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

October 2005

Purchased a Bed

by Luke Landes

I made a purchase yesterday that will hopefully improve the quality of my life considerably. My girlfriend and I decided to split the cost of a new bed. For the last several years, I’ve been sleeping on a twenty year old bed. I purchased the mattress, box spring, and frame from the father of a ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival Monday

by Luke Landes

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I made a pretty large purchase this weekend, and I’ll talk about that in a future post. It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for the Carnival. Hello, Dollar! posted the latest Carnival of Personal Finance and my thoughts on spoiled kids was included. Speaking of children, make ... Continue reading this article…

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Best Auto Resale Value

by Luke Landes

Kelley Blue Book has announced survey results awarding several cars that offer the best resale value (for 2006 models). The survey presents the winners as best in class and top ten overall. The 2006 version of my Honda Civic didn’t make the list, but one of its relatives did. BMW/Mini won the top award for ... Continue reading this article…

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Kids Want The Darnedest Things

by Luke Landes

Is your kid a spoiled brat? When I was young, I generally got what I wanted from my parents. They were lucky that the things I wanted weren’t much. (Though they were upset when I’d rack up lots of long distance phone charges with the modem while calling BBSs.) Many parents struggle with not buying ... Continue reading this article…

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Chances of Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree

by Luke Landes

Are you or a family member looking into options for college? Here are some statistics from the Atlantic Monthly that are surprising at first glance: If your family income is $90,000 or more, you have about a 50 percent chance of obtaining a bachelor’s degree by age 24. If that income is between $61,000 and ... Continue reading this article…

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Employee Health Plans

by Luke Landes

Marketwatch reports that “Two out of three adults would rather have their employer pick a set of health plans than be given an employer-funded account so they can go out and buy it for themselves on the individual market.” My company provides several options for health coverage, but the selection is getting more complicated next ... Continue reading this article…

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Bigger Than Life

by Luke Landes

The founder of PeopleSoft is looking to build a three story, 72,000 square foot mansion in California. That’s about the size of Bill Gates’ and Michael Dell’s homes combined. It’s also bigger than the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Hearst Castle, and the White House. What do millionaires do with all that space? That’s a good ... Continue reading this article…

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Next Year’s Nickel

by Luke Landes

Take a look at the new design for the 2006 five cent piece. The reverse is going back to the traditional Monticello engraving but there’s a new portrait of a forward-looking (rather than portrait-style) Thomas Jefferson. In unveiling the design Tuesday, Mint officials said they believed the new image of Jefferson is an appropriate way ... Continue reading this article…

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The Spam Stock Portfolio

by Luke Landes

I get mounds of spam every day, a good portion of which is full of stock recommendations. Joshua received similar emails, and decided to put the unsolicited advice to the test. How well would you guess this portfolio performed? What if I purchased 1000 shares of stock from EVERY stock tip mentioned in a SPAM ... Continue reading this article…

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Cities Hardest Hit

by Luke Landes

The rise of as prices has been on the minds of many. Do you feel you were hit hard by the increase? I do, but according to a survey of the hardest hit cities, my increase — or the average increase for a certain type of commuter in my area — was below average. Though ... Continue reading this article…

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End Traffic By Raising Prices

by Luke Landes

Charles Wheelan, a new columnist at Yahoo! Finance, suggests raising the price of driving (through the costs of gas and tolls) in order to eliminate traffic congestion. The future of transportation will look a lot like the I-15 FastTrak in San Diego. This expressway has free lanes and HOT (High-Occupancy/Toll) lanes that run parallel. Here’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Staying Away From Fund Fees

by Luke Landes

MSN Money is carrying an article suggesting ways to get around mutual fund fees. As mutual funds have become more complex, fund companies need to spend more on marketing to explain their products. The expenses are then, as one would think, passed along to the customer. Timothy Middleton suggests “marching straight into the new reality” ... Continue reading this article…

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Transportation Expenses, October 4, 2005 YTD

by Luke Landes

Here’s something to look at, that is all. The chart represents my transportation expenses year to date, including the first few days in October in which I’ve accounted for another month of depreciation on my car.

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Negotiating for Salary – Men vs. Women

by Luke Landes

I’m a fan of social experiments, and here’s an interesting study. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University wanted to determine if sex had a role to play in hiring decisions. Male and female observers, playing the role of decision-makers, watch an interview with male and female participants (job candidates). When the candidate was asked what he ... Continue reading this article…

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Ben Stein’s Assumptions

by Luke Landes

Ben Stein is one of Yahoo! Finance’s new featured columnists. I’ve always liked his opinions on investing (but I’ve stayed away from his opinions in politics). In his latest column, Ben Stein takes some conservative assumptions for stock market performance and illustrates how the sooner you start saving for retirement, the better — much better. ... Continue reading this article…

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It’s Monday

by Luke Landes

Although I haven’t submitted any articles to the Carnivals, you might want to check out the Carnival of Personal Finance #16 and the Carnival of Debt Reduction #3. If you are interested in hosting or participating in the Carnival of Personal Finance, you can get more info here. CNN asked this morning why more people ... Continue reading this article…

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Income Statement, September 2005

by Luke Landes

The table below reflects my personal income statement in conjunction with September’s balance sheet.

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Balance Sheet, September 2005

by Luke Landes

What follows is my personal balance sheet for the end of September, 2005. Thankfully, my net worth has made some gains this month. Some of that was due to increased value in my investment accounts and some was due to receiving three paychecks this month. Since I get paid every other Friday, the calendar rewarded ... Continue reading this article…

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