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Personal Finance

Start the Decade Off Right

by Luke Landes

It’s a new decade. These are the tens, and this could well be the best decade of my life. How about you? Whether you’re reading this in 2010, 2020, or some other year, it’s time to make some conscious changes to your finances to move your life forward. Time won’t stop to wait for you, ... Continue reading this article…

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What Is Financial Independence?

by Luke Landes

When asked about what it means to be financially independent, most people think about retirement and the amount of money needed in the bank and investments in order to be worry-free for the remainder of their lives. For many, this is why we work, why we suffer through a job we may not enjoy. The ... Continue reading this article…

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Mint Data: More Than You Care to Know About Other People’s Spending Habits

by Luke Landes
mint[1]

The trend of financial over-sharing continues, and I’m glad to have been on the leading edge. I’ve been sharing the details of my finances, including spending habits, since I created Consumerism Commentary in 2003. The idea of social net worth continued with sites like NetWorthIQ, which allowed the public to post family net worth and ... Continue reading this article…

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Kiplinger’s New Money Rules Sound Familiar

by Luke Landes

In the September issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, the editors shared twelve “new rules” for your money, although most of them do not sound new at all. Fundamentals don’t change, but the general consensus point of view does. If there is anything new here, it’s that the a downturn in the economy has forced ... Continue reading this article…

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3 Mistakes I Made That Cost Me Thousands

by Darwin

This is a guest article written by Darwin, the author of the blog Darwin’s Money. Darwin is a numbers guy with an MBA. If you like this article, subscribe to the Darwin’s Money RSS feed for more. You live and you learn, right? Well, that can be expensive when you’re first setting out in the ... Continue reading this article…

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Size of Lottery Doesn’t Matter, Winners Declare Bankruptcy

by Luke Landes

A new study by researchers as University of Kentucky, the University of Pittsburgh and the Vanderbilt University Law School shows that people who win $150,000 from a lottery are just as likely as those who win $10,000 to declare bankruptcy within five years. I’ve often seen statistics that show that lottery winners often blow their ... Continue reading this article…

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100 Best Money Moves You Can Make Now

by Luke Landes

The latest issue of Money Magazine shares a list of one hundred tips for dealing with your money, from investing in stocks and locating a deal on a house to maintaining sanity on flights and feeling superior to Nicholas Cage. Ignoring the investment-related ideas for the moment, there are a number of good suggestions. Here ... Continue reading this article…

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Help a Reader Who Inherited $10,000

by Luke Landes

Does anyone have advice for Sibyl? She commented on an article reviewing Jane Bryant Quinn’s latest book with a question pertaining to her own finances. Sibyl was kind enough to include many details about her family’s finances. I have some suggestions, but this is always a good opportunity to have readers provide theirs as well. ... Continue reading this article…

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Reality Series Seeking People Who Need Financial Help

by Luke Landes

People Farm Casting, a casting agency that focuses on finding non-actors for reality television shows and commercials, contacted Consumerism Commentary to let us know about a new project. The agency, whose team has experience casting shows like Pimp My Ride and commercials like that Dos Equis ad with the “most interesting man in the world,” ... Continue reading this article…

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Can You Ever Have Enough Money?

by Outlaw

This is a guest article by Outlaw, who lives and works in New York’s financial district and writes on the blog Credit Card Outlaw. When I first became fascinated with personal finance strategy, I was in serious credit card debt. I couldn’t find full-time work. I felt like an idiot. Every month, a new credit ... Continue reading this article…

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Wrapping Up a Decade: Better Off in 1999 or 2009?

by Luke Landes

This decade flew by. Ten years ago, I had recently graduated college and had been working for a non-profit arts organization. At this point in my life, I didn’t know it, but I was setting myself up for financial problems. Despite working 80 or more hours a week during the summer and fall, despite living ... Continue reading this article…

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Triage Your Finances

by Kelly Whalen

Over the past couple of weeks, six finalists have been auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each is providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This article ... Continue reading this article…

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Put Your Finances on Cruise Control, But Stay Alert

by Luke Landes

My Honda Civic has an option for cruise control. Unfortunately, most of my driving currently takes place on the New Jersey Turnpike and local highways during rush hour and construction, so I rarely have an opportunity to activate this feature. In the slim occasion I find myself driving on a deserted country road, I activate ... Continue reading this article…

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4 Reasons Why You Should Read Your Bill Every Month

by Ray

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This ... Continue reading this article…

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“What Works For You” Can Be a Trap

by Luke Landes

One of my favorite bloggers, and likely one of yours, is J.D. Roth. He has been writing about personal finance at Get Rich Slowly for some time now, and I was a fan of his writing at foldedspace when “blog” was still a new word. He is working on a book now, which I can’t ... Continue reading this article…

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I Will Teach You to Be Rich, a Six-Week Boot Camp With Ramit Sethi

by Luke Landes

While I was in California this past week, I spent a few days at my brother’s new apartment before his wedding this past Saturday. Among the piles of books not yet placed into a bookcase was something familiar: I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi (review here). Ramit is a colleague of ... Continue reading this article…

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Seven Zen Principles to Guide Your Money and Your Life

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, I visited the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Japanese gardens are designed precisely to appear natural, resulting in an interesting collision between nature and man. There is a set of principles or aesthetics that guide the creation of Japanese gardens, including the dry gardens commonly called ... Continue reading this article…

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Ten Things I Will Teach My Children About Money

by Luke Landes

I do not currently have children, but I have not ruled out starting a family some day. If and when I do have children, I hope I will be able to help them become smart and capable adults over time. I believe this is what my parents have done for me, and I’d like to ... Continue reading this article…

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Keep Emotions Separate From Financial Decisions

by Luke Landes

If you are reading this article, it is almost completely guaranteed that you are human. And if you are human and do not have a major cerebral deficit, you have emotions. Perhaps have is not a strong enough word; everything you do, and every decision you make, is controlled by your emotions. Even the strive ... Continue reading this article…

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A Report Card for Financial Rules of Thumb

by Luke Landes

I’m not a big fan of “rules of thumb.” These are bite-sized nuggets of wisdom masquerading as advice, designed to apply to a mass audience. At best, they cant point someone in the right direction, but at worst, rules of thumb can erroneously send people on the wrong path or can mistakenly instill a false ... Continue reading this article…

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