Yakezie Carnival – Examples of Selflessly Helping Others Throughout History – September 25th, 2011 Edition

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Welcome everyone to the September 25th, 2011 edition of the Yakezie Carnival!

About This Carnival

For those of you unfamiliar with the Yakezie Personal Finance Blog Network, it is the web’s largest, most involved, and most organized group of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers. Participants in the network collaborate multiple times throughout each day on the Yakezie forums and through other mediums. You can view all of the details at the “About Yakezie” page by clicking here.

Each week, the members and challengers of the Yakezie Network submit their best articles to be featured in the Yakezie Carnival. And, today, it is My Personal Finance Journey’s honor to be the host! We last hosted the carnival at the beginning of the summer on June 26th prior to the launch of the Tour de Personal Finance and had a great time!

Jacob’s Deep Yakezie Reflections of the Day – Yakezie Changed My Blogging Life?

In January of 2010, I started My Personal Finance Journey. I “blogged in a cave” for about 6 months without reaching out to any other bloggers, which I found out later was a big mistake. However, I guess this time wasn’t totally lost since I generated almost 200 posts during this time, some of which still get read quite a bit (long chain approach of blogging if you read that post on ProBlogger). 

On July 10th, 2010, I joined the Yakezie Challenge without totally understanding or appreciating what it was (shhh..don’t tell Sam haha). At this point, I didn’t really know what I was doing blogging at all. I didn’t understand the etiquette (I would leave comments such as, “Nice article – check out my related post at this URL.” Blogs probably thought I was spam!), the business, or the communication of blogging. In fact, about 5 months dwindled by before I actually did anything with Yakezie. 

However, in December of 2010, this all changed; I started being very active on the Yakezie Forums and trying to help others in the Network wherever possible. And, I can say with certainty now that I would not be the same today were it not for Yakezie. 

Today’s Carnival Theme

OK, enough with the sentiment, Jacob. What about that carnival? You got it. 

Since the slogan of Yakezie is “to selflessly help others,” I figured it would be interesting to dig up some examples throughout history where people have selflessly helped others, not only in business but, in all walks of life. It’s so interesting to see time and time again that by simply helping others, you actually end up helping yourself in the process. So, enjoy!

To get us started, listed below are this week’s Top 3 Editor’s Picks. Typically, when I host a carnival, it is quite clear what the three winning articles are. However, I find that when I’ve hosted Yakezie Carnivals, the quality of the articles is so high that I often find myself torn between about 8 articles competing for the top spots. 

1. Wealth Informatics: How much emergency fund do I really need? – The amount of emergency fund recommended varies from $1000 to 1 year salary. How much do we really need?

A amazingly good post here from Suba, the resource-post master. I typically recommend simply keeping 6-9 months of expenses in an emergency fund. When I ran the 9 months of expenses figure for Suba’s situation described in this post, I came out with around $12,000 for her target emergency fund balance, which is in the ballpark of what she figured as well with the exception one personal expense item.

So, I think the 6-9 months recommendation is a good way to “keep things simple” and get people started towards an emergency fund goal. However, once they accumulate that savings, it’d be good to go through this list that Suba provides to obtain further visibility and optimization.

2.  Smart Family Finance: Are You Ready to be Your 20-Something’s Financial Advisor? – 7 percent of 20-somethings consult a professional financial advisor, but one in three consult their parents. Are you ready to be your 20-Something’s unofficial financial advisor?

In today’s society, not only are young adults coming back home to live with Mom and Dad, but it is also becoming a trend to use them as their sole source of financial advice. In this post, Smart Family Finance gives a list of the gamut of financial areas on which young adults are seeking advice from their parents.  I have definitely consulted my parents on almost all of the things on this list. However, I always investigate the advice given further to make sure I am taking the right path. So, my overall advice here is that young people blindly taking their parents’ suggestions could get them in to trouble.

3. KNS Financial: A Lawyer Is Forced To Become A Stripper To Make Ends Meet: How Far Would You Go?A lawyer turned stripper, gives us a picture of what financial desperation really looks like. How far would you go to make ends meet? What would be your first move?

Very good post KNS! In some ways, this reminds me of the “what would you do if you were homeless” Yakezie blog swap we did a while back. In that, people shared just what they would do if hard times were forced upon them. If I was laid off from a “professional” job and couldn’t find another due to the economy, I would try to target jobs that are fairly high paying but don’t require advanced degrees. Some of these include being an airport valet (make lots of money in tips) or Porta-Potty cleaner.

And, listed below are the best of the rest! The selected entries are formatted as follows – 1) Blog title in bold, 2) Post title and link, and 3) a description written by the site owner about the post.

Frugal Confessions: Smart Stores: Consumer Monitoring in Exchange for Your Information – Retailers and manufacturers have developed some pretty crafty ways to monitor and target consumers over the years, like the example above. And people who hunt down deals (frugal people like us) appear to be the ones who are most monitored given the nature of how this technology works.

My Journey to Millions: How Much Will Your Expenses Be in Retirement? – In retirement planning, you don’t need 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% or 100% of your pre-retirement income. During retirement, you need the amount that your budget dictates.

Prairie Eco Thrifter: Is Going Green Killing Our Economy? – While the environmental movement is not the sole cause of a shift in the patterns of our everyday lives, it does contribute. The demand to protect the environment certainly has placed a strain on the economy. In a time like this, it makes one wonder whether it is really worth it.

Live Real, Now: Time vs. Money – My time is valuable. No matter what I do, or how hard I work, I can never get more than my allotment. Why would I waste it to save a fraction of what I can earn by using it in other ways?

Mainstream Mom: Is Extreme Couponing Right for You? – I get that you can save an incredible amount on groceries, and that is fantastic. I save an incredible amount too, I just don’t stockpile it in my garage.

Selflessly Helping Others – Example 1 – Help Others and You Will Be Helped in Return

“College was the best of times and the worst of times for me. I met the best friends of my life, had unimaginable experiences, and traveled to new places, but I also folded under more stress than I ever had to deal with before. As a result of bad grades, bad study skills, and pure burnout, I ended up being asked to take a semester off at the end of the first semester of my senior year. All the friends I had made were going to graduate and all I knew was that I wouldn’t be graduating with them.
So I ended up going back home to live with my father and stepmother. To their credit, they were very cool about me coming back. I felt their support from the moment I walked in the door and they refused to let me feel like a failure. No matter how much they did for me, I still had part of me that longed to be back at school and I felt like I had totally messed up my future.
One morning not long after I had come home, my father woke me up saying that my stepmother was passed out on the kitchen floor. I ended up coming downstairs and trying to perfomr CPR on her but it was too late. She was already dead of a massive heart attack.
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face when he was given the official news of her passing. I knew at that moment that I had to be strong for him because he needed someone to lean on. It was as if our roles had reversed and I was being the protective parent while he took the time to grieve. Later he would tell me how glad he was that I was home that semester because he needed me more than ever.
I guess the lesson I took from it all is that even in our darkest moments we can still be of help to someone that is going through something much harder. It’s so easy to close ourselves off to the things going on around us, and feel that we are the only ones hurting, when helping someone else could actually be helping us heal ourselves.”

Source – http://www.helpothers.org/story.php?sid=21057

Living in Financial Excellence: 7 Good Character Traits of a Cheapskate – “Cheapskate” is such a negative term in today’s society, but when you look at the definition and characteristics of being a cheapskate, it’s actually a good thing (at least in my eyes). Today, I discuss what qualities define cheapskates and how those qualities set cheapskates up for long-term success.

Invest It Wisely: The Biggest Unknown Risk of Stock Investing – “We say that stocks are risky because we know that prices can suddenly drop hard — stock prices are volatile. But, we also believe that stocks are not really all that risky for those committed to holding them for the long term. In the long term, stocks always provide good returns. By following a Buy-and-Hold strategy, we can overcome the riskiness of stocks.” Personally, I don’t think it is so. I view this as dangerous thinking.

Control Your Cash: Follow these steps for guaranteed wealth, seriously – As a discipline, personal finance is similar to sociology and women’s studies in that there’s almost no hands-on knowledge involved.

Maximizing Money: Why I Finally Closed My Chase Bank Checking Account – After years as a happy customer, I closed my Chase Bank checking account, even though I would have rather kept it open. This is the story of my experience as a Chase customer.

My University Money: The Government Can’t Actually Create Jobs – The government has tons of problems, but their solutions usually add to them.

Investor Junkie: What Do Netflix and Taxes Have in Common? – Now you might be wondering what does taxes have to do with Netflix? Everything! This is a classic example of elastic demand

Free Money Wisdom: Tips for Borrowing from a Family Member–Family Personal Loans – Utilize the information in this article to decide if taking out a family loan makes sense for your situation and what you can do to ensure that you manage yourself in a manner that will equate to a situation that is comfortable for all participating parties.

Mom’s Plans: How We Plan to Tackle Our Debt – We would like to have a significant chunk to put down on a house in a few years, and I don’t want to purchase a house if we have other debt. Here is our plan for paying down our current debt quickly.

Selflessly Helping Others – Example 2 – Urban Legend About Winston Churchill in a Virtuous Cycle of Giving and Receiving 

Ok – this one might not be true, but I liked it nonetheless! 

“Fleming was a poor Scottish farmer. One day at work in a field he heard a cry for help. Following the sound, Fleming came to a deep bog, in which a boy was stuck up to his chest, screaming and sinking. Farmer Fleming tied a rope around his own waist and the other end to a tree, and waded into the bog. After a mighty struggle in which it seemed they would both perish, the exhausted farmer pulled himself and the boy to safety. He took the lad back to the farmhouse, where Mrs Fleming fed him, dried his clothes, and when satisfied he had recovered, sent him on his way home.

The next day a carriage arrived at the Fleming’s humble farmhouse. An well-dressed man stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy whom Fleming had saved. “You saved my son’s life,” said the man to Fleming, “How can I repay you?”
“I don’t want payment,” Fleming replied, “Anyone would have done the same.”
At that moment, Fleming’s own young son appeared at the farmhouse door.
“Is he your son?” the man asked.
“Yes,” said Fleming proudly.
“I have an idea. Let me pay for his education. If he’s like his father, he’ll grow to be a man we’ll both be proud of.”
And so he did. The farmer’s son attended the very best schools, graduated medical college, and later became the world-renowned nobel prize-winning scientist and discoverer of penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming.
It is said that many years later, the grown man who’d been saved from the bog as a boy, was stricken with pneumonia.
Penicillin saved his life. His name? Sir Winston Churchill.”

Source – http://www.businessballs.com/stories.htm

The Frugal Toad: College Students and Identity Theft – College students made up roughly 25% of all victims of identity theft last year.  Find out how to lower your risk of Identity Theft by using these six strategies.

Narrow Bridge Finance: Home Buyer’s Guide Part II: From Offer to Contract – A continued look at the process of buying a home. This article focuses on the steps for making an offer and going under contract.

The Happy Homeowner: Why I’m Taking a Vacation Instead of Paying Down My Debt – If my financial journey were compared to a hand of Texas Hold’em, I have seen Dave Ramsey’s gazelle-like intensity–and raised it by a few hundred Suze Orman “DENIED!’s.”  This article highlights why it’s important to infuse balance in your financial journey.

The Penny Hoarder: 5 Weird Ways to Make Money Recycling – Collecting cans for the recycling center is not the only way to make a buck with your recyclables. Check out these 5 new, very weird ways to make extra money recycling…

Everything Finance: Money and Relationships: What’s the Root of Your Problem? – You’ve probably heard plenty about how money problems and relationship problems often go hand in hand. You’ve seen the statistics, and read about the reality of financial and budget problems and their impact on relationships.

Money Reasons: How I Saved $1190 By Purchasing A Cable Modem– In this article, I describe how sometimes, savings creep up on you.  My cable modem purchase over 11 years ago is one such example!  If you still rent a cable modem, check out my article and see why I decided to buy my cable modem instead.

Stock Market Basics: Best Gold ETF – Invest in gold via the gold ETF, as it is the easy way to invest in gold without the troubles of buying and selling gold in physical form. Plus, gold investment is a must in your portfolio given the state of economy.

20’s Finances: Is it Hard to Time the Market in a Recession? – Offering advice on the best time to invest in the stock market.

Investorz’ Blog: What to Consider When Investing in Commodities –Most investors don’t invest in commodities for one reason or another. But, using the right techniques, trading commodities can be far more profitable than stocks. Here are a few things you should know before investing in commodities, which is a much different world than stocks.

Buck Inspire: Las Vegas Ground Transportation, Mortgage Options – Knowing your ground transportation options will make your travel plans run smoother.  But, knowing all your mortgage options will help you make the most informed, biggest financial decision of your life!

Squirrelers: Save Time and Money by Hiring the Right Home Improvement Contractor – When getting work done on your home, it’s important to hire the right people for the job. This post provides tips on how to go about doing just that.

Krantcents: Am I Training for a Race? – I am in training physically, mentally, and progressing to my goals.

Saving Money Today: Investing in Gold – With gold prices soaring and more investors looking to add some to their asset mix, it’s important to learn the different ways to invest in gold.

Compounding Returns: Trading Options? Keep an Eye on Expenses. – Options for low cost trading. Expenses can cut into your profits. It’s in your best interest to find the lowest fee brokerage.

Selflessly Helping Others – Example 3 – Want Someone to Save Your Life? Save Theirs First!

In 1996, Kevin Stephan of Lancaster, N.Y. was serving as a bat boy for his brother’s baseball team when someone accidentally hit him in the chest with a bat. This collision caused his heart to stop beating. However, Penny Brown, an off-duty nurse, was in the stands and performed CPR on Kevin to revive him. Kevin recovered from this incident.

Ten years later, Penny Brown was eating in a restaurant and choked on her food. Coincidentally, Kevin worked as a cook at this very same restaurant and had learned CPR during training as a volunteer fire fighter. Thankfully, Kevin performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved Penny’s life.

Fate sure works in mysterious ways eh?!

MSNBC has the complete story here – http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11190559/ns/us_news-weird_news/t/teen-saves-life-woman-who-saved-him/

Fat Guy, Skinny Wallet: Why I Chose Not To Use Debt Consolidation – Debt consolidation was not the right choice for me many years ago. Find out the details that made me turn away from this seemingly helpful service.

TotallyMoney: How to deal with bringing debt into a relationship – Can debt and relationships work?

Smart On Money: How To Deal With Regular Bills When You Have An Irregular Income – When your income doesn’t come in 24 equal payments spaced evenly throughout the year, it can be hard to make a budget.

Money Q&A: Should You Pay Off The Lowest Balance Or Highest Interest Rate Debts First? – There are several opinions as to which method of paying off credit card and other debt is best. Should you pay off the debts with the highest interest rate first? Or, should you tackle debts with the lowest balances first?

How To Save Money: US Bank Account Comparison For Canadians A thorough side-by-side comparison of all US dollar checking and savings accounts that are currently offered by the major Canadian banks.

Free From Broke:  Budgeting for Christmas Shopping Before it’s too Late – Start budgeting for Christmas shopping now before it’s too late! Otherwise, you can be stuck in debt. Read this article for tips on how to budget your Christmas shopping.

BeatingTheIndex:The Bet On Rising World Energy ConsumptionWorld energy consumption is rising sharply in the next 2 decades which makes a compelling case for investing in the energy sector.

Broke Professionals: Moving up the career ladder – Have you ever wondered why Johnny Jerk down the hall was promoted to that director slot while you were passed over? Here are profiles of three managers with whom I once worked.

The College Investor: Best 401k Moves – A look at the best moves you can make to maximize your 401k!

My Multiple Incomes: The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Backlinks – A look at the social media options out there and how to use them to create backlinks to your website.

Not Made of Money: Don’t Let Money Errors Derail Your Finances – Everyone makes mistakes: bank tellers, store clerks, and us. I’m never put out when someone makes an honest error. I simply point out the problem and ask them to correct it. If I’m not looking for them, though, those errors can cost a lot of money.

Family Money Values: Why We Have Official Family Meetings – In the years following 9/11, I realized that life is so fragile – it really sank in that we could die suddenly, at any time. The boys had grown up by then and had moved out, but I started thinking about what would happen to them if we did die suddenly and together. That is when I started sharing information about our finances and estate plans with them.  We do so in family meetings and so can you.

One Cent At A Time: What Makes You Feel Rich And Wealthy? – Why do you want to be rich? To have more fun, respect, social status, and a worry free life? I have an answer for you – you don’t need huge amounts of money to achieve all these great things in life.

Our Journey To Zero: Save Your Budget, Spice up Your Life – Reuse That Halloween Costume! Tired of spending your hard earned money on a new Halloween costume every year?  Here’s some ways to get some extra mileage out of your ghoulish get ups!

Financial Success for Young Adults:Would QE3 Make Stock Prices Go Up?The speculation surrounding a third round of quantitative easing has investors concerned and maybe a little excited that their retirement accounts will get a boost. Let’s see what would happen if QE3 began.

Well, that wraps up this week’s Yakezie Carnival! Thanks so much for everyone for participating. Next week’s carnival will be hosted by Family Money Values Blog. Get your posts in soon!

Thanks for reading,


***Photo courtesy of http://farm1.static.flickr.com/192/471143582_e8b3a758d9.jpg


  1. Thanks for the inclusion. Very interesting format. Thanks for hosting.
    My recent post KC Awards: Weekly Recognition

  2. Amanda L Grossman says:

    Very nice theme. Thank you for including mine!
    My recent post How to Reduce Your Energy Bill and Save Money

  3. Just giving everyone a heads up. Yakezie and Financial Samurai's been hacked!
    My recent post New Design

    • I saw that earlier today and sent Sam and Suba an email to notify. Anyone heard any updates on the situation?
      My recent post Yakezie Carnival – Examples of Selflessly Helping Others Throughout History – September 25th, 2011 Edition

  4. Nice hard work went in to hosting this. Thanks for including.
    My recent post One Cent Sunday Round Up and Blog Insights

  5. Very appropriate theme!

    P.S. Yakezie is back up now! Nothing can keep it down for too long. 🙂

  6. Thanks for having me featured Jacob!
    My recent post New E-Course! Win $50 in Cold Hard Cash!

  7. Buck Inspire says:

    Amazing carnival! Loved your extra commentary and stories. Thanks for the inclusion and all your hard work!
    My recent post Are You An Update Addict?

  8. Thanks for putting this together! A lot of good stuff featured!
    My recent post The College Investor’s Market Thoughts – September 23, 2011

  9. Thanks for the honorable mention!

    I love the format; it certainly spices up the carnival.
    My recent post Comment on Are You Ready to Be Your 20-Something’s Financial Advisor? by Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey

    • No problem SmartFamilyFinance. I really enjoyed your post. It resonated with me since my parents are generally the first place I ask for financial advice. However, they are not the only. haha
      My recent post Zecco.com Investing Brokerage Review

  10. Thanks for including me in the carnival – much appreciated!
    My recent post Should I Rent, or Should I Buy?

  11. KNS_Financial says:

    Thanks for choosing me for an editor's pick!
    My recent post Home Energy Management: Are You Wasting Money On Your Home Energy?

  12. Thanks a ton for the inclusion. I really appreciate it. Great theme too.
    My recent post Going Green at Work

  13. Thanks for including us in this week's carnival!

  14. Love the idea for the selfless acts :).Very enjoyable carnival. I really want the Fleming story to be true, ha ha.
    My recent post 87% of Australians ‘Can Understand Their Pets’

  15. Great theme and excellent list of articles. Thank you so much for including my story.
    My recent post NVE Bank $100 Free Personal Checking Account Bonus in New Jersey

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