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

2011

Free Shipping Day

by Luke Landes
Package Delivery

Today is Free Shipping Day, and thousands of online merchants are participating in this movement, offering free or reduced price shipping so customers have an opportunity to receive last-minute orders in time for the holidays. Free Shipping Day was founded by an entrepreneur-couple in December 2007 as a location for finding shipping discounts offered by ... Continue reading this article…

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Chase Freedom Review and Comparison

by Luke Landes

From a branding perspective, each credit card issuer looks to group similar offers with a catchy name, helping consumers to immediately identify a type of credit card with the associated benefits. Chase offers quite a few slightly different cards under the Chase Freedom banner, and while the core features are the same, the offers differ ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Receive Great Customer Service

by Luke Landes
Telephone

Rather than blaming a representative or a corporate culture when discussions with a company don’t go the customer’s way, perhaps there are specific things the customer can do to encourage representatives to help. Money Magazine polled its readers and talked to experts to determine the best tactics for receiving the best customer service from companies. ... Continue reading this article…

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Working From Home Can Benefit You and Your Company

by Luke Landes
Home office desk

In my old corporate job, upper-level management stressed the importance of work/life balance and flexible working arrangements. The idea of work/life balance stems from the idea that most corporate employees recognize that working in a cubicle is not all there is to life, and despite pressure from supervisors and bosses, family life is important, too. ... Continue reading this article…

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Year End Reminder: Rebalance Your Portfolio

by Luke Landes
Balance

As the end of the year approaches, take a break from stressing about the holiday season by getting your personal finances in order. It’s a great time to finish your charitable contributions and adjust your 401(k) contribution. It’s also better to fund your IRA now than it is to wait until the April deadline. You ... Continue reading this article…

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The Santa Index: How Much is Santa Worth?

by Luke Landes
Santa Index

Every year around Mother’s Day, Salary.com looks at the role of a typical mother in a typical household and calculates an annual salary based on the market rates for the various jobs she does. Using the Mom Salary Wizard, I determined that the media salary for a mother of two school-age children living in my ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Relationship With Money

by Luke Landes

Have you ever had a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife you want to see again the moment he or she is out of your sight? Has love ever felt like a drug, something you need every minute, and you need more each time? Have you ever failed to understand why you constantly desire a lover ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 138: Gen Y Capital Partners

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Scott Gerber, co-founder of the startup accelerator and investment company Gen Y Capital Partners. Scott talks about the mission of Gen Y Capital Partners, their relationship with the Young Entrepreneur Council and their recent partnership with the White House on their “Pay as You Earn” ... Continue reading this article…

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The CFPB’s New Credit Card Agreements

by Luke Landes

Although Congress is dragging its feet in confirming the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s potential director, the bureau has been busy developing new tools to help consumers understand agreements that are potentially damaging to a family’s finances. Last year, issuers debuted new credit card statements designed to frighten borrowers into paying off debt faster. The new ... Continue reading this article…

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Year End Reminder: Fund Your IRA Now

by Luke Landes

These last few weeks in December present a good time to prepare your finances for the coming year. My personal goal is to start January 1 on a good note, moving my life forward. In the grand scheme putting your finances in order takes a back seat to cleaning up your life as a whole, ... Continue reading this article…

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Could You Survive at the Poverty Line?

by Your Finances Simplified
Thrift store

This guest article is written by YFS, owner and author of Your Finances Simplified. YFS was born and raised in west Philadelphia and is now a financial adviser, IT contractor, landlord, and treasurer of a non-profit. If you and your family of four received an annual income of $22,350, could you survive? You would be ... Continue reading this article…

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PayPal Makes Accepting Charity Difficult

by Luke Landes

Around the holidays, for-profit companies see an opportunity to do something charitable, even though they’re not technically registered non-profit organizations. The concept reminds me of college. I was in my university’s marching band, and we frequently traveled as a group to performances. At the end of the trips, someone on the bus collected money from ... Continue reading this article…

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Year End Reminder: Donate to Charity

by Luke Landes
Charity Box

The year is quickly coming to a close, and the first priority for many people right now is getting through the holidays with as little stress as possible. Focusing solely on the holidays at the expense of your household’s financial needs can only add to stress later, so it might help to get a few ... Continue reading this article…

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CoreLogic Credit Report and Score: Always Watching You

by Luke Landes

CoreLogic, a company that already works with lenders to consolidate credit reports from the three reporting bureaus, is developing a new credit report and score. The company believes its information, culled from public sources and proprietary databases, could give lenders, employers, and any other company that wants to evaluate an individual’s risk, a more accurate ... Continue reading this article…

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Year End Reminder: Change Your 401(k) Contribution Level Now

by Luke Landes
Winter Snow

At the end of the year, most people in the United States are thinking about the holidays and the potential credit card bills for gifts and family visits. One good way to control this potentially stressful month is to take some time to breathe and get your own finances in order. There are several actions ... Continue reading this article…

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Tame Your Achilles’ Heel for Financial Freedom

by Ginger
Achilles' Heel

This is a guest article by Ginger, owner and curator of Girls Just Wanna Have Funds. She works as a psychotherapist with clients with whom money is a frequent topic. When people think about financial freedom, most tend to think of it as this abstract state of being since it’s something that has yet to ... Continue reading this article…

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Saving $300,000 By Age Eighteen

by Luke Landes
Eighteen

CNN Money is featuring stories from six young Americans, all of whom have managed to save substantial amounts of money as kids. When I was a teenager, saving money was never a priority for me. I understood the concepts, but I was more concerned with other things in my life: my hobbies, activities, school, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 137: Shiny Objects

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan J Busch talks to Dr. James Roberts, author of the book Shiny Objects. They discuss the staggering frequency of commercials in daily life, how it’s easier to avoid than resist the temptation to shop, and the convincing argument that money and possessions don’t make people any happier. Consumerism ... Continue reading this article…

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Balance Transfer Day: December 11, 2011

by Luke Landes

Just last month, Bank Transfer Day encouraged disgruntled consumers across the country to move money out of their bank accounts and deposit the funds in credit unions and smaller, community banks. Partly as a result of this successful campaign, hundreds of thousands of American large-bank customers opened credit union accounts since the day the campaign ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Americans Take Fewer Vacation Days

by Luke Landes
Beach Vacation

In most workplaces throughout the United States, employees receive vacation days to use every year as a benefit, and in some cases, unused vacation days expire at the end of the year. According to the latest survey by Expedia, on average, Americans earned 14 vacation days this year but used only 12. While the survey ... Continue reading this article…

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