Welcome to the 404th Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted at Dividend Growth Investor blog. I am an individual investor whose goal is to accumulate a portfolio of income producing securities, that will provide a sufficient stream of growing dividend income to pay for my expenses in retirement. Check my complete archive of articles if you are new to my website.
There were so many quality submissions that it is a pity that we only had a limited number of slots for the prize of editor’s pick. I have highlighted my editor’s picks below.
Blogging Banks from Blogging Banks presents Top tips for first home buyers, and says, "For many first home buyers, finding the right place is an emotionally taxing experience. By arming yourself with as much information as possible before signing on the dotted line, you’ll ensure for yourself a smooth process."
Mrs PoP from Planting Our Pennies presents Spend Money To Make Money - Investing In Your Career, and says, "Just like any investment, we want to look for a maximum ROI when investing in our careers.
Check out Mrs. PoP's thoughts on how to target your career investments to maximize your career ROI."
Mike Collins from Wealthy Turtle presents Is the Costco Membership Fee a Bargain or a Scam?, and says, "At $55 a year, it the Costco membership fee a bargain for savvy shoppers or a scam for suckers who don't know any better?"
Emily from PT Money presents How to Find a Company with Great Work-Life Balance, and says, "When you take a job, you really can't know for sure if it will be a good fit for your home life. Or can you? Emily shares some tips for finding out the flexibility of your new job before you accept it."
In order to find enough money to invest in dividend paying stocks, investors need to start budgeting their monthly expenses. This exercise would allow them to identify opportunities for cutting costs, and ways to save money. These articles focus on budgeting:
Bryan from Gajizmo.com presents How To Trade In A Car, and says, "Summer marks one of the most popular times of the year for Americans to buy new cars. If you are thinking about trading in your current car for a new one soon, it will do you some good to read this article and learn some of the strategies for getting the highest value out of your trade-in."
Adam from Adam Hagerman - Financial Coach presents What Your Trash (or Your Dog’s Weight) Can Tell You About Your Grocery Budget, and says, "Do you constantly have smelly trash? Do you have an abnormally large pooch? It may because you have a lot of food waste and it could be eating away at your budget. Head over for 9 tips on how to combat food waste!"
Once individuals go through the budgeting exercise, they would be able to identify ways to cut on debt. The following article discusses debt:
Peter from Bible Money Matters presents Three Debt Lessons to Learn from The Pursuit of Happiness, and says, "Chris Gardner’s story is one of both personal and financial triumph. There is much we can learn from him about getting out of debt, staying out of debt, and having a better life than we can even imagine."
After individuals manage to cut expenses and eliminate debt, they would be able to start saving money. The following articles dealt with saving money:
Darwin from Darwin's Money presents Here’s Everything I’ve Done with my Money by NOT Having an Emergency Fund, and says, "The conventional wisdom is we all need to build an emergency fund of 6 months or more, right? WRONG. See all the great moves I've made with the money I DIDN'T have sitting in a bank."
Mochimac from Save. Spend. Splurge. presents What are anchor pricing cues and how does that affect the way I shop?, and says, "Anchor pricing cues are what luxury retailers use on really expensive items to make you think that what you're buying is a great deal by comparison."
Throughout the exercises of budgeting your expenses in the pursuit of savings, investors need to also focus on frugality. Frugality is a mindset that individuals need to embrace in order to save enough money over time to put to work towards their future:
Michael from So You Think You Can Save presents Tailor Your Heating And Cooling To The Season, and says, "Now's the time to think about changing over your heating and cooling system. Make sure you do so effectively."
harry campbell from Your PF Pro presents Save Time and Money When Traveling Through Airports, and says, "Maybe I haven’t traveled in a while but when did airports become such a rip-off? Just this month, I’ve traveled over 7,000 miles on 3 round trips with another trip to Philadelphia scheduled for next week and everywhere I go I can’t believe how expensive things are."
Kristen from My Dollar Plan presents 11 Free Things to Do in Chicago, and says, "US News listed Chicago as one of the 7 Best Alternative Spring Break Destinations so here are some awesome free things to do on your trip there!"
Clint from Accumulating Money presents " Why the Frugal are Rich", and says, "Living frugal can make you rich in several ways and more than just by the amount of money you have."
SB from One Cent at a Time presents 101 Ideas to Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose Household Goods, and says, "This article provides a list of 101 reuse and re-purpose ideas on your household goods and everyday stuff. The ideas can be implemented by anybody with few basic tools. Learn the tricks and save some money while exercising your creativity."
Budgeting and saving can only result in a limited amount of savings. Investors who want to find enough money to put to work in dividend stocks, need to focus on their career and try increasing their income. Investing in yourself can result in an increased amount of human capital. The following articles deals with career:
Lenny from Best Money Saving Blog presents How the IR35 Legislation Applies to Your Contracts?, and says, "How the IR35 Legislation applies to your business."
Sam from The New Business Blog presents Marketing and Advertising Tips for the Small Business Owner Part 2, and says, "The second installment on how to kick up your marketing and advertising up a notch."
Investors need to carefully manage their money, and educate themselves in order to be empowered consumers and savers.
Hadley from Epic Finances presents Income Protection Insurance Provides Peace of Mind, and says, "How will you take care of you family if you are unable to?"
Miss T. from Prairie Eco Thrifter presents Three Expensive Sources of Quick Cash, and says, "Instead of turning to these expensive sources of funding when you need cash quick, look for alternatives. One of the best things you can do is be prepared for a financial emergency with a fund set aside for that purpose. However, if your emergency fund can’t handle your problem, there are some other options you can consider first."
Danielle from Saving WIthout A Budget presents Money Myths Second Edition, and says, "Read about the most common money myths in the second edition."
Amy from Money Mishaps presents Money Tips for College Students, and says, "What you really should be doing with your money in college."
Ray from Squirrelers presents Living a Financially Sustainable Lifestyle Now So You Aren't Shocked Later, and says, "Sustainability is a term often used in the context of the environment, but it can also be applicable to our finances. This post explores the topic of making financial decisions that allow for a lifestyle that can continue without disruption or downgrades.".
Lynn from Wallet Blog presents “For Me, For You, For Later”: Financial Foundations from Elmo and Friends, and says, ""Fortunately, someone has come to the rescue of our next generation, encouraging them to “spend, save, and share” the money they earn. Who is this economic powerhouse preaching to our kids?
Jon from Novel Investor presents Do You Need A Financial Advisor, and says, "I fully believe anyone can become a do it yourself investor. I also believe that most people need a financial advisor too. Here's why?"
Paula @ Afford Anything from Afford Anything presents Make It Mindless, and says, "We need to make good financial habits so easy that they’re mindless."
Investors should also learn as much about finance as possible, in order to have the tools to help them learn how to invest for retirement.
Jack from Money Saving Ethics presents Always Make Sure You Pay Yourself, and says, "Start preparing for retirement as soon as possible."
FMF from Free Money Finance presents An Interesting Conversation with My Dad, and says, "I am at an interesting point with my dad when it comes to finances. He's very good with pricing, margins, and getting a good deal -- things that make a successful business person. I know these in part, but he's lived them for over 40 years. However when it comes to the principles of wealth building and managing money, I have been living it for 25 years while dad doesn't really know much about personal finance."
Investors should also keep focusing on the economy, for clues about corporate profitability. The following articles show interesting information about the economy:
Jay from Daily Fuel Economy Tip presents Trip Tips for Saving Gas, and says, "Plan your everyday trips to help save."
PK from Don't Quit Your Day Job... presents Auditing CBO Estimates: A History of Deficit Projections Since 1976, and says, "I finish off the almighty threesome of CBO estimates, this time with the CBO's predictions about the deficit... for every year since 1976. See where we are, and where people thought we would be... it's quite a story."
Once our investors start accumulating a set amount of money every month, they need to select an investment strategy that fits their personality. I have selected dividend investing as the strategy of choice for me, because I like to get dividend checks deposited in my account no matter whether the stock market is trading at 12 year lows or all-time-highs. Check out the following articles on investing:
D4L from Dividend Growth Stocks presents 10 Dividend Stocks With A 10% Yield In 10 Years, and says, "There are income investors and Dividend Growth investors. While the distinction is rather simple, it slips past many casual observers. Income investors are investing for maximum current income, while dividend growth investors are looking to maximize income over an extended period of time -- usually sacrificing current income for higher future earnings..."
Spencer from Military Money Manual presents Two Year Lending Club Review, and says, "After two years of investing in Lending Club, I'm changing my strategy."
Mike from The Financial Blogger presents What Do You Consider to be a Great Investment?, and says, "Is it a decent investment? Let's think about it..."
Div Guy from The Dividend Guy Blog presents You Are Poorer Than You Think, and says, "If you think of all the fees and transaction costs you pay to have your portfolio managed by someone else, you are truly poorer than you think."
Roger Wohlner from The Chicago Financial Planner presents The IRA – An Overlooked Retirement Savings Tool, and says, "According to a new survey by TIAA-CREF; “Eighty percent of those surveyed said they are not contributing to an IRA, up 4 percent from last year. Close to half also lack basic understanding of what IRAs are and how they are used.” To the extent that these respondents represent the investing public, many people are overlooking the IRA as a retirement savings tool. (Includes two excellent IRA infographics)"
Most savers prefer to pay off their mortgage first, before putting money to work in the markets. This is a sound strategy, and a large portion of the middle-class wealth is tied up in their personal residences. However, if you really want to generate the cash flow for retirement, I suggest you focus on stock investing.
Charles from Wallet Hub Blog presents Types of Mortgages: The Tried-and-True and the Ones to Avoid, and says, "Teaser rates, introductory one-time offers and exhortations to “Act Now!” can overwhelm you, so let’s cut through all the lingo and simplify things into two general camps: the mortgages known as standard fare, and the more complicated products that merit closer scrutiny.
There are two things certain in life: Death and Taxes. For many investors, the truth is that they end up being taxed to death. With the April 15 tax deadline only two weeks away, investors should review these articles to hopefully save some money on taxes:
Michael Kitces from Nerd's Eye View presents The Taxation Of Social Security Benefits As A Marginal Tax Rate Increase?, and says, "Social Security benefits first became partially taxable in 1983, and the rule was expanded in 1993 to its current form, where up to 85% of benefits are subject to taxation. Yet due to the interaction between these rules and the regular tax system, an individual's marginal tax rate can spike as high as 27.75% to 46.25% even with only $50,000 - $75,000 of retirement income!"
John from Card Hub Blog presents What to Do If You Can't Pay Your Taxes and The Pros & Cons of Using a Credit Card, and says, "Tax season is a stressful time for most people, but it’s especially difficult for those of us with doubts about our ability to pay the IRS. The good news is that there are a number of ways anyone can make an unmanageable tax obligation easier to deal with without drastically driving up costs.
Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance presents How Tax Deductions Work and The Right Number to Take, and says, "Each time you start a new job, you are required to submit a W-4 and I-9 form. Those forms tell your employer how much tax to deduct from each paycheck and verify that you are a legal US resident who can take a job. Most of us only spend a few minutes on those forms but don’t understand the long term ramifications."
Green Panda from Green Panda Treehouse presents Important Tax Deductions You Can’t Forget as a Student!, and says, "Deductions for college students this tax season."
Pete from Intelligent Speculator presents Tools That I Use To Trade And Blog – 2013 Edition, and says, "Tools that you absolutely need to trade and blog."
While money is important, the most important thing in life is family. As a result, make sure that you do not sacrifice quality family time for your pursuit of money. Having a balance in life is usually all that matters:
TTMK from Tie the Money Knot presents Money and Time Spent on a Day with Family Can be a Great Investment, and says, "There are many ways that we can invest our money and time, but one that can pay great dividends is a day with family. Recently, I was reminded of this!"
Jason Price from One Money Design presents Benefits and Drawbacks of Telecommuting from Home versus Working in a Traditional Office, and says, "Can telecommuting from home versus working in a traditional office benefit both employees and companies? I think so. Here's a look at the benefits and drawbacks as well as how it might work."
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When I was doing my taxes for 2012, I realized that tax expenses were larger than my living expenses . I realized that in order to correct t...