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

August 2007

Souvenir Tax Bill: Lucky Fan May Owe $210,000

by Luke Landes

If you haven’t been living in a hole and have any interest in sports, you may have heard that Barry Bonds surpassed Hank Aaron’s record and hit his 756th home run the other day. With all the footage from a plethora of angles of Bonds breaking the record, the news also showed a man in ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You Accept a Counteroffer?

by Luke Landes

Reader Aaron writes in with his latest workplace developments and a question. While working at my current job, I have been interviewing for a new position with the same company. The new position is at a significantly higher level with a title to match, a higher salary, a better commute, and what seems to be ... Continue reading this article…

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The Festival is Up!

by Luke Landes

Dawn is hosting the Festival of Frugality at Frugal for Life. My article, Dangers and Benefits of Dollar Stores was included. I also enjoyed Having a Budget Motivates Me to Act Frugally, Some Fast Food For Thought, and 10 More Ways to Entertain Young Children For $1 or Less (Without the TV). Here is more ... Continue reading this article…

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Top Ten Used Cars Under $10,000

by Luke Landes

Updated: Here are the Top 10 cars of 2008 and the Best American Cars of 2009. If you have $10,000 available to spend on a car, cars.com has suggestions for you with a recent top ten list. Here’s their methodology: [W]e crunched retail values for late-model used cars and factored in reliability ratings, safety equipment ... Continue reading this article…

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Get Rich With One Penny, If It’s The Right Penny

by Luke Landes

A woman was planting flowers in her garden in Pennsylvania earlier this year, and she came across what the thought was a bicentennial quarter. Actually, what she found was a 1793 copper “chain” cent. According to the Professional Coin Grading Service’s Price Guide, the coin could be valued in the thousands of dollars even in ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update: August 6, 2007

by Luke Landes

The Dow gained more points today than on any other day this year. A sign of more to come? Dow up to 13,468.78, S&P 500 up to 1,467.67, Nasdaq up to 2,547.33. [USA Today]

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Fidelity Investments to Offer High-Yield Checking

by Luke Landes

I am currently on vacation and may not offer posts as frequently as usual. More brokers are offering high-yield checking accounts to compete with ING Direct’s Orange Checking. Offering competitive checking accounts helps the brokerages increase their assets without having to pay a significant portion of its earnings out as interest. Right now, E*Trade is ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnivals are Up!

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary is included in two blog carnivals today. The Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted at Frugal Law Student, includes Another Case of Misleading Statistics, and the Carnival of Debt Reduction, hosted at Finance Psychology, includes Paying Off Debt: 6 Steps to Building a Better Snowball. Here are some of the articles I enjoyed from ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update, August 3, 2007

by Luke Landes

My trading window is open, but the company stock in my ESPP is down from where it was at the end of second quarter. I’ll need to make a quick decision to sell or hold for another quarter. Dow down to 13,181.91, S&P 500 down to 1,433.06, Nasdaq down to 2,111.25.

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Newport and Boston Edition

by Luke Landes

Thanks again to everyone who suggested fun things to do in Boston and Newport. I’m taking a good number of the suggestions and will report back when possible. While I’m away, I’ll be blogging, but in the chance you’d like to read some articles by some of the bloggers I enjoy, check out these. Free ... Continue reading this article…

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$25 Bonus for Opening ING Direct Electric Orange Checking Account

by Luke Landes

After logging into ING Direct to view my account balances this morning, I noticed the bank is offering referral bonuses like they do for their savings account. I have $625 to give away, $25 to each of 25 individuals. I’ve written about Electric Orange a few times. Here are some of my prior posts about ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Waste Two Hours Every Workday?

by Luke Landes

This was a cross-cubicle conversation topic earlier this week. Salary.com apparently has time enough to waste which allowed them to complete the 2007 Wasting Time Survey. Across all workers, 1.7 hours of an 8.5 hour workday is wasted on tasks like arranging doctor’s appointments, socializing with co-workers, and using the Internet for personal purposes. As ... Continue reading this article…

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Get Your Personal Finance Questions Answered

by Luke Landes

On Friday, August 17 and Thursday, August 30, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance are presenting free one-on-one discussions with professional advisors. To get your questions answered, either call 888-919-2345 on one of those two dates between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm or email your questions in ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One Reportedly Raised Interest Rates Across the Board

by Luke Landes

Consumerist reports that readers have been writing in today with complaints about Capital One credit cards. They’ve increased their interest rates (APRs) on purchases across the board, affecting a large pool of customers. Here’s a strategy to remedy this situation if it affected you. If you have another credit card with a low interest rate, ... Continue reading this article…

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How Much Cash to Take on Vacation?

by Luke Landes

It’s no secret that I use my credit card for as much spending as possible — the spending I would do whether using cash or credit — thanks to the availability of cash back rebates. The spending plan for my upcoming vacation is for me to put just about all of our vacation expenses on ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives: Cooling Your House, Fire Your Advisor, and the Golden Ratio

by Luke Landes

Here are some articles from yesteryear. If you joined Consumerism Commentary in the last year, these will be new to you. From August 1-8, 2006: * How Much Ya Bench? Compare Your Internet Speed and Price. * American Express Raising Fees and Changing Their Rewards Program * The Last 401(k) Guide You’ll Ever Need, Five ... Continue reading this article…

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Bad Implementation: High Speed Mortgage Payoffs

by Luke Landes

There’s a new mortgage technique that’s gaining popularity in the United States. This is the first I’ve heard of it, and I don’t like it, even though the technique supposedly allows people to pay off mortgages faster, saving interest expense (but losing investment opportunity and the reverse effect of inflation). The premise users a home ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, July 2007 (Net Income: $4,646)

by Luke Landes

to get a complete picture of my finances as of July 31, 2007, please read my latest balance sheet if you haven’t done so already. This is the second part of my monthly reporting, the income and expense statement. This was another out-of-the-ordinary month. The lease on my new apartment began at the end of ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, July 2007 ($102,011, +2.4%)

by Luke Landes

If you’re new to Consumerism Commentary, this may seem like a strange concept. Every month I share my financial reports down to the dollar. It is a summary of all of my account balances as well as a rough estimate of the value of my larger assets. It is not a complete net worth report ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update: August 1, 2007

by Luke Landes

Perhaps August will bring some good news to the market and to my investment accounts. Dow up to 13,313.76, S&P 500 up to 1,466.97, Nasdaq up to 2,551.64. [CNN]

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