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When Katrina Says Jump…

by Luke Landes

… the CPI jumps. “Consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in more than 25 years last month, spurred by a surge in energy prices to record highs after Hurricane Katrina.” These higher energy prices are going to be passed on to the average consumer in many different ways, so look for higher prices all ... Continue reading this article…

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Financial Urban Myths

by Luke Landes

Don’t fall for these popular “wives’ tales,” as compiled by Bankrate.com. Some of these are strange and unfamiliar to me, but maybe you’ve heard these rumors. 1. False: “You can float a check longer if you write in red ink.” 2. False: “You don’t have to pay income tax — it’s illegal.” 3. False: “I’m ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Changes The Bonus Rules

by Luke Landes

I was getting ready to send an ING Direct referral to a coworker when I discovered that the online bank changed the rules. Now, in order for a new customer to receive the $25 bonus, he or she must deposit $250 at the onset. This certainly changes the game for some. ING Direct is offering ... Continue reading this article…

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Purchased a Bed

by Luke Landes

I made a purchase yesterday that will hopefully improve the quality of my life considerably. My girlfriend and I decided to split the cost of a new bed. For the last several years, I’ve been sleeping on a twenty year old bed. I purchased the mattress, box spring, and frame from the father of a ... Continue reading this article…

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Best Auto Resale Value

by Luke Landes

Kelley Blue Book has announced survey results awarding several cars that offer the best resale value (for 2006 models). The survey presents the winners as best in class and top ten overall. The 2006 version of my Honda Civic didn’t make the list, but one of its relatives did. BMW/Mini won the top award for ... Continue reading this article…

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Kids Want The Darnedest Things

by Luke Landes

Is your kid a spoiled brat? When I was young, I generally got what I wanted from my parents. They were lucky that the things I wanted weren’t much. (Though they were upset when I’d rack up lots of long distance phone charges with the modem while calling BBSs.) Many parents struggle with not buying ... Continue reading this article…

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Next Year’s Nickel

by Luke Landes

Take a look at the new design for the 2006 five cent piece. The reverse is going back to the traditional Monticello engraving but there’s a new portrait of a forward-looking (rather than portrait-style) Thomas Jefferson. In unveiling the design Tuesday, Mint officials said they believed the new image of Jefferson is an appropriate way ... Continue reading this article…

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Cities Hardest Hit

by Luke Landes

The rise of as prices has been on the minds of many. Do you feel you were hit hard by the increase? I do, but according to a survey of the hardest hit cities, my increase — or the average increase for a certain type of commuter in my area — was below average. Though ... Continue reading this article…

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End Traffic By Raising Prices

by Luke Landes

Charles Wheelan, a new columnist at Yahoo! Finance, suggests raising the price of driving (through the costs of gas and tolls) in order to eliminate traffic congestion. The future of transportation will look a lot like the I-15 FastTrak in San Diego. This expressway has free lanes and HOT (High-Occupancy/Toll) lanes that run parallel. Here’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Transportation Expenses, October 4, 2005 YTD

by Luke Landes

Here’s something to look at, that is all. The chart represents my transportation expenses year to date, including the first few days in October in which I’ve accounted for another month of depreciation on my car.

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Ben Stein’s Assumptions

by Luke Landes

Ben Stein is one of Yahoo! Finance’s new featured columnists. I’ve always liked his opinions on investing (but I’ve stayed away from his opinions in politics). In his latest column, Ben Stein takes some conservative assumptions for stock market performance and illustrates how the sooner you start saving for retirement, the better — much better. ... Continue reading this article…

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And Here They Are

by Luke Landes

As promised, here is the new design for the $10 bill, issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. There’s a good amount of information available on the new security features. While I believe there’s no harm in having artistic (or at least colorful) money, not everyone agrees.

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Save Some Money On Gas

by Luke Landes

Last week people were sounding the warning alarm for $5 gas at the pump. I didn’t echo the thought here because at the time on the surface it seemed somewhat reactionary. But some people are still claiaming we could shortly reach that… maybe. Compare these two CNN articles. First, Rita could equal $5 gas, written ... Continue reading this article…

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Good Donation Motivation

by Luke Landes

Brian Wilson, the genius musician behind The Beach Boys, is offering to personally call any individual who donates $100 or more to a certain foundation supporting Katrina relief efforts. Here’s my challenge, for anyone who sends Jerry a donation of $100.00 or more, I will call you personally and answer a question that you may ... Continue reading this article…

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Implosion of the Blogosphere

by Luke Landes

While browsing the latest Carnival of the Capitalists, I found a great article on the topic of the blogosphere, very critical of the blog “networks” (Weblogs, Inc. and Gawker for example). The premise is that with any business idea with such a low barrier to entry will never be able to sustain profits (ie., from ... Continue reading this article…

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New $10 Bill Design Coming

by Luke Landes

There’s a new design coming for the $10 bill. There will be an announcement later this week in which the Department of the Treasury will release the new look. I like the idea of varying the designs on currency.

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Do You Want to Be On This List?

by Luke Landes

Forbes is profiling the 400 richest Americans. MSN Money has a good summary of the list, as well. There are five Waltons in the top ten. If you wanted to be on the list this year, you would have had to have cracked $900 million. Maybe next year.

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ING Direct Proffers a Weak Attempt

by Luke Landes

ING Direct raised its interest rate for its savings account today to 3.4 percent APY. It’s a very weak move in response to Emigrant Direct upping its savings interest yield from 3.5 percent to 4.0 percent. I expect the other online banks will also raise their rates. By the way, you can always find a collection of the ... Continue reading this article…

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Super Unleaded for the Price of Regular

by Luke Landes

I stopped at my favorite cheap gas station on the way home from work today. I wanted to fill my tank in case the prices go up overnight due to Rita. Apparently the station that was out of gas earlier was out of regular unleaded today. They were giving away super unleaded at regular prices. ... Continue reading this article…

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Medical Billing Errors

by Luke Landes

If you ever find yourself in a hospital, always check your bill once you get out. A few years ago, I found myself in the hospital for a few hours for something minor. My insurance took care of mostly everything without a problem. I checked my explanation of benefits from the insurance, and I noticed ... Continue reading this article…

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