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

2009

Curb Your Consumerism

by Kelly Whalen

This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer. The temptation to spend money is everywhere, especially during the holidays. There is something magical about lights glowing, soft Christmas music playing everywhere, and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that seems to make money fly right out of everyone’s wallet. Whether ... Continue reading this article…

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Review: Making the Most of Your Money Now by Jane Bryant Quinn

by Luke Landes

Author Jane Bryan Quinn took her massive personal finance book published in 1997 and revised and updated the information to create Making the Most of Your Money Now: The Classic Bestseller Completely Revised for the New Economy, which will be released on December 29, 2009. I got my hands on a copy of this 1,242 ... Continue reading this article…

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Are Values-Based and Socially-Responsible Investments Worthwhile?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, FaithShares added two new exchange-traded funds to their lineup, already consisting of funds called “Catholic Values,” “Christian Values,” and “Methodist Values.” These and the two new funds, “Baptist Values” and “Lutheran Values,” focus on investing in only those companies that live up to the values encouraged by each of these communities. It is more ... Continue reading this article…

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Hundreds Hired at the IRS to Find Cheaters

by Smithee

In a continuation of my favorite story of the year, the IRS announced a few days ago that they are ramping up a new investigative unit to find more offshore tax cheats, with an emphasis on those that are using dummy corporations with multiple layers to hide their wealth. They’ve named it the “Global High ... Continue reading this article…

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Bonuses Could Be Taxed at a Rate of 50%

by Luke Landes

Last week I mentioned France would be seeing a new but insignificant tax on carbon emissions and considered the possibilities, including possible reactions, if a similar tax was initiated here in the United States. Both political sides are criticizing this tax and it’s not expected to be effective in terms of its goal of encouraging ... Continue reading this article…

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Announcement and Giveaway: The Plutus Awards

by Luke Landes

One week from today, nominations will begin for The 2009 Plutus Awards, designed to honor and recommend the best in personal finance this past year. There are two parts to The Plutus Awards. The first focuses on the best products and services, like checking accounts and mobile finance applications. The second part focuses on blogs ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 34: Stocks as Gifts and New Staff Writer, Kelly Whalen

by Luke Landes

The first guest on today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Dan Greenshields, President of ShareBuilder. Tom Dziubek speaks with Dan about giving stocks or other investments as gifts. Also featured on today’s Podcast is Consumerism Commentary’s staff writer, Kelly Whalen. Kelly, Flexo and Tom discuss Kelly’s background and her own website, The Centisble Life. Production Number: ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekend Reading: Negotiations, Cooking, and Happiness

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, I signed up for my second photography class, meeting every Saturday afternoon for eight weeks starting in January. I learned much from the first class I took last summer, and I have been looking for a more advanced class. My photography skills have a long way to go, and with what I consider two ... Continue reading this article…

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No More Cable TV For Me

by Smithee

Well, we went and did it. As of today, the Verizon FiOS TV service we’d been mostly enjoying for almost three years is suspended. We’re not replacing it with cable or satellite television, either. The normal TV service is effectively turned off. I’m scared and nervous and excited all at once. It’s been nearly seven ... Continue reading this article…

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France Introduces Carbon Tax of $25 Per Metric Ton

by Luke Landes

President Nicolas Sarcozy of France revealed his plans for working to reduce his country’s carbon dioxide emissions. For each taxpayer’s metric ton of carbon dioxide emission due to use of oil, gas, or coal, the government will charge that taxpayer a fee of €17 (roughly $25). This rate would rise over time. Other energy use, ... Continue reading this article…

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Persistence Pays Off

by Kelly Whalen

This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer. As consumers we often face situations that are both expensive and frustrating. These can be problems of our own doing, such as overdraft fees or closing of an inactive credit card, or problems that are caused by the company’s we are paying, like a ... Continue reading this article…

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Giveaway Reminder: Excuse Me, Your Job is Waiting

by Luke Landes

There are only a few more days to qualify for the latest giveaway. I have a copy of Excuse Me, Your Job is Waiting: Attract the Work You Want by Laura George (reviewed here). If you are interested in receiving this book, helpful for finding a job in a tough economy or for finding meaningful ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting Out of Debt: Reductionism and Holism

by Luke Landes

We’ve updated our list of the best online savings accounts, so if you haven’t checked in recently, take a look at the latest reviews and interest rates. As a teenager I was fascinated by Douglas R. Hofstadter’s book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: and Eternal Golden Braid. The book explores set theory, computer programming, logic, philosophy, genetics, ... Continue reading this article…

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Obama’s New Job Boosting Ideas

by Smithee

President Obama gave a “major speech” today (out of curiosity, can anyone tell what makes a speech major?) outlining several new proposals for boosting job creation and ensuring job stability. More than 90 percent of all economic indicators point to a recovery already in progress, but unemployment, even though it went down in a dramatic way ... Continue reading this article…

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High Tech Coupons: Yowza!!, Where, and Google’s Favorite Places

by Luke Landes

The recession has inspired a focus on saving more money among Americans, even if this focus is likely temporary, giving way to excess spending once employment returns to a sustainable level and credit becomes readily available. But for a short time, frugality has permeated the country’s consciousness. It has popped up everywhere, including technological innovation. ... Continue reading this article…

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New Staff Writer, Facebook Giveaway, and Best of November

by Luke Landes

Thanks to all the Consumerism Commentary readers who commented or emailed me about the auditions for staff writer. I’d like to welcome Kelly Whalen, a writer whose primary website is The Centsible Life, to the Consumerism Commentary team! Kelly will be providing one article a week starting this Thursday. Tom Dziubek and I will speak ... Continue reading this article…

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3 Interesting Coins You Might Find in Your Change

by Luke Landes

It’s becoming increasingly rare, but once in a while it is possible to find interesting coins in your pocket change. Professional and amateur coin collectors tend to snap these up so the coins are taken out of circulation, and many of the most interesting coins are aging and damaged. I do not use cash on ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 33: Identity Theft and Identity Fraud With Terri Cullen

by Luke Landes

On today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek speaks with author and columnist, Terri Cullen. Terri Cullen is the author of The Complete Identity Theft Guidebook: How to Protect Yourself from the Most Pervasive Crime in America and is a former columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Tom Dziubek and Terri Cullen discuss identity theft and ... Continue reading this article…

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Initial TARP Recipients are 57% Repaid

by Smithee

With the news that Bank of America hurried up a sale of securities in order to pay back their TARP loan, the story of the many billions loaned to the “big banks” has reached an interesting turning point: they’re now more than half paid back, 57 percent to be precise. Here’s the breakdown of the $165 ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, November 2009

by Luke Landes

This week, Consumerism Commentary is matching your charitable donations up to $4,000. Here are the details. It’s time again for checking in with the state of my finances. Although a few months ago, I changed the format to isolate my “side business” from my personal finances, I’ve changed my mind yet again. It makes more ... Continue reading this article…

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