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…
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. I know I did — that’s because I stayed at home on Black Friday.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Not Made of Money – 5 Budget Friendly Turkey Leftover Ideas. Ah, yes. Leftover Thanksgiving turkey; what on earth are people supposed to do when they’ve got five pounds or more of it sitting in the refrigerator? After all, there are only so many turkey sandwiches a man can eat before he starts to lose his sanity. Thankfully, Mrs. Not Made of Money shares creative ideas for serving it up the second, third, fourth, and fifth times around.
Thousandaire - You Gotta Get a Prenup! Says Kevin: “I believe almost anyone would benefit from a prenup if they are getting married.” After checking out his extremely entertaining video, I believe him. In fact, Kevin’s song is so popular I see some poser calling himself Andy Grammer already did a parody of it called “You Gotta Keep Your Head Up.” I’m no lawyer, Kevin, but I think you should sue the guy.
Enemy of Debt – The Worst Day of My Entire Life. On a somewhat related note, Brad shares the shocking story of how his wife racked up almost $2000 on a credit card she had been hiding from him for almost a year. Talk about a real nightmare — I wonder if Brad is willing to blame this on too many late night turkey sandwiches.
Ultimate Smart Money – Can We Become a Millionaire Just by Avoiding Cars? Ever wonder how much new cars end up really costing drivers during their lifetime? It turns out it’s probably a lot more than you think.
My Journey to Millions – How Much is Too Much to Spend on a Hobby? What grabbed my attention in this post was Evan’s observation that the cost of martial arts schools can run upwards of $200 per month. Sheesh. Talk about being mugged. Is it just me, or wouldn’t it be cheaper over the long run to just take your chances and simply hand over the money in your wallet in the off-chance you get robbed? Or buy a gun? I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.
The Question of the Week
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From November 2010:
How to Pick the Perfect Christmas Tree – Christmas trees can easily run upwards of $100 — so knowing how to pick the right one is important. Thankfully, even good ol’ Charlie Brown can pick a perfect Christmas tree by simply following the three easy steps outlined here.
Credits and Debits
Debit: The Euro continued its slow death march to eventual extinction earlier this week as Spain fought off bond vigilantes who are demanding higher and higher returns in exchange for continued debt financing.
Debit: Italy is now also in the cross-hairs, as investors on Friday demanded yields of almost 8 percent — well over the 6 percent threshold that typically signifies the inevitability of a default in the absence of any financial bailout.
Debit: The current Euro debt contagion started in Greece before moving on to Portugal — where yields are now at over 12 percent. And with yields on Friday closing at 5.86 percent, Belgium looks like it will be the Euro’s next victim.
Credit: If there is any good news to come from all of this, the US dollar should be among the biggest beneficiaries of a collapsing Euro over the long run as investors — rightly or wrongly — eventually return to it as the world’s “safest” currency.
Debit: Meanwhile, as the Euro collapses, the European Union is instead focused on more important stuff. This week they made it illegal for bottled water companies to claim that water prevents dehydration. Yep. Violators can receive up to two-years in prison.
Debit: The absurd proclamation was made after a “scientific” three-year government study found “no evidence” of what most people consider to be basic common sense. I know. But this is what bureaucrats do for a living.
Debit: For the record, these are the same European bureaucrats that decided to regulate bendy bananas and curved cucumbers.
By the Numbers
29 Days until Christmas.
70 Percentage of a typical adult body that is made up of water.
80 At birth, the percentage of an infant’s body weight that is due to water.
21 The number of government scientists involved in the previously-mentioned dubious European water study that concluded water does not prevent dehydration.
21 Again, the number of government scientists who took part in that dubious European water study. (Just in case you thought there was a typo the first time.)
1 The date in April most sane people would logically expect to read such a preposterous story.
15 Percentage of US households that get their water from private wells.
80 Percentage of water in the US that is used for irrigation and thermoelectric power.
80 Gallons of water the average person uses per day. (Most of that is devoted to flushing toilets.)
(Water facts courtesy of: AllAboutWater.org)
Other Useless News
My father-in-law, Tony, made Thanksgiving dinner this year and it was absolutely terrific! I tell ya, folks, the man really knows how to cook.
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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!
Erin took a few moments to pass this along this nice note:
I wanted to wish your whole family a very happy Thanksgiving, Len! Try not to eat too much turkey and stuffing…
Um, too late.
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.