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

2010

First Credit Card, Getting Fired, and Presumptuous Gifts

by Luke Landes

Saying goodbye to my salary and employer-sponsored benefits should mean that I should be looking to cut back my expenses for a little while as I work on making up for that loss through increased income. This weekend I had my last hurrah, spending money for a new professional-grade digital camera. I had been saving ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 87: Jane Honeck, The Problem With Money

by Luke Landes

On today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Jane Honeck, author of the book The Problem With Money? It’s Not About the Money!: Mastering the Unexamined Beliefs that Drive Our Financial Lives. Jane discusses many topics from her book, including how money beliefs are formed & how they shape our attitudes towards money and ... Continue reading this article…

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When Doing the Right Thing Hurts (Your Credit)

by Luke Landes

It’s been many years since I’ve paid interest on a credit card balance. I don’t think I’ve missed a payment, either, thanks to automatically scheduled transfers from my checking accounts. I know that many regular Consumerism Commentary readers are like me, as well, and rarely pay a fee that’s unnecessary. (Keep in mind I recently ... Continue reading this article…

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Congress Passes Tax Hike Prevention Act

by Luke Landes
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There seems to be more than enough in the new tax cut bill, which will soon become a law, to keep every income level happy. The Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010 extends the tax cuts first implemented during President Bush’s tenure and adds more benefits for everyone. For another two years, the marginal income ... Continue reading this article…

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50 Best Places to Work

by Luke Landes

Glassdoor is a good tool for researching a potential employer. The site compiles anonymous reviews, ratings, and salary information from employees and allows individuals to access that information. The more you share about your current or past employer, the more access to information is granted. In addition to the search and browse functionality, Glassdoor has ... Continue reading this article…

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PerkStreet $25 Checking Account Bonus With 2% Cash Back

by Luke Landes

When I first started paying attention to managing my money, depositing my money in an interest-bearing savings or checking account was one of the smartest financial moves I made. While it’s still one of the safest, banks are paying next to nothing on interest these days. Instead of moving money from one account to another ... Continue reading this article…

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Make More Money By Sleeping More

by Luke Landes

Although I’ve always been a proponent of the value of getting a full night’s sleep for health, this is something that I haven’t been able to do for myself for many years. The people I know who are most committed to their careers and those for whom anything other than success is unacceptable have had ... Continue reading this article…

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Is it Time to Buy a House?

by Luke Landes
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If you ask a Realtor or a national association of individuals within that profession whether now is the perfect time to buy a house, they would say yes. Of course, their answer was yes a year ago, when average prices were low, and their answer was yes a few years ago, when average prices were ... Continue reading this article…

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The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN 1.5% Early Pay Discount

by Luke Landes

Small businesses often rely on credit to survive through the early stages. Unless you’re independently wealthy with money ready to invest, getting a small business off the ground requires a lot of hard work. The money is often provided by banks willing to back your business. Without collateral for a loan, many start-up entrepreneurs are ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: The Human Connection

by Luke Landes
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Working in an office on a team with other employees is a social activity. Although there is work to be done and goals to accomplish, and although most of us stare at computer screens all day and spend most of the time in a cubicle or an office, many tasks require communicating with the people ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 86: Andrew Buckley and Jay Sheehan, The Costs of Making a Documentary

by Luke Landes

On today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek speaks with Andrew Buckley and Jay Sheehan, members of the Hit and Run History documentary team. Andrew and Jay discuss the multiple costs involved in filming a documentary, including costs for purchasing equipment, creating videos, publishing and advertising as well as utilizing free or cheap resources to do ... Continue reading this article…

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My $10 Mistake and Articles of Interest

by Luke Landes

I overdrew my checking account about two weeks ago. It was a stupid mistake. I recently set up an automatic investment for my SEP IRA, $1,750 at the end of each month, transferred from my checking account at Wachovia to Vanguard, invested in VTSMX. On November 30, I checked my Vanguard account, and I didn’t ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: Saving for Retirement

by Luke Landes
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One of the benefits of earning income outside of a day job while not significantly increasing my expenses has been the ability to fully invest in a 401(k) plan. Assuming one can trust the chances of the stock market (and the financial industry) to produce impressive results over the long term, the 401(k) is the ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: Structure and Motivation

by Luke Landes
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Time management has never been my strength. I like working at my own pace, and the certain working structures, like deadlines, tend to annoy me rather than motivate me. It’s no wonder I’m excited about leaving a job with a typical standardized nine-to-five schedule. I allow myself distractions and breaks and often procrastinate. Despite this, ... Continue reading this article…

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Citi ThankYou℠ Premier Card $200 Gift Card Bonus

by Luke Landes

The offer you are interested in has expired. Read our review of other Citi cards.

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The Motley Fool Now Offering Mutual Funds

by Luke Landes

Don’t forget Consumerism Commentary is matching charitable contributions. Consumerism Commentary readers have donated $2,100 as of this morning, resulting in a total of $4,200 designated for charity including our matching contribution. Sign up and get your donation matched before December 11! About a decade ago, I first learned about no-load index mutual funds and, after ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: Individual Health Insurance

by Luke Landes

Now that I’ll be leaving my corporate job and leaving behind the benefits a salaried position afforded me, I need to begin looking at alternative options for those benefits. One of the first concerns on my list is health insurance. Inside the company, our annual benefits enrollment period was completed only a few weeks ago, ... Continue reading this article…

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President Obama’s 2011 Tax Plan

by Luke Landes
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President Obama offered a framework for the tax-related aspects of spurring the economy moving forward. The foundation of the proposal, which conflicts with a bill that has already passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, is the full extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, even for the wealthiest taxpayers. The proposal also calls for an extension ... Continue reading this article…

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Frugality is Bad For the Economy

by Luke Landes
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The concept of frugality has permeated mainstream personal finance in the past few years. That’s understandable, given the state of the economy. For many who have been personally affected, following the loss of income or a job, this frugality is a forced approach. People are looking for ways to save money because they have less ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 85: Nate St. Pierre and J. Money, Love Drop

by Luke Landes

On today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek speaks with Nate St. Pierre, founder of the community building website ItStartsWith.Us, and Budgets Are Sexy founder J. Money. Tom talks with Nate and J. about their new micro-giving endeavor, Love Drop. They talk about what Love Drop is and what it hopes to accomplish, such as leveraging ... Continue reading this article…

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