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

March 2005

Search for Low Fares

by Luke Landes

I’m thinking of going out to California next month. I’m checking flight prices with a new fare search from Yahoo (although it is still in beta). It queries “discount” carriers in addition to the bigger airlines. With some time, I’ll compare it to the fares other search engines find. In the mean time, check it ... Continue reading this article…

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Emigrant Direct Saga and Found Cash

by Luke Landes

My Wachovia checking account received the two small verification deposits from Emigrant Direct, which was the next step in opening my account with that bank. Unfortunately, when I originally signed up, I submitted an email address I no longer used. After reactivating that mailbox, I called Emigrant Direct’s customer service to have them resend a ... Continue reading this article…

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Virtual Bank Referral Needed

by Luke Landes

A reader has contacted me looking for a Virtual Bank referral. As I do not have an account with that bank, I said I would post a message looking for someone to help out. If you have an account with Virtual Bank and would like to refer someone (I’m guessing there is some kind of ... Continue reading this article…

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Federal Reserve Cover-Up

by Luke Landes

In 1999, the stock market was experiencing a bubble, which as most people know, popped, and caused many stock market speculators to lose money. During the time leading up to the crash, the Fed chairman did not publicly acknowledge the bubble. However, according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, the Fed was aware ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit, Debit, Check or Cash?

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note:  This limited-time offer has expired. According to the Federal Reserve, credit and debit payments surpassed check payments last year. Between credit and debit transactions, debits have been gaining popularity. A Reuters article states that for those with financial discipline, credit cards are the best option for every day purchases. The Citibank Dividend Platinum ... Continue reading this article…

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Taking a Hit to My Net Worth

by Luke Landes

Since I resumed taking classes for my MBA, I now have a new student loan. The way this works is I take a loan at the beginning of the “semester” and after each six-week class ends, I wait two weeks for a 90 percent reimbursement from my company. On my next monthly update, you’ll see my ... Continue reading this article…

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Buffett Says

by Luke Landes

When Warren Buffett speaks, it would do investors well to heed his advice. In his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, he offers this advice: Be un-American. By this he means that the way to great returns is to go against the trends while investing in index funds. If Wall Street is fearful, be greedy. ... Continue reading this article…

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MM’s PFBlog Network

by Luke Landes

The writer behind PFBlog.com has an interesting idea which will get more people blogging about personal finance. He has created the “PFBlog Network,” the purpose of which is creating a central location for personal finance blogs, hosted on MM’s domain. I’m trying out the Network with the intent of discovering whether it can drive more ... Continue reading this article…

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Trying Out Emigrant Direct

by Luke Landes

It’s been about three months since Emigrant Direct started offering a 3.0 percent interest yield on their savings account, beating out ING Direct for the favored spot in the minds of many. I’ve held out with ING for these three months and witnessed my favorite raise their rates, though not quite to the top. ING Direct’s ... Continue reading this article…

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The New Bankruptcy Bill

by Luke Landes

There’s a new bankruptcy bill that’s up for vote in the Senate. if it passes, and it probably will, filing for bankruptcy will be harder. More specifically, fewer people will be able to file under Chapter 7, where creditors will get nothing and all debt is liquidated, and instead will be forced to file under ... Continue reading this article…

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Welcome Yahoo Finance Visitors

by Luke Landes

Tech Insider from Yahoo Finance has listed Consumerism Commentary among its list of “Ten Money Blogs Everyone Should Read.” If you’re visiting from that location, welcome! Feel free to browse through the archives (links down the right side of this page) and follow my thoughts and links on personal finance. Please don’t be shy; leave ... Continue reading this article…

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Suze Orman: Young, Fabulous and Decidedly Not Broke

by Luke Landes

Suze Orman is appearing on PBS right now on her fifth special, Young, Fabulous, and Broke. I’ll live-blog the first hour of the program. You can catch her on WNET 13 New York or possibly your local PBS station. Show them your support. Read on and reload throughout the hour! Keep in mind my server ... Continue reading this article…

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New Jersey is Last

by Luke Landes

It never felt so nice to be last on a list. New Jersey is ranked 50th when it comes to the average price of gasoline according to AAA. If you’re looking for more fun with gasoline price statistics, check out AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The good news is the station I usually go to ... Continue reading this article…

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Due This Month

by Luke Landes

Although my auto insurance will cost about $3,600 for the year, I can pay the total amount in six installments. Unfortunately, the first installment is higher due to the inclusion of a “deposit.” I need to send in $1,147 for my auto insurance this month. The good news is that I should be able to ... Continue reading this article…

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No Money? Buy a Home!

by Luke Landes

Many of the people I’ve grown up with have been buying their first homes at this point. One of my closest friends (and his wife and daughter) is selling his first home and moving onto bigger and better. So yes, I’ve been thinking about it a bit. In that respect, this article caught my attention ... Continue reading this article…

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Future Millionaires

by Luke Landes

I’ve been following CNN Money‘s Millionaires in the Making series for some time now. Deshundra Jefferson has posted a new profile online. The featured couple, Ryan and Danielle Quilling, are saving their way towards millionaire status. Danielle is 25 and Ryan 27. They have no credit card debt; the only debt they have is their ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Diversification

by Luke Landes

Does your company offer diversified options for employees’ 401(k)s? Even after the bubble burst several years ago and many people were burned, many companies haven’t created possibilities for diversification in retirement plans. In many cases where the companies do offer a wide variety of funds, employees have not chosen to configure their accounts to allow ... Continue reading this article…

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Web-Based Financial Planning

by Luke Landes

I received an email last week from Bryan Link who requested I take a look at a start-up he runs called SimpliFi. The site contains an automated financial goals planner. A Flash-based application bases its evaluation on an interview designed to determine the user’s financial status and goals, adjustable assumptions, and its internal forumlas. Most ... Continue reading this article…

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Better Stock Up

by Luke Landes

I was listening to Marketplace on NPR during the commute home from work today. They reported that according to CBS, gas prices at the pump may surge $0.24 a gallon in the next few days. The article says that this is one analyst’s prediction, but that one analyst is getting a lot of press. When ... Continue reading this article…

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Income and Expenses for the Year

by Luke Landes

I’ve included an income/expense report within this post. By looking at the numbers, here’s some quick thoughts on improvements I can make for the rest of the year. * Spend less money on dining. Lunch at the cafeteria is almost $7.00! That’s unacceptable. * Find some ways to make more money. Yeah… * I’ve modified ... Continue reading this article…

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