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

January 2008

Importance of Budgeting Relates to Financial Condition and Habits

by Luke Landes

Businesses use budgeting to forecast income and expenses for the year. With a budget, individuals who manage companies’ money will have a decent of idea of how much cash they need at any time of the year to meet the company’s obligations. Personal budgets work the same way. At the beginning of the year, it’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Take This Rule of Thumb Quiz

by Luke Landes

I often rail against “financial rules of thumb” for their overly simplistic view of what are often complex situations. There is far too much potential for snappy catchphrases to lead people to refuse to think and evaluate situations on their own. Rules of thumb don’t take into account individual circumstances and even the most popular ... Continue reading this article…

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Misconceptions About the Transition to Digital Television

by Luke Landes

Whenever the subject turns to high definition television, I’ve always found a few people who are disappointed because they believe they need to sell their television and upgrade to high definition by February 17, 2009, they day the lights go out on analog broadcasts. This is a significant misconception, an incorrect assumption that is encouraged ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Remain Competitive Within My Field

by Sasha

I’ve made a few financial mistakes in the past year, but the last one I’ll share is perhaps the worst of all, since it’s about more than just money. If I don’t recover from this one, I could pay years of penance, not just suffer through one dismal tax year. My earning potential is something ... Continue reading this article…

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Toll Hikes Coming to N.J. Turnpike, G.S. Parkway, A.C. Expressway, and Route 440

by Luke Landes

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine announced yesterday a plan to raise money in New Jersey to issue bonds in a public benefits corporation that will manage the toll roads. The bonds will be paid back through a series of toll increases. Starting in 2010 and every four years until 2022, toll prices on the New ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Balance Rental Property Income with Deductible Expenses

by Sasha

2007 may be my worst tax year ever. Not only did I fail to qualify for the full energy credit and fall out of touch with my tax accountant, but I made it worse by having a great year with my rental properties. A great year which I did not sufficiently offset, and that’s my ... Continue reading this article…

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Midweek Roundup: Welcome Consumerist Readers

by Luke Landes

Thanks to the editors of The Consumerist who directed their readers towards Sasha’s 5 Stupid Financial Mistakes in 2007 and Four Factors That Determine the Value of a Coin. Please feel free to subscribe to the Consumerism Commentary RSS feed to be notified whenever new articles are posted here. Here are some articles I’ve enjoyed ... Continue reading this article…

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15 Credit Cards With the Best Rewards

by Luke Landes

Looking for the best credit cards? Read this updated article. Liz Pulliam Weston asked credit card experts for their recommendations for making the most of the rewards that the issuing companies offer. I’ve done well with my Citi Dividend Platinum Select and now my American Express Blue Cash for Business, but it’s interesting to see ... Continue reading this article…

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Ken Jennings’ Quote of the Day and What Would You Do With $1.5 Million?

by Luke Landes

Ken Jennings was popular for a while as a major winner on Jeopardy. In the tournament, he went home with $2.5m. A windfall like this can inspire inaction or poor decisions. Ken Jennings has advice for those in this position: “Put your money somewhere not idiotic and leave it alone as much as possible.” What ... Continue reading this article…

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$100 to $200 Bonus for Opening a Chase Checking Account, March 2012

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note:  These offers are no longer available.  See the bottom of this article for a new $100 bonus for opening a Chase checking account. If you’re looking for the best online checking accounts, including Ally, ING Direct, USAA, and others, read this article. A new Chase branch opened across the street from my apartment ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Underutilizing Financial and Tax Advisors

by Sasha

In 2007, I actually sought a financial advisor, developed an asset allocation model, and started to track my finances more closely than ever. All good moves, but after reallocating some of my investments, I made my third mistake: 3. Underutilizing Financial and Tax Advisors I mentioned that I developed an asset allocation model with my ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Establish a Spending Budget

by Sasha

Unlike my first mistake, Failing to Utilize the Energy Tax Credit, my next mistake is one where I at least have a second chance. It’s not too late to fix this one for 2008. 2. Failing to Establish a Spending Budget I tried to spend less, consider my purchases more, and get the best deals ... Continue reading this article…

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Four Factors That Determine the Value of a Coin

by Luke Landes

I recently wrote about some changes coming to the presidential dollar series released into circulation by the U.S. Mint. Jeremy asked: My wife and I received two fancy rolls of uncirculated coins of a 2007 series in a plastic display case as a gift this Christmas. For now they are just going to sit in ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Find (and Keep) Your Money

by Sasha

Lost and found has been one of the big themes in my life lately. After finding bonds I’d forgotten about for years, I realized that I’d misplaced some very sentimental and irreplaceable valuables and spent an entire day searching. It was a very bad day until about 6 p.m. when I finally located the items. ... Continue reading this article…

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Presidential Dollar Coins: New Designs in 2008 and Future Changes

by Luke Landes

There’s some news about the relatively unpopular “presidential” golden dollar coins. I’ve been using these coins almost every day, but I have not run into anyone else doing so. Most people I know haven’t even seen the coins. If you want to pick them up from the bank, pay attention to the release schedule: February ... Continue reading this article…

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More Children are Budding Philanthropists

by Luke Landes

I’ve had charity on my mind lately, and it seems to be affecting what I write about. During my normal reading, I came across a Washington Post article about what is apparently an increase in philanthropy among teenagers and younger children. Young children and teenagers across the nation are getting involved in philanthropy more than ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, December 2007 (Net Income: $4,252)

by Luke Landes

Earlier today, I posted my year-end balance sheet for 2007. This is a companion to that report. Below, I list my expenses and income for December 2007 and the entire year, as well as some numbers from prior years for comparison. The balance report lists the state of my various accounts, while the income statement ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, December 2007 ($122,596, +1.5%)

by Luke Landes

It’s time to close the books on 2007, a successful year for me in terms of financial growth. As I do every month, I’m taking some time to publish financial reports in order to track my progress publicly. I’ve been posting these reports online since July 2003 in order to keep myself accountable for the ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Utilize the Energy Tax Credit

by Sasha

Sure, I’m much more aware of my personal finances now, and made some very positive changes in 2007, but looking back, I realize I’ve also made some very-avoidable mistakes, for which I’m kicking myself. My first mistake is also the most annoying to me, since I’ll be feeling the impact of this particular poor decision ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Financial Goals and Resolutions for 2008

by Luke Landes

I noted recently that most people fail at financial new year’s resolutions. That may because of the tradition that the typical “resolution” is a light-hearted attempt at improving one’s self, many times uttered in a drunken state, without much of a plan for attainment. If you want to succeed, set a real, solid goal, devise ... Continue reading this article…

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