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June 2007

This Week in the Archives: Lending to Friends, Changing Flights, and 40-Year Mortgages

by Luke Landes

Chances are you have been reading Consumerism Commentary for less than a year. If that’s true, then you’ve missed a bit of what I’ve written in the past few years. Here is a selection of articles from this week in previous years. From June 8-15, 2006: * June 8: Maybe Lend Money to Your Friends ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

Getting Green has posted the latest Carnival of Personal Finance. There were a large number of articles this past week, and the Carnival keeps getting bigger. Here are some of my choices this week beyond Matthew’s Editor’s Choices. * Grad Money Matters: 5 Budgeting Blunders * The Time and Money Group: Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught? ... Continue reading this article…

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Four Retirement Mistakes, Part One: Early Withdrawal

by Luke Landes

Reminder: So far there has been a very good response to the Consumerism Commentary reader survey. If you have not yet done so, please complete the survey so I can learn about you and improve this blog. Retirement savings compete with day-to-day expenses for your hard-earned money, so it’s a great accomplishment to put anything ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Cards With Sign-Up Bonuses

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available. If you’re a responsible user of credit cards — someone who pays their balance off each month — or if you use credit cards for business purposes, then you may be able to benefit from some of the offers ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, 90 Degrees Edition

by Luke Landes

First of all, thank you to all Consumerism Commentary readers who have taken the few short minutes to fill out this survey. I’m starting to get a good picture of who is visiting this site (and why), and this is going to be a great help to me in the future. Here are some of ... Continue reading this article…

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Teens Want to Be Like Me and Drive Honda Civics

by Luke Landes

A good friend of mine recently replaced her older car with a 2002 Honda Civic. Out of the seven of my friends I was spending time with the other night, three of us have Civics. We’re not alone. CNN Money reports that Honda Civics are the top cars for teenagers. Thinking back to my teenage ... Continue reading this article…

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500 GB Maxtor Hard Drive for $99, But My Experiences are Not So Good

by Luke Landes

I saw what I thought was a great price for a hard drive: a 500 GB disk, 7,200 RPM and a 3 year warranty for $99 at Fry’s. Then I realized I was looking at a Maxtor brand drive. In the last several years, I’ve found Maxtor drives to always be available for less money ... Continue reading this article…

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My Expenses Will Climb in Less Than One Month

by Luke Landes

I recently decided to move to a new apartment rather than stay in my current apartment or buy a house. It’s a bit of an upgrade for me, and it’s been a long time coming. I haven’t written much about the financial effects of this decision other than to say it will be less expensive ... Continue reading this article…

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Help Me Learn More About You: Please Take a Quick Survey

by Luke Landes

I still find it strange that this little blog that I created for my own entertainment has attracted a good number of readers over the years. I’d like to learn a little bit more about you and what you like, so please take this really quick survey. I would really appreciate it. Thanks! By the ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival of Personal Finance is Looking for Hosts

by Luke Landes

The Carnival of Personal Finance, which was founded here at Consumerism Commentary two years ago, is still going strong. The latest edition was published earlier this week at Clever Dude, and it was full of some great articles from around the blogosphere. Here are a few I liked: * Introduction to Self-Directed IRAs * The ... Continue reading this article…

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Time to Shop for New Auto Insurance

by Luke Landes

Auto insurance companies are changing the way the calculate premiums, according to MSN Money. Did you know that some insurers look at your credit report to determine the risk of insuring you? Some states have declared this practice illegal, but the companies claim there is a correlation between a history of late payments and insurance ... Continue reading this article…

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Trading Off Your Financial Security For Your Kids

by Luke Landes

An article on SmartMoney starts by providing an example of a family living on an income of $30,000. The parents in their young twenties struggle to pay their monthly bills, but spare no expense when spending on their child. For both her first and second birthday, the couple threw their daughter a birthday bash that ... Continue reading this article…

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Millionaires in the Making: The Cicottes

by Luke Landes

I haven’t written about one of these in a while, but the latest Millionaires in the Making from CNN Money looks interesting. It’s interesting to note that CNN changed the format of the series into a blog, allowing comments (if you’re willing to leave your city and state along with your name). Now, about the ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Your Job on the Bottom 25 List?

by Luke Landes

If you’re reading this blog, the answer to the question in the title is, “Probably not.” Perhaps a better question is whether you can live on the mean incomes provided by the occupations on Forbes’ 25 Worst-Paying Jobs. As I said when commenting on the top 25 jobs, the “mean” calculation is often meaningless as ... Continue reading this article…

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Citi Offers New Online Savings Account: Citibank Direct, 4.65% APY, $50 Bonus

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer and APY expired and are no longer available. Last year, Citibank began offering their eSavings account, an online bank account that offers competitive interest rates but requires a linked checking account that charges fees, reducing the benefit of the interest. It looks like Citi is now ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives: Student Loan Consolidation, Garage Sales, and Universal Default

by Luke Landes

If you’re new to Consumerism Commentary, you may have missed some of these articles from this week in the previous few years. Here are some articles from June 1-7, 2006: * June 1: After Graduation: Choices, Plans and Risks, Part 3 * June 1: Student Loan Consolidation: The Countdown Begins * June 2: After Graduation: ... Continue reading this article…

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Components of Your FICO Credit Score

by Luke Landes

While the formula that Fair Isaac uses to determine your credit score is a closely-guarded secret, the company does provide an overview of what they use in the calculation. Looking at these components, it becomes pretty clear what the company looks for when providing the best scores, which will assist in qualifying the borrower for ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Your Job One of the Top 25?

by Luke Landes

Here’s a list on which you won’t find “senior accounting associate.” It’s the 25 best-paying jobs, in terms of base salary in 2006 of salary and wage workers, not including the self-employed. Here are the top 25 along with their mean salaries, from Forbes. * Anesthesiologists: $184,340 * Surgeons: $184,150 * Obstetricians And Gynecologists: $178,040 ... Continue reading this article…

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I Is Needin New Ownrz: My Cat Looking For a New Home

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, I adopted my friend’s cat. This friend and his wife had just had a baby, and that baby had quickly become allergic to the cat, among many other things. The couple couldn’t find a willing home among other friends, so I decided to give in and adopt him. Rupert and I ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, May 2007 (Net Income: $8,173)

by Luke Landes

If you haven’t already, please read my May balance sheet for the first part of this story. After an April in which my expenses outweighed my income (thanks to gifts purchased and tax owed), I was back in the game in May and posted a net income above $8,173, although almost $3,000 is “realized gain” ... Continue reading this article…

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