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

May 2010

Contact a Taxpayer Advocate to Help Resolve Tax Issues

by Luke Landes

A year ago, the first-time home buyer credit was still rather new, and the IRS began allowing taxpayers to amend their 2008 tax returns to receive the credit early. At that time, if documentation was in order, it took about six weeks to receive a check for the $8,000 credit. That didn’t last long. Within […]

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18 Year Old Buys Investment Property With Hog Money

by Luke Landes

Lindsay Binegar, now nineteen years old, has been raising hogs on her family farm in Highland County, Ohio, since she was at least four years old. That was the age at which she showed her first hog and earned $100. Since that time, Lindsey entered hogs in competitions, saving every penny she earned from these […]

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Suggestions For Women Seeking a Raise

by Luke Landes

The New York Times is running a feature designed to help women negotiate for and receive a raise from their employer. Even in today’s progressive society in the workplace, women earn less than men for the same job, even after controlling for factors like time away from the workforce for childcare. According to the article, […]

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Podcast 56: Bank Overdraft Fees and moneyStrands

by Luke Landes

Today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast features two guests. First, Tom Dziubek talks to Preeti Vissa of the Greenlining Institute about the organization’s recent study on bank overdraft fees. Tom’s second guest is Atakan Cetinsoy, Vice President of Corporate Development and Personal Finance Products at the personal financial management website, moneyStrands. Atakan explains moneyStrands […]

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Smithee Debt Update, Mid-May 2010

by Smithee

Happy Vacation-makes-finances-a-bit-messy Friday! It’s been about a month since my last credit card debt update. Since then, we managed to pull off something akin to a coup or a miracle. With help from my wife’s bonuses (which are only considered miraculous because mis-management at her company makes those difficult to realize), we were able to […]

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FCC Considering Regulation to Stop Surprise Phone Bills

by Luke Landes

As the story goes, I was about fifteen when I started getting involved with online communities. At that time, however, being online meant using a slow modem to dial various bulletin boards over a regular telephone line. My problem was that I didn’t realize that I was dialing long distance phone numbers. My parents weren’t […]

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How to Pay More Than You Should: Stop Paying Attention

by Luke Landes

In March, I wrote about reducing the amount of automation in handling personal finances. Leaving your payments on auto-pilot is asking for trouble. Leaving your brain out of the decision-making process is a sure way to rack up overdraft fees when you don’t have enough funding to pay an automatic bill. Also in March, I […]

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Sallie Mae Increases Interest Rate and 10% Upromise Bonus

by Luke Landes

Earlier today, Sallie Mae Bank increased the interest rate offered on its savings account 50 basis points to 1.4 percent APY. This is one of the highest interest rates available. I’ve shared my thoughts about opening a Sallie Mae Bank savings account in this review. Sallie Mae ties directly into the Upromise savings plan, a program […]

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How to Intelligently and Responsibly Buy a Car

by Luke Landes

Car companies want you to buy their products on impulse. They would, generally, prefer that the step of thinking is removed from the consumer’s process. This is evident in the commercials you see around the holidays in which a spouse is surprised when he or she notices a gift wrapped in a large red bow […]

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Podcast 55: Generation Y Consumers, Kimberly Palmer

by Luke Landes

Our guest on today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Kimberly Palmer, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report and author of the upcoming book, Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back. Our podcast producer and host, Tom Dziubek, speaks with Kimberly about the typical Generation Y consumer, […]

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