If you’re not watching Animal Planet’s Too Cute!, what the hell is wrong with you? It’s nothing but an hour of puppies, or kittens, or puppies and kitties, with the occasional goat kid sprinkled in. They frolic, they nuzzle, they remind us why Canis familiaris and Felis catus beat Homo sapiens 6 days a week (7 if Animal Planet is running one of its renowned Too Cute! marathons.) In other words, it’s the only thing on TV worth watching. (Pro football? Not even close. Not when Joe Buck and Jim Nantz are tasked with dulling the senses of tens of millions of sentient American minds every Sunday.)
Welcome to another edition of the Carnival of Wealth. The best personal finance blog posts from around the world, with the occasional exception. Let’s get started:
Oh, for Christ’s sake. The thought process of our newest entrant, Girl Meets Debt:
OMG, I have a great idea for a blog! I’m going to talk about how I used to spend money, but now I’m trying to save it! I’ll call myself a “shopaholic” too, because our society has become stupefied to the point that the only words we now understand are portmanteaux. I still believe “shopaholic” is cute and funny though, and if you think most women overuse the word “cute”, well, get a load of me!
No way! A personal finance blogger with credit card debt ($13,000) and student loan debt ($45,000)? That never happens! Someone with so cuttingly original a story must have a correspondingly original blog, mustn’t she?
They say that the first step towards “recovery” is admitting you have a problem. It is actually very intimidating, yet liberating at the same time to say (or write!) that I have a debt problem. I’m ready to be proactive and tackle this debt on. This girl is ready to start acting like a financially responsible adult. It’s about time too since I will be turning 30 sooner than I would like to think!
Ladies with a string of debt and a story to tell, leave us alone. (Guys too.) No one cares, and even if anyone did, Control Your Cash readers expect better than to have their busy days polluted by this relentless 1st-person self-aggrandizing flotsam that you’ve chosen to share with us. Are we making ourselves clear? Or should we be more, what’s the word, repetitive?
The Girl Meets Debt lady is so certain that she’ll pay off her debt. She even used all caps to accentuate that point. There’s no plan, nor is there any record of even starting on this task, just a general statement that she’d like to – no, will – be debt-free one day. Which is hard enough to take seriously, given that we’ve seen this a trillion times before, but especially so considering that she did a follow-up post about her pretty, pretty hair. Swear to God.
And women wonder why men think they’re dumb. (Sorry, gals. Most of the time, with most of you, that’s what guys are thinking. They’re usually smart enough to internalize it, though.) But yeah, let’s elect one of you President one day.
God, what a fecal stain of a post. It’s not the insipidity of it that bothers us, so much as how stinkingly tiresome it is. Who goes to the trouble of writing that post, or creating that blog, without stopping to think “Maybe this has been done before”? Fortunately though, the author equipped her post with icons that’ll let you share it with all your friends on Pinterest, Shareaholic, Tumblr et al. That the author thinks that between now and the end of the universe a solitary soul will share this post on Tumblr shows the kind of winning naïveté we’ve come to expect from our dippier contributors.
At least, the $45,000 in student loans was so she could become an aeronautical engineer.
Ha! Of course not. She’s a teacher. With 2 bachelor’s degrees, for some reason. College (or considering she’s Canadian, “university”): priceless because it’s priceless, and don’t you dare think otherwise. College might be about challenging assumptions, but the uber-assumption that college is a financial force multiplier no matter what must never be questioned.
The worst part is that all the attention we’re paying to this Newtown school massacre of a post means we’re taking away valuable time from showcasing other posts. We see PKamp3 at DQYDJ.net submitted again this week. His work is always concise, articulate, provocative, and funny, but here we are not paying his post its proper due while instead thinking of more unvarnished things to say about the verbal cat vomit that fell in our inbox in the form of this post from Girl Meets Debt.
No, wait. There’s something still worse. We already parodied this chick, 5 months before she wrote her post. Find something less demanding than financial blogging, Sister. Cosmetology school, perhaps. Wait, it’s a little late for that. Either way, if there isn’t a UN High Commission on Unreadable CoW Submissions, well, what exactly are our dues going toward? If we could go back in time, “killing Hitler” is now #2 on our to-do list. Seeing that Girl Meets Debt was never allowed access to a computer has moved to the top spot.
And then Paula Pant at Afford Anything has to come along and neutralize all our misogynistic bile. Paula, you’re making it really hard for us to wring our hands at the state of personal finance blogging when you keep sending us platinum-worthy submissions. Atlanta’s preeminent Nepali-American real estate maven/blogger shares correspondence from a pair of readers who question her recommendation that they only buy rental properties for less than 100 times the potential monthly income. Paula answered their question decisively, backed up her answer with data, and didn’t once make reference to her feelings nor her love of shopping, if any.
Michael at Financial Ramblings doesn’t blow chimp, either. This week he reports on the Federal Reserve continuing its dismal and illusory practice of hiding under the mattress the cash it receives from the U.S. Treasury. Is this legal? Ethical? Who cares? Ron Paul’s leaving Congress in a couple of weeks, and no one’s lining up to take the title of Ben Bernanke’s nemesis.
The FDA has not confirmed that there is no causal link between developing breast cancer and using the services of “Brad Jones” at Structured-Settlement Quotes. Furthermore, our own independent research into the possible criminal history of the company’s directors has come back inconclusive. Although we did find a Brad Jones who is a registered child sex offender. Are they one and the same? It’s not as if Brad Jones is a common name. (Hey submitters: If you expect us to run an ad for you, you get what you pay for.)
Apparently it’s going to be one of those carnivals. Moyo at Eden Life Mag lists handy tips for reducing your expenses. This post is a year and 9 months old, but why shouldn’t Moyo’s stale refrigerator remnants enjoy a prominent place in this week’s CoW?
Grab your most recent cell phone bills and look at them to see what you are actually paying for.
God is punishing us for something, but we don’t know what. (Other tips listed here include “clip coupons”, “drink water”, and “eat what you have”, yet the author didn’t say a word about not going to the bank to withdraw stacks of money and then setting said money on fire. How could he leave such a critical tip out? It’s not like he didn’t have 21 months to update his post.)
From the aforementioned PKamp3 at DQYDJ.net, a beautifully illustrated and deeply resonant post about how a cumbersome tax system written and amended by a government that attempts to select future industrial winners is even worse than it sounds. As good as this post is, it’s not going to save our fated voyage this week.
Louis at Wallet Hub verbalized all over the page and gave us a list of all the major credit reporting agencies. And if you think Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are the only ones, you’re so wrong. Trust us and read only the first table in his post, and ignore everything else. You’ve already wasted precious seconds today.
Liana Arnold at sister site Card Hub takes it a little further, explaining how said agencies try to keep their reports free of errors, but necessarily can’t. Still, “we’re human, we all make mistakes” isn’t much satisfaction to a responsible borrower with an unfairly reduced score.
The fabulous (but in a totally straight way) Andrew at 101 Centavos writes about what to do if you get laid off. One of the many things we like about Andrew is that in the hands of just about anyone else, this post would have contained rote advice like stay current on your bills, start looking for a job, etc. But Andrew’s a big-picture guy, and looks at layoffs as an inevitable part of progress – both globally and individually, even though the latter might be hard for a recently laid-off person to believe. The money quote: “It’s not your job.” Get out of the mindset that says it is your job, and you’ll be happier and more productive.
Oh, like you didn’t know that the House Republicans were going to bow down to tax increases. A gesture that’s not only done just for show, but that won’t make a negligible impact on a runaway deficit with a solitary cause – unrestrained spending. Knowing that 2013 will probably feature at least as weak an economy as 2012, some companies have taken the step of paying out special dividends this month to avoid any aggravated tax bites for next year. Dan at High Yield Edge lists 10 of them. Still, you can keep your SiriusXM stock, thanks.
Sorry about the hiccup. Heck, sorry about almost the entire damn carnival. Carnivals are supposed to be fun. This one was sad. Like the Pyongyang County Fair. Still, thanks again for reading, and we’ll meet you back here tomorrow.