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…
Although Dad never sat me down and drilled his personal finance wisdom into my head, through his actions he taught me the importance of personal responsibility, dedication to family and hard work. In my earliest years growing up my Dad often worked multiple jobs so that my mom could be a homemaker — and let me tell you, I always considered me and my sister to be very fortunate in that regard.
Despite all the long and tiring hours he used to put in at work, he always had time on the weekend to help coach my Little League baseball team, or take me fishing, or camping, or go out for a round of golf.
There is an old saying that says anyone can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad — and that is so true. I’ve never once considered my dad to be a father, nor have I ever addressed him as “father.” He’s always been Dad to me.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
Blogs I’ve Been Following This Week
Consumer Affairs – Five Bad Ideas for Father’s Day. I don’t know why, but I found this post to be extremely amusing. Perhaps it’s because I own four of the five items featured; I’m now waiting for the Martha Stewart patio table that I bought last month to spontaneously shatter for no apparent reason like Judi’s from Tanawanda, New York did. Besides, nothing says “Happy Father’s Day” like some Martha Stewart patio furniture. I know.
Hope to Prosper – What I Learned from My Two Dad’s. Although this post is a year old, it is a beautiful and inspiring tribute by Bret to his late father and his step-dad.
Beating Broke – Stop Adding Up the Cost of Children! Hey now, B.B. If I didn’t run the numbers and add up the cost of children before the Honeybee and I started a family, we’d have ten kids by now instead of two. Okay, make that three instead of two. (But your point is well taken.)
CNN – Some Fatherly Career Advice. Here’s some career advice of my own that I recently gave to my 14-year-old son, Matthew: Employers don’t care how many points you can rack up playing Modern Warfare 2 on your Xbox. I don’t think he believes me. Yet. That’s okay; one day he’ll realize that the older he gets, the smarter his Dad gets.
Money Talks News – 4 Tips for Buying Brand-Name Clothes on a Budget. I know what you’re thinking, but this one is for cross-dressing dads.
And Here’s Some Other Posts You Might Enjoy…
Taking Charge – Emily’s List: Father’s Day Edition.
Wisebread – Free Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day.
Yes, I Am Cheap – Frugal Father’s Day
PT Money – Five Tips for Great Financial Fathers
The Way-Back Machine: Past Posts Of Mine You May Have Missed
From February 2010:
Evaluating the Cost of a Longer Commute: When It’s Better to Just Suck It Up. – When I found out my employer was moving 21 miles down the road, it more than doubled my previously care-free 17-mile commute. Here’s the analysis that determined why it was better to just grit my teeth and smile, rather than move closer to work.
Credits and Debits
Debit: I don’t have to tell you inflation is on the march, folks; last month the consumer price index grew at the fastest pace since 2006. All the more reason the Fed shouldn’t try to inflict a third round of quantitative easing (read: money printing) upon us in the coming months. Speaking of incompetent money managing bureaucrats:
Debit: This week, based upon a “higher likelihood of default,” Standard & Poor’s handed Greece’s free-spending drowning-in-debt government the world’s lowest credit rating — CCC.
Debit: By the way, in case you’re wondering, as the Financial Times points out, the only rating lower than CCC is D — for “default.”
Debit: Us Americans shouldn’t be too quick to laugh: With over $100 trillion in unfunded obligations like Medicare, Social Security, and Obamacare, the United States is arguably in even worse financial shape than Greece.
Credit: Perhaps that’s why a recent Gallup poll shows that nearly 2 in 3 Americans are now worried about not having enough cash to fund their retirement, as they should be.
Credit: The Gallup poll also revealed that nearly 3 in 5 people are worried about a declining standard of living, as they should be. It’s good to see more Americans appear to be finally realizing that we can’t simply kick the can down the road anymore — be it with respect to our personal finances, or our government’s.
Credit: Dateline St. Louis: Is anybody else shocked to hear about the guy who generated a buzz after he ended up electrocuting himself while in the act of stealing copper wire from a local substation? Actually, I find it to be rather revolting. Watt?
The Question of the Week
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
By the Numbers
A few Father’s Day facts, from Chiff.com:
95,000,000 Father’s Day cards given out last year.
4 Father’s Day’s rank among the most popular card-sending occasions. (In order: 1. Christmas; 2. Valentine’s Day; 3. Mother’s Day)
1909 Year Sonora Dodd conceived the idea of a Father’s Day after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. The Spokane, Washington resident wanted a special day to honor her widowed father who was left to raise his six children. The following year, the first official Father’s Day was proclaimed by the town’s mayor.
1966 Year Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation officially declaring the third Sunday of every June as Father’s Day. (In 1972, Richard Nixon officially signed a bill that made the proclamation permanent.)
66,300,000 Fathers currently living in the United States, according to the US Census.
147,000 Estimated number of stay-at-home dad’s in America.
Other Useless News
It never ceases to amaze me how some people manage to find my website. Here are 10 rather curious search terms used by people on Google who somehow, some way, managed to reach Len Penzo dot Com over the past month — and the additional pages they decided to check out after getting here.
1. guys that spend money on fancy cars and live at home with mommy (19 pages)
2. why are morticians so underpaid (15 pages)
3. cost of bologna sandwich (13 pages)
4. honeybee financial advice blog ben (sic) (11 pages)
5. putting tabasco in your gas tank (9 pages)
6. fruits that aren’t fruits (5 pages)
7. my 12 year old son will not give me the code to check his text messages and email (3 pages)
8. fight or comply? mugging (2 pages)
9. how are the state quaters (sic) desines (sic) conseved (sic) (2 pages)
10. is it mandatory to have a rest room in a restaurant (1 page)
By the way, if you happen to enjoy what you’re reading — or not — please 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 me on Twitter!
And last, but not least…
3. Don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed too! Thank you. ðŸ™‚
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!
A reader named Kelli took exception to the frank opinion expressed by last week’s letter writer: “Do me a favor, Len. Tell Fish to go (take a long walk off a short pier)! I don’t think you’re ugly at all!”
Aww, thank you, Kelli! I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Where were all you girls when I was in high school?
This week I had articles featured at the following carnivals:
The Carnival of Personal Finance @ A Gai Shan Life
I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.