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

August 2008

Twitter Poll: How Much Do You Have in Your Emergency Fund?

by Luke Landes

Earlier today, I asked via Twitter how much everyone has in their emergency fund in relation to their monthly expenses. Here are some of the responses. (I assumed if the message wasn’t sent privately and if the twitter account wasn’t protected that I could re-post the source of the responses.) nodebtplan: 3 months of expenses ... Continue reading this article…

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This Tee-Shirt Was Brought to You By Pepsi (And This Mustache by Just For Men)

by Luke Landes

Why is it that everyone wants me to advertise for them for free, particularly when it is related to sports? At almost every baseball game attend, I can receive “free” gifts. Last year, in return for buying a ticket to one particular game, I received a bucket hat with my team’s logo. Just several hours ... Continue reading this article…

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The Right Size for Your Emergency Fund

by Luke Landes

One of the most popular pieces of financial advice is the importance of establishing an emergency fund, money that can be accessed to assist with life unexpected problems, like medical emergencies or the loss of a job. Financial advisers like Suze Orman suggest that most people have ready three to six months’ worth of expenses ... Continue reading this article…

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Several Interesting Articles From Around the Web

by Luke Landes

Here are some articles from the Money Blog Network I enjoyed recently. All I Really Need to Know About Stocks I Learned in the Sixth Grade. Get Rich Slowly interviews David Gardner, one of the founders of The Motley Fool, a website mainly about investing. The forums on The Motley Fool is where I originally ... Continue reading this article…

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The Envelope at Work: Do You Give (In)?

by Luke Landes

Perhaps you have seen this. It may take the form of a manila folder containing a list of names on the front and a card and an envelope in side. Some of the names have been crossed off and perhaps even there’s a dollar amount written beside those. The card has is a generic “get ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing Strategy: Set it and Forget It (Except Once Annually for Rebalancing)

by Luke Landes

It’s very tempting to quickly peek at your investments to see if they’ve gone up or down in the past twenty-four hours. The same technology that makes our lives so much easier, computer software, can drive us insane. It takes almost no effort to log into my company’s 401(k) website. When I’m at home, Quicken ... Continue reading this article…

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Bottled Water? What Was I Thinking?

by Smithee

A few years ago, when I started paying attention to my diet, I found that drinking at least a liter of water a day kept my brain functioning better, and in the case of two liters a day, kept me from gaining weight. Where I was living, the tap water was unpalatable, so I made ... Continue reading this article…

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Confirmed: TIAA-CREF Laying Off 10% of Workforce

by Luke Landes

August 8 update: This is now confirmed. This is unconfirmed but in the last few hours, two employees at TIAA-CREF have written to Consumerism Commentary to share the knowledge that workers in the the Charlotte, North Carolina office are being laid off by management at this very moment. The layoffs began on Monday and will ... Continue reading this article…

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Tuesday Roundup: $1.8 Million, Gas Prices, and SIPC

by Luke Landes

Here are some personal finance articles I’ve enjoyed recently from around the web. Perhaps you will, as well. $1.8 Million Net Worth – How I Got From There to Here. QCash, a retired, 37-year-old millionaire, explains how he reached that point. “[P]urchasing real estate at a young age paid off huge for me. Living a ... Continue reading this article…

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JetBlue Now Charges for Pillows and Blankets on Flights

by Luke Landes

In order to remain competitive, airlines try to keep fare prices low. When that strategy starts to break down and airlines can’t compensate for the cost of flying in the normal way (increasing bookings, and decreasing flights) and they still resist raising fares, they look for new ways to earn revenue. So now we’re charged ... Continue reading this article…

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No More Credit Card Debt: Now What?

by Smithee

In about 6.5 months, I will be free of credit card debt for the first time since 1998. Much like Inigo Montoya and the “Revenge Business”, now that it’s over, I don’a know what to do with the rest of my life. Readers of Consumerism Commentary have proven their wisdom many times over, so I’d ... Continue reading this article…

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Subscribe to Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

If you’re interested in getting on the waiting list for the ING Direct referrals, pay attention here. By subscribing to our RSS feed with feed-reading software such as Google Reader or aggregators such as My Yahoo, you’ll always be aware of new content here. If you prefer to have daily updates emailed directly to you, ... Continue reading this article…

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Marketplace’s Budget Hero

by Smithee

NPR syndicates a show called “Marketplace” all over the country (and online, of course). I like to listen to the Morning Report while driving to work. The show does a great job of explaining current economic stories without a lot of technical explanations and acronyms. I found a game on the Web site called “Budget ... Continue reading this article…

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Would You Ask For More Company Stock In Lieu of a Raise?

by Luke Landes

Mellody Hobson, the president of Ariel Investments, recently shared her favorite piece of advice to Money Magazine. When I was 22, a friend who is very successful explained to me that no one ever got rich through earned income. “Look at all the great wealthy families,” he said. “From Carnegie to Rockefeller, it was never ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, July 2008 (Net Income: $7,731)

by Luke Landes

My balance sheet provides a decent snapshot of my current financial state, but it doesn’t tell the complete story. While I have control over most of my investments and could sell poor performers and buy others if I so choose, I’d rather stick with what I have for the long term. Therefore, monthly swings in ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, July 2008 ($162,148, +4.5%)

by Luke Landes

It’s two months later, and I still need to achieve another $50,000 to reach my net worth goal of $210,000 by December 31. With so much of my assets tied into the stock market indexes, it’s no surprise I’m not making the progress I hoped for. When the company I work for releases its quarterly ... Continue reading this article…

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Apologies to Internet Explorer Users: SiteMeter Broke Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

I apologize to any users of Internet Explorer who were unable to access Consumerism Commentary for several hours on Friday. Apparently, something was wrong with some of the web statistics software I (and millions of other webmasters) was using. The service provider, SiteMeter, changed their code and caused presumably thousands of websites to be inaccessible ... Continue reading this article…

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iPhone Finance (Mostly) Apps, Vol. 1

by Smithee

It’s barely been a month since the iPhone update which allows people to download applications written by 3rd-party developers, and there are already more than 1,000 to choose from. Here are a few of the more promising entries in the field of Personal Finance: Loan Shark (Web | iTunes) It’s unreasonable to expect that a ... Continue reading this article…

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