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The Birthweek Roundup

by Shawanda Greene

Post image for The Birthweek Roundup

This week wasn’t bad at all. I’m still crossing my fingers and hoping my web site stays up.

The highlight of this week was having the opportunity to meet a You Have More Than You Think reader in person. The meeting was especially interesting for me because he’s from Sweden. I’m always eager to hear how people from other countries live. It fascinates me when someone makes a point that forces me to question the validity of what I’ve always held as truth. *Shivers*

Alright. We’re talking about personal finance. So without further delay, here are my weekly picks.

Calculating Net Worth: Does Home Value Belong There? by J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy.

I guess it was fate. J. Money’s August 18th (my 28th birthday!) post deals with how to calculate your net worth. Apparently, it’s more complicated than assets – liabilities = net worth. The debate surrounds whether your primary residence should be  included in the calculation.

What do you think? Don’t answer that question here. You can find my thoughts on this earth shattering, ground breaking, and mountain moving issue in the comment section of the post.

How to Minimize the Impact of Canceling A Credit Card by Jim Wang @ Bargaineering

I don’t like this new credit card legislation. I’m not convinced credit card companies are going to become any less slimy than they already are as a result of it. For that reason, I’m concerned that those of us who are responsible with credit will have to terminate existing relationships and take our business elsewhere. But there’s a catch: FICO®. How do you cause the least amount of harm to your credit score when canceling a credit card?

Who’s to Blame for Overdraft Charges? by Liz Pulliam Weston @ Ask Liz Weston

I ‘d like you to read the blog post on Liz’s web site. In case you’re pressed for time, I’ll answer the question of who’s to blame for overdraft charges: You’re to blame.

That is all.

Things You Don’t Need to Buy – Reducing Waste by Carla Rose @ Green and Chic

As long as you don’t get carried away, I find that greener living is simpler and more cost effective. Eliminating waste is a surefire way to increase your savings.

Although I’ve gotten more careful about the books I buy, I recently purchased annual subscriptions to Real Simple and Smart Money magazines. They were only $5 a piece. I’ve received four issues between the both of them and haven’t read one. We’ll see how the remaining ten months pan out.

Recognizing You Have A Problem by Mapgirl @ Mapgirl’s Fiscal Challenge

Mapgirl delves into one of the biggest unnecessary drains on our finances. Why is it so difficult to combat disorganization and laziness? For me, every day is a struggle.

Now for a little Arrested Development.

Photo By: MShades

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Adventurous Wench travel store August 23, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Belated happy birthday! I hope you had a blast. I like links 1 and 3.

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Shawanda Greene August 23, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Thank you! I didn’t go anywhere for my birthday, but I still enjoyed my time at home. I’ll do a little belated celebrating tonight at Texas de Brazil. I’m not paying for the meal, but I have a coupon.

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Carla August 23, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Happy belated birthday! For some reason, I thought you were older than I am. I think its your wisdom. :) Thank you for the link love!

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mapgirl August 24, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Thanks for the link! I’m glad you liked the article. (And Happy Birthday!)

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Goran August 24, 2009 at 3:22 PM

“It fascinates me when someone makes a point that forces me to question the validity of what I’ve always held as truth.”

Okay, now I’m curious..! =)

About home value, it seems a bit odd to me to not include that in our net worth. We could always sell it and move to a smaller place, or a less attractive neighborhood, right?

To me, real estate can be just as good an investment as stocks or bonds. Couldn’t we in fact get a higher gearing on real estate since it’s much easier to get substantial loans for that?

What do you think Shawanda, should we include it or not?

By nature I’m a very disorganized person. But I think post #5 is rather about whether we should spend some of our time (finding stuff that is missing in this case) or our money.

The value of time in terms of money is an outstanding challenge. How much more would we spend on flying instead of taking the bus? Depends on the distance, right? Time spent on the road.

Belated happy birthday! Hope you got tons of love on your birthday week =)

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Shawanda Greene August 25, 2009 at 2:11 AM

I wouldn’t include a primary residence or any other asset I consider a necessity and have no intention of selling in my net worth. After all, I can’t get my money out of it unless I sell it. Once I sell it, I’ll need to replace it. However, no one is going to financial hell for including a home in their net worth calculation.

I think it’s dangerous if you include your home in your net worth and use its value as an excuse to skimp on other investments (stocks, bonds, investment real estate, limited partnerships, etc.)

For instance, having a $200k home with $800k in other financial investments is a much safer position to be in than a $1,000,000 home with $0 in other investments. Under both scenarios, you’d still be able to call yourself a millionaire.

It’s too late for me start up on borrowing to invest in real estate. I’ll save that for later.

There are financial benefits to being organized. How long does it take to put a book on a bookshelf or a bottle of aspirin in the medicine cabinet? You’ll spend far more time looking for or replacing these items than you would if you just put them somewhere you could find them. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

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Ashley August 24, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Happy belated b-day!

Thanks for the break down of Liz’s article, jk! We all know the banks are just trying to get over. It’s our job to make sure we don’t let them or if we feel we’re getting the short end of the stick, to take our business elsewhere.

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Shawanda Greene August 25, 2009 at 1:41 AM

@Carla – Thank you and you’re welcome! Sometimes I wonder if people believe I’m older because they think I’m wise or because my face reveals I spent too long working a stressful job.

@Ashley. Thanks. I just read on Bargaineering that Citi will no longer offer automatic travel insurance. I know we were talking about checking accounts, but I think it’s worth mentioning since a) they’re a bank and b) we have to watch them. I really hope I don’t have to cancel my HHonors American Express. We’ll see how they behave in the coming months.

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