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

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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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One Life: The Cost of Extreme Consumerism

by Luke Landes

When the doors opened early for Black Friday sales at a Wal-Mart store on Long Island, the frenzied shoppers stormed in, determined to be the first to grab the bargains before they were depleted. The maniacs trampled the unfortunate Wal-Mart worker whose job was to open the door. The shoppers continued to run in, ignoring […]

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