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avatar You are viewing an archive of articles by Luke Landes. Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View 's Google Profile.

Luke Landes

Citibank Changes Overdraft Procedure: Fewer Fees

by Luke Landes

At the end of March, Fifth Third Bank changed its procedure for dealing with overdraft fees. When a customer has many debits (withdrawals) posting on the same day, and they are not real-time debits, banks often start with the largest amount. Ordering the debits from largest to smallest ensures that customers who do not have ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, March 2011 ($664,370, +7.4%)

by Luke Landes

My financial for March are finalized enough for me to publish the numbers. Although I like the reports I post every month to be as accurate as possible, there are often things I forget or haven’t been finalized, like income from additional sources or bills from vendors. Unfortunately, last month’s net worth has been revised ... Continue reading this article…

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Call For Guest Articles, the Personal in Personal Finance, and the Lottery

by Luke Landes

Later this month, I will be traveling to southern California to visit my family. I usually travel to the west coast for vacation twice a year, once in the spring and once around Thanksgiving. During this time, I’ll still be working, but I often use this as an opportunity to feature a select number of ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 102: Tax Preparation, Tom Dziubek

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary Podcast host and producer Tom Dziubek returns this week, in the role of a guest. Tom has spent the past few months working for a financial services firm focusing on preparing and filing tax returns for clients. Today, Tom is joining me to speak about common and uncommon issues households experience with their ... Continue reading this article…

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Baseball Statistics for Player Salaries

by Luke Landes

If you love baseball, you might also love statistics. I suppose analyzing players’ performance numbers gives spectators something to do during long at-bats. Very few other sports engage fans by providing scorecards, and learning how to score a game is like learning a language or a code. I enjoy baseball, as much as a Mets ... Continue reading this article…

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The Adoption Tax Credit

by Luke Landes

For the first time ever, the adoption tax credit is refundable. This is a great change for parents who have adopted children in the past few years, because it means they could file their 2010 taxes and receive a bigger-than-expected refund. Keep in mind that refundable is a good thing when it comes to taxes; ... Continue reading this article…

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PenFed Credit Cards Review

by Luke Landes

Even though you’ve probably seen hundreds of commercials for Discover, Citibank, Chase, Capital One, Bank of America and American Express, the best credit card issuer continues to be Pentagon Federal Credit Union, and their line of six — only six — credit cards, three of which we list below. PenFed is a credit union designed ... Continue reading this article…

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Pay Off Car Loan or 0% APR Credit Card First?

by Luke Landes

I always like questions about debt pay-off strategies because they’re partly about math and partly about psychology. The numbers are very important, and debt payoff strategies should not be planned or implemented without a good understanding of the long-term financial consequences. There are some cases where, from a personal perspective, it makes sense to formulate ... Continue reading this article…

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Are We in the Next Tech Bubble?

by Luke Landes

Paul La Monica shares my concern that today’s market is reminiscent of the dot-com bubble of 1999. The bubble, if it exists, would be evident in higher than expected valuations for private companies like Facebook ($75 billion) and Groupon ($25 billion), not to mention Huffington Post’s recent sale to AOL for $315 million. In his ... Continue reading this article…

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Marriott Rewards Credit Card Review

by Luke Landes

The small percentage of people who optimize their credit card rewards require using specific credit cards for specific types of purchases. Maximizing these rewards requires willpower, and possibly at least ten different cards. One travel rewards card would be used to book flights and pay for other travel expenses, one gas rewards card would be ... Continue reading this article…

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