The end of the year is a great time to look back at the past year and reflect. And, I thought that it would be interesting and fun to look back at the best and most popular articles from Money Q&A in 2012. I was inspired to highlight ten of the most popular blog posts from the past year after Sam did listed his earlier this week on his blog, Financial Samurai, and it was quite interesting to see some of the most popular blog posts of his over the past year, and I’m sure that looking back at the best articles from Money Q&A in 2012 will be just as interesting. So, without further ado, here is the Best of Money Q&A for the past year.
10. My Next Home Is Going To Be A Hotel - Because of the day job that I have, I tend to bounce around from one location to another fairly quickly. There are often times when I am working or going to a class for just a couple of months at a time. So, of course, I’m not going to put down any type of roots in that instance. I could rent an apartment on a month to month lease, but the number and quality of those types of apartments are not always the best. So, I started thinking about hotels. I have always been fascinated by the extended stay hotels in particulars. Every time I drive by one with a sign advertising their weekly rates, I always think about how much money I could save each month by simply just living in a hotel.
9. The Top Ten Personal Finance Bloggers And Money Experts To Follow On Google Plus - Are you using Google Plus (Google+)? I think that the jury is still out because we are all so engrained in our existing social networks of Twitter and Facebook and entrenched. This platform and medium has got to be a very hard thing to break into with high barriers to entry. But, nevertheless, there are some great personal finance bloggers, money experts, and entrepreneurs who are out there doing some awesome things on Google Plus that you should be following.
8. Is The American Dream Dead Or Alive? - We all have dreams and goals that are incredibly lofty. I have 100 goals to complete before I die. I know what you are thinking. What does this have to do with the American Dream? It has everything to do with our dreams, the American Dream, and what we think that we can accomplish in our lives. Is you glass half full or is it half empty? Do you think that you will ever hit a hole in one? Do you ever think that you will be able to retire? The questions are one in the same. They get to the very fabric of our collective psyche. I don’t think that the American Dream is dead. The American Dream is alive and well more than ever. Granted, the economy is not helping shore up everyone’s confidence.
7. Eight Ways To Save Money On Car Repairs – I hate taking my car to the mechanic to get repairs. I always worry that I’m going to be overcharged for the repairs needed to fix my car. I have to admit that I am not mechanically inclined in the least little bit. My best friend and I tried to change my oil one time in high school, and we quickly gave up after accidently dumping several quarts of oil on his parents’ driveway. Even if you are not knowledgeable about taking your car to the mechanic, there are several ways that you can save money on car repairs. If you educate yourself a little bit about the process and different ways to save money on car repairs, then you will feel better about taking your car to the mechanic and confident that you are receiving the best value on your repairs.
6. Twenty Questions To Ask A Property Manager Before You Hire – More homeowners are finding themselves as accidently landlords recently. Whether you are moving for a new job or relocating to be closer to home, many Americans are finding that they cannot sell their homes for what they owe on their mortgages. So, if you are a landlord, the next question becomes whether or not you hire a property manager to help you find tenants, fix problems with your home, and collect the rent or do you do it all yourself. My wife and I have recently decided to rent out our home. And, we have decided to hire a property manager. We are currently interviewing three different companies that were recommended by friends and coworkers. Of course, this is not a decision to be made lightly. There are several questions that you should ask a property manager before hiring them.
5. The Best Prepaid Debit And Credit Cards Available – The best prepaid credit cards and prepaid debt cards both provide cardholders with a wide range of benefits. The best prepaid debit cards have little to no fees, direct deposit, ATM previledges, no credit checks, and other features.
4. My One Hundred Goals To Do In My Lifetime Before I Die - I came across the same concept in Laura Vanderkam’s new book,”168 hours – You Have More Time Than You Think“. In her book, Vanderkam talks about Caroline Ceniza-Levine a career counselor to youth specializing in helping them realize what they want to be when they grow up. Vanderkam tells how Ceniza-Levine often requires her clients to complete a list of 100 dreams. Writing down a list of one hundred things that you would like to do or accomplish in your lifetime is surprisingly hard, but well worth the effort. The exercise helps you find out what you love to do, helps you find out more about yourself, helps you find your passion, helps you narrow down your passions to help you find out what you want to be when you “grow up”, and can really give you drive in your life.
3. Ten Ways To Cut Costs On Moving Expenses - Moving from one home to another or into your next apartment is expensive. I have come to find this out the hard way. For years, I have been blessed with an employer that covered all of my moving costs, but this time it is different. This time I am footing the bill by myself. You may remember that I have been interviewing property managers to help me rent out my current home. So, without my employer helping with this move, I have to find ways to cut costs on moving expenses. The good news is that there are a lot ways to cut costs on your moving expenses.
2. Ten Ways To Save On Your Electric Bill This Winter – routinely see my electric bill almost double during the winter while I switch on my home’s electric heating unit. Electricity costs can eat up a substantial portion of your monthly budget if you are not careful. Households that use heating oil and gas do not fair much better either. In fact the average home using heating oil spends over $320 per month and gas users pay over $160 each month according to Money magazine. But, there are ways that you can curb the cost of electricity, lower your heating costs, and save on your electric bill this winter.
1. Top Ten Personal Finance Books That You Must Have On Your Bookshelf - Whether you are looking for a great present for a loved one this holiday season or just want to learn more about taking control of your finances, any of these ten personal finance books listed below are a great choice. In fact, they should already be on your bookshelf or nightstand. There are several personal finance books that everyone should read.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – If you didn’t know that I absolutely love this book, then you don’t read Money Q&A very much. Maybe you are new. That’s okay. It is an incredible book. It is where everyone should start. It walks you through saving for an emergency fund, getting out of debt, starting to invest, saving for college, paying off your mortgage, and reaching financial peace in your life. You need this book if you do not read any other on this list. Get this book! In The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey provides readers with his system for seven baby steps to financial freedom that includes paying off your debt, investing 15% of your income for retirement, saving for your children’s education, paying off your mortgage, and living like no other financial peace.
Have you seen how Money Q&A and I have been featured in media this year? This year my writing has been featured on such websites as The Motely Fool, Five Cent Nickel, Seeking Alpha, AmeriForce Publishing’s (ameriforce.net) Winter Families magazine, The News Journal, Money Now USA, Brashenomics, Business News Daily, Career Bliss, and many others.