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Click here to enter my free $74.52 giveaway for a chance to win 5% of My Personal Finance Journey blog income and give another 5% to a charity of your choosing! Deadline to enter is December 31st, 2011.
Each week (even though I missed the past two weeks! – Oops!), the purpose of the Easy Like Sunday Morning Weekly Recap and Roundup series is the same – for me to be able to connect with you, the readers, on a more personal (non personal finance informational transmission only) level, encourage community, and also to give back to the other bloggers around the blogosphere who have mentioned My Personal Finance Journey throughout the past week.
As far as the theme goes, the title of the roundup gives it away. The roundup theme is named after the Lionel Richie song, Easy Like Sunday Morning (which I play once a week while putting this together), to remind us of the importance of slowing down at least once a week to take appreciation for that which transpired over the past few days.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with this week’s roundup!
Weekly Updates from Jacob’s Personal Finance Journey and Life
- As far as my life in general, since Thanksgiving, time has seemed to fly by at warp speed (please excuse the Star Trek analogy).
- It seems like it was just yesterday that I was taking my Mom to the airport after she visited for Thanksgiving. And now, I am trying to finish up my last set of experiments before leaving next Friday to go home to Arkansas for Christmas. I am definitely looking forward to having some time back where I grew up.
- So far this December, the weather has been strangely warm. As such, I’ve been taking advantage of the mild weather to get some good long runs in. Several weeks ago, I decided that I’m going to attempt my first ever FULL marathon in March of 2012. I’m planning to start small with a new flat trail marathon race located just an hour East of where I live that has only been going on for one year. So, if I do terribly, I won’t be too embarrassed in front of thousands of people.
- Generally, I like to try to get in a ski trip to Snowshoe, West Virginia in December before I leave for the winter break. However, the warm weather this year has delayed the snow-blowers from making large amounts of snow, causing only about 20% of the ski trails to be open so far. Because of this, I haven’t yet gone skiing, but maybe today, I’ll head over!
- Aside from running and itching to get out on the ski slopes, I have been staying busy attending the various Christmas/holiday parties hosted by various friends and groups I’m associated with.
- Below is a picture taken at a recent Young Professionals Hollywood Christmas party. They had all sorts of fun wigs and props that people could dress up in, so I decided to slap on the Michael Jackson gloves and Mit Jager hair! haha Enjoy!
- As far as my personal finances go, there have been two primary occurrences since the last roundup. These are discussed below:
- First, as mentioned in the last roundup, I had decided to open a self employed individual 401(k) account as a way to shelter some of my self-employed income from 2011 from the tax man.
- Shortly after the last roundup, I was able to successfully open and fund a Vanguard Individual 401(k). It felt great to get this done before we got too close to the holidays!
- Because Vanguard requires a $3,000 minimum to purchase most any of their index mutual funds, I had to do some major reshuffling of my tax savings, December home loan payment, and December day-job income to free up these extra funds.
- However, things should return to normal once January rolls around. However, I will need to figure out my strategy for how I’ll contribute to my individual 401(k) account in 2012, since I now have more options for where I can invest any excess funds I have (home loan, Roth IRA, and now, a self-employed 401(k)).
- Second, in the past few weeks since Thanksgiving, (like many people) I have devoted a moderate amount of funds to buying Christmas presents for my family and friends.
- I didn’t buy anything overly extravagant and stayed well within budget, but the purchases definitely add up.
- As such, I think It’s important to remember around this time of year that only gifts that one can afford should be purchased. You’re under no obligation to give expensive gifts, so you should never go in to credit card debt simply over buying people presents.
|My girlfriend and I at the Young Professionals Hollywood Xmas Party Last Week. We’re having some fun dressing up with the props at the photo-booth at the party! Don’t I look good as a blonde?|
My Favorite 10 Posts of the Past Week
If you’re interested in submitting an article for consideration/inclusion to this roundup, just email me by clicking here. Since I’m only 1 guy without a time-machine to give me unlimited time each day, sometimes I miss some really good articles in the blogosphere, and it’s good to be notified of them directly.
Guest Posts from Personal Finance Bloggers on My Personal Finance Journey
Over the past week, there was one guest post here at My Personal Finance Journey.
Rob Berger, founder of Dough Roller, posted about, “How to Ignore Market Volatility” Thanks so much Rob for the post! It was great to hear the strategies you use to keep the market ups and downs from adversely affecting your investing strategy.
If you would like to guest post on my site, please click here to read more details about how to kick off the guest posting process. I’d love to hear from you!
Blasts From the Past
For the first 6 months after I started this blog, I pretty much “blogged in a cave.” What I mean by this is that I cranked out over 200 very good blog articles in this time period, but since I didn’t know any better, I didn’t reach out to other bloggers, get involved with the online community through commenting on other sites, or do any kind of site promotion at all. As you can imagine, some of the articles written during this time period didn’t get the attention that I think they deserved corresponding to the content contained.
The Blast from the Past section will feature one old My Personal Finance Journey article each week that I feel is high quality, but was published prior to my blog having any sort of real readership. This week’s article is listed below:
Beer – Bottled vs. Canned, Wine – Corks vs. Screw-Top – Which Are Better? – This post analyzes the somewhat controversial topic of whether or not the taste/quality of beer and wine is better when it is bottled vs. canned or packaged with a cork vs. a screw top, respectively. In an effort to seek an answer to these outstanding questions, I examine some of the research and studies that are available. Take a peek at this article – the answers might surprise you!
Personal Finance “Mad Props” of the Week Award
Every once in a while, when I’m reading an article or site in the personal finance blogosphere, I’ll be so impressed in hearing about what a person did or wrote about, that all I can say to myself is WOW! This section of the roundup will serve as a running “home” for recognizing outstanding achievement.
If you know of someone in the PF blogging world that is really doing amazing things, feel free to send me an email for consideration in future roundups.
- My Money Blog is giving away $5,000 cash and 2 iPads until December 21st.
- Free From Broke is giving away a $50 Amex Gift Card until December 19th.
- Mom’s Plans is giving away a $50 Starbucks gift card until December 19th.
- Finance Fox is giving away $500 in total prizes until December 18th.
- Dr. Stock is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card until December 24th.
- Invest it Wisely is giving away $300 until December 25th, with half going to blog readers and the other half going to a Canadian charity.
- Your Finances Simplified is giving away $50 cash via PayPal until December 19th.
- Budgeting in the Fun Stuff is giving away $200 in to readers and charity until December 19th.
- Sustainable Personal Finance is giving away over $1200 in cash and tech gadget prizes for their 1 year blogoversity until December 19th (I’m sponsoring one of their prizes!).
- The Frugal Toad is giving away $75 via PayPal or Amazon gift card until December 21st.
- Thirty Six Months is giving away $50 via PayPal or Amazon gift card until December 19th.
- Live Real, Now is giving away over $500 in cash and prizes until December 23rd.
- Jeff at Good Financial Cents is giving away a Nook, Kindle Fire, and an iPad 2 until December 18th (today!).
- Net Worth Project is giving away $50 cash until December 30th.
If you’re hosting a giveaway and it’s not listed above, please send me an email to let me know, and I’ll get it included in next week’s roundup!
Blog Carnivals Featuring My Personal Finance Journey Articles
Top 10 Referring Sites to My Personal Finance Journey This Past Week
- Free Money Finance
- Carnival of Personal Finance
- Wise Bread
- Financially Consumed
- So Over Debt
- Punch Debt in the Face
- Tight Fisted Miser
- Giveaways Are Sexy
- Wealth Informatics
Top 5 My Personal Finance Journey Commenters From the Past Week
Best Reader Submitted Question From the Past Week
My Other Sites
However, I have several other domain names purchased, and I am currently learning WordPress Self-Hosted to get these sites live as soon as time allows! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on progress.
Well, that wraps up this week! If you have any suggestions or recommendations for things you’d like to see in this weekly roundup, just let me know by sending me an email!
As always, thanks to all the readers for creating such a great community here at My Personal Finance Journey. Your interaction is what keeps me going on this blog!
Until next time – Jacob