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

April 2014


Naked With Cash is an ongoing series at Consumerism Commentary in which readers share their households’ finances with other readers. These participants benefit from the accountability that comes from tracking their finances publicly and the feedback of the four expert Certified Financial Planners (CFPs).

For more information, read this introduction.

This year, we have four participants who will share their financial reports, exposing the results of their financial choices. Each participant is paired with one of our Certified Financial Planners. The experts will provide insight and guidance that will help our participants take their finances to the next level by the end of 2014. Learn about this year’s participants and experts.

Jake and Allie have no plans for children, but they have pets that they care for devotedly. Combined, they make $140,000 a year and hope to retire early, when Allie is 50. Both want to start side hustles that they can pursue during early retirement. Allie wants a photography business while Jake thinks running a kennel would be ideal. They enjoy travel and make it a priority to take trips throughout the year. (Read their update from last month.)

After reading Jake and Allie’s comments, you can see a Google Hangout they participated in with Neal Frankle. Neal Frankle appears courtesy of Wealth Pilgrim and MCMHA.org. This month’s Naked With Cash focus is on short-term savings.

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Today’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary is author Zac Bissonnette. Zac last appeared on the show four years ago, and he’s back today to talk about his new book, Good Advice from Bad People: Selected Wisdom from Murderers, Stock Swindlers, and Lance Armstrong.

The study of hypocrisy seems to be infinite, but it is particularly evident in the self-help and motivational genres — and you don’t have to look far from personal finance advice to find some of the most egregious examples of experts and gurus living by rules different than those they preach. Zac’s book is a fascinating read about the lives of notorious people who, if judged by their words of advice alone, should be saints.

You might be familiar with Bernie Madoff, but reading about the lives of motivational swindlers like Charles Givens, Barry Minkow, and Myron Scholes gave a different kind of context to the words they’ve written and the speeches they’ve performed.

Can you separate the advice from the people who speak it? What makes someone worthy of offering advice? Zac and I discuss these things — and Tim Tebow. Continue reading this article to listen to or download the podcast. You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

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Naked With Cash is an ongoing series at Consumerism Commentary in which readers share their households’ finances with other readers. These participants benefit from the accountability that comes from tracking their finances publicly and the feedback of the four expert Certified Financial Planners (CFPs).

For more information, read this introduction.

This year, we have four participants who will share their financial reports, exposing the results of their financial choices. Each participant is paired with one of our Certified Financial Planners. The experts will provide insight and guidance that will help our participants take their finances to the next level by the end of 2014. Learn about this year’s participants and experts.

Together, Laura and Leon earn more than $124,000 a year, and Laura recently received a raise. Currently, their main goal is to tackle their student debt. Even though they don’t have children, they think they will start a family soon. As a result, they are trying to sock away as much as they can for retirement, and they are trying to put their finances on the right track so that everything is in order when they decide the time is right to add children to the household. (Read last month’s update.)

After reading Laura and Leon’s comments, you can read commentary from Roger Wohlner, CFP. Roger Wohlner appears courtesy of The Chicago Financial Planner. This month, there is a focus on short-term savings goals.

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Naked With Cash is an ongoing series at Consumerism Commentary in which readers share their households’ finances with other readers. These participants benefit from the accountability that comes from tracking their finances publicly and the feedback of the four expert Certified Financial Planners (CFPs).

For more information, read this introduction.

This year, we have four participants who will share their financial reports, exposing the results of their financial choices. Each participant is paired with one of our Certified Financial Planners. The experts will provide insight and guidance that will help our participants take their finances to the next level by the end of 2014. Learn about this year’s participants and experts.

Brian and his wife have two young children. Brian’s wife recently started staying home, and they are trying to work through the transition from a two-income household to a single-income household. They have student loans and a mortgage, and usually pay their credit card balances off each month. Brian and his wife have two main goals: Retire comfortably and help their children pay for college. They want to take a long-term view of their money so that they can live the way they want in the future. (Read Brian’s update from last month.)

After reading Brian’s comments, you can see video commentary from Jeff Rose, CFP. Jeff Rose appears courtesy of Good Financial Cents and Life Insurance By Jeff. This month, participants have been asked to focus on short-term savings goals.

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Naked With Cash: Betsey S, March 2014

by Luke Landes
Naked With Cash - Betsey

Naked With Cash is an ongoing series at Consumerism Commentary in which readers share their households’ finances with other readers. These participants benefit from the accountability that comes from tracking their finances publicly and the feedback of the four expert Certified Financial Planners (CFPs). For more information, read this introduction. This year, we have four ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 173: Farnoosh Torabi, When She Makes More

by Luke Landes
Farnoosh Torabi

This interview should be required listening for women — and men — who are in a relationship, particularly a marriage, in which the woman earns more than the man. This is precisely the situation in which author Farnoosh Torabi has found herself, and as a popular financial columnists, she discovered she wasn’t alone. Based on ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Big Wins Are the Best Way to Boost Your Saving Rate

by J.D. Roth
Reward Quadranr

This is a guest post from J.D. Roth, who founded the Get Rich Slowly blog and currently writes at More Than Money. J.D. recently launched a year-long "Get Rich Slowly" course, which is based on the idea that you’d have greater financial success if you managed your money as if you were running a business. ... Continue reading this article…

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Three More Invalid Criticisms of David Bach’s Latte Factor

by Luke Landes
Coffee - Latte Factor

I recently appeared on the Stacking Benjamins podcast to talk with Joe Saul-Sehy about the Debt Avalanche and the Debt Snowball, two very similar methods of paying off existing debt — usually applied to situations that involve mutiple credit cards. They two approaches differ in one important aspect, and I’ve discussed that in detail on ... Continue reading this article…

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Two Invalid Criticisms of David Bach’s Latte Factor

by Luke Landes
Latte Factor

More than seven years ago, I encouraged readers to forget about the Latte Factor. The Latte Factor — a registered trademark — is the core marketing message from personal finance guru and author David Bach. The concept uses a daily morning latte as a metaphor for all small, habitually repeated expenses, that add up to ... Continue reading this article…

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Want to Fail? Ignore Survivorship Bias.

by Luke Landes
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Whether you’re making a decision that has apparent, immediate consequences that could affect the rest of your life, like deciding to quit your job and open a business, or making a purchasing decision big or small, it is worthwhile to gather information and think about the future. When you gather information, you have to be ... Continue reading this article…

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Home Grocery Delivery: Peapod vs. FreshDirect

by Luke Landes
FreshDirect

Although I don’t take advantage of this type of service every time I need to go food shopping, grocery delivery is one luxury I enjoy about once a month. I’ve been a customer of Peapod for about eighteen months. Peapod is a company associated with Stop & Shop, a supermarket in my area. The food ... Continue reading this article…

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The Only Way Buying As Much House As Possible Is Smart

by Luke Landes
Buying as much house as possible

Once again, I’m finding myself nearing the end of my one-year lease with the need to make a decision about my living situation. I moved to my current apartment in the summer of 2007, at a time when I had been more comfortable living off some of the income from my business. Until that point, ... Continue reading this article…

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Psychological Advantages of the Debt Avalanche

by Luke Landes
Debt Snowball

The realist in me recognizes that the best plan for getting out of debt is any plan that allows someone to achieve that goal. The realist is constantly at odds with the optimist in me, the part of me that wants people to be high achievers, to strive for excellence, and to seek an informed ... Continue reading this article…

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Buying and Selling Stocks Is Often a Losing Strategy

by Luke Landes
Grow Your Dough Throwdown - March 2014

After three months, my $1,000 investment portfolio, nicknamed “Feemaggeddon,” is lagging. This portfolio is part of an investing challenge, the “Grow Your Dough Throwdown.” It’s a lighthearted competition featuring several top financial bloggers. I have two goals with this portfolio. The first is to test a specific popular investing philosophy. Among those who offer advice ... Continue reading this article…

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