August has come and gone in what feels like record time, but since this Friday Finance Findings comes at the very end of the month I’d like to take the time to highlight and thank the top five readers who submitted comments throughout the month:
I’m going to try and make it a point to highlight the top five at the end of every month, so if you want to make the list, the clock starts fresh again tomorrow. I really do appreciate the thoughtful comments on the site, the discussion is what really makes the place, so keep it up! And with that said, here are some things to read over the weekend.
How to Establish Credit – On my other site I put together a resource to highlight some ways to establish credit. It can be a bit frustrating trying to get your foot in the door, but looking to the right places can help.
Save Money on Movies, Music, Television, and Books – This is a timely post since we’re currently looking at how to cut our entertainment costs. We have cable and our promotion is up, and we live too far in the country to get their HD package, yet we’re paying the same as if we were. So we need to look at alternatives, it could mean saving $50/month.
The Credit Card Arbitrage Game – It is true, you can actually make money by doing balance transfers. The Sun goes into detail about the process and shows how it can be done. It may not be for everyone, but if you’re interested, this is the best place to start.
Nervousness and the Markets – As I’ve said before, if you have a portfolio that is allocated appropriately for your goals and risk tolerance, the volatility in the market shouldn’t make you do anything crazy. MBH examines a different responses given over the past week.
Is Capital One Intentionally Harming Credit Scores? – I have never had a Capital One card, but this information is shocking. Nickel points out that they are changing the policy, but for years they have been harming credit scores everywhere.
What Are Your Money Leaks? – We all have them, and some are worse than others. Golbguru examines his own leaks and the readers chime in with their leaks. Mine probably has to be with groceries. I can spend a small fortune buying seafood or 2 pound NY Strip steaks, but they taste so good!
Bottled Water is Ridiculous – I’m going to have to agree with Jim on this one, and unless you live somewhere that the water is proven to be unsafe or has some funky smell or taste, bottle water is a joke. Sure, it is nice to just reach in the fridge and grab a cold bottle to go, but the cost and environmental impacts for this convenience for nothing better than tap water is crazy.
What Color is Your Job? – According to this, I have a fairly standard “White Collar” job. I am a salaried professional that spends most of the time in the office. SVB takes a look at the other types of job classifications. What color are you?
Investing in Junk Bonds – I’m a high yield bond junkie myself. Anyone who says bonds are only for retirees doesn’t understand junk bonds. They can be just as risky as stocks and yield double digit returns as well. Of course with the market turmoil lately, even these investments are taking a hit. Ben explains junk bonds in a bit more detail.
Make Your Death Easier on Your Heirs by Writing a Letter of Instruction – This is an often overlooked piece in estate planning. Most people will go through the trouble to create a will, yet ignore the letter of instruction. This simple letter can save a lot of time and frustration for your heirs when you pass.
Save Money on Food: Make a Pot of Soup – I’m a sucker when it comes to cooking and food, and now that the weather will begin cooling down this is a timely tip. I need to get into the habit of making more soup myself. I usually make a few good pots of chili to get through the fall and winter, but I need to experiment with some of the recipes here as well.
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Filed Under: Friday Finance Findings
About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.