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December 2008

Upcoming Vote on Credit Card Reforms

by Smithee

Every Tuesday, Smithee presents an article about his own experiences credit cards with and observations about the credit card industry. The U.S. Federal Reserve is set to vote on Thursday (Dec. 18) on a set of rules which could change credit policy affecting all Americans. The full set of proposals is more than a thousand ... Continue reading this article…

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I am Debt Free as of Today!

by Luke Landes

For several years, interest rates on high-yield savings accounts were high enough to justify choosing to leave extra money in savings accounts rather than using that money to pay off certain debts faster. I was paying only the minimum payment on my consolidated student loan. The loan’s interest rate was 4.25 percent and I had been ... Continue reading this article…

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Take Control of Your Finances Part 8: Set Savings Targets

by Luke Landes

Last week, I wrote about the importance of setting real life goals in order to take and maintain control of one’s own financial condition. It’s important to break past the idea that a life goal is based on money. For example, entering retirement with $4,000,000 is a good target, but it’s not a major goal. ... Continue reading this article…

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Coworkers Excited About Investing

by Luke Landes

In the sea of cubicles in my office, two of my coworkers were talking yesterday about their investments. As stocks — primarily our company stock — have increased a little from their recent lows, they seem to believe that this might be a good time to increase 401(k) contributions and enroll in the company stock ... Continue reading this article…

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The Schwab Bank Invest First™ Visa Signature® Credit Card

by Smithee

The name of the card has clearly too many symbols and arguably too many syllables, but when the daily financial news is consistently dire, I should just be happy to see something that is this innovative and attractive. It’s a credit card that gives you free money for investing. Of course, we at Consumerism Commentary ... Continue reading this article…

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News and Blogs: Monday, December 8, 2008

by Luke Landes

Anheuser-Busch Cuts 1,400 Jobs. This shouldn’t be a surprise after the company was purchased by InBev and the company promised over a million dollars in annual savings. Maybe It’s Time to Buy That First House. Don’t worry, there are no conclusions in this New York Times article. Maybe it is time, but maybe it is ... Continue reading this article…

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Take Control of Your Finances Part 7: Set Goals

by Luke Landes

Last month, I began writing about the process of taking control of one’s own financial condition. It’s common to outline any process by describing a series of steps, and that is the form I have chosen for writing about this particular process. The steps I’ve described roughly follow my experience as I learned to take ... Continue reading this article…

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The Big Three are Back in Washington

by Luke Landes

The CEOs of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler are heading to Washington, D.C. today for the second time to plead for government assistance. The first trip resulted in public relations faux pas. They flew to Congress on private corporate jets, spending much more company money than necessary. This brings to mind the image of someone ... Continue reading this article…

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Most Popular on Consumerism Commentary: November 2008

by Luke Landes

One of the best methods of reading Consumerism Commentary and staying up-to-date with the latest articles and posts is through RSS subscription. By subscribing to the Consumerism Commentary 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 ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, November 2008 (Net Income: $22,787)

by Luke Landes

Along with the monthly personal balance sheet, which I use to track my net worth from month to month, I publish a report that outlines my income and expenses. The two reports together help me focus on the total picture. My “extracurricular” income — money I’m earning outside of my day job through writing for ... Continue reading this article…

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News and Blogs: Tuesday, December 2, 2008

by Luke Landes

JPMorgan Chase to Cut 9,200 Washington Mutual Jobs Nationwide. Chase notified thousands of WaMu employees yesterday that their jobs will be eliminated by the end of next year, many much sooner. 3,400 of the jobs will be cut from the Seattle headquarters and 1,600 more from California. Self-Employes are Frozen Out of Mortgages. If I ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, November 2008 ($180,926, +6.5%)

by Luke Landes

It doesn’t look like I’m going to meet the goal I set for myself last year. A net worth of $210,000 is out of the question unless the stock market experiences a miraculous recovery. All things considered, my finances are still in good shape. Every month, I review my account balances and income vs. expenses ... Continue reading this article…

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45% Less Credit in Americans’ Wallets

by Smithee

Meredith Whitney, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. is predicting that credit card issuers may cut as much as $2 trillion worth of available credit in the near future, representing about 45 percent of today’s levels. The Motley Fool has decided to call this The Death of Credit Cards, but we’ll be co-existing with them for ... Continue reading this article…

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WTDirect Offering Account Opening Bonuses Up to $250

by Luke Landes

EDITORS NOTE: THIS OFFER IS EXPIRED WTDirect, the online banking arm of Wilmington Trust, is looking to attract customers with a good interest rate (currently 3.06 percent APY for accounts with a balance of $10,000 or more) and a bonus for new account holders. If you open a new account at WTDirect and maintain an average ... Continue reading this article…

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News and Blogs: Monday, December 1, 2008

by Luke Landes

More ING Direct $25 bonus links are now available. I’ve posted more referral codes received from Consumerism Commentary readers on the waiting list. In a few weeks, I plan on opening the waiting list again, so subscribe to the RSS feed so you can respond quickly to add your name before the list is closed ... Continue reading this article…

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November Cash Experiment: Successful, Perhaps

by Luke Landes

Early last month, I decided to leave my credit card in my wallet throughout November. Over the last few years, I’ve been using a rewards credit card to pay almost all of my day-to-day expenses. I never pay interest charges because I always pay my credit card in full before the due date. I buy ... Continue reading this article…

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