The New Financial Blog That Is

AdviceMaybe you didn’t notice, but Cracked has become a pretty astute place to get advice and commentary about money. It started perhaps with this piece from about six months ago, 5 Insane Things You Believe About Money Thanks To Movies.

Hollywood’s heightened reality is supposed to work in the other direction, too. Fictional horrors are supposed to be more horrifying than the real thing — crime in TV dramas is all flamboyant serial killers and brutal dismemberments, and arguments in reality shows always turn into vicious, hair-pulling catfights. But when Hollywood tries to portray the worst of the worst poverty — the kind you can only get in a post-apocalyptic future — the worst they can think of is an 800-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment with some smudges on the walls. Their poverty doesn’t look so bad even when they’re trying to terrify us with how poor the characters are.

So … how is that supposed to make you feel about your own life? Hell, tell me that none of you haven’t had at least one point in your life when you would have gladly traded your accommodations for the run-down but freaking enormous Victorian house in Fight Club?

That’s straight up Billfold-y, isn’t it? The author goes on:

Look, I get that some of this is just logistics. For instance, there’s a pretty simple reason why everybody on TV has a fairly huge apartment or house — it’s impossible to shoot a TV show in a cramped space. You’ve got to have room for the equipment and shit, and you’ve got to have room for the actors to let scenes play out (e.g., different people having different conversations in different rooms at the same time, which can’t happen among roommates sharing 400 square feet). They can’t simply make all of the characters rich (otherwise we wouldn’t identify with them), so they just have to go with it.

But the result is that hourly wage earners live like professionals, and professionals live like millionaires. In How I Met Your Mother, Ted Mosby was an architect but the rent for his 1,000-square-foot apartmentwould have wiped out his whole paycheck before he even had a chance to buy food.

He makes other great points and I can’t quote all of them. The thing is, though, this isn’t a one-off. Here’s a more recent piece called 4 Things You Should Do When You Owe People Money.

Are you good with finances? Congratulations, you’re an anomaly. The numbers say that more than 75 percent of American households carry some form of debt, and a good chunk of those carry over $50,000 in debt. That’s a hell of a lot of money. In fact, according to Federal Reserve stats from May 2015, total credit card debt is at just over $90 billion. Billion! That’s so much money that you could buy all the waffles ever.

Turns out, I am one of the many.

And here’s one that’s so popular it’s currently at the top of the homepage: 5 Jobs You Think Are For Losers That Pay Six Figures.

Load and unload cargo ships. It requires no academies, and you’ll make an average of $70,000 to $120,000 a year. And if you stick with it long enough to bump your way up to foreman? Well, then you can take home a yearly salary of a smooth quarter mill.

To give you an idea of how much of the world’s economy depends on the oceanic equivalent of truckers, in early 2015, a labor dispute with West Coast port workers was estimated to cost the U.S. economy $2 billion a dayTwo billion dollars. A day. And that’s just one coast — if memory serves, we have two.

Sure, they rely a lot on that “Top [X] Things!” formula. That doesn’t hurt Buzzfeed. And once you click through the content is good.

Basically Cracked is going to put us out of business, but at least they’ll be entertaining in the process. We’ll die laughing. Can anyone ask for more than that?



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