Welcome to the April 6, 2009 edition the Carnival of Twenty Something Finances, a collection of links from around the personal finance blogosphere.  Today’s theme was inspired by the NCAA Tournament, which comes to a close tonight.  The Final Four are the last four teams remaining in the tournament.  Those teams are the University of Connecticut, Michigan State, Villanova, and the University of North Carolina.  Michigan State and Carolina will be playing in the championship after beating the other two teams on Saturday.Drawing inspiration from these four schools, I will tell you a little about them as we go through the links.

Budgeting & Money Management

For universities and colleges to function and grow, they often rely on incomes from donations.  Donations go to the school’s endowment fund(s).  This money has to be carefully monitored and spent properly.  Here are the current endowment amounts of the schools in the Final Four:
  • UNC:$2.36 billion
  • Villanova:$336 million
  • Michigan State: $1.28 billion
  • UConn: $300 million

As you can see UNC has a dominance in the endowment category.  But it isn’t a matter of how much you have, it’s how well you manage it.

kathryn presents Budget Money with Irregular Paychecks posted at Out of Debt Christian.

Alex presents Wedding Budget Planner and Calculator Spread Sheet posted at Home Life Weekly.

Barry Wright III presents Fashion Mathematics: The Value of Mixing and Matching posted at 3stylelife.

Billeater presents 5 Money Saving Secrets Grocery Stores Don’t Want You to Know posted at Billeater.

Heidi presents Little People Wealth: Seven Organic Food Tips – Reader Questions posted at Little People Wealth.

My Cool Mommy presents 10 Cool Sites To Help You Save Money posted at MyCoolMommy.

Shaun Connell presents 5 Financial Tips for Right Now posted at Financial Planning.

Wojciech Kulicki presents How to Set Joint Financial Goals with Your Partner posted at Fiscal Fizzle.

Savings Toolbox presents Are you Saving For a Job Loss or Job Change? posted at Savings Toolbox.

Stephanie presents College Money Tip #14: Upromise posted at Poorer Than You.

Credit Cards & Debt Management

Going to college isn’t a cheap experience for anyone.  If you’re like me and lucky enough to have supportive parents (and my dad’s employer) you can graduate without any debt at all.  Villanova is a fantastic and prestigious university, but it’s private school tuition can be a tough pill to swallow.  I went to a public school and go the in-state tuition.  UConn, Michigan State, and UNC are all prestigious public schools, and are known as Public Ivies.  You can avoid a lot of student debt by going to a Public Ivy instead of a private institution.  Here is the cost of tuition at each school for a full year (public school tuition published as in-state).

  • UNC:$3,705
  • Villanova:$38,240
  • Michigan State: $9,330
  • UConn: $7,632

Mr Credit Card presents Should You Close Your Credit Card Once You Pay It Off? posted at Ask Mr Credit Card.

The Dough Roller presents Debt Cures by Kevin Trudeau–Do his “secrets” really work? posted at The Dough Roller.

Money Tipper presents How to Opt Out of Unsolicited Credit Card Offers posted at Money Tipper.

Leave Debt Behind presents 9 Sure Fire Ways to Pay Off Debt posted at Leave Debt Behind.

PFCreditCards presents Credit Cards are Evil Just as Knives are Sharp posted at PF Credit Cards.

Credit Card Addict presents American Express Offering Double Membership Rewards Points posted at CreditAddict.

Pinyo presents Borrowing From Relatives And Getting Out Of Debt posted at Moolanomy.

Debt Freedom Fighter presents Why Do I Only Qualify for Low Limit Credit Cards? posted at Discover Debt Freedom!.

J. Savings presents Our church is $125k in debt…and guess what? posted at Budgets are Sexy.

nickel presents Lending Money to Family and Friends posted at fivecentnickel.com.

Investing

Want to work on Wall Street?  Probably not these days.  If you did though you probably want to come packing with a strong resume and a good business school degree in tow.  All of the Final Four schools have fantastic undergraduate business schools, all ranking in the top 100.  If you’re looking to get an MBA, UNC has one of the best in the country with the other three not lagging far behind.

ifvat presents The Beginner’s Guide to Stock Market Investing Risk Tolerance posted at ifvat.

David presents Ten Tips for Young Investors? The Media Doesn’t Get It posted at Pimp Your Finances.

Investing School presents Beginning with Options Trading posted at Investing School.

Verna Morris presents How to Build a Simple and Effective All-ETF Portfolio | ETF Database posted at ETFdb.

Darwin presents How to Profit from Employee Stock Options Regardless of Share Performance posted at Darwin’s Finance.

Aussie Investor presents Asset Allocation – Investing By The Numbers posted at Australian Investing.

The Smarter Wallet presents Trading The Market: What Market Trends Are Stock Traders Riding On Recently? posted at The Smarter Wallet.

Psychology & Money

In basketball psychology plays a big role in the outcome of a game.  A strong history of performance in sports can go a long way towards establishing the confidence needed to win a game.  UNC and UConn have arguably the strongest histories of basketball among the four schools.  UNC didn’t allow themselves to get cocky though and smartly picked apart Villanova.  UConn on the other hand was caught off guard by a Michigan State team that is not intimidated by such nonsense.  Here are some articles pertaining to psychology and money.

Jeff – StretchyDollar presents Why It Doesn’t Matter How Much You Make posted at StretchyDollar.

Writers Coin presents The Psychology of Salaries: Do You Want to Know How Much Your Coworkers Make? posted at Wise Bread.

Megan presents Recognition For a Job Well Done posted at Counting My Pennies.

Alvaro Fernandez presents Change Your Environment, Change Yourself posted at SharpBrains: Your Window into the Brain Fitness Revolution.

Matthew Paulson presents What a Difference Control Makes posted at American Consumer News.

Livingalmostlarge presents Cheering the Meltdown? posted at LivingAlmostLarge.

Real Estate

Real estate is always a big topic in the world of finances, especially these days.  Here’s a look at the amount of land each school owns followed by the best real estate and mortgage articles of the week.

  • UNC: 729 acres
  • Villanova: 254 acres
  • Michigan State: 2,000 acres
  • UConn: 4,266 acres

mirza presents Mortgage Refinance: 4 Ways To Know Its Time to Refinance Your House. posted at Explanation Mortgage Types.

Brian McKay presents Housing Rebound posted at MonitorBankRates.com.

Madison presents Will the $15,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit Return? posted at My Dollar Plan.

ChristianPF presents First time home owner? This is a great year for it! posted at Money in the Bible | Christian Personal Finance Blog.

Random

And finally what would a carnival be without the articles so good they cant’ be categorized?  These are many times my favorites.  To go with them I’ve including some interesting trvia about the four schools.

  • UNC is the oldest public university in the country.
  • Villanova is one of the most high tech schools in the country, ranked 1st in 2006 and 15th in 2008.
  • Michigan State was the first land-grant university and is the 8th largest school in the country (46,000 students).
  • UConn is virtually self-sufficient with it’s own power plant, water treatment plant, and waste treatment facilities.

Tushar Mathur presents Health Savings Accounts explained posted at Everything Finance.

Madison presents Make Working Pay Tax Credit Hits Paychecks Soon posted at My Dollar Plan.

jim presents » Top 5 Online Banks: Savings or Checking Accounts on Blueprint for Financial Prosperity posted at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Bank Champ presents Bank Promotions Are Taxed posted at Bank Champ.

d. ninja presents Maybe I should start a Music Label? posted at Punch Debt In The Face.

Raj Patel presents Subscriptions When in Debt posted at DebtGoal.

Wren Caulfield presents Netbooks: Economical Computing Option or a Waste of Money? posted at True Adventures in Money Hacking.

Jeff Rose presents The Cheapest and Most Simplest Chicken Pasta Recipe You’ve Ever Seen posted at Jeff Rose.

So who am I picking to win tonight?  Though my bracket was thoroughly torn apart, I did pick Carolina to win it all.  I’m sticking with it.

This concludes this of the Carnival of Twenty Something Finances. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Twenty Something Finances using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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photos: _Dave Austria, SvobodaIT, Daniele Sartori, Eric MillsGlobal Jet

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