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Money Management

Take Control of Your Finances Part 1-B: Take an Inventory

by Luke Landes

An acquaintance of mine formerly owned a store that sells “country” products like hand-crafted wood furniture, candles, and decor inspired by rural living. Twice a year, she recruited family members and friends to help take an inventory of the entire store. This process involved many hours of walking throughout the building and counting items on ... Continue reading this article…

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Take Control of Your Finances Part 1-A: Become Aware

by Luke Landes

Who are you? For any one human being, the number of answers to this question approaches infinity. There are many aspects that are included in the definition of self. The most common response is to answer with the collection of sounds used to nominally identify yourself: “I am Joe.” Our names, generally given to us ... Continue reading this article…

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Managing Your Money Vs. Micromanaging Your Money

by Luke Landes

When first attempting to gain some control over your finances, it’s particularly helpful to micromanage. If your money is in a state of disarray due to spending more than you’re earning, then it’s helpful to look at every little expense, at least for a time. This will help give you a more accurate picture of ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Track Your Spending: From Obsession to Reasonability

by Luke Landes

When it comes to tracking my daily spending, I’m not as diligent as I used to be. That’s due in part to laziness and part to the lack of necessity. Let me explain. First, this topic was inspired by a recent email I received from a Consumerism Commentary reader. Nat asked: How do you keep ... Continue reading this article…

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Unintended Consequences and Money

by Luke Landes

Ethanol: a study of unintended consequences As recently as two years ago, ethanol was considered by many to be the solution for this country’s reliance on imported oil. Ethanol can be produced domestically, and it costs no more to make a car that runs on ethanol than it does to make a car that runs ... Continue reading this article…

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Teaching Financial Skills to Teens With Learning Disabilities

by Luke Landes

Almost 3 million children in the United States have learning disability (LDs). Different types of LDs have different effects on a child’s ability to perceive, comprehend, and interpret information, and these effects can last into adulthood. For example, dyslexia and dysnumeria can make financial calculations difficult, and temporal problems can lead to a tendency to ... Continue reading this article…

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Today is the Worst Day of the Year: How Does it Affect Your Money?

by Luke Landes

How are you feeling today? According to a psychologist from the U.K., January 24 is the most depressing day of the year. There’s an actual scientific formula that has been used to determined this fact. Some of the conditions that have led to this conclusion are specific to Britain, but there are seasonal cycles that ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting Your Finances On Track In 2008

by Luke Landes

In the next few days, I plan on reviewing my 2007 progress against my goals. However, I need to start thinking about 2008 before I have a chance to compile all the data. One of my biggest plans is to save a higher portion of my income. 2007 was a spend-heavy year for me, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Math Anxiety Could Hurt Your Finances: 5 Ways to Get Over It

by Sasha

I just ran across a cute article by TODAY Financial Editor Jean Chatzky which really spoke to me as a hater of all things mathematical. According to Chatzky, math anxiety, one of the biggest roadblocks to getting one’s finances together, affects half of all Americans at some level. It can result from any early numerical ... Continue reading this article…

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Battle of the Riches: Good vs. Evil. Which Side is Money On?

by Luke Landes

In my review of Cash, Cars & College by Janine Bolon, I didn’t mention the author’s thoughts on the nature of money, which she included in the book. To expand on this section, Janine has offered the following guest post. Why Become Wealthy? Believe it or not, I’ve actually been asked this question by a ... Continue reading this article…

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Wall Street Journal: Managing Money in Public

by Luke Landes

My former boss at the company I currently work for knows that I have a side interest that involves personal finance and the web. Obviously, I do not supply too many details to him as I prefer to maintain some level of anonymity on Consumerism Commentary, considering the personal information I’ve been posting since 2003. ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Improvements I’d Like to See in Quicken 2008 (And a Giveaway)

by Luke Landes

I’ve been a user of Intuit Quicken for the past few years after being a loyal user of Microsoft Money (and MoneyDance earlier, when I felt I needed to run Linux on my home machine). While I think I’ve settled on the software that works best for me, I’m not completely satisfied. I’m waiting to ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Advice From Celebrities

by Luke Landes

Why listen to what celebrities — non-experts in finance — have to say about money? Well, some of them have been around for a while and have experienced the fickleness of the entertainment industry. Here are some lessons learned. Dave Barry: “Don’t emphasize money if you don’t have much; be happy.” Eric Bogosian: “Live within ... Continue reading this article…

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Guest Post: Why Did I Decide to Write a Book?

by Luke Landes

At the age of fifteen and as a freshman in high school, Cameron Johnson’s internet company had grown to sales in excess of $15,000 per day. Cameron is now 22 years old, and his most recent endeavor is writing. Cameron Johnson is the author of You Call the Shots, a book I highly recommend. In ... Continue reading this article…

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How Captain Kirk Handles His Space Bucks

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has an interesting feature with money-related thoughts from celebrities — mostly former celebrities — who have learned much through experience since their earlier days. The first example is William Shatner, one of my… favorite actors. Shatner managed to barely scrape by no matter how much income was coming in. He constantly worried about ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine: 7 Shortcuts for Major Money Hassles

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine is running an extended feature targeting 7 of the most annoying money problems, and proving some easy solutions. Here is a shortcut to the seven shortcuts: 1. Ace your retirement. Buy a target-retirement fund in your 401(k). If you believe you’ll be retiring in 2030, you can buy a fund that targets that ... Continue reading this article…

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Women Don’t Do Enough (According to Report)

by Luke Landes

According to a biannual report by Prudential Financial, women are now more involved in financial decisions then they were five years ago, but their financial knowledge and money management confidence is relatively low. Two-thirds of the respondents gave themselves a grade of “C” or lower, while just 1 percent assigned themselves an “A.” These women have ... Continue reading this article…

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You Won’t Be Rich, Maybe Just Solvent

by Luke Landes

Jeanne Sahadi has a tendency to bring people back to reality, and she does so nicely with her latest commentary, the Not-a-millionaire guide to financial security. She points out that getting rich is pretty difficult unless you’re an investment banker or venture capitalist. If you try to live like you’re rich before you are, you’ll ... Continue reading this article…

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Most Families Manage Money Well?

by Luke Landes

I saw this interesting tidbit on Everybody Loves Your Money. According to Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, most American households are doing just fine managing their finances. Here is some of what he said: On average, debt burdens appear to be at manageable levels and delinquency rates on consumer loans and home ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Finance Classes Do More Harm Than Good For Teens

by Luke Landes

It’s widely agreed that people are not generally taught about money management as they grow up from children, to adolescents, and to adults. USA Today is looking at a new study from the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy which tests high school students on basic financial knowledge. Here’s the survey with answers [Microsoft Word ... Continue reading this article…

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