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

2006

Estimating Asset Values and Asset Depreciation

by Luke Landes

In response to my latest balance sheet, Wacko asked a question: Any pointers on how to calculate an automobile’s depreciation? Obviously I can look at Kelley Blue Book, but I do not know the monthly depreciation. Also, I was wondering if anyone knew of an accurate way to determine the value of one’s home. I ... Continue reading this article…

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Interview Questions and Last Week’s Giveaway Winner

by Luke Landes

It was actually two weeks ago that I posed the question about the “biggest weakness” question that we’ve all experienced in some form in job interviews. Some great responses followed, and one was randomly selected to win my copy of The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read, which I reviewed earlier this month. Here’s a ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine: 8 Smart Year-End Moves, Part 2

by Luke Landes

Here are four more smart year-end money moves, according to Money Magazine. I only conditionally agreed with the first four, so let’s see how the magazine did with the remaining tips. 5. Set your sights clearly. They suggest deciding well in advance the destiny of any year-end bonuses. This will prevent splurging to some extent. ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Gifts Better Than Cash, Better Than Things

by Luke Landes

These gifts may be a good choice for younger people who are just starting to get interested in taking care of their financial lives, from Chuck Jaffe and MarketWatch. 1. Shares. Buying a newborn baby shares — or even just one share — of a certain company is a nice way to start off a ... Continue reading this article…

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Young and in Debt: Five Twenty-Somethings Share Stories

by Luke Landes

U.S.A. Today is featuring a six-week series following five twenty-somethings and their adventures in debt. Debt seems to be the primary concern of most people as they emerge from their undergraduate education and begin working or continue onto graduate education. One of the first articles in the series, Young People Struggle With the Kiss of ... Continue reading this article…

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Rockin’ the Suburbs: Y’all Don’t Know What It’s Like

by Luke Landes

Early tomorrow morning, I’ll be boarding a plane to head out to California for Thanksgiving. I’ll still be posting, but perhaps not as frequently. To hold you over, here are some lyrics from one of my favorite musucians, Ben Folds. It’s about life in suburbia, something which many of us can relate to.

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Money-Saving Tips for Shopping Online

by Luke Landes

This is a guest post by Jacquelyn Lynn, a widely published business writer and experienced online shopper. She is the author of Online Shopper’s Survival Guide and maintains a blog, Online Consumer Advice and Commentary. Shopping online is the easiest way to find the lowest price for whatever it is you want. But there are ... Continue reading this article…

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FreeCreditReport.com is a Scam!

by Luke Landes

Updated: Get Out of FreeCreditReport.com’s “Triple Advantage”. This isn’t the first time, but now the State of Florida Office of the Attorney General is investigating FreeCreditReport.com. You’ll notice I don’t link to the site. This site, run by credit reporting agency Experian is taking advantage of the ruling that anyone can receive a free annual ... Continue reading this article…

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Extreme Savers Greg and Tara: We Have Some Things in Common

by Luke Landes

CNN Money seems to have switched its focus from “Millionaires in the Making” to “Extreme Savers,” and today they have an article about Greg and Tara Black. They earn $48,000 and live in Charlottesville, Virginia. They shop at Kohls and JC Penney for clothing, as I do. Their entertainment comes mainly from Netflix, of which ... Continue reading this article…

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US Airways and Delta Airlines Might Merge, My Flight Unchanged

by Luke Landes

This story attracted my attention because I am getting ready to flow from East Coast to West on US Airways next Monday. US Airways is looking to purchase Delta Airlines, which is bankrupt, for $8 billion in cash and stock. Any merger won’t affect my flight, although it would be nice if the airline lift ... Continue reading this article…

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What is Your Biggest Weakness? With a Giveaway!

by Luke Landes

When I had the chance to interview a prospective supervisor I avoided asking this question, but every interview I’ve had in which I am the one auditioning for a position, I’ve been invariably asked about my weaknesses. Fortune Magazine is tackling this question. Dear Annie: After a detailed conversation about what I’ve been doing, the ... Continue reading this article…

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7 Ways to Save Money While Maintaining Your Extravagant Lifestyle

by Luke Landes

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a fan of long post titles. Anyway, as the title says, here are seven ways you can save money while maintaining your extravagant style. After all, isn’t that what everyone wants? The best of both worlds? If you love living beyond your means, follow these guidelines and both worlds will ... Continue reading this article…

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Review: The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read by Daniel R. Solin

by Luke Landes

I recently finished reading The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read: The Simple, Stress-Free Way to Reach Your Investment Goals [Amazon affiliate] by Daniel R. Solin. It’s a relatively short book with one simple point: For most people, investing in index funds is smarter than investing in actively managed mutual funds. The chapters are short ... 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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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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Hedging Strategies for Small Investors

by Luke Landes

Ann C. Logue is the author of Hedge Funds For Dummies, which was recently released. She contacted Consumerism Commentary and offered to send a book for my review. I’ve been interested in hedge funds, and specifically in what individual investors can learn from these investments which are normally closed to everyone but very high net ... Continue reading this article…

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Once Again: Credit Cards at Fault? A Compelling Argument

by Luke Landes

Through some discussion about placing blame for poor money management, we managed to gather several differing opinions about the source of the problem. Kids with no skills and parents who don’t teach seemed to be the biggest culprits, followed by schools without money management classes (which, when attempted, do more harm than good), and finally ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine: 25 Rules to Grow Rich By, Part 5

by Luke Landes

We’ve finally come to the last installment of Money Magazine’s 25 Rules to Grow Rich By, which has a catchy title, but is more or less just a list of “rules of thumb” that may or may not be applicable to any one individual. And let’s face it, you are all individuals. (Yes, we are ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine: 25 Rules to Grow Rich By, Part 4

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine came up with 25 “rules of thumb” that will help your grow rich, albeit very slowly. Rules of thumb are often appropriate only for a fictional “average person,” but they can be good starting points for determining what is the right choice for any individual. I’ve looked at the first fifteen so far, ... Continue reading this article…

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I Am Apparently Not on the Path to a Comfortable Retirement (Win $50,000)

by Luke Landes

So one of Consumerism Commentary’s new sponsors, Nationwide, has an interactive tool that asks a few questions and determined if you are on the path to a decent retirement. It’s a Flash-based tool with an annoying talking character (who you can mute if he or she starts to annoy you, too). The questions are meant ... Continue reading this article…

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