Personal Finance Roundup

Six options if you’re underwater on your mortgage [Wise Bread] “Unless they have cash to cover the difference between what their house will sell for and what they owe, [homeowners underwater] are pretty much stuck. Here are six options for people in that situation.”
8 Springtime Travel Bargains [Kiplinger] “Here are eight destinations that offer a great springtime getaway at a great bargain.”
Treasures in the Cupboard: Eight Tactics We Use to Maximize the Value of Our Pantry [The Simple Dollar] “We actually use a number of tactics for stocking, rotating, and utilizing our pantry so that the food kept inside has maximum value. Here’s how we do it.”
What You Need to Know About Gold [Wall Street Journal] “Here are a few of [the options for gold investing], along with the inherent pros and cons.”
Basics of Treasury Bonds & Securities Explained [Bargaineering] “Government bonds are still safer, from a capital preservation perspective, than every other investment.”

FREE MONEY FINANCE (Photo: alexjbehrens)

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  1. B says:

    For the underwater houses, #1 and #2 seem like the smartest bets. Hold onto the house until the market rebounds enough, then sell. That is, if you can’t get the bank to renegotiate or refinance.

    • Brontide says:

      @B: People who bought at the peak of the bubble will end up throwing tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars away by ignoring the problem. With rent falling as well they may not be able to cover expenses that way either.

      #6 BK, is sounding better now that cramdowns are going to be available to judges. With BK a viable option for many lenders will be more willing to negotiate.

      While #5 is a last resort, #1 and #2 are virtually suicide in this market and should only be used if you are a tiny bit underwater.

  2. MostlyHarmless says:

    How to Fire Someone [Kiplinger] “Here are eight destinations that offer a great springtime getaway at a great bargain.”

    WHAT? Something needs fixing?

    • rdm says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: Thank you for confirming that I am not yet completely insane.

    • larrymac808 says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: I can’t even find a headline on kiplingers.com that matches anything about “how to fire someone”. :-/

    • KarateMedia says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: I noticed that too, and tried to assume they meant something along the lines of, “I’ve got some good news and bad news, Ted. The good news is that you’re going to have a lot of free time to enjoy one of these amazing inexpensive vacations. The bad news is…”

  3. floraposte says:

    Correction on the “Treasures in the Cupboard” article: some of the staples claimed to “last for years” “last” in the sense that they don’t grow green fuzz, but flour and any other grain-based product will turn rancid, rice will dry out and need to be cooked with more water, beans will get mealy, spices will lose flavor, baking powder will lose its ability to leaven, etc. There’s more to shelf life than simply not getting moldy. It’s one thing if stuff is being saved as emergency rations for when you’re not going to be picky about what’s keeping you alive, but if you’re actually actively cooking, as the article would suggest, there’s going to be a considerable deterioration in bang for your buck if you genuinely try to keep stuff for years.

  4. harlock_JDS says:

    GOOD NEWS: We are giving you a free trip to Cancun
    BAD NEWS: You might want to take your resume with you.

  5. Plates says:

    I don’t think that investing in the U.S. Government is such a good idea right now. The fiscally irresponsible pork package that got approved yesterday shows that it is like giving a dollar to a drug addict, you both know that they aren’t going to use the money responsibly.

  6. QuantumRiff says:

    I’ve been trying to purchase a house that is a “short sale” for a month now! Good god is it a pain in the ass. I actually have offered more than the asking price, since the house has had 6 offers already for less in the last 9 months. (the bank either denied, or just never answered the others). It has been a month, and the bank that owns it (Countrywide) still can’t decide if they want to do it, and have had appraisers out there, and keep asking for “just a few more days” to decide, because everyone there is terrified of making a decision. (this is to decide to accept my offer.. once they decide, I can deal with them all over again for the actual purchase!) The family that is trying to sell it as a short sale stopped paying their mortgage months ago, and moved in with relatives. My offer is less than how much they will have lost in the time it takes to deal with a foreclosure, (lost income, legal and filing fees, etc) so I really don’t know why it is taking so long.