It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…
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…
Well, folks, this weekend the Honeybee and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary! Of course, that means I’ll be taking the Honeybee out to a nice dinner, then to a movie, then to a trip to the jewelry store.
After all that, I may just get lucky. Maybe. Hooray!
Hey, after 16 years I know all about the proverbial “three rings” of marriage. You know … First comes the engagement ring. That’s followed by the wedding ring.
Then comes the suffering.
Anyway, since I’m understandably eager to get my weekend anniversary celebration started, I’m going to dispense with the lame jokes and snarky commentary on this week’s featured personal finance blogs. Please be nice and try to hold back your applause.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
101 Centavos – Career Tips for Young Folks
Wealth Artisan – Free Banking, Fine Print
Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance – New Money Series for the Seriously Broke College Grad
Millionaire Nurse Blog - Your Coworker Stops Breathing. What do You Do?
Lazy Man and Money – Profiles of Success: Getting into Some Monkee Business
Wealthy Turtle – 5 Money Leaks that Are Draining Your Wallet
Couple Money – Using Cash for Lunch Is Paying Off
Hundred Goals – Don’t Be Such a Chickenshit
Money Life and More – The Parent Tax
Krantcents – A Magic Pill
Modest Money – Treating Your Job as an Investment
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From June 2009:
The Four Biggest Ways to Stretch Your Income – What does an old episode of House Hunters have to do with this article? Not much, but in this piece I manage to sneak in a story about one of my favorite shows anyway.
My latest weekly roundtable appearance on Average Joe’s weekly financial podcast, The Worst of the Free Financial Advisor, can be heard on Episode 8: Top 5 Ways to Cut Expenses.
Credits and Debits
Debit: Don’t look now, but some people are pushing for a 20 percent “fat” tax on fatty foods as a way to curb America’s obesity epidemic. I know.
Credit: Kind of ironic, considering the tax money would be used to expand the public trough that our government depends on to maintain its own obesity.
Debit: And our government is obese. Since the US Congress brokered the first bipartisan spending deal in March 2011, the federal debt has increased approximately $12,984 per household. Funny, but I don’t feel like I got my money’s worth.
Debit: In other news, Facebook’s widely-hyped initial public offering ended up being a bust. Underwriters were forced to buy additional shares after trading opened to keep the debuting stock above its $38 opening price.
Debit: At the final bell, Facebook was selling for just $38.23. Investors were obviously disappointed considering first-day gains averaged 45 percent (!) for the 17 IPOs prior to Facebook that priced above their initial ranges.
Debit: Then again, the entire market is ailing; all three major averages completed their worst week of the year on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the 12th time in 13 sessions; that’s the first time that’s happened since 1974.
Debit: Facebook certainly isn’t a sure-thing. With over 900 million users already in place, the big question for Facebook’s long-term investors is: Where do they think the company’s future growth is going to come from?
Credit: Did anybody out there see this? A recent study found that 62 percent of all women prefer to be tipsy or completely drunk while having sex. Uh huh.
Credit: By the way, the same study found that 52 percent of men said they don’t need any alcohol to get them in the mood; the other 48 percent are obviously lying.
Debit: On a related note, a 33-year-old Knoxville man who has fathered 30 kids with 11 women is asking the court to grant him a reprieve on his child support payments because they are straining his finances. Ya think?
Debit: Some of his kids’ mothers are receiving only $1.49 per month because the fecund father only earns minimum wage. What did these women expect? It costs a lot of money to keep a lothario’s liquor cabinet fully stocked.
Credit: Still, it takes two to tango. Can somebody tell me why the mothers of his 30 children repeatedly chose to risk procreating with a man who seems to have little means of supporting their future offspring? Just sayin’!
The Question of the Week
By the Numbers
I was married in 1996. How many of you remember (or would like to forget) the top 10 movies (US domestic gross) from that year?
1. Independence Day ($306 million)
2. Twister ($242 million)
3. Mission Impossible ($181 million)
4. Jerry Maguire ($154 million)
5. Ransom ($136 million)
6. 101 Dalmatians ($136 million)
7. The Rock ($134 million)
8. The Nutty Professor ($129 million)
9. The Bird Cage ($124 million)
10. A Time to Kill ($109 million)
Source: The Movie Times
Other Useless News
Here are the top — and bottom — 5 Canadian provinces and territories in terms of the average number of pages viewed per visit here at Len Penzo dot Com over the past 30 days:
1. Newfoundland (12.15 pages/visit)
2. Northwest Territories & Nunavut (3.75)
3. Prince Edward Island (2.62)
4. Nova Scotia (2.52)
5. Alberta (2.50)
8. British Columbia (1.71)
9. Ontario (1.63)
10. Quebec (1.39)
11. New Brunswick (1.20)
12. Yukon (1.00)
Whether you happen to enjoy what you’re reading (like my friends in Newfoundland, eh) — or not (you hosers in the frozen Yukon) — please don’t forget to:
1. Click on that “Like” button in the sidebar to your right and become a fan of Len Penzo dot Com on Facebook!
2. Make sure you follow me on Twitter! And last, but not least…
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Letters, I Get Letters
Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment – assuming I get one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not!
Kelli wrote in dying to know my answer to this important question:
So who’s going to win American Idol?
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.