Highlights of the Carnival of Personal Finance #218

This week the carnival is at Budgets Are Sexy.

Right there at the top in the editor’s picks was a submission from Free Money Finance, telling us that a pleasant attitude and personality will help you Island Crop - Erik Christensen succeed. I’ll  have to take his word for that.

Realm of Prosperity had a brilliant idea to help us all pay down our debt. "Create the illusion of a smaller amount through the use of many 9s." Don’t pay $20 each month on a debt, pay $19.99. You’ll feel better. Somehow.

I was encouraged by a post from Financial Methods on Stupid, Pointless and Worthless Frugality Tips. The author is obviously new at this. Neither toilet paper nor dryer lint is mentioned. Still, it’s always good to see another blogger willing to take a stand against dumpster diving.

Single Guy Money had a post on saving for Christmas. He has a theory that if you start saving for Christmas gifts in January instead of August you will have to save less per month for the same amount of total savings at the end of the year. He shares a spreadsheet to prove it.

And we got another great (and sound) tip from Sound Money Matters, in How to Avoid Overdraft Protection Fees. [Spoiler Alert!] Don’t overdraw your account.

On a more philosophical plane, Automatic Finances made the argument that There Is No Level Playing Field when it comes to investing. The pros will always have more information about stocks/bonds/whatever than you do. I don’t quite agree. The pros will beat you in the long run, but not because they have more data. That is (mostly) a level playing field. The winners in the stock market are not people with more information, but players who can best use the same information everybody else has to predict the future.

Darwin’s Finance shared a useful post explaining the basics of options, something I thought about doing the other day but didn’t. Because it was too much work.

And finally, the recession is apparently over in Canada. The Canadian Finance Blog had a post touting bargains to be had if you are in the market to buy your own island. It even has links to two websites devoted to listings of islands for sale. I’ll admit that the buy-in is a lot less than I would have thought, but the islands available on the cheap are all pretty small. Few of them are large enough to accommodate the underground laboratories I would require and not a single one has an active volcano.

[Photo: Erik Christensen]

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