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February 2010

70 Percent Discount Off H&R Block At Home (Formerly TaxCut)

by Luke Landes

February 15, 2010 update: The sale mentioned below is now over. Stay tuned for new sale announcements. Starting today and ending Sunday, February 14, 2010, H&R Block is offering a discount of up to 70 percent off the regular prices for the company’s online do-it-yourself tax filing software, At Home (formerly TaxCut). I consider H&R Block ... Continue reading this article…

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Time Management: Outsource to Save Money and Time

by Kelly Whalen

This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer who bought a second car with her husband last weekend. As a busy mom of four and work-from-home parent, I often get told people don’t know how I do it all. It’s simple, I don’t. These are some of my techniques to save time, ... Continue reading this article…

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Still Waiting For My Tax Refund

by Luke Landes

Last year, I began working with a tax accountant. We reviewed how I filed my income tax returns for 2007 and 2008 and determined that filing differently would have saved me about $15,000 overall. In November, I filed amended income tax returns (1040X) for 2007 and 2008. I received a refund for my 2007 return ... Continue reading this article…

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Ally Bank: Kiplinger’s Rated Best Savings Account

by Luke Landes

At the end of 2008, the editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine selected FNBO Direct as their favorite savings account. Since that time, the banking landscape has changed. From the ashes of GMAC Bank rose Ally Bank offering competitive interest rates. Kiplinger’s chose Ally Bank as the best savings account of 2009. You can read ... Continue reading this article…

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Future Tech Will Force Us To Be Smarter

by Smithee

Charles Darwin is often misquoted when referring to the concept of “survival of the fittest”, but his writings specify adaptability as the trait that individuals should strive for if they want to survive (and reproduce). In order for our wallets to survive in the future, we’re going to have to learn to be more adaptable ... Continue reading this article…

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Variety of Savings Accounts: Where I Keep My Cash

by Luke Landes

In a perfect word, I wouldn’t spread my money among more than one or two savings accounts. There is value in simplifying personal finances and I try to take that approach where possible. Forces are working against me, however, keeping my finances more complicated than they would be otherwise. Occasionally I review and evaluate banking ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 42: Toyota Recalls, Frugal Valentine’s Day

by Luke Landes

Today we talk with Jeff Bartlett, Autos Deputy Editor at Consumer Reports about the recent Toyota recalls. For updated information on Toyota recalls, see Consumer Reports’ unintended acceleration guide. Also in today’s episode, Flexo discusses money saving tips for Valentine’s Day. Production Number: S02E16 Segment Numbers: 60, 57 To listen, use the player above (Adobe ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee’s First Week With Only $100

by Smithee

In my most recent debt update, I re-committed to spending a fixed amount of money on discretionary items during the week, instead of trusting my self-disciplined use of a credit card. I got $100.00 out of the ATM last Saturday, and the experiment began. See, I’m still not sure if $100.00 per week is reasonable. ... Continue reading this article…

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Breaking an Art Sale Record With $104.3 Million for Running Man I

by Luke Landes

This past weekend, a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti broke the previous record for most expensive piece of art sold at auction. An anonymous bidder purchased “L’Homme Qui Marche I” for $104.3 million, up to five times more than the expected price. This may be a good sign for the art world in need of a ... Continue reading this article…

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Which Should You Pay First: Credit Cards or Mortgage?

by Luke Landes

Imagine your income were sliced in half while your debts remained the same. How would you prioritize your payments? For those who have only credit cards, I’ve always suggested using, or at least understanding, the Debt Avalanche, but that doesn’t take into account other debts you might have such as personal loans and the mortgage. ... Continue reading this article…

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Fitness: Physical or Fiscal?

by Kelly Whalen

This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer. The costs of health care rose dramatically in the past year for many Americans. Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting firm, measured an increase in group insurance premiums of 6 percent percent in 2009, and that’s only part of the full health care picture. ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, January 2010

by Luke Landes

Entering the second month of the year, the new decade is officially underway. It’s time to peek into my bank accounts and investments to see how I’m doing so far. But first, I should take a quick look at the goals and resolutions I set for myself this year. The first goal is to maintain ... Continue reading this article…

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Best of Consumerism Commentary, January 2010

by Luke Landes

Wrapping up the first month of the year, I’m not quite convinced I’m on the right track yet. I spent most of this month without much time for myself. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not responsible for any other person than myself. On the other hand, January was a great month for Consumerism ... Continue reading this article…

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Lifelong Problem Solved for $2

by Smithee

A lot of things seem to be coming into place for me lately. Not in the “I finally have enough money that I can stop worrying” kind of way, but more in the “I’m finally acting like a grown-up” kind of way. It’s about time, given that I’m almost 35, but I finally have the ... Continue reading this article…

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Creating a Risk-Free Retirement Plan

by Pop
Bernanke

Or, how to invest like a grandmother. This is a guest article by Pop. Pop writes about the intersection of behavior, economics, and personal finance at Pop Economics. He writes about investing for a living and turns famous economics figures into pop art for fun. I’m young, as I bet a whole bunch of you ... Continue reading this article…

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My Current Spending Vices and Devices: Photography and Coins

by Luke Landes

Although my income has increased over the past few years, my spending has increased as well. After living the better part of the decade watching just about every dollar leaving my bank account, saving as much as possible, and living within my means, I’ve recently begun allowing myself to spend more freely. I’m sure to ... Continue reading this article…

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