If you’re savvy enough to read Consumerist you probably know your way around a budget, and the more you think you know about money the harder it is to resist sharing your unsolicited advice with others.
Women’s Wear Daily has published a short biography of Suze Orman, 57-year-old CNBC personality, Oprah repeat-guester, and aggressive promoter of financial advice and self. Her father’s poultry shop burned down when she was a child (“Daddy was a failed man.”). At age 30, she lost $50,000 of borrowed money in oil futures, which led her to give up her dream of opening a restaurant and instead enter a training program at Merrill Lynch to pay back the money. Her second book agent—the one who helped shoot her to the top—told her she had to lose 30 pounds to be marketable. And so on: seeing how someone aggressively pursues media stardom is a sausage-making experience. (That same agent says, “I just thought, ‘Great. Finally an author who knows she can’t write.'”)
Just because the economy is imploding doesn’t mean you should entirely freeze your spending. The Wall Street Journal brings us a list of five things that are well worth their price, even in a recession.
The dirty-sounding finance blog “Make Your Nut” works through the pros and cons of the latest Apple products, so that you can “make sure you enter into your purchases with eyes wide open.”
Oil is poised to break the century mark, and SmartMoney has a short article that examines the effects it will have on the average American’s budget. A couple of reasons why we haven’t felt more of these effects so far is that the rising cost has largely been eaten by oil refining companies and their gas stations, and because consumers have actually begun to reduce their gas consumption. However, if the price-per-barrel continues to rise, the U.S. faces a cold winter, and the dollar continues its anemic performance, you can look forward to the following consequences:
Women live longer than men and don’t participate in the workforce as consistently, which puts them in a tougher position when it comes to living off of retirement funds. But after reading through this list of 12 things women can do to protect themselves from financial ruin in their final days, we’ve decided that old ladies are just goths with even crazier makeup and clothes. It starts off with the basics—”start your own retirement account,” “invest in stocks,” “put your retirement savings before your kids tuition bills”—but then takes a turn for the morbid and becomes all about death, divorce, and more death. Here are the gloomiest tips—enjoy!
The Digerati Life has a lengthy article that offers 12 tips on how to help beat the eroding power of inflation. Broadly speaking, you should first recognize that inflation erodes purchasing power in the long run and take steps to insure yourself from it, while also being “mindful of when inflation rates rise” and taking additional measures during those periods.
“Americans collectively spent more than we earned after taxes for the past two years in a row,” says SmartMoney in their latest cover story, “Live Debt-Free”. Their point: we spend a lot of time thinking about how to save and how to invest, but not enough time working out a healthy debt strategy that doesn’t eat away at our happiness, not to mention our retirement savings. They offer four different strategies for reducing your debt to little or nothing, so that you can apply your income to more worthwhile activities than fighting off your liability monster.
Earlier this month, the media reported that dead scary lady Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog, presumably to ensure that Trouble is well cared for, but also to be humorously cruel to the two grandchildren who got nothing. This inspired USA Today’s “Your Money” columnist Sandra Block to list 3 ways you can plan for your pet’s continued care after you go to “have tea with Mrs. Helmsley” (we don’t want to upset the children in the room).