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

September 2006

Would You Travel Overseas for Cheap Surgery?

by Luke Landes

I had written a long post on this topic, but DreamHost went down before publishing it and I lost everything. Anyway, the Christian Science Monitor has an article describing how more people are traveling out of the country for healthcare, where service is less expensive. Some small companies are suggesting, requiring, or providing incentives for ... Continue reading this article…

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Inflation-Adjusted Gas Prices: Do They Really Matter?

by Luke Landes

Steve Hargreaves says Americans should quit griping about gas prices, but adjusted for inflation, a gallon of unleaded gasonline costs less than it did in the early 1980s. Here’s another statistic the CNN Money article cites: Moreover, in 1980, the average American had to work 105 minutes to buy enough gas to drive the average ... Continue reading this article…

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Savings Interest Rate Update: UFB Direct Up to 5.27%

by Luke Landes

The money market savings account at UFB Direct now offers the highest no-minimum interest rate (APY) at 5.27 percent. There are more interest rates here for comparison. I do not have an account at UFB Direct.

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Today is National Get Out of Debt Day

by Luke Landes

Did you know that today, Tuesday, September 12, 2006 is “National Get Out of Debt Day?” Neither did I. Today, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is taking questions online and over the phone… and answering those questions, free of charge. So, who are these people answering questions, and will they be trying to sell ... Continue reading this article…

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Welcome, Kiplinger’s Readers

by Luke Landes

I just found out that Consumerism Commentary has been mentioned in the “Must-See Blog List” in the October print issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. If this is your first time to the website, you can learn more about me and this blog or check a selection of articles from January through June this year. ... Continue reading this article…

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Worst Ways to Get Fired

by Luke Landes

Having a great day and want to start feeling a little depressed? Read the submissions to Jeanne Sahadi’s request. Here are some awful ways to find out you’ve been fired.

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Did You Notice Today’s Date?

by Luke Landes

The blogosphere seems to be saturated with stories retelling what people were doing when they first heard (or felt) the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center five years ago, on September 11, 2001. Here’s my contribution to the meme.

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The Story of the $300 Deposit, or: Looking for Apartments, Update 6

by Luke Landes

As you may know, I’ve resigned my current lease and I’m no longer looking for a new apartment. Back in early June, I described the best and most affordable apartment I found. I also described how they advertised the unit as being available July 1. After showing us the apartment, they mentioned it wouldn’t be ... Continue reading this article…

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Sometimes, You Spend Some Money

by Luke Landes

My weekend, spent in New York with my girlfriend, was a little expensive. No, we didn’t crash in a Manhattan hotel, nor did we see a Broadway show. All of our time was spent in Queens. On Satuday morning, without any plans for the weekend yet, we decided to be spontaneous. Here’s what we decided ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The latest Carnival of Personal Finance is up at No Credit Needed. For more Carnival updates, follow the Carnival of Personal Finance official blog. Here’s a quick administrative note. If you’re expecting a book in the mail, they should be out within a week.

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Passed an Orange Milestone

by Luke Landes

Last month, I passed a small milestone. I’ve collected more than $1,000 (before taxes) in interest in my ING Direct savings account. While I no longer keep all of my savings there, with banks like Emigrant Direct and HSBC Direct offering better rates, it has been nice to see this particular number growing month after ... Continue reading this article…

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Links for Friday, September 8

by Luke Landes

Here are some interesting articles I’d like to read further when I get a chance. * How Cheapskates Do Dinner [MSN Money]. I need to get back to focusing on reducing my expenses. * Hottest College Degrees for Getting Hired [Fortune]. Engineering, accounting, and physical therapy. Music education didn’t seem to make the list this ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Round-Up

by Luke Landes

Here’s what’s the members of the MoneyBlogNetwork (and beyond) have been writing about this week. JLP from AllThingsFinancial warns readers against leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of your company’s matching 401(k) contribution, if it has one. Five Cent Nickel sneaks his outside candy past the ushers when he goes to the ... Continue reading this article…

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Drowning in Debt? 6 Tips for College Students and Recent Grads

by Luke Landes

One of the books I’m working on is The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions, by Anna Ivey. I write a bit about decisions regarding graduate education, thanks to decisions I make in my own life, so I agreed to mention the book on Consumerism Commentary. One of the many things I learned while pursuing ... Continue reading this article…

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Gas Price Update: $2.55 at a Local Station in Central New Jersey

by Luke Landes

Last night I filled up my tank in preparation for the weekend at my local station, which was offering regular unleaded at $2.55. I was excited about this price, but only for about ten seconds. Thankfully, my 2004 Honda Civic LX, now past 55,000 miles, still gets excellent mileage.

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Can You Trust Your Financial Advisor? Or Anyone?

by Luke Landes

The truth is people are selfish. A person makes decisions on what actions to take based on what they believe will benefit him or her. Is there such a thing as true selflessness? Even when someone helps another individual “out of the kindness of his heart,” isn’t she really acting in order to get that ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One 360 Subaccounts: Here’s How

by Luke Landes

Today, I received this question from Lindsey, a reader: Hello! I have been reading through the archives that you have on your blog, and I see that when you had your ING Direct savings account you were able to set up subaccounts so that you personally could keep your money organized. I was wondering how ... Continue reading this article…

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New Nest Egg Index: How Well Are We Saving?

by Luke Landes

Last year, A.G. Edwards developed the 2005 Nest Egg Index, measuring how well people in the United States are saving money. They have updated the survey for 2006 and released the results today. Here are more details:

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Free Software to Make Your Computer Run Better, Stronger, Faster

by Luke Landes

These tools are indispensible. When I coach people through buying and setting up computers, I always suggest they forego the software pack that comes with computers purchased at Circuit City, Best Buy, and any number of manufacturer-direct shops, and install the following free software instead. AVG Free Anti-Virus. This anti-virus scanner is as good as ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Robert Kiyosaki a Liar?

by Luke Landes

Wonderful. After reading Ben Stein’s column, which I mentioned earlier today, I came across Robert Kiyosaki’s latest on Yahoo Finance, Lying is Easy, Wealth Takes Work. Let’s just start right at the top: Being politically correct means saying what’s polite rather than what’s accurate. I like to be accurate. Actually, being politically correct is saying ... Continue reading this article…

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