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

April 2006

Where’s My Tax Refund?

by Luke Landes

Earlier today, I finalized my tax return calculations and filed them online. I was able to file my federal taxes for free, but rather than do my state taxes separately and mail them for free, I opted to pay a fee — about $15 — to file them online as well. Although I’ve done that ... Continue reading this article…

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Where Is My SEP IRA?

by Luke Landes

I was hoping to write about my new SEP IRA account this weekend, but TIAA-CREF hasn’t withdrawn the money from my ING Direct savings account to fund it yet. I would have liked to mention how I’m using the SEP to put some of my 2005 non-salary income away to reduce my tax bill, but ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Pfblogosphere

by Luke Landes

Here’s what’s been going on with some of my friends in the personal finance blog world. Nickel supplied a template for a mortgage gift letter. Mighty Bargain Hunter has some tips for working with your spouse or significant other on your investments to make sure everyone is on the “same side.” Free Money Finance interviews ... Continue reading this article…

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Seven Tips When Starting a New Job

by Luke Landes

Next Thursday, I’m leaving for a family (and girlfriend) vacation to California (Orange County, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, Disneyland, etc.). When I return, I’ll be starting a new job with the same company at a location closer to where I live and nicer than Newark. This article came to me just in time, and thanks ... Continue reading this article…

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Free Seminars about Kids and Money

by Luke Landes

ING Direct is sponsoring two free seminars to help attendees prepare their children for a “sound financial future.” The seminars will be conducted by Janet Bodnar from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine (and author of Dollars & Sense for Kids and will take place at ING Direct’s cafes in Philadelphia (April 12) and New York City ... Continue reading this article…

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Those Little Icons In The Comments

by Luke Landes

You may have noticed that there is a little icon that appears next to the name listed for each comment left on Consumerism Commentary. (It doesn’t seem to be working with Internet Explorer at the moment, but I’ll look into that.) If you can see them, most people have icons that look like question marks. ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival of Personal Finance Needs Future Hosts

by Luke Landes

A lot of my regular readers here have blogs of their own, so this is for them. We’re looking for more hosts for the Carnival of Personal Finance, and the only real requirement is you have to participate in the Carnival occasionally. The slots are full until October, so if you have a blog that ... Continue reading this article…

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Changed my 401(k) Allocation

by Luke Landes

Now that my company has officially added a real estate fund to its options, I changed my allocation ratios for future contributions. Half of my employer matching contributions mimic my allocation and the other half is invested in a company stock fund — we don’t get a choice about that half. Keep in mind that ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Finance Classes Do More Harm Than Good For Teens

by Luke Landes

It’s widely agreed that people are not generally taught about money management as they grow up from children, to adolescents, and to adults. USA Today is looking at a new study from the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy which tests high school students on basic financial knowledge. Here’s the survey with answers [Microsoft Word ... Continue reading this article…

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Verizon FIOS Driving Down Comcast Prices

by Luke Landes

Pkp646 asked in response to my latest Comcast adventure (which isn’t quite the latest — there’s something new I haven’t written about yet): I would be interested to know, Flexo, if there has been talk of allowing Verizon’s FIOS into your area. It seems that everywhere that they are trying to enter the field, Comcast ... Continue reading this article…

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More Reviews of Career Intensity by David Lorenzo

by Luke Landes

Since I posted my initial review of Career Intensity by David Lorenzo, some other bloggers have also praised the forthcoming book. Sarah Bosch from the Business Opportunities Weblog finds Career Intensity to be a valuable read and Free Money Finance gave the book 8 stars. FMF also just published an interview with the author. If ... Continue reading this article…

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Brave New World

by Luke Landes

My vision of the future is almost like an alternative universe, a bizarro world if you will. Here’s what I see: Cartoon characters peddling cell phones as they walk around amusement parks, Macs that run Windows XP, Google staying above $400 a share and people getting psyched about ethanol. It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad ... Continue reading this article…

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Increasing Charitable Contributions

by Luke Landes

I received a call from one of my favorite organizations the other day, and I decided to double my charitable contribution for the year. I’m still not giving enough to qualify for tax incentives, but that’s not my goal. I also give many hours of my time over the summer and fall, volunteering in various ... Continue reading this article…

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Google Real Estate Listings

by Luke Landes

It was inevitable. Google is working on a project that mashes up its Google Base (data management) and Google Maps for the sole purpose of listing real estate for sale and for rent. If Google handles this correctly, it could simply crush all other online listing services. The best way to get to it is ... Continue reading this article…

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Weakness in Manhattan

by Luke Landes

Some housing market analysts are saying that Manhattan prices are showing weakness. While median prices increased last year, the places being sold were bigger. The price per square foot didn’t change much at $1,004, according to the article. An older article cites the same sources listing $970 per square foot in July 2005, making the ... Continue reading this article…

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Taking A “Sick Day”

by Luke Landes

I haven’t been feeling well the past few days and I’m not getting better as fast as I’d like. In fact, after going into the office today, I seem to have been feeling worse — but without the fever I had over the weekend. In any case, blogging might slow down as I relax and ... Continue reading this article…

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Yet More Hedge Fund Fraud

by Luke Landes

The bad news for the hedge fund industry just keeps coming. [Kirk] Wright is on the lam after federal officials charged him with fraud, claiming he sent statements saying that his funds, managed by Atlanta-based International Management Associates, had over $150 million invested when the accounts in question held only $150,000 — about the only ... Continue reading this article…

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How Liz Pulliam Weston Became a Millionaire

by Luke Landes

Let’s face it: if she (and her husband) can, you can, too! While acknowledging that a million bucks ain’t what it used to be, Liz, a columnist for MSN Money, shared her secrets about how her family’s net worth climbed to $1,000,000. There were no game shows or “reality” TV appearances. According to Liz, here ... Continue reading this article…

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This Just In – Scores

by Luke Landes

Exxon 340 Wal-Mart 316 In overtime, Exxon came through to topple Wal-Mart and coach Tillerson is ecstatic. Exxon was the leader of the Petroleum Refining Division, a segment that hasn’t won the national title in many years. In other news, here is the 2006 Fortune 500.

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Tuition Reimbursement – Save, Spend, or Repay?

by Luke Landes

I received my latest tuition reimbursement check in the mail. Actually, I received the check some time in the past two weeks, and somehow I missed it. While my girlfriend and I were tidying up my apartment, she stumbled across the envelope in a pile of pre-approved credit card offers — all junk-mail — that ... Continue reading this article…

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