Hello everyone, and welcome to the 129th Edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance! This edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance contains 80 wonderful entries to help you learn about personal finance issues, investing, saving, budgeting, and many other great topics. This week’s theme – world currencies. I hope you enjoy this great list of articles, and fun trivia.
The United States Dollar was officially adopted on July 6, 1785 – 9 years after the American declaration of Independence, and 8 years before the British surrendered control of the colonies to the American population. Even with an official currency, silver Spanish coins were legal tender in the US from 1791-1857.*
Editor’s Choice Awards:
- Steve from Brip Blap presents Making Overseas Experience Count. I spent a good bit of time overseas while I was in the USAF and the experience has been invaluable to me. Steve writes, “Just because you spent time overseas in a non-business role doesn’t mean you have to gloss over it on your resume. These experiences can still be powerful resume-boosters if you present them in the right way.” I agree 100%.
- Rob from Two Wise Acres presents 5 Lessons Monopoly Can Teach Us About Real Estate Investing. Anyone can learn real estate investing principles from this classic game.
- Generation X Finance presents A Visual History of the Stock Market: 1996 – 2007. Does the current market situation concern you? Take a look at some historical charts, and you will see it’s all one big cycle.
- Pinyo from Moolanomy presents Using Pareto Principle to Improve Personal Finance. The 80/20 rule is a popular and tested business principle for focusing on the most important factors that deliver the most results. Pinyo uses this principle to provide more insight about his personal finances and spending habits.
- Kay from Don’t Mess With Taxes presents Are credit cards appropriate ‘toys’ for kids?. Wow, this article is an eye-opener. Many toys this holiday season include fake charge and debit cards. I never thought about toy companies making games with credit cards in them – conquering the next set of customers (victims?) before they can even ride a bike. I only add the word victims because children should not learn how to use a credit card from “Material Girl Barbie.”
- Mighty Bargain Hunter presents Invest in yourself by learning things of value, and says, “You can learn how to play Guitar Hero or you can learn how to play the guitar. The choice is yours!”
- Money Walks presents Homeless Guy on Roller Skates Inspires a New Name Brand. I couldn’t figure out how to categorize this entry, then I realized it should be an Editor’s Choice. It touches on career, economics, and self-fulfillment, and is an interesting read.
- The Baglady presents When Did the American Dream Become Debt? I wish more people felt this way. Consumerism and consumption is not a dream for me.
There are at least 26 countries that use the term “dollar” to represent their national currency. Some of these include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Fiji.
- Climbing Out of Debt presents Avoiding Holiday Overspending.
- Elizabeth from Suburban Wife’s Daily Dollar Diary presents Something Extra to be Thankful For, and says, “It hadn’t occurred to me how much a week’s worth of vacation from school and activities would save us in gasoline and benefit our monthly budget.”
- Grace from GRACEful Retirement presents Miscellaneous?, and says, “Grace wrestles with “what’s in a name” when it comes to budgeting”
- Chief Family Officer presents My 2008 Financial Goal: Pay Cash for a New Car.
The coin as a monetary unit was invented between 643 and 630 BC in Lydia. These first coins were made of electrum, a naturally occurring pale yellow mixture of gold and silver. However, because these coins were a mixture of gold and silver, their value was often hard to determine. As refining processes improved, pure gold and silver coins became more common.
- Money $ Liberty presents Know how your company makes money. Solid info for anyone looking to advance in their career.
- Golbguru from Money, Matter, and More Musings presents Lessons From My Job Hunting Expedition.
The Scottish pound is legal tender only in Scotland, and not the rest of the United Kingdom. They are, however, fungible (exact equivalent value) with the British Sterling Pound, and are accepted in most places in the UK on good faith. However, the Bank of Scotland produces the only One Pound Note in the UK, and it is sometimes refused as a form of payment in Wales and England. The rest of the UK uses One Pound Coins.
- The Better Credit Blog presents, How to Remove a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy From Your Credit Report, and says, Removing a chapter 7 bankruptcy from your credit report can be a very painful process (as you would imagine), but it is possible to do if you follow these steps.
- Amanda from Me vs. Debt presents November Cashback Rewards: 2.8%, and says, “Using a two card approach I was able to get 2.8% cash back in credit card rewards. I think this is pretty good for low spenders like me.” That’s a pretty good return in my book.
- Property Innovators presents Which is better – Great Credit or Money Savvy? Should you buy your next car with a traditional loan or a 0% credit card offer?
Australian notes are printed entirely out of polymer plastic. This helps with counterfeit prevention and ensures the bills last longer in hot, humid climates. The first Australian polymer notes were printed in1988, and were rolled into production to replace old notes in the following years. Mexico, Singapore, and Malaysia have also adopted polymer notes in some fashion.
- 4EvaYoung presents Should You Get Rid Of High-Interest Debt Before You Start Saving? When it comes to debt elimination, it is often easier to face the problem by trying to dig yourself out of debt instead of facing your reasons why you are in debt to begin with. But taking the easy route can mean missing a vital opportunity to face your current causes of why you get yourself into these kind of predicaments to begin with.
- Gather Little by Little presents Financial Problems – It’s a Slow Fade.
- One Girl’s Quest… presents Getting serious about debt reduction.
Many coins have serrated ridges on the edges because long ago, coins had an intrinsic value based on their metallic content (usually gold, silver, or copper). Thieves would clip small portions of the metal from the coins, then melt that into a larger amount for later resale. The old coin weighed less than it was supposed to, and it’s value decreased. This started the first use of the phrase, “A dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to.” OK… I made that last part up.
- Debt Free presents Collateralized Debt Obligations – What the Heck Are They, How Do They Affect You, and Why (The He…) Should You Care?
- BEIT from Building Equity in Toronto presents A note on sub-prime debt and derivatives.
Some countries peg their currency against that of another country at a fixed exchange rate. This is called a currency board. Sometimes the countries issue their own currency at a 1:1 exchange rate, other times they use the actual bills and coins in place of their own currency. Some examples include Panama, Ecuador, and El Salvador which use the US Dollar as the basis for their currency, and many Arabian countries peg their currency to the dollar as world oil prices are measured in US dollars.
- Comp Gifts presents 5 “Cheap” Date Ideas to Keep Your Date and Money Happy. Five great and inexpensive date ideas – and if your prospective date doesn’t like these things, find someone else! (that’s my opinion, anyway! )
- Monroe on a budget presents Christmas cards on a budget. That reminds me… I need to get started on my Christmas card list. These tips may just help out!
- FMF from Free Money Finance presents The 10 Most-Hated Money Saving Tips. These are solid tips, but as mentioned, many people don’t like doing them!
- One Frugal Girl presents Clutter Free Christmas Gifts. I love this idea. I strongly dislike giving or receiving gifts that don’t have a practical use, or just take up space!
- Me, My Kid and Life presents Being Frugal in France: Buying Cheap Theatre, Opera and Dance Tickets.
Paper money has been used in China since the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Medieval Islamic world adopted it around the same time 700-1200 AD, and it was not adopted in Europe until the mid-1600s.
- The Dividend Guy shares his story The Metamorphosis From Mutual Fund Investor to Dividend Investor. Personally, I have made the step away from mutual funds and into index funds. My next step is learning to invest in individual stocks.
- Personal Development shares What Is The P/E Ratio And What The Price Earnings Ratio Means.
- Invest with Dax presents 8 Reasons Why the Dollar Will Continue to Fall.
- Mariam from Money Relations presents News flash: Buying what Buffett buys makes you money, and says, “Stating the obvious – investing in what Buffett buys makes you money but there’s now proof.”
- The Investor’s Journal presents How Much Should I Invest In The Stock Market? Many investing rules are too vague for anyone to go by. This article can show you what’s important when it comes to deciding how much money you should invest in the stock market.
- Fathersez presents Keeping accurate investment records and its impact on investment “luck”, and says, “For many people, keeping detailed records of investment activities is often considered a painful chore. With some thinking, simple and very effective systems can be set up for this record keeping. This is the story of my system.”
- Free From Broke presents We Will Retire…Millionaires!!
- My Dollar Plan presents Roth 401k: What Is It?
- The Wild 1 from The Wild Investor presents Over 40% in under 6 months!, and relates how he made a 40% return in the stock market in 5 months.
- Stock Trading To Go presents Ultra ETFs Explained, Strategies Revealed.
- Dividends4Life presents The Most Important Financial Statement. Why cash flow is important when evaluating investments.
- The Best Stock Trading in the World presents Why A Guy Who Never Wants To Buy A Bank Is Thinking About Buying A Bank.
- George from Fat Pitch Financials presents Questions About Tender Offers, and says, “Learn the ins and outs of stock tender offers from this response to a list of questions from one of the readers of Fat Pitch Financials.
In Europe paper money was first introduced in Sweden in 1661. Sweden was rich in copper, which had a low value compared to other coins such as gold or silver. Because of this, extraordinarily large coins (often weighing several kilograms) had to be made. Because the coin was so big, it was more convenient to carry a note stating your possession of such a coin than to carry the coin itself.
- Silicon Valley Blogger from The Digerati Life presents 3 Great Money Lessons From My Old Man.
- Mr. B from Interesting Money presents Just In Case – How to Make Sure Your Spouse Knows Your Financial Passwords, and says, “Options for a contingency plan – if something happens to you, how can you ensure that your spouse (or loved ones) can access the necessary information?”
- Monevator shares Taking stock: How to Set out Your Statement of Affairs.
- My Wealth Builder presents Our Journey To Financial Freedom #9 – The Professionals We Used.
- NCN from No Credit Needed presents Making A Break With The Past – Changing Habits And Thinking Long Term About Personal Finances. Long title – great message.
Where’s George is a popular website used to track US currency locations. The serial numbers on US Dollars are entered into the website and the bill is stamped with a logo or written on to entice other people to participate. Owners then enter the serial number of the dollar and their zip code into the website, and the dollar’s location and travels can be tracked. This website has spawned several imitators in multiple countries including Canada, the UK, Russia, Norway, countries that use the Euro, Japan, South Africa, China, India, and others.
- Searchlight Crusade presents Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance or Regular PMI? This is a great article about how to get PMI removed.
- Mr. Cheap from Quest for Four Pillars presents Real Estate Agents – The Other Side of the Coin.
- Everything Finance shares Mortgage Escrow: To Do Or Not To Do.
- A Penny Closer presents Why I Bought My First House.
One of the first forms of counterfeit money was a fourrée – a coin, that is made from a base metal core that has been plated with a precious metal to look like its solid metal counter part. The US Penny from 1982 and later is an example of a fourrée since it is zinc which has been plated with copper in a manner to deceive. These pennies are much cheaper to produce than pure copper pennies.
- Living Almost Large presents Have I saved enough? Be sure to check out the calculator linked in this article.
Wikipedia lists 194 current official or de facto circulating currencies of the 192 United Nations member states, one UN observer state, three partially recognized sovereign states, six unrecognized countries, and 32 dependencies.
- David from My Two Dollars presents Tax Law Changes In Store For 2008.
The closest thing there ever was to a “world currency” was the Spanish Dollar, or Pieces of Eight. From the 17th-19th centuries, the Spanish dollar was accepted as legal tender throughout Spain, France, Italy, the US, all of Central and South America (excluding Brazil), Canada, most of the Pacific Island nations including the Philippines and Guam, and later in China and other Southeast Asian countries.
- Million Dollar Journey presents Ask the Readers: What is Your Tipping Policy? There are some great reader comments on this article.
- DR from The Dough Roller presents How to Earn a Second Income in Your ‘Second Life’, and says, “Second Life has already crowned its first real life millionaire. Here’s how people are making real money in the virtual world.”
- The Happy Rock presents The Cost Of Having Children. I’ll give you a hint – this is not an article about not having kids just so you can save money. This is a beautiful look at how priorities change in a good way.
- Smart Money Daily presents 3 Bizarre Banking Stories. Trillion dollar overdrafts, million dollar bills and houses sold with the dead owner still inside! Interesting!
- Broke Grad Student presents 9 Great Gift Ideas For A Broke College Student, and says, “9 great gifts that will put a smile on every broke grad student’s face. The list may surprise you.” If there was a category for humor, this one might go there.
- Dividend Money presents Practical Life Lessons From My Dog, and says, “An intriguing story outlining what my dog taught me about money, life, and personal finance.”
- Smarty from Growing Money presents House Cleaning – Turning Trash to Cash. This is a great way to clear the clutter and make some nice money – something I need to do a little more of!
- retirehappy from My Retirement Blog presents When Should You Start Taking Social Security Benefits?
Most “money” is based on a fiat currency, and has no intrinsic value – only the value of the backing from the government that issues it. The US Dollar for example is not pegged to anything other than the US government’s word. Though the US holds billions of dollars worth of gold reserves, the amount of printed money far exceeds the reserves.
Thanks for all the wonderful articles everyone! I’ve enjoyed learning and giving back to the on-line personal finance community.
*all facts sourced via Wikipedia.