Let’s talk about probably the biggest waste of money there is, New Years’ Eve parties.
Younger readers might think they have no choice but to go out on New Years’ Eve, going to some overpriced club and drinking too much. I know I went out pretty much every year in my 20s, but your 30s are a whole other story. That’s the decade it becomes acceptable to be lame.
It gets even better, too. By the time you hit your 40s it’s an expectation you’ll be lame. You can watch the New York feed of Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve and be in bed by 10:30.
This is all part of a larger trend when you get older. The party holidays (New Year’s, Canada Day, Halloween) become less and less important, while the family gathering days (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter) become paramount. And then you invite young adults over and they ruin it by turning a family holiday into a party one. Nice going, maroon.
But then they’re family and you forgive them. Aww. Aren’t you sweet?
My message on this has been pretty consistent for years now. Partying is an incredibly dumb hobby. Most people grow out of it by their mid-20s, but there are still a few stragglers who insist on holding onto the dream into their late-20s or even into their 30s. You’ll save thousands of dollars annually by stopping the binge drinking, and be healthier to boot.
Links I liked
1. Let’s start off with this profile of Jimmy Pattison, the man known as Canada’s Warren Buffett. It follows him around rural Saskatchewan as he checks in on the newest part of his empire — farm machinery dealerships.
Here are a couple pieces I’ve wrote about Jimmy over the years, who continues to be one of my favorite investors.
- Steal These 3 Timeless Investing Tips From Billionaire Investor Jim Pattison
- 5 Important Lessons I Learned From Jimmy Pattison
2. Over on Seeking Alpha, Dale Roberts takes a closer look at BlackRock, the ETF giant that is trading at a surprisingly cheap valuation. A great company trading at a bargain price? Yes, please. Read this one quickly; it’s going to disappear behind the paywall in a couple of days.
3. Asset-Based Life is back this week, profiling the world’s youngest retiree. He’s just 12-years-old.
This post is one of Paul’s best, something I not saying lightly. I think he’s consistently one of the finest personal finance writers out there. This article surpasses even his usual high standard. He captures everything that’s wrong with the FIRE movement in one tidy little package. Seriously, go read it. Now.
4. Gen Y Money hates paying full price for haircuts, so she lists a number of alternatives. If I lived in a large center I’d probably exclusively live on Groupon haircuts. It’s not hard to find a $10 haircut deal if you’re a dude, and since you never plan to go back you can stiff the poor bastard on the tip. Everyone wins!
5. Every month, Moneygeek publishes the results of his TFSA, which saw a 17% decrease in November. He went all-in on oil stocks after the 2015 rout, and it hasn’t worked out. This begs an interesting question — just how long should you pursue an investment strategy that clearly isn’t working? I left some thoughts in the comment section.
6. Here’s a link to the 800+ page operating guide for a Subway franchise. It’s filled with great tidbits you can apply to any business.
This is my favorite part:
Mmmmmmmm. Anyone else with a serious hankering for Subway yet? I haven’t had the munchies this bad since October 17th.
7. Want to borrow some cash but keep striking out because you have no collateral? Okay, that’s not a very big problem here; you’ll just have to pay about 20-45% interest. But it is over in China, a nation that doesn’t really have an established consumer credit system. Enterprising lenders have an interesting solution — give them your nudes as collateral.
Ladies only, obviously.
8. My Money Wizard has some advice for those of you bitching about a high cost of living. Rather than struggling in a place like Toronto, Vancouver, New York City, or Hong Kong, move instead to a low cost of living city. Use that to get ahead and THEN move to the high cost of living city.
9. Nomad Capitalist outlines his experience buying real estate in Georgia (the country, not the state). It reminded me of a very important lesson about how you need to know a real estate market before investing in it. Andrew accomplishes this by hiring a great agent and lawyer to help him, but it’s not always that easy. How do you know an agent is good or a lawyer is competent, especially if you don’t know a market?
10. I liked this post by Early Retirement Dude, who points out that maybe kids should pay for at least some of their own way in college.
I waver back and forth on this issue. On the one hand, figuring how to pay for things yourself is a good thing. It teaches all sorts of skills. But at the same time the older generation is often guilty of hoarding more money than they could ever need while their offspring struggle to establish themselves. By the time the inheritance comes the kids are already well on their way to becoming wealthy too. It helps nobody.
So I dunno. I see it from both sides.
11. Here’s how a guy named Joel — writing over at Collecting Wisdom — bought 4 four-plexes in a year. It might not be totally applicable to the Canadian readers, but it’s still a knowledgeable post nonetheless.
12. And finally, let’s wrap this up with a couple of articles I did for Motley Fool. Here are some thoughts I have about Altagas, which I think is an incredibly cheap stock. And here’s a short list of three stocks that might cut their dividends next year.
That’s about it. Have a great weekend, everyone.