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…
If you recall from last week, I was struggling to decide what to cook up for Mr. Credit Card last weekend while he was out here visiting. I eventually decided to barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs. I know, but it was a busy week for me. Besides, the choice definitely made my kids happy.
To tell you the truth, Mr. Credit Card didn’t seem to mind either. As for the Honeybee, any meal that doesn’t require a lot of post-dinner pots and pans to clean up is always a plus for her.
Let’s get right to it, shall we, as I have a tee time today. That’s right, I’m going golfing. While most of America has been digging out from twenty feet of snow, it’s been sunny and 75 degrees here in Southern California.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Bachelorpedia – Things to Pay a Premium For. I realize the readership of my blog skews heavily towards the fairer sex, so I hope the ladies will indulge me for just a moment. I’m a sucker for encyclopedias. When I was kid, my folks bought me a set of World Book encyclopedias and over the time span of a couple of years I eagerly read the entire thing, from A to Z – yes, every single book from cover to cover. And now you know why I couldn’t get a date in high school. But I digress. Today I knocked out the entire Bachelorpedia in less than thirty minutes. As the name implies, this really fun site is most definitely geared for bachelors. There are lots of extremely entertaining little articles here, like amazing things you can do with bacon (“Bacon-wrapped tater tots, ’nuff said.”), and what to do if you run out of toilet paper (“Taco Bell and KFC seem to have the strongest and most absorbent napkins we’ve found.”) There is the occasional article that you gals might find interesting too, like this one dishing out sage advice on what you should never ever “cheap out on.”
Krantcents - Budgeting Is A Waste of Time. Although I disagree with the premise, this article still makes you think. And when I say think, I mean really think. My God, Krantcents asks no less than 22 questions in this article. Half way through the article I found myself repeatedly invoking the 5th Amendment. Then I realized the questions were only rhetorical.
Ask Mr. Credit Card – A Romantic Car License Plate: Guess Whose Car This Is. Hmmm. That’s a really good question. Maybe one of my readers can figure it out.
And Here’s Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy…
Saving Money Today – Savings Interests Rates Can Be Beaten If You Are Creative
Darwin’s Money – Efficient Market Hypothesis: Are You a Believer?
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff - Would You Like to Buy a $75,000 Ford Expedition?
Everyday Tips and Thoughts – 10 Home Renovation Tips: Learn from Our Experience
Ironclad Finances – Selecting Your Next Car
Live Richly – Stranger In His Own Land, Part 11
Sweating the Big Stuff – 5 People Who Can Save You Time, Money and Stress
Free From Broke – Freeze Your Credit to Protect Your Identity
Fiscal Fizzle - Swap Used Kids Clothes Online With ThreadUp
Credit Card Assist - Consumers Getting Trapped By Rate Reduction Scams
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From February 2009:
My Kids’ Loan Interview with the Bank of Dad – It’s hard to believe that next week will be almost two years since I decided to invite my kids (who were 9 and 11 at the time) to apply for a loan at the good old Bank of Dad. I did it as an experiment to gauge just how good a handle they had on the value of money. Needless to say, it was a real eye-opener. This is the transcript.
Credits and Debits
Debit: As the crisis in Egypt continues to unfold, the price of oil is on the verge of crossing the $100-per-barrel mark.
Debit: I’m sure you already noticed that the price of gasoline was already rising at the pump prior to the Egyptian crisis; this will now hasten the rate prices have been climbing. For their part, the US Department of Energy predicts the price of oil will average only $93 this year and $97 in 2012.
Debit: Those predictions seem ridiculously optimistic considering rapidly growing demand in China and India; even before the crisis in Egypt, J.P. Morgan was forecasting that oil prices would reach $120 in 2012.
Debit: Today’s example of government waste comes from the Waterfront Commission, which is responsible for policing the ports of New York and New Jersey for corruption. A thief pilfered a 50 cent sausage and then stole a $2.00 iced tea to wash it down. According to the New York Daily News: “The overkill began when the commission received an anonymous tip that someone filched the drink and the sausage from a food truck catering to dock workers. According to two sources, the case was quickly wrapped up: The thief confessed to the crime, and the victim said an arrest was unnecessary.” For the record, the case — known as Operation Missing Link — was opened last August and, 80 interviews later, is still ongoing.
Debit: According to Waterfront Commission General Counsel Phoebe Soriel, “While the commission does not comment on pending investigations, it takes any theft in the port seriously – especially theft involving extortion.” Boy, she’s not kidding.
Credit: Perhaps the Waterfront Commission was just doing a special favor for New York 9th District Congressman Anthony Weiner. What?
Credit: If those port authority cops take a 50-cent sausage this seriously, can you imagine their response if that thief had purloined a jelly donut and cup of coffee?
Other Useless News
I’d like to thank Miranda Marquit for including me in her list of 11 Lesser Known Blogs to Read in 2011 over at Moolanomy. I’m honored to be included among such great company, including a fellow Money Maven JoeTaxpayer. A Money Maven alumnus also made the list: Brad from Enemy of Debt.
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!
My $100 Reader Appreciation Giveaway News – Update!
Hey! My reader appreciation giveaway has less than a week to go, so if you haven’t entered yet, get to it! Who knows, that $100 grand prize could be yours.
By the Numbers
Some of the stuff in my wallet, by the numbers:
40 Total cash, in US dollars, of course. (Two twenties.)
9 Business cards.
4 Credit cards.
4 Gift cards.
80 The original total value of those four gift cards, in dollars.
1 Frequent customer discount cards to my favorite Mexican restaurant down the street.
15% The discount I get off every meal purchased there.
55 The remaining balance (in cents) on an old subway pass for the Washington D.C. Metro.
12 Photographs of the kids.
2 Photographs of the Honeybee.
So, what’s in your wallet?
Letters, I Get Letters
No Name Please wrote in to comment on my personal finances: “I saw your state of the household report this week and you seem to be fairly well off. Maybe it’s time you break down and get a new car.”
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 mailbag I’ll highlight your letter, whether it’s interesting or not.
This week I had articles featured at the following carnivals:
The Carnival of Personal Finance @ Living Richly on a Budget
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.