Its 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 whats been going on in the world of money and personal finance. Heres what caught my attention over the past week
I think the best April Fools trick I ever pulled was when, as a kid, I put salt in the sugar bowl before my folks woke up. Ill never forget my dad taking his first gulp of coffee that morning and immediately spraying the java everywhere. It was beautiful!
Im still amazed to this day that Im even here to share that little story with you.
Blogs Ive Been Following This Week
Wisebread New Legislation Gives Coupons Equivalent Cash Value. Uh-huh. Thats the last time I ever take a little initiative based solely on the title of a blog post. Thanks a lot, Paul.
Free From Broke Kids and Money The Apple Doesnt Fall Far From the Tree. Says Glen: For those of us with kids, we hope to pass down certain traitsgood looks, agility, perfect vision, smarts, business savvy. Ahem. What do you mean we, Glen? Using your criteria as a yardstick, I unfortunately came out of the womb with a batting average of, well, zero. Dont feel bad for my kids though; the Honeybee was able to pick up a lot of the slack for me.
Credit Repair Can One eBook Get You More Action in the Bedroom? I dont know, but you can bet Im determined to find out.
Everyday Tips and Thoughts Not Enough Hours in the Day An Example of Time Management. No foolin, Id like to make a joke here, but Ive run out of time.
And Heres Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy
Balance Junkie – Risk Is Relative
Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance How Much Money Do YOU Need to Live On?
Get Rich Slowly – Emergency Preparedness on a Shoestring
Darwins Money Life Settlements Profiting from Death?
Studenomics Challenging Conventional Wisdom on Education
My Journey to Millions Why are Springtime House Sales Unseasonably Low?
Ironclad Finances Roth IRAs for Education
Money Help for Christians How to Get Your FICO Score Online
MomVesting Getting Excited About Investing
Wealth Pilgrim – How To Eliminate College Credit Card Debt in 2 Years
Money Smarts Blog Canadians are Not Withdrawing From RRSPs at an Alarming Rate
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From March 2009:
What It Really Feels Like to Be A Millionaire Ever wonder what it would feel like to live like a millionaire? This fun post shows what the average joe would experience if his modest wages gave him the buying-power equivalent of a multi-millionaire earning $25 million per year.
Credits and Debits
Debit: On Friday the federal government took part in April Fools Day, announcing that the US unemployment rate dropped to 8.8% in March.
Debit: Meanwhile, back here on earth, Gallup says the March unemployment rate is 10 percent and their underemployment figure sits at a gobsmacking 19.3 percent.
Debit: I see the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, Narayana Kocherlakota, expects a big upward movement in core inflation either by the end of this year, or when somebody finally learns to properly pronounce his full name, which ever comes first.
Debit: Hes not alone; WalMart CEO Bill Simon warned this week that inflation is going to be serious. Simon predicted that a nasty cycle of price increases would begin hitting US retailer shelves before June is over.
Debit: WalMart aint the only place youll soon be seeing higher prices either. For its part, Hershey announced this Wednesday an across-the-board price increase of 10 percent. Hershey blamed the increase on rising raw material, transportation and fuel costs.
Debit: Speaking of fuel costs, with oil prices surpassing the $105 per barrel mark this week and no slowdown in sight it probably wont be long before Hershey announces its next round of price increases.
Debit: In announcing his plan to green most of the federal vehicle fleet, President Obama said, Weve got a lot of purchasing power. So what were doing is were using it to boost clean energy technologies. Huh? If you count unfunded obligations, the federal government is over $110 trillion in debt. That doesnt sound like a lot of purchasing power to me. Just sayin.
Debit: If you or I were in debt like that and tried to purchase a vehicle, wed be laughed off the car lot.
Credit: Finally, the recent rash of on-air gibberish episodes, including latest-victim Judge Judy, has got conspiracy theorists saying theyre the result of government-sponsored mind-control tests. Thats the most goat pablum radio phone ridiculous cow to the grass gypsum radiation.
Credit: By the way, Judge Judy reportedly earns $45 million per year. (Um, that wasnt gibberish.)
Credit: If you think thats something, according to Parade, her bailiff earns a cool half-million bucks annually. Not a bad job if you can get it.
Other Useless News Kudos to My First 100-Comment Reader!
- I want to give a big hat tip to my friend Bret Frohlich from Hope to Prosper for contributing his 100th comment on my blog last week. Since then hes added comments 101 and 102. Thank you for all your participation here, Bret! Its much appreciated. I think its no secret we share a lot of the same philosophies with respect to personal finance and life in general.
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By the Numbers
42 Gallons of oil in a barrel.
12 Percentage of the entire worlds oil production in 2009 that came from the Saudi Arabia.
9 Percentage of the entire worlds oil production in 2009 that came from the United States.
5 States responsible for half of all US oil production in 2009. (Texas, Alaska, California, North Dakota and Louisiana)
21 Percentage of US oil from the top producing state in 2009. (Texas)
33 Percentage of US oil that came from the Gulf of Mexico in 2009.
17 Years of recoverable oil reserves left in the ground, as of June 2010, assuming no more is ever discovered.
1.5 Percent of global power capacity attributable to renewable sources. (Despite decades of subsidies and investment.)
Letters, I Get Letters
Ill feature the most interesting question or comment I get each week here on Black Coffee assuming I get one, that is. If youre lucky enough to be the only question in the mailbag Ill highlight your letter, whether its interesting or not.
This week I had articles featured at the following carnivals:
The Yakezie Carnival @ Control Your Cash
Im Len Penzo and I approved this message.