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

April 2007

USB Flash Drive With TaxCut Giveaway Winner #4

by Luke Landes

It’s time to reveal the fourth winner of the free 256 MB flash drive. Congratulations to commenter number 57! Now there is only one day remaining of this giveaway. If you’re interested in entering for a chance, leave a comment on this post. Thanks to H&R Block for sending these over for our readers. These ... Continue reading this article…

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Redesigned 401(k) Statement Includes List of Fees

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I received a redesigned quarterly statement for my 401(k) account. It contains the usual sections, including a summary, transaction detail, a pie graph of my asset allocation. It clearly stated my account performance, not including deposits as performance, for the first quarter: 3.41 percent. The statement also includes for the first time ... Continue reading this article…

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USB Flash Drive With TaxCut Giveaway Winner #3

by Luke Landes

Congratulations to Laurie from Debt Free for Life, commenter number 19, the third winner of a 256MB flash drive with TaxCut software, provided to Consumerism Commentary by H&R Block. They arrived a little late in the tax season, but I still appreciate free stuff to give away. If you’ve already done your 2006 taxes, you ... Continue reading this article…

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John Bogle and Jeremy Siegel Debate Index Funds

by Luke Landes

John Bogle founded Vanguard and the index fund movement. Put simply, cost-conscious modern financial advice is to buy index funds, which track the performance of a large selection of stocks usually grouped by market cap, and hold on to them for a long time as they appreciate over time. This theory is based in part ... Continue reading this article…

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Consumerist Roundup

by Luke Landes

* 3 Confessions From a Former Used Car Salesman * Things Debt Collectors Can’t Do * Arizona Bans Zillow * Credit Reports: How Long Different Items Stay

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I Got Hit With a $4 Bank Fee From Wachovia

by Luke Landes

Last month, my landlord revoked credit card rent payments without enough notice to set up direct debit for April’s rent. I had to scramble to move around some money to write a check for April’s rent. Well, it would have taken too long to get the money from my ING Direct, so I had to ... Continue reading this article…

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USB Flash Drive With TaxCut Giveaway Winner #2

by Luke Landes

Congratulations to Mike, commenter number 35, the second winner of a 256MB flash drive with TaxCut software, provided to Consumerism Commentary by H&R Block. If you’re interested in a chance to win the free flash drive, leave a comment here. Each day for the remainder of the week, I’ll pick another winner. Everyone who hasn’t ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Annoying Habits of Entrepreneurs

by Luke Landes

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive coach who works mainly with entrepreneurs. He has identified five annoying habits that the best entrepreneurs share. The same personality that helps individual succeed also hinders the same individuals in certain social situations. I’m not a fan of broad generalizations, so I wouldn’t say that all entrepreneurs act a certain ... Continue reading this article…

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Excerpt From Suze Orman’s New Book: Women & Money

by Luke Landes

Yahoo Finance is featuring an exclusive excerpt of Suze Orman’s latest book, Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny. If the book follows the standard formula, this excerpt is from the introduction and outlines the 8 qualities of a wealthy woman on which the rest of the book will expound. Here are ... Continue reading this article…

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IRS Gives Storm Victims Additional 48 Hours

by Luke Landes

If you’re scrambling to submit your tax return and you’ve been affected by the recent bad weather, the IRS has granted you two extra days to file. I’ll just repost the full press release. It gets the point across, is straightforward, and has all the information needed. WASHINGTON. Victims of the major storm affecting several ... Continue reading this article…

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Start Your Morning With The Top From pfblogs.org

by Luke Landes

Here are some of yesterday’s most frequently viewed blog articles from pfblogs.org. * Think Dual Incomes is a Great Thing? Think Again. Some decisions aren’t meant to be purely financial. Actually, my statement is incorrect. Not many decisions are meant to be purely financial. The decision to stay home to care for children while your ... Continue reading this article…

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A “Thank You” to Microsoft?

by Luke Landes

Thanks to a vicious nor’easter, I was flooded in today and found myself working from home for the first time since taking this new position about a year ago. Our remote desktop access technology requires that Internet Explorer be the employee’s default internet browser on their home computer. Obviously, this was not going to fly ... Continue reading this article…

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USB Flash Drive With TaxCut Giveaway Winner #1

by Luke Landes

Congratulations to Gerald, commenter number 5, the first winner of a 256MB flash drive with TaxCut software. There are still four days and four winners left, and with only 41 comments so far your chances to win are pretty good. If you’re interested in the flash drive, either for completing your tax return forms or ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The latest edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance is now online at AllFinancialMatters. All the articles are good, but here are some of the more personal stories. I prefer these to the “instructional” posts, generic information that can be found elsewhere. * Feeling Slightly Better About Not Saving Enough * Spring Cleaning in My ... Continue reading this article…

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Not All Target Retirement Funds Are Created Equal

by Luke Landes

Over the last few years, “target” retirement funds have become more popular. Vanguard offers a wide selection for those looking to retire between 2005 and 2050 in 5-year increments. Fidelity offers the same options with their “Freedom Funds.” One would think that the Fidelity Freedom 2020 Fund should be similar to the Vanguard Target Retirement ... Continue reading this article…

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When The IRS Sends the Wrong Refund

by Luke Landes

Several years ago, I was expecting a tax refund from the IRS of about $900. When I received the check — this was before direct deposit was available — it was for significantly less money, about $600. They included a note indicating I miscalculated one of the lines on my 1040 and provided the correct ... Continue reading this article…

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Welcome Visitors From the Hartford Courant and Others

by Luke Landes

If you’ve found Consumerism Commentary through Gregory Karp’s Morning Call article on savings-related RSS feeds, which has been syndicated on a number of news websites including The Hartford Courant, perhaps you’d be interested in subscribing to our feed. There’s more information on subscribing to Consumerism Commentary here. Best of all, it’s free, and you get ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Miss This Giveaway

by Luke Landes

I have five 256MB flash drives with Tax Cut to give away. They’re great if you still haven’t done your taxes, or you can just delete the software and use them as regular flash drives. I need to pick five winners, so leave a comment here and enter the drawing. Each day this week, I ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Rupert Edition

by Luke Landes

Here are some articles I’ve enjoyed this past week. The links are below this picture of a certain feline. Consumerism Commentary wouldn’t qualify as a blog without an obligatory cat photograph. I’d like to dedicate this cat photo to the newly unemployed Don Imus. Free Money Finance is looking for suggestions from readers on how ... Continue reading this article…

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New York Times Says It’s Better to Rent Than Buy

by Luke Landes

Yikes. Yesterday I was discussing my living options, and I’m thinking about buying a condominium when my lease is up. I’ve been in this apartment for longer than I had originally planned, and I can probably afford a modest condo. According to a calculator offered by the New York Times, it makes more financial sense ... Continue reading this article…

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