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

February 2007

How Much Do You Pay in Taxes?

by Luke Landes

We talk about tax brackets for income taxes ranging from 10 percent to 35 percent, but when all payments to the government are taken into account, we pay significantly more. Research by Laurence J. Kotlikoff and David Rapson in a paper called Does it Pay, at the Margin, to Work and Save [PDF] shows that most people ... Continue reading this article…

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Tips for Purchasing a Musical Instrument for the Non-Professional

by Luke Landes

As I mentioned earlier, I finally picked up the Martin D-15 acoustic guitar I’ve been planning to buy since August last year. Here are some tips if you’re thinking about buying a musical instrument. First, if you are buying an instrument for your son or daughter just starting out, you may find out later that ... Continue reading this article…

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The Case Against a Life Without Debt

by Luke Landes

Getting out of debt is a great goal to have. Perpetual debt is like slavery. All the money you earn beyond your necessities for living is turned over to someone else in the form of debt service and interest, and in many cases even your basic needs are paid on credit. Creating and enacting a ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup: New York City, Raise and Bonus Edition

by Luke Landes

For a few more days, I will be running a contest to give away a new copy of Quicken Basic 2007 to a random winner. Entering is simple: just leave a comment here! I’ve taken the upcoming week off from work (the “day job”) to coincide with my girlfriend’s break from teaching. We had a ... Continue reading this article…

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Quicken Hack: How to Track Airline Miles or Points

by Luke Landes

One of the features I liked when I used Microsoft Money was the ability to track airline miles or points. I didn’t accumulate many, but it was good to see what I had available in one place rather than going to the individual airline websites. I switched to Quicken and I was disappointed to find ... Continue reading this article…

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Congratulations to Bluntmoney, Winner of Quicken Basic 2007!

by Luke Landes

The random number generator selected Bluntmoney‘s comment as the winner of a free copy of Quicken Basic 2007, provided to us by the Quicken Product Manager. Congratulations! Stay tuned because I’ll have more to give away, including different Intuit products. I’m happy to be able to provide free stuff to readers. Here’s a hint for ... Continue reading this article…

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Surprising Amount of Office Romance

by Luke Landes

There’s a winter storm here on the east coast, and with a practically empty office, minds aren’t on the job. According to a survey from Vault.com reported on CNN, it’s common to be thinking about other things, like love, in the workplace. 17 percent of survey respondents admitted they were caught being more-than-colleagues… “in the boardroom, ... Continue reading this article…

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One Way to Get Rid of Telemarketers

by Luke Landes

Without a landline phone, I don’t receive many calls from telemarketers. André-Tascha Lammé from Sacramento was having a problem with mortgage lenders, and decided to take care of the problem through the courts. So far, Lammé has won $6,000 in judgments against telemarketers in three cases. He’s not a lawyer, but by filing in small ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Tips for a Frugal Valentine’s Day

by Luke Landes

Do you want to be romantic and save money? In a world where romanticism is portrayed by the media as the giving of expensive gifts like diamonds, a Lexus, and a tropical vacation, romanticism and frugality are seen as incompatible. Here are some ways to bring the two concepts together in a beautiful marriage of ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives

by Luke Landes

New to Consumerism Commentary? Here’s a flashback of what you may have missed this week last year. From February 8-15, 2006, a particularly busy period: * Feb. 11: First Look: Ev’reward * Feb. 12: Stupid Investment of the Week: Teach Me to Trade (big discussion) * Feb. 12: Top Earning Musicians in 2005 * Feb. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

2million hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance yesterday at 2million’s Journal to Financial Freedom. There are lots of good articles included, and I’m still going through them.

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Spending More Money on the Internet

by Luke Landes

Here are five reasons according to Forrester Research people spend 15 percent more on the average online transaction compared to a traditional transaction from a brick-and-mortar store. You don’t have time to think. Once you have items in your cart, retailers want to move you through the checkout line before you can reconsider. If you’ve already ... Continue reading this article…

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Quicken: Schedule This Payment?

by Luke Landes

You know you’ve been ordering take-out too often when Quicken believes it’s a bill and wants to schedule a regular recurring transaction to Sultan Wok Chinese and Japanese Restaurant. By the way, I have a copy of a free copy of Quicken Basic 2007. Comment here with the strangest thing you’ve ever entered into Quicken ... Continue reading this article…

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A Teen Millionaire’s 3 Principles to Success

by Luke Landes

This is an excerpt from You Call the Shots, by Cameron Johnson. You can find my full review here. In this guest post, the author shares 3 principles that led him to succeed. I started my first business at age nine with $50 and a home computer, and ran it from my room at home ... Continue reading this article…

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Guest Post: Why Did I Decide to Write a Book?

by Luke Landes

At the age of fifteen and as a freshman in high school, Cameron Johnson’s internet company had grown to sales in excess of $15,000 per day. Cameron is now 22 years old, and his most recent endeavor is writing. Cameron Johnson is the author of You Call the Shots, a book I highly recommend. In ... Continue reading this article…

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A Quick 40%+ Profit?

by Luke Landes

I went to the bank yesterday to deposit some checks, and I picked up two rolls of the new Presidential $1 coins. There are 25 coins in a roll, and you pay the bank $25 for each. That seems to make sense. What doesn’t make sense are the people paying upwards of $35 for each ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup

by Luke Landes

Here are some of the articles I’ve enjoyed this past week from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond. Mighty Bargain Hunter picked up a roll of the George Washington Presidential $1 coins earlier, as I did yesterday. I opened one roll and left the other intact. The new coins look like cheap game tokens. I’ll try to ... Continue reading this article…

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Coming Up: Cameron Johnson on Writing

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I reviewed You Call the Shots, by Cameron Johnson. If you missed it, take a look at the review. I highly recommend the book for teens interested in building their own business, parents of those teens, and some adults looking for fresh ideas in networking and marketing. The author will be ... Continue reading this article…

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How Captain Kirk Handles His Space Bucks

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has an interesting feature with money-related thoughts from celebrities — mostly former celebrities — who have learned much through experience since their earlier days. The first example is William Shatner, one of my… favorite actors. Shatner managed to barely scrape by no matter how much income was coming in. He constantly worried about ... Continue reading this article…

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PayPal Offering $15 Cash Rebate

by Luke Landes

Through the end of March, PayPal is offering a $15 cash rebate for any purchase of $30 or more. That’s a nice discount. One condition is that the purchase must be made through any website offering PayPal as a payment option, including eBay. If you send money using the “Send Money” option within PayPal, your ... Continue reading this article…

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