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Carnival of Smart Money #2 Welcome to the September 29th, 2007 edition of carnival of smart money. We had over 50 article submissions this month, I selected 24 of the quality articles to make the cut. Happy reading! Sagar Satapathy presents All You Need is Love and a Good Financial Plan: 17 Finance Tips from the Beatles posted at Credit Card Lowdown , saying, "When youre in need of a little financial pick-me-up, who do you turn to? Someone you trust, someone who has experience dealing with money, ... DIY: 5 Steps to Becoming Your Own Financial Planner It seems that more and more people are talking about their financial planners these days. At times, it feels like not having a financial planner means that you are not serious about money or that you are just not serious about doing smart things with your money. I don't buy that idea! I think that it is possible to be VERY serious about your money without paying someone called a "financial planner" to give you advice that you can ... Why Money Matters Even if we don't always act like it, we know "money doesn't buy happiness". According to Jonathan Clements of The Wall Street Journal, "We think more money will make us happier and yet studies suggest Americans are no more satisfied than they were three decades ago, when the standard of living was much lower." Additionally, if we believe what we read in the papers, lottery winners are often in worse circumstances (personally and financially) after winning the lottery than ... You’ve definitely lost control of your budget when… you operate your PERSONAL finances at a deficit (the same way the government operates our nation's finances) you record all your financial transactions in the MISCELLANEOUS category you can fit your "written budget" on the palm of your hand your idea of a monthly allowance is "whatever is left" you cannot identify $5, $10, or $20 bills when you see them in circulation you think, because of the free t-shirts, filling out credit card applications is a good way to beef up ... Working (and solving) the Educational Savings Puzzle "The main difference between real-life puzzles and artificially constructed ones is that the former have no identifiably correct solutions, while the latter always do." - Will Shortz Many parents would argue that the puzzle of saving for education is the most challenging one they face. As with any puzzle, it can be worked in more than one way. Treating this issue like a jigsaw puzzle may help. It can be addressed systematically and, no matter the order in which ... DIAGNOSIS: ARM "Mr. Gage? Dr. Banks is ready for you." DR. BANKS: What seems to be the problem today? M. GAGE: I am worried about losing my house. My house payment is going up - a lot! DR. BANKS: Tell me about that. M. GAGE: Well, when I bought my house a couple of years ago, I got a mortgage with a really low monthly payment. Before I applied for the loan, I remember being worried about being accepted. I had ... $100 Until Payday! 8 days until payday... OK. The checking account is pretty low! With any luck at all, I won't have to go back to the grocery store before pay day. Who am I kidding? Of course, I'll have to go back to the store. At least I have paid everything that I HAVE to pay this month. I'll just have to be extra careful with what's left. checking account balance = $124.31 7 days until payday... The truth? I didn't even make it until ... Breaking the Book Budget: 5 Ways to Spend Less for College Textbooks In today's college environment, planning and budgeting for textbooks is a major part of the financial equation that college students must solve. Some estimates indicate that, on average, students will spend as much as $5000 for textbooks and supplies during a 4 year period. Additionally, the GAO (Governmental Accountability Office) reports that, since 1987, college textbook prices have risen at twice the rate of inflation. With the right information and appropriate timing, there are ways to reduce the cost of college textbooks ...