First off, welcome The Frugal Toad to our blogroll! Great content is being produced over there all the time, often of a frugal nature. If you like saving money, go check out The Frugal Toad today!
Another week, a few more Twitter followers - up to 61. Not bad, considering we had 0 a few weeks ago.
We added a Facebook page. Go like us. Or just talk trash on our wall; we'll enjoy it either way. What's in it for you? Now you have to read us rambling about it weekly in these posts. Go visit - I have 12 exclusive pictures of random things that will surely ignite loads of controversy.
Enough of the updates, let's talk Carnivals and Links (and eBooks)!
Carnivals and Links
- "45-49 Years Old: The Peak of Your Financial Prowess" was hosted in the Carnival of Personal Finance at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.
- Jon at Free Money Finance prompted Jason at Live Real Now's post, "Paying for Rat." We also have a post entitled "Don't Cheap Out" at Live Real, Now, but it unfortunately seems to have a broken link (update: here it is). The Frugal Toad also picked up Jason's article.
If you haven't read these yet, you're in for a treat!
- "Guest Post: Do good looking people have it easier?" - Nelson at Financial Uproar made a cameo at Give Me Back My Five Bucks to drop a reality bomb on an unsuspecting population. Luckily your columnist is a great looking grey background with blue and white lettering and a web 2.0 Gear in the background. However, don't forget that I'm Photoshopped!
- "Optimal Choices of Medicare Part D Plans" - because we're better off that some people do think about these things, like Jason at the Healthcare Economist.
- "Squirreling Gone Wild #30: The Elusive Bonus" - Squirrelers laughs off a missed bonus from back in the 90s. Strangely, that's well over a decade ago at this point... where has the time gone?
- Two writers we enjoy were interviewed at Credit Card Assist this week: JT at Money Mamba and Bret at Hope to Prosper. Trivia: Bret was our first Twitter follower! Go read his article "Money Fail: Never Track Finances".
- "43% Increase in Healthcare Premium for Me in 2012. How Bad Is Yours?" - Darwin's article is good on its own. However, its awesomeness is tripled by the exchange in the comments section. Hilarious!
- "Are you penny wise but pound foolish?" - Suba is another writer we've been following around, if only because of the epic posts she produces at Wealth Informatics. Read this post.
- "How Prices Ending in 9 Affect Your Buying Habits (Or Not.)" - Short answer, they do! It's a bias known as left number bias and as you can see from that study, it's deeply ingrained. Len reveals biases you didn't even know you had... Now, check out the band he was in.
- "How To Succeed The Dumb And Easy Way" - Because Sam's a champ and he's lived to tell about it. If this was the daily show's web site, this link would be your "article of zen".
Last Up, an eBook
Martin (MD) over at Studenomics sent me a copy of his guide to credit cards in your 20s entitled "Completely Conquer Credit Before You Hit 30".
Martin, (I hate to admit) I did read it in one sitting, even though you warned me a few times throughout that I should put it down.
Who is the Target Audience?
Students and "recent students" would benefit the most from the book. Recent students who worked their way into some student loan or credit card debt would definitely benefit from the book.
Two of the main concerns in the book are establishing your first line of credit, and the psychological process behind paying off accumulated debt. Martin intersperses acquired wisdom and mandatory actions during your journey through the book, and writes with a jovial tongue and liberal use of curses - admittedly a refreshing change of pace on a subject as serious as crushing credit card debts. For a student considering a first line of credit (and perhaps wondering what the Credit CARD Act of 2009 means for their application) to a post-grad looking to get drunk at bars in Europe - Martin's got you covered.
It's certainly a good read for that crowd - not so long that it strains attention spans, and not so short that you'll read it in a single sitting. The copy I received was 62 pages long.
Can't You Get This For Free?
Certainly, a lot of the things Martin writes about are published in various corners of the internet - and even his own site. That's not entirely the point of a guide - you're paying for the author's time in collecting that information in a convenient form. Many other things you could glean from reading credit card agreements or even getting yourself into debt yourself and experimenting with ways to get out (not recommended!). However, what's your time worth? I believe this eBook makes sense at the $17 price point - I believe that's about 2 hours of work at work-study rates. It's possible you'll be saving yourself quite a bit more than that over the course of a credit-card-using life. Go check it out.