As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

2004

Not-So-Good Realization

by Luke Landes

Remember when I was happy to realize I would be receiving three paychecks in December? I miscalculated. However, I will be receiving three paychecks this month, with the third one coming in next Friday. It’s a good thing, too, since I’ve been feeling financially strained lately. It would have been nice to have that “surprise” ... Continue reading this article…

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Salary Increase Disparity

by Luke Landes

News item from CNN/Money: CEO pay rose, worker wages fell. The disparity not only makes it tougher for workers to make ends meet, analysts said, but also threatens the overall health of the economy, which depends on consumer spending for two-thirds of its strength. Costs of the basic living necessities, like food and gas for ... Continue reading this article…

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My Name is Flexo, and I Approved This Message

by Luke Landes

Last week, I received the following email. I have changed the name of the firm for the safety of the author: Flexo- I enjoy reading the posts on your blog ‘Consumerism Commentary’. It is a well put together site. I was reading a post on 9/29 about your brokerage recently charging you an annual fee. ... Continue reading this article…

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Financial Advisors and Predators

by Luke Landes

Before you make any decisions regarding a financial advisor, read this commentary. The article, from The Motley Fool, gives the reader some tips on how to determine what your potential advisors true motivations are and why this is something important to consider.

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Good Realization

by Luke Landes

I looked at the calendar this weekend and realized that I have three paychecks coming to me in both October and December. That will definitely help ease my money issues since I budget for two paychecks monthly.

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Honda Civic Hybrid Has Best Gas-Mileage

by Luke Landes

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Honda Civic Hybrid beats out the Toyota Prius for best gas-mileage (61 mpg city/66 mpg highway versus 60/51). The non-hybrid Civic is the best gasonline-only vehicle with 36/44. In my driving experience with my manual-transmission 2004 Honda Civic LX, I usually get between 32 and 37 mpg, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Heard on NPR Today

by Luke Landes

With oil prices up (though lower than inflation-adjusted 1980s prices) and a possibly colder-than-average winter in the US Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions predicted, home heating costs are going to be high. Start budgeting… wait for it… now.

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Auto Insurance – Yikes!

by Luke Landes

When I had my 1997 Honda Civic, and with an excess of points from my “wild and crazy” days that I’m waiting to drop off my record, my auto insurance premium was already high. I don’t have the policy in front of me, but it was around $3,400 per year. In June, I purchased a ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

by Luke Landes

Gerri Willis at CNN warns readers that they should not stop investing in a 401(k) just because the market is doing poorly (like it has over the third quarter of this year). Her five points are don’t disengage, resist the makeover urge, pick winners, don’t fear bonds (though I’m fine without them as I’ve investing ... Continue reading this article…

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Afraid of Appearing Cheap

by Luke Landes

There’s a nice response on Gothamist to a reader who writes in to ask: Sometimes I get invited to events that are out of my price range, like dinners at expensive restaurants… I want to hang out with my friends without seeming like a cheapskate. What should I do? The Gothamist suggests planning the outing ... Continue reading this article…

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Nike Brainwashed His Child

by Luke Landes

Pay attention to what and how your children are learning. Robert Brokamp at The Motley Fool was horrified when his son associated Nike with the Olympics. He would rather see his children have the most reasonably price clothes instead of the coolest.

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Speaking of Fees

by Luke Landes

Is your financial manager worth it? Walter Updegrave from CNN/Money answers a writer’s question. The writer has had a financial manager in charge of $400,000 in mutual funds and stocks since 2001, to whom the writer has paid 1 percent per year, or $16,000 total, in fees. The assets have increased 1 percent over the past 4 ... Continue reading this article…

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Annual Fee?!

by Luke Landes

My previously-mediocre-but-not-horrible discount brokerage firm decided to start charging an annual fee… a fee higer than some full-service brokerages. I’m high-tailing it out of there ASAP, and I’m looking to do it without any tax implications. Although, even if I have to sell, the tax burden shouldn’t be too bad. So, with the several thousand ... Continue reading this article…

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Hooray for Junk Mail

by Luke Landes

It’s not technically spam in this case. I signed up for an ING Direct savings account a while ago, and my regular readers have probably seen many entries on Consumerism Commentary about how happy I am with this bank. In fact, at the moment they offer 2.2 percent APY on their savings account which is quite ... Continue reading this article…

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The New $50 is Here

by Luke Landes

Ulysses S. Grant looks ready to go to war with Iraq in this new portrait. Here’s the announcement of the new bills entering circulation. I’m enjoying the new renaissance in bill and coin design.

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Airline Miles Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

So, you’ve got a credit card that rewards with with airline miles or points. Yeah, you know there’s a monthly fee and an above average interest. Yeah, you carry a balance each month to win more miles. It’s worth it, right? You’ll get a free plane trip soon, and the value of that outweighs the ... Continue reading this article…

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Allow Me to Grow Personally and Professionally

by Luke Landes

Here is an opinion on having an “objective” at the top of your résumé. I agree, it is incredibly silly and pointless, but in the corporate world, Human Resources want to see it. What strange objectives have you seen or used on résumés?

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Financial Update – September

by Luke Landes

I’ve decided to change my accounting technique, so I’ll include some past numbers to show any increases or decreases. For instance, I’m no longer including my “home inventory” and I’ve stopped including what amount I’ve had for “cash on hand,” since those calculations are most likely inaccurate.   09/23/2004 08/23/2004 07/23/2004 Savings/Checking: $ 9,432 $ ... Continue reading this article…

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Random Acts

by Luke Landes

Do you perform random acts of money kindness? Have you ever been the recipient of something unexpected? Besides always tipping generously at restaurants, I try to help people out when they’re in dire need. I’m going to try to keep that article in mind and do more when I can.

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Monthly Update?

by Luke Landes

Some readers have been curious about my monthly status. Some are concerned because I haven’t been posting regular updates over the last few months. Here’s the issue, for some background… In March, I decided to leave my corporate job to teach in a high school. This is what my college education was geared to, and ... Continue reading this article…

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