For the past few weeks, many Americans have watched in horror as massive amounts of oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. An oil rig about 50 miles southeast of Louisiana’s coast exploded on April 20 and killed 11 workers, and sank two days later to 5,000 feet below the surface, according to CNN. The well has been spewing an estimated 210,000 gallons of crude oil in the ocean each day.
The owner of the well, energy company BP, is getting plenty of flack. It has taken responsibility, but it hasn’t been able to stop the leak. Since April 20, the company has tried various types of caps and domes to plug the leak, and it has even discussed shooting garbage into the well to plug it. Nothing has done the trick. There are growing concerns about how the spreading oil will affect wildlife, especially as it reaches shores.
According to CNN, BP is required by federal law to foot the bill for all cleanup costs, and it has already spent more than $350 million to do so. However, the company may only be liable for the first $75 million in claims under law, but it’s expected that the losses will be in the billions. BP says it will pay all “legitimate claims” for those who have suffered an economic loss, but it will be interesting to see how this unfolds and what they deem “legitimate.”
Personally, I think it’s frightening to see how much damage — both environmentally, ecologically and financially — a single incident like this can cause. My heart goes out to the fishermen and other people out there who are suffering a loss of income due to this crisis, but I also feel a ton of gratitude for the many volunteers who are out there helping to mop up the mess.
But enough seriousness for now: For all kinds of great personal finance advice and tidbits, read on and learn about some of my favorite blog posts from the past week.
1. Everyone knows obesity is an epidemic, and we all know that debt is rampant, but did you ever think about the correlation? A guest post on Man Vs. Debt discusses how food is like money, and discusses why some people may be eating themselves into debt.
2. Generation X Finance explains how important it is to set goals if you want to achieve financial success; worksheets are even provided.
3. Wisebread explains how simply asking your credit card companies to lower your credit limit can help you manage spending.
4. Frugal Dad features a guest post that recounts how a simple online purchase spiraled into a frustrating situation with a debt collector, and recommends not making online purchases from companies you aren’t familiar with.
5. Finance for a Freelance Life says she doesn’t think people should be concerned about teens having debit cards, and goes on to explain why she thinks it is actually more dangerous for them to play with credit.
6. Bill Eater points out which six nasty financial habits can lead you to bankruptcy if you’re not careful.
7. Money doesn’t really grow on trees, but Eventual Millionaire explains how the growth of wealth and financial maturity is similar to the growing of a tree.
8. Yikes! This isn’t related to credit or debt, but I was absolutely glued to this post. Len Penzo describes his TWO experiences as a victim of an armed robbery, and offers tips about what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.
9. Sometimes, credit card reward programs are too good to be true. Nerd Wallet laments about how Chase is getting rid of a popular reward program.
10. In a series of the financial ABCs, Almost Frugal explains talks about the letter D, which stands for debt.