Welcome to the 51st Best of Money Carnival! If you’re not familiar with the carnival, it’s geared to showcase ten of the best money-related posts from the past week. This week’s posts cover a wide range of topics, from early retirement to lending money to family members to buying a car to borrowing from an IRA.

This Week’s Winner

Of the top ten, there’s one best post. I picked JacqJolie’s (Single Mom, Rich Mom) post asking is retirement like a beer commercial with gray hairs? As a financially-independent early semi-retiree, she muses on what retirement means to her and others.

Since good personal finance is merely a tool to help us achieve other things we want in life, it makes one ask—how would I really live if I were financially independent?

Nine More Excellent Posts

Joe from Personal Finance by the Book has put together a comparison chart showing how just paying the minimum on a credit card will keep you in debt for a long long time. And the chart assumes that you’re not charging anything new, if you are then it’ll keep you in debt forever. A good wake-up call for those paying the minimums.

Is lending money to family members a good idea or a terrible one? Neal Frankle, posting at Cash Money Life, suggests four steps to lend money to family members without going broke.

Craig from ChristianPF has 10 pieces of financial advice for graduates. I especially like #4 “If you think only about today your future self is going to have a fit.” It’s true, don’t make your future self angry, you won’t like her when she’s angry.

Alan at the Canadian Finance Blog wrote about dirty car dealership tactics he encountered when trying to buy a used car. The comments section on this post is full of stories and some good advice from other peoples’ experiences.

J$ at Budgets Are Sexy had to face possible layoffs and asks what you would do if you lost your job tomorrow. Fortunately, he’s kept his job for now, but his post reminds us that even if we’re good at our jobs it doesn’t mean the company will succeed or can afford to keep us on.

Daniel Packer at Sweating the Big Stuff wrote about a recent banking breakdown which caused him stress, cost him time, and illustrates why squeezing every last penny out of savings accounts isn’t worth it.

Jason Price from Bible Money Matters spilled coffee on his new laptop and found himself asking if he should have bought an extended warranty.

Mortgage calculators can run the numbers, but PT Money breaks down the actual math of calculating your mortgage payment for a refinance or purchase. Knowing the factors that go into the calculation and how they affect it gives you the tools for figuring out how to get it where you want it.

As a rule, the money in your IRA is untouchable (and with good reason). Jeff Rose of Good Financial Cents explains the exceptions when you can tap your IRA with no penalty. But remember, just because there’s no penalty doesn’t mean it’s a good financial strategy! Good to know, better not to need to use.

Next week’s Best of Money Carnival will be held at Scordo. You can submit posts here.

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Joe Plemon May 17, 2010 at 7:32 am

Thanks for hosting the Carnival. I am honored to be included.

Peter May 17, 2010 at 7:55 am

Thanks for including our post! (although the post was written by Jason, not me ) 🙂
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Living On Less Before You Need To: Getting By With One Income =-.

Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog May 17, 2010 at 8:24 am

Thanks for including Alan’s post! It’s always an honour to make it into this carnival!
.-= Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog´s last blog ..10 Ways To Save Money By Using The Internet =-.

Ryan May 17, 2010 at 8:38 am

Honored to be included. Thanks!
.-= Ryan´s last blog ..The Debt Snowball Method for Reducing Debt =-.

PT May 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

Thanks for including me.
.-= PT´s last blog ..Credit Card Limit =-.

Daniel May 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Thanks so much, I’m glad you liked it!
.-= Daniel´s last blog ..Stop the Noise: Keep Your Life & Investments Simple =-.

eemusings May 18, 2010 at 3:55 am

What would I do if financially independent? Travel a lot. Cook good food. Write for fun. I try not to think that way too much because that day is so far away…
.-= eemusings´s last blog ..Betting on the bank =-.

Mrs. Micah May 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Thanks all for the excellent posts! 🙂

@Pete Whoops, I changed that! 🙂

@eemusings I know, I try not to dwell on it because I don’t know when I’ll get there. So I ask how I can live happily now too, when I don’t have all that.

J. Money May 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Woohoo! Glad you enjoyed the post my DC Friend 🙂 Thanks for hosting and showing everyone some love!

jacqjolie May 19, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Hi there, Mrs. Micah, thanks so much for choosing my post for the top one this week! I mistakenly left a thank you post on the carnival announcement itself. Sorry – so new at this stuff. 🙂

I find that living for the future makes us so much less likely to enjoy today – so glad everyone is getting a little bit of that “FI” in their lives now rather than waiting.

I think what I am finding the most surprising is the things that I thought I wanted the free time to do aren’t what’s really fulfilling to me. I thought I wanted to relax and take life easy and finally had to accept that it’s just not me.

A blank canvas in life (like blank pages) are scary things to face. Like a blog post, sometimes you start out writing something you had a great plan for, and end up writing something completely different, yet much more wonderful. I think the key is to be open to follow the inspiration and not have too many preconceived notions.

Thanks again!
.-= jacqjolie´s last blog ..I am “the emotional investor” =-.

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