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

November 2006

Car Almost Done With Repairs, What Do I Need to Look For?

by Luke Landes

My insurance company has provided me with a rental car while my own Honda Civic is in for repairs. I’ve been driving around a 2007 Saturn Ion. It doesn’t have many extra features, such as power windows, but it has been an adequate temporary replacement. My car should be ready to be picked up today ... Continue reading this article…

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Traveling for Thanksgiving

by Luke Landes

Once again, I’ll be traveling to California to visit my family for Thanksgiving. Last year, I wrote about my first flight on jetBlue. This year, the least expensive flight I could find was US Airways out of Philadelphia. I should have looked for tickets before Labor Day. This year, SideStep was a big help in ... Continue reading this article…

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My Company’s Stock Purchase Plan, Take 2

by Luke Landes

As we’re entering the open enrollment period for certain benefits at the company where I work, there has been some talk amongst my coworkers about my company’s stock purchase plan. My coworkers are concerned that they can’t take advantage of the plan to the maximum because their cash flow is tight. That’s actually my concern ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Get Added to pfblogs.org and Some Promotion Codes

by Luke Landes

Thanks mainly to Jim’s excellent 25 Steps to a Wildly Successful Personal Finance Blog, I’ve recently received more requests from bloggers to be added to pfblogs.org, the ad-free financial blogs aggregator. In response to the influx, we added a request form to pfblogs.org to simplify the process. Each blog submitted goes through a quick review ... Continue reading this article…

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Bond Issued to Fund Vaccinations for 500 Million Children

by Luke Landes

If you’re looking for an investment that provides a return higher than Treasury bills, and you want to help the world at the same time, you might want to consider this new bond. The government of Britain with some others (not including the United States) are selling bonds to raise money to immunize millions of ... Continue reading this article…

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Solved an Algebra Equation at Work

by Luke Landes

It’s kind of frightening that in an office of people with banking backgrounds, accounting backgrounds, and managers, I was the only one who could determine the tax portion of a total that includes tax when all that is known is that total and the tax rate. I guess seventh-grade algebra does come in handy once ... Continue reading this article…

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Received a Student Loan Refund Yesterday: $1.57

by Luke Landes

I think it is bad business cents to make a habit of spending $0.39 on postage to send out checks for small amounts. That’s right, my student loan provider sent me a check via First Class U.S. Postal Service mail — not even the pre-sort rate — for $1.57. Apparently, when loans are consolidated, there ... Continue reading this article…

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I Gave My Money to Texas Hold ‘Em

by Luke Landes

I was doing so well at first on Friday night. A few of my friends got together this weekend to play a little poker, Texas hold ‘em tournament style. I was the chip leader and feeling good for a while, then my friend S. called my bluff and left me destitute. Unfortunately, I never recovered ... Continue reading this article…

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Secrets and Myths About Salary Your Employer Doesn’t Want You to Know

by Luke Landes

Jeanne Sahadi over at CNN Money is spilling the beans again, and this time it’s about salary. Your managers know these precious pieces of info, but you might not. Armed with this knowledge, you could be better poised to tip the scale in your favor next time you negotiate. Here’s the summary. 1. Secret: Your ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

Earlier this morning, the Carnival of Personal Finance was posted at City Girl’s Financial Blog. There are a lot of good articles this week, so take a look. What interested me the most were three very different reactions to an article on Yahoo monetizing the worth of a Bachelor’s degree at $23,000 a year. Mac’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Free Access to the New York Times Select This Week

by Luke Landes

The New York Times is offering free access to the “Select” portion of the paper’s website. Here is what “Select” includes: From Nov. 6 – 12, enjoy FREE exclusive online access to the Op-Ed and news columns, online-only guest columns, a collection of articles from The Archive back to 1851 and more. This section is ... Continue reading this article…

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New Archives Page

by Luke Landes

I’m working on a new page for the Consumerism Commentary archives to make living in the past (or just browsing old entries) easier. It’s powered by JavaScript and the Super Archives plugin for WordPress. Subscribing to the RSS feed is one of the best ways to stay up-to-date with Consumerism Commentary. You can receive updates ... Continue reading this article…

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Caption Contest: George W. Bush

by Luke Landes

Here’s a caption contest. What is United States president George W. Bush saying in this speech? Perhaps it is about the economy, but perhaps not. Leave your photo caption in the comments below. The winner, judged arbitrarily by me, gets a cookie. Fine print: no transference of baked goods, including but not limited to cookies, ... Continue reading this article…

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Is a Wal-Mart Sale CNN-Newsworthy?

by Luke Landes

I saw this article on CNN Money today, but I’m confused. Wal-Mart is lowering its prices on electronics items due to lackluster holiday sales so far this season. Is this considered “news?” Perhaps this announcement has some sort of value for people who invest directly in Wal-Mart, but it seems much more like a huge ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Round-Up

by Luke Landes

It’s been a busy week for me, and it seemed like it would never end. Amazingly, it’s Friday, and that means it’s time for my weekly look at some of the more interesting blog posts of the week from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond. Free Money Finance doesn’t like rebates, and provides us a new reason ... Continue reading this article…

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Upcoming Review: The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read

by Luke Landes

The other day, I received a new book in the mail from a gracious publisher who is happy to trade a copy for the attention of a blog like Consumerism Commentary, be it favorable or unfavorable. Over the next few days I’ll be reading the self-referential The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read: The Simple, ... Continue reading this article…

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New Personal Finance Blogs, Some are Quite Good

by Luke Landes

One benefit of being “directly involved” with pfblogs.org is I find out about new blogs early on in their existence. Here are some good ones that have sprung up over the past few months, some of which may not be on your reading list yet. These should be. Let me know if there are any ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, October 2006 (Net Income: $3,583)

by Luke Landes

This is a big chart, thanks to the large number of categories of spending I have. Perhaps that’s a sign I spend too much. On the other hand, I managed to spend in October 2006 the least I’ve spent since January 2005. I thought I was going to do better, but filling up the rental ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, October 2006 ($63,922, +8.13%)

by Luke Landes

I’m looking at a nice percentage increase in my net worth over the past month. The increase was assisted by helpful side income and decent performance in my investments. Continue reading to see the numbers. I know you want it.

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Want to Buy an e-book on eBay? Check Here First.

by Luke Landes

A few minutes ago, a visitor named Phil left a comment on a post from August, HOWTO Become an eBay Millionaire. I took a quick look at what Phil has and it looks pretty interesting. He buys those e-books you see being sold on eBay, which “explain” how to do a variety activities, such as ... Continue reading this article…

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