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

July 2009

Lie to Yourself for Better Security

by Smithee

This week, TechCrunch made a big to-do by publishing internal Twitter business documents that they apparently received from an enterprising hacker. The access to multiple networks apparently began when the hacker accessed the GMail account of the wife of a co-founder. If you, like Twitter employees, store any sensitive information in your Google Docs, or ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

The Watergate Hotel is in Foreclosure

by Luke Landes

The real estate recession doesn’t discriminate. While foreclosures have soared to one out of 84 households over the course of the first six months of 2009 and the Obama administration is considering more aid to help families in this situation, the threat is also affecting famous properties. The owner of the famous Watergate Hotel in ... Continue reading this article…

4 comments Read the full article →

Anniversary Giveaway: Enter to Win Free iPod If You Find All Four Clues

by Luke Landes

Today is the sixth anniversary of Consumerism Commentary! Long-time readers know that this blog was one of the first of its kind to focus on personal finance and money-related topics. Thanks to the readers, we are still going strong. I have learned much about money, especially from visitors and commenters, throughout the past few years. ... Continue reading this article…

9 comments Read the full article →

Safeguarding Your Income

by Jeff

When it comes to financial success, your most important tool is your income. Without an income you can’t pay the bills, reduce your debt, or even buy the simple things you need to survive. With a properly maintained income, however, nothing is impossible. No matter what your personal financial philosophy, an income is one thing ... Continue reading this article…

14 comments Read the full article →

How to File an Amended Income Tax Return (Form 1040X)

by Luke Landes

This article refers to an earlier version of Form 1040X. Some instructions may be slightly different depending on the form revision the IRS now has available. If you have filed your taxes for the most recent year but would like to take advantage of a new credit, such as the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax ... Continue reading this article…

187 comments Read the full article →

Variable Rate Loophole in the Credit CARD Act

by Smithee

I’m still looking for a second news source to back this up, but the circumstantial evidence is strong. We got a notice to our “tips” e-mail address about a loophole in the recently-passed Credit CARD Act of 2009, namely: The law requires credit card companies to give 45 days notice of a rate increase, but ... Continue reading this article…

12 comments Read the full article →

California IOUs: Buying, Selling, and Inherent Value

by Luke Landes

The state of California is in poor fiscal shape. Without an agreed-upon budget, the state has resorted to sending people and businesses IOUs rather than the money owed. California has distributed $335 million in the form of these documents. The IOUs look like checks with “Registered Warrant” printed in the top corner, carry an interest ... Continue reading this article…

3 comments Read the full article →

Podcast 12: Stupid Financial Advice and 5 Myths of Personal Finance

by Luke Landes

The twelfth episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast features an interview with Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich, the book, and I Will Teach You to Be Rich, the blog. Ramit, Tom Dziubek, and I discuss some of the stupid financial advice we have found online as well as the ... Continue reading this article…

2 comments Read the full article →

Posts of the Week

by Luke Landes

I suggest reading these articles gathered from around the web. Emergency Fund Is For Emergencies ONLY – 6 Ways To Leave It Alone. Matt Jabs suggests keeping your hands out of the emergency savings account except when the need is due to a true emergency, not just when you have unplanned expenses. I’ve also explored ... Continue reading this article…

4 comments Read the full article →

Possible Federal Action on Credit Rate Hikes

by Smithee

Nationwide, and probably on your street as well, credit card issuers are making life tough for consumers by raising rates and adding fees on otherwise good customers. The recently passed Credit CARD Act of 2009 is meant to protect non-risky customers from arbitrary rate hikes, among other things. Now, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is ... Continue reading this article…

10 comments Read the full article →

10 Purchases That Can Harm Your Credit

by Luke Landes

Do you live your life as if everything you do could be made public? I once heard a suggestion that you should judge every decision you make based on whether you would like to see this decision on the front page of the New York Times. That is a good theory, but I can’t say ... Continue reading this article…

34 comments Read the full article →

Unplanned Expenses and Your Budget

by Jeff

While a budget in one form or another is a must-have financial tool, it’d quickly become big and ugly if you tried to anticipate and include every expense you might run in to. You’d quickly lose interest and wouldn’t stick with your budget, right? A budget is a basic recorder of recurring expenses, and trying ... Continue reading this article…

8 comments Read the full article →

Evaluating My Progress Towards 2009 Goals

by Luke Landes

Now that the halfway mark of 2009 has passed by, it wouldn’t hurt to review the financial mini-goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and determine how far I have strayed from my path. For me, these goals are only milestones. They help my gauge my progress but numbers in my ... Continue reading this article…

5 comments Read the full article →

Take a Financial Health Day to Organize Your Finances

by Luke Landes

Ron Lieber, a columnist for the New York Times, spent one day focusing on the financial tasks that he had been neglected. He calls this day a “fiscal health day,” like the mental health days everyone needs to take once in a while to remain a functional human being. I think this is a great ... Continue reading this article…

6 comments Read the full article →

Vacation vs. Social Networks

by Smithee

Summertime is traditionally when most people take their annual vacations, and since the social media explosion, more aspects of a given person’s vacation will end up as photos on Flickr, or “wish you were here” messages on Facebook. I’m a big fan of openness (with the obvious exception of my use of a pseudonym on ... Continue reading this article…

6 comments Read the full article →

SmartyPig Should Be Compared With CDs, Not Savings Accounts

by Luke Landes

I enjoyed Tom Dziubek’s discussion with Jon Gaskell, the CEO of SmartyPig, in the latest episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. If you have a chance, listen to the part discussion in which they discuss SmartyPig’s interest rates. Tom asked how SmartyPig can continually offer high interest rates. Jon Gaskell intimated that SmartyPig’s restrictions and ... Continue reading this article…

5 comments Read the full article →

Personal Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Income, and Expenses, June 2009

by Luke Landes

We have reached the half-way mark for 2009, and time certainly does fly when you keep busy. As long-time readers know, the original purpose of Consumerism Commentary was to keep myself accountable for my own financial decisions and to blog about interesting things I find on the web. I freely admit that Consumerism Commentary has ... Continue reading this article…

6 comments Read the full article →

Podcast 11: Jon Gaskell from SmartyPig and New Consumerism Commentary Contributor, Jeff

by Luke Landes

Today’s guests in the eleventh episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast are Jon Gaskell from SmartyPig and Consumerism Commentary’s newest contributor, Jeff. SmartyPig is a unique banking application that works closely with West Bank to offer surprisingly high interest rates but presents limitations to its customers. In this interview, Tom Dziubek and SmartyPig founder Jon ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 2Q 2009

by Luke Landes

Happy Independence Day to anyone celebrating today! I’m celebrating by spending time with friends later and sharing my investment portfolio with readers now. Last month, I began sharing my investment portfolio more in-depth than I have in the past. This is part of a renewed effort to make myself more familiar with the investments I ... Continue reading this article…

0 comments Read the full article →

Best of Consumerism Commentary, June 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…

0 comments Read the full article →
Page 2 of 3123