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

July 2007

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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House Won’t Sell? Your Price is Too Low?

by Luke Landes

Last December, I criticized a Kentucky couple for complaining that their house wasn’t selling at the price they were asking. They thought they were asking a fair price, but it’s only a fair price if someone’s willing to pay it. Either price your house to sell, or wait around for someone to come along. But ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives: Blue Lion Edition

by Luke Landes

There’s something exciting when the five lions combine to form Voltron, despite the fact it happened every episode. Also, Princess Allura was hot. Here are some articles I’ve written in past years at Consumerism Commentary. From July 8-15, 2006: * July 9: Excel Template for Income and Expense Report * July 10: Excel Template for ... 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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Share Your Story Ideas

by Luke Landes

In last month’s reader survey, I received some comments about topics or stories you’d like to see covered at Consumerism Commentary. If you have any tips or ideas, please shoot them over to me at the tips email address (tips at this domain name) or leave a comment here. If you’ve got your own story ... 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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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The latest Carnival of Personal Finance is online at Broke-Ass Student. As always, there are lots of great articles, and the host has done a good job of selecting her favorites. In addition to hers, here are some of my picks for the week. What is Considered an Emergency? Here are a few guidelines for ... 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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I’ve Surpassed My First Significant Milestone

by Luke Landes

If you’re an astute visitor to Consumerism Commentary (and visit the blog rather than reading the RSS feed in your own reader) you may have noticed that my net worth widget in the upper right hand corner of this page, which measures the computation I now call my modified net worth, has surpassed $100,000. At ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Quick Edition

by Luke Landes

If You Won the Lottery, Would You Tell Anyone? It’s required that you you do announce your winning in public, I believe. Even if it weren’t, there’d be a few people I would tell. I guess any readers would find out by the time my next net worth update rolls around. Pay Phones on Their ... 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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This Week in the Archives: Fireworks Edition

by Luke Landes

The fireworks display I planned to attend last night were rained out, so my girlfriend and I ended up watching the Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular from the comfort of my couch. Something was missing from the experience. Later, the neighbors sent up a few of their own fireworks. If you’re a new reader, you may have ... Continue reading this article…

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Again, Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: Identity Protection

by Luke Landes

My post the other day on 5 Good Reasons to Avoid Debit Cards stirred up some discussion on the lack of consumer protection offered by debit cards. The bottom line is that after a fraudulent charge on your debit card, your money is gone from your checking account until first you notice a transaction was ... 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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Final Giveaway Reminder: Cash, Cars, & College

by Luke Landes

At 11:59 PM tomorrow night, I will no longer be accepting entries in the giveaway of Cash, Cars, & College, by Janine Bolon. I’m giving away two copies of the book, which I’ve reviewed here, so your chances are still not bad. In order to be included in the drawing, simply read this post and ... Continue reading this article…

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