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

April 2006

Gas Prices in Your Area

by Luke Landes

A number of people have emailed me (yes, it’s true!) to point this out so I thought I would share. It has been mentioned in other places, but I thought I’d share as well. MSN Autos offers a tool that allows you to plug in your ZIP code, press a button, and see a map ... Continue reading this article…

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I’ve Returned From California

by Luke Landes

Earlier today, I arrived back at my apartment. My vacation is complete, and I already miss being in California. There is still more my girlfriend and I would have liked to do on the west coast but we didn’t have time for. It’s back to the mundane for me: tonight I plan on finishing up ... Continue reading this article…

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Around The Blogosphere

by Luke Landes

Here’s what was talked about on the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond this week: Nickel from Five Cent Nickel introduced us to piggyback mortgages. A lively discussion ensued. Jim from Blueprint for Financial Prosperity wonders if gas prices are affecting people’s behavior. The short answer is “not really.” While we’re on the topic of gas, the Mighty ... Continue reading this article…

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Quick Vacation Update

by Luke Landes

Has it been a week? Time flies when you’re on vacation. It’s been a light posting week for me, and on Monday I’m starting a new job. In the mean time, my grades for my current class are not high — it’s hard to find time to work on my statistics course while I’m on ... Continue reading this article…

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Disneyland and How We Didn’t Save Money

by Luke Landes

I visited Disneyland all day yesterday. It was my second visit to the park and my girlfriend’s first. We spent the entire day between the two parks. Every night, there is a fantastic fireworks display. It’s easy to see how Disney can afford to put on this show every night. I don’t want to think ... Continue reading this article…

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In-N-Out

by Luke Landes

After arriving in southern California, I was treated to an In-N-Out burger (a “double-double”) for the first time last night. The burger and the chocolate shake live up to the hype, for the most part. While I’m not normally a fast food afficionado (too expensive and usually gross and unsettling), I was told I could ... Continue reading this article…

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Hosting a Carnival

by Luke Landes

I’ll be hosting the Carnival of Debt Reduction, which is hosted this week at Canadian Capitalist, next Wednesday. You can submit an article using this form.

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TIAA-CREF Didn’t Fund My SEP IRA

by Luke Landes

In order to reduce my 2005 taxes a little, I decided to throw some of my self employment income into a SEP IRA. The great thing about SEP IRAs is that I can invest above and beyond the normal contribution limit for Traditional and Roth IRAs as well as beyond the employer 401(k) plan offered ... Continue reading this article…

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Will You Be Audited?

by Luke Landes

Through everyday conversations, I know there are people who stretch the tax law as much as possible in order to claim tax deductions for “business-related” expenses. I’d like to follow up after tax season to see how far they’re actually stretching the rules, and if it’s fishy, to determine how many of these individuals end ... Continue reading this article…

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Taxes Down To The Wire, File An Extension

by Luke Landes

Today’s the deadline for paying taxes if anything is owed to the government. If you’re still working on your paperwork, you’ll need to file an extension by the end of the day today. Here is what H&R Block says you need to consider when contemplating filing an extension: * Notify the IRS. It’s Form 4868. ... Continue reading this article…

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Invasion of the Capitalists

by Luke Landes

You know it’s Monday morning when the Carnivals come to town. Free Money Finance is hosting the Carnival of the Capitalists, where you can find some great posts like When Money Is Not An Option. I had an article included about the idea of being a financial advisor. Good news from South Lake Tahoe — ... Continue reading this article…

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There’s Ten Inches Of It

by Luke Landes

The title refers to snow accumulation in South Lake Tahoe, which is still increasing. While I’m snowed in, I checked out the latest Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted at Five Cent Nickel. I didn’t submit an article this week, but you can find interesting entries about student loan interest rates, saving for retirement, preferred shares, ... Continue reading this article…

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Raising Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

Everyone is affected by raising interest rates, but different people are affected in different ways. CNN Money describes how a typical American (homeowner, spender, etc.) is affected by interest rates. Interest rates are simply the cost of borrowing money; the prices paid by institutions trickle down to the consumer. So if you’re in the market ... Continue reading this article…

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Update From The West Coast

by Luke Landes

When I’m in California, I expect the weather to be warm and dry. Well, this trip has been a little different — lots of traveling through mountains. We’re in South Lake Tahoe, staying in a condominium for a few days, and the temperature will be in the 30s and 40s. We’re expecting nine inches of ... Continue reading this article…

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Today Was My Last Day

by Luke Landes

My desk has been cleared and my responsibilities have been delegated upward to my supervisor, as today is my last day in my current position. Tomorrow morning, I’ll board a JetBlue flight from JFK International Airport and head to California with my girlfriend. When I return next Sunday, I’ll be preparing for Monday’s work in ... Continue reading this article…

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This Month Last Year

by Luke Landes

In April 2005, I passed 20,000 miles on my car and took the Civic to the dealer for maintenance. That episode attracted a bunch of comments. At this time last year, I spent a week or so with my family in California, much like I will be doing for the next week and a half. ... Continue reading this article…

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Be A Financial Advisor

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has ranked hundreds of careers and have decided that the job of Financial Advisor ranks third. That’s not too shabby. Here are the stats provided by the magazine. The average salary is $122,500, which is a little less than three times what my base salary would have been this year had I not ... Continue reading this article…

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Trading Stocks? Do It Like A Vulcan!

by Luke Landes

I wrote about a seminar called Teach Me To Trade earlier this year, and a visitor left an interesting comment last night. Spike (not my alter ego, a different Spike) wrote: When people ask me about learning to trade well, my first question of them is, “Have you ever seen Star Trek?” and then I ... Continue reading this article…

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Those Tricksy Publishers

by Luke Landes

Last year, I subscribed to Money Magazine for what I thought was a decent price, $10 for 12 issues. The intent was to use the magazine to find more material to write about. Apparently, I missed a mailing in which I was informed of an impending renewal. The only reason I discovered this is I ... Continue reading this article…

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Wind-Powered Pink Floyd and Homes

by Luke Landes

Calley, 42, is an alt-energy nut. At age 12, he built a primitive windmill that produced electricity for his bedroom–for a single bulb and the cassette player on which he listened to Pink Floyd. A small business, Southwest Windpower, has created a small (45 ft) wind turbine for generating electricity for a half-acre home. The ... Continue reading this article…

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