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

April 2010

Would You Rather Receive a Refund or Owe More Taxes?

by Luke Landes

If you haven’t noticed, it’s tax time. I have noticed, not only because of the relentless emails I receive reminding me of this grand celebration, but also due to people I interact with. As those I know complete their tax returns, I observe the joyfulness they exude as they realize they’ll be receiving a refund ... Continue reading this article…

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The American Opportunity Tax Credit

by Luke Landes

Last week I offered some last-minute tax filing tips, and the IRS deadline is looming. I’m happy to tackle tax questions, and Consumerism Commentary reader Eric has one. Eric was a full-time student through May 2009, and he, like many former students, is dealing with the cost of a college education. Eric is looking for ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 51: Money and Parenting, Kara McGuire

by Luke Landes

This week’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Kara McGuire, personal finance columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Kara’s column, Ka-Ching, runs every Sunday, and she also writes Ka-Blog, a personal finance blog. In today’s episode, Kara, Flexo and Tom Dziubek discuss the cost of raising a child, how to get a jump on ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 1Q 2010

by Luke Landes

When I reported my net worth earlier this week, RetirementInvestingToday, a Consumerism Commentary reader, mentioned I should be reporting my investment performance as well, as raw changes in balances don’t tell the full story. An investment’s performance can’t be measured just by looking at a starting and ending balance if during that time I make ... Continue reading this article…

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Spirit Airlines Now Charges for Carry-On Luggage

by Luke Landes

Just a few days ago, I arrived home from a vacation that took me to Las Vegas and Death Valley. When preparing for the trip, I used SideStep for finding the best fare that fit my schedule, settling on a flight from EWR to LAS on Continental Airlines. My flights were mostly full, so I ... Continue reading this article…

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The Best Way to Invest in Real Estate

by Christian

This is a guest article by Christian of Money Obedience. If you enjoy this article, please consider subscribing to the MoneyObedience RSS feed. My parents offered a very important piece of wisdom to me: Even if everybody is doing something, you do not have to do it, too. Unfortunately I usually applied this advice to ... Continue reading this article…

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Shaving: Neither Electric Nor Expensive

by Smithee

I have trouble shaving, and it seemed to be getting worse with age. It seemed that no matter what I did, I’d end up with a red bumpy neck and hairy spots I had missed. In the last eighteen years, I’ve tried every normal razor and electric razor I could find, and none of them ... Continue reading this article…

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FreeCreditReport.com No Longer Offers “Free” Credit Reports

by Luke Landes

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 required the Federal Trade Commission to regulate marketing surrounding products offered by the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion). Starting this month, offers like FreeCreditReport.com must be transparent about their offers when they are tied to “free trials.” It’s easy for us to single out Experian’s FreeCreditReport.com because ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 50: Financial Literacy Month, Cate Williams

by Luke Landes

This week’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Cate Williams, Vice President of Financial Literacy at the credit counseling agency Money Management International. In honor of Financial Literacy Month, Flexo and Tom Dziubek discuss several financial literacy topics with Cate, including at what age children should learn basic money skills, how many kids actually ... Continue reading this article…

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Are You a Maximizer or a Satisficer?

by Aaron Pinkston

This is a guest article by Aaron Pinkston, founder of Clarifinancial. He wasn’t satisfied with the ways people had to get life insurance quotes, so he created something better. Have you ever noticed you can relax about decisions you made while others around you are still running around frantically? On the other hand, you probably ... Continue reading this article…

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How Debt Settlements Affect Credit History

by Jeremy Simon

This is a guest article by Jeremy M. Simon. Each Tuesday, his Credit Score Report column addresses a CreditCards.com reader’s question on credit scoring. He selects questions that either best reflect a common reader concern or that highlight some particularly interesting aspect of credit scoring. Today, Consumerism Commentary is hosting the weekly question-and-answer session with ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Invest With Inflation on the Way

by Greg McFarlane

This is a guest article by Greg McFarlane, the author of Control Your Cash: Making Money Make Sense, a financial primer for people in their twenties and thirties who know nothing about money. People have feared inflation ever since… well, since the dollar’s last rampant bout of inflation in 1977. However, there’s every reason to ... Continue reading this article…

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