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

April 2008

Ethical Consumerism, An Introduction

by Sasha

As I shared with you a few weeks ago, I choose to pay more for my electricity. And in 2007, 71 percent of my total grocery budget went to support local agriculture and small businesses. Each year, I buy a harvest share at a local community supported agriculture farm. I promise to start waxing poetic […]

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Complaining Can Save You Money

by Guest Author

About the author: This article was written by Emily Starbuck Gerson whose personal mission is to help people learn about credit and debt. She writes for the blog, Taking Charge (read her posts here). I love cookies. They’re one of my favorite things to eat, and everyone who knows me knows this. I avoid fried […]

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Going to California and Blog Roundup

by Luke Landes

Tomorrow morning, my girlfriend and I will be on a Virgin America flight to California. We plan on visiting my family and enjoying a week-long vacation away from our day-time jobs. Posting on Consumerism Commentary will be light during the week. Meanwhile, take a look at these picks from the MoneyBlogNetwork. The Same Actions Will […]

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Following Your Bliss: Good Advice or Bunk?

by Luke Landes

One of my favorite musical “acts” is Blue Man Group. The Blue Man Group explores, with primitively modern musical instruments, society, detachment, and collectivism. You may remember them from Intel’s old Pentium commercials. You may also remember them from the television show Arrested Development, in which the character Tobias, played by David Cross, auditioned for […]

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Lies Annuity Salesmen Tell: A Dateline Undercover Investigation

by Luke Landes

Last year, a reader wrote into Consumerism Commentary with a story about how her elderly father was convinced to buy a variable annuity, locking away his money until after his likely passing. He had wanted to talk to a financial adviser, but found his way to Banc of America Investment Services. Recently, Dateline took a […]

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Unintended Consequences and Money

by Luke Landes

Ethanol: a study of unintended consequences As recently as two years ago, ethanol was considered by many to be the solution for this country’s reliance on imported oil. Ethanol can be produced domestically, and it costs no more to make a car that runs on ethanol than it does to make a car that runs […]

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Many Exchange-Traded Funds are Not All They’re Cracked Up to Be

by Luke Landes

I own shares in one exchange-traded fund, iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Sector Index Fund (IYZ). I picked up the shares with free money from a Sharebuilder bonus, and since it was free money, I decided to attempt to choose an investment narrower than my typical investing philosophy would normally allow. Rather than a broad […]

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MoneyBlogNetwork on Emergency Funds and Latest Carnival of Personal Finance

by Luke Landes

This morning, I published an article outlining 50 tips to help add a little something-something to your emergency fund. This article is part of the April MoneyBlogNetwork Group Writing Project, in which a number of bloggers are working together to write about emergency funds from a variety of perspectives. As of right now, 16 bloggers […]

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50 Tips to Help Establish Your Emergency Fund

by Luke Landes

One of the first steps to cleaning up one’s financial situation before embarking on the journey to become financially independent is the establishment of an emergency fund. An emergency fund, in its most basic form, is an accessible savings account where you keep cash for true emergencies, like the loss of a job or a […]

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SmartyPig Smartly Drops $25 Redemption Fee

by Luke Landes

A few weeks ago, I previewed the SmartyPig savings account, an interesting way to collaboratively save money for goals while earning interest on that money. I like the ease of sharing goals with friends and family and allowing them to contribute, but the redemption options were limited. By design, SmartyPig prefers that once you reach […]

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