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

July 2007

The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The Carnival of Personal Finance is posted at Fat Pitch Financials. I liked This is Your Life on Consumer Debt, 10 Credit Card Practices That I Disapprove, Budget Changes Expected, and Is Adoption for You?.

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Market Update: July 23, 2007

by Luke Landes

Bill Fleckenstein is seeing signs of a bubble. S&P 500 up to 1,540.92, Dow up to 13,934.56, Nasdaq up to 2,690.85. [CNN]

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ING Direct’s Electric Orange Send Paper Checks Feature

by Luke Landes

For the first time since opening my “Electric Orange” checking account at ING Direct, I used the account’s ability to send a paper check. I’ve never used similar bill payment options that have always been available with my banks because other, better options, like paying by direct debit or credit card, were also available. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Giveaway: Complete Real-Estate Investing Guidebook by David Crook

by Luke Landes

When I recently reviewed Wall Street Journal Complete Real-Estate Investing Guidebook, I gave the book 9 stars out of 10. (Read the review here.) Filled with incredible detail, this book can serve as a guide for novice real-estate investors. If you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and found yourself wanting more in the way of ... Continue reading this article…

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Best Credit Cards for Airline Miles

by Luke Landes

If you use credit cards for regular expenses rather than excessive spending and pay your balance off each month, you should be getting something back for the money you’re making for the credit card companies. Some of the options out there include cash back, 0 percent APR balance transfers, 0 percent APR on purchases, and sign-up bonuses. ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives: Humble Beginnings, Triumphant Return, and Large Talons

by Luke Landes

Here are some posts from years past at Consumerism Commentary. There wasn’t much from last year. From July 16-22, 2006: * The Top 25 Money Tips of All Time, Part 5 * The Real Estate Value of Backyard Improvements From July 16-22, 2005: * Spend Less in Retirement? * Accounting is Sexy Now * Concerts ... Continue reading this article…

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August Vacation in Boston: Any Suggestions?

by Luke Landes

In a few weeks, I will be traveling to Boston to take a short break from everyday life. A. and I will be driving up to Boston by way of Newport, Rhode Island to do some sight seeing, relaxing, and enjoying a bit of New England. So far, we have plans to tour a few ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Sacred Heart Hospital Edition

by Luke Landes

If you like reading financial blogs, take a look at the personal finance blogs RSS feed, which combines the blogs of the MoneyBlogNetwork with a few others like a MyMoneyBlog, The Simple Dollar, Fat Pitch Financials, and Get Rich Slowly. Here are a few good posts from the blogosphere from the past week. All Financial ... Continue reading this article…

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Tax Warning

by Luke Landes

Here’s a tax warning. If you are able to negotiate forgiveness of a portion or complete debt, the amount forgiven can be considered income, and you’ll owe income taxes. [MSN]

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Taking a Gap Year Before College: Good Idea?

by Luke Landes

In England and Australia, it is more common than in the United States for a student to take a year after high school to travel or experience the world before entering college. According to SmartMoney, it may not be such a bad idea. The argument is that students who take a break from institutionalized education ... Continue reading this article…

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The Selling of the American Wedding

by Luke Landes

Laura Rowley writes about a new book, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding, by Rebecca Mead, which exposes the “wedding industry” and the myths of historical precedent the industry invented.

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10 Money Tips for Baby Preparation

by Luke Landes

Looking forward to that new baby smell? It’ll cost you… for years. USA Today has ten tips for “baby-proofing” your finances — the way you might baby-proof a kitchen — so you’ll be in a better position to part with $1 million over the next 18 years. 1. Review health coverage. Some new parents I’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update, July 19, 2007

by Luke Landes

The Dow closed over 14,000 at 14,000.41 today. When do you think it will close over 15,000? One cookie to someone who guesses correctly. S&P 500 at 1,553.08, Nasdaq at 2,720.04. [Reuters]

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Review: Complete Real-Estate Investing Guidebook by David Crook

by Luke Landes

Wall Street Journal Complete Real-Estate Investing Guidebook David Crook (9/10) Occasionally, publicity agents, publishers, or sometimes even authors, send me books with the request that I read and review what they send. That was not the case with this book. A few months ago, I wrote about the cost of owning a home over 30 ... Continue reading this article…

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Low-Cost Index Mutual Funds Gaining Popularity

by Luke Landes

According to Jonathan Clements, index mutual funds with low fees are gaining popularity and attracting more investors who are trying to get the most for their money. This is driving more fund companies to lower their fees to compete. Fidelity, as mentioned in the article, has capped its index fund expenses at 0.1 percent. Suppose you ... Continue reading this article…

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The First Step to Cleaning Up Your Finances

by Luke Landes

A few years before starting Consumerism Commentary, I realized I was in a financial predicament. The salary I had been earning from my non-profit job was barely paying this bills in addition to the cost of commuting to the said job. I was relying more and more on my credit card to get by, ignoring ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Blame the Market’s Downturn

by Luke Landes

Do you blame the market’s downturn today on Ben Bernanke’s comments? Does he really control the market in the short term or are his comments inconsequential? S&P 500 at 1,546.17, Dow at 13,918.22, Nasdaq at 2,699.49. [Yahoo Finance]

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Question for Readers: Get Rid of Debt Before Investing for Retirement?

by Luke Landes

Joe sent me a question about priorities. He feels his chosen career path is not one destined for the big bucks, but in pursuit of said career, he has racked up some debt. Fair enough, that’s a common situation. He also has some decent retirement investing options laid out in front of him by his ... Continue reading this article…

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Fund Companies Trying to Attract Younger Investors

by Luke Landes

A couple of brokerages and fund companies are courting younger workers just getting their feet wet with outside-of-401(k) investing. They’re lowering the barriers to entry in the form of minimum fund investments. * Charles Schwab lowered the minimum from $2,000 or $2,500 to $100. * American Century Investments established new funds with $500 minimums for ... Continue reading this article…

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New York Philharmonic

by Luke Landes

My girlfriend, some other friends, and I will be attending tonight’s free New York Philharmonic concert in Central Park. We’ll be in the “VIP” section thanks to our friend who works for the organization. Hopefully it will be a nice evening — I’m looking forward to the music and fireworks.

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