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

September 2005

CitiBank Strikes Again

by Luke Landes

About a week ago, I linked my CitiBank Platinum Dividend Rewards credit card to my ING Direct account with the intent of keeping more of my cash in an interest-bearing account. I knew from the last time I made a change to my CitiBank card, I had to wait some time before paying my bill ... Continue reading this article…

14 comments Read the full article →

Medical Billing Errors

by Luke Landes

If you ever find yourself in a hospital, always check your bill once you get out. A few years ago, I found myself in the hospital for a few hours for something minor. My insurance took care of mostly everything without a problem. I checked my explanation of benefits from the insurance, and I noticed ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →

Emigrant Direct Raises Rates and Offers Rebate Credit Card

by Luke Landes

For the latest information on the Emigrant Direct Rebate Credit Card, click here (January 2006). Emigrant Direct raised interest rates on its savings account to a wonderful 4.0 percent APY today, possibly to coincide with the Federal Reserve Bank’s increase of 25 basis points. I have updated the latest checking and savings rates table to include ... Continue reading this article…

9 comments Read the full article →

Fun With Google: Consumerism Is…

by Luke Landes

Here’s something to pass the time while we await the Fed’s announcement of a quarter-point rate hike. A few years ago, there was a meme that traveled from blog to blog whereby the author searched Google for the phrase “name is” (where name was the author’s name). The results were, of course, posted to his ... Continue reading this article…

6 comments Read the full article →

New York City Salaries

by Luke Landes

I heard this on the radio yesterday, but I couldn’t find it online as I was looking at the wrong magazine. (It appeared in New York Magazine, not The New Yorker.) If you’ve ever wanted a good idea of how much money various people in New York City make, New York Magazine has conducted an ... Continue reading this article…

10 comments Read the full article →

More Maintenance on the Civic

by Luke Landes

My 2004 Honda Civic LX is still a wonderful car. I passed 30,000 miles last month and, as I want to keep current with maintenance, I took the car in for tire rotation, an oil change, a new air filter, and a brake inspection. Last time, I took my car to the dealer and spent ... Continue reading this article…

12 comments Read the full article →

Monday is Carnival Day

by Luke Landes

The latest Carnival of Personal Finance has been posted at Optimized Living. Check it out! My included article is about Emergency Funds, a popular topic. Here are some other items of interest from the Carnival: No Credit Needed gets personal. The Dividend Guy has a dumb investment. Jim shares tips for selling on eBay. There’s ... Continue reading this article…

4 comments Read the full article →

Consensus View is Better Than Experts?

by Luke Landes

In one point of view, “the masses” are wrong about financial issues (Part One and Part Two). On the other hand, some believe that the general populace on the whole outsmarts even the experts. That’s the basis of the book The Wisdom of Crowds by James Suroweicki. To prove his points in his book, he ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →

What Are You Afraid Of? Part 2

by Luke Landes

Earlier, I posted a summary of the first half of Money Magazine’s newest feature, Your Six Biggest Money Fears. In the feature, six general fears regarding personal finance are discussed and debunked, and for each an alternate concern is posited. Outsourcing makes many white-collar Americans concerned about their job. Still, it’s mostly blue-collar jobs that ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →

Cleaning House

by Luke Landes

You may notice some changes around here. Consumerism Commentary has a new design that’s easy on the eyes and makes the posts easier to read, while information in the sidebar is easier to get to. I’ve also removed links to blogs whose authors haven’t posted in several months. Speaking of blogs, there have been many ... Continue reading this article…

1 comment Read the full article →

What Are You Afraid Of?

by Luke Landes

CNN Money has an extensive feature on how general consensus is wrong again. The articles look at the biggest money fears, how they may be unreasonable, and what should worry the public instead. Here are the first three from the series. The remaining three appear in a follow-up post here at Consuermsim Commentary. While Americans ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →

Deciding to Go Back to School

by Luke Landes

Once in a while, we talk about the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree here (see Is the MBA Worthwhile? and Good Time to Be an MBA). Free Money Finance had a discussion this week about going back to school as well. How do you know if going back to school is the right thing ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →

Don’t Donate to Katrina Victims

by Luke Landes

You can file this in the “I never looked at it from that point of view” file. Charities are for suckers. The article argues it’s supposed to be the government’s job to support those less fortunate, as that is one of the purposes of collecting taxes, and shouldn’t be up to the collection of private ... Continue reading this article…

13 comments Read the full article →

HOWTO Let Google Blog Search Access Your Full RSS Feed

by Luke Landes

If you have a popular blog that generates income through advertising, chances are you offer an RSS feed that contains only an exceprt of each entry. This is a good way to encourage readers to visit the blog to continue reading. In the similar interest of drawing traffic to the site, you should also want ... Continue reading this article…

16 comments Read the full article →

Emergency Funds, Doing Okay?

by Luke Landes

We hear all the time how Americans are not saving enough for emergencies. The “Emergency Fund” is heralded as the first step in getting a sound financial footing, before thoughts about investing in stocks or making large purchases enter the brain. The idea of putting aside cash for a (very) rainy day has been a ... Continue reading this article…

10 comments Read the full article →

Can a 25-Year-Old Retire At 50?

by Luke Landes

That’s the question tackled by Walter Updegrave in his CNN Money column, Ask the Expert. Here are the given facts: the individual is 25 years old, contributes 10 percent to his 401(k) and maxes out his Roth IRA. Will that be enough to retire in twenty-five years? Walter thinks he has a lot of work ... Continue reading this article…

4 comments Read the full article →

Parking for Cash Only

by Luke Landes

CNN evaluates options for short-term cash savings, including savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. It’s a useful article for weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each type of account in order to find the right match for your situation. The article offers a chart of average interest rates offered across the country, ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →

Major Problem With Google Blog Search

by Luke Landes

Google has released a “beta version” of its Blog Search (info here, here, and here) to compete with the likes of Technorati. I’ve found what I’d consider to be a major problem, but easily fixed. Some blog authors use their email address in their RSS feeds to denote their identity as “creator.” Google’s Blog Search ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →

ING Direct Offers New Feature

by Luke Landes

ING Direct is now requiring a new method to entering your secure PIN when logging in to view your account, involving a series of keystrokes that will be different each time you log in. This seems to be a method to thwart keylogging software. Here’s the notice: ING DIRECT is always working to provide you ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →

In The Event Of An Emergency

by Luke Landes

CNN offers good advice when it comes to determining what to do when disaster strikes: * Get yourself safe, then busy. Water, food and shelter first, and accept any offers of short-term help in the form of cash. * Get to a bank. In a pinch, any bank. Without identification, they’ll work doubly hard to ... Continue reading this article…

Read the full article →
Page 2 of 3123