Because kittens equal ratings. (The original quote from Howard Stern is “Lesbians equal ratings”, but we’re trying to keep things family-friendly here. Which sounds faintly heteronormative. Oh well.)
Welcome to another rousing edition of the Carnival of Wealth, America’s favorite blog carnival. Personal finance posts from around the world, ranging from the brilliant to the substandard. We do it every Monday morning, giving you something to burn your time on while sitting in your cubicle, waiting for the sweet release of lunchtime. Shall we start?
Every now and then, we get a submitter who thinks the Carnival of Wealth is just an unfiltered list of blog posts. An open blues jam, everyone welcome. Why put any effort into a post when the carnival host will run it anyway? This week, Lance at Money, Life & More sends us a useful little nugget entitled “How to Write a Check”. This is the same guy who wrote last week about how he and his girlfriend are “over $100,000″ (actually $126,000) in debt, but he’s made progress on it so isn’t that awesome. A couple of weeks before, he told us that it’s important to ask for more whenever you get the chance but not be greedy when doing so, whatever that means.
Seriously, How to Write a Freaking Check.
There are six fields you will need to fill in and I have numbered them in the image below. Follow the instructions that follow the image to learn how to write a check!
It’s not a parody. It’s not self-aware. It’s nothing more than what the title indicates: a lesson on what to write in the date field (the date), what to write in the amount field, etc.
Damn. Now we’re giving this post far more attention than it deserves. You want another pointless, insulting quote? Why not, we’ve come this far:
Here you write out the amount of the check in numbers. For instance you’d write “1,542.63″ without the quotes for a one thousand five hundred forty two dollar and sixty three cent check. Since the dollar sign is already printed on the check you do not have to write another $.
The whole mother-loving post reads like that. And it includes comments from 19 (and counting!) other bloggers, which is far more important than, you know, giving the rest of us something worthwhile to read. Besides, this routine’s already been done by someone else, and better. On a planet where this exists, wasting everyone’s time with the most unbelievably rudimentary of “personal finance” tips isn’t even original. The master has spoken, countless times.
God, what an utter piece of sheep dip this post is. The flies buzzing around it think it’s too putrid to land on. How to write a check. This is what’s out there, folks; what personal finance blogs have devolved into. Writing something that requires research, originality, and assuming that your readers aren’t 4-year-olds is merely optional. Lance is now officially on the clock. The record for consecutive terrible submissions is held by the chick from Newlyweds on a Budget (6), with the guy from GroceryAlerts.ca one behind. But Lance is closing fast.
[pours stiff drink]
Would you like to read something not inane? Neal Frankle at Wealth Pilgrim can write. In complete sentences and everything. He asks if you and your spouse should share a checking account. Well, that’s all contingent on whether she knows how to write a check, isn’t it? See above for handy tips on how to pull that off.
It’s going to take more than just a single good post to wash the filth away. From W at Off-Road Finance, Part V in his hexalogy on The Speculative Alternative to Investing. Parts I through IV have been tremendous, and Part V is the most fascinating installment yet.
Nope, still dirty. If Neal’s and W’s posts were a collective 19, the one on how to write a check is still a -20.
Dan at ETF Base to the rescue. He writes about which exchange-traded funds might be worth buying in the event that Mitt Romney becomes president. There are no comments on the post, of course, because leaving a comment would require reading and comprehending it. It’s so much easier to tell a lazy writer that it’s a great idea that he devoted a post to telling people how to write a check. No, we’re not going to let this go, at least not yet.
More gold, possibly platinum. Free Money Finance understands all about financial offense, as distinguished from defense. You need to score touchdowns to build wealth, not just prevent the other team from scoring them. This week, how to find a rental property. Then, once that happens, how to
- estimate gross income
- develop an income statement
- estimate a management fee
- set up an LLC to own the property
You mean you have to do work to make money? Can’t I just recycle my Ziploc bags and drive around the neighborhood looking for cheap gas instead?
Yeah, that’ll get you there just as quickly.
(Post about what to do if a collection agent calls you.)
This post wasn’t necessarily horrible, but it’s the premise that has no place in the CoW. Again, we’re not here to help the lame walk. They’re already lame, and they’re slowing down the rest of us. Besides, taking the analogy as far as it can go, it’s not like they’re multiply sclerotic; they hobbled themselves. The whole purpose of Control Your Cash is to speak to the people who say, “I do everything right. I pay my bills on time, I don’t spend extravagantly. Any moron knows to do that. Now what?” The collection agent shouldn’t be calling you in the first place. If he does, come back and join us when you’re ready. And after you’ve learned how to write a check.
Speaking of which, risk is bad, right? It’s risky! Risk means danger. PKamp3 at DQYDJ.net reminds you to please not be such a pantywaist and embrace risk. That doesn’t mean walking up to a moose and punching it in the face, it means acknowledging that “safe” investments, like bonds, could end up being the biggest risk of all – leaving you with modest retirement savings instead of what you could have amassed by buying stocks. (Post includes a Shakespeare quote and a reference to the normal distribution, because we needed some intellectual rigor in this week’s CoW.)
The United States isn’t the only country where incoming college freshmen, some of the least financially adept people in the world (at least those of them who haven’t read our book), are loaned a relatively gigantic amount of money and given the recommendation not to screw it up. Teacher Man at My University Money explains what you’re getting into if you’re Canadian and apply for a student loan.
Everyone’s favorite Canadian mother-and-son blogging team, Boomer & Echo, remind us that being approved to buy a house and spending money on it are different things. Echo qualified for a $300,000 house, but had his heart set on a $395,000 one. So he did a stated-income loan, went in over his head, got foreclosed on, ran away from his obligations and left his taxpaying neighbors holding the bag.
Just kidding. Echo had a wacky, irregular way of buying a house. Here’s what he did:
we were kidding ourselves if we thought we could afford this house. Instead, we did something unconventional by today’s standard – we waited.
Financial responsibility? Get out! Echo applied it, and it worked. In fact, it always does.
John at Wallet Blog discusses targeted bank accounts for students and seniors. It’s not pandering, it’s marketing! Apparently there’s a difference. Or not.
Last but never least, Liana Arnold at Card Hub introduces us to the prepaid Liquid Card from Chase – or as she speculates, the check-cashing killer. It’s a card for what Liana charitably refers to as “the underbanked”, i.e., people for whom paying $4.95 a month to access their money would be a better deal than what they have right now.
Thanks for coming. Did you catch our Investopedia piece last week? There’ll be another one soon enough. We’re on ProBlogger, Yahoo! Finance and other places too. New post here Wednesday, and Friday, new Anti-Tip of the Day every day. See you then.