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

July 2009

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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