Festival of Frugality #337: Personal Finance from 30,000 Feet Edition

Money Wise Pastor is pleased to host the 337th Festival of Frugality today, featuring articles from some of the best personal finance blog writers in the world.

I’m calling this the “Personal Finance from 30,000 Feet Edition” because I’m actually posting this while flying from Michigan to Phoenix – where it will be a balmy 105 degrees today. It’s the first time I’ve purchased wi-fi on a flight.

I love to fly, and it shows (as they used to say in United Airlines ads). One thing I love about flying is that your perspective totally changes when you’re up in the air.  On the ground, we can only see a few miles ahead of us at any given time.  But from the air, we can see dozens of miles away.

Personal finance from 30,000 feet

And sometimes we can see differently too – we can gain a larger perspective on the world from 30,000 feet and see a broader horizon.

Over 75 great money blog articles were submitted this week for the Festival of Frugality.  It was extremely difficult trying to narrow all these great article submissions down to a top 5, but I’ve done it this week by focusing on posts that help to give us a larger perspective on college, work and life.

I’m especially mindful of these topics as our oldest of 5 children is 15 years old and starting to work, save, and think about work choices and life goals.

Here are my top 5 editor’s picks for this week’s Festival of Frugality:

  1. Bible Money Matters shares 50 Easy Ways to Save Money Every Month. While getting by with less is great, you don’t have to completely do away with everything. There are a lot of easy (and crazy!) ways to reduce your spending, and save money every month on recurring expenses, money leaks, and just about everything else.
  2. Free Money Finance presents The Difference between Needs and Wants: Getting Spending Under Control. “Achieving financial security is greatly dependent on our ability to make wise choices when it comes to spending money. Spending, not earning, is the key to financial security (though both are important, of course). And yet we live in a society where over-spending is almost the norm. The result for many people is a pile of debt and all the nasty struggles associated with it. It’s certainly not the pathway to financial security.”
  3. One Smart Dollar presents 8 High Paying Jobs Without a College Degree Needed. Not everyone has the means or want to go to college. Gratefully, there are still plenty of jobs that you can make over $100,000 while not having a college degree.
  4. Faith and Finance shares some great job ideas for entrepreneurial 15 year olds (like my oldest son) in 15 Great Jobs for 15 Year Olds.
  5. The Millionaire Nurse Blog presents Cut College Costs by 40%, explaining how you can save big money and still get your degree from that Big Name University.

Best personal finance blog posts
Here’s the best of the rest:

  1. My Journey to Millions says Don’t Subsidize My Lifestyle – Optimize Your Expenses.  “Anytime I complain to a company about lowering my bill they are doing it at the expense of their profit margin, as such, they are forced to overcharge someone else. Don’t be that someone else.”
  2. Penny Thots shares Secrets of a Frugal Cook: Rice and explains how they brought food costs down to $5.00 per person per day and helped make their financial dreams come true.
  3. Brip Blap presents 20 Ways to Outlive 106 Billion People. Turns out the best ways to extend your life are also things that can save you money.
  4. Prairie Eco Thrifter presents Using Nature’s Bounty. Today, the wilderness does not provide our food and material, but there are still ways to increase your knowledge and practice of self-sufficiency and use the bounty of nature, should you desire to do so.
  5. The Penny Hoarder explains how you can Earn $5 for Taking a Picture of Your Grandparents and 12 other weird things… at Fotokoi, an online market that allows people to exchange photos. The best part is, people interested in your work will pay you for rights to your photo.
  6. Money Talks Coaching asks Should I Get Married with Debt? Money and marriage. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, except when they don’t…and become another messy sandwich on the path to divorce.
  7. Learn Bonds presents Predicting the Future Rate of Inflation – May Edition. What does the market say about inflation predictions? The answer is plenty.
  8. MoneySmartGuides presents Why You Need A Will, explaining what a will is and why you need one.
  9. Your Finances Simplified presents What Is Asset Allocation and Why Is It Important? “One of the things that investment gurus always emphasize is to diversify, diversify and diversify. Supposedly, diversification will help improve the overall performance of your portfolio since it doesnt ride on just one investment vehicle.”
  10. Money Reasons asks Is Now The Time To Buy Real Estate? With the low mortgage rates, is this the perfect time to buy real estate?
  11. Finance Fox presents What Income Level Do You Consider Rich? “There’s no secret formula to getting rich. Even as little as 10 Percent of your income invested over 30 years and you’ll be set for the rest of your life.”
  12. Money Spruce shares Travel When Retired? No! Travel Now!  “I just dont buy into the whole ‘travel when youre retired’ thing. It seems like such a waste to wait my whole life to travel and, not to be morbid, but assuming I make it to retirement age…”
  13. Free Money Wisdom presents When Should you go for a Reverse Mortgage? Reverse mortgages are tricky things. Instead of avoiding them, why not research them and see if they would work for your financial goals?
  14. Work Save Live explains Why We Didn’t Sell Our Car on Craigslist and shares how they used CarMax instead.
  15. Passive Income To Retire explains How Blogging Has Changed My Life by helping them build a side business.
  16. Simply Investing presents Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Dividend Paying Stocks. “Dividends are cash payments made to shareholders. Asa shareholder you are part owner of the company and therefore are entitled to share in the profits. Dividends can also help you determine when a share is undervalued, and priced right for purchase.”
  17. Master the Art of Saving shares some great tips on Using Extra Income to Pay for Luxury Items.
  18. Married with Debt presents The Goal of Work is Retirement: Rule 10 from their “10 Rules to Eliminate Debt and Change Your Life.”
  19. Thousandaire presents Paul Ryan is a Fiscal Liberal, asking, “If Barack Obama is the most liberal president in history for spending $3.6 trillion in 2011, then why does the Ryan plan spend $3.5 trillion in 2013?” Good question!
  20. 20s Finances presents How to Furnish Your Apartment for Cheap.
  21. Provident Plan presents U.S. Companies Exploit International Workers – Lack of Fair Wages. Learn more about Infosys and why U.S. companies should not treat workers this way.
  22. Steadfast Finances asks Investing in a Timeshare – Is It Worth It?  Find out the benefits and costs associated with timeshare vacation programs.
  23. Money Q&A shares What Is Gap Insurance On Your Car And Why You Need It, explaining that Gap insurance is a type of car insurance policy that is designed to cover the gap between what the value of your car actually is, and what you owe on the vehicle.
  24. Sweating the Big Stuff presents Wedding Gift Etiquette – Buy A Gift or Write A Check? and shares practical tips for wedding gift giving.
  25. Broke Professionals shares tips on How to Save Money on Hotel Rooms.
  26. Personal Finance Journey presents In Debt? Consider Paying Cash for Your Purchases. “Are you in debt besides the mortgage? Do you have thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt and/or credit card debt? If you are struggling to make your payments, one of the best things you can do is to stop using credit and begin to use cash.”
  27. Entertainment Timez offers Thoughts on a Dividend Stream For Entertainment.
  28. Sustainable Personal Finance presents What is Crowdfunding? “Crowdfunding works in much the same way as microloans for the poor. You receive a large number of small cash infusions, rather than one or two large ones.”
  29. Frugal Confessions presents Frugal Mother’s Day Ideas. “Sometimes what we want to give loved ones cannot come close to what we can actually afford to give them.”
  30. Budgeting in the Fun Stuff presents Doing it Again – Renting Out a Spare Bedroom, where she explains why they’re renting out their spare bedroom again.
  31. Financial God presents Betting on the Future President. “Have you ever visited Intrade, which brands itself as the leading prediction market? You can make a market in almost anything these days, it seems. Intrade is a prediction market based in the Republic of Ireland, and lets you bet on predictions in all kinds of areas, including the future president of the United States.”
  32. The Retired Landlord presents Different Places to Save a Down Payment and shares the many different accounts or investment places that you can use to save a down payment for a rental property.
  33. Add Vodka explains 4 Things All Women Need to Know How to Do.
  34. Funancials presents Should I Buy A House? “I rarely divulge details from my personal life, but today Im looking for some feedback. Let me give you the full story: I have been dating Miss Blinkin for approximately 1 year and 4 months. Without giving too much information, I foresee an engagement in the coming months.
  35. Start Investing Money explains How to Dodge Investment Scams.
  36. The Ultimate Juggle presents The Importance of Vacations For Kids, explaining the reasons why they prefer to take destination oriented vacations for the kid’s sake.
  37. The Money Principle presents Politics and economy in the Eurozone part 1. “The people have spoken in France and Greece. They do not like this austerity business one little bit. Can you blame them? After all it was not the people who caused the problem so why should they suffer while the banks get off scot-free?”
  38. 101 Centavos presents Wall Street Hates Wal-Mart. “After running a just-for-fun post a while back on a Redneck-themed stock portfolio, some readers suggested adding Wal-Mart WMT to the mix.”
  39. My Broken Coin presents How to Make it in America and explains why America is the land of opportunity.
  40. Early Retirement Investments says that Retiring Early is Only Going to Get Harder.
  41. Young Family Finance presents Unexpected Costs of Pet Ownership.  Pet ownership can be quite expensive. If you are considering getting a new pet, make sure to consider these costs.
  42. Simple Finance Blog presents 8 Most Common Types of Houses, to aid you in your house search.
  43. Debt Free Blog explains how you can be Actively Avoiding Debt by not having a wish list or items that you want to buy next.
  44. Savvy Scot presents Defining Purpose and the Importance of Moderation. This post seeks to find the purpose in what you are doing. Savvy Scot controversially talks about how to spend money and what so many financial bloggers are doing wrong!
  45. Everything Finance shares 5 Ways to Cut Your Budget Before You Cut Your Cake. So you want a luxurious, elegant wedding on a Budweiser budget? Don’t worry; it is easier than you think! There are several ways that you can plan the wedding of your dreams without getting a second job or going into debt.
  46. My University Money presents Lifestyle Inflation – The Upward/Downward Spiral.
  47. Young And Thrifty presents Choosing the Latest Investing Fad.  “Don’t you love the guys/gals that get their investment advice from the water cooler? You know the guys and gals that are constantly hopping on the bandwagon of whatever terrible investment advice that their co-workers heard on the radio on the way in this morning?”
  48. Card Hub presents Review: Bank of America’s New Travel Rewards Credit Cards. Bank of America just made travel a whole lot sweeter for their customers. With three new travel rewards cards on the market, it looks like they are taking on their competition. But how do these new offers really stack up?
  49. Grocery Alerts. presents 10 Frugal Mother’s Day Gift Ideas posted at  Here are 10 frugal mothers day gift ideas that will not break the bank!
  50. Wallet Blog explains that with Mortgage Rates at a Record Low now could be a great time to purchase or refinance a home.
  51. Boomer & Echo shares Turning 60: Some Things To Consider Before You Retire.  If you’re still working at age 60 you may be thinking of retirement now, or in the near future. It’s time to consider how you will spend your days.
  52. Rewards Cards Canada presents Why Cash Back Beats Travel Rewards posted at .A free vacation keeps many Canadians loyal to their travel rewards program, but for me, cash back is king. Here’s why cash back beats travel rewards:
  53. Rewards Cards USA presents Best Airline Miles Credit Cards to help you save money on travel.
  54. Modest Money shares Career Lessons From My Mom, explaining how their mom went from being a single parent living on welfare to becoming a successful entrepreneur and is now retired early. She is a true success story.
  55. ReadyForZero Blog shares My Story: How I Got My Credit Card Company to Lower My Interest Rate. “I called three big, national banks that I have credit card accounts with and then called some regional banks (in the San Francisco area) so I could compare the treatment I got from each bank and find out which ones were willing to lower my interest rate.”
  56. Personal Finance Success presents When should you check your credit report? Checking your credit report is an important step in improving your credit and protecting yourself from identity theft.
  57. Yes, I am Cheap shares Cheap Things To Get Mom on Mother’s Day – A small list of cheap or inexpensive items that you can get your wife or mother for Mother’s Day that’ll have her thanking the day that you were born.
  58. See Debt Run shares It’s Electric! Boogie Woogie Woogie detailing their adventures investigating an electrical problem in their basement after the outlets stopped working.
  59. PT Money Personal Finance shares an Open Letter to a High School Graduates, offering them some financial advice as they move into the Real World.
  60. Evolving Personal Finance asks How Do You Decide How Much to Spend on Groceries? “Our food choices are influenced by health, cost, sustainability, and convenience factors. Recently I have wanted to trade convenience for sustainability, but should our costs increase or decrease? How do you decide how much is appropriate to spend, if you don’t spend as little as possible?”
  61. Christian Personal Finance presents Should you pay cash for a used car or borrow for a new one? This is a debate that’s been going on for as long as people have owned cars, do you buy a brand new car—with a brand new car loan—or pay cash for a used car?
  62. Finance Product Reviews analyzed over 20 cards geared towards balance transfer scenario and rated top 3 based on overall feature of the cards in Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfer in 2012.
  63. Money Life & More presents An Easy Way to Save Money (and Calories) While dining Out and gives two tips on saving money and calories that are so easy that everyone can do them without any additional time or effort.
  64. Cash Money Life explains How to Balance Multiple Savings Goals. “I like to create individual savings goals to help me have a better idea of how much I am saving for each goal and the progress I am making. But having multiple savings goals can present problems at times.”
  65. The Military Wallet presents Get a Free Credit Score – No Credit Card or Payment Required, sharing two free and easy ways you can get your credit score without having to sign up for any free trials or even give up your credit card number.
  66. Free From Broke presents Use Alternative Housing Arrangements and Save on Your Next Vacation, sharing some creative options on how to save money when you travel – especially if you have a large family.
  67. The Frugal Toad presents The Cost of Currency – Is it Time to Ditch the Penny?  “Is it time to ditch the penny? Since 2006, it has cost the United States Treasury more to produce the penny and nickel than the value of the coins themselves. For 2011, each penny cost American Taxpayers almost 2 1/2 cents while each nickel cost taxpayers 11 cents.” I say yes – ditch the penny.
  68. Squirrelers shares Priceless Letter From Grandfather, about a letter they found from their grandfather they never met that taught me much about him – Including the reality that he too was frugal!
  69. Bargaineering explains Why I Don’t Use Coupons, taking a Devil’s Advocate approach on why coupons are not for them.
  70. My Dollar Plan presents Free Apps for Business People. “Now that I feel I have a handle on my smartphone, I am starting to see its value for business employees as well as small and startup business owners. Here are a few free apps to show you what I mean.”

Thank you to all the great bloggers who submitted articles for this week’s Festival of Frugality.  I’d be grateful if you’d link back to this post on your blog, and also share it via Twitter Facebook, etc.

And thank you for taking the time to read this week’s Festival of Frugality here at Money Wise Pastor!  I’d love it if you’d take a moment to say hello or share a thought in the comments section.  And please consider joining our mailing list and subscribing to the RSS feed so you’ll keep up-to-date on future posts.

I’ve got two hours of flying time left – getting in to Phoenix around 10:30 am local time.  That’s 1:30 pm on my time back home, which means I’ll be ready for lunch – and my first stop (whenever I fly to Phoenix or Southern California) will be In-N-Out Burger for a Double-Double animal style.  I can already taste it now…

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About the author

Rich Rich writes on personal finance from a pastor's perspective here at Money Wise Pastor. He loves In-N-Out Burger (and has the t-shirts to prove it), urban living, homeschooling, Gungor concerts, helping people succeed in life and work, camping, dreaming with his wife, and equipping his five children to become financially faithful and free. Find him on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Thanks for hosting this week and for including me as one of your editors picks.

  2. Thanks for hosting and for choosing my post as one of your top 5 picks. What to do about college is expensive any way you look at it. Hope my ideas helped.

  3. Thanks for hosting and including my post this week! Hope you landed safely!

  4. Thanks for hosting the carnival and for including my post. 🙂

  5. Thanks for including my post Rich! Flying definitely does give you a different perspective, especially when you’re on the way to a tasty In-And-Out burger 🙂

  6. Thanks for including my article over at Boomer and Echo. Great festival…



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