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

January 2011

Series: Life After Salary

by Luke Landes
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In December 2010, I left the day job where I had worked since 2002. My intent was to focus on Consumerism Commentary, the blog I started in 2003, and other related projects, without distraction from a nine-to-five day job. By that time, the revenue generated by my projects significantly exceeded my day job salary — […]

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Check Your Federal Tax Refund With Your Phone

by Luke Landes

Although the tax code is mired with decades-old rules, fixed up with temporary bandages every year, and convoluted, the IRS is still able to produce something fresh, modern, and simple. Today, the government agency released its free application for iPhone and Android phones, IRS2Go. The app simplifies the process of checking the status of your […]

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Mobile Payments Could Be the End of Credit Cards

by Luke Landes
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In my wallet, plastic is king. I use my credit card for almost every transaction, though in rare cases I still go for cash. Like many others in this country and around the developed world, I also carry my cell phone around with me everywhere I go. Cell phone technology is progressing quickly, and this […]

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Braces and Orthodontics: Costs and Benefits

by Luke Landes
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Through most of my four years of high school, I had braces on my teeth. The braces helped to correct an overbite, and I wore them longer than most kids my age most likely because I wasn’t consistently wearing the head gear during the night as prescribed. It’s hard for me to weigh the cost […]

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Podcast 92: The Real Cost of Living, Carmen Wong Ulrich

by Luke Landes

On today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek speaks with Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of The Real Cost of Living: Making the Best Choices for You, Your Life, and Your Money. Carmen’s new book goes focuses on the “personal” aspect of personal finance, showing how the best decisions can be made by considering both the financial […]

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Weekend Reading: Buying Your First House, Poetry, and Warren Buffett

by Luke Landes

Here are a few articles to keep you entertained and informed this weekend. 4 Questions Before Buying Your First House. Here is my recent contribution to US News. “The decision to buy a house is about more than just mortgage interest rates, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and property taxes. Your home is more than […]

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Itemizers Must Wait Until February 14 to Submit Tax Returns

by Luke Landes

Thanks to the bevy of new changes to the tax code for 2010, the IRS is still unprepared to handle tax returns filed early. If you itemize your deductions, you must wait until Valentine’s Day to submit your returns to the IRS. That doesn’t stop taxpayers from starting early. If you use software to file […]

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The Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2016

by Luke Landes

Prepaid debit cards have always been a controversial topic, particularly the cards that carry insanely high fees just for making everyday purchases. Suze Orman’s entry into the prepaid card business, the Approved Card, prompted heated debate about whether it represented a conflict of interest, given Orman’s following. In 2010 after the Kardashians announced their branded […]

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Do You Have to Repay the Homebuyer Tax Credit?

by Luke Landes

If you purchased a house in 2008, beware of this new change on the 2010 income tax returns. Some taxpayers who claimed the first-time home buyer tax credit will be required to pay the credit back to the government this April. The initial $7,500 tax credit was available to homeowners who purchased their first house […]

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Life After Salary: One Month Without a Paycheck

by Luke Landes
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About a month ago, I celebrated my imminent departure from my former employer with a lunch with my co-workers. They’ve been spending the past few weeks trying to get through the year-end reporting period, and from what I hear, I should be glad I left when I did. I know, however, that I should have […]

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