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

January 2012

Weekend Reading

by Luke Landes

Here are a few articles I’ve spotted recently. Are you superstitious? Superstitions can extend into your finances; the belief that the stock market’s performance on January 1 signals the performance for the entire year can be classified as a superstition. Frugal Zeitgeist offers a compilations of several superstitions and their origins. I’m a customer of ... Continue reading this article…

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How Rich Are the Presidential Candidates?

by Luke Landes
Mitt Romney

When politicians are campaigning, some try to reinforce the idea that they are similar to most Americans. Candidates for President of the United States try to avoid being labeled as elitist, because some sort of connection and kinship with their constituency is important for winning the favor of voters who aren’t already entrenched with a ... Continue reading this article…

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Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

by Luke Landes
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Although the home mortgage interest deduction is one of the most oft-cited benefits of owning a home, most taxpayers don’t take advantage of it because it requires itemizing taxes. If itemized deductions including mortgage interest paid throughout the year exceed the standard deduction, a taxpayer can take advantage of the benefit. The benefit isn’t as ... Continue reading this article…

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The Worst Celebrity Tax Problems

by Luke Landes

It’s with a tinge of schadenfreude that people are fascinated with the failures and foibles of famous celebrities. Every year, the IRS chases people who evade or underpay federal income tax, and actors and popular figures in the media, who often don’t manage their own finances, make the news. The latest is Lindsay Lohan. You ... Continue reading this article…

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Schwab Creates Low-Cost 401(k) Fund Choices

by Luke Landes

I used to work for a company in the financial services industry. Another branch of the corporation I worked for is involved with institutional money management. This department manages institutional investments like company retirement plans and pensions. This is a service they provided to other companies of various types, much like Fidelity and Schwab offer ... Continue reading this article…

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Good Debt and Bad Debt

by Luke Landes
See-saw

Misuse of credit can destroy a family’s financial life. A household can crumble under the weight of debt, whether it has increased from a poor house-purchasing decision, a drastic change in the real estate market, a shopping addiction, an unexpected medical bill, or the lack of preparedness for an emergency. It’s no surprise people consider ... Continue reading this article…

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Choosing a Career Path By Chasing Hot Jobs

by Luke Landes
Oil field pipes

A recent article in Fortune Magazine predicts that one of the hottest jobs ten years from now will be data scientist. If this prediction is true, parents of teenagers in their first year of high school and their parents might consider encouraging their kids to develop the skills necessary to be in high demand by ... Continue reading this article…

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Suze Orman’s New Prepaid Debit Card: The Approved Card

by Luke Landes
Suze Orman

As Ron Lieber reported in the New York Times, personal finance guru Suze Orman is launching her own debit card brand, the Approved Card, following in the footsteps of music mogul Russell Simmons and his Rush Cards. Suze Orman’s debit card will be a prepaid debit card, ensuring customers using the card can spend generally ... Continue reading this article…

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How Student Loans Affect Your Credit Scores

by Gerri Detweiler
Student loan debt

This is an article by Gerri Detweiler. For the past twenty years, Gerri has been an advocate helping consumers find reliable answers to their credit questions. Just as student loans can be “good debt” or “bad debt” depending on how they are used, they can be good or bad for your credit scores, depending on ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 142: New Year’s Resolutions

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Consumerism Commentary founder Flexo about New Year’s resolutions. Flexo discusses several tips to addressing New Year’s resolutions including performing an honest self-assessment, setting goals that are meaningful to you and breaking them down into more manageable chunks. Consumerism Commentary Podcast New Year’s Resolutions: S06E12 / ... Continue reading this article…

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Discover More Card No Balance Transfer Fee Offer, 0% APR

by Luke Landes

The offer you are interested in has expired. Read our review of the Best 0 percent APR on Balance Transfers Credit Cards.

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How to Love Cooking

by Forest
Toast

This is a guest post by Forest from Frugal Zeitgeist. Forest writes about frugality, finance, minimalism and lifestyle. In this article, Forest shares his experiences in the kitchen. Cooking great meals is a great way to save money and stay healthy, but it’s a skill that I haven’t developed for myself. Passion can boost motivation, ... Continue reading this article…

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Director, Richard Cordray

by Luke Landes
Richard Cordray

As many Presidents of the United States have done, President Obama avoided confrontation with Congress by appointing an individual to direct a government organization while lawmakers were on recess. Yesterday, the President appointed former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to the long-delayed position of director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Now that this ... Continue reading this article…

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Year-End Personal Balance Sheet, December 2011

by Luke Landes
Net worth balance sheet, December 2011

I’ve spent the last decade of my life focused on my finances. I started because I had no money and a job that was taking more from me than it was providing in income. I knew I had to make some changes if I wanted to build any kind of future for myself. Soon into ... Continue reading this article…

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Five Conversations Before Moving In Together

by Aloysa
Couple

This is a guest article by Aloysa, a creator of My Broken Coin. In this article, Aloysa offers five conversation starters for couples considering moving in together. Based on my own personal experience I can tell you that expectations of your significant other change as soon as you move in together. All of a sudden, ... Continue reading this article…

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A Different Environment for 2012 Goals and Resolutions

by Luke Landes

I’ve exchanged some of the stress and risk in my life for a more comfortable situation. At the end of October, as some readers have been aware, I relinquished my ownership of Consumerism Commentary. There was an announcement in the Wall Street Journal that I’ll link to below for those who are curious about some ... Continue reading this article…

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You Are In Control

by Luke Landes
Controller

Many people begin a new year with goals, resolutions and targets that define what they’d like to change within the next 365 days (or 366 days in a leap year). While most people fail to achieve these goals and resolutions, just the process of making resolutions and the self-reflection required can be helpful towards improving ... Continue reading this article…

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Interact with Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

There are more ways to interact with Consumerism Commentary than visiting this website. I hope you do visit this website often to participate in the discussions. Subscribe to the Consumerism Commentary RSS feed For those with feed readers, we offer an RSS feed, bringing the full text of these entries to your reader, the way ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 141: The Behavior Gap

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan J Busch and Flexo speak with Carl Richards, author of the book The Behavior Gap. They discuss the difference between smart investments vs. emotional decisions, the importance of financial planning, and how most people are better off just buying an index fund and ignoring investment gurus. Carl has ... Continue reading this article…

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