snowWelcome to this week’s edition of the Carnival of Financial Planning! This week’s edition is the “snowed in” edition and goes out to all those in New York and Michigan who have been hammered with snow. I went to college in Erie, PA and we got hit with good amounts of lake effect snow, so I know how crazy it can be.

During one of your shoveling breaks (assuming you live in those areas) be sure to take some time to read up and get your finances in order. For those that aren’t shoveling, then you have absolutely no excuse at all not to read these posts!!

BUDGETING AND ECONOMICS

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes 5 Things You Are Probably Overpaying For – Most of us hate overpaying for anything. Yet we do this all the time without realizing how much money we are throwing away when we overpay on things like Pay-TV and Internet Services, Clothing, Eyewear, Car Repairs and batteries.

Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Autumn Is the Perfect Season for Reorganizing Your Home – Once the days start to draw in, the bad weather ramps up a notch and the kids are back at school, you may discover that autumn is the perfect season to have a good clear out.

Brock Kernin @ Clever Dude writes Save Money By Giving Unwanted Electronics For FREE – Sometimes giving away an item for free can actually save you money!

Connie M. @ Savvy With Saving writes Celebrate Your Small Frugal Wins – Why You Should Celebrate Your Small Frugal Wins

DW @ The Money Template writes Retirement Income Solutions to Live Comfortably for Years to Come – Balancing your expenses after you leave your job can be challenging. Here are a few good retirement income solutions to help make the most your nest egg.

Alexa @ Defeat Our Debt writes Should You Take a Vacation if You’re in Debt? – Your debt is stressing you out. Work is stressing you out. And you just need a little break from the normal day to day grind.

Brad @ Enemy of Debt writes How to Sell Your House for Top Dollar – If you are interested in selling your house soon, then I would suggest that you put it on the market immediately.

Natalie @ Debt and The Girl writes Fostering Saving Culture – I have heard of stories about how celebrities and influential people in our societies have ended up being declared bankrupt despite making huge amounts of money during their peak days.

Justin @ Edward Antrobus writes 6 Ways Shoppers are Deceived! – Brands and advertisers use specific marketing tactics to convince shoppers to make purchases There are some tactics that they use that, while not illegal, border on being unethical.

Marissa @ Finance Triggers writes Best Way to Collect Superannuation Funds during Retirement – If you work in Australia, then you are likely to have at least one superannuation account set up to help you out financially during your retirement.

Katie @ IRA Basics writes 4 IRA Withdrawals that Actually Make Sense – Withdrawing funds from a traditional IRA before a person turns 59 ½ usually means that they’re going to pay a lot of taxes and penalties.

Hadley @ Epic Finances writes Stock Investing Myths and Truths Part 4 of 4 – Even though there’s plenty of information about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to investing in the stock market, many myths still refuse to die.

INVESTING AND SAVING

Michael Kitces @ Nerd’s Eye View writes Allocating A Portfolio In The Context Of Human Capital And The Rest Of A Household’s Total Balance Sheet – Recent research from Morningstar’s Blanchett and Straehl suggest that the optimal portfolio allocations for many investors will significantly shift when you consider the value of human capital, illiquid pensions and Social Security, and real estate (especially the primary residence). The human capital portion of wealth plays a significant role given that the potential growth rate and volatility risk vary greatly from industry to industry. Ultimately, what this means, is that advisors who do not

Jon @ Money Smart Guides writes Sharebuilder Review – of all of the online brokers out there, Sharebuilder often gets overlooked. Here is a complete review so you can see if what they offer fits best for your investing needs.

RISK MANAGEMENT AND INSURANCE

Erastus @ Wise Dollar writes 6 Simple Ways to Save on Car Insurance – Car insurance is one of those things we often forget about saving money on. If you’re wanting to save money on car insurance, check out my tips to pay less.

[Photo Credit: Arnaud Abadie]

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how to get white teethFact: great teeth make you look like you’ve got money and yellow teeth make you look much older. Remember, on Ten Years Younger they always whiten the teeth! Chemical teeth whitening is much cheaper than it used to be and deals are often available on discount sites like Groupon, but it’s still not cheap and involves all sorts of nasty chemicals, so if you prefer to keep things more natural there’s a lot you can do at home to achieve that big white Carrie Bradshaw smile. Here are a handful of tips for how to get white teeth without spending an arm and a leg.

How To Get White Teeth

  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after every meal, or whenever you drink tea, coffee or Coke. (Caffeine is one of the main causes of stains.) Even if you can’t get to a bathroom sink, swill some water around your mouth and swallow.
  • Red wine is another major cause of stains, so if that’s your tipple order a glass of water alongside when you’re at a restaurant or bar and take a mouthful from time to time.
  • Try to brush your teeth after every meal and consider investing in an electric toothbrush as these remove way more plaque, (which holds stains), than conventional brushes. Keep a spare toothbrush in your office drawer for after lunch. Toothpastes that offer whitening might stop your teeth from getting more stained, though I’ve never found that they actually whiten them.
  • Home whitening kits are reasonably priced and do a decent job. A course usually lasts about seven days and you get to wear a boxer’s gum shield too! A great choice is Plus White Speed Whitener. You put the gel in the mouthpiece and keep it in your mouth for 5 minutes. That’s it. One note of caution, it does foam A LOT. Because of this, it is best used in the shower so you can easily spit out the foam. (Trust me, you will need to spit out the foam. It’s a little annoying, but hey, the product works!)
  • Try to eat lots of crunchy foods, such as celery, apples and other similar fruits and vegetables – they produce a gentle rubbing action which helps to keep teeth clean.
  • As a last resort, chew sugar-free gum after eating to help prevent the plaque from building up on your teeth.

Simple Home Whitening Treatments

If you want a natural alternative to those commercial DIY bleaching kits, here are some options for you:

Banking Soda Paste

Mix three teaspoons of baking soda with a teaspoon of table salt and brush the paste gently onto your teeth and gums twice a week, rinsing thoroughly afterwards. Tastes revolting but removes stubborn stains and brings the sparkle back to your smile. If you can handle this taste, it is by far the simplest way for how to get white teeth. (If you don’t feel like making your own paste, you can buy Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster on Amazon.)

Coconut Oil Rinse

Before you brush your teeth (either in the morning or at night), get one tablespoon of coconut oil and place it in your mouth. It will naturally soften as it is in your mouth. After putting it in your mouth, push, pull and swish it around your mouth and between your teeth. Do this for about 10 minutes, then rinse with water and brush your teeth as normal.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

The cheapest solution of all is to use hydrogen peroxide. Most teeth whitening products have this as a main ingredient, so you know it works. Simply fill the cap of the bottle with fluid and swish in your mouth for about a minute, twice a day. As with the coconut oil rinse, you do this before brushing your teeth. Note that this option is the preferred option over coconut oil simply because of the taste of coconut oil.

[Note this post was updated to include more current information.]

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