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

2009

How to Spend Smarter This Holiday Season

by Kelly Whalen

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Federal Reserve Issues New Rules for Overdraft Fees

by Luke Landes

With Congress threatening to create new consumer protection agencies to protect the public from customer-unfriendly banking practices, the Federal Reserve stepped in today to prove it is still relevant and involved with banking regulation. The Fed announced that as of July 1, 2010 for new bank accounts or August 15, 2010 for existing accounts, banks ... Continue reading this article…

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Lifestyle Creep and the Self-Employed

by V.C. McGuire

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This ... Continue reading this article…

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4 Reasons Why You Should Read Your Bill Every Month

by Ray

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: Can You Write “See ID” Rather Than Signing Your Credit Card?

by Luke Landes

I can’t remember the last time I’ve signed the back of a credit card, and I use my credit cards (one for personal travel and big expenses, one for all other personal expenses, and one for business expenses) almost every day. It has never caused me any problems with cashiers; at the most, I might ... Continue reading this article…

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The Trouble With Target Date Funds

by J.J.

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This ... Continue reading this article…

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“What Works For You” Can Be a Trap

by Luke Landes

One of my favorite bloggers, and likely one of yours, is J.D. Roth. He has been writing about personal finance at Get Rich Slowly for some time now, and I was a fan of his writing at foldedspace when “blog” was still a new word. He is working on a book now, which I can’t ... Continue reading this article…

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House Approves Expediting Credit CARD Act

by Smithee

We reported just a few days ago on the passage of a measure in the House of Representatives to expedite the Credit Card reforms passed earlier this year. Unfortunately, I left out some of the story, as I’m still figuring out the intricacies of how laws are made, and there were some amendments made to ... Continue reading this article…

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Couponing Makes Cents

by FruGal

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Avoid Excessive Airline Fees While Traveling

by Luke Landes

My recent experiences traveling across country gave me more appreciation, or disapproval, of the lengths airlines are now gong to empty the wallets of travelers. The flight industry once positioned itself as luxury travel, with a variety of free amenities, but the industry takes the opposite approach now. Yes, it is true that airlines compete ... Continue reading this article…

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The True Cost of a Motorola Droid

by Luke Landes

I have been looking forward to replacing my Blackberry 8830 World Edition for several months now. The phone, even with ample extended memory, is sluggish and does not have the same capabilities other modern phones have. With the release of the Motorola Droid, I decided this was a good opportunity to upgrade. On my way ... Continue reading this article…

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New Staff Writer, Quicken 2010 Winners, and Best of October

by Luke Landes

Several weeks ago, I mentioned I would be seeking a staff writer to add to the Consumerism Commentary team, to add one additional article each week. After a good number of applications, I narrowed the field to six finalists. Over the next two weeks, each of these finalists will be presenting two guest articles for ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 29: Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, The Frugal Duchess

by Luke Landes

Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, author of The Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money, is today’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. Sharon, known to the world as “The Frugal Duchess,” joins Tom Dziubek and myself to talk about her experiences and to offer tips for other duchesses. Production Number: S02E03 Segment Number: 39 ... Continue reading this article…

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Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009

by Smithee

After the Credit CARD Act of 2009 was signed into law, we saw how credit card issuers started making life tougher for their customers. In short, banks were levying fees on their customers indiscriminately, affecting both the good and the bad. This has been going on for months. Lawmakers have publicly condemned it, and made ... Continue reading this article…

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President Obama and Congress Extend the $8,000 Home Buyers’ Credit

by Luke Landes

It’s official. Today President Obama will sign a bill into law that extends the $8,000 First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, recently set to expire on November 30, until April 30 next year. The tax credit, originally part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was intended to stimulate the real estate industry, ... Continue reading this article…

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Should Target Date Funds Be Standardized?

by Luke Landes

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is setting up a new division to oversee new financial products, and this group is starting with target date funds. These are mutual funds usually taking the form of baskets of other mutual funds, designed to target a certain year of retirement. As the year approaches, the fund automatically ... Continue reading this article…

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Quick Survey: What Drives Your Trading Decisions?

by Luke Landes

This is a guest article by Scott Treadwell, a long-time Consumerism Commentary reader and graduate student at the University of New Hampshire. Scott is studying finance and is conducting a study in behavioral finance. Please look for the survey below and help Scott conduct his study. We are only a year removed from the greatest ... Continue reading this article…

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I Will Teach You to Be Rich, a Six-Week Boot Camp With Ramit Sethi

by Luke Landes

While I was in California this past week, I spent a few days at my brother’s new apartment before his wedding this past Saturday. Among the piles of books not yet placed into a bookcase was something familiar: I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi (review here). Ramit is a colleague of ... Continue reading this article…

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Smart Power Meters

by Smithee

We all have power meters attached to the buildings in which we live, and the little needle keeps spinning around and around, ad nauseum, at least until solar panels become affordable. I recently read a story of a family who managed to install solar panels, and while that would normally have cost over $20,000, with ... Continue reading this article…

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Delta Airlines: Good Airfare But Not My Favorite Airline

by Luke Landes

As of this past Saturday, my brother is now a married man. He and his wife live in California, and I spent Halloween attending their wedding and the past week visiting with my family in that state. I am happy I was able to take a week off from my day job and spend it ... Continue reading this article…

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