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Changed My Verizon Wireless Plan: Same Features for $30 Less

by Luke Landes

Earlier this year, I upgraded my only phone — I have no need for a land line — to a BlackBerry 8830 on Verizon Wireless. Now I receive my important email (in addition to some junk mail) where ever I happen to be. I accepted the fact that I would be paying for this service. […]

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News and Blogs: Wednesday, November 12, 2008

by Luke Landes

Seeking Guest Authors for the Week of November 23. I’m looking for a few writers to provide a small number of articles later this month while I am in California. While I’ll be blogging somewhat regularly during this time, I like to use this week every year to feature writing by other authors. If you […]

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Take Control of Your Finances Part 1-C: Make Accurate Predictions

by Luke Landes

Now that you’ve taken an inventory of your finances and determined your net worth, I can tell you that the number is meaningless. Well, there is a point to your net worth, but it’s not the most important number to your finances. Your net worth tells a very small part of the story that defines […]

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Take Control of Your Finances Part 1-B: Take an Inventory

by Luke Landes

An acquaintance of mine formerly owned a store that sells “country” products like hand-crafted wood furniture, candles, and decor inspired by rural living. Twice a year, she recruited family members and friends to help take an inventory of the entire store. This process involved many hours of walking throughout the building and counting items on […]

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Take Control of Your Finances Part 1-A: Become Aware

by Luke Landes

Who are you? For any one human being, the number of answers to this question approaches infinity. There are many aspects that are included in the definition of self. The most common response is to answer with the collection of sounds used to nominally identify yourself: “I am Joe.” Our names, generally given to us […]

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November Cash Experiment

by Luke Landes

After reviewing October’s expenses last week, I decided that November would be a good month to experiment with a cash-only philosophy. Some studies have shown that in general, people spend less money when their only option is cash or that the use of credit cards inspires additional spending. Most of the time, these studies simply […]

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Twitter Poll: Will You Be Spending More or Less Than Last Year on Gifts?

by Luke Landes

Every so often, I present a question to Twitter to get a feel for opinions and ideas of Consumerism Commentary fans, readers, and friends. Yesterday, I asked whether you plan on spending more or less this holiday season than you did last year on gifts and other holiday expenses. With a troubling economy that doesn’t […]

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Personal Income Statement, October 2008 (Net Income: $9,074)

by Luke Landes

Despite the 6 percent decrease in my net worth in October, my income and expenses were healthy. My income was at my expected level for both my salary and “extracurricular” income. October’s expenses were a little higher than expected, but still within an acceptable range. Each month, to accompany my balance sheet, I publish my income […]

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Personal Balance Sheet, October 2008 ($164,209, -6.1%)

by Luke Landes

Following the end of each month, I publicly review my personal financial condition. This is the primary reason I do not use my full name on this blog; I’d like to be able to continue sharing the specific details of my finances without providing people who know my in “real life” the ability to search […]

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November News for Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary Community Over the weekend, I created the Consumerism Commentary Community, or C3, a forum or message board for discussions with other Consumerism Commentary readers. This blog has a large number of regular readers, and the new Community website is an oft-requested feature. Please stop by and add to the discussion. In order to […]

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