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

May 2006

Get More From Your Money

by Luke Landes

There have been some changes for high-yield “internet” savings accounts, typically unavailable directly in a brick-and-mortar bank and only available through online applications. Presidential Bank is now leading the pack with a 4.87 percent APY for the first $35,000 of your balance. Unfortunately, this account requires a minimum balance of $5,000. CitiBank eSavings is not far ... Continue reading this article…

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Items In The News

by Luke Landes

Here are some news items that struck my interest today. Profit Motive to Cost Credit Counselors Tax-Exempt Status from the Washington Post. They won’t release the names of the companies losing their non-profit status yet, so beware of all companies that promise they exist to help you. Five months of networking, still no new job ... Continue reading this article…

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New Jersey Turnpike Stories

by Luke Landes

After reading the news about hybrids being allowed in the New Jersey Turnpike’s HOV lanes, I’ve been in the mood to read more about that highway. Thankfully, a new article from the New York Times, A Dozen Roadside Attractions [free subscription], satisfies that itch and refers to the rest areas alongside the road. The article ... Continue reading this article…

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Baby On The Way? Get Ready To Be Shocked!

by Luke Landes

Yesterday I wrote about the expenses of raising a teenager, but the fun doesn’t start at age thirteen. Let’s flash back to birth. Sources for the previous post determined the cost of raising a teen to be $190,980, but here’s an article that says the cost of raising a baby to age seventeen is $250,000. ... Continue reading this article…

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How To Succeed: Be A Jerk

by Luke Landes

Jeffery Pfeffer, a Stanford professor (say that out loud), often invited his friend Keith Ferrazzi to speak to his MBA students. Here’s a little about the frequent guest, who is now an independent consultant: Ferrazzi earned his MBA at Harvard in 1992 and quickly became a star at Deloitte Consulting. Starwood Hotels hired him as ... Continue reading this article…

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Hybrids Now Allowed in Turnpike HOV Lanes

by Luke Landes

Starting today, hybrid vehicles are allowed to travel in the HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike regardless of how many passengers are in the car. This is a nice non-monetary incentive to switching to a hybrid vehicle. During rush hours, the HOV lanes are practically empty while the other lanes are backed ... Continue reading this article…

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Skype: Free Telephone Calls

by Luke Landes

I just received this message from Skype: Calls to friends and family on Skype have always been free. Now we’ve made calls within the US and Canada to all phones totally free till the end of the year. Starting from today it doesn’t matter if it’s a Skype-to-Skype call or a call to landline or ... Continue reading this article…

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The Cost of Raising a Teenager

by Luke Landes

USA Today’s reporter, Kathy Chu, talked to some typical parents to get a feel for how much they spend indulging their children. Here’s a statistic from the U.S. Department of Agriculture of all places, quoted in the article: Last year, a middle-income family spent an average of $190,980 to feed, house, clothe and entertain a ... Continue reading this article…

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Looking for Apartments, Update 2

by Luke Landes

Here’s another update to the saga in which my girlfriend and I look for an apartment. This is particularly difficult considering she works in Queens and I work in New Jersey. We would like to live somewhere in the middle, but we’re having a hard time finding affordable, decent apartments that are a “fair” commuting ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The latest Carnival of Personal Finance has been posted at 2million’s Blog. Also, the Best of Me Symphony is up at The Owner’s Manual. Here are some items that caught my eye: Mover Mike wonders what jewelers will do with regard to pricing inventory as the commodity price of gold climbs. That’s a valid concern ... Continue reading this article…

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Happy Mother’s Day With Alternative Gift Options

by Luke Landes

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who deserves this particular holiday greeting. While I’m not a big fan of this Hallmark™ holiday — an excuse for companies to sell stuff including cards, flowers, and jewelry — I still take time to consider all that my mother has done for me. Thanks, Mom! Check those links above ... Continue reading this article…

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It Was a Fine Week For Stocks (For Me)

by Luke Landes

After stocks were approaching long-time highs, by the end of the week everything was falling. That’s great news! While I’m still in investing mode, I like to buy when values are down. Part of my paycheck is automatically invested into a 401(k) every other Friday, so perhaps I’ll be getting good prices for my various ... Continue reading this article…

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Fidelity Study Says People Need Their Service

by Luke Landes

I love when companies conduct and publicize studies or surveys which do little more than rationalize their existence. Fidelity, a brokerage specializing in retirement, conducted on such a study recently. Here’s what they found: * 83 percent of workers feel they’re not saving enough for retirement, up from 78 percent a year ago. * Workers are saving ... Continue reading this article…

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The Week In Review

by Luke Landes

Here are some items from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond: Mighty Bargain Hunter talks about the hit television show, Deal or No Deal. Five Cent Nickel notes that bankruptcies are on the rise. JLP from AllFinancialMatters Reviews The Big Money, a book by Fred Kobrick. Jim from Blueprint for Financial Prosperity writes about 50-year mortgages, of ... Continue reading this article…

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Tax Bill Passed By House And Senate

by Luke Landes

On Thursday, the Senate passed a new bill, already passed by the House, that extends reduced tax rates, changes the nature of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), eliminates an extension to higher-education tuition deduction, and eliminates a special deduction for teachers who pay for supplies out of their own pockets. The rich — those with ... Continue reading this article…

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Latest ShareBuilder Promotion

by Luke Landes

Updated June 24, 2010. I’ve had good experiences with ShareBuilder so far. A while ago, I took advantage of their $50 bonus to receive $46 in a free ETF ($50 minus a $4 transaction fee). There is a new promotion code that will provide you with $25 after your first trade. Visit ShareBuilder through this ... Continue reading this article…

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Punny Money To Blog For Cancer

by Luke Landes

Punny Money will be blogging for 24 hours straight in a marathon session starting tonight. His mom passed away of cancer some time ago, and this is the blogger’s way of paying tribute: All advertising, referral, and other revenue earned by Punny Money during the 24-hour marathon period will be donated to the Susan G. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Worth Of The Job Of Mom: Faulty Study?

by Luke Landes

Earlier this month, Personal Finance Advice and others reported on a study by Salary.com saying that a stay-at-home mom’s job is equivalent to an amalgamation of many vocations that would together provide an annual salary of $134,121. Carl Bialik, the “Numbers Guy” at the Wall Street Journal calls foul. The Wall Street Journal likely emailed ... Continue reading this article…

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Some Online Reviews Are Fake

by Luke Landes

Shocked? Before I make a large purchasing decision, like determining which notebook computer or other technology equipment to buy and where to get it for the right price, I check various websites to find reviews written by owners. For a company like Best Buy or Amazon.com, allowing users to create product reviews is a great ... Continue reading this article…

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Bulletin: Fed Raises Rates to 5%

by Luke Landes

As expected, Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Board raised the target for the federal funds rate to 5 percent. Here is the full statement. I hope we’ll see some increases in savings account interest rates, but the climb is slow compared to the free-fall when the rates move in opposite directions.

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