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Personal Finance

A Financial Festivus for the Rest of Us

by Luke Landes

To all those who celebrate, have a successful Festivus. I’ve come to be a fan of this secular “holiday,” celebrated every year on December 23 following its mass introduction to the public through an episode of Seinfeld. At its core is a non-commercial, non-religious approach to the season. While I do enjoy gift exchanges with […]

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Construction Revolutionized My Finances

by Luke Landes
Construction Bulldozer

This is a guest article by Jon the Saver, a personal finance blogger at Free Money Wisdom. His mission is to spread financial wisdom and help people get their financial lives under control. In his down time he loves a mean game of Scrabble and spending quality time with his fiancee. I’m probably the only […]

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The Financial Planner Who Lost His House

by Luke Landes
Great Expectations - Carl Richards - Behavior Gap

Carl Richards is one of today’s best writers focusing on personal finance. Originally keeping a great blog at, The Behavior Gap has moved to the New York Times, and early next year, Carl will release his first book. Look for The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money on January […]

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Set Up Beneficiaries for All Your Accounts

by Luke Landes

While anyone moves towards financial independence, there is a time to think about what would happen to one’s financial accounts if one were to most unfortunately pass away. It’s a morbid thought, no doubt, and it’s easily avoidable in a world where talking about death is difficult. I don’t like to contemplate my own mortality, […]

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Involving Children in Household Money Management

by Luke Landes

At the right age, involving children in the household financial planning process can be a good way to teach responsible money management. Children internalize best practices when they not only receive meaningful instruction, but have visible, positive role models as parents. If parents want to impart a lesson of “buy only what you can afford,” […]

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Financial Tips for Students Entering College

by Luke Landes

Seventeen years ago I was nervous about what was about to transpire. At this time, although I had been away from home for extended periods of time, I was about to leave for college. Honestly, I thought I might not have been able to handle the responsibilities and the new social environment. Rather than living […]

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Net Worth Competition: Don’t Compare Yourself With Others

by Luke Landes

One of the most important metrics for tracking financial progress is net worth. I write about my net worth, or a modified form of it, every month when I report my balances. I’ve been in the practice of publishing my net worth updates for eight years. By watching my net worth change over time — […]

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Ignoring Bills Won’t Make Them Disappear

by Luke Landes
Toyota Celica

This is one of my biggest financial mistakes. My failure to learn some basic skills and my willful ignorance of the trouble I was in cost me thousands of dollars and major inconveniences. When I was younger, I didn’t have that much of a positive track record with cars. In high school after receiving my […]

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Save Money While in College

by Luke Landes
Princeton University

Higher education has its benefits, both financial and not. A bachelor’s degree helps ensure lifetime earnings will be greater than someone with just a high school diploma. Aside from the financial benefit, the cognitive skills used in tackling tough academics are useful inside and outside of a career. Nevertheless, college students often start careers at […]

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Don’t Live Within Your Means

by Luke Landes

For as long as I’ve been reading about smart money management, “live within your means” has been the underlying mantra that, when uttered repeatedly and internalized, will result in a much more fulfilling life overall. By living below your means, you are sure to come out the end of each month with a net worth […]

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