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

February 2009

What Is a Refundable Tax Credit?

by Luke Landes

When I first came across the term “refundable tax credit,” I have to admit I was confused about its meaning. And now that the economic stimulus bill has been signed into law, and as other refundable credits have made the news, I’ve seen that my misconception is shared by others. A tax credit is a […]

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Is Your Home an Asset or Liability?

by Luke Landes

When is your house a liability? Does the fact that you have a mortgage make your house a liability? Or do you have to owe more than the house is worth? What is a liability, anyway? Well, it depends. Looking at your house from a financial perspective, which you should do because if you’re like […]

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The Paradox of The Paradox of Thrift

by Luke Landes

If you’ve been paying attention lately, you might have heard that throughout the economic recession, Americans have been saving more of their income. Some economists worry that saving, while good for the individual, can be harmful to the economy as a whole. This is commonly called, “the paradox of thrift,” a theory developed by John […]

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Only a Few Hours Left to Buy Your Experian FICO Credit Score

by Luke Landes

The number that credit reporting bureau Experian supplies to lenders when you apply for a loan, used to evaluate whether the company should extend credit to you, will soon be unavailable to customers. At midnight tonight, customers will no longer be able to visit MyFICO to buy their own credit score from Experian. After today, […]

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It’s Not Just About the $400 Tax Credit

by Smithee

When talking about the 790 billion dollar stimulus bill currently nearing the end of its congressional marathon, it’s tempting for people to focus on the direct, short-term benefits, namely a $400 tax credit, and how such a thing won’t go very far in benefiting most people. I tend to agree, but I’m also the first […]

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Generation X Will Depend on Family and Government for Long-Term Care

by Luke Landes

According to a recent survey of 1,004 individuals born between 1960 and 1980, roughly Generation X, many expect their family or the government to provide care or funding for care as they age. Here are some of the more interesting statistics from the study, released by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an association of health […]

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Housing Market Crash Predicted in 2003

by Luke Landes

In 2003, John Talbott predicted the housing market crash, in a way. It’s true that when the real estate market is exuberantly celebrating an uncharacteristic increase in home prices, you can predict a crash and just wait for it to come true. Here’s what Talbott, a former Vice President at Goldman Sachs and author of […]

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Senate and House of Representatives Agree on Stimulus Bill Compromise

by Luke Landes

In the past few minutes, the conference including the Senate and the House of Representatives was concluded. They’ve come to a compromise between the two versions of the economic stimulus bill to be sent to the President of the United States to be signed into law. I’ll post more details when the Congress provides them. […]

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7 Tips for a Frugal Valentine’s Day

by Luke Landes
Love

It’s a February tradition on Consumerism Commentary to look at Valentine’s Day from a perspective of moderation. Each year, I consider how a couple for whom frugality is important can still feel involved in the holiday of love. If you have some thoughts to add, please leave your comments at the bottom of this article. […]

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Nine Banks Have Failed in 2009 So Far

by Luke Landes

Three more banks failed on Friday, bringing the 2009 tally to nine. When banks fail, the deposits (bank accounts) are transferred to another bank, sometimes with the FDIC facilitating the transition. Regardless of the process, bank accounts are generally insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor, so you won’t lose your money if […]

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