It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Here’s what caught my attention over the past week…
With Easter around the corner and me preparing for The Best of the Best in Money and Personal Finance Carnival this Sunday I’m in another rush this week. In fact, I’m so crunched for time, I’m not only going to the blog-highlight lightning round but I’m also going to an “espresso” version of everything else. I’ll return to a more action-packed version of Black Coffee next week. Give me 60 seconds on the clock and here we go:
Fat Wallet! – With Spring break here and millions of families now heading to Disneyland for a great day at the happiest place on Earth, I think it is only appropriate that I start this edition of Black Coffee off with a very funny article from Troy who gives some terrific advice on how NOT to save money on your next trip to Disneyland. Which reminds me… After a long full day of fun at Disneyland, where do people usually hurt the most? The wallet, of course.
Money Help For Christians – When you’re done NOT saving money at the Magic Kingdom, you can try and get all that wasted money back by making a lot of overseas phone calls. WTF are you talking about, Len? I know, but bear with me. You see, Craig was kind enough this week to let us all in on exactly how he saves 98% on all his overseas calls. What’s even better is those of you willing to use your computer can actually save 100%. Now that’s what I call a sale.
Wealth Pilgrim – If it turns out that saving 98 percent or more on your phone calls isn’t enough to make up all the money you blew at Disneyland, then check out this post from Neal, who jumps on the saving bandwagon with a hot tip on how to get an expensive college education for 80% less. And if that still doesn’t make up for all of your Mickey Mouse miscues, then your only hope may be to consider a life of crime. May I suggest a career in politics or law.
Enemy of Debt - I know I’m a little late with this one, but Brad had a very eye-opening article regarding a scam that some con artist tried to pull on him. A less observant person would have been out $1700. By the way, getting back to Disneyland, do you know what the worst four letter word is that you can say there? Free. Moving on…
MSN Smart Spending – Meanwhile, for those of you with a birthday coming sometime in the next 12 months, MSN Smart Spending highlights a panoply of birthday deals being offered by a host of restaurants and other retailers that you may be interested in. Be careful though, those birthday deals aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.
Oblivious Investor – They say a stockbroker is someone who will happily invest your money until it is all gone. While you’re thinking about that, hop on over to Mike’s site where he shares with us the reason why he doesn’t pick stocks.
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts You May Have Missed
From May 2009:
A Simple Trick for Managing Bills on a Variable Income - The people who work on commission and/or depend on tips for a significant portion of their income from month to month know all about the pitfalls that come with inconsistent paychecks. In this article I explain a simple and effective trick for effectively managing personal finances when your income fluctuates from month to month.
Credits and Debits
Debit: A Gallup poll found that 20.3% of Americans were underemployed in March – that represents a slight increase from February. “Underemployed” is defined as being either unemployed or employed in a part-time job but looking for a full-time position.
Credit: The good news is the Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, which is the most since the recession began. While that is a good sign, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. The overall “official” unemployment rate, which ignores people who have stopped looking for jobs, remained steady at 9.7 percent. Those numbers were also bolstered by the temporary addition of almost 50,000 census workers.
Credit: Police said the Easter Bunny was roughed up this week outside a New York candy shop by a man who then ran away. Heh. And you thought Santa had a tough job.
Credit: Meanwhile, campus officials at Long Beach City College in California have their own bunny problems to deal with as more than 300 abandoned pet rabbits have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of green landscaping. The school cops are now imposing $500 fines on anybody who is caught dropping off their pet bunny to run free in the wild. The good news is students are still welcome to deposit their unwanted pet alligators and venomous snakes at the college campus for free.
Debit: It’s not funny, people – this is getting serious. A local no-kill, nonprofit rabbit rescue organization known as the Bunny Bunch reports that the homeless bunnies at the college are now not only being killed by predators like owls and hawks, but they are also suffering from syphilis. Bunnies with syphilis? Was the Bunny Bunch referring to pet store hares or Hugh Hefner’s harem of Playboy bunnies? I know. Just roll with it.
By the Numbers:
63 The number of Easter eggs the Honeybee and I will be hiding around the house on Saturday night for the kids to find on Easter morning.
45 The number of eggs that will be the plastic variety filled with loose change or candy.
25 The approximate total value in US dollars of all the change in those plastic eggs.
6 The number of times my 12-year-old son, Matthew, has won our annual Easter egg hunt.
1 The number of times my 10-year-old daughter, Nina, has won. (Her first win was last year.)
Letters, I Get Letters
Unfortunately for me, this week’s lone letter comes from IB21 who wanted to get one more dig in at me regarding my recent opposition to the Obamacare law:
“You are without a doubt the biggest crybaby I’ve seen this side of Glen (sic) Beck…”
You’re right, I haven’t cried this much since the last time I saw Beaches. (So sue me – I’m the sensitive type.)
If you have a question you’d like to ask, or a comment you’d like to make regarding some of my irritating opinions, please feel free to drop me an e-mail at: Len@LenPenzo.com
I’ll feature the most interesting question or comment I get each week here on Black Coffee – assuming I get one, that is.
If you’re lucky enough to be the only question in the mail bag I’ll highlight your letter, whether it’s interesting or not.
Other Useless News
Hey now! Here are the Top 10 referring blogs to Len Penzo dot Com (excluding aggregators) for the entire month of March…
Thank you to everybody who has referred their readers to my site over the past month! I truly appreciate it.
This week I had articles featured at the following carnivals:
- Carnival of Personal Finance at Four Pillars (Editor’s Pick – Hooray!)
- The Bobo Carnival of Politics at The Bobo Files