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


Better Bargains With Foreclosures and Pre-Foreclosures

by Luke Landes
Zillow Pre-Foreclosure

I’ve taken a cursory look at the possibility of investing in real estate near where I live, with the intent of buying a property for rental. The numbers don’t work well in my favor. I’ve confirmed this with friends experienced with renting their properties in the area; most would not do it again if given […]

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Mortgage Fraud: U.S. Government Suing Bank of America for $1 Billion

by Luke Landes
Bank of America

I never liked the term “hustle” when used to discuss making money on the side. The word has the slight connotation of fraud or taking advantage of someone, and moving quickly to do so. Now, the word “hustle” is going to be linked to something more specific and decidedly negative. This was the name of […]

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Mass Affluent: College is Worth the Investment

by Luke Landes
Questioning the value of a college education

You can be financially successful without a college degree. One summer when I was younger, fresh out of college, I worked for a touring drum and bugle corps. It’s a group of 128 adolescents and young adults and 40 staff who drive around the company in buses, performing almost every night for seven weeks, marching […]

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2013 Federal Income Tax Brackets and Marginal Rates

by Luke Landes

When you file your federal income tax return before April 2013, you’re filing your 2012 taxes, and the 2012 income tax brackets define the amount of tax you owe to the government before credits and after-tax adjustments. The first paycheck or consultancy fee you earn in 2013 falls under new rules, however. The 2013 income […]

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Virgin America Visa Signature Card Review, 15,000 Bonus Points

by Luke Landes
Virgin America Visa Signature

Editor’s Note:  Thank you for your interest, this limited-time offer has expired.  Barclays Bank may be beginning to offer its own branded cards like the recently-reviewed Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard, but in the United States this bank is more known for its branded cards. The Virgin America Visa® Signature Card is one such offer from Barclays, […]

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Welcome to Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes
Profile Photo

If you are new to Consumerism Commentary, start here. My name is Luke Landes, and I am the founder of Consumerism Commentary. I started this website in 2003 to hold myself accountable for my choices pertaining to my financial condition. Over the subsequent years, Consumerism Commentary has grown into one of the most popular blogs […]

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Education Majors Earn Less Regardless of Career

by Luke Landes

As I’ve mentioned before, I studied education as an undergraduate. I knew that my career as a public school teacher would limit my potential earnings over my lifetime, though I eyed administration as a potential progression. I diverged into non-profit work, and if I learned anything from my time working at a non-profit, it’s that […]

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Go to College for Free

by Luke Landes
West Point Academy cadet

Welcome new readers. Be sure to subscribe to Consumerism Commentary via RSS. New readers should start here. I enjoyed my experience as an undergraduate at a “state-assisted, privately governed” university. As I did not live in that university’s state prior to attending, my tuition fees were higher than many of my classmates’ fees. To attend […]

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My Net Worth History

by Luke Landes

Part of the draw of Consumerism Commentary has been my monthly financial reports. Having worked in the financial reporting area of a company that happened to be in the financial industry, I recognize the importance of monthly public reporting to be accountable to stakeholders; I started publicly reporting my own finances to be accountable to […]

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Financial Voyeurism: Sharing Your Finances to Improve Your Life

by Luke Landes
Net worth balance sheet, December 2011

There’s something weird about what I’ve done here at Consumerism Commentary. Although I no longer share all the details on a regular basis, when I started this website in 2003, its purpose was to track my financial progress, to discover and share thoughts about building financial freedom, and to grow my own knowledge about money […]

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