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

September 2011

Podcast 126: Wealth: Is It Worth It?

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan talks with Truett Cathy, the founder and CEO of Chick-fil-A, about his book Wealth: Is It Worth It?. Truett lived through the Great Depression and worked behind a counter until he started Chick-fil-A when he was 46. Never comfortable borrowing money, he now believes in giving generously to ... Continue reading this article…

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When People Get Rich Quickly: Lessons from Michael Vick’s Bankruptcy

by Luke Landes

A typical professional athlete may be a prime example of the situation in which an individual might find himself suddenly wealthy. The idea that a person could consider himself middle class or lower one day and wealthy the next is a recipe for financial disaster. It’s easy to look at athletes because their trials and ... Continue reading this article…

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UPS Premium Service

by Luke Landes
UPS Truck

Delivery company — or logistics company, depending on how you look at it — UPS is taking a page from Amazon.com’s Prime service and offering better delivery options for customers willing to pay a fee. When I didn’t work out of my home, I’d often come back after work to be greeted by the familiar ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Review

by Luke Landes

Credit card companies tend to have some of the most pervasive marketing messages. Through frequent commercials, credit cards get their branding goals across with immediately-identifiable taglines. Discover has “it pays to Discover.” Citibank has been using “Citi never sleeps” recently. One of the most effective marketing hooks comes from Capital One, with the indelible “what’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Poverty Rates Up: How to Avoid Poverty

by Luke Landes

According to the 2010 Census data, the poverty rate for Americans is up to 15.1 percent, matching the rate from 1993. 46.2 million people are living below the poverty line, a level delineated by earning less than $22,314 a year for a family of four or $11,139 a year for an individual. 22 percent of ... Continue reading this article…

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Schwab Invest First 2% Cash Back Card Officially Dead

by Luke Landes

Now that the Schwab Invest First 2 percent Cash Back credit card is officially closed, consider one of the alternatives below. Owners of the very popular Schwab Invest First Visa credit card, which offered 2 percent cash back on purchases deposited directly into a Schwab account, have started receiving word that their favorite card will be converted ... Continue reading this article…

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Start a Salary Negotiation With a Ridiculous Request

by Luke Landes

There’s some evidence that the first number mentioned in salary negotiations serves as an anchor. As an employee, you can influence the employer’s final salary by asking for a high number up front. That high number, you may know, is out of the employer’s range, but by asking for a somewhat reasonable high number, you’re ... Continue reading this article…

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2011 Stimulus Package: American Jobs Act

by Luke Landes
Dollar - 2011 Stimulus Package

Update: The Buffett Rule, if implemented, could help pay for the American Jobs Act. As long as the public holds the general impression that economy isn’t favorable, and that’s certainly the case, for example, when unemployment is high or after a stock market crash, political leaders will propose stimulus plans to help move the country ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Cutting More Jobs

by Luke Landes
Bank of America

After Bank of America investors have endured a year of suffering, Bank of America employees will start to feel the company’s troubles. Although the bank already announced significant layoffs this year, hot on the heels of a $5 billion boost from Warren Buffett, an overdraft fee lawsuit settlement, and a settlement for a lawsuit pertaining ... Continue reading this article…

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Earn More Money: Teaching and Tutoring

by Luke Landes

This is the third article in a series about methods of supplementing income with spare-time projects. I typically focus on the big changes people can make that result in earning significantly more money, but this series focuses on incremental income. The first article was about becoming a secret shopper and the second was about selling ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 125: Underwater Mortgages

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast Tom Dziubek speaks with Gerri Detweiler, personal finance expert at Credit.com, about her series of articles dealing with underwater mortgages. Gerri goes into detail about each of the six options including home loan refinances & modifications, doing a short sale and declaring bankruptcy. Consumerism Commentary Podcast #125 Underwater Mortgages: ... Continue reading this article…

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BankAmericard Cash Rewards Review

by Luke Landes

You may have seen a lot of commercials for a credit card offered by Bank of America called the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™. Although this card offers a solid rewards program with a good interest rate and no annual fee, it’s nothing new and it’s certainly not improved. In fact, there are other credit cards that ... Continue reading this article…

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Set Up Beneficiaries for All Your Accounts

by Luke Landes

While anyone moves towards financial independence, there is a time to think about what would happen to one’s financial accounts if one were to most unfortunately pass away. It’s a morbid thought, no doubt, and it’s easily avoidable in a world where talking about death is difficult. I don’t like to contemplate my own mortality, ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Update: Six Months in San Diego

by Smithee

This article is by Consumerism Commentary staff writer Smithee, who is juggling about a dozen clients and creative projects as a freelancer. It’s been a year since I was laid off and decided to become a full-time freelancer, and it’s been six months since my wife and I made a risky decision to move the ... Continue reading this article…

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My Varied Job History

by Luke Landes

For some people, finding the right career is easy. During formative years, perhaps one skill outshines all others, directing someone to develop that skill over time. Perhaps there is one particular area that develops into a passion, and the only choice is to follow that passion regardless of the income potential. In my formative years, ... Continue reading this article…

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Citi Platinum Select Visa Card Review

by Luke Landes

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

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Honda Recalls One Million Cars

by Luke Landes
Honda CR-V

As an owner of a Honda Civic, I was concerned with the car maker’s latest round of recalls. My 2004 Honda Civic manual transmission LX sedan was not affected by the recall, but it wasn’t too long ago that both Honda and Toyota were issuing recalls. At the time, I reacted by buying shares in ... Continue reading this article…

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Earn More Money: eBay Selling and Flipping

by Luke Landes
Book Sale

This is the second article in a series about methods of supplementing income with spare-time projects. I typically focus on the big changes people can make that result in earning significantly more money, but this series focuses on incremental income. The first article was about becoming a secret shopper. A friend of mine is stuck ... Continue reading this article…

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Taking a Salary Cut

by Luke Landes
Twin Towers, World Trade Center

In the midst of the recession, more than a few corporate executives made the difficult choice to cut their employees’ salaries. Companies whose profits depended on the health of the economy might have been at risk for bankruptcy if unable to cut costs. Reluctant to lay off employees, many troubled companies convinced the employees that ... Continue reading this article…

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Involving Children in Household Money Management

by Luke Landes
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5259/5437895492_b0e84aaf2b_b.jpg

At the right age, involving children in the household financial planning process can be a good way to teach responsible money management. Children internalize best practices when they not only receive meaningful instruction, but have visible, positive role models as parents. If parents want to impart a lesson of “buy only what you can afford,” ... Continue reading this article…

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