Today I am running late with my ‘principled money posts’ edition. Why? Because I had another unique experience – I was present at the grading of a particular karate school in the UK (well, truth be told the school is Korean but it has branches in the UK). My youngest son was taking part in the grading for yellow belt – for the non-initiates, this is the next one after white which is the lowest.

It was terrific! People of all ages taking part in the different grading exercises. Many of them parents and offspring doing it together.

Now, I have wanted to do karate ever since I was a kid; never did. Starting next Wednesday, though, this is going to be my new exercise experiment. Which brings me to the writing challenge.

Four weeks ago, I was amongst the ‘founders’ who joined a writing challenge started by Sam Dogen at the Financial Samurai. The challenge is a bit of experiment as well – writing and publishing on our blog(s) 5,000+ words per week. Which in effect means longer articles and publishing more often. Now, for me this challenge is perfect – I always had to restrain the length of my articles as ‘I am a woman of many words’ (you may have noticed 🙂 already). I still find it difficult to publish on The Money principle 5,000+ words per week – my feeling is that I am overwhelming my readers. Apart from that, I like accepting great, informative and entertaining guest posts – they bring variety and contribute value to my site.

Which left me with a bit of a puzzle: how and why do I write 5,000+ words per week (which I can easily do and it will contribute to my 10,000 hours) if I can’t publish it on my site. Even including the writing gig we recently acquired the arithmetic is not working out. Today in the car back from karate grading the solution hit me: I need a new site. And the news is that the name is already sorted, the domain registered and over Christmas I know what will keep me entertained (apart from old movies). Will keep you posted on this one!

Now, let me move to some really awesome writing around the blogosphere.

Of course one would expect that a site on writing will offer some really hot writing itself. And I was not disappointed! Write to Done published an article on the 8 signs that one is meant to be a writer. Apart from enjoying it I took the suggestions as a test; and guess what? Yep, I was meant to be! I just need to continue developing my ‘strong bottom’ as my Jewish friends says, and all will be well. I still am not sure whether I’ll end up with a best written or best-selling book though.

Is personal finance simple or complex? You know that I have always said that this depends: at the level of ‘what to do’ personal finance is that simple; but at the level of ‘how to do it’ it can become really complex. I have reached an age when I no longer think that most people are dumb; they just get lost in the application. Adrian from 7million7years published an article telling us what is the only personal finance chart we’ll need. It is beautiful in its simplicity – go check it out.

Work, Save, Live published a guest post by Kevin (Out of Your Rut) about debt consolidation. I have been following Kevin for some time now and he is not the most accomplished writer around. But he has a sense for ‘a story’; and of course debt consolidation is a big story – bit in the sense that it is not straight forward and that many lenders would love people to consolidate repeatedly. Conventional wisdom says that debt consolidation is doggy – morphing unsecured debt in secured and dealing with a ‘whole heap’ rather than small bits can spell danger. But if you have a psyche of a long distance runner, debt consolidation can work out beautifully – it did for us. But you will have to wait for this story for a bit longer!

I love a good lesson; in fact I do believe that what makes life worth living is learning (not love, procreation and emancipation). Great to see that during a year of home ownership The First Million is the Hardest has learned a valuable lesson: houses are bottomless money pits that stretch your wallet, your patience and your skill set; oh, and you are enslaved to the bank that lend you money to buy the house for a very long time. Is it worth it? Some say it is…

One of the great finds of the last couple of months is Reach Financial Independence; Pauline shares her adventures starting a new life, in a new country, in a house that looks…well, it will look great when finished. But the location – oh, my! The pictures are pure ‘financial independence’ porn (if you are into this kind of kink thing). I loved ‘Can cheap labour make you lazy?’. Pauline, great issues raised, great writing and you know what? If I didn’t already know that you are French this is a post that gives you away. It would never occur to me to mind what my cook does with the steak!

Talking great writing, I have saved an excellent example of it for last. Jen at Broke-Ass Mummy published a lovely letter to her young daughter. In this letter she set out in 10 points all the things she is not; or she doesn’t wish to be. I am keeping an eye on this one – both for the writing and to see how the story unfolds. So should you!

From the sublime to the mildly ridiculous! Did you see the one where an elderly guy goes to his neighbours’ garage sale and buys a box full of junk; amongst the multitude of completely useless old cr*p he found a Coca-Cola stock certificate from 1917 which today is worth over $130 million? Of course Coca-Cola say that this can’t be; the guy’s family owns them!

During the last two weeks The Money Principle has been in the following carnivals:

Yakezie Carnival at Savvy Scot
Carnival of MoneyPros at The Frugal Toad
Carnival of Retirement at Vanessa’s Money


Carnival of Financial Planning at Master the Art of Saving
Carnival of Retirement at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses
Carnival of MoneyPros at Life Insurance by Jeff
Yakezie Carnival at RamblingFever Money

We would like to say a warm ‘thank you’ from the cold and dark Manchester to all our blogging buddies who included us in their carnivals and their round-ups.

Till next time!