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


Math Anxiety Could Hurt Your Finances: 5 Ways to Get Over It

by Sasha

I just ran across a cute article by TODAY Financial Editor Jean Chatzky which really spoke to me as a hater of all things mathematical. According to Chatzky, math anxiety, one of the biggest roadblocks to getting one’s finances together, affects half of all Americans at some level. It can result from any early numerical […]

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Ten Tips for the Holidays: Avoiding Credit Card Traps

by Luke Landes

It’s not unusual for even the most savvy credit-card-carrying consumer to fall into some of the most popular traps for spenders set by credit issuers. I write about using credit cards wisely, but unfortunately, many who don’t get penalized with interest and fees. Even those who always pay their credit card bill in full are […]

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Livin’ it Up: Young Philly Couple Charged With Identity Theft

by Luke Landes

Jocelyn Kirsch and Edward K. Anderton live in Philadelphia but they’ve been spending their time in Paris, London, Hawaii, and Seattle thanks to their neighbors. The neighbors aren’t quite as happy, however. The two were using their expensive apartment to assist in stealing the identities of the other people living in their building as well […]

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Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2: Clutter-Free Consumable Gifts: Food and Drink

by Sasha

Besides charitable giving, this year I’m focusing on clutter-free gifts: experiences and consumables. While experiences are great gifts, consumables give you something to open and enjoy Christmas morning. has some nice suggestions for theme-based consumable gift collections, such as bulbs and seeds for a gardener, spice collections for someone who enjoys cooking, and the […]

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Thanks For the Bats

by Luke Landes

This is a guest post from someone who pops up in some of my more personal stories here on Consumerism Commentary. “A.” is a fourth-grade teacher in the New York City public school system. Every Halloween, my aunt lends her skills to my fourth-grade class by creating bats out of sewn felt bean bags, which […]

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State Farm to Pay Dividend to NJ Policyholders

by Sasha

In my mail recently, I received a colorful postcard from State Farm, the agency which insures my car, house, and several rental properties. I was “sorting” it directly into the trash when I noticed the word “dividend” peeking up at me. Dividend. That’s right, my insurance company has declared a dividend for its New Jersey […]

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Personal Income Statement, November 2007 (Net Income: $5,982)

by Luke Landes

Each month, I review my modified net worth in addition to my income and expenses. A monthly review helps me stay focused on improving my financial condition, and doing so in public is a way to hold myself accountable. If I have to report to the public my progress each month, I’m theoretically less likely […]

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Personal Balance Sheet, November 2007 ($121,861, +1.8%)

by Luke Landes

Following the end of every month, I take my financials from Quicken and publish a few reports online. I’ve been doing this since 2003 to keep myself accountable for my finances. The balance sheet included in this post measures my “modified net worth.” It’s a list of the present values of my assets my liabilities, […]

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8 Tips for a Unsuccessful Office Holiday Party

by Luke Landes

If your office is like mine, you celebrate the holidays (but primarily Christmas) with a gift exchange of some sort as well as a party. I’ve found the office holiday experience to be hit or miss. Now, with the help of NBC’s The Office, here are some pointers for making December in the workplace awkward, […]

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Time to Run and Hide From Stocks?

by Luke Landes

The stock market has certainly been all over the place lately. A few people have told me that the constant chatter about impending doom is pushing them towards pulling out or re-allocating their investments to expose themselves less to stocks. If I can stomach short-term losses like I think I can, I intend on using […]

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