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

May 2011

May 13 Giveaway: Roku HD Streaming Player, $50 Gift Card

by Luke Landes

Today, Giveaway May at Consumerism Commentary continues. In addition to a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card from Consumerism Commentary, today’s winner will also receive a Roku HD Streaming Player from Money Cone. Money Cone is a personal finance and investing “howto” blog, and the blog’s owner has graciously offered to sponsor today’s giveaway. Here is what ... Continue reading this article…

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Mother’s Day Fiasco With FTD: A Review

by Luke Landes
Mother's Day Flowers

In my attempt to be a good son to my mother who lives about as far away from me as possible in the contiguous United States, I decided to send a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day. Sending flowers may be cliché, but I know she appreciates it, so I’m happy to send them. I’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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May 12: $50 Gift Card and Free Morningstar Subscription

by Luke Landes

To continue Giveaway May at Consumerism Commentary, I have a great deal for all you investing junkies out there. In fact, today’s giveaway is sponsored by Investor Junkie. I’m excited to be working with Investor Junkie for today’s giveaway. Thanks to his connections, Investor Junkie is able to provide today’s giveaway winner one year’s free ... Continue reading this article…

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To Diversify Or Not To Diversify

by Luke Landes
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That is the question. For most small-time investors, diversification is necessary. Index funds offer diversification across a type of investment, and with a strategy like this, you can be sure you’re avoiding investment management who, on a whole, perform worse than the indexes. Diversification through index funds allows investors to spread small amounts of money ... Continue reading this article…

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TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express Review

by Luke Landes

In 2009, Congress passed enacted laws that require credit card issuers to be more direct with their terms and conditions. Companies can no longer get away with double-cycle billing and hidden fees, which were costing customers millions of dollars every year. There are still a few items found in the fine print that customers often ... Continue reading this article…

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May 11 Giveaway: $100 and Pay Off Debt App

by Luke Landes

Giveaway May has been wildly successful so far. Every weekday during this month, I’ve been giving away gift cards and other prizes, and this is going to continue until the end of May. Yesterday’s Kindle was a popular item, but I’ll continue offering valuable prizes every day, including some surprises to come. Today’s giveaway is ... Continue reading this article…

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Ally Bank in Talks to Buy ING Direct

by Luke Landes

Update: Capital One has purchased ING Direct. A little less than eighteen months ago, I mentioned that ING Direct was scheduled to be sold off. The online bank’s parent company, ING Group, received taxpayer assistance. The plan is for ING Group to sell ING Direct USA to pay back the European Commission. The New York ... Continue reading this article…

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Budget Categories Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

by Luke Landes

When I started my first real budget as an adult, the concept was not difficult. I knew I had to track my spending and keep myself from paying more than necessary for expenses I could control in order to fix my financial situation. To reverse the trend of increasing debt every month, I came up ... Continue reading this article…

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May 10: Win a Free Kindle With Wi-Fi

by Luke Landes

All this month is Giveaway May at Consumerism Commentary. Every day, I’ll be choosing one winner randomly for a prize. Each day there is a small challenge in order to qualify for the giveaway, and today is no exception. Today I have a Kindle With Wi-Fi from Amazon.com to give away. This is the version ... Continue reading this article…

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Dollar-Cost Averaging Vs. Lump Sum Investing

by Luke Landes

It’s widely popular in the financial media to encourage the strategy of dollar-cost averaging (DCA) when investing. It’s a simple strategy that calls for investing the same dollar amount at regular intervals. When you assume that stocks or other investments at lower prices are bargains, dollar-cost averaging allows you to buy more of an investment ... Continue reading this article…

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Second Week of Giveaways: Two $50 Amazon Gift Cards

by Luke Landes

Today starts the second week of giveaways at Consumerism Commentary. This month is Giveaway May, and I have at least $50 to give away to readers every weekday this month. Today’s giveaway partner is Wealth Informatics. Suba, the owner of Wealth Informatics, is offering a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card to match my $50 Amazon.com Gift ... Continue reading this article…

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Ebates Review

by Luke Landes

There is more to maximizing cash back than just using the right rewards credit cards. Many card issuers also offer marketplaces or online shopping portals where, if you use your appropriately branded credit card, you can earn 1 percent to 7 percent cash back or more. That’s in addition to the 1 percent to 5 percent cash back credit ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 107: Building a Better Budget

by Luke Landes

Today’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is J.D. Roth, author of Your Money: The Missing Manual and the personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly. A few weeks ago, J.D. gave a presentation at an Oregon public library about building and maintaining a budget that works. He adapted the presentation into an article. Today, J.D., ... Continue reading this article…

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American Express Gold Card Review

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. While the credit card market continues to change due to new regulations, American Express and its line of charge cards have not. For decades, American Express has offered three different charge cards, each well known because of their color. Whether ... Continue reading this article…

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Ordering a Replacement Credit Card Due to Magnetic Stripe

by Luke Landes

When the magnetic stripe on the back of your credit card stops being effective more than two years before the card’s expiration date, you may take this as indication that you swipe the credit card fairly often. Maybe this is a frequent occurrence, but this is the first time this has happened to me. Over ... Continue reading this article…

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May 6 Giveaway: $100 Amazon Gift Card

by Luke Landes

I thought it would be fun to end the first week of Giveaway May at Consumerism Commentary with a bigger giveaway. Like many of the prizes I’m offering this month, this takes the form of a gift card from Amazon.com. I generally choose Amazon.com because they sell a wide variety of items, both necessities and ... Continue reading this article…

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Use Technology to Save Gas Money

by Luke Landes

The last time average gasoline prices reached $4.00 a gallon, people were agitated. I wasn’t immune either; I’ve commented on the rising prices as well. Although I’ve been thankful that gas prices in this country are lower than many other places in the world, and has prices in New Jersey are generally lower than average, ... Continue reading this article…

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Yahoo Finance Looking for Savers: Be On TV!

by Luke Landes

Yahoo Finance is producing an ongoing series of videos for their Financially Fit column. Each video focuses on an individual’s story. For example, they follow a New York City resident who saved $14,000 throughout the past year by downsizing his apartment and by choosing staycations rather than traveling. Personally, I don’t really consider “not spending” ... Continue reading this article…

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TradeKing Review

by Luke Landes

Launched towards the end of 2005, TradeKing is a relatively young discount brokerage when compared to many of their competitors. TradeKing, more than any other brokerage, is more in tune with today’s social networking and social media trend. This online trading network is somewhat of a forum just for investors, where they can connect with ... Continue reading this article…

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Cinco de Mayo Giveaway: $75 and a Smartphone Cover

by Luke Landes

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I’m continuing Giveaway May at Consumerism Commentary today with some help from Sustainable Personal Finance, another great money-related website. SPF is helping me increase the giveaway for today. In addition to my $50 Amazon.com Gift Card set aside for today’s winner, the individual randomly selected from among those who complete today’s ... Continue reading this article…

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