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August 2006

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…

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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AOL Leaks Users’ Search Histories

by Luke Landes

AOL, your favorite company to hate and mine because they single-handedly destroyed the internet while saving the internet, leaked their users’ search history. They plugged the leak but not before the database was replicated. The CNET article contains some disturbing search requests, but it gets worse. At the moment, you can search the replicated database ... Continue reading this article…

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Another Day, Another Question

by Luke Landes

Today’s Question of the Day comes from Young and Broke who is asking her readers, “If you had $10,000, one day, and one store to spend it in, what store would you choose?” To answer the question, head on over to Young and Broke. I’ll be hosting a question later this month, and you can ... Continue reading this article…

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Some New Tips for Saving on Gasoline

by Luke Landes

I was reading through my monthly statement and related materials from ING Direct and came across some tips for saving money at the pump. Three of the tips are old hat, but two are new to me. * Plan trips efficiently. (Old hat.) I take this to mean that it’s best to do as much ... Continue reading this article…

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How Do Your Job’s Benefits Compare?

by Luke Landes

While I was meeting with one of my managers about a project I’m working on in the office, we got to talking about a little bit of history within our department. Several years ago, the group went through a major budget cutback and massive layoffs. The team I now work with (within the larger department) ... Continue reading this article…

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Regularly Scheduled Auto Maintenance, Part 2: 50,000 Miles

by Luke Landes

In April of last year, I passed 20,000 miles on my 2004 Honda Civic. I took my car into the dealer for regularly scheduled maintenance. Needless to say, this attracted a bunch of comments focusing on how much I overpaid. This time around, after passing 50,000 miles recently, I took the car to Pep Boys ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in Consumerism Commentary History

by Luke Landes

Last year, I was talking about the following around this time: My net worth as of July 2005: $33,506 (although revised calculations put it at $33,282). This was back when I was allowed to work overtime for more money. I agreed with Bill Frist on an issue regarding drug companies’ advertisements. Here are seven reasons ... Continue reading this article…

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The Music Business, it is a-Changin’

by Luke Landes

The winners in the music business has almost always been record companies, not the artists. There are notable exceptions of course, but in the grand scheme, when a record company foots the bill for the production of an album, they also own most of the profit. Jeff Kwatinetz, the CEO of a talent management company ... Continue reading this article…

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Cell Phone Upgrade Fees

by Luke Landes

Think you’re getting a deal when you upgrade your cell phone? There are hidden fees you may be paying without knowing it. The Red Tape Chronicles did some investigating and discovered cell phone retail salespeople mocking their customers, describing how they mislead the unsuspecting: * “If someone asks me why upgrade fees are charged, I ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The latest Carnival of Personal Finance has been published at Get Rich Slowly, and there are a number of excellent articles this week. Also, if you missed it because you were asleep, I’ve posted the latest Carnival of Business.

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Carnival of Business #16

by Luke Landes

Welcome to Consumerism Commentary and the 16th edition of the Carnival of Business. If you’re new to this website, feel free to read about me and this blog and peruse a collection of articles from the first half of this year. There were a number of submissions this week, and below you will find all ... Continue reading this article…

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Back to School Shopping: Tax Free Holidays (Not in New Jersey)

by Luke Landes

A number of states are offering sales tax-free shopping “holidays” this year to entice shoppers to spur the economy before it’s time to go back to school. Bankrate has the full scehdule, which includes some days that have already passed. New Jersey is not on the list; however, we never have to pay tax on ... Continue reading this article…

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HOWTO Become an eBay Millionaire

by Luke Landes

If you’re considering opening up a shop to sell any kind of merchandise, you might want to skip the store rent expenses and sell out of your home. Hundreds of thousands of small business owners have created profitable businesses using eBay rather than their own storefront. Would-be marketers have caught on to the craze and ... Continue reading this article…

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New Design for Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

Unless you’re reading this post via email or RSS, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve slightly changed the look of this site. Let me know if anything looks awkward. I know I’m not a master of design, but I’m pleased with the way it came out. Do your best to shoot down or placate my ego. ... Continue reading this article…

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Interesting News Articles

by Luke Landes

I don’t have the time to read through many articles while at work, but here are a few I’ve skimmed and I may want to return to at some point. * Domain names are hot [CNN] but you may have to buy “used” — and spend some hard cash — to get something good. * ... Continue reading this article…

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Around the Blogs

by Luke Landes

Here are some of the more interesting articles from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond this week. AllFinancialMatters doesn’t like a new bill to “aid” 401(k) participants. Free Money Finance thinks we can take some lessons on how to earn money from star professional athletes. Five Cent Nickel talks about Vanguard’s new website login. Blueprint for Financial ... Continue reading this article…

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