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February 2007

Renting is Expensive in These Cities

by Luke Landes

My girlfriend is discovering that finding an affordable one-bedroom apartment in the outer boroughs of New York City on a teacher’s salary — even though teachers in New York are paid more than anywhere else in the country — is next to impossible. A real estate brokerage, Marcus & Millichap, must have been following her ... Continue reading this article…

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Lawrence Toyota Screwed Up

by Luke Landes

My friend Doobie is frustrated with the quality of service at Lawrence Toyota in New Jersey: So I get my oil changed Tuesday over at Lawrence Toyota and after about a half hour, they call me over and tell me that my radiator’s cracked… Basically, the “experts” at Lawrence Toyota told me I had a ... Continue reading this article…

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Get Away From BlogSpot Project, Version 2

by Luke Landes

Last July, I offered an invitation for personal finance bloggers who wanted to move away from Blogger and BlogSpot, which was highly unreliable at the time, to WordPress. At the time, I was only able to open the opportunity to five individuals. I have a new offer for free WordPress hosting that might interest new ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives

by Luke Landes

A year goes by too quickly. Here are some articles from this time last year and two years ago. From February 1-7, 2006: * Feb. 1: Roth 401(k) Not for Everyone * Feb. 1: First Impression: The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner by David Bach * Feb. 2: Salaries Going Up? Moreso For Supermodels * Feb. 2: ... Continue reading this article…

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Financial Ratios for Personal Evaluation: Debt to Income Ratio

by Luke Landes

The main reason I first started Consumerism Commentary was to publicly track my financial progress from “down-and-out” to “not quite as bad.” I started plugging my financial details into Quicken, and like Kara from Ka-Blog says, watching your net worth grow is addictive. There’s more to your finances than just the bottom line, though. I ... Continue reading this article…

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Question from Reader: Swiss Bank Accounts

by Luke Landes

Here’s a question I received from a reader regarding the Premium Certificate of Deposit accounts at Millennium Bank: Have you ever heard of a bank called Millennium Bank? They are Swiss, not FDIC insured, and will give me 7.25 percent on a 1-year CD, which is not redeemable until maturity. I really want to do it, ... Continue reading this article…

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Review: You Call the Shots by Cameron Johnson

by Luke Landes

Cameron Johnson features testimonials from T. Harv Eker and Donald Trump on the dust jacket for his new book, You Call the Shots. The book also includes a foreword by David Bach. However, this book outshines in many ways what I am used to seeing (over and over) from the typical financial gurus like Trump ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up, and Thoughts On Finance Writing

by Luke Landes

The Simple Dollar is hosting the latest Carnival of Personal Finance, and it was full of good articles from the past week. I’ve noticed a shift in writing style in the personal finance niche over the past year or so. I like the personal stories. This “personal level,” missing from traditional media, is so easily ... Continue reading this article…

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Study: Money Makes People Mean

by Luke Landes

A recent study entitled The Psychological Consequences of Money shows that people with money on their mind are less likely to help others. Here’s the abstract: Money has been said to change people’s motivation (mainly for the better) and their behavior toward others (mainly for the worse). The results of nine experiments suggest that money ... Continue reading this article…

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Welcome Readers of US News & World Report

by Luke Landes

My last interview with US News & World Report was incorporated into a new, extended piece about blogging about retirement, and the article has now been published on the magazine’s online edition. The article will also appear in the February 12 print edition. If you are visiting Consumerism Commentary from the article, welcome to the ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Coin Collecting Edition

by Luke Landes

I went to my first show for coin collectors today. I’ve been getting into this new hobby over the past several months. It’s a hobby for fun, not necessarily investment. While I’ve been reading up on the activity in the past week, I also came across unrelated posts I enjoyed from the blogs in the ... Continue reading this article…

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Best of Consumerism Commentary: January 2007

by Luke Landes

Here are a few selections from the first month of this year that I’d like mention. If you didn’t have a chance to read them the first time around, now is your chance. * Jan. 3: 10 Things Your Gym Won’t Tell You * Jan. 4: Beginning Employee Stock Purchase Plan * Jan. 4: Do ... Continue reading this article…

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The Simple Dollar Will Host the Carnival

by Luke Landes

The Carnival of Personal Finance will be hosted on Monday morning by Trent from The Simple Dollar. He tells me he’ll be assembling the submissions while watching the Super Bowl. I encourage all bloggers to provide Trent with your best money-related article from the past week so he’s not bored during the game. There’s a ... Continue reading this article…

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Bad Job-Hunting Tips You Must Avoid, Part 2

by Luke Landes

Penelope Trunk from Yahoo Finance published an article busting job-hunting myths. I looked at several of her un-tips yesterday and in Part 2, I’ll finish off my thoughts. Bad Rule No. 5: Don’t have typos in your résumé I’m not recommending that you misspell words on purpose, but I am recommending that you chill out ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, January 2007 (Net Income: $5,415)

by Luke Landes

If every month this year turns out like January 2007, I’ll have nothing to complain about, except the amount of work I have to do. You might want to check my balance sheet first, or jump right into my income and expenses.

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Personal Balance Sheet, January 2007 ($75,174, +9.16%)

by Luke Landes

The first month of the year started off with a nice net worth increase. I now have five years’ worth of financial history recorded in Quicken. At the end of January 2002, my net worth was $9,394… below zero. I had no investments, nothing in my bank account, student loans and a small bit of ... Continue reading this article…

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Question for Readers: Static Cling

by Luke Landes

Here’s a question I haven’t been able to find a satisfying answer for, so I’m hoping some readers can provide some insight, perhaps from personal experience. I have one pair of khaki pants that seems to hold static electricity constantly. Using fabric softener sheets in the dryer has done nothing to help, and it’s very ... Continue reading this article…

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Monthly Reminder: Susbscribe to Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

Here’s a great way to ensure you won’t miss anything at Consumerism Commentary. It’s easy to subscribe to our RSS feed in your favorite feed reader, like Bloglines, or get newest blog entries in your email inbox. It’s all about convenience. And by the way, the RSS feeds contain full entries so you never even ... Continue reading this article…

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Americans Aren’t Saving, Little Splurges Add Up

by Luke Landes

Here are some interesting survey results from the Pew Research Center. 77 percent of Americans describe themselves as “always looking for more ways to save money,” while 18 percent don’t even try to save. 63 percent believe they should save more, while 32 percent believe they are saving enough. How about spending more than one can afford? Today, a ... Continue reading this article…

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Bad Job-Hunting Tips You Must Avoid, Part 1

by Luke Landes

I’m starting to like some of Yahoo Finance‘s new personal finance content. In a new article, Penelope Trunk warns readers of common but poor advice one often hears from friends and colleagues when hunting for jobs. Trunk’s point of view is interesting, and I’ll have to keep these ideas in mind when (if?) I ever ... Continue reading this article…

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