Friday, November 9, 2007

Stuff Worth Reading, Because It’s the Most Lie-Filled Time of the Year

Author: Nick
Category: Money

there is no reference to the matrix in this caption

Coming off our discussion of fear in advertising, there’s another evil publicity scheme that typically crops up around this time of year in an effort to pry your money out of your purse: bald-faced lying. Sadly, it looks like your favorite personal finance writers have become victims of the fibbing that seems rampant this holiday season. Don’t believe me? Check out the evidence for yourself.

  1. A Penny Closer starts off this festival of LIES! by saying you don’t have to give her an anniversary gift if you’re her husband. But that’s not true! You have to get her eight gifts wrapped in silk or you’ll be sleeping on the couch until Easter.
  2. More LIES! courtesy of The Simple Dollar who admits to having lied to himself about money. I imagine he used to say “I have $8,000 in my wallet” when he was really too poor to afford a wallet.
  3. Next is Being Frugal who debates both sides of regifting, or as I like to call it, giving the gift of LIES!
  4. Thanks to Cash Money Life, you no longer have to believe the LIES! you’re hearing about the Do Not Call Registry. Lie #1: Being on the Do Not Call Registry is the reason your dates never call you back.
  5. Generation X Finance points to news that those variable-rate mortgage loans may have been LIES! and lenders may lock in some ARM borrowers at rates lower than their smarter fixed-rate friends.
  6. Somebody gave I’ve Paid For This Twice Already a square jar full of round sprinkles. I didn’t know that LIES! came in sprinkle form now.
  7. Were you murdered in your house, and now nobody will buy it? The Digerati Life helps you sell that house with a spooky past. Note that not all states require you to disclose that your home has a scary legacy, so you might be able to LIE! your way to a sale.
  8. And finally, Gather Little By Little wasn’t fooled by the LIE! that you live. shop. die.

Until next week, don’t give in to the horrendous lies and deceit that seek to crush your soul until all that remains is a lifeless husk of sorrow, and have a delightful weekend!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stuff Worth Reading, Because Summertime Is Finally Here

Author: Nick
Category: Money

suuuuuuunny days, sweeping the... cloooooouds away

You read right, folks! Summertime is right around the corner, at least according to the calendar in my office which is telling me that today is—without a doubt—June 19, 2004. Ah, the ocean breeze, the taste of lemonade, the short skirts, the… wait, why is everyone else’s calendar turned to October 2007? Pfft, some people around here need to learn how to tell time.

Anyway, with the warming season finally upon us, it’s time for another weekly roundup of awesome stuff written by equally awesome personal finance writers. Here are a few excellent samples to help you keep cool as the temperatures climb… (Wait, 58°F for a high today? Dumb weatherman doesn’t know what he’s talking about.)

  1. A Penny Closer reminds you not to forget to pry every last reimbursable penny out of your employer. Common things employers reimburse: travel expenses, internet connection fees if you work from home a lot, and water balloon catapults used directly in the performance of your job.
  2. You might have missed the birth, the first steps, and the conception, but Advanced Personal Finance suggests that you not miss the most important event of your child’s upbringing: her first credit card application. (I’m surprised he tore up the application. That little girl could have had a credit rating of 800+ by the time she’s 11 and be eligible for a 60-year, no-interest mortgage by 16!)
  3. Cash Money Life points out the similarities between credit cards and guns. Example: they can both be used like cash at any convenience store.
  4. Wanna make a bundle off stocks? The Digerati Life offers some excellent, can’t-fail stock market indicators. Personally, I rely on a system of catching squirrels and examining the tenderness of their eyeballs to help me predict market swings.
  5. The Frugal Law Student gives us 13 cheap cold-fighting strategies. Now you don’t have to sit there and ooze mucus on your co-workers for seven days just because you’re poor!

Have a great weekend and a safe drive for everyone planning to hit the beach on this gorgeous sunny June-or-maybe-October weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stuff Worth Reading, Because the Robot Uprising Is Near!

Author: Nick
Category: Money

all hail 100101001010100, ruler of RoboEarth

Welcome to another edition of the Punny Money somewhat-weekly roundup, though I’ll admit my heart isn’t into it, what with the robot uprising looming near on the horizon. What am I talking about? Well, as you may have heard, sex and marriage with robots is mere decades away. As my friends in the scientific fiction community know, robots are far superior in their sexual techniques than people, so they won’t tolerate being conscripted into inferior coitus with us ugly bags of mostly water. So once you hear news that Massachusetts has legalized the first human-robot marriage, make sure you’re prepared for the mechanized mayhem that will follow.

Here are a few tips from other personal finance writers that’ll help you survive the upcoming robot revolution.

  1. You’ll want to do away with everything automatic in your life before the robot rebellion begins, since automatic things are usually done by robots. Advanced Personal Finance suggests you start with reconsidering automatic 401(k)s so your retirement isn’t threatened by android antics.
  2. Since money will be replaced with small, coin-shaped robots, you’ll need to be ready to deal with a drastic decrease in income. Cash Money Life tells you how, though I suspect he is working for the robots, so be careful.
  3. Gather Little By Little explains that some new laws allow companies to charge more for health insurance if you’re fat. If you think that’s bad, wait until robots take over; your health insurance will skyrocket if you’re not a robot because, well, robots don’t need health insurance.
  4. The Frugal Law Student suggests saving money on Halloween by dressing in all black and calling yourself a ninja. This technique can also be applied when the robot era begins; simply dress in all silver and wear a colander on your head to blend in seamlessly with your automaton overlords.
  5. Money, Matter, and More Musings has the right idea on rising oil prices being a good thing. Robots need oil to live, so we need to use it all up before the rebellion to give ourselves a chance at victory.
  6. Why don’t Americans take vacations? laments The Digerati Life. Well, in 50 years, the answer will be “because our robot bosses will impale us on sticks if we take vacations.” So you might as well get used to not taking vacations, folks.
  7. The Simple Dollar says that having a child isn’t as expensive as you think. He’s absolutely right. If anything, you should stock up on children now because robot rule means only one child and twelve child-like androids per household.

I’d like to mention a couple of other articles that won’t help you fight robots, but they will provide useful information for your few remaining years of freedom.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Stuff Worth Reading, Because Haiku Is Much Cooler Than Personal Finance

Author: Nick
Category: Money

my wife will love me / for this cute luck cat picture / nick lucky tonight?

Anybody else watch Heroes? Isn’t that show awesome? In honor of all Japanese time-traveling geeks everywhere working to save humanity, this week’s personal finance roundup is in haiku form.

Use unemployment.
Advanced Personal Finance
Has some good advice.

Cheaper healthcare from
Gather Little By Little
Does a body good.

Buy fake art and fur
So you can be just like The
Digerati Life

Great Moleskine wallet
Made by Frugal Law Student.
Glue sticks taste great too.

Small-Cap fun done? at
Sun’s Financial Diary.
Lots of wavy charts.

Money and Values
Loves socially aware banks.
Your bank hates people.

Eight syllables in
Money, Matter, and More Musings.
Crap, just click this link.

Next week is All Ukrainian Week! Tune in when I post articles exclusively in a language you probably don’t understand and that I definitely don’t know how to write. УСЬОГО НАЙКРАЩОГО!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Stuff Worth Reading, Because I’m Approaching Retirement Age

Author: Nick
Category: Money

so close, and yet so far

That is to say, I’m approaching my desired retirement age of 25 in a couple of months, but seeing as I’m a few dollars shy of my $6 billion savings goal, I’ll just retire for the weekend and catch up on some great reads from across the personal finance internet-o-sphere.

  1. Lazy Man and Money, who also has an eye on retirement, begs the government to tie Roth IRA contribution limits to regional costs of living. This would be great for us in D.C. where an apple costs $12 (a.k.a. six cents Canadian).
  2. Poor Poorer Than You. Living a frugal life is taking its toll on her. She could just do what one of my co-workers does to live a happy frugal life: drink herself silly by lunchtime so she’s too smashed to eat lunch and dinner. Money savings galore!
  3. This weekly roundup is in memory of Clever Dude’s ability to see his feet while standing up.
  4. Financial Dominance is a negotiating machine. Somehow he even negotiated five bucks out of me for the privilege of linking to his article.
  5. If your 401(k) plan sucks, here are some tactics for dealing with it courtesy of Advanced Personal Finance. Bonus tip: if your 401(k) consists of a tissue box someone put in the office break room with “401(k)” magic-markered on it, you might want to go with a Roth IRA instead.
  6. Money, Matter, and More Musings has some wild financial fantasies. As for me, I already fulfilled my crazy financial fantasy by going to Vegas and winning a million bucks from a rich Texas oilman at Blackjack. Unfortunately it was shortly followed by my worst financial nightmare of losing a million bucks to a five-year-old girl at Candy Land.
  7. Moving will increase the quality of life for the My Two Dollars family. Another great way to improve your quality of life: stop eating thumbtacks.
  8. Cash Money Life exposes the hidden costs of cruising the high seas. Another hidden cost: shipboard prostitutes run five times as much as their landlubber counterparts.
  9. And finally, The Digerati Life suggests you tear down your fences so you and your neighbors can benefit from larger yards. I would do this myself, but one of my neighbors is really fond of wandering the backyard naked.

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget that next week we’re starting a 135-part series on ways to amuse yourself while in line at the grocery store. (You’ll really enjoy Part 72 entitled “Flirt Your Way to Grocery Discounts by Hitting on the Cashier.”)