In a special Thanksgiving edition of Weekend Reads, we dive into a few serious topics: why are turkeys so cheap, and which pie is the most delicious?
Plus, if you need some time away from the family this holiday, read up on whether or not you have what it takes to be a podcaster and debunk some financial myths like the benchmarks of being an adult, when you should be using a debit card, and which of your financial habits are all in your mind.
Podcasts. They’re a technology that changed how we consume entertainment, like the Internet-generation’s version talkies or 8-tracks. Part radio, part talk show, all cool. That’s why we love recommending them. There’s a podcast for every topic. And the best part is they’re so easy almost anyone can make their own. With just a microphone and a computer, you too could be a podcaster! Now, if you want to make money being a podcaster...well, that’s a different story. Making a living through ads is tough – so tough that even super popular podcasts (like Serial, whose season 2 is going to be on Pandora) solicit donations from listeners. So if you like a podcast, make sure you support them! And if you’re trying to make it as a podcaster, don’t be too proud to beg for money. No one else is.
The rent is too damn high. Student loan debt is out of control. Is there anything that isn’t getting more expensive? The answer is yes, and the answer is also turkey. Wholesale prices are going up but retail prices are down from last year. It’s like grocers know what’ll get you in the door and start a spending spree on other things. The good news is it doesn’t look like you’ll need to skimp on the Thanksgiving meal this year, and you can spend more money on pies! (That’ll make more sense in a minute.)
Curmudgeon alert: kids these days! They have no respect for tradition, like going to college, getting married, buying a house, and having kids. Oh, and then turning 30 years old. The "milestones" of adulthood aren’t what they used to be, whether it’s because of changing values or, as Stefanie O’Connell points out, it’s kinda super expensive to do all of those things. She breaks down the costs of being an adult and, most importantly, notes that delaying these milestones is nothing to be ashamed of; just because your parents and grandparents did it doesn’t mean you have to, too.
Thanksgiving is such a great holiday because of all of the food, and the fact that basically anything can be a Thanksgiving food. Including pies. You can pick any pie and it would fit into the spread. But that leaves you with a dilemma...what pie should you choose? If you can’t make every pie, you have to choose one or two. And if you can’t decide, you can see what the rest of the country’s favorites are and go with most popular or be a rebel. It’s understandable that pumpkin pie is the overwhelming favorite, but how chocolate pecan loses any sort of vote is kind of baffling.
Credit cards get a bad rap because they let you spend a virtually limitless amount of money, which of course you then have to pay for, and that’s where people run into trouble. Some people prefer debit cards because it’s more like using cash without actually needing to carry cash. But you don’t get the same sort of consumer and fraud protections with a debit card as you do with a credit card. That’s why would shouldn’t use them for online purchases, or when they're going to leave your sight (like in a restaurant). Want to know other times when you should and shouldn’t use your debit card? Our friends at The Penny Hoarder have a primer so you don’t make any silly mistakes.
Okay, okay – you want another list? We got you another list. Behavioral finance is a fascinating field because so many of our financial decisions are less practical and more psychological. If you want to get cerebral over the Thanksgiving weekend, read up on why some of the decisions you make are all in your head, and why that can mean bad news for your bank account.