Posts That Piqued My Interest: Long-Overdue Edition

Between pregnancy and taking care of a newborn, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to give this blog the attention it deserves — never mind all of the other fantastic personal finance blogs out there.

So now it’s time for a long-overdue “Posts That Piqued My Interest” post!

— One of my favorite PF blogs, Consumerism Commentary, discussed Reverse Foreclosure: Man Seizes Bank of America’s Assets. The short version: The bank went after a couple who it claimed hadn’t made payments on their mortgage, initiating the foreclosure process. But the husband and wife had PAID THE ENTIRE COST OF THEIR HOME IN CASH. There WAS no mortgage. Bank of America owed them their legal fees and refused to pay, so the husband showed up at a local Bank of America branch and turned the tables on them. Love it.

— A very belated – but just as hearty — congratulations to Death to the Mortgage. He and his wife paid off their mortgage far, far ahead of schedule, thanks to a final lump-sum payment in April. After refinancing their loan, they decided to pay off their 10-year mortgage within a five-year window. They SMASHED that goal, finishing up in just 3 years, 4 months, saving $28,431 in interest on their nearly $189,000 mortgage.

Frugal Dad has a very comprehensive list, 62 Money-Saving Tips to Help Survive Another Recession. There are some new gems in addition to the usual ways to cut expenses.

— A sobering story over at Funny About Money, Why Everyone Needs to Learn How to Manage Money. Ladies, especially, take (and keep) control of your finances!

Microfiber Cloth Uses at Ultimate Money Blog offers some great ideas for using these little fabric wonders. I’m going to try Mrs. Money’s glass cleaner recipe, too, now that I’m almost done with our bottle of Windex.

Posts That Piqued My Interest: Fall Leaves Edition

Right now, our backyard looks like it got wall-to-wall yellow carpeting. You can clearly see the line of delineation between our property, which is full of leaves, and the neighbor’s, where the landscaping service has neatly blown away all traces of fall (at least for this week). A few wayward leaves have traveled across the property line, but I don’t think our elderly neighbor will be too miffed at the invaders.

Last year, Mr. Not-So-Frugal and I raked the leaves ourselves. This year, I’m in no shape or condition to lend a rake, so it’s all up to him. One of our friends smartly suggested that we “mow” the lawn and let the mulched leaves decompose over the winter, serving as natural fertilizer. I heartily second that idea. However, I don’t think it will get done this weekend — more likely, I will be pushing Mr. NSF into the garage toward the lawnmower, kicking and screaming.

Here are some posts that caught my attention this week:

5 Reasons to Avoid a Roth IRA at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

Should You Drop Out of College at Consumerism Commentary

Does This Christmas Tree Make Me Look Fat? 10 Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays at More Style Than Cash

Do You Save Instead of Paying Debt? at Watson Inc.

How to Live on One Salary at Cool to Be Frugal

How to Live Frugally Without Being an Extremist at Personal Finance by the Book

What to Do When Personal Finance Becomes a Chore at Get Rich Slowly

Finding The Best Deals On Black Friday at Not Made of Money

Posts That Piqued My Interest: “Boy, Am I Steamed” Edition

Leslie over at the fabulous 27 and Frugal PF blog brought to my attention an incredibly ignorant, sexist post over at Dinks Finance. While I’m not going to give them the backlink, I’m sure you very smart readers will figure out which one it is.

The “writer” claimed to have Googled “Personal Financial Blogs” and all she got were male-run PF blogs. Let’s see, when *I* put in the same query, the first link that comes up is Wisebread’s comprehensive personal finance blogs list — and hey, a good portion of them are woman-run.

I’m not naive — I know the Internet isn’t all puppies and rainbows — but I expect a personal finance writer to do a little due diligence and properly research the topic s/he is writing about. I’m sure this was just a quick, one-off post, to write something for the sake of getting something up and getting a bit of a pop. Link bait, so to speak. It’s definitely stirred up attention, but for all the wrong reasons.

I think we ‘invisible’ female personal finance bloggers should make sure we spend a little more time checking out female-only blogs and promoting them. Maybe I’ll start a women-PF’ers-only blog carnival. Your thoughts, ladies?

In honor of that ridiculous post, I declare today’s Penny Frugalista round-up to be all about the women. There are so many more great female bloggers out there, but here’s just a taste. Cheers!

This Week’s Attention-Getters

Leslie at 27 and Frugal celebrates the blog’s 1st birthday

In the Throes of Unemployment at Girl With the Red Balloon

Life After the CPA Exam at Blonde and Balanced

How Will You Earn That Raise? at A Gai Shan Life

Being Your Own Boss is Not the Only Answer at Fabulously Broke in the City

Not So Anonymous Anymore at Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Splurge a Little On Yourself at Money Crush

Turn Your Clutter Into Cash at Couple Money

Calculating the College Graduate’s Course of Action at Funny About Money

Do Schools Have a Responsibility to Teach Us Personal Finance? at Well-Heeled Blog

Shopping for Fruit and Veg: 6 Money-Saving Tips at Miss Thrifty

Plastic Wars: Credit or Debit Card? at Money Funk

Should I Refinance My Mortgage? at Ultimate Money Blog

Penny Frugalista on the Web

Link love (Powered by nachos and simple human decency) at Musings of an Abstract Aucklander

Posts That Piqued My Interest: Now It Feels Like Fall!

We almost floated away this week, thanks to the massive rainstorm we got on Thursday and Friday, fueled by remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole. While we were lucky enough not to have any flooding, I think other folks in town had some problems. However, the storm cleared out and left us with more-seasonable temperatures — upper 60s and clear blue skies.

I’m also amazed that our car insurance company raised our premiums for the coming year — the first time they’ve had to “implement a general rate increase” in 14 YEARS. It’s a very good insurer and hard to get into, so I can’t complain too much. I’ve been with them for 8 or 9 years now. What I can complain about is the fact that it costs more to insure my 7-year-old Pontiac Grand Am GT sedan than it costs to cover Mr. NSF’s 1-year-old Ford Escape SUV. It seems my car is considered a sports car, which, at 6 cylinders and a whopping 170 horsepower, it certainly is not. But again, the insurance premiums are pretty darned reasonable for New Jersey — under $1000 for each car, full coverage (liability/theft/collision).

Posts That Piqued My Interest

Layering Your Deals at Frugal Confessions

Will 2012 Be the End of the World? at Saving Money Today

The Brightest Bulb at Joe Taxpayer

3 Tips for Buying Life Insurance for the First Time at Money Crashers

Considering Property Taxes When House Shopping at Consumerism Commentary

7 Frugal Moving Tips at My Dollar Plan

Can You Keep It Simple With a Newborn? at Simple Life in France

The Penny Frugalista on the Web

Sunday Link Love @ Ultimate Money Blog featured Hoarders Die in Their Piles of Crap

Posts That Piqued My Interest

Not a big weekend on tap here in Penny Frugalista land. I’m hoping to go buy the moulding to finish off the upstairs room once and for all (it’s only been a year, folks — that’s what happens when you DIY) and get a flu shot today, which I’d put off from earlier in the week. Then we’re going to top off the day with Chinese takeout, our big food splurge for the week.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

A Quick Roundup

Top 5 Worst and Best Baby Shower Gifts at The Saved Quarter

5 Budget Skin Care Tips at Bucksome Boomer

Earning One Million Dollars at Deliver Away Debt

Your Take: Is Your Recession Over? at Barganeering

A Tale Of Two Pianos: My Musical and Financial Journey Into Piano Ownership at PF Firewall

Giveaways

1) Enemy of Debt is hosting a Debt Snowball Pro App Giveaway (iPhone & iPod). Enter by midnight on Tuesday, 9/28!

2) Out of Debt Again is giving away more than $800 in cash and prizes for the blog’s three-year anniversary!

3) Win a Toshiba Satellite 15.6″ laptop thanks to Couple Money‘s 1st Anniversary Giveaway. You have until the end of day tomorrow, Sunday 9/26, to enter this contest. You can get entries in a number of ways, but you MUST subscribe to the Couple Money’s Newsletter to be entered.

From the Couple Money blog:

There are several ways to receive additional entries that can increase your chances to win:

  • Write a blog post promoting the contest with a link (3 entries)
  • Follow me on Twitter and send this tweet “@Elle_CM is giving away a laptop for Couple Money readers!  http://su.pr/920ydm #couplemoney”(2 entries)
  • Tweeting “Support @chrisguillebeau on his book tour and help fund sustainable water solutions  http://su.pr/2NbXom #couplemoney”  (1 entry)
  • Become a Couple Money Fan on Facebook (1 entry)

Posts That Piqued My Interest: Crisp Fall Weekend Edition

It’s a wonderfully sunny and cool weekend here in New Jersey — well, Sunday’s a bit warmer than Saturday, but with temperatures in the 70s, it’s glorious to me, someone who’s always cold. The leaves are just starting to get that color tint that means they’re preparing to change over. One thing I noticed this year is the big Japanese maple in our front yard had all-green leaves this year — pretty odd, since Mr. NSF and I would have sworn it was all-red last year through the summer! We haven’t done anything to the front yard, so I have no idea what caused the color shift — but the leaves are starting to turn red for fall. Looking on Google Street View, which shows us our home right before we bought it last June, the leaves are red! Ponderous.

If You Can’t Live on $40,000 Per Year, It’s Your Own Fault at Len Penzo Dot Com. One man’s opinion on how he believes it’s possible for a family of 4 to live on $40,000 income — in Southern California. I don’t see that happening around here, unless you have a home in an undesirable neighborhood (he includes a mortgage in his calculations). Maybe if you bought the home 10 years ago and have that “low” mortgage…

Fear and Loathing in America the Beautiful at Funny About Money. She points out that the sins of the fathers don’t have to be the sins of the sons and daughters — but unfortunately, racism is alive and well in the U.S. in the 21st century.

An Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles is a Waste of Money at Consumerism Commentary. I’ll take the car for an oil change every 4,000-5,000 miles or wait until the “change oil” light comes on, whichever comes first. Not the smartest thing to do, I’ll admit.

Is There Ever A Right Time To Upgrade Your Engagement Ring? at Financial Samurai. Another polarizing post from Sam. Asking for an upgraded engagement ring BEFORE you even tie the knot? Tacky, tacky, tacky. Not to mention a bit gold digger-ish. But I think those who do it as part of a major anniversary celebration — with both spouses agreeable to the idea — is fine.

Tis the season to… at Single Mom, Rich Mom. Yes, Christmas is on its way, as are all the other fun holidays (Thanksgiving, my  birthday — yes, a minor holiday to me!). Her child asked for a rock tumbler — I remember having one of those and enjoying it immensely.

The Penny Frugalista on the Web

Demonic Dip Jar Causes Bloodbath at The Consumerist featured my Tostitos Dip Caused a Bloodbath at Our House post from earlier in the week. Loving the snarky comments — you guys put Gawker commenters to shame, my friends.

Posts That Piqued My Interest: Remembering 9/11 Edition

It’s a gorgeous weekend here in New Jersey, and I’m hoping you’re having an equally nice day wherever you are. Sadly, it reminds me of the kind of day it was on September 11, 2001 — clear blue skies and abundant sunshine, just a taste of fall. It’s hard to believe it’s been 9 years since that terrible day. While I didn’t lose anyone close to me in the terrorist attacks, others weren’t so lucky. You’re in my thoughts today.

So enjoy this weekend, but take the time to remember those whose lives were lost on that fateful day.

A Roundup

Here’s roundup of stories that got my attention this week (I mistakenly said it was my first roundup –it’s the second!). I hope you check them out.

The How-To Kitchen: Caramel Sauce at Good. Food. Stories. Mmm, caramel sauce! I’ve never tired to make this myself. Now, if only I had something to use it on…

Would You Help My Co-Worker Out? at Punch Debt in the Face. Give financial advice to a co-worker? No way. Family? Nuh-uh. I’ll help you find ways to cut your spending and better budget your money, but there’s no way I’m touching the investment aspect of personal finance, not even with a 10-foot pole.

Now’s the Time to Stop (or Alter) a Christmas Gift Exchange at The Simple Dollar. We’ll probably be cutting down on our gifting this year, in preparation for the little bundle of spending known as a newborn.

Why Being a Homeowner Sucks at Ultimate Money Blog. I love our house, but it’s taking much longer to get it into the condition I want it in.

Life Without a Budget: 4 Questions to Ask at Well-Heeled Blog. We don’t technically follow a budget, but we live well within our means and “pay ourselves” first.

When Is Paying Down Your Mortgage a Bad Idea? at Watson, Inc. One of my favorite personal finance topics — we add a little extra to the mortgage payment each month, but not at the expense of paying credit card bills or padding our savings.

U.S. Gov’ment Bonds: Made Easy! at Dr. Dean. Another way to invest that’s less scary than putting money into the stock market (which I swear I will do on my own sometime soon).