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

July 2013

Don’t Take Budgeting Advice From McDonald’s

by Luke Landes
McDonald's ridiculous budget worksheet

I had planned to write about McDonald’s ridiculous budgeting tips for employees when I first saw the news circulating through social media. I’m so far behind with my editorial plan that every last Consumerism Commentary reader has probably heard about this latest manifestation of corporate ignorance of reality by now. Writers of all stripes and […]

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IRA Balances At Five-Year Highs: Time for a Retirement Check-Up

by Luke Landes
IRA balances at an all-time high

Thanks to the stock market’s upward trend since the recession (if the trend hadn’t been upward, we couldn’t say “since the recession”), policy changes that allow investors to convert traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs without limit other than the income tax bill, and perhaps even younger savers inspired to plan for their retirement by saving […]

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Variable Annuities Customers Facing Benefit Reductions

by Luke Landes
Money - Variable Annuities

When people find out I’ve been writing a blog about personal finance for ten years — yes, it seems crazy, but the tenth anniversary of Consumerism Commentary is Tuesday — they recognize it is an opportunity to share their financial troubles and triumphs. I’m a good listener. For the most part, I am happy to […]

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Debit Card Pay: Extra Fees or Money-Saving Opportunity?

by Luke Landes
McDonald's Pay Via Debit Cards

Last month, a McDonald’s employee in Pennsylvania sued her employer to receive all of her rightful wages. This was a class-action lawsuit for the benefit of all employees now faced with an annoying trend. Employers are forgoing paychecks and direct deposit in favor of distributing wages on prepaid debit cards. Here’s how it works. When […]

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Can Free College Education Work in Oregon or Anywhere Else?

by Luke Landes
Tuition-Free Education in Oregon

While in Portland, Oregon the past few days, I was struck by the news that the state’s legislature passed a bill to “Pay It Forward, Pay It Back,” allowing students to attend college for free initially, then paying tuition as a percentage of their income for a set number of years. Many of the national […]

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Responsibility Without Authority

by Luke Landes
Soldiers

A past employer had a hard time keeping his employees from running away within three years of starting their jobs; for this small organization, the turnover rate was high, and without consistency, the organization compromised the service it intended to provide and the mission that was its essence. There is nothing unique to this situation; […]

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I’m a Landlord, Budget Stress, and Retirement Plans

by Lance

Editor’s note: A few times a month, Lance from Money Life and More will stop by to share some of the best articles from across a variety of publications, including other blogs and mainstream media. I (Luke) am currently in Portland, Oregon, attending the World Domination Summit, a conference that is not as politically disruptive as the […]

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Income-Based Repayment Student Loan Plans

by Luke Landes
College Graduate

In his latest Naked With Cash update, participant JW discussed his student loans. Due to his income, which happens to be at a low level, the amount he owes each month to pay back his education loan is zero. How is this possible? He enrolled in a feature for low-income households with certain types of […]

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Get Motivated Out of a Business Slump

by Tom Drake
Get out of a slump

This is a guest article by Tom Drake, the owner of Create Hype, where he writes about his online business techniques. Tom is helping me (Luke Landes) organize this year’s Plutus Awards, an award ceremony honoring the best financial blogs, bloggers, products and services, which will be featured at this coming October’s Financial Blogger Conference. […]

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Capital One 360 Independence Day Sale

by Luke Landes
Capital One 360 Account Overview

Capital One 360, the online bank formerly known as ING Direct, is offering special deals for new customers. I’m a long-time customer, and I opened my account when ING Direct was offering one of the best interest rates available among online savings accounts. The interest rate, like all interest rates, has shrunk over the course […]

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