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

2010

Blue Sky Preferred from American Express earn $200 statement credit

by Luke Landes

You’ve seen cash back offers from Chase, Citibank and Discover; here’s one from American Express. The Blue Sky Preferred® from American Express is offering new cardholders a welcome bonus offer 15,000 point bonus after you use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Those points can be traded in ... Continue reading this article…

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Amway Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

by Luke Landes

I have a business opportunity for you. For the most part, you’ll be a salesman. You’ll sell overpriced, mediocre products to your friends and co-workers, people already in your trust network, with whom you can use their guilt and their desire to maintain happy relationships. The truth is the products don’t matter. It can be ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You Drop Out of College?

by Luke Landes

College can be an expensive waste of time. Not everyone has the capability or will-power to make the most of higher education. That’s perfectly acceptable. If you look at specific cases, a bachelor’s degree is often not worth the time, effort, and money. On average, college graduates earn more than those with nothing more than ... Continue reading this article…

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The Worst Investment California Has Seen

by Luke Landes

I wouldn’t gamble more money than I could afford to lose. I also wouldn’t spend my own money in order to win an election, but I’m not, and nor will I ever care to be, a politician. Even those living outside of California have heard, the former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman, spent more than ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, October 2010 ($463,930, +8.0%)

by Luke Landes

In July 2004, my car was my biggest asset, although my loan left me with no equity. That same car, as it lost value over time and as my finances generally improved, is now the least significant line on my balance sheet. One would think that the progression of net worth from $20,000 at that ... Continue reading this article…

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All The Ladies Are Interested Now

by Financial Samurai

This is a guest article by Sam, the author of the blog Financial Samurai and the founder of the Yakezie Challenge and Network. He writes a column for Consumerism Commentary every other Tuesday. What a difference a couple weeks makes! Craig has gone from depressed online dater to someone with a ton of self esteem. ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival of Personal Finance #281: Halloween Candy Edition

by Luke Landes

Holidays are about two things: family and food. Halloween is no different. Although families celebrate some holidays with a large meal, with ingredients like turkey, ham, fish, potatoes, and pies, the central food theme of Halloween is candy. Once a year, everyone is provided an excuse to eat the stuff that parents always told them ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 80: Psych Yourself Rich, Farnoosh Torabi

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Farnoosh Torabi, author of the book Psych Yourself Rich: Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life and Money Coach on the SOAPnet reality TV show Bank of Mom and Dad. Tom and Farnoosh discuss many of the topics in her ... Continue reading this article…

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When Settling Costs You More

by Stella Louise

This is a guest article by Stella Louise, editor of Blog & Save from Savings.com. I was my neighborhood T.J. Maxx recently debating between two pairs of boots: Both were low heel, knee-high black boots, but one was a more trendy version with black stretch panel inserts by a reputable brand name, while the other ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Opinion: Will You Buy GM Stock or Cars?

by Luke Landes

In April, I noted that General Motors repaid taxpayers for the company’s government-initiated bailout loans in full. There has been quite a discussion about this repayment, but the main points are that the loans accounted only for a small portion of the bailout, and one could consider that the loan repayment was possible only due ... Continue reading this article…

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Mint Data: More Than You Care to Know About Other People’s Spending Habits

by Luke Landes
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The trend of financial over-sharing continues, and I’m glad to have been on the leading edge. I’ve been sharing the details of my finances, including spending habits, since I created Consumerism Commentary in 2003. The idea of social net worth continued with sites like NetWorthIQ, which allowed the public to post family net worth and ... Continue reading this article…

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Debt Settlement Companies Can Easily Skirt New Rules

by Luke Landes

A new regulation goes into effect today, potentially limiting the profitability of debt settlement companies. These companies can no longer ask for up-front fee payments from customers wishing to settle debt; clients need to pay only after the companies provide results. In other words, for-profit debt settlement companies, including those masquerading as non-profit entities, must ... Continue reading this article…

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Recent Changes in My Personal Finance Plan

by Luke Landes

It’s easy to fall into financial habits. Even people who consider themselves inflexible can grow accustomed to a financial change after time. That’s the beauty of automation — an automatic 10 percent transfer to a high-yield savings account every time you receive a paycheck eventually becomes painless. Habits aren’t always perfect; just as you adjust ... Continue reading this article…

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Honda and Toyota Recalling 1,200,000 Vehicles

by Luke Landes

Honda just announced a major car recall due to faulty brake systems. The company is concerned that owners using brands of brake fluid other than Honda’s own may experience problems resulting in a fluid leak, degrading the brake system’s performance. This affects 470,000 Odysseys and Acura RLs, made from 2005 to 2007. A few days ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 79: Potential Income Tax Changes, Bob Meighan

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Bob Meighan, CPA and Vice President of Consumer Advocacy TurboTax, Intuit about potential income tax changes for the new year. Bob and Tom talk about the potential sunsetting of the “Bush Tax Cuts” and how it will impact more than just those making $250,000 a ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Opinion: Is Debt Slavery?

by Luke Landes
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I’ve written several times on Consumerism Commentary, and other people have written and said many times as well, that debt is slavery. In fact, there is a popular book on the topic aptly titled, Debt is Slavery. It’s a convenient metaphor; if slavery is working without the benefit of enjoying the fruits of your labor, ... Continue reading this article…

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Where Your Federal Tax Money Goes

by Luke Landes

Thanks to an organization called Third Way, American taxpayers can get a good, detailed look at how much of a typical tax bill is destined for any particular government program. Third Way is a progressive think-tank, and they studied the federal budget to provide an itemized tax receipt for the typical taxpayer. Here is their ... Continue reading this article…

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Guide to CitiBank Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

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

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Brokers Are Salespeople, Share Your Story

by Luke Landes

Everyone has a responsibility to oneself and one’s family, first and foremost. It’s hard to blame brokers or anyone else who sells financial products to investors. The choices they make are designed to ensure their well-being, so when they convince an investor to direct money into a product, anyone who is interested in building his ... Continue reading this article…

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Income Infatuation and Online Dating

by Financial Samurai

This is a guest article by Sam, the author of the blog Financial Samurai and the founder of the Yakezie Challenge and Network. He writes a column for Consumerism Commentary every other Tuesday. There are 14 income selections one must choose on a particular online dating site my friend Craig recently joined. Take a look ... Continue reading this article…

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