on Feb 17, 2006
From Fox News comes this article on personal finance, about how one could better spend an annual $260 that would otherwise go to the lottery, comes a number of suggestions from Eva Rosenberg. This is just beyond satire:
First off, if people are playing the lottery, do you really think they are Bottle of Wine / Bed & Breakfast type people? But more to the point: Here is a woman who’s financial advice is to go out to eat, drink wine, and have a long conversation. This is not going to help women overcome common stereotypes anytime soon. I’m surprised she doesn’t follow up by suggesting you invest in shoes, fur coats and diamond rings. If a man were to suggest taking your spouse hunting and discussing investment plans while perched in the treestand with a case of beer, he would be regarded as a self-interested idiot. I don’t see why the same shouldn’t happen to Rosenberg.
As financial advice, this is preposterous. Note that the only “financial” aspect of this plan is to have a “long conversation”, which you could easly have for free in your own living room. A conversation that would, one expects, be easier to conduct with financial records at hand. Records that will not be around if you go to a Bed & Breakfast. As marital advice, it doesn’t seem very sensible either. If you’re having trouble getting your man to engage you in conversation under normal circumstances, does it make sense to ask him to take you out for a very expensive night and have a long converstion? About money?!?
The rest of the article is just as silly. And remember, at some point along the line, an editor approved this. Amazing.
Eva Rosenberg has responded in the comments, and her response is quite temperate considering the abrasive nature of my original post. And, while she claims I’m almost right, I’m not sure how. The Bed and Breakfast suggestion came from a man, which sort of pokes holes in just about everything I had to say. In fact, that even makes the title of the post itself incorrect. *wince*
But how would I spend the $260? Well, I guess it depends on if you’re asking “How would you spend $260?”, or “How would you spend $260 responsibly?” Because, if you’re just asking what I’d do with $260, then honestly my top 10 list would just be a bunch of computer games and hardware. For my wife, it would no doubt be art supplies and antiques.
I doubt I’d have 10 different ideas of how to put the $260 to work. My top 10 list is only 3 items long:
- Put it in the bank (savings, not checking). Not the best idea. If I was really putting it away for a while, then I would be better off…
- Putting it into the mutual fund, which is doing very well. However, my most likely course of action would be to…
- Spend it on the house, probably by surfacing the driveway, getting some carpet put in, or some other general improvement. This lets me “invest” the money in the house by raising the resale value, but also lets me enjoy the money by getting to live in a nicer home.
But really: It isn’t very hard coming up with better ways to blow $260 than on the lottery. In fact, it would be better to take the $260, put it in a pile and set it on fire, and then use the fire to cook a toasted cheese sandwich. Sure, it’s a stupid waste of $260, but I managed to cook a tasty sandwich, which is still way more than what the lottery-players got for their $260.
And finally: Thanks to Eva Rosenberg for the polite correction to a not-so-polite post. We don’t get many National Columnists ’round here, and I would like to have made a better first impression.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.