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Carnival of Personal Finance #171: Celebrate Fall Edition

Welcome to the Carnival of Personal Finance #171. New readers, I invite you to check out my 10 most recent posts. If you like what you see, please subscribe to this feed with the RSS button at the top. I post Monday through Friday of a variety of personal finance and frugality topics.

Today is the Fall Equinox, which marks the official first day of fall. In addition to this week’s blog carnival submissions, you’ll find tips for celebrating the arrival of fall.

Editor’s Picks: Go Leaf-Peeping

Take a family drive to admire the changing leaves.

My Dollar Plan details the 29 Steps I Took to Leave the Workforce at Age 29.  Congratulations!

Living Almost Large wonders where you draw the line between frugality and overspending in Is Spending Wrong? It seems to me that some people are becoming militant in their views about frugality. It’s about choices, not about always spending as little as possible.

Free Money Finance shares The Test: Can You Handle a Troubled Economy? It’s a quick test, but one definitely worth taking.

Freedom from Broke explains Personal Finance In One Simple Equation. If anyone you know needs a quick lesson in money management send them this.

The Passive Dad shares 10 Ways To Make Your Stuff Feel New Again. Not just little stuff either. We’re talking diamond rings and cars.

Frugality: Jump in a Pile of Leaves

If you’ve got enough leaves on the ground, rake them into a pile and then jump in. It’s guaranteed to make you feel five again.

Fools and Sages offers one more reason not to trust WalMart: WalMart is Watching You so that they can sell you more stuff.

Hustler Money Blog reminds us that it’s the Time of the Year to make sure you’re not overpaying for your utilities and insurance.

My Money Blog has advice for Saving Money on Entertainment, including fun tips like having your “date night” during the day.

Blogciety offers detailed Ways to lower your power bill and save money.

FruGal wonders Would you ever move back home to save cash? I have to go with no, not just to save cash.

Art of the Coupon debates whether buying dollar store pregnancy tests is Frugal or Cheap.

Discover Debt Freedom tells you how to Cut Costs at the Grocery Store by 25% or More.

Amateur Asset Allocator lists his Top 5 Budget Date Ideas.

Feminist engages in a bit of Nuptial Hindsight to figure out which part of the wedding is really important.

Are You Going To Be This Way the Rest of the Time I Know You? shares her view of frugality in Dinner or a Coffee Table…what’s your choice?

Fiscal Zen offers Tips for Saving Money on Contact Lenses.

Retired at 47 discusses When What you Really Want Costs More: Is the Price Ratio Worth It?

Student Scrooge explains the new trend toward Cash “Discounts” At Gas Stations.

Budgeting: Pick a Pumpkin

Save this one for later in the season (like Halloween), then head down to the pumpkin patch to choose your pumpkin and carve it up.

Insure Blog debates whether mandated insurance is good for your wallet in Mandated Missteps.

Cash on the Barrelhead describes the best way she found to budget her money to meet her goals. The 60 Percent Solution and Mint.com.

I’ve Paid Twice for This Already also explains why budgeting frees up guilt-free money for the important things in I Want My Fun To Be Fun – So I Budget

Saving Advice takes the contrarian view in Throw Out The Budget.

My Daily Dollars decides it’s better to marry for love than money in Money and Marriage.

Investing: Bake an Apple Pie

If you eat seasonally, then you probably started to really miss apples. They’re back! Now’s the time to bake apple pies. I love apple-cranberry with a pecan crumble topping, but plain apple and apple-rhubarb are delicious, too.

8 Stock Portfolio suggests Learning from the Market Meltdown even if you lost money.

The Dividend Growth Adviser advises Which candidate is better for dividend investors – McCain or Obama?

Dividends 4 Life presents 7 Stocks Priced For Buying.

Distilled Rose provides a Prosper Lending Update. As both a borrower and a lender, she’s got some insight into whether it really works.

Everyday Finance finds the good in the current market in Profiting from Market Volatility with VIX/ETF Pairs Trades.

Frugal Babe shares her story of leaping into the market with Bought My Exchange Traded Funds.

The Financial Blogger answers the question How Can Some Mutual Funds Offer A Guaranteed 7% Return As A Retirement Income Solution?

New Money explains How Kraft’s Entry Affects the Dow.

Funny About Money calms investor fears by sharing an email exchange with his financial advisor in Financial Advisor to Investor: Don’t Panic!

FIRE Finance looks back at 9/11 and how it changed their financial attitudes. Sep 11, 2001 (9 / 11) – Hindsight And Investment Gains 

The Dividend Guy advises us to Invest When It Feels Like the End of the World.

Greener Pastures updates The Legendary Stocks to Watch Worksheet.

Value Investing and Entrepreneurship by Qovax takes the contrarian view in Index Funds – What You Don’t Know.

Uncommon Cents answers the question: Is There Anything Positive in This Market?

My Simple Trading System introduces a new term: Lehman, Merril Lynch, and AIG Lead to The “Unbubble.”

Tough Money Love shares Your Best Tactics for Tuesday After Market Mania on Monday.

Own the Dollar explains How to Make Money Buying a Stock at its 52 Week High – A Short Squeeze.

The Sun’s Financial Diary tells us why Money-Market Funds May not Be As Safe As You Think.

Penny Jobs argues that Sound Money Management Practices May No Longer Be Practical.

Smart Money Life explains 401k Rollovers – Transferring Your Retirement Investments When Changing Jobs.

Finance: Bake a Pumpkin Pie

Did your pumpkin hold up past Halloween? Bake it into a pie. Even better, buy a sugar pumpkin (which are grown for pie) or a butternut squash to craft your delicious treat.

Blueprint for Financial Prosperity shares the 2009 Federal Income Tax Brackets (Projected). Geez, I’m not done worrying about my 2008 taxes yet!

The Digerati Life reviews various types of insurance in Get The Right Coverage! Insurance Policies You Need and Those To Avoid. I still disagree about the wedding insurance.

MoneyNing demonstrates how small savings add up in Fixing True Life Finances.

The Dough Roller offers a quick quiz so you can answer this question yourself: Are You a Millionaire in the Making?

American Consumer News answers the question: Should You Take Cash Back or Low APR Financing on A New Car?

Economy: Build a Fire

If you have a fireplace or backyard fire pit, it’s time to enjoy it. Toast marshmallows, serve fondue, or just listen to the crackle while reading a good book.

Not the Jet Set tries to answer the question on everyone’s minds: Who Killed the Economy? Government, Corporate or Consumers?

The Happy Rock considers becoming concerned in State of the US Economy – Scary Stuff or Nothing to Worry About?

Personal Finance Analyst convicts Bear Stearns in EMC Mortgage: Guilty As Charged!

Credit and Debt: Pick Apples

Head to a u-pick farm to pick your own apples. Take them home to make fresh applesauce, pie, or caramel apples, sauté them with cinnamon, or just crunch into a whole apple.

Taking Charge now knows that you are your own best credit repair company.

Accumulating Money explains How to Make the Most of Credit Card Balance Transfers.

The Smarter Wallet explains the various auto-financing options in Buying A Car? Get Your Financing First.

Nine Reasons lists Nine Reasons Credit Cards Are Evil.

Ask Mr. Credit Card answers a reader question: How to Lower the APR On Your Credit Card?

Bridging the Gap explains What Is A Credit Card Cash Advance?

No Debt Plan defends his credit card use in Credit Card “Victims” Don’t Pay for 100% of My Credit Card Rewards.

Money Management: Make Soup

Soup is filling on a day with a bit of a snap to it. Chicken, pumpkin, cream of mushroom, minestrone, no matter what you like, make it fresh and serve it hot with crusty bread. Mmmm, delicious.

Gather Little by Little teaches you How to Sell a Used Car.

Debit vs. Credit shares The 3 Dumbest Financial Decisions I’ve Made. If you’ve been regretting your dumb moves, at least you can be glad you didn’t buy six vending machines.

The Simple Dollar advises you to cancel your Least Important Bill use the money to get closer to your goals.

Budgets Are Sexy shares his experience buying life insurance in All about the life insurance today.

Harvesting Dollars breaks down a new method for determining your retirement savings target in The N Factor.

Money and Fitness Blog debates the eternal question: Spend less or earn more: Which is the better route to follow?

One Snarky Chica with Issues explores Free accounting software for Mac users.

The Money Answer Guy answers the question: How Can I Be Sure My Loved Ones Know What to Do in Case of the Unexpected?

Green Panda Treehouse walks through their process of Cleaning Up Bank Accounts And Renewing Our Rental Lease.

Saving: Pull Out the Sweaters

It’s finally sweater season! Take your favorites out now and air them out so they’re ready to go on that first crisp day.

Joshua’s Best explains why he calls his emergency fund the Fire Escape and explains how to build one with a CD ladder.

Saving to Invest explains why he changed savings account types in Making the Move: Vanguard Money Market to ING Direct.

My Family’s Money shares the belief that teaching kids to be rich is about more than making money. How to Make Your Child A Millionare!

Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck answers the question What should I do with my raise?

Online Savings Blog announces E-Loan Intros Savings Plus High-Yield Online Account.

Career: Have a Mulling Party

Mull wine or hard cider for the adults, and apple cider for the kids. Serve lots of good bread, cheeses, and chocolate to accompany it. At the end of the night, send everyone home with a bottle of cider (ask them to bring an empty bottle and a cork) or a bag of mulling spices.

The Financial Wellness Project shows us how to determine whether a craft can be a source of income.

Mighty Bargain Hunter reminds us that in this market Earning power trumps return on investment.

Money and Such has this advice about Asking for a Raise – Consider the Context.

The Personal Financier compares the trade-offs in Coming To Terms with Never Getting Rich – A Look at the Pre-Requirements.

One Girl’s Quest has this advice: Don’t burn through your emergency fund! How to find a job in this rough economy.

Real Estate: Photograph Leaves

While you’re out leaf-peeping, bring your camera. Be mindful of good images as you drive. Stop to take pictures of long, multi-colored lanes and close-ups of piles of leaves. Print the best one and frame it as a cheap fall decoration.

Searchlight Crusade explains how you can pay down your mortgage faster without gimmicks in Mortgage Accelerators, Money Merge, and Paying Your Mortgage Down.

Other: Attend a Harvest Festival

Octoberfast, Fall Fest, Harvest Festival, whatever it’s called, you can probably find one in your area. Take a picnic, but make to buy at least one candy apple or bag of toasted nuts to really enjoy the festivities.

Christian Personal Finance is disappointed by FauxPlomas and the watering down of college degrees. As someone who worked hard for her Masters while others buy them on the internet, I totally agree.

Socal Savvy has tips for you if you want to start your own PF blog in Martha + technology = a good thing!

Cash Money Life explains How to File A FEMA Claim.

Passive Family Income tells us how to create passive income from writing.

Moolonamy also has advice if you’re considering turning a hobby into income in Visualize Your Income Potential.

Happiness is Better reveals 6.1 Key Steps to Success.

Broke Grad Student shares a rather unique way to pay back student loans in Girl Selling Her Virginity To Pay For College.

Bumblefucked offers solutions for the out-of-work in Unemployed? Make some quick extra money around your home.

The Frugal Duchess outlines gift card protections consumer groups are lobbying for in Bankruptcy and Gift Cards– Seeking Protection for Consumers.

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