Carnival of Wealth, ephemeral edition

“Damn straight we’re gonna play 2!”

Today, the Carnival of Wealth. Tomorrow, the Best of Money Carnival.
Yes, we’ve decided to host back-to-back carnivals. We’ll be looking at the world through a cotton candy haze (for our Canadian readers, a “candy floss haze”) until regaining our footing next week. How did this blue-moon curiosity happen? Well, we agreed to host the latter carnival months ago. Some time before that, we’d started hosting the Carnival of Wealth on the first Sunday of every month. A few weeks ago we ended up taking over the Carnival of Wealth permanently, which meant creating a new carnival every Sunday. We looked at the schedule, realized we’d committed to host the Best of Money Carnival this coming Monday, and…here we are. Like February 29 or a Cubs World Series appearance, relish this unusual event while it happens. Here comes Carnival No. 1:

Batting leadoff, from our Tired Metaphor department comes Kyle James pinch-hitting* for Fanny at Living Richly on a Budget, who likens the recent stock market gyrations to a roller coaster ride. Whee! Kyle gives us 4 ways to manage our “personal economy”. He thinks you should sdflkcvx,mzzzzzzzz….sorry. He thinks you should build an emergency fund and that if you carry any credit card debt, you should…here, we’ll make it multiple choice:

a) not pay it down
b) pay it down.

Echo, the fils of the mother-and-son team Boomer and Echo, writes about “how to thrive and survive as a single-income family.” After Mrs. Echo cranked out a kid, the Echoes had to economize. And budget. And defer big purchases. On the other hand, they now get to clean feces out of diapers and wake up at 3 a.m. to high-pitched screaming, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Thanks to Jon the Saver for reinforcing why we get down on our knees every night in gratitude and praise to the God of our parents’ choice for letting us escape from the festering stinkhole that is the modern office. Basically, he tells you not to goof off at work. The More You Know.

Flexo at Consumerism Commentary understands that most people leave money on the table because they don’t even know that discounts exist. Case in point, your property taxes. Convince the taxing authority that your house is worth less than its deemed value, and you could save a lot on your next bill. (Fun typo: “review it quickly and repeal [appeal] right away”.) If only it were that easy.

(Deleted link farm post. Australian International Travel Insurance site, step your game up.)

The payroll tax! Yes, government administering a penalty for the one thing that makes the economy grow. Madison du Paix at My Dollar Plan discusses the temporary reduction in the payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2%, and what’ll happen when it goes up again.

A wag at Cracked recently questioned why all the companies trying to sell you gold as an inflation hedge take currency as payment. Consumer Boomer (no relation to the Boomer of Boomer & Echo notoriety) thinks gold might be approaching bubble status.

It’s hard to determine which is the biggest scam in all of commerce – new vehicle rustproofing, or weddings. It’s one thing for a couple to consciously impoverish themselves, something different when they get their friends involved. Sustainable Personal Finance dropped $520 as a groomsman, or 13 times more than a marriage license costs. (Also, SPF felt the need to point out that in regard to bachelor parties, “my group of friends has little interest in going to strip joints.” Completely coincidentally, his wife is his blogging partner.)

We’d always assumed the hosts of My University Money were young. But this week Teacher Man, who apparently is 90 years old, takes a break from lecturing his great-grandchildren to explain the perils of orientation week to incoming college freshman. Our favorite line is this self-congratulatory closer before the obligatory series of questions that every blog post is supposed to end with:

Man I wish some anonymous angel had given me this “how to” guide for my first week.

Man, I hope someone at the Library of Congress records this blog carnival for posterity’s sake, because it’s awesome.

Next week on Control Your Cash, we’re going to do a long post about how to walk on the moon and what you need to do to prepare for it. We’ve never walked within a quarter-million miles of the moon, only had fantasies about it, but why should that stop us from speaking authoritatively on the subject? Enter Jo Robinson at Totally Money, who offers tips for starting a business during a recession. Her qualifications?

My business idea is to have a beautiful artisan shop selling organic produce and loads of home-made goodies, maybe even somewhere you can have a coffee as well.

So yeah, listen to her sage advice.

Like a mom clinging to her kid who’s gone off to college, Arohan of Value Stock Guide likes to check in weekly. (Yes, Arohan, we’re getting enough to eat and studying hard. Thanks for asking. We miss you too.) The former host of the carnival comes with an interesting post about Apple as an investment. Even though the stock’s risen 47% in the last year, Arohan thinks it’s still trading at a discount.

It would be exceedingly poor form not to include tomorrow’s regular carnival barker, FMF of Free Money Finance; largely because his posts are always well-written and provoke plenty of thought. This week he wanted to look at which strategy would help you make the most over your career — starting at a higher salary, or getting larger annual increases. Rather than just openly wonder, he sat down and analyzed the options.

Consecutive correctly spelled, helpful posts? Believe it! This one comes from Investor Junkie, who pours a ton of cold water on the notion that a risk-free investment exists. He not only classifies the multiple risks inherent in even the safest investment, but explains how some risks are insidious and invisible.

*Yes, we’re aware that a pinch-hitter can’t technically bat leadoff. Unless it’s for the home team, and in the middle of the 1st inning a position player had left the game and was scheduled to bat first.

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