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Personal Finance

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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America’s Total Net Worth is Up. Is Yours?

by Luke Landes

The total net worth among Americans has risen to $53 trillion, the highest this measure has been since the end of 2007. At that point, Americans were worth $65 trillion. The increase this past quarter of $2 trillion was the first increase in this measure since 2007. I am taking this as a good sign ... Continue reading this article…

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The Little Things and the Big Things: Which are More Important?

by Luke Landes

It’s easy to adopt one concept and use that concept to define your world. You commonly see this in religion, but I’m referring to personal finance concepts, as you might expect from Consumerism Commentary. One popular financial guru talks about The ECRD Factor. His followers — a guru can’t be a guru without a throng ... Continue reading this article…

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Measuring Financial Progress: Net Worth vs. Net Investable Assets

by Ray

This is a guest article by Ray, the owner and primary author of Financial Highway, where he discusses investing, saving and practical money management concepts. You can check subscribe to his RSS feed or follow him on Twitter. I strongly believe that tracking your financial progress is crucial to reaching your financial goals. If you ... Continue reading this article…

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Posts of the Week

by Luke Landes

Here are some articles of note. 12 Step Program: Shopping Addiction? MLR (My Life ROI) offers an overview of a twelve-step program for overcoming an addition to shopping. What I really like about this post are the twelve ways to spot a shopping addict. People are notoriously inept when it comes to self-evaluation; perhaps someone ... Continue reading this article…

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Posts of the Week

by Luke Landes

For some fun reading, I recommend these articles written recently and published across the internet. Estate Planning: Are You Ready When Your Time Comes? Lazy Man narrowly avoided death recently, but it is my grandmother’s condition that leads me to link to this timely post. Here, Lazy Man offers several tips to help prepare the ... Continue reading this article…

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Posts of the Week

by Luke Landes

Here are a few articles from around the web I recommend reading. A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a Single Step. A few days ago, Tom, the producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, and I spoke with Matt Jabs and recorded most of that conversation for an upcoming episode. Part of the discussion ... Continue reading this article…

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Answering Mail: Free Annual Credit Reports, Online Savings Accounts

by Luke Landes

Every so often I address questions and comments I receive via email. If you have a question, please contact me using the form on this page. I try to respond to everyone, but it might take a while before I read every email I receive. From Mary Lynn: I really liked your article that explained ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Things Your Parents Didn’t Teach You About Money

by Luke Landes

When you were growing up, you probably became accustomed to hearing some typical thoughts about money from your parents. These parents are the ones who told you that money doesn’t grow on trees. If it weren’t for your parents, you wouldn’t know that children are starving in Africa and therefore you should eat your entire ... Continue reading this article…

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Posts of the Week

by Luke Landes

Here are a few articles from around the web I suggest reading. Dangerous Personal Finance Magazine Headlines: The Attraction of High Yields. Jonathan points out some recent examples from magazines featuring enticing headlines on the cover. This is done to inspire sales of magazines. The investing advice found within is dubious, and important facts are ... Continue reading this article…

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Posts of the Week

by Luke Landes

I suggest reading these articles gathered from around the web. Emergency Fund Is For Emergencies ONLY – 6 Ways To Leave It Alone. Matt Jabs suggests keeping your hands out of the emergency savings account except when the need is due to a true emergency, not just when you have unplanned expenses. I’ve also explored ... Continue reading this article…

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Take a Financial Health Day to Organize Your Finances

by Luke Landes

Ron Lieber, a columnist for the New York Times, spent one day focusing on the financial tasks that he had been neglected. He calls this day a “fiscal health day,” like the mental health days everyone needs to take once in a while to remain a functional human being. I think this is a great ... Continue reading this article…

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Dealing With Financial Mistakes

by Jeff

My wife and I went way over our budget in a couple of categories during June. Part of it was to be expected because I’m commuting to a new internship, and part of it was planned, but unfortunately, most of the over-spending can be chalked up to a simple fact: we made some spending mistakes. ... Continue reading this article…

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President Obama’s Financial Disclosure

by Luke Landes

In a move should sound familiar to readers who have been with Consumerism Commentary since 2003 and to those who have noticed my monthly personal financial reporting, the President and Vice President have used the White House blog to provide updates on the financial condition about each of the Executive Branch families. President Obama and ... Continue reading this article…

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Playing the Lottery: Tips for Ten New Mega Millions Winners

by Luke Landes

Do you play the lottery? I’ve always considered lotteries to be a method of “taxing the poor,” as the saying goes. While no one is forced to play the lottery, those who do are more often than not people who believe society has left them with only one “reasonable” option for becoming financially comfortable — ... Continue reading this article…

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Looking Back: The Difference 9 Years Makes

by Luke Landes

9 years ago, I was a fresh college graduate with a degree in music education, living close to campus and looking for full-time teaching jobs while working as a substitute teacher. If I remember correctly, the pay was about $70 per day. My one-bedroom apartment, almost completely unfurnished, was $600 per month if I remember ... Continue reading this article…

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Missing Money: Troll the Web for Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Owed to You

by Luke Landes

The company I work for “found” several million dollars last year thanks to a common law that originated in feudal England to the benefit the King. Not every check that a company sends in the mail gets cashed. Supposed recipients, such as investors, employees, insurance beneficiaries, companies, and other customers, don’t always keep current addresses ... Continue reading this article…

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Big Mistakes That Cost, Part 2

by Luke Landes

Focusing on small spending habit changes is a good way to save significant money over the long term. No matter how many daily lattes you forgo, if you make poor spending decisions on major expenditures, all your ECRD savings could be negated in one moment. Consumer Reports has identified some of these major mistakes that, ... Continue reading this article…

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Big Mistakes That Cost, Part 1

by Luke Landes

It’s great to focus on the little things that save you money, like The Expensive Coffee-Related Drink Factor. Reducing small, regular expenses add up over time. But all that focus on the minutiae is for naught if you make big mistakes. Consumer Reports recently published an article that explains how much some of those big ... Continue reading this article…

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The Second Step to Cleaning Up Your Finances

by Luke Landes

The Dough Roller tagged me to write about my one piece of money-related advice if I had to choose just one. I’m not at advisor, so I don’t consider my ramblings advice, but I can share what has worked for me. Recently, I shared my favorite tip and the first step to cleaning up your ... Continue reading this article…

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