Black Coffee: The Battle Between Gold and Fiat

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.

You may have noticed my blog had some performance issues earlier this week.

For most of the day on Wednesday and a portion of the day on Thursday my site was delivering a page that warned of

Continue reading Black Coffee: Fiat Money May Be Winning a Few Battles with Gold — but It Will Lose the War

Understanding Life Insurance: Does a Superhero Like Batman Need It?

In 2005, as a rather interesting educational experiment, the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education surveyed 1,014 adults asking, “Out of the following fictional characters, which are most in need of life insurance: Batman, Spider-Man, Fred Flintstone, Harry Potter, or Marge Simpson?”

It certainly seems like a fairly absurd question to ask, but there was a very necessary, and educational, purpose for asking this question: to determine Americans’ understanding of

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A Small Victory in My Quest to Raise Financially Literate Kids

Teaching kids about personal finance is not an easy job. Even so, as a parent I believe it is my responsibility to ensure that my kids have a thorough understanding of good personal finance practices before they leave the nest.

Ultimately it will be up to them to decide if they want to heed the stories and lessons I have been tirelessly passing on to them ad nauseum since they were

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Why Sneaky Package Size Reductions are No Longer Fooling Consumers

The Honeybee will tell you that this guy and I have at least one thing in common.

Not too long ago I was preparing a recipe from an old cookbook that called for a couple of 7-ounce cans of tuna.

After looking in the pantry, I was happy to see that I had exactly two cans of tuna — until I remembered that tuna was one of the many products affected

Continue reading Why Sneaky Package Size Reductions are No Longer Fooling Consumers

Black Coffee: Some People Have a Lot of Gall (and Some Don't Have Any)

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.

Oy! What a week. On Wednesday the Honeybee woke up at 2 a.m. with mild stomach pain that she thought was a recurrence of an old ulcer. But by 6 a.m., she was not keeping anything

Continue reading Black Coffee: Some People Have a Lot of Gall (and Some Don’t Have Any)

A Simple Trick for Getting Credit Card Interest Charges Waived

Congratulations if you can figure out the connection between this picture and the story.

There are those who steadfastly insist that credit cards are evil, and that credit card companies are greedy heartless scallywags that care only about one thing: making a profit.

I’ve got news for them: Credit card companies aren’t evil.

Neither are profits. Besides, when it comes to profits, credit card companies are no more heartless or greedy than,

Continue reading A Simple Trick for Getting Credit Card Interest Charges Waived

4 Kick-Ass Debt Lessons from the Karate Kid

Most of us have been bullied at one time or another as a kid. Perhaps you were called a name or harassed or even hit.

This near-universal experience may be one reason why the movie, “The Karate Kid” resonated with both adults and teens. The underdog story of Daniel, the new kid in town being bullied by local boys, is one everyone can relate to.

As an adult, you probably think those

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Black Coffee: Your Easter Break Drinking and Driving Edition

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.

Today I’m taking my son, Matthew, to a (hopefully) deserted parking lot so he can practice driving for the very first time.

I remember my first foray behind the wheel of a car. It was in high

Continue reading Black Coffee: Your Easter Break Drinking and Driving Edition

Why Bag Ladies are Financially Savvier Than Many Celebrities

Singer Dionne Warwick and the Bag Lady: Guess who currently has a higher net worth. (Hint: If you're torn, reread the title of this post.)

 

Grammy Award winner Dionne Warwick, who found fame in the 1960s singing “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” filed for bankruptcy yesterday.

Younger folks may recognize Warwick from the 1990s, when she was the celebrity spokesperson for the Psychic Friends Network, or as a

Continue reading Why Bag Ladies are Financially Savvier Than Many Celebrities

How I Stupidly Got Ripped Off by Not Getting Multiple Estimates

Whether we realize it or not, we manage financial risk whenever we take the time to get multiple price estimates from competing contractors. Those who do often get rewarded for their efforts.

As for those who don’t, well … they often end up getting burned.

I learned that lesson the hard way last month after I stupidly decided to forgo the estimates and award a backyard hillside renovation job to the guy

Continue reading How I Stupidly Got Ripped Off by Not Getting Multiple Estimates

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