The Best of Finance Blogosphere
February 9 – 16, 2007

I have decided to change the format of these "Best of" posts from this week. So far, I have been scanning the Carnivals and Festivals and posting the best articles here. But many great articles on the Blogosphere don’t get into any Carnivals or Festivals. Also, a lot of people already scan the Carnivals and Festivals, so repeating the process here seems a bit redundant. So what I will aim for, from this week is to start noting down my faves throughout the week, and at the end of the week compile them into a short list. Some of them may be from Carnivals and Festivals, and others may not be. Remember that this is by no means meant to be the be-all end-all best posts from the finance Blogosphere. What they are though, are (a) the articles I managed to lay my eyes on, and (b) every single one of them is a cut above the regular everyday blog posts that we normally see.

The first article for today’s edition is actually from last week, but I came across it only this week, and I think it’s such a good article that it deserves a spot on the "Best of" list :) Seriously though, this article is from creditpro a brand spankin’ new blog by someone who claims to have been working professionally at a non-profit credit repair agency for the past 6 years. This particular article, titled Top 7 Credit Score Secrets discusses some of the insider tips on how credit score works. For instance, did you know that 35% of your credit score is based on past debts that are over 30 days late, 15% of your score is based on the length of your credit history and that debt to credit ratio makes up another 30% of your credit score? It is an interesting article, and if you like playing the 0%BT game, or want to just know more about credit score, check it out. This is a blog I will surely keep an eye on in the next few weeks to see if it really is legit and see how it goes!

The next article is by Trent over at The Simple Dollar and is titled The Land Of Opportunity: Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Living Freely And Frugally In America. While it specifically lists things that a new person to the United States should know about, I think it is a good read for everyone. It is an excellent reminder of who Americans are by nature and what makes America the great land of opportunity. Oh, and while you are at it, make sure to check out the comments to see how differently people react to what seems like a well-intentioned post from a local American to welcome and help assimilate non-Americans into this culture!

J.D. at get rich slowly has started a new series on how to monetize your hobbies. The introductory post, Six Tips for Money-Making Hobbies was out this week. This one lays out the foundations of the basic how-to, such as picking what you love doing, marketing the skills etc. If you are considering monetizing a hobby, you should definitely check it out. In future parts of this series, J.D. promises more tips and some specific stories from his own experience as well as those from his readers. I bet it will be a very interesting read!

Ah, the next one is from one of my favorite student bloggers, Golbguru, at Money, Matter, and More Musings. Golbguru has a very distinct style of writing. Simple witty prose filled with wittier charts/tables/pictures that usually get the point across way better than the most eloquent writers. I liked several of his posts this week, but decided to highlight this one in particular since it is a very good example of his writing style. Go on check it out. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

Next, on to some serious stuff. Penny Nickel at Money and Values has an excellent article about Salary Negotiations and the Gender Gap. Penny Nickel muses that since there are a lot of social and psychological barriers that make salary negotiations difficult for women, maybe it is better to implement consistent salary scales. Personally, I like the performance based pay increase to the unionized consistent pay structure that Penny Nickel proposes. The performance based pay structure values individual work and encourages and motivates creativity, effort and some level of competition. Yes, it could lead to unfair income gaps, and people who cannot negotiate for a good starting salary will be at a disadvantage. But seeking to level the playing ground is like admitting women are not capable of playing the game on the same terms as men. I refuse to admit that! I think we should still work on educating women (and men) and bringing in the mindset that we deserve the same treatment in terms of both respect and remuneration as the men that we work shoulder to shoulder with, every single day, to keep corporate America (and individual households!) running smoothly.

Have you heard of the million dollar homepage? If so, I am sure just like me you would have burnt a few grey cells wondering how on earth that guy actually managed to pull it off. Well, SVB at The Digerati Life wonders the same about the million dollar page and several other dumb business ideas that raked in the big bucks (or not!). Its a fascinating piece that will, at least for a short amount of time, have you dreaming of wild ideas that you've always had, that just maybe will make you a millionaire some day. or not. :)

Stephanie at Poorer Than You has an excellent post this week titled Money Advice for the College Student - Part III . While you are at it, you might want to check out Part I and Part II as well. I liked this third part in particular since Stephanie focuses on the power of compound interest, and then has some specific advice for college students (who are likely broke). Check it out.

Finally, rounding off this week’s edition is the article on Top 20 Motivation Hack - #2 at Zen Habits. This one discusses about making your commitment very public to use public pressure as a very positive force of motivation and encouragement. There are links to the previous motivation hacks on the list, at the bottom of the article. I like reading personal growth related articles as well since just financial growth on its own cannot be sustained for long without the overall personal growth. If you are similarly inclined, I believe you will like this series of posts.

And before bidding goodbye, let me point you to the Carnivals and Festivals for this past week. This week, the Festival of Frugality was hosted at Hustler $$$ Blog. The Carnival of Personal Finance, was hosted at 2Million Blog. The Carnival of Ethics, Values and Personal Finance hosted at An English Major’s Money.

I hope you enjoy these finds as much as I did!

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The Digerati Life said...

Thanks for such a great post ispf! It's great how much you've scoured the blogosphere and now have come up with a post about other people's posts that is as substantial as any heavy duty post out there! Hope I made sense! :) Your site's definitely hot! Keep it up!!!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for the link! Most "highlights" posts don't even give discriptions of the post they're linking - but your comments on each of the posts made me check out all the ones I hadn't read - and even revisit some of the ones I had!

Thank you again!

ispf said...

SVB: Strangely, your comment makes perfect sense :) But, I should thank you, Golb and Jenn for inspiring me to start doing the weekly "best of" posts. Every weekend (after FoF, in case of Jenn), I scan your blogs, because I know you will point me to some of the posts I missed during the week. I just decided to follow along in this neat tradition :)

Stephanie: Thanks! I am glad you decided to follow the links to the posts you missed. They are all very good, aren't they?

Leo said...

Hey, thanks for the link and the kind mention. I like your site, and I'm glad that you've enjoyed the series of Top Motivation Hacks. Today I'll post a roundup of all 20.

Martin Lindsey said...

Here's something from my blog I believe you and your readers will find helpful. In addition to having a good credit score put yourself on solid financial ground by not giving away fees to your bank. It's a basic double edged method that too few people are using. Check it out at and see if you might want to pass it along.

Balance your check book and look at your online banking account each day to make sure you didn't forget to enter something in your register. Remember, your bank is supposed to give you gifts, not the other way around.

Also if the content is worthy please favorite me on technorati.

Penny Nickel said...

Thanks so much for including me! I'm glad you liked the post and I really appreciated your response. I answered your comment back at the original post... it's a long response, but here's a bit of it:

"In other words, I don't think the question is whether "women are... capable of playing the game on the same terms as men"-- my question is, why set the rules of the game in ways that favor men? Why should women have to succeed on men's terms when instead we can work to redefine "success" (and reward it) in more fair, egalitarian ways?"

ispf said...

Penny Nickel: Thanks for letting me know about your response. You make a lot of interesting arguments. I agree with your arguments, just my idea of how to approach them is a little different from yours. I have left a long reply to your long response on your original post :)

Golbguru said...

Thanks for the mention and the kind words :)

ispf said...

leo, Golb: You are welcome!

Martin: Thanks for the link, I will definitely check it out.