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Carnival of Personal Finance: Cupid Tries to Teach Personal Finances

Ever since he was a little boy, Cupid loves L-O-V-E. Since then, the son of Mars and Venus has grown his penchant for shooting love arrows into the world’s leading matchmaking business. Every heart has a lock, but a Cupid’s arrow can pick that lock [Taking Charge]! Of course, Valentine’s Day is Cupid’s favorite holiday – lavish or frugal [Bargaineering] Cupid celebrates all aspects of this holiday.

As a true romantic at heart, Cupid was dismayed to see that many of the love matches he made crumbled under the pressure of every day life. “How sad it is that true love dies because of bad money decisions [Moolanomy] or misaligned financial priorities [Military Wallet], or lifestyle deflation [Nicole and Maggie].” Cupid lamented.

Cupid decided to talk to his parents, Venus and Mars, about the key success factors [Squirrelers] to financial health and love. “Couples need to fight fair about money disagreements [Matt About Money] and share broad financial goals – staying debt free [No Credit Needed] or saving for retirement [Retire Happy Blog],” Venus said. “Yes,” Mars agreed, “big issues such as a 15-year mortgage [Watson Inc] or a 30-year mortgage, how to save [Think Your Way To Wealth], deciding to invest or paying off credit card debt [Clear Choice Credit Card Blog], or figuring out car taxes [Debt Reduction Formula]. There might not be one right answer, but it’s important for both spouses to be on the same page.”

Cupid nodded. Whew, it sounds like love isn’t just about strawberries and chocolates and weddings [Blonde & Balanced]. Then, suddenly, he had an idea. “I shall teach personal finance to everyone [Credit Sesame] so they will be happy AND financially comfortable!”

For his first class, Cupid decided to focus on a few test couples to see if he can be a good financial advisor.

First up: Romeo & Juliet

Oh, Romeo and Juliet were in a bad strait. Their families thought they were dead, and no one will believe that they are actually alive. Instead, they were accused of identity theft [The Smarter Wallet] and with all the legal untangling that’s going on, all they can do is argue. “You don’t know how to work!” Juliet complained, “since this identity theft business [Credit, Eh] all you do is go out and play in sword fights. At least you can do something useful [Money Cactus], like paid surveys [Promo Code Center]. You don’t even cook so we can’t save on food costs [Cash Money Blog]!”

“But I serenade you with a guitar [EEMusings]!” Romeo retorted. “Besides, ow am I supposed to get a job when I can’t even get a checking account?” “Er, actually, you can!” Cupid interjected, “you can open a checking account when you are in ChexSystems [Yes, I Am Cheap]. And to better manage your money, you can check out the best money management software of 2011 [One Money Design].”

Romeo and Juliet looked at Cupid and in unison yelled, “We are from 14th century Verona. We don’t have software!” “Just wait for technology to change the way you buy [Personal Cents],” Cupid said confidently. “Just wait a few centuries.”

Second couple: Peter Pan and Wendy

This couple has a pretty good income – Peter Pan runs Neverland Tours and Wendy is a well-known children’s writer. But they just cannot stop fighting about how to invest their considerable savings [Do Not Wait]. Peter wants to time the market [Fire Finance] and can stand market volatility [Control Your Cash]. Wendy prefers to buy and hold dividend stocks [Dividends Value] and couldn’t care less about Jim Cramer [Growing Money].

Wendy wants to buy long-term care insurance [Funny About Money], but Peter says that they will never grow up, so why bother. Peter wants to get into  forex trading [PT Money] and invest in individual stocks such as AOL [Intelligent Speculator], but Wendy is gun-shy. She prefers to join a investment club [Buy Like Buffett], while Peter Pan is a go-it-alone guy. Peter Pan wanted to buy expensive iPhone apps [the Dough Roller], while Wendy thinks that’s a waste of money.

They even fight over the little stuff, like what to tip for bad service [Free Money Finance] or when to file for taxes [Gen Y Wealth], or even what type of tax return product to use [Digerati Life]. They even disagree about non-money issues, such as Groupon’s Super Bowl ads [Consumerism Commentary]. Ay carumba!

Peter Pan and Wendy both want to stash more cash [Compounding Returns], but Cupid couldn’t make heads or tails of their arguments. Cupid finally sent them home with some good investing books [The Personal Finance Playbook], some tax information [A Gai Shan Life] and a guide to taxable vs. nontaxable income [Net Worth journey].

Third couple: Snow White & Her Prince

Snow White and her Prince fight because of a difference in spending. Snow White has started her own beauty company (which is doing great because of supply and demand [Money Thinking]), while the Prince makes money online [Studenomics]. Everything is great, except Snow White’s penchant for buying very expensive red lipstick and Netflix [Money Beagle]. The Prince says Snow White spends too much and is giving them bad credit [CardHub.com], but she insists that she needs to beat the winter financial blahs [Modern Gal] and that a budget is worthless [Live Real, Now].

“Well I want to retire by 40 [Retire By Forty]. We need to save money if I can do that. And what if we have a baby and one of us wants to stay home?” said the Prince. “Snow White doesn’t even compare auto insurance quotes [Money Smart Life]. And she never cares about my 10 tips to save money [Budgeting In the Fun Stuff]! I am so afraid we will end up in bankruptcy [Personal Bankruptcy Blog].”

“Ah, so you are losing your second income? there are ways to prepare [Rabbit Funds],” Cupid interrupted. “You can also use prepaid cards [Prepaid Card 123] so you don’t run the risk of overspending. And you need to plan in case one of you gets laid off [Len Penzo].”

Prince said, “I work hard too. I go through a lot finding good freelancers on Odesk [Money Help for Christians]. I even adjust my schedule to save money [The Financial Student]. I try to find the best credit card from Chase [Free From Broke] and I make my own group coupon [Blogging for Change].”

Snow White paused, then said, “well, I use cash back credit card [Credit Donkey Tips] to buy my lipsticks! Red lipsticks represent the type of person I want to be [Little Miss Moneybags], and you can’t take that away!”

“Given Snow White’s history of getting into life-threatening situations,” Cupid said, “perhaps you should consider estate planning [Bucksome Boomer].” At this, both Snow White and the Prince left in a huff. Ay, teaching personal finance is harder than Cupid has thought!

Fourth Couple: Pongo & Peridita

Humans are too difficult to counsel. Cupid, thought, so may be canines are easier. So he decided to help Pongo and Perdita. Perdita wants to go back to school to become a show dog, but Pongo debates whether school is a good investment [Good Financial Cents]. “We have 99 puppies,” Pongo said, “if you go to school the debt collectors [Wallet Blog] will come after us! Besides, how about our travel plans [Help Me Travel Cheap]? We wanted to visit Canada, remember?”

Canada! Cupid snapped to attention. “I can talk to you about RRSP basics [Canadian Finance Blog]!” But Pongo and Perdita didn’t hear him. They were too busy discussing their next step: invest in Lending Club [My Dollar Plan], figure out arbitrage techniques [Darwin's Money], bring in non-taxable income [Spruce Up Your Finances], remodel their farmhouse [Mom Vesting], and then they will have enough money to travel to Canada!

The End

After an exhausting four days of trying to counsel these couples, Cupid realized that what he does best is to shoot those little arrows of passion into unsuspecting men, women, and dogs. “I guess I should leave being a financial planner [Consumer Boomer] to the experts!” Cupid decided.

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