Yakezie Carnival: The Best of Summer

Brent Pittman —  08/25/2012

You may have remembered a while back that I joined the Yakezie Challenge. I’ve learned a lot from this mixed group of financial writers and I have the pleasure of highlighting a slew of great articles from the summer.

I’ve broken them down in general categories so you can read what interests you. The week’s theme is the “Best of the Summer”. I’ll add a few pictures of summer memories of our family so you can smile while scrolling.

Go ahead warm up your coffee and learn a bit about money and life from the Yakezie Network.

Urban Garden: Pepper Plant in Milk Jug

We started an Urban Garden this summer.


Emily @ Evolving Personal Finance writes Blog Statistics Update July – August 2012 – EPF’s blog statistics from the last month, and why I’m frustrated with myself.

Jessica Moorhouse @ Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses writes Why I Chose NOT too Be an Anonymous Blogger – Many bloggers prefer to remain anonymous, but I chose to go public so readers could know the real me, understand my voice, and for me to be held responsible for owning every single word I wrote.

MMD @ My Money Design writes Blogging Tips from All the Dumb Mistakes I Made My First Year – I made a lot of mistakes within the first year of my blog. Here’s a look back at them and my blogging tips for doing things the right way!

Eddie @ Finance Fox writes The Cold Hard Truth On Being a Personal Finance Blogger – What I Learned In Less Than 2 Years! – Looking back now at your blogging journey, you can agree with me on this: Being a blogger and blogging is anything but easy.

The $100 Startup

One of my favorite reads this summer. The $100 Startup.


Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Budgeting Can Change Your Life And Get You Out Of The Debt Hole – Budgets and budgeting are the key to savings and getting out of debt.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes Is Budgeting Worth Your Time? – Find out how you can keep budgeting simple and avoid the time consuming tasks that are often associated with managing your finances.

A Blinkin @ Funancials writes The Ideal Budget for a Single Guy (Age 24) – The transition from college student to young professional can be one of the most fun times in your life, but it can also be a time of stress. The increasing inflow can be extremely exciting, but only if it exceeds the increasing outflow. The bills that mom and dad used to cover (without your knowing) are now directed to your mailbox. This article will tell a 24 year old single guy how to budget.

Erin Shanendoah @ The Dog Ate My Wallet writes How Having a Budget is Helping me Succeed in Other Goals – How my experience setting up a budget and sticking to it is helping me start a new diet and exercise regime.

Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes My Advice to a Person Budgeting for the First Time – Someone asked for my help this past week in creating a budget for their household.

Career & Small Business

Ray @ Squirrelers writes 6 Reasons Public Speaking Skills are Important to Your Career and Finances – Public speaking is something that many people don’t look forward to. However, it’s a skill that can help you in your career and ultimately with finances, as this post discusses.

krantcents @ KrantCents writes Start a Business at 59 Years Old? – Would you start a business at 59 years old? Bob Chinn did! His seafood restaurant is the highest grossing restaurant in the United States. It is not in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles! It is in Wheeling, Illinois. It is just thirty (30) miles from Chicago.

PITR @ Passive Income To Retire writes Negotiating Your Salary and Benefits – Find out important career tips and what you can do to negotiate your way to a better job.

Glen Craig @ Free From Broke writes Review: Outright Online Accounting Software – If you are looking for bookkeeping software to help with the accounting for your small business then take a look at Outright.com, which has both free and paid version.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes College Education Or Entrepreneurship? – During the formidable teenage years, many parents help guide their children toward getting excellent grades in school, playing some sort of athletic sports, and filling their resume with lots of extracurricular activities. However, there isn’t a lot of emphasis by the schools or parents on helping young adults focus their energies on becoming an early stage entrepreneur. There is always a debate about whether book smarts or street smarts are more important, but here is some exciting news.

Femme Frugality @ Femme Frugality writes Free Education Brought to You By Social Entrepreneurship – A social entrepreneurship company, Coursera, is bringing ivy league professors to the masses…for free. This was my favorite post to research and write this summer as the news was exciting to me, but applied to the rest of the world as well!

Beating Broke @ Beating Broke writes I Quit My Job: Where I Went Wrong – I tried, through my previous posts, to adequately cover the reasoning, and process, of quitting my job. One thing that I didn’t cover, however, was the mistakes I made along the way.

Robert @ My Multiple Incomes writes Should You Get Your Masters? – There are also many factors to think about when deciding whether or not more schooling is for you. These factors can include the value/goals, cost and time.

Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think writes How to Make Extra Income With Online Odd Jobs – Where to find fresh opportunities to supercharge your earnings without the hassle of starting a traditional business.

Teacher Man @ My University Money writes Investing In Yourself Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive – There is plenty of buzz out there these days about “investing in yourself”. Usually it is in reference to some magical product that you should buy. The logic is that by investing in what they have to offer, you are really just spending the money to improve themselves, and really, who doesn’t want that?

Evan @ My Journey to Millions writes Increasing My Annual Income 10% – Knowing how much you made one year compared to the previous can help you quickly gauge if you’re properly handling your money. If you earned 10% more this year but only have a 3% increase in savings where did the other 7% go?


Stephanie @ The Empowered Dollar writes How to Qualify for Student Loans, Even If You’re a Parent with Bad Credit – Are you trying to secure student loans for your teen but you’re struggling to qualify because of your not-so-stellar credit? Here are 3 options for taking out student loans, if you don’t have a good credit score.

Debt Guru @ Debt Free Blog writes Prioritizing Your Debt Pay Off – Find out the best strategy to paying off debt. Learning the best way to pay off debt can motivate anyone to get started now.

John @ Married (with Debt) writes We Did It: Debt Free – How we became consumer debt free, and how you can too. Intentional living for married couples. Get out of debt.

harry campbell @ Your Personal Finance Pro writes Why Borrowing From Your 401k is a Bad Idea – here aren’t many loans out there that allow you to borrow without a credit check and pay yourself interest, but that’s what a 401k loan does. Sounds pretty awesome right? Well it isn’t all good, and although pundits argue that 401k loans are a good alternative to commercial loans and definitely a better choice than an outright distribution, a 401k loan goes against the whole principle of retirement investing.

Wedding adventures in Oklahoma.


Suba @ Broke Professionals writes Brown Bag It: Tips For Making Cheap Lunch – Deciding to brown bag it doesn’t meal relegating yourself to a life of school lunches with PB&J and baby carrots. Here are my favorite adult lunch ideas.

Rich @ Money Wise Pastor writes How I Saved $1,100 on Car Repairs – The unbelievable but true story of how I saved $1,100 on car repairs on our 12-yr old van, thanks to a second opinion, free towing, and a 40-hour test drive.


Young @ Young And Thrifty writes How Far Would You Go to Score a Deal? – This is my journey to get myself 16,500 free Aeroplan points. It took a while, but in the end I was able to take a mini vacation!

Deacon Hayes @ Well Kept Wallet writes Why it Pays to Go Back to the Store – Every time I go to Fry’s, they post the ads on the right as soon as you walk in the door. I have made it a habit to go over to see if there is anything that is a good deal or worth looking at. Well, this time I noticed that a radio I had bought within the past 30 days was on sale for $20 less. I remembered that they had a price match guarantee and decided I would ask if they would give me the difference.

Steven @ Grocery Alerts writes 3 Monthly Expenses to Cut to Save you Money – Although monthly expenses don’t seem like very much, but they can really add up. For example, a $100 cable bill on a monthly basis equates to $1200 at the end of the year. Here are a few tips on some monthly expenses that you could consider cutting.

Steve @ Canadian Personal Finance writes Is it OK to get a discount if you are good looking? – Would you turn down a discount because you were good looking? A customer received a discount for being good looking. This was simply a joke by the server but honestly it brings up a good question, do good looking people get discounts?

Sustainable PF @ Sustainable Personal Finance writes That Old Refrigerator May Be Costing You – Got an old fridge? Tired of soaring energy costs? Here are some strategies to save you money!

Night hike up Echo Mt. in Los Angeles.

Investing and Retirement

John @ Calling the Puts writes Save Money by Learning to Spend Wisely – The first step to investing is saving, and the key to saving money is learning how to spend it properly.

Squeezer @ Personal Finance Success writes Dividend basics and important dates to remember – Dividends are when companies pay shareholders (investors) for owning a portion of the company. Money must be invested by a specific date to earn the dividend.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes Fee Based Vs Commissioned Based Financial Planners – There are two main types of financial planners – fee based and commission based. Both types of financial planners provide financial advice on how to best manage most aspects of your financial life.

Passive Income Earner @ The Passive Income Earner writes Is RIM a Good Investment? – Research In Motion (RIM for short) has been an icon for Canada with their Blackberry but the fierce competition it has faced since Apple came out with the iPhone has challenged their market hold on the smartphone. Not only has Apple taken a bite of their market but so has the Android based smartphones.

Luke @ Learn Bonds writes Emerging Market Debt: Having Your Cake and Eating it Too – Emerging market debt trades at – twice the yield of developed country debt and triple the fundamentals.

Corey @ 20s Finances writes Young Adult Retirement Planning – Benefits of Saving a Lot Early – Find out when you should start saving for retirement and how much you should be saving for retirement.

IMB @ Investing Money writes Investing Money is Important – Find out why investing money is important. You could be missing out on a lot of money.

Robert @ The College Investor writes Why Do We Sell Low and Buy High? An Interview with Amir Avitzur – The number one investing mistake that most people make is buying high and selling low. And that is exactly the title of the recent book by Amir Avitzur – Why Do We Sell Low and Buy High? The Guide You Must Read Before You Invest! This book takes you through a journey through the basics of how the stock market works, and what investors should think about at every stage of choosing and following an investment selection.

Paul Vachon @ The Frugal Toad writes Deciding When to Retire – Deciding when to retire can be a difficult decision to make. Will I have enough income from my retirement accounts, pension, and social security to live comfortably in retirement?

Marie at FamilyMoneyValues @ Family Money Values writes Making Compound Interest Real for Your Kids – Kids learn best through experience. Learn some simple steps to helping your child learn and experience the power of compound interest.

Invest It Wisely @ Invest It Wisely writes I Don’t Need to Worry about Retirement Yet, Do I? – When is it time to worry about your retirement savings? Read my article to learn when…

MR @ Money Reasons writes Is A Roth IRA One Of The Best Protection Against High Future Tax Rates? – With tax hikes more than likely in the future, is a Roth IRA your best protection against the government being able to tax all of your money?

Corey @ Steadfast Finances writes Should You Invest in Dividend Stocks? – Find out if dividend stocks live up to the hype. The payment structure seems to have an advantage on other stocks, but is that really the case?

Ryan @ Early Retirement Investments writes How Solar Power Can Make You a Passive Income – Learn how solar power can make you passive income. I bet your in for a small surprise!

I was able to tour the @payoff offices.

Personal Finance

Lance @ Money Life & More writes How to Write a Check – In today’s environment I personally wouldn’t surprised at all if you don’t know how to write a check. Writing a check seems like a pain with the options you have for paying your bills today. However there are just some times when you don’t have many other options other than writing a check.

J Wayne @ All Things Finance writes The True Cost of Car Ownership – Car ownership costs much more than people think. It’s not just a matter of what you pay each month, but many more factors such as depreciation, insurance, fuel, interest and taxes.

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey @ My Personal Finance Journey writes Financial Considerations of Getting a New Pet – The financial commitment to owning a pet is long-term and often something not taken into consideration before adopting a new four-legged friend. This post illustrates how Jacob from MPFJ and his girlfriend decided that they could financially handle adopting a second dog and how they accounted for the long-term financial commitment of dog ownership in their personal finances

BARBARA FRIEDBERG @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance writes 5 Tips to Get Rich and Build Wealth – Building wealth is a key to independence and freedom; and it’s not all about the money. More people get depressed, get divorced, and get stressed over money issues than most other worries. By eliminating the living paycheck to paycheck fears and building long term wealth, emergency savings, and money for retirement, you remove one of the life’s greatest stressors.

Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes Living Paycheck to Paycheck – In my recent wanderings on the world wide web, I came across an article on CBS MoneyWatch that said 38% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. This is up from 31% back in 1997.

SB @ One Cent at a Time writes How to Effectively Manage Different Financial Accounts and Information – Effectively managing financial institution accounts is equally important as saving money. Still we don’t usually put much attention on managing side of the personal finance. In personal finance, diversification is as important as managing that diversified portfolio. Do it effectively

Jon the Saver @ Free Money Wisdom writes Lack of Liquidity May Be Why You Don’t Feel Rich – Having a lack of liquidity has real negative consequences that can be really bad for your finances.

Jester @ The Ultimate Juggle writes Make Time To Enjoy Life While Swimming in Chaos – You never know what is around the corner, so make sure you make time to enjoy life! You only get one shot at it!

Jason @ Work Save Live writes 4 Ways to Build an Emergency Fund Faster – Should You Have an Emergency Fund? Despite conventional wisdom suggesting that it would be wise to have a stash of savings set aside for unforeseen events that life could throw your way, many Americans opt to forgo the safety net and face life’s challenges on a whim.

Cash Flow Mantra @ Cash Flow Mantra writes When It Rains It Pours – But I would like to share why I wish I had a better emergency fund cushion. The main reason is that when it rains, it usually pours (and hails, too). Over the past month, the following has happened.

Dr. Dean @ The Millionaire Nurse Blog writes They’re Your Medical Records, Too – Medixbase is an online medical record system developed by Michelle Mourre, RN. With Medixbase you’re in charge of your records and they’re readily available.

Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy writes Clearing Out the Clutter – Clutter is the enemy to us all! Read my attempt to conquer it!

PPlaner @ Provident Plan writes Is Prepaid or Traditional the right credit card for you? – Last week I talked about whether you should avoid debt. In case you haven’t read the article, I talked about how managing our finances, like much of life, is never black and white. This applies to debt. In many ways it may be advantageous to be debt free, but not always.

Mr. Money @ Smart on Money writes Can You Contest that Will? – Many of us think of the will as the final word in inheritance. However, this is far from the truth. Some things, like beneficiaries listed on retirement accounts and life insurance policies, supersede what is in a will. And, there is always the possibility of contesting a will if you feel as though distribution wasn’t what it should be.

Kathleen @ Frugal Portland writes Let’s not judge too quickly – Poor people have things — discuss.

Kevin @ Thousandaire writes Prepare For An Emergency Today!!! – Let me tell you a story about what happened to me and my girlfriend Tag over the weekend. It was seriously one of the scariest moments of my life.

Aloysa @ My Broken Coin writes How Much Money Are We Supposed to Spend on Friends? – Friends. My biggest monetary pet peeve lately. Nowadays it is not easy to be a good friend. Nor it is cheap anymore.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Steps to Achieve Financial Security – Learn three basic steps to achieve financial security. Everyone should be striving for this goal because of what it offers.

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Couples and Money – Splitting the Bills – A guide for couples on how to split the bills they are now facing together, presenting three different ways and the advantages of each.

Zach @ Milk and Honey Money writes 10 Bible Verses about Money That Will Change Your Life – What does the bible say about money? A lot actually. Get the Top 10 verses that will change your life and how you think about your finances.

Universal Studios City Walk.

Real Estate

Kurt Fischer @ Money Counselor writes 2nd Mortgage Blocking Refinance? – If you’ve got a second mortgage on your home, refinancing the first mortgage mean clearing another hurdle: Resubordinating mortgage #2.

L Bee @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes 7 New Home Budget Busters – I had originally set a goal for this month of not letting my spending get over 1k. I topped this number easily and upon further examination realized there were several culprits. I moved into a new apartment two months ago … Continue reading →The post 7 New Home Budget Busters appeared first on L Bee and the Moneytree.

Holly @ Club Thrifty writes Real Estate Rehab: Confessions of a Houseaholic – I am ashamed to admit this but…my name is Holly…and I have a problem. I am addicted to real estate. Please feel free to read on and share in my story.

TRL @ The Retired Landlord writes Real Estate Leverage – Using it to Your Advantage – Are you wondering what real estate leverage is? Find out the answer and how to leverage your money to build wealth faster without the risk.

Daisy @ Add Vodka writes Planning For Homebuying – I will admit that I am really not always the most patient of people. When I get something in my head, I want it now. Not in a year, not in three months, NOW.

Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents. writes Are You Buying a Home? – My friends and I were recently talking about how my friend is buying her first house. As she was talking about their home buying process, I was the only one out of the 6 of us who knew really what she was talking about. Do you know home buying terms?

Maria @ The Money Principle writes Real estate ownership: a blessing or a bother? – I am on holiday and the real estate problems I have in Bulgaria is heavy on my mind. To rent or to sell?

Daniel @ Sweating the Big Stuff writes What Determines the Value On Your Home Loan? – You’ll see a lot of three-letter acronyms thrown around as you shop for a home loan: APR, FHA, PMI. It’s enough to make your head spin. But there’s one mortgage acronym – LTV, short for loan-to-value ratio – that’s always puzzled me. Read more to get the lowdown!
PK @ Don’t Quit Your Day Job… writes Can Tracking Construction Help Predict Economic Decline? – A Yakezie collaboration – American Debt Project and Don’t Quit Your Day Job set out to answer the question at the tip of all of your tongues – can we divine any new information by reading the construction tea leaves? See what we came up with!
Jen @ Master the Art of Saving writes Preparing Our Finances 4 Home Ownership – By estimating our mortgage and bills and preparing our finances for home ownership now, we can begin to adjust our budget to avoid a financial apocalypse later.

Everything Finance @ Everything Finance Blog writes Timeshares: Trap of all Traps – Timeshares have taken so much heat over the last few years that pretty much everyone knows to steer clear. But do we really know why they’re so bad in the first place?

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Tiny House Design Plan Book – Downsizing has been a hot trend during this recession (or recession as of late if you think it’s over) and one way some people are downsizing is in their everyday abode. From Tiny Tumbleweeds to small eco-footprints, small is the new “in.” And small sometimes becomes tiny – tiny can be linked to freedom in some ways; freedom from too much stuff, too much debt, or just too much of everything.

 YFS @ Your Finances Simplified writes 2 Home Buying Tips That People Never Tell You! – I would like to talk about home ownership, in particular, mortgages. Now everyone tells you that home ownership is better than renting.

My boy learning how to ride his Radio Flyer.

Insurance and Taxes

Edward Antrobus @ Edward Antrobus writes How Much Life Insurance Do You Need? – Life insurance is a very real need that many people ignore. But at the same time, you probably don’t need as much as you think you do.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes 4 Tax Law Changes We Need To Make Permanent – With the presidential election beginning to heat up in America over the next several months, we are all going to hear a lot about income taxes.

Melissa @ Mom writes Why You Need Life Insurance – Life insurance is now more affordable than ever. You may think you don’t have the money to buy it, but I urge you to evaluate your expenses.

JP @ My Family Finances writes No. You Don’t Need to Buy Life Insurance for Your Children – Buying life insurance for your children to guarantee insurability is like paying money to protect hypothetical people.

J.P. @ Novel Investor writes 2012 Summer Tax Tips – Paying the lowest taxes possible should be a national pastime. It’s always a good idea to have a few tax tips handy.

Personal Stories

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes Peach Tree Battle – Don’t fight the peach tree battle. Plant blueberries instead! We’ve had banner crops from two bushes for 4 years since planting them 5 years ago!

Jason @ Live Real, Now writes Letterboxing – This week, I’ve been taking my kids letterboxing. We go to a letterboxing site(either LBNA or Atlas Quest), choose a letterbox, then follow the clues. When we find the letterbox, we stamp our letterbox journal with the stamp we find there and stamp the book we find with our stamp. It’s similar to geocaching, but without a gps.

Emily @ Evolving Personal Finance writes Toeing into the E in EPF – I washed my husband’s smartphone and other updates from our household

Those were some good articles right? What were some of your BEST summer moments? 

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.