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

January 2011

The Best Prepaid Debit Cards, July 2014

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 ... Continue reading this article…

29 comments Read the full article →

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 ... Continue reading this article…

21 comments Read the full article →

Life After Salary: One Month Without a Paycheck

by Luke Landes
446737429_fe0e8a15f9_b[1]

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 ... Continue reading this article…

36 comments Read the full article →

Open a Yuan Bank Account in New York or Los Angeles

by Luke Landes

If you visit the Bank of China’s branches in New York or Los Angeles and bring two forms of identification and your cash, you have the opportunity to open a savings or money market account denominated in yuan (renminbi), the currency of China. The interest rate you’ll earn is low, but that would not be ... Continue reading this article…

26 comments Read the full article →

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…

2 comments Read the full article →

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…

3 comments Read the full article →

Study: College Students Aren’t Learning Basic Skills

by Luke Landes
4612732045_e1e6061b69_b[1]

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…

19 comments Read the full article →

Swiss Bank Account Owners Handed Over to WikiLeaks

by Luke Landes
492965442_3b3cf79f1c_o[1]

The global financial industry is more powerful than any government entity. Governments continually create regulations and laws to keep the industry in check, but the financial industry manages to find ways to skirt rules and convince the public that any regulation is bad for the world. Even though Americans holding bank accounts in Switzerland in ... Continue reading this article…

14 comments Read the full article →

Tax-Free Distributions From Your IRA: Charitable Rollover

by Luke Landes
3446025121_072700607f_b[1]

First enacted in 2006, the charitable IRA rollover is a way to let certain taxpayers reduce their tax liability. Individuals who own an IRA must begin taking minimum distributions at age 70½, and those distributions could increase the tax bill at a time when there may not be much income. While the tax bill will ... Continue reading this article…

3 comments Read the full article →

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…

7 comments Read the full article →

Credit Card Rewards Hurt Your Bottom Line

by Luke Landes
422359926_1636737849_b[1]

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…

26 comments Read the full article →

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…

4 comments Read the full article →

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…

5 comments Read the full article →

Verizon Wireless Kills “New Every Two” Discount

by Luke Landes
2581948931_7e1999502e_b[1]

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…

39 comments Read the full article →

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…

21 comments Read the full article →

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

by Luke Landes

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 introductory period or a top notch credit card rewards program, weigh the benefits and drawbacks ... Continue reading this article…

14 comments Read the full article →

Should You and Your Spouse Combine Money?

by Luke Landes
232855595_a3a2c9d093_b[1]

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…

28 comments Read the full article →

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…

0 comments Read the full article →

How to Pay a Tax Bill You Can’t Afford

by Luke Landes
3328400343_765003482a_b[1]

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…

16 comments Read the full article →

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…

6 comments Read the full article →
Page 2 of 3123