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Paris, Black Friday, Financial Literacy and #MoneyStories

The world is again left scratching its head and asking, “Why?” after ISIS attacked Paris. Honestly, I have no idea of why this would be done, but as a wise man has pointed out, follow the money, and you will see the reason why.

Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower
Image courtesy of Simon Howden /

One of my favourite memories of Paris is when my friend and I boldly ran around the Musée du Louvre, snapping pictures in front of all the famous paintings and exhibits. After that, we confidently walked into a lovely restaurant with a McDonald’s shake in hand, just to prove our boss wrong. He was complaining about how tourists in Paris only went to the Louvre and ate at McDonald’s, but we showed him that we were different. To this day, I still wonder why we didn’t do it sooner.

Black Friday began at the start of November, but for those purists, the actual Black Friday is next Friday (the 27th of November). Traditionally that was the day that pushed stores “to the black” (or into a profitable stance), however, it is now yet another excuse to entice folks to spend money.

Financial Literacy month continues as well. Have you learned something new about your finances today?

My Writings for Week Ending November 20th

It is truly the dark days of November here in Ottawa, but there were two new posts this week:

  • Cheques, Cameras and Banking Apps I rehashed some of my security concerns with Wi-Fi in general and banking applications specific on your smartphones or tablets. However, if you try to be secure, these apps will mean fewer visits to your brick-and-mortar banks, but be careful with post-dated cheques.
  • From the archives, remember that in Banking Everything is Negotiable. However, that does not guarantee you will get a better deal, just that you can always ask for one and see what happens (remember the answer is always NO unless you ask).

Facebook Post of the Week

Do you remember Y2K and all the craze about how the world was going to come to an end? Here are some other interesting computer bugs you might not have known about.

Black Friday Preparations Continue

I am pretty sure accountants and estate planners need Marriage counselling courses as Mark from Blunt Bean Counter continues his “family estate planning” series Blended Families are Twice the Estate Planning Fun…What, No Marriage Contract? Marriage Contracts are always a flash point for folks planning weddings.

Barry from Money, we have an important question: Are there Reasons to Use Your Emergency Fund ? There must be, or we would all have them. You might make a mistake figuring out whether you should use your Emergency Fund, however, Mark from My Own Advisor didn’t list that in his soul-searching article, Major Money Mistakes, where he outlines his money blunders. If you look in the comments you will see mine as well, but you can also read about them in my Major Investing Mistakes article too. If you want to minimize your mistakes, follow Robb from Boomer and Echo’s advice with Get A Handle On Your Expenses: Simplify And Save.  If you really want to stop the blunders or recover from them, and Million Dollar Journey wants to help with How to Save More Money with Less Effort, you should cut the fat from the fattiest part of your spending (read it and you’ll get it).

A friend of this site, Kerry from Squawkfox uses her foray into gourmet olives to motivate us to track our spending. I am not a big fan of Olives (the texture is just not to my liking), but you would be surprised how Kerry turns this to an essential financial discussion. Speaking of Financial Advice, Preet has started a five-part set of articles in Moneysense, starting with Measuring the value of financial advice

Michael James questions one of the basic tenets of investing (even espoused by the Wizard of Omaha himself) with Choosing Investments You Understand, do you really understand it? I understood Nortel, still lost money though. If you think you understand dividends, Larry Swedroe begs to differs in Dividends An Illogical Preference, where he states, “Despite all the hype around dividends, they’re more a distraction than an investment approach.”

Black Friday Credit Rewards?

Are you planning on using a Credit Card for your Black Friday purchases, and are hoping to rake in some great rewards? Check out Preet’s whiteboard session about whether you are being rewarded or not

2015 Random Thoughts

My Twitter feed is where I re-tweet many great articles by some of my featured writers (and make the occasional odd or off-color commentary on life (in 140 characters or less)). I am also on reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest , Flipboard, Instagram and other Social Media sites (look for the BigCajunMan userid) as well. If you have social media accounts, don’t forget to vote for my posts (see the nifty dashboard on the bottom of each article, where you can cast your votes).As they say in Quebec, vote early and vote often!

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