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Consumer

Gift Giving Among a Circle of Friends

by Luke Landes

I have a group of ten or so friends that comprise the “usual crowd.” We get together for people’s birthdays, movie nights, game nights, that sort of thing. At some point, we’re supposed to get together for Christmas/Hanukkah/etc. There seems to be an avoidance of what to do about the gift-giving arrangement. In the past, ... Continue reading this article…

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HOWTO Excessively Spoil Your Kids, Part 2

by Luke Landes

Last year, I wrote about pricey gifts available for children of those with money to burn. Now that we’re back in the holiday season, I noticed a new article from CNN Money with the latest updates for the upscale gift shopper. While last year’s article mentioned the most expensive toys, this year’s list seems comparatively ... Continue reading this article…

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Gift Cards Denote Laziness?

by Luke Landes

Do you give gift cards? Liz Pulliam Weston does not like gift cards or gift certificates and she believes they say that the giver doesn’t care about the recipient’s wishes and desires. But young people seem to be happy to receive gift cards and they grow increasingly popular.

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The World Is Bitchier

by Luke Landes

This article from Wired Magazine takes a look at how technology has changed consumerism over the last sesquicentury. It’s a little bit tounge-in-cheek, but it resonates with me and my feelings towards working and living. Just because technology makes it possible for us to work 10 times faster than we used to doesn’t mean we ... Continue reading this article…

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Shopping For Experiences

by Luke Landes

According to CNN, the new luxury gift this year is an experience. Rather than treating loved ones to clothing or electronics, the new trend is supposedly providing them with an experience and the memories associated with it. If you ask the people who sell these gifts, they will tell you it’s an escalating trend. I ... Continue reading this article…

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Amazon’s Digital Books

by Luke Landes

Amazon.com is planning on offering books in online form in addition to the physical objects. They will be selling online access to digital books, and it seems customers will be able to buy the entire book or a portion, such as a chapter. This is only part of the story. Amazon also plans on offering ... Continue reading this article…

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HOWTO Purchase a Bed (Mattress and Box Spring)

by Luke Landes

You may have read that I purchased a bed this past weekend. This was my first purchase of major furniture, but it was a long time coming. I had suffered from morning back and neck pain for too long, and I believe the problem had much to do with the sleeping surfaces I’ve had over ... Continue reading this article…

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Fun With Google: Consumerism Is…

by Luke Landes

Here’s something to pass the time while we await the Fed’s announcement of a quarter-point rate hike. A few years ago, there was a meme that traveled from blog to blog whereby the author searched Google for the phrase “name is” (where name was the author’s name). The results were, of course, posted to his ... Continue reading this article…

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ShareBuilder $50 Promotion Updated

by Luke Landes

Click here for the latest Sharebuilder promotion, a $50 bonus. I have been participating in ShareBuilder’s $50 bonus promotion which offers the free cash to those who open a new account online with a certain coupon code. Originally, I funded the account with $50 from my checking account and invested in $46 worth of IYZ, ... Continue reading this article…

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Verizon Wireless $25 Referral Bonus

by Luke Landes

Did you know that you can easily get a $25 credit on your Verizon Wireless phone bill? I don’t recall seeing it advertised anywhere, but if a new customer lists an existing customer as a someone who referred him or her to the company, the existing customer will receive $25 to be used towards their ... Continue reading this article…

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Ride of the Valkyries

by Luke Landes

Jonathan compiled a list of cars owned by personal finance and money-related bloggers. It’s a neat list. He doesn’t say whether the cars are bought with cash, financed, or leased, but I’m sure not everyone shares that information. I’m probably one of the few people on the list who bought a new car, against most ... Continue reading this article…

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Monday’s Articles – New GM Deal

by Luke Landes

GM shifts from rebates to price cuts. Remember when GM began offering their Employee Discount for Everyone deal? More car makers followed suit soon after. Now GM is forced to change its strategy by cutting prices and offering improved warranties. These deals will affect the 2006 models; details about another program for moving 2005 inventory ... Continue reading this article…

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Free Music, Woo

by Luke Landes

If you like free music, and who doesn’t, and Gap jeans, then you might be exicted about this deal. Gap is running a promotion where those who simply try on a pair of one of its new styles will receive a free song from iTunes. I’ve never used iTunes to purchase music, but a song ... Continue reading this article…

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That Is Really Offensive

by Luke Landes

Some of my favorite commercials on television right now are GEICO spots. You know the ones. Salesman/actor: “Buying car insurance from GEICO is so simple, even a caveman could do it.” Caveman: “That is so offensive.” Seth Stevenson from Slate Magazine feels the same way and cites another good one, the “Tiny House reality series” ... Continue reading this article…

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Shopping Addiction

by Luke Landes

CNN Money is featuring the story of a compulsive shopper with an addiction to the activity. She’s 36 years old (which, as I get older, seems increasingly younger) and her shopping spree began when her fourth child was born and she stopped working to live off her husband’s $140,000 annual income. This provided her with ... Continue reading this article…

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Does the Merchandise Have Large Talons?

by Luke Landes

Let the merchandising begin. If you like action figures and strange movies, you’ll probably love the new Napoleon Dynamite action figures. Watch out for them in your local toy store or local Internet.

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GM’s Employee Discount

by Luke Landes

You’ve heard of this deal on the television and on blogs. General Motors [GM] is advertising an “Employee Discount for Everyone” sale, in which they are offering their vehicles for the same price an employee would pay, “not a cent more.” Is it really a good deal? If you participate, most likely you will be ... Continue reading this article…

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Thursday Reading

by Luke Landes

So far, I’ve received one submission for Carnival of Personal Finance. Remember to send your submissions in before Sunday night. Here are the articles I’m reading today: Kids get more expensive for their parents as they get older, and this article enumerates the costs of a teen-ager. Sports or music, food, orthodontia, and a plethora ... Continue reading this article…

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Car-Buying Sexism

by Luke Landes

The author of Girl Meets World writes about her experience buying a Honda Civic and encountering sexism, even from the female sales managers.

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Walmart’s Nazi Ad

by Luke Landes

Walmart published an advertisement in an Arizona newspaper depicting a Nazi book-burning. The intent was to compare the censorship with a local proposition that would prevent Walmart from expanding its stores in the area. They have since apologized and fired the individual responsible for the ad, but what humanity, what hypocrisy. The ad included this ... Continue reading this article…

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