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

May 2006

50-Year Mortgages

by Luke Landes

Lenders are now offering 50-year mortgages for those homeowners who want to be able to afford monthly payments on a house and who don’t mind a slower pace of building equity. Here’s a quick comparison, using the mortgage calculator at bankrate.com. For a 30-year $500,000 mortgage at a 7 percent interest rate, monthly payments will run ... Continue reading this article…

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Ten Websites I Couldn’t Live Without

by Luke Landes

I’ll admit there’s a little bit of hyperbole in the title of this post. I’m sure I’d survive without the internet, but I’d be unwilling. Unwilling to go on living. If I had to choose, here are the ten websites I’d want to have with me on a desert/deserted island, in no particular order. CNN. ... Continue reading this article…

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Follow-Up: Sleep Well and Cheap, But Beware Melatonin

by Luke Landes

Last week I posted an impromptu series on Ten Free Ways to Improve Sleep (part one and part two) with additional thoughts on the finance of sleep loss. J.D. continued the thread on Get Rich Slowly with A Brief Guide to Better Sleep. J.D. mentions the circadian rhythm, which is genetically imprinted in humans to ... Continue reading this article…

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Ten Tips For Cutting Car Expenses

by Luke Landes

Car costs got you down? The inimitable Suze Orman offers ten tips for keeping car insurance costs down in a world where gas prices continue to climb. Here’s the short version: * Boost your deductible. Keep cash on hand for emergencies, or call it partially self-insuring. This will keep your monthly payments down and you ... Continue reading this article…

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Tim Middleton’s Bad Mutual Funds

by Luke Landes

Over on MSN Money, Timothy Middleton warns the public about seven “bad” (poor-performing, actually) mutual funds. Luckilly, I don’t own any of them. I own various types of broad index funds except for a few more specific funds offered by my 401(k) — I don’t have a choice. Anyway, Middleton has specific advice for holders ... Continue reading this article…

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Bad Loans In China

by Luke Landes

Are you invested in China? According to this article, the Chinese economy isn’t exactly sound. If the author of the article, Minxin Pei, is correct, I don’t see how China would make a good long-term investment. Systemic economic waste, bank lending practices, political patronage and the survival of a one-party state are inseparably intertwined in ... Continue reading this article…

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PlayStation 3 Plus Or Minus $596: My Generation Just Sighed

by Luke Landes

My video-game-playing friends must be hoping this is a hoax or a tease. The new Sony PlayStation 3 will reportedly cost $499 or $599, depending on the size of the included hard drive. It certainly comes packed with features: The PlayStation 3 is powered by the “Cell” processor, which Sony boasts makes the machine 35 ... Continue reading this article…

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Americans Are NOT In Bad Shape With Credit, Sort Of

by Luke Landes

I like Liz Pulliam Weston’s latest article, The Truth About Credit Card Debt because she cites some statistics that fly in the face of conventional thought regarding credit behavior of Americans. We’ve all heard this before: Americans are in an unparalleled level of revolving credit card debt. The average American household carries more than $9,000 ... Continue reading this article…

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Make Money With MySpace

by Luke Landes

I’ve mentioned previously my disdain for the social networking monster that is MySpace, but it turns out that it’s not just for kiddies and awful bands anymore. According to CNN, Some entrepreneurs are using MySpace to market their small businesses, and those who tailor their business to the MySpace clientelle are succeeding. I am starting ... Continue reading this article…

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Less Than $1.00 Per Gallon For Gas Right Now

by Luke Landes

First Fuel Banks bills itself as the only retailer in the country where customers can buy gasoline for the future and hedge against rising prices. It advertises no service charge and no storage charge, just a $1 lifetime membership fee. Here’s an idea that should be interesting for those who want to save money and ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

Blueprint for Financial Prosperity wins the award for Most Unique Carnival with the latest Carnival of Personal Finance. It’s a graphical map that lays out all the many features of the Carnival. Of course, the Carnival is also available in a more traditional format. Thanks for hosting and keeping it creative, Jim! If you want ... Continue reading this article…

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Looking for Apartments, Update 1

by Luke Landes

As I mentioned on Friday, my girlfriend and I are looking for an apartment somewhat halfway between where we both work (Queens and central New Jersey). The island of Manhattan tends to cause problems drawing straight lines on a map, so we’re looking in two places:

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Online Savings Accounts in the New York Times

by Luke Landes

The New York Times catches on to what bloggers have been talking about for years: online savings accounts earn more interest and are overall much better than the paltry traditional savings account. ING Direct led the newest initiatives in the United States in 2000, when it introduced the Orange account, and until recently it had ... Continue reading this article…

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Looking for Apartments

by Luke Landes

This weekend, my girlfriend and I will be looking at apartments in North Jersey, on this side of the George Washington Bridge. We’ll be looking in areas like Englewood, Fort Lee, and Edgewater. I would like to find a two-bedroom apartment for around $1,600 a month (or less). This location would be practically the midpoint ... Continue reading this article…

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In the News

by Luke Landes

* Job growth slows to a gain of only 138,000 jobs. * Burger King beefs up IPO and MasterCard is expecting a nice public offering. Let’s go have a huge fast food dinner and put it on a credit card. Maybe not. * Mortgage rates are the highest since June 2002. * The Dow hit ... Continue reading this article…

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What’s Hot This Week

by Luke Landes

It’s a new month, and that means more posts from around the blogosphere. Here’s some of the ones I found interesting from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond. Perhaps you will, too. Nickel inspired discussion on withdrawing contributions from Roth IRA accounts. JLP from AllFinancialMatters questioned his dentist’s bill and saved some money. He’s still not as ... Continue reading this article…

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Develop Your Brand: Paris Hilton

by Luke Landes

Say anything you want about heiress Paris Hilton, but admit she (and her team) have done a bang-up job of developing her brand. I don’t think it was her misfortune that her sex video was unofficially released to the public a few years ago, making her an overnight sensation. While she’s not the richest celebrity, ... Continue reading this article…

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The Finance of Sleep Loss

by Luke Landes

One thing that is important to remember is that parial sleep loss is cumulative. That means that if you get 30 minutes less sleeping time than your body needs each day during the week, your body will want to make up two and a half hours of sleep during the weekend, or whenever you can ... Continue reading this article…

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Ten Free Ways To Improve Sleep, Part 2

by Luke Landes

This is the second and last part of a short series on suggestions for improving sleep without spending a ton of cash. I published part 1 yesterday. We’re continuing with the second half of suggestions provided by Melinda Fulmer from MSN Money. Here are the remaining tips. 6. Set your thermostat between 60 to 68 ... Continue reading this article…

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Comments From The World’s Richest Person

by Luke Landes

Bill Gates almost regrets being the world’s richest person, with about $50 billion. According to a short interview, he doesn’t like the visibility. The interesting part of the interview is that the founder of Microsoft admits he has learned everything from Warren Buffett, who is now, thanks to Gates, the world’s second richest individual. The ... Continue reading this article…

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