Carnival of Wealth, Vertu Edition

Care to guess what the most expensive stock cell phone in the world is?

Has to be the forthcoming iPhone 5S, right? Particularly, the 64GB version. Fastest processor in the industry, most storage, highest resale value, most durable components, etc. An unlocked one without a contract will cost you around $900.

Not even close.

So the costliest phone in the world runs Android, then? 

No. It runs Symbian. An operating system that was officially discontinued more than a year ago but still runs the phones created by Vertu, a British firm whose business model is based on the principle of suckers being born more than one to the minute. Meet the Vertu Ascent X RM-589V:

Just look at this ridiculous thing. Why not add a rotary dial while they're at it?

Just look at this ridiculous thing. Why not add a rotary dial while they’re at it?

 

It can – get this – tell the time in 2 time zones at once! Honest to God, they list that as a feature. Encased in knurled titanium and rubber, it can be yours for just $2500. At least that’s what some moron on eBay bid for a used one. Again, it runs Symbian, the mobile OS equivalent of R-22 Freon. But, the phone comes with a 24-hour personal assistant. And it also offers “curated articles,” described as

Expertly written and independently sourced articles selected to inspire, inform and entertain. Reflecting your interests and location.

So the Ascent X RM-589V contains the same community newspaper that lands in your mailbox every Wednesday and has 2-for-1 taco coupons in it, only in electronic form. And for Dubai or Singapore instead of Fort Wayne. If only the rest of us could access articles, curated or otherwise, from our phones. Well, that’ll always be the dream. Onto the Carnival:

She didn’t submit last week, and we were worried that we did something to offend one of our frequent contributors. (Wouldn’t be the first time.) The magnificent Sandi at Spring Personal Finance is back, reminding you that you will hit a financial crisis sooner or later. Therefore, you need an emergency fund.

Just kidding, she wouldn’t waste your time nor ours with that kind of tiresome garbage. She does, however, recommend a budget. Because

revenue > expenses

is the Golden Inequality, the relation between differing values that separates the Sandis of this world from the self-made poor people.

Now, a post to keep Sandi’s post in balance. Edgar at Degrees & Debt has tips for dating on a budget. But first, he explains one of the subtleties of dating:

 You should date who you enjoy spending time with and vice versa

Now for Edgar’s advice. Use coupons, take walks in the park, get the person you’re inviting to pay half. Honestly, he recommended all those. The 3rd one is particularly effective, in that it will save you the trouble of having to pay for a follow-up date.

Do a bit of Googleing (sic) and you would be surprised how much fun you can have for little to no immediate cost at all.  Be creative!

“Be creative!” is our own advice for Edgar the next time he attempts to submit a post to the CoW. Speaking of (sic), Edgar also managed to get the word “your’e” wrong in a way we’d never seen before.

Are we going to alternate between dizzying heights and basal lows in this week’s edition? It looks like it. From Pauline Paquin at Make Money Your Way, how an approving parent is one of most important assets a budding entrepreneurial kid can have. Pauline didn’t grow up rich, but she did have a mother who figured that one way to keep her teenage daughter off drugs and out of the baby-making death spiral was to get her making as much money as possible. The high of a paycheck created an addiction that Pauline’s been chasing ever since – all the way to her current amazing life.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. From Richard Neil Adams at Frugality Magazine, and the serial-killer style triple-naming convention suits him, a list of ways to save water at home. Not that you need to worry about how much water you’re consuming, it being obscenely cheap. But water conservation is an easy topic to write about, so Richard Neil obliged.

A “hippo” is a bag that can be inflated and placed into your toilet cistern. In doing so, whenever you flush the toilet, less water will be flushed away.

He didn’t provide a link, and it appears that Hippo® is available only in the United Kingdom and Ireland anyway, but it’s cute that he thought that any of our readers are going to waste their time with this. What’s that, Richard Neil? You have more advice for us?

as flushing the toilet is likely your biggest source of water use, it’s one of the most useful ways of saving water. Just remember the phrase…

“If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”

"And we've reached a new low, yet again"

“And we’ve reached yet another new low.”

Freaking weirdo. Who can now consider himself formally excommunicated from the Carnival of Wealth.

Harry Campbell at The 4-Hour Workday quit his job and moved to a different part of California. And it’s not like he had been busing tables at IHOP. Harry is an engineer who wanted a change of lifestyle, and is using nontraditional means to make the cash flow. Everything from freelancing to landlording to…getting $10,000 in sign-up rewards in a single year? Apparently.

Paula Pant at Afford Anything returned from Burning Man, the annual celebration of self-expression and deferred hygiene held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert every year around Labor Day. She clearly got inspired on the playa, because she returned with one of the best posts we’ve ever read: The 4 Types of Retirement, and how working mindlessly for decades before entering a golf-and-grandkids routine isn’t the only plan of attack. There are 3 more, each more inspiring than the previous one. If you can simultaneously enjoy youth, money and freedom, why on Earth wouldn’t you do so?

Kevin Mulligan at Free From Broke thinks you need life insurance. You almost certainly don’t, but again, parroting conventional wisdom never hurt anyone. If you do insist on enriching an insurance company though, Kevin politely suggests that you not do so via your employer.

PKamp3 from DQYDJ.net remains the one guy on the internet who manages to combine beautiful prose with complementary graphics while offering actionable, worthwhile advice. Therefore his readership is smaller than that of this site that features the same played-out first-person debt updates that people apparently love to read and comment upon. You could waste your time at the latter site, or you could read PKamp3′s analysis on savings rates – the fraction of your income you need to sock away to enjoy a comfortable retirement. (He, like us, draws little distinction between the concepts of retirement and financial independence.) This is staggeringly simple math, but some people will remain steadfast in their determination to not understand it.

Something of a wildcard here, but the author was liberal in his flattery so we couldn’t say no. Erik Matlock at eponymous WordPress URL (“Life Lessons From A Formerly Abusive Husband”, and we’ll take that over “My Journey To A Debt-Free Life” any day of the week) writes about how to survive as the new kid on the job. (Clue: The old kids on the job were probably the new kids at some point.)

Or you could start your own business, as Jason at Hull Financial Planning did. Who, by the way, has yet to misspell a word on his site. We checked his entire archives. Jason is also one of the very few personal finance writers who seem to understand that time progresses in a forward direction only and that choices have consequences. In other words, the time to think about retirement is not when you’re at retirement age.

That’s it. See you tomorrow.

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