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Debt Reduction

My Struggle: Spending on Food is Really About Motivation

by Luke Landes

Donna Freedman’s MoneyCentral article reminds me of an issue with which I consistently fail each time I’ve made the attempt over the last few years. In the article, the author provides some success stories for those who have saved money by “brown-bagging” their lunch rather than buying each day. Here is one example: “I never ... Continue reading this article…

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Where to Put an Unexpected $5,000, Part 1

by Luke Landes

Unfortunately, I don’t have this particular “problem” at the moment. But if I had, CNN Money can provide some suggestions (43 of them) for dealing with the unexpected income. 1. Best return with no risk: Pay off your highest-interest credit card debt 2. Best 12-month return (risky): Vanguard Growth Index fund 3. Best 12-month return ... Continue reading this article…

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7 Ways To Kill Your Net Worth

by Luke Landes

If you’re interested in seeing your bottom line decrease each month, here are a few tips courtesy of CNN Money. Personally, I’d rather see my number go up each month, but perhaps that is just me. Ignore your money. Buying and holding doesn’t have to mean “owning and ignoring.” Asset allocation is one of the ... Continue reading this article…

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Guest Post: Stop, Drop, Roll

by Luke Landes

All this week, Consumerism Commentary will be featuring guest bloggers. In this post, NCN from No Credit Needed hearkens back to elementary school fire safety seminars and applies the familiar mantra towards debt. In addition to his main blog, NCN manages the No Credit Needed Network and the No Credit Needed Podcast. Many of you ... Continue reading this article…

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The Case Against a Life Without Debt

by Luke Landes

Getting out of debt is a great goal to have. Perpetual debt is like slavery. All the money you earn beyond your necessities for living is turned over to someone else in the form of debt service and interest, and in many cases even your basic needs are paid on credit. Creating and enacting a ... Continue reading this article…

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Rule for Building Wealth: Ditch Credit Card Debt

by Luke Landes

Isn’t it ironic that while I’m in the middle of writing a series about good credit card use vs. bad credit card use, to be concluded later today, I came across the ninth rule for building wealth from Fortune Magazine: ditch credit card debt. Fortune is talking about the Type A credit card user, who ... Continue reading this article…

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Young and in Debt: Five Twenty-Somethings Share Stories

by Luke Landes

U.S.A. Today is featuring a six-week series following five twenty-somethings and their adventures in debt. Debt seems to be the primary concern of most people as they emerge from their undergraduate education and begin working or continue onto graduate education. One of the first articles in the series, Young People Struggle With the Kiss of ... Continue reading this article…

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Drowning in Debt? 6 Tips for College Students and Recent Grads

by Luke Landes

One of the books I’m working on is The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions, by Anna Ivey. I write a bit about decisions regarding graduate education, thanks to decisions I make in my own life, so I agreed to mention the book on Consumerism Commentary. One of the many things I learned while pursuing ... Continue reading this article…

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Selling a Car While Upside-Down

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, I woke up. It cost me more to go to work than I was making, thanks to commuting, living expenses, and a non-profit salary. I was the one not profiting. Life was great when I simply ignored the mounting debt. There was only so long that could last, though. There are ... Continue reading this article…

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Maybe Lend Money To Your Friends

by Luke Landes

G. over at How to Make a Million Dollars has a big warning, Don’t Lend Money to Your Friends. His advice stems from his being burned by a friend once. In this case, his friend took a long time to pay the money back. I can’t agree with the absolutism of his advice. When you ... Continue reading this article…

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Student Loan Consolidation: The Countdown Begins

by Luke Landes

As I mentioned last week, it’s time to consolidate your student loans. The U.S. News & World Report has a timely article about conslidation as a way of cutting back your costs. Student loans are basically a way of life for many college graduates. Lately, the interest rates have been so low it’s practically free ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Stats for Twentysomethings

by Luke Landes

A feature on MSN Money looks at finances of people in their twenties. The feature includes statistics such as median net worth, median income, percentage owning homes, etc. with which you can compare yourself if you happen to be in this particular demographic. At age 29, I was doing well compared to these averages, but ... Continue reading this article…

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Americans Are NOT In Bad Shape With Credit, Sort Of

by Luke Landes

I like Liz Pulliam Weston’s latest article, The Truth About Credit Card Debt because she cites some statistics that fly in the face of conventional thought regarding credit behavior of Americans. We’ve all heard this before: Americans are in an unparalleled level of revolving credit card debt. The average American household carries more than $9,000 ... Continue reading this article…

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The Most Indebted Generation

by Luke Landes

BusinessWeek and MSN have published an interesting article which describes those of us in our 20s and 30s (ie. me) as the most indebted generation. College seems to be the tipping point. Young adults begin to see the world from an individual point of view rather than as a son or daughter. By the time ... Continue reading this article…

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Time to Consolidate

by Luke Landes

I spent the last 45 minutes or so consolidating my student loans. I’m a graduate student, working on my Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix Online. Even though I have these loans, they get paid off as soon as I receive my reimbursement check from my company. However, when I first ... Continue reading this article…

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Student Loan Consolidation

by Luke Landes

Most people are predicting that interest rates on student loans will go up on July 1. It might make sense for people with these loans to consolidate before the rate increase. I still have a small portion left over from my undergraduate degree but I’ve also begun accumulating a balance from my graduate degree, 90 percent ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Loan Money to Family

by Luke Landes

Many people frown on lending money to family. Doing so runs the risk of hurting otherwise good relationships. In this MSN Money article, Liz Pulliam Weston talks about how to lend or borrow money from family while avoiding the pitfalls. When lending money to family, heed this advice:

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