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

July 2007

Financial Lessons from Television Fiction: The Office

by Luke Landes

Now that my new cable company is providing me with the works for less than $15 a month, including a digital video recorder, I find myself wasting more time watching television while doing other work. One of the shows I can’t get enough of is The Office. While the characters are a bit exaggerated, there ... Continue reading this article…

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Stupid Investment of the Week: Rich Dad Academy

by Luke Landes

Related: Analyzing a Kiyosaki cornerstone: Is Your Home an Asset or Liability?. Chuck Jaffe, a writer with MarketWatch, set his sights on the Teach Me to Trade seminar last year, and ordained the event his “Stupid Investment of the Week.” This year, he attended Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Academy,” and came to the same conclusion. ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Finance Blog Roundup, Philadelphia Edition

by Luke Landes

This weekend, I will be visiting King Tutankhamon in Philadelphia. I’ve wanted to see this exhibit for a long time, and it’s closing at the end of September. The exhibition is sold out later on, so now is the time to go. Here are some articles from other blogs that caught my attention this week, ... Continue reading this article…

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The Issue of Gas Prices: Complainers vs. Complainers

by Luke Landes

Just like any major media issue in this country, the issue of gasoline prices has two sides: those who complain about the prices, and those who complain about the complainers. The facts support both sides of the argument. Simply, gas prices have increased sharply over the past few years, but are still less than prices ... Continue reading this article…

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Congress: Tax Preparers Must Police Their Clients

by Luke Landes

Thanks to a new law signed in May, tax preparers, whether certified public accountants, lawyers, or your local H&R Block, can be assessed strong penalties for filing returns with “questionable or aggressive tax items” on behalf of their clients. This new regulation will go into effect for 2007 tax returns. The Wall Street Journal says ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s 2007 Goals: Status at the Halfway Point

by Luke Landes

Back in December, I set some goals for myself for the upcoming year. Now that 2007 is halfway complete, it’s a good chance for me to take a look and see how I am doing in these particular pursuits. Income goal: Earn $40,000 in revenue outside of my day job. Stretch goal: $60,000. According to ... Continue reading this article…

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Overdraft Fees Becoming More Popular

by Luke Landes

There are two very specific ways banks are raking in the dough — your dough — thanks to slight changes or details in their policies. In the past, if you were to write a check or use your ATM/debit card to withdraw an amount higher than your balance, the check would bounce or the debit ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: What to Do After an Emergency?

by Luke Landes

Here is a question from a reader: I’d be interested on a post about what to do after you’ve dipped into your emergency fund considerably. How quick should you replenish it? What are the best ways to replenish it? Is it worth backing off on funding things like Roth IRA’s to build back your emergency ... Continue reading this article…

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A Credit Card With No Late Fees?

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. Over the last year or two, credit card companies in general have been ratcheting up fees, perhaps to make up for more and more people who are learning to avoid them and to pay for the generous rewards they have ... Continue reading this article…

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The World’s Most Expensive Cities

by Luke Landes

New York is no longer in this top ten list. It’s the world’s most expensive cities, and New York City has dropped several spaces thanks to the fluctuation of currencies. Here are the top 20. # Moscow # London # Seoul # Tokyo # Hong Kong # Copenhagen # Geneva # Osaka # Zurich # ... Continue reading this article…

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Survey Results: Your Comments and My Responses

by Luke Landes

I’m very happy for the feedback I received as a result of a reader survey. I’ve shared the hard data, most recently with your favorite types of articles to read. The survey also included a section for respondents to write any comments they may have, protected by anonymity. Here are some of those comments. Warning: ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: Ignoring Reconciliation in Quicken

by Luke Landes

Here’s a question about reconciliation and running reports in Quicken from a reader: I have quicken and would like to use it to run reports (net worth, where I’m spending, etc.). But it seems to be forcing me to do “reconciliation” which from what little I understand is to make sure there aren’t mistakes that ... Continue reading this article…

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Survey Results: What You Like (And Don’t Like) About Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

About a month ago, I asked readers to answer a short survey so I could learn about this blog’s readers. It was a fun experiment, but looking back, I could have designed the survey a little better. Regardless, the survey was successful. So far, I’ve shared who you are and your reading habits. Now I ... Continue reading this article…

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Pseudo-Savings Option: GE Interest Plus Account

by Luke Landes

I received an email from a reader about the GE Interest Plus Account. This account functions like a savings account with limited check writing privileges, but there are some important differences to consider before you open an account. The account offers high interest rates in tiers. For balances less than $15,000, you’ll earn 4.91 percent. For ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Advice to Your Younger Self

by Luke Landes

The two winners of the free copies of Cash, Cars, & College, by Janine Bolon were informed last night. If you entered the contest, check your email to see if you’ve won. In order to enter the contest, I asked that commenters provide some financial advice they’d give their teenage self if they were able ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Expect a Big Pay Increase: Other Options

by Luke Landes

Hewitt Associates is saying that companies are not planning above average base pay increases in 2008 thanks to rising health insurance costs. This is the same reason I’ve heard over and over again. Average employees have nothing to look forward to in terms of raises, as perhaps they shouldn’t have. Even above average employees will ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Inexpensive Things You Could Do This Summer

by Luke Landes

If you happen to live in the United States, enjoy your Independence Day! I’ll be searching for a concert and fireworks display to my liking this evening to attend with my girlfriend. For the remainder of the summer, here are some suggestions for having a good time without spending too much money outside of travel. ... Continue reading this article…

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My eBay Account Was Hacked!

by Luke Landes

Yesterday I received an email apparently from eBay, informing that my account was used for malicious purposes, and I should change my password post-haste. I’m very skeptical of emails apparently from eBay. Normally I delete them without thinking. But this email managed to catch my attention. Here’s a portion of the text: It appears your ... Continue reading this article…

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Go to College Without Going Into Debt: Impossible?

by Luke Landes

According to the Motley Fool UK, the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) has stated that unless parents are in the fortunate position to provide their children with “absolute financial support” during higher education, that students must accept debt as a fact of life. (Students Must Accept Debt, Motley Fool UK.) The rising cost of a ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, June 2007 (Net Income: $2,223)

by Luke Landes

Late last night, I published June’s balance sheet. This is my income and expense report, which goes hand-in-hand with the balance sheet, explaining a little bit about how my net worth changed from May 31 to June 30. Thankfully, my higher-than-normal expenses were matched by higher-than-normal income. Here are the details.

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