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avatar You are viewing an archive of articles by Smithee. Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer.

Smithee

Paid Insufficient, My Old Friend

by Smithee

Last week on Facebook I was celebrating the new law that stops banks from auto-enrolling new customers into overdraft programs, making it merely optional instead. A more conservative friend from college expressed his dislike of the law, asking me (I’m paraphrasing) “What happened to personal responsibility in this country? Why is it a good thing ... Continue reading this article…

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Make Sure You Really Want to Jailbreak Your iPhone

by Smithee

If you heard about it at all, you heard right: it’s no longer illegal to jailbreak your iPhone. That means you can install any app you want on it, regardless of whether it exists in the official App Store. But according to Apple, this will void your warranty, so proceed with caution. I’d recommend looking ... Continue reading this article…

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Our New Budget Could Mean Extra Car Payments

by Smithee

Last week I talked about the need for my wife and I to decide on a new savings goal. We had been saving ten percent of our paychecks each month in the Joint Savings Account, which allowed us to do some fun things and avoid credit cards, but wasn’t really a place for money to ... Continue reading this article…

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Amazon Kindle, Chapter Three

by Smithee

Amazon’s 3rd-generation Kindle e-reader, set to be released on August 27th, had me worried for a little while. My gadget-y friends and I often wonder aloud about upcoming features and technology advances, and many of them assumed Amazon would try to make it more like an iPad. As a happy owner of a 2nd-generation Kindle, ... Continue reading this article…

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No More Credit Card Debt, Now We Need a New Budget

by Smithee

I’ve had thousands of dollars in credit card debt since 1997. I remember applying for a job in March of 2001 which I calculated would help me erase my credit card debt in about twelve months. I didn’t get that job. Nobody got that job, in fact, the entire web design sector was crashing, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Sometimes the Customer Isn’t Right

by Smithee

You’ve probably seen this sign hanging up in a shop or office: Rule 1: The customer is always right. Rule 2: If the customer is wrong, see Rule 1. This is not always right. I’ve had a lot of jobs I’ve been out of school and in the working world for thirteen years. That’s not ... Continue reading this article…

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Weep Not for Interchange Fee Revenue

by Smithee

I used to answer customer service calls for Bank of America, one of the nation’s biggest banks. Granted, I was near the bottom of the totem pole, but they generally treated everybody with respect there (I was in Washington State, your mileage may vary), and they wanted us to be able to give customers informed ... Continue reading this article…

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Which Wine Do I Want to Buy?

by Smithee

I enjoy a good glass of wine, but I don’t know how to find one. I haven’t been buying wine long enough to have memorized a group of “go to” bottles. I probably made the mistake of buying Bolla Pinot Noir three times before I finally learned that I don’t like it. Between my unreliable ... Continue reading this article…

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The New Financial Regulation Law and Your Money

by Smithee

Flexo posted a good review of the major changes in the Wall Street Reform bill that passed through Congress yesterday, and mentioned that it will be some time before we know exactly how the regulations which are now possible will be written. But there are some reasonable guesses we can make, and I thought it ... Continue reading this article…

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Verifying Funds on Checks, 2010 Edition

by Smithee

Last May we found a list of the biggest American banks and investigated each to find if it was possible to verify funds on a customer’s check over the phone. For example, you’re a landlord and you want to know if your iffy tenant, who banks somewhere different than you, wrote you a bad check. ... Continue reading this article…

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