Blog Posts - Ripoffs



True Story: How to Cope When Your Spouse Skips Out with All the Cash

(Readers: In February 2012, I received a heart-breaking message in my inbox from Spedie, a long-time reader and frequent commenter here at Len Penzo dot Com. Her husband abandoned her and their marriage — but not before he callously drained the...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Jan 14, 2013

How to Avoid Paying a Mandatory Gratuity for Bad Service

Like most people, I have very strong opinions when it comes to tipping rates for various services that expect them. For example, I staunchly believe that 15% is completely acceptable for good restaurant service. It used to be that tipping was meant t...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Jan 9, 2013

15 Reasons Why Waterbeds Are For Suckers

Sometimes people buy things that they eventually end up regretting. I know I’ve got a long list. I’ve already explained why corner lots and whirlpool tubs are for suckers. Today, I’ve got two words for anybody out there who is curre...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Dec 3, 2012

Silver and Gold: The Superheroes of Wealth Preservation

Back in 1964, a gallon of gasoline cost about 25 cents in the United States. That’s right. Believe it or not, way back in 1964, you could buy a gallon of gas for a quarter. It just so happens that 1964 was the last year that the US Treasury min...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Nov 14, 2012

4 Smart Reasons Why College Isn’t for Everyone

Don't laugh; after running the numbers he most likely decided it made little sense to attend a traditional American college. Some things in life are painfully overrated. Take camping, for instance. Or iPhones. I’ve never understood the allu...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Sep 24, 2012

100 Words On: Why You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For

One of the most popular financial tips that people routinely dispense to others is, “You get what you pay for.” Perhaps that’s why many folks erroneously believe they can’t go wrong by paying more for something — whether...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Aug 9, 2012

What Does ‘Flare’ Taste Like? When Swanky Marketing Goes Too Far.

Last week my boss and I were sitting in a conference room when he spied a pack of gum that someone had left on the table. “Hey, Len! You want some gum?” “Well, that depends,” I said. “What flavor is it?” “Fiv...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Jul 2, 2012

Is It Okay to Eat Foods Past Their Expiration Dates?

This weekend I was pouring a little half-and-half into my cup of coffee (no, not Folgers) when I noticed something extremely disturbing: the creamer was 34 days beyond the expiration date printed on the carton top. Yes, 34 days. I know. Of course, th...
by Len Penzo dot Com on May 22, 2012

Why Private Schools Are Financial Rip Offs

Annual tuition at K-8 private schools currently averages about $8,000. That means over a nine-year period parents will end up spending $72,000 per child — as long as tuition rates never increase. (Insert laugh track here.) Of course, most paren...
by Len Penzo dot Com on May 21, 2012

100 Words On: Why It’s Time to Eliminate the Penny

Last month, Canada announced it would no longer mint pennies. That makes a lot of sense; perhaps America should follow suit. In 1913 the once-proud penny had 23 times the purchasing power it does now. Today, the penny is essentially worthless, its in...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Apr 26, 2012

100 Words On: Why Folgers Coffee Is More Expensive Than You Think

All things considered, most coffee drinkers realize that brewing their java at home is significantly more cost effective than buying it from Starbucks. However, those who use a typical automatic drip coffee maker may not be saving quite as much as th...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Mar 29, 2012

Clarity Costs Extra

I've been trying to figure out how, despite unlimited this and family plan that, my cell phonebill is so high. Did I sign up to fund a bridge to nowhere project in my sleep? How did my cell phone turn into a handheld perpetual debt machine? Naturally...
by Magick Sandwich on Mar 3, 2012

100 Words On: Why You Should Always Bet Against the Groundhog

Every year on Groundhog Day, folks eager to know whether there will be six more weeks of winter wait for Punxsutawney Phil to emerge from his burrow. Since 1887, the storied groundhog has failed to see his shadow — thereby predicting an early s...
by Len Penzo dot Com on Feb 2, 2012


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