Carnival of Personal Finance #217

Time for another of my lazy Tuesday posts recapping the week’s Carnival of Personal Finance. (Last week I couldn’t find the carnival, but then again I was too lazy too look very hard.)

Amongst the several items that caught my eye was one from Fiscal Fizzle listing ten places you still need cash instead of plastic. It made me feel old. US_Silvercert1 (Admittedly not that hard to do.) I always carry cash when I leave the house. Along with keys, identification, and a charged cell phone, cash is one of the four things I think no adult should go outside without.

But the theme of the post is that, of course, the days of cash are numbered. The author tells us "I have to admit – it’s rare for our family to carry cash on our person on a daily basis." And then his efforts at reassuring me that cash will always have role fall flat. At several of his places even I now pay without cash. (E.g. highway tolls and the appliance repair guy.) Before reading the post I wasn’t worried I would soon be the last guy in America using worn pieces of paper to buy stuff, but I am now. Of course, our currency has looked like play money to me since the mid-90′s, so maybe it’s just as well.

Personal Finance by the Book asked Is a College Degree Necessary For Success?, partly by asking what Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Michael Dell have in common. The intended answer is that they are billionaires and didn’t graduate college. The fact that none of them has ever held a regular job doesn’t get mentioned.

Just when I thought my blood pressure would ease from yesterday’s rant on Roth IRAs, the blog Not the Jet Set chimed in with a post about how his Dave Ramsey endorsed investment advisor told him to convert his traditional to Roth and how this will save him money because of all that tax-free growth. Argh.

One of the more implausible post titles of the week was Why Your Credit Score Is More Important Than You Think, from Ask Mr. Credit Card. As if it was really possible that credit scores could be more important than most PF blog readers think. The post itself turns out to be largely a rant about the "misuse" of credit ratings for such things as screening job applicants. This is unfair because "it is easy to see how most jobs don’t require financial skills."

If you think that credit scores are primarily a measure of financial skills, then you don’t know what financial skills are. Credit scores are mostly a measure of responsibility and organization, something that is germane to just about any job.

Single Guy Money proudly shared the fact that he has now been a member of MyPoints for eleven years. I’m not familiar with that company, but from the gushing post it seems that they pay you around the minimum wage to read emails they send you. Also, you can apparently make money by helping to sign up others, for example via a link in your blog.

And finally, The Canadian Finance Blog brings us the chart of the week, a generic speculative bubble with each of 15 stages named. It’s pretty cool, although the conclusion at the very end, that we are currently in a false dawn and the economy will get worse from here, I don’t buy.

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