sun’s Financial Diary wonders whether small-cap stocks are making a comeback. Small cap stocks generally lead the market charge of an economic recovery. Now might be a great time to get in at a discount.
- Free From Broke lays out his current asset allocation and how he re-allocated and re-balanced his 401k portfolio. I would personally have more international exposure and maybe some REITs, but overall it’s a great read as to how to rebalance a neglected portfolio.
- No Debt Plan tries to figure out whether or not he should shift some of his emergency fund into laddered CDs. I personally think the emergency fund should be put into a CD ladder if the CD rates are higher than available high yield savings accounts. No Debt Plan does a great job discussing the risks and potential shortcomings from using a CD laddering process for an emergency fund.
- Two Wise Acres points out 20 ideas to make you a more profitable real estate investor. I have an interest in purchasing real estate solely as investments and not as a primary residence for future reference.
- Contrarian Profits discusses a few options for investing in wind energy. With the gas and oil demand set to increase for the foreseeable future, alternative energy is a very hot sector.
- Living Off Dividends makes his passive income for August 2008 transparent. Doesn’t everybody wish they had a huge source of passive income. All of mine is unfortunately active. This post also breaks down how much of his income is from what type of online ad source.
- Silicon Valley Blogger wants to know why you aren’t opening a 401k. I personally don’t participate in my company’s 401k as they do not match and I don’t particularly enjoy the investment options. I would much rather open a self-employed 401k and select my own investment funds.
- Baltimore Real Estate Investing Blog provides an answer to the question, where do I start? A good, quick read on how to start thinking about real estate investing.
I recently participated in the Carnival of Twenty Something Finances that was hosted by Bargain Briana. Bargain Briana is a great blog if you’re trying to stay up to date on coupons and bargains. I submitted my post about the IRA Contribution Rules and Limits for 2008, which is super important to understand for young people in the work force. After perusing the carnival here are some of my favorites:
- FIRE Finance wrote about dealing with financial problems just like Rocky. I will always have a soft spot for Rocky and Sly unless you’re talking about Rocky V.
- Bugs Munny gives 15 great tips for saving money during a recession, although I don’t think I can live without my cable!
- The Personal Financier advises from time to time to buck the trend and take advantage of rare investment opportunities. Along the same lines as this article it may be a good idea to pay attention to the battered and bruised financial market as it won’t stay down forever.
- Twenties Money lays out a plan for an initial check up of your financial health. If you skip out on the initial check up you will never diagnose the problem.
- Christian Personal Finance describes a method for getting a great deal on ebay. Shopping on ebay is a great way to get a great deal without using any gas.
- Silicon Valley Blogger writes about the advantages of a WAMU free checking account. That 3.75% sounds awfully good. I will be setting up a WAMU checking account as soon as my down payment is paid and my interest rate is locked in so be on the lookout for a review of my account setup.