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avatar You are viewing an archive of articles by Luke Landes. Luke Landes 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 Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View 's Google Profile.

Luke Landes

The American Opportunity Tax Credit

by Luke Landes

Last week I offered some last-minute tax filing tips, and the IRS deadline is looming. I’m happy to tackle tax questions, and Consumerism Commentary reader Eric has one. Eric was a full-time student through May 2009, and he, like many former students, is dealing with the cost of a college education. Eric is looking for ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 51: Money and Parenting, Kara McGuire

by Luke Landes

This week’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Kara McGuire, personal finance columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Kara’s column, Ka-Ching, runs every Sunday, and she also writes Ka-Blog, a personal finance blog. In today’s episode, Kara, Flexo and Tom Dziubek discuss the cost of raising a child, how to get a jump on ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 1Q 2010

by Luke Landes

When I reported my net worth earlier this week, RetirementInvestingToday, a Consumerism Commentary reader, mentioned I should be reporting my investment performance as well, as raw changes in balances don’t tell the full story. An investment’s performance can’t be measured just by looking at a starting and ending balance if during that time I make ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, March 2010 ($348,492, +11%)

by Luke Landes

The first quarter of 2010 has ended as fast as it began. In observing my personal finances as I have done for the past ten years or so, and publicly on Consumerism Commentary for the last seven years, I’ve put together my monthly balance sheet. This is a list of my account balances, including savings ... Continue reading this article…

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Spirit Airlines Now Charges for Carry-On Luggage

by Luke Landes

Just a few days ago, I arrived home from a vacation that took me to Las Vegas and Death Valley. When preparing for the trip, I used SideStep for finding the best fare that fit my schedule, settling on a flight from EWR to LAS on Continental Airlines. My flights were mostly full, so I ... Continue reading this article…

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FreeCreditReport.com No Longer Offers “Free” Credit Reports

by Luke Landes

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 required the Federal Trade Commission to regulate marketing surrounding products offered by the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion). Starting this month, offers like FreeCreditReport.com must be transparent about their offers when they are tied to “free trials.” It’s easy for us to single out Experian’s FreeCreditReport.com because ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 50: Financial Literacy Month, Cate Williams

by Luke Landes

This week’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Cate Williams, Vice President of Financial Literacy at the credit counseling agency Money Management International. In honor of Financial Literacy Month, Flexo and Tom Dziubek discuss several financial literacy topics with Cate, including at what age children should learn basic money skills, how many kids actually ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 49: Life or Debt and Charitable Giving Trends

by Luke Landes

This week’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast has two guests. In the first segment, Tom Dziubek speaks with Stacy Johnson, author of the book Life or Debt 2010: A New Path to Financial Freedom and host of the nationally syndicated financial news segment, Money Talks News. Stacy discusses his book, stockbroker ethics, and how to overcome debt. ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Starts Modifying Mortgages

by Luke Landes

Earlier this month, Bank of America changed its overdraft policy in a manner that seems to benefit its customers. Those using the bank’s debit cards for purchases will no longer be able to overdraw their account, generating overdraft fees. Instead, Bank of America will simply decline the purchases. This wouldn’t affect checks and pre-authorized debits, ... Continue reading this article…

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Zecco Discount Online Brokerage Account Opening Review

by Luke Landes

Zecco is a discount online brokerage offering trades for $4.50. I decided to open an account with Zecco recently to try my hand with stocks with a small amount of “fun money.” Trading stocks, not to mention options, is a risky way to manage your money, and I prefer to buy mutual funds and hold ... Continue reading this article…

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