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

March 2007

Best Jobs for Moving Up

by Luke Landes

Salary.com and Money Magazine compiled a list of the best jobs for advancement opportunities. I’m glad I came across this today, as a coworker and I were discussing advancement opportunities within and around our department at the large financial services company where we work. There are many more things to consider than these statistics. In ... Continue reading this article…

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Share Your Story Here: Be a Guest Blogger

by Luke Landes

Next Friday, I will be traveling to California for a week-long vacation. I’d like to open up Consumerism Commentary to the readers so you can share some of your stories or thoughts. I’ll still be posting while on vacation, but I’d like to fill in the gaps with your articles. You don’t have to be ... Continue reading this article…

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Geico Cavemen: The Sitcom

by Luke Landes

Apparently ABC has ordered a pilot for a new television sitcom based on the Geico cavamen commercials. At first I found the commercials entertaining (though not very informative), but I don’t think I could handle a television show rooted in something developed by an advertising agency. What’s next? The Aflac duck getting his own show ... Continue reading this article…

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The Cost of Buying a Home: Projected Improvements

by Luke Landes

Last week, I cited an article in the Wall Street Journal outlining the true cost of owning a home over 30 years, which includes much more than just the mortgage. The main issue within the article is a warning to those entering retirement counting on not much more in the way of savings other than ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives: Dividends, Real Estate, and Home Ownership

by Luke Landes

If you’re relatively new to Consumerism Commentary, these old posts may be new to you. Here’s what was happening here on March 16-22, 2006: * Mar. 16: What $300,000 Will Buy You in My Town * Mar. 17: Benefits of Dividends * Mar. 20: My New 401(k) Fund Option: Real Estate * Mar. 21: I ... Continue reading this article…

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Retirement: Focus on Contributing, Not on the Market

by Luke Landes

I like spending a few minutes (but not much more) plugging in hypothetical numbers into interactive calculators like this retirement income calculator (Java required). This calculator displays how much monthly retirement income you can expect with assumptions about market return, tax bracket, and contributions. This morning, I spent a few seconds exploring a few scenarios. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

Lazy Man and Money hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance today and he did a great job corralling the submissions. Here are some of my picks for the week, in addition to Lazy Man’s Editor’s Choice. * How to Invest in 4-Week T-Bills: The Complete Process at Sun’s Financial Diary * Planning for Receiving an ... Continue reading this article…

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Amount Charged is Less Than Estimate: Psychology Involved?

by Luke Landes

When I was helping my girlfriend move to a new apartment this past weekend, we had the help of a moving company. We also had the misfortune of a snow and ice storm. After offering to pay three neighborhood kids to shovel the driveway and get rid of the ice so the moving truck would ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct’s Electric Orange Checking Account

by Luke Landes

As it was finally offered to me recently, I signed up for the new paperless checking account at ING Direct. Since I am a current customer of this particular bank, the account opening process was quick and straightforward. Right now, the account offers 0.20 percent APY interest on the first $50,000, which is great for a ... Continue reading this article…

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H&R Block Opens Virtual Tax Office

by Luke Landes

First, Reuters opened a news bureau in Second Life, a virtual reality game that people connect to through the internet to live out fantasy lives in the comfort of their own desk chairs. Now, while Congress is still trying to determine how to tax income in virtual worlds, H&R Block is joining the Land of ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Moving in Snow Edition

by Luke Landes

My little Civic got stuck in the snow in Queens no less than twice this weekend while helping my girlfriend move to a new location. I can’t say it was the best time of my life. Time Warner Cable showed up without any cable converter boxes, so that was a waste. This is the first ... Continue reading this article…

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The Cost of Buying a Home Over 30 Years

by Luke Landes

So you think it’s such a great decision to buy a house? Well, you need a place to live, and it’s better to own, right? Well, the cost of owning a home is something rarely described by proponents. Buy at $300,000, sell at $1,000,000 thirty years from now (an average 5.66 percent annual growth rate) for ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival News

by Luke Landes

Monday’s Carnival of Personal Finance will be hosted by Lazy Man and Money on Monday. This week’s Carnival was hosted at Sun’s Financial Diary. There were some great articles, including 25 Reasons to Leave Your Job and What Lenders Talk About Isn’t Important, It’s What They Deliver. Hosting the Carnival can be a bit of ... Continue reading this article…

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Read the New York Times Online for Free

by Luke Landes

If you are a student, the New York Times will now allow you to have access to their premium content (TimesSelect) for free. Technically, you don’t have to be a student. All that is required is an email address with the “edu” top level domain. Some universities offer “edu” email addresses to their alumni as ... Continue reading this article…

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More Than $50 Wasted

by Luke Landes

No matter how hard one tries to save money, unexpected things happen. The other day, I was driving to work and I was lucky enough to receive a traffic ticket. I was at an intersection making a left turn, and the left arrow had just disappeared. There was still a green light, but according to ... Continue reading this article…

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Shopping at Kohl’s and Being Granted Discounts

by Luke Landes

I’ve found Kohl’s to be a good store when it comes to shopping for clothing. They have sales pretty often, and it’s very easy to find bargains. The clothing seems to be of a decent quality, nothing special, and the items I’ve bought have held up well over the past few years. A coworker had ... Continue reading this article…

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McDonald’s Subliminal Advertising on Iron Chef

by Luke Landes

I didn’t think the frame insertion technique of subliminal advertising was still being used, at least not with a hint of irony. Of all things, for some reason Iron Chef or Food Network dropped a frame or two of a McDonald’s logo into their show recently. That is, of course, unless this is a hoax. ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives: Cost of Living, Asset/Liability, Emigrant Direct

by Luke Landes

As you might now, I’ve been spending some time looking back at what I’ve written on Consumerism Commentary in previous years just in case any new readers happen to come by. Here are a few from March 8-15, 2006: * Mar. 8: Move Where the Cost of Living is Low (13 comments) * Mar. 9: ... Continue reading this article…

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Millions in Taxes Overpaid, Millions in Taxes Uncollected

by Luke Landes

It’s always interesting to see stories in the media that seem to conflict with each other. Here is a case of conflicting messages, although both viewpoints may be true to an extent. First of all, CBS reports that Americans pay too much to the IRS in the form of taxes. This happens mainly because people ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Birthday Edition

by Luke Landes

I can’t say I’m happy that our President decreed my birthday this year to be 23 hours long rather than the standard 24. Nevertheless, my official age increased today from 30 to 31. Last night, my father treated me and my girlfriend to dinner and a show in New York City, and today I was ... Continue reading this article…

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