It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joeâ€¦
Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of whatâ€™s been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Hereâ€™s what caught my attention over the past weekâ€¦
I hope everybody had a great week.Â It’s hard to believe we’re three weeks away from Christmas.Â I mean, it seems like only two months ago when all the stores started putting up their holiday decorations.Â Â On second thought, I guess it was.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Enemy of Debt – Final Results: No Restaurants Equal Big Savings.Â I love Brad and his approach to debt.Â We are both cut from the same cloth; we’re both big on personal responsibility and abhor owing money to anybody for anything.Â I was impressed with his experiment to stop eating out last month — it yielded some very big savings.Â So, not to be outdone, I’ve decided to just stop eating.Â For two months.Â I’ll keep ya posted on how that works out for me…
The Financial Blogger – TFB 4th Anniversary – Who Wants to Win an iPad? Wow.Â Four years of steady blogging — congratulations TFB!Â Best of all, the Financial Blogger is giving away a free iPad (that’s iPad with an “a,” as opposed to an iPod with an “o”) and some cool other gifts too.Â Now hop over to his site, send your best wishes and enter his give-away!Â Â Â Who knows, you may just win an iPad — with an “a,” not an “o.”
Wisebread – 6 Simple Ways to Safeguard Against Bank Bullying.Â Â What, you thought banks weren’t capable of bullying people?Â Â Are you really that naive?Â Please.Â Banks are ruthless, folks.Â Â Cold, heartless bastards, that’s what they are!Â Â Surely I’m not the only kid who got their lunch money taken away under the threat of a fat lip by roving bands of rogue bankers.Â Â Or am I?
Canadian Finance Blog – Silly Mistakes Can Be Costly.Â Â I’ll say — like walking to school alone in a neighborhood infested with marauding gangs of foul-mouthed filthy financiers.Â Yes, I’ve got issues.
And Here’s Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy…
Kiplinger - Last Minute Tax Savings for 2010
Personal Finance by the Book – 5 Ways to Stretch Your Christmas Budget.
Ironclad Finances – Planning For Christmas Shopping
Green Panda Tree House – Important Fees That Come With a Mortgage — Are You Ready?
PT Money – Tips for Sticking to a Budget
Money Reasons - Getting Paid for Aluminum Cans Update
Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance – Are You Wealthier Than You Think?
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff – Top 5 Songs About Personal Finances
Live Richly – Stranger in His Own Land, Pt. 9
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From December 2009:
Yes, Al Gore, There Is Such a Thing As Global Warming - My global-warming climate change parody of the famous “Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus” letter.
Credits and Debits
Debit: Don’t look now, but climate change global warming scientists zealots are now saying that, if we want to stave off ecological disaster, the world’s industrialized nations need to go back to draconian rationing similar to what was done during World War II.
Credit: The truth is, anthropogenic (i.e., man-caused) global warming climate change is a farce.
Credit: I’ve been saying for years that the main impetus behind this movement is actually a small group of anti-capitalists who misrepresent and/or distort climatological data in a back-door effort to try and institute their own twisted idea of a socialist utopia.Â Â It’s true.
Debit: These are the same people who used 1200 limos and 140 private jets to attend last year’s Copenhagen climate summit.Â I know.Â As for the number of electric or hybrid vehicles the environmentalists ordered up to get to the summit?Â Um, that would be five.Â As in, er, well, five.
Debit: Meanwhile, another rabid environmentalist, Bono, is doing his part.Â By the way, I’m not talking about the late Sonny Bono.Â I’m talking about the self-absorbed dude from the rock band U2.Â Anyway, U2′s 360 Degrees tour, running through 2011, requires six Boeing 747 jets and 55 tractor trailers — and that’s just for Bono’s ego.
Debit: This is the same guy whose band’s carbon footprint in 2009 was equivalent to the carbon created by a passenger plane traveling the 34 million miles from Earth to Mars.Â Says Bono, “My prayer is that we become better in looking after our planet.”Â Rest assured, when Bono says we, he really means you.
Credit: Last week, President Obama endorsed a two-year freeze on the salaries of federal employees as a sign that he is serious about reducing the annual trillion-dollar (yes, trillion) budget deficits he has run up since coming in to office.
Debit: Unfortunately, as the Washington Examiner deftly points out, the president “might as well be using a milk jug to bail out the Titanic; the freeze is estimated to save only about $5 billion in an annual federal budget of more than $3.5 trillion, including a $1.3 trillion deficit.”
Debit: To put that in perspective, if your household income is $50,000 per year, that would be equivalent to you reducing your annual spending by $25.
Credit: The Examiner also noted in the same opinion piece that there are bolder proposals out there including a proposed across-the-board 10 percent federal pay cut by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, (R-Utah), and another proposal by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) calling for federal workers to be furloughed without pay for two weeks in 2011.
By the Numbers
Numbers regarding the proposed environmental Cap and Trade bill sponsored by John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.):
83 The percentage reduction of greenhouse emissions in America by 2100 as a result of punitive taxes imposed on the economy by Cap and Trade.
0.077 The reduction in global temperatures, in degrees Fahrenheit by 2050.
0.2 The reduction in global temperatures, in degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
3 million According to the conservative Heritage Foundation, the estimated number of job losses in America’s manufacturing sector by 2029.
$5 trillion According to the Heritage Foundation, the amount of money that will be transferred from the private sector to the government in the first 20 years of Cap and Trade.Â This represents a net destruction of 4.8 trillion of GDP over that same period.
1.1 The projected reduction in the overall rise in the world’s sea level by 2010, in centimeters.Â In other words, it’s insignificant.
Other Useless News
Hey, I’m getting hungry.Â This not-eating thing may be harder than I thought.
In other news, here are the Top 25 referring blogs during the month of November…
1. The Simple Dollar
2. MSN: Smart Spending
3. Time Magazine: It’s Your Money
5. Get Rich Slowly
6. The Globe and Mail
10. Green Panda Tree House
11. Frugal Dad
12. Money Help for Christians
14. Political Calculations
16. Wealth Pilgrim
17. Canadian Finance Blog
18. Simply Forties
19. Oblivious Investor
20. The Millionaire Nurse Blog
21. Hope to Prosper
23. Everyday Tips and Thoughts
24. Frugal Hacks
25. Budgeting In the Fun Stuff
Thank you to everyone who refers their readers to this little ol’ blog!Â I really really really really really really really appreciate it!Â
Here’s a friendly reminder for ya: if you happen to enjoy what you’re reading – or not – please make sure you follow me on Twitter. And, if you’ll be so kind, don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed too!
Letters, I Get Letters
SlickRick384 wrote in to say:
“Is that a booger I see in the photo on your About page? “
Absolutely not!Â I even zoomed in on the photo in question and I still didn’t see one.Â Well, that is unless you’re referring to the Honeybee.Â Â She can definitely be a booger sometimes.
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 â€“ assuming I get one, that is.
If you’re lucky enough to be the only question in the mailbag I’ll highlight your letter, whether it’s interesting or not.
This week I had articles featured at the following carnivals:
Carnival of Personal Finance @ Realm of Prosperity
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.