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

August 2006

The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 4: Navigation System

by Luke Landes

When I last traveled to California to visit family, we trekked in a rented large SUV or minivan type of vehicle from Orange County to Lake Tahoe. To help us along the way, my mother purchased a TomTom, a portable GPS navigation device. Years ago, TripTiks from AAA would have been sufficient for my family. ... Continue reading this article…

6 comments Read the full article →

The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 3: Music Downloads and Player

by Luke Landes

My friends swear by their iPods. I’m not exaggerating when I say that everyone has one. I don’t. I’d like a portable music player, but I’m not quite sure when I’d listen, anyway. My car radio and compact discs suit me fine for now. However, if someone offered me a way to carry around a ... Continue reading this article…

3 comments Read the full article →

Submit to the Carnival and Stay in Touch

by Luke Landes

Bloggers, don’t forget to submit your own favorite personal finance post to the Carnival of Personal Finance, which will be hosted on Monday by the MoneyBlogNetwork. Readers, please keep in touch with the latest from Consumerism Commentary by subscribing to the blog’s RSS feed. You can also subscribe to receive updates via email. When you ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

The Age of Credit

by Luke Landes

I’ve been talking with J.D. of Get Rich Slowly about the rise of (the social acceptance of) personal debt in the twentieth century, which was somewhat spurred on by my MoneyBloggerPodcast interview. J.D. has included a passage from a book, Ain’t We Got Fun, in his recent post, The Dawn of the Age of Credit. ... Continue reading this article…

8 comments Read the full article →

The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 2: Home Video

by Luke Landes

Here’s more from Money Magazine’s feature about finding deals, starting with technology. I shared their cell phone shopping tips although I’m not shopping for phones at the moment. However, I’ve been thinking about a new entertainment center for a while. I know I won’t be buying anything until I’m out of this apartment, but I ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

Add Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) to Your Portfolio

by Luke Landes

I like Suze Orman’s articles better than her call-in television show. In a recent Yahoo Finance article, Suze extolls the virtues of ETFs (exchange-traded funds). ETFs are like mutual funds, tradable like stocks. Each ETF tracks a combination of stocks that fit an investing goal or market sector. However, since ETFs trade like stocks, you’ll ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

The Ultimate Shopper’s Guide, Part 1: Cell Phones

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine is running a feature that provides tips for getting the best deal for several specific purchases. As I’m I planning to put down some cash for a new notebook computer, I first took a look at Money’s focus on tech within the series. They didn’t address computers, but I loved their advice on ... Continue reading this article…

5 comments Read the full article →

This Week in Consumerism Commentary History

by Luke Landes

Last year, I was talking about the following around this time: The STAR Trader Workshop was Stupid Investment of the Week. It’s another one of those seminars where participants pay to listen to a sales pitch. Here are three suggestions for a life without regret, that is, regret pertaining to finances. I can’t help you ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

Two Hours of Downtime

by Luke Landes

To everyone who has been trying to access Consumerism Commentary in the last two hours, I apologize. One of DreamHost‘s database servers were down. This particular server is the host for the database for Consumerism Commentary, the MoneyBlogNetwork Forums, and the Under 30 Honor Roll. I’m hoping DreamHost will heed my request to separate the ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

Opus Dei and IESE, a Nontraditional MBA, and Ethics

by Luke Landes

As I’m now in the final two weeks of my graduate studies, I’ll be writing more in reflection about my time earning an MBA with the University of Phoenix Online. What caught my eye tonight was the description in Business 2.0 Magazine of a European business school that is bucking the worldwide trend set by ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

Future Spending, Two Big Items, Part 2: Acoustic Guitar

by Luke Landes

You may not know it from reading Consumerism Commentary, but I’m a musician. That is, I used to be a musician, as I rarely have the chance to practice. The instruments I’ve been known to play include piano, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, mellophone, baritone horn, percussion, crumhorn, and of course, kazoo. I studied music education ... Continue reading this article…

18 comments Read the full article →

Opened a Second Account With ShareBuilder

by Luke Landes

Last week, I decided to take advantage of the ability to acquire $75 for opening an account with ShareBuilder. My first trade will be executed today. Rather than purchasing an exchange-traded fund (ETF) like last time, I decided to go with a well-established stock. My order was placed for $70 worth of Microsoft (MSFT). While ... Continue reading this article…

1 comment Read the full article →

Doobie Reviews the Equaline Matrix Razor

by Luke Landes

I’d probably grow a beard if my girlfriend let me. She obviously has way more sense than I do. I have been brainwashed into the general consumer thinking that I need a major brand razor with expensive refillable blades. Thus, I shave with a Gillette Mach3. Doobie has found a lesser-known razor that he feels ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

Future Spending, Two Big Items, Part 1: New Computer

by Luke Landes

I own a Fujitsu C-6631 Lifebook notebook computer, which I purchased in 2001. At that time, my living situation was in a state of flux and I was working at a non-profit organization, spending more money on my commute than I was making. It was bad news all around. To bring in extra money, I ... Continue reading this article…

12 comments Read the full article →

Numbers Games

by Luke Landes

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is considering changing the way the core consumer price index (CPI) rate is calculated according to a Wall Street Journal report. They wouldn’t change the formula, just the precision to which inflation is measured. For example, a if the index for one month is 198.945, and it moves up to ... Continue reading this article…

6 comments Read the full article →

Weekly Blog Round-Up

by Luke Landes

Here’s what you may have read from the members of the MoneyBlogNetwork (and beyond) this week: Five Cent Nickel shared his first impressions of Craigslist. He found it to be full of scammers. Free Money Finance has a list of 8 places to live less expensive than the major cities but seem to be “nice” ... Continue reading this article…

2 comments Read the full article →

Savvy Saver’s Turn to Ask the Question

by Luke Landes

Today’s Question of the Day comes from Savvy Saver. She asks about a critical financial decision, either good or bad, that put you on your current path. Check it out and leave your answer with Savvy Saver.

Read the full article →

0% Balance Transfer: You May Be a Terrorist

by Luke Landes

If you deviate from your banking habits by initiating a transaction more than $5,000, your bank will help the government spy on you. The federal government wants to catch terrorists and money launderers, and banks are required to assist. Since 1996, banks have been required to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) whenever they detect ... Continue reading this article…

6 comments Read the full article →

The End of Credit Card Rewards?

by Luke Landes

An article on CNN Money seems to imply that Credit Card rewards programs will be decreasing. I mentioned at the beginning of the month that American Express would be changing their reward program. This may be a sign of things to come; it’s possible that more card companies will follow suit. Today’s article says programs ... Continue reading this article…

6 comments Read the full article →

Another 75 Dollar Surprise: New Jersey Renters Take Notice!

by Luke Landes

Like last year, a $75 check from the State of New Jersey arrived by surprise. This is the 2005 FAIR Tenant Rebate, a refund aimed at reimbursing New Jersey taxpayers for a (very small) portion of their property taxes. The eligibility requirements state that you must rent and occupy a home in New Jersey in ... Continue reading this article…

7 comments Read the full article →
Page 3 of 512345