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

November 2007

Weekly Blog Roundup, One Week to Flight Edition

by Luke Landes

Here are several interesting articles from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond over the past week. Five Cent Nickel: Funding an IRA When You’re Not Sure You Can Afford It Mighty Bargain Hunter: Twelve Bargains That Aren’t Bargains Blueprint for Financial Prosperity: You are a Business, Act Like One! Get Rich Slowly: What to do When Money ... Continue reading this article…

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Against Social Multitasking: Be Where You Are

by Sasha

I had family visiting from California this weekend, and was very glad to be able to take time off from work and everything else just to be able to spend it with them. It’s precious time I’ll always remember. In the midst of our happy chatter over brunch this morning at a great local diner, ... Continue reading this article…

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Gay Men Earn 23% Less Pay Than Married Men

by Sasha

Are gay men discriminated against by employers? Yes, according to a new study which appears in the Journal of Labor Research. The study, co-authored by Bruce Elmslie, professor of economics at UNH Whittemore and Edinaldo Tebaldi of Bryant University in Rhode Island, contains an in-depth analysis of wage and labor data collected by the U.S. ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: Forgo ESPP Share Discount?

by Luke Landes

JBW submitted a question to Consumerism Commentary alongside an earlier discussion of my own Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) shares and I’d like to highlight the question here. I’m currently trying to decide what to do in terms of my employer’s ESPP. The discount is 10 percent and stock is bought on a monthly basis (the ... Continue reading this article…

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Accepting Guest Posts for Thanksgiving

by Luke Landes

I’ll be traveling and “vacationing” from November 17 through November 23, and during that time, I plan to write on Consumerism Commentary as I normally do. However, I’m looking for a few guest posts, probably three at the most, to spread throughout that week. If you’re interested, contact me.

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Alternative Retirement: A Lighthouse?

by Luke Landes

One of my dilemmas is the difficulty I’ve had with determining where I’d like to live when I retire some day. In fact, I’m having enough trouble deciding where to live next year. While I should probably solve the more immediate issue first, I still think about how I’d want to live in the future. ... Continue reading this article…

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Pop Star Follies Part 2: Michael Jackson’s Foreclosure

by Luke Landes

We’ve been discussing Britney Spears’ reported poor financial management strategy lately. A recent court report described her overspending and lack of investment, although this may have been a part of her spousal support strategy. She must have financial advisers on her payroll, right? There must be more to the story. Nevertheless, I’m not stepping up ... Continue reading this article…

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The Decline and Fall of the U.S. Dollar

by Sasha

The U.S. dollar hit record lows today due to concerns that China might shift its foreign exchange holdings elsewhere. I’d been concerned before when I first heard that the Canadian dollar was ahead of our own, but today, The Guardian reported that the American dollar had reached a 26-year low against the British pound: By ... Continue reading this article…

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Stopping at a Gas Station for Directions Just Got Cooler

by Luke Landes

There’s a new kind of gasoline pump being shipped to gas stations, and it’s the kind of thing guys will like. If you need directions, just check the pump. These new devices are equipped with a stripped-down version of Google Maps, pre-loaded with locations hand-picked by the station owner. Once you find your destination on ... Continue reading this article…

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8 Secret Credit Scores You Don’t Know About

by Luke Landes

I’ve mentioned before that your income (or reported income) comes into play when you are offered credit. But wait! Your income isn’t considered when Fair Isaac Corporation calculates your credit score. We were discussing qualifying for mortgages at the time, but recent article from Liz Pulliam Weston confirms that credit card companies use some scoring ... Continue reading this article…

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Edit Your Comments

by Luke Landes

I’ve installed a feature on Consumerism Commentary that allows you to edit your comments for up to ten minutes after entering them. Just click in the text area after your comment is posted to edit your comments or click on your name (byline) to edit your personal information. Thanks to Get Rich Slowly and FiveCentNickel ... Continue reading this article…

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Britney Spears: Doing Nothing With a Six-Figure Monthly Income

by Luke Landes

Here’s a hypothetical situation. Let’s say you’re a single mother with two children to support. Let’s also say, for the sake of argument, that thanks to royalties and such you earn $737,000. That is $737,000 a month. Even if you’re a big spender, surely close to $9,000,000 a year, and the income generated from investments ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Get Vaccinated Against Influenza?

by Luke Landes

My company was offering vaccinations today for any employees wanting to gain protection from the flu this season. By the early afternoon, they ran out of vaccine and added another date a week from now to the schedule for those who did not get a chance. I’ve never opted for the flu vaccine. It has ... Continue reading this article…

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This Month in the Archives: Wal-Mart Sales, Algebra, and Extravagance

by Luke Landes

If you’re new to Consumerism Commentary or just nostalgic, here are some articles from the first half of November in prior years. From November 2006: * Is a Wal-Mart Sale CNN-Newsworthy? * Secrets and Myths About Salary Your Employer Doesn’t Want You to Know * Solved an Algebra Equation at Work * Bond Issued to ... Continue reading this article…

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Higher Health Insurance Premiums for Overweight: Discrimination?

by Luke Landes

If you are seeking your own health insurance outside of an employer plan, your weight has a lot to do with the premium you’ll pay as well as your ability to even qualify for insurance. Insurance companies find this to be logical. Overweight individuals account for a higher percentage of health-related costs than they should, ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup II, Heroes (Season One) Edition

by Luke Landes

I’ve been a fan of the television show, Heroes, from the beginning of the first season, but my girlfriend is only a recent convert. We started viewing the first season in order with marathon sessions this past weekend, in between putting together report cards for her students. Here are some more recent articles from the ... Continue reading this article…

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The 6 Top Credit Cards for 0% APR on Purchases

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available. Updated March 20, 2008. If you manage your money well and can afford to do so, there’s nothing wrong with using 0 percent offers to make larger purchases. Taking this approach gives you two advantages: you can leave more of ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup I, Report Cards Edition

by Luke Landes

My girlfriend is an elementary school teacher in the New York City public school system. Other than this meaning she earns more money for her day job than I do from mine, it also means that time this weekend is set aside for creating report cards for her students. Here are several recent articles from ... Continue reading this article…

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Monthly Reminder: Subscribe to Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

By subscribing to our RSS feed, you’ll always be aware of new content here, whether from me or Sasha. If you use Google Reader for reading news and blogs like I do, you can easily subscribe using this special link. If you subscribe today, we’ll be closer to breaking 5,000 subscribers (as reported by FeedBurner). ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, October 2007 (Net Income: $5,851)

by Luke Landes

This article is a companion to the personal balance sheet, posted earlier this morning. Inside, I take a look at my spending and income throughout the month of October. October was another fairly ordinary month, with only a couple of extra expenses included. After reviewing my expense categories for the month, I found a few ... Continue reading this article…

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