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

March 2009

Some Money Market Funds are Insured

by Luke Landes

Through December 31, 2009, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures bank deposit accounts up to $250,000, with the limits returning to $100,000 after that. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. There are a few nuances to this coverage, so ensure you know the full details of FDIC ... Continue reading this article…

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Received My Bailout From the Government

by Luke Landes

Thank you to all the taxpayers who are footing the bill for this. As Citibank continues to receive money from the government of the United States, funded by investors in Treasury bills and citizens of the future who will be paying more to the government to support the interest payments on that debt, Citibank continues ... Continue reading this article…

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Company-Wide Stock Bonus Vesting Next Week

by Luke Landes

In March 2006, my company rewarded its employees for achieving an enterprise financial milestone by offering a company stock bonus, designed to vest on March 14, 2009. The vesting period was perhaps designed to create an incentive for employees to stay with the company. When the bonus was announced, the stock grant was worth about ... Continue reading this article…

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You Be the CEO: Should Bailed-Out Banks Cut Limousine Usage?

by Luke Landes

As the government continues to bail out the banking industry and taxpayers continue to increase their stake in these companies, how far should the banks go to cut back spending on the excesses that have grown over the past several decades? The local New York City NBC news program aired a feature on the use ... Continue reading this article…

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Playing the Lottery: Tips for Ten New Mega Millions Winners

by Luke Landes

Do you play the lottery? I’ve always considered lotteries to be a method of “taxing the poor,” as the saying goes. While no one is forced to play the lottery, those who do are more often than not people who believe society has left them with only one “reasonable” option for becoming financially comfortable — ... Continue reading this article…

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Do I Qualify for a Loan Modification?

by Smithee

(Or… What on Earth is an Affidavit of Financial Hardship?) Today the U.S. Treasury announced the details of their “Making Home Affordable” Loan Modifications. This link to the financialstability.gov Web page about the plan should help you answer whether you are eligible to receive help with your “underwater” mortgage. Here’s a good summary from a ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, February 2009

by Luke Landes

Did you read my February balance sheet? This article contains my personal income statement, which goes hand-in-hand with the balance sheet. These two reports provide a relatively complete accounting of my financial standing and progress. February was short, but good for a number of reasons. Setting personal records, my gross income and net income for ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet and Net Worth, February 2009

by Luke Landes

Over the course of February, my “modified net worth” grew 7.5 percent despite yet another unremarkable month for the stock market. As of the end of the month, my bottom line — a variation of net worth — surpassed $200,000, but was still below my original goal for December 31, 2008. Every month, I post several ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Recession Budget

by Smithee

Many of us are going to be faced with tough decisions this year, and probably next year. We might even have to grapple with “how do I get these creditors to stop calling me?” or “well, where do I live now?” If owning a home is the American Dream, then being homeless is surely the ... Continue reading this article…

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After Ten Years of Renting, I Finally Have Insurance

by Luke Landes

I don’t know what I was thinking. I am getting older. I finished my undergraduate education with a graduation ceremony about years ago. Since graduating, I’ve moved from apartment to apartment, first with a $400 per month one-bedroom place near my college, then back to New Jersey, sharing rent with a variety of roommates. I’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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Quicken Home and Business 2009 Review and Giveaway

by Luke Landes

As of Tuesday, March 10 at 10:00 am ET, the giveaway of the free Quicken Home and Business 2009 is closed and no more entrants will be accepted. I’ve been using Intuit Quicken for the last few years to keep track of my savings, investments and expenses. After trying Moneydance, GNU Cash, and Microsoft Money ... Continue reading this article…

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Changes Ahead for Federal Student Loans

by Luke Landes

President Obama has proposed a number of changes that will affect how college students qualify for and receive loans to finance higher education. The plan calls for significant changes and like many other changes in the government over the past month, it is causing some controversy. Currently, the government subsidizes student loans offered by banks ... Continue reading this article…

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Most Popular on Consumerism Commentary, February 2009

by Luke Landes

Monthly subscription reminder 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 ... Continue reading this article…

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