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July 2006

Weekly Blog Round-Up

by Luke Landes

While I’ve been away from my computer most of this week, I’ve been out of the normal blogosphere loop. Here’s what’s been going on in the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond. Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity was scammed out of some money by Carl Grossman. Free Money Finance hates rebate offers, as do I. Mighty Bargain ... Continue reading this article…

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The Real Estate Value of Backyard Improvements

by Luke Landes

Kiplinger has a short guide to backyard improvements. Do you expect the value of your house to increase due to your money, time, and hard work spent making improvements in the yard? Well, you probably won’t recover 100 percent of the value of that effort, but here are a few guidelines.

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The Top 25 Money Tips of All Time, Part 5

by Luke Landes

I’m finally delivering the last installment of MoneySense’s top 25 money tips of all time. This follows parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. Now, without further ado, are the final five money tips, as decided by Canadian financial experts.

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Mail Check: Some “Goodies” Arrived for Me

by Luke Landes

I’ve been away from my apartment for almost a week, so I had a few goodies waiting for me upon my arrival home yesterday. I received a letter from Emigrant Direct with my activation code for their new website to be launched next Monday. Also, they included a notice that they will be raising their ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnivals are Up!

by Luke Landes

I’m on vacation at the moment. Instead of going on a trip, I’m staying close to home and enjoying the week off. There won’t be many updates from me, but I do want to let you know that a few Carnivals are up for your personal finance reading pleasure. The Carnival of Personal Finance is ... Continue reading this article…

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Old Promotion, New Trick: Free $75 With ShareBuilder

by Luke Landes

June 24 update: The promotional code listed below is no longer available. You can now earn a $25 bonus using the promotional code 25WO10 rather than the $50 bonus previously mentioned here. It’s actually $71 after expenses, as you’ll see below. ShareBuilder is still running the $50 promotion, but now there’s a way to get ... Continue reading this article…

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Public Service Announcements

by Luke Landes

The first announcement is for readers. You can keep up with Consumerism Commentary by subscribing to this RSS feed or by receiving a daily email with the latest entries. The second announcement is for bloggers. Don’t forget to sign up to participate in the Carnival of Personal Finance, which will be hosted by Just Another ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Mash-Up in the Blogosphere

by Luke Landes

Here’s my Friday linkfest for your enjoyment, starting wtih the MoneyBlogNetwork. Five Cent Nickel takes a look at Bank of America’s Out of State Check Policy. Free Money Finance has been doing a series on tough questions for interviewees, and in one article he tackles the salary question. Might Bargain Hunter asks for jaw-dropping checkout ... Continue reading this article…

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Emigrant Direct’s New Website (Soon)

by Luke Landes

For everyone waiting for Emigrant Direct‘s new website, the day is almost here. According to their notice: Our new website will be launched on Monday, July 24, 2006. From that date forward, the first time you access the new website a new secure access code will be required… Also, please note that the EmigrantDirect.com website ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s “Get Away From BlogSpot” Project

by Luke Landes

I have a deal for my personal finance blogging friends. Blogger was a great piece of software several years ago, bringing “pushbutton publishing to the people.” When they added BlogSpot, it only enhanced the value of the software. But let’s face it, BlogSpot is not that stable despite being hosted by Google, and many people ... Continue reading this article…

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Cash Back Rewards for Paying Rent

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, the Citi rewards credit card discussed in this article expired and is no longer available. Thanks goes to Her (from Make Love, Not Debt) for reminding me about this. When I went to sign my lease renewal earlier this month (grumble), I noted that my rent would be ... Continue reading this article…

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Update: Moving Savings From ING Direct to HSBC Direct

by Luke Landes

After our discussion yesterday, I took the plunge and signed up for an account with HSBC Direct, taking advantage of their $25 Best Buy Gift Card Promotion. (I would have preferred cash, but I can make the gift card work for me.) Thanks to Dus10 for letting me know about the promo. HSBC verifies ownership ... Continue reading this article…

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Thinking About Moving Savings From ING Direct to HSBC Direct?

by Luke Landes

ING Direct has served me well for a long time. For a few years, their interest rates were the highest available, and their sign-up and referral bonuses simply added to the gains. I used all available referral bonuses in 2005, so I no longer have these to distribute. Also, their interest rates have been sagging ... Continue reading this article…

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Night of Volunteering

by Luke Landes

I spent my evening volunteering at an event for the New York Philharmonic. That’s right; I stood outside in the hot and humid New Jersey weather, trying to convince patrons — 85 percent of whom were over the age of 60 — to write down their name, address, phone number and email address on a card ... Continue reading this article…

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Renewed Web Hosting With DreamHost

by Luke Landes

DreamHost, the company that provides servers for this website and an increasing number of others I host, has done me wrong a number of times, but now that they upgraded my system from a Pentium III to a dual Xeon, things have been smooth. My hosting plan of choice is their “Code Monster” plan, for ... Continue reading this article…

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The Top 25 Money Tips of All Time, Part 4

by Luke Landes

Last week, I started looking at the top 25 money tips of all time, according to MoneySense, a Canadian finance magazine. I looked at tips 1 through 5, 5 through 10, and 11 through 15 so far, and there have been some interesting thoughts. Some are aligned with mainstream views while others might surprise you. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival of Personal Finance is Up!

by Luke Landes

The Real Returns is hosting the Carnival of Personal Finance this morning. Some of my favorites include What I Learned Watching Bubbles, How to Create Some Extra Cash, Losing 40 percent in My First Investing Year, Does an Hourly Wage Matter?, Guinea Pigs, and Cell Phone Overages. There was a good collection of articles this week, ... Continue reading this article…

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Excel Template for Net Worth Report (Balance Sheet)

by Luke Landes

The way I create my personal balance sheet is similar to the process I just described for my income and expense report. I export a net worth report from Quicken, customized to include all my accounts through the end of the reporting month, and import the data into Excel. My personal template is linked directly ... Continue reading this article…

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Excel Template for Income and Expense Report

by Luke Landes

Related: Excel Template for Net Worth Report (Balance Sheet). And when you’re done, learn to make accurate predictions. In order to create my Income Statements (here is the latest for example), I use two main tools. All of my transactions are entered into Quicken. I used to use Microsoft Money but I switched a few ... Continue reading this article…

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The Top 25 Money Tips of All Time, Part 3

by Luke Landes

Everyone has their favorite money tips, and we’ve been looking at the favorites of some Canadian financial advisors. Here are the first 5 and here are the next. Keep reading this post for tips 11 through 15. Emphasize rewards. “Think of a budget as pre-spending and emphasize the objects or experiences that you want to ... Continue reading this article…

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