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. Your normal author, uh, (scrolls to the top of the page) some guy named Len Penzo, is not here this week. I’m not sure where he is. Ever since I showed up at Aunt Doris’s birthday party that one time he doesn’t tell me where he goes. I can’t say I blame him.
Hi, I’m Nelson Smith. You might remember me from previous editions of Black Coffee (like this one) and also from my very own blog, Financial Uproar. And if you’re an attractive lady, you might remember me from some of my awkward pickup lines. If we go out on a date, I promise I won’t cry again.
Jeez, that last paragraph was a little depressing. Let’s get to the links.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Budgets Are Sexy – Girls Care About Money. Guys Care About Looks. Here’s Why Girls Get Screwed On Dating Sites. Once you get past the gigantically long title, go check out this post. It’s by MakinSense Babe, (AKA Kathryn) who might be the most interesting blogger you’ve never heard of. Unless you’ve never heard of me. Then I take it all back. Anyway, it’s about, well, all sorts of things. Go read.
Timeless Finance – Save Energy This Winter. Not all of us have the fortune of living in warm, warm Southern California like the Penzo family. Joe, like me, spends most of his time in Canada, where it gets a little cool during the winter months. How are you supposed to stay warm and save money? Not to worry, he’s got you covered.
Control Your Cash – College Is Too Cheap. Like me, the fine folks from Control Your Cash spent time watching the presidential debate the other night. See, Americans, we Canadians care about your stuff. Would it kill you to at least acknowledge our existence? Anyway, CYC took the opportunity to point out some of the fallacies of our education at all costs attitude.
Financial Uproar – Why You Should Stop Telecommuting. I hear this guy is handsome, hilarious, and humble. You should go to his site right away. It’s not only a plug, it’s about as shameless as plugs get.
Thirty Six Months – Can You Profit From The Crowdfunding Fever? Okay guys, here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m going to get some crazy scheme, you’ll all be my partners, and we’ll totally go on Kickstarter to separate people from their money. That’s what crowdsourcing is, right? It turns out it isn’t. Go read Marissa’s post to learn all about it.
And here’s some other posts you might enjoy…
Young and Thrifty – A Woman’s Perspective On Engagement Rings
Afford Anything – Stop Thinking About Consumption. Start Thinking About Creation
Money Mamba – Canadian Housing, God’s Gift To The World
Vanessa’s Money – Inkjet vs. Laser Printers
The Way Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
Ha. You all think you’re getting one of Len’s old posts, but I’m in charge this week, so you’re getting one of mine. Don’t worry, it only has 19 spelling and grammar errors. Anyway, a while ago, I wrote about the reasons why professional athletes aren’t overpaid. It’s kind of topical, considering the NHL lockout. I’m convinced Len is behind this lockout, that way his L.A. Kings can be Stanley Cup champions forever.
Credits And Debits
Credit: Up here in Canada, housing prices have more than doubled since the year 2000. Some major markets are up as much as 200%. Sounds good for Canadians, right?
Debit: Except Canadians are in a lot of debt. Currently, Canada’s average household debt to income ratio is 163.4%. This number is higher than both England and The United States before their housing bubbles burst.
Debit: The average house in Vancouver now sells for more than 15 times the average income. In Toronto, the number isn’t quite so bad, topping out at approximately 9 times income. The national average in the U.S.? Right around 4.
Debit: Toronto recently reported 63,400 housing starts. The number of housing starts a decade ago? Just 30,000. Condo buildings represent the majority of the growth, probably because most Tortonians can’t afford the price tag of the average house, which was quickly approaching $700,000.
Debit: That is, until the market turned over. August and September housing resale numbers were awful, with sales falling over 15% compared to year ago levels. Is this the beginning of the end for Canada’s housing bubble?
Credit: At least we have hockey. Oh right. Stupid NHL lockout.
By The Numbers
0 Pairs of pants I’ve wearing while writing this post. Oh relax, I’m wearing underpants.
3 Number of days until the new Taylor Swift album comes out, titled Red. I’m not the least bit excited about it, I just mention it in case any of you are.
2819 Number of times I will probably end up listening to said album.
3885024920472 Number of times I will appreciate Taylor’s loveliness. We’re destined to be together.
2 The number of restraining orders she currently has against me. I’m not allowed within 2.5 miles of her. Good thing I have a really big telescope.
100 The number of mini chocolate bars in the big box I bought a week ago to give out to the kids at Halloween.
31 The number of chocolate bars left. Actually, make it 30.
A whole bunch The number of condo towers I saw being built in Toronto during my recent trip there.
The Question of the Week
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. Northwest Territories & Nunavut (2.88 pages/visit)
2. Yukon (2.50)
3. Saskatchewan (2.43)
4. Alberta (2.30)
5. Quebec (2.12)
8. British Columbia (1.94)
9. Manitoba (1.79)
10. New Brunswick (1.61)
11. Newfoundland (1.47)
12. Prince Edward Island (1.36)
Whether you happen to enjoy what you’re reading — or not — 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 Len on Twitter. And last, but not least…
3. Don’t forget to subscribe to Len’s RSS feed too. Thank you.
Letters, I Get Letters
Every week, Len features the most interesting question or comment he gets. Being that’s he’s gone, I guess I’ll have to fill the void. This is from something called HotRussianBrides.com, which I swear I’ve never visited. I’m completely baffled as to why it’s on my Internet history.
Da, Nelson. It’s me, Svetlana. You promise and promise to come to Ukraine to take me back to Canada with you. I long for the opportunity to make you soup from beets and sample the many different varieties of Canadian vodka. We will be together soon. But first, I need $5000 American dollars. Please send immediately, dearest.
If you guys need me, I’ll be at the bank.
I’m Nelson Smith, and at least I work for free.