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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.


Save Money By Driving With Your Toe

by Smithee

“Hypermiling” is a word we use for doing everything you can to squeeze the best mileage possible from your car, including hardware modifications which may or may not void your warranty and certain driving techniques which may be both dangerous and illegal. You may have seen some of these tested on Mythbusters, such as driving ... Continue reading this article…

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Fed Issues New Rules for Credit Card Fees

by Smithee

The Credit CARD Act of 2009, which we’ve been covering in detail throughout its long snake through Congress, is finally nearing the end of its beginning. Ever since the fall of 2008, lawmakers have been trying to end abusive credit card practices. It started with a set of proposals from the Federal Reserve, but that ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Debt Update, Mid-June 2010

by Smithee

Happy Friday. It’s been about a month since my last credit card debt update, and I’m pleased to report that I’m still committed, and the plan continues to work. The weather is getting annoyingly warm, which is usually the time I start engaging in (metaphorically) self-destructive behavior, but I’m in the home stretch now, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Plans for the New iPhone 4

by Smithee

We recently asked you to take a poll about your iPhone upgrading intentions, including your contract situation and which hardware features you found the most tempting. The results were sometimes surprising. 162 people answered the poll, and 48 percent of you are planning on upgrading within two months from today. That’s much higher than I would ... Continue reading this article…

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Power-Saving Televisions on the Way

by Smithee

I’ve always been a big fan of saving energy, both mine and my household’s, but more for efficiency reasons that a desire to “save the Earth”. If there’s nobody in a room, it just doesn’t make any sense to leave the light on. If turning off unused devices helps reduce global power consumption, then so ... Continue reading this article…

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I Want the New iPhone & I Don’t Care What’s In It

by Smithee

Apple’s new iPhone hardware will be formally unveiled next Monday, and I’m already itching to be able to buy it. I bought the original iPhone within a few weeks of it being available, and I upgraded to the iPhone 3G just a couple months before the iPhone 3GS came out. My wife has had that ... Continue reading this article…

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Information Consumerism Commentary

by Smithee

In an earlier part of the century I was suffering from information overload. TV, radio, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, clones of Twitter and Facebook… and even with a feed reader, there were too many websites to keep up with. I was getting burned out, and I started having frequent daydreams about giving up and raising goats. ... Continue reading this article…

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How Does Fraud Detection Work on Your Cards?

by Smithee

You probably know that your debit and credit cards have someone watching over them for indications of fraud and/or theft, and we’ve written here before about making sure you tell the bank in advance of a trip so that they don’t mistakenly block your card. I’ve personally seen this system work well, and also not ... Continue reading this article…

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Government to Regulate Credit Card Swipe Fees

by Smithee

It will be at least a month until we know what the final financial overhaul bill looks like and exactly what proposals are being made, but one smaller provision that exists in similar formats in both pieces of legislation is a change to the way debit and credit cards are handled in stores. Currently, the ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Debt Update, Mid-May 2010

by Smithee

Happy Vacation-makes-finances-a-bit-messy Friday! It’s been about a month since my last credit card debt update. Since then, we managed to pull off something akin to a coup or a miracle. With help from my wife’s bonuses (which are only considered miraculous because mis-management at her company makes those difficult to realize), we were able to ... Continue reading this article…

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