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Personal Finance Reader

The Frugalympics: Where frugality is a sport Add to ...

Welcome to the Globe and Mail Personal Finance Reader. I'm Rob Carrick, personal finance columnist at The Globe, and twice weekly I compile a list of articles, blog postings, videos and websites that represent the best of what the online world has to offer on money-related subjects.

There's your everyday frugality - clipping coupons, buying on sale and bringing your lunch to work - and there's extreme frugality. We're talking the Frugalympics here - ideas like cleaning your windows at home with windshield wiper fluid, fixing your car with parts from a junkyard, eating on $1 a day and dumpster diving.

In this go-round, the Reader presents a panoply of both good and bad ideas for frugal living. Examples of the bad: buying cheap toilet paper, hand-washing your laundry and rinsing out used paper towels.

Also covered is the outlook for energy in light of the Gulf oil spill and other factors, the value of home renovations and a story about how deadbeat parents are getting credit by pretending to be their children.

Found something on the Internet that your fellow investors might enjoy? Talk to me at rcarrick@globeandmail.com.

Note: If you're having trouble reading this e-mail, try viewing the Reader online.

From The Globe and Mail

Talk about cheap: There's almost nothing Smart Cookies columnist Angela Self won't haggle over. Find out how she does it.

Are Canadians cheaping out on home renovations? A new survey suggests they are definitely thinking twice since the home reno tax credits expired.

Did you miss our discussion with Paul Bains on cross-border investing, pensions and taxes? You can catch up here.

Don't miss my video interview with Cary List, president of the Financial Planners Standards Council, who explains what you should look for in a financial adviser.

Are you too rich? Find out why financial adviser Ted Rechtshaffen wants you to shrink your money.

Must Reads From Around the Web

The Frugalympics

An advanced class in frugality from WalletPop that includes tips like cutting your liquid fabric softener with vinegar to make it last longer.

From the department of false economy comes this Consumerist.com list of money-saving tips that weren't worth it.

Offered strictly to amuse - top tips for dumpster diving from WiseBread.

Also from WalletPop, how to save money on car repairs by picking up parts at a junkyard. Years ago, I kept an old Plymouth Reliant K car running by doing this.

Eating on $1 a day - it can be done. Time.com explains how.


A discussion with two energy experts on the meaning of the Gulf oil spill, as well as the outlook for oil, natural gas, uranium and coal, at InvestorInsight.com.

Should you abandon the traditional laddering approach to bonds - divide your money equally between terms of one through five years - because interest rates are rising? No, says the Independent Investor website.

The Hemline Indicator - as go women's hemlines, so goes the stock market - is looking bearish, the Big Picture website says.

Some thoughts on the often neglected strategy of rebalancing, which is sort of like a tune-up for your portfolio, from CB Online.

Barron's picks 10 great stocks in hard-hit Europe.

Another take on bargains in the Euro market, from Trader's Narrative.

A welcome rant against the fact that do-it-yourself investors almost always have to pay advice fees when buying mutual funds through an online broker, from Advisor.ca.

Homework Time

The Financial Blogger looks at the extent to which home renovations are an investment that builds the value of your home.

If you don't see yourself paying any extra money down on your mortgage, Canadian Mortgage Trends suggests considering a no-frills mortgage loan that gives you lower rates in return for vastly restricted prepayment privileges.

Desperation City

Parents with wrecked credit ratings are now masquerading as their young kids to get more borrowing power, CNN Money says.

Driver's Ed

Top ways to send your car insurance premiums soaring, from Insure.com.

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Editor's note : If you don't receive Rob Carrick's newsletter twice weekly by e-mail, you can sign up to get it for free at The Globe and Mail. All you need to do is register for the site, or if you've already registered, login and go to your profile at the top of the homepage. Once you're in your profile, look under Newsletters and Alerts and look for the Personal Finance Reader and other newsletters. Other financial newsletters include:

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