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

May 2005

This Month’s Bottom Line

by Luke Landes

Here are some of the things affecting my personal bottom line this month: * Income: I worked a smaller-than-average amount of overtime this month, so there won’t be much to talk about. The equivalent of my overtime pay before taxes is transferred to my Emigrant Direct savings account. * More income: I did some freelance ... Continue reading this article…

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Where Is That Raise?

by Luke Landes

In case you have forgotten or thought the situation has improved, pay is not keeping up with the cost of living. According to the article from Investor’s Business Daily, The working poor and middle class are getting hit the hardest. Higher gas and food prices buffet hourly wage earners the most. Skilled white-collar workers are ... Continue reading this article…

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Most Prolific Commentators

by Luke Landes

This post displays the ten most prolific commentators on Consumerism Commentary. It is updated automatically and always contains the latest data. Note: If you are reading Consumerism Commentary via syndication, you won’t be able to see the information. Visit the site to see who is on top.

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Wall Street Journal Offers Some Free Content

by Luke Landes

Many years ago, as a reader of The Motley Fool, I came across a community of people who repeatedly jump from one 0 percent APR credit card offer to another 0 percent offer. It sounds like a good way to maintain a credit card balance without paying interest, if you don’t slip up and miss a payment. ... Continue reading this article…

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Mapping Gas Station Locations and Prices

by Luke Landes

Cheap Gas is a marriage between Google Maps and Gasbuddy, the database of gas prices by city. If you select a city from the list available on Cheap Gas, you will be provided with a map with the station locations highlighted. The city choices should be sufficient for most people, but many stations aren’t listed. ... Continue reading this article…

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Introduction to Hedge Funds

by Luke Landes

Hedge funds have received a bit of negative press lately. Here are just some examples from MSN Money (“Billions of dollars in hedge-fund money disappeared into thin air amid the GM mess”), Marketwatch (“Treasurys rise on hedge fund woes”), and The Herald (“Complex hedge funds criticised”). I’ve heard the term over the past several years, ... Continue reading this article…

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Presidential Bank Offers 3.5% APY

by Luke Landes

I have updated the savings and checking interest rates table to include Presidental Bank‘s savings account offering 3.50 percent APY. Is a rate competition between internet banks heating up? Relatedly, Marketwatch published an article about the tiered interest rate system that some of these banks use, favoring customers with more money. The tiers that I’ve seen ... Continue reading this article…

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Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Lunch

by Luke Landes

For as long as I’ve been working here — nay, as long as I’ve been working — I’ve taken the easy, lazy way out by buying my lunch every day. Usually it’s from the cafeteria, but a filling and sometimes creative company lunch, even though subsidized, still costs more than six dollars. Eating at the ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcasting the Newspapers

by Luke Landes

Thanks for the comments on my previous post on whether MBA degrees are worthwhile. I enjoy hearing the varied opinions. Keep it coming! An article in today’s Wall Street Journal Online reports on how some newspapers have begun providing podcasts of their headlines. Perhaps since the print media was so far behind the blogging wave, ... Continue reading this article…

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Is The MBA Worthwhile?

by Luke Landes

Loyal readers may recall that I’ve been working on my MBA (master of business administration) degree through the University of Phoenix Online. Other MBA students from more traditional graduate schools are often surprised when I describe the amount of work required for the degree. I have a little less than a year left if I ... Continue reading this article…

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Working Class Millionaires

by Luke Landes

I’ve decided to make a slight change in my savings habits, and coincidentally, there’s an article on CNN Money that mentions the same technique. It’s the latest feature in CNN Money’s “Millionaires in the Making” series: Mark and Lori Gorney. The article notes that their story isn’t the typical money-making-via-real-estate tale, which is a good ... Continue reading this article…

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More Free Email Accounts

by Luke Landes

The news today is that America Online [TWX] will begin offering free email accounts to the world, with 2GB of storage for each account. Like Google’s Gmail, the service will be supported by ads rather than customer subscriptions. There are already major alternatives to AOL’s proposed service, such as Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and the aforementioned ... Continue reading this article…

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New RSS Feed Available

by Luke Landes

You can now subscribe to a syndication feed for comments only. This feed contains the latest reader comments with a link back to the original entry on Consumerism Commentary. This way you won’t miss any interesting discussions taking place on earlier entries.

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Be Aware of ATM Card Skimming

by Luke Landes

In New York City, police have arrested two men accused of using card skimmers to steal account numbers and PINs from a Bank of America branch, taking $2,500 from ATMs. Many people wouldn’t spot a card skimmer attached to an ATM, so these photos can help people be more aware of what to look for. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Great (Class) Divide

by Luke Landes

Big Media CEOs get paid to stay at home. Media companies will pay their chief officers big bucks on top of their salaries to keep second homes for business. The numbers in that article are staggering, but not unexpected. This quote by Paul Hodgson from The Corporate Library mimics my sentiment exactly: “The very idea ... Continue reading this article…

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The Artistic Side and Today’s News

by Luke Landes

You may not know it from reading this website, but I’m more of an artistic individual than anything else. Throughout school (not including my MBA, that is), my studies centered around music, and my original plan was to be a high school instrumental music teacher. Every once in a while, I get to do something ... Continue reading this article…

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Current Savings and Checking Rates

by Luke Landes

The table containing the latest checking and savings account rates has moved. Please update your links.

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More From Around The Web

by Luke Landes

This is a weblog, so here is another log of some items from the web: If SAHMs (stay-at-home moms) received a salary for their work, they’d earn $131,471 according to Salary.com. That figure was determined by using average salaries for the jobs that SAHMs do, such as cook, day care, and CEO, including overtime. For ... Continue reading this article…

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Today’s Interesting Items

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve Bank raised rates to 3.0 percent. Will ING Direct, Emigrant Direct, and other high-yield internet savings banks follow? Seven rules for negotiation. Here is some good advice for negotiating anything, such as raises, car prices, and hostages. I wish I had read this when I first accepted my current position at this company. ... Continue reading this article…

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Car Insurance Depression

by Luke Landes

Last night, I wrote another check for my car insurance premium. So far this year, I’ve paid about $1,650 for car insurance to New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company. Over the last several years, I haven’t been able to choose my insurer because with many points on my license, I’m considered “high risk.” The good news ... Continue reading this article…

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