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

January 2011

Discover® More Card: No Balance Transfer Fee, 0% APR

by Luke Landes

When you take a look at our list of the best 0 percent balance transfer credit cards, you’ll notice that all offers are featuring balance transfer fees these days. Whether it’s 3 percent, 4 percent or 5 percent, every time a consumer takes advantage of a 0 percent balance transfer offer, the credit card issuers still make money by charging ... Continue reading this article…

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Zions Bank Online Savings Account Review

by Luke Landes

As of today, Zions Bank offers one of the highest interest rates among high-interest savings accounts. Is it worthwhile to move your money there to take advantage of this interest rate? Today’s interest rate environment is not the best for moving money from bank to bank in search of the highest rate, so the more ... Continue reading this article…

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Study: College Students Aren’t Learning Basic Skills

by Luke Landes

A new study following thousands of college students from 2005 through 2009 concludes that students are not learning the basic cognitive skills required for functioning properly in life, namely critical thinking, complex reasoning, and communication skills. The primary assumption that the goal of earning a college degree is obtaining these particular skills is where this ... Continue reading this article…

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Contest: Win $1,000 for Shredding Your Credit Card

by Luke Landes

If you’re ready to get out of debt and willing to create a video about it, you could win $1,000 or other prizes from the folks at LendingClub and PerkStreet Financial. Submit a video of you shredding your credit card to qualify for the chance of winning a $1,000 grand prize in the form of ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Card Rewards Hurt Your Bottom Line

by Luke Landes

I’ve been a proponent of cash-back rewards credit cards for a while. My theory, or perhaps my excuse, is that if I plan on spending money and can do so with either cash or a credit card that offers rewards, I might as well use the rewards credit card to damage my bottom line less ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 91: Mint and Scholastic Financial Literacy Lesson Plans

by Luke Landes

Today’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Aaron Patzer, Vice President and General Manager of the Personal Finance Group at Intuit, and founder of Mint.com. Aaron and Flexo discuss financial literacy and Intuit’s partnership with educational publisher Scholastic, bringing lesson plans and resources to middle school students, their teachers, and their parents. You can ... Continue reading this article…

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OptionsXpress Review and $100 Cash Bonus

by Luke Landes

Although OptionsXpress is a discount broker that focuses on trading options and other derivatives, this discount broker is also worth a look for the more traditional trading of stocks and ETFs as well as investing in an IRA for little or no fees. Right now, the discount broker is working to attract new customers. For ... Continue reading this article…

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Verizon Wireless Kills “New Every Two” Discount

by Luke Landes

The year 2000 was not an easy one for me. I had hardly any money thanks to a low-paying non-profit job and student loan debt. Even when not spending much beyond the necessities, I wasn’t improving my financial condition. I was moving around from apartment to apartment; by 2004 I would had lived in seven ... Continue reading this article…

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4 Ways to Retire Early by Cheating

by Luke Landes
GMC Motorhome

Save for the last few years, the extreme early retirement movement was gaining momentum. If the American Dream was homeownership, saying, “See you!” to your boss with a more colorful word choice was the American Daydream. Who wouldn’t want financial freedom at age thirty, spending the best years of one’s life doing only what they ... Continue reading this article…

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PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card offers 5% cash back on gas paid at the pump

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. As the offers on cash back credit card continue to increase, consumers who use credits cards should make sure theirs is one that allows them to save the most amount of money possible. Whether it’s a great APR, a long ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You and Your Spouse Combine Money?

by Luke Landes

In American society in the past, when it was more common for a family to have one income, that income might have covered the family’s expenses that correspond to the expenses that two incomes pay for now. That family, if typical, often consisted of a father, a mother, and two children. The one income was ... Continue reading this article…

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Start the Decade Off Right

by Luke Landes

It’s a new decade. These are the tens, and this could well be the best decade of my life. How about you? Whether you’re reading this in 2010, 2020, or some other year, it’s time to make some conscious changes to your finances to move your life forward. Time won’t stop to wait for you, ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Pay a Tax Bill You Can’t Afford

by Luke Landes

It’s a good thing I’ve been saving a good portion of my income for the past year. Even with making estimated tax payments — the last of which is due on January 18 — I’ll have a significant tax bill this year thanks to increased income. Many taxpayers may not look forward to filing their ... Continue reading this article…

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The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

by Luke Landes

When Congress and the President extended the Bush-era tax cuts, taxpayers subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) received a break. As Leigh Mutert, CPA discussed in our recent podcast interview, this is something middle class taxpayers need to know about now, because it effects the 2010 income returns that are being filed from now ... Continue reading this article…

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50 Cent Plugs Stock to 3.8 Million Followers on Twitter, Stock Soars

by Luke Landes

Here’s a fun experiment. You don’t need many materials, just a little bit of work. Here are the steps: Create a huge following on Twitter. Put your money into a little-known stock with low trading value. Write several messages on Twitter to almost 4 million followers about how good the investment is. Watch the valuation ... Continue reading this article…

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Why You Should Care About Your Wallet and Your Waistline

by Philip Taylor

This is a guest article by Philip Taylor, the owner of the blog PT Money. Philip created PT Money to share his own experiences with successfully managing his money. It’s no secret that our money and our health are connected. More people want to excel with these two things for their lives more than any ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 90: Getting More, Stuart Diamond

by Luke Landes

On today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek speaks with Stuart Diamond, Wharton Professor, Pulitzer Prize-winning former journalist and author of the book Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World. Stuart and Tom discuss many topics including Stuart’s negotiation background, how to negotiate successfully with others as ... Continue reading this article…

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Running in the Snow

by Luke Landes

One of my goals for 2011, like most people who make New Year’s resolutions, is to lose weight. Earlier this week, I started a training program that will lead me to be able to finish a 5K. To track my progress and to assist with training, I’m using an application for my phone, RunKeeper. RunKeeper ... Continue reading this article…

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Wachovia to Wells Fargo Transition

by Luke Landes

In addition to my bevvy of online savings accounts, I have standard, twentieth-century brick-and-mortar banking accounts, though only at two banks. I opened an account at TD Bank (formerly Commerce Bank) several years ago — because everyone loves being able to visit the branch on a Sunday. My primary branch accounts for personal and business ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Buy Facebook Shares Now

by Luke Landes

Update: As of May 2012, Facebook is trading publicly. You can purchase Facebook shares like any other stock trading on NASDAQ, using a discount brokerage or a full-service broker. I mentioned recently that although Goldman Sachs appears to be trying to come up with a plan to skirt the regulations set forth by the Securities ... Continue reading this article…

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