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Free Downloads of Mozart Sheet Music

by Luke Landes

This is right up my alley. Ricemutt from Experiments in Finance brought this to my attention. The International Mozart Foundation has digitized and made available the musical scores to 24,000 of W.A. Mozart’s compositions. You can find the library online at the Digital Mozart Edition. Here’s some frugal entertainment, with very little expense: Get your ... Continue reading this article…

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Rule for Building Wealth: Keep it Simple

by Luke Landes

When you condense a wealth of financial knowledge into 10 “rules,” you’re taking part in a process known as “simplification.” Perhaps not ironically, that happens to be Fortune Magazine’s third rule for building wealth. Choosing three or four index funds – say, an S&P 500 fund, an EAFE fund, and a small-cap stock fund – ... Continue reading this article…

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Purchased a New Notebook Computer: Customized Dell Inspiron E1705

by Luke Landes

I’ve finally pulled the trigger. If you’ve been following along, I’ve been looking for a new computer since August, to replace a five-year-old Fujitsu laptop that has seen better days. I had a tough time with Circuit City a few months ago, so I continued looking. With the help of a former co-worker, we decided ... Continue reading this article…

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Rule for Building Wealth: Use Your 401(k)

by Luke Landes

Fortune Magazine is looking at 10 Rules for Building Wealth, and here is the second item on the list: Use your 401(k). If you have access to a 401(k) or 403(b) at your job, particularly if the plan offers employer match, then it makes sense to invest in the plan. The employer match is basically ... Continue reading this article…

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Five Things You May Not Know About Me

by Luke Landes

Steve over on his blog, Adventure Money, tagged me, so according to the rules I must come up with five things my readers may not know about me. I’ve been avoiding this for a few days, but I think at 1:30 in the morning I might be in the right state of mind to tackle ... Continue reading this article…

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Top 10 Blogs on pfblogs.org by Clicks per Post

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, I posted the Top 10 Blogs of pfblogs.org, ordered by total clicks since the beginning of the aggregator in February. Here’s a list that may be more relevant or interesting. What follows is the top 10 blogs listed by average clicks per post over the past two months, as of Wednesday night. Only blogs ... Continue reading this article…

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Top 10 Blogs on pfblogs.org by Total Clicks

by Luke Landes

As of Wednesday night, here are the top 10 blogs on pfblogs.org, when sorted by the highest number of clickthroughs since the aggregator’s humble beginnings in February 2006. I wouldn’t call this a “fair” list, as it does favor blogs that have been listed longer and that post more often. Later, I’ll present the top ... Continue reading this article…

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Comcast Digital Platinum With On Demand: $0?

by Luke Landes

For the last year or so, I’ve been paying $16 a month for the most basic cable television option from Comcast, the only cable option in my area. Every once in a while, I check to see if there are any specials being offered. After entering my address on the Concast website, I was provided ... Continue reading this article…

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Baby Boomers Plan to Work in Retirement

by Luke Landes

The younger generations are hoping for a mass retirement in the next few years as Baby Boomers leave the work force, opening advancement opportunities for younger people. There’s a problem. The mass retirement may never happen. That article includes some generalizations about those approaching 60 years old and their attitudes towards retirement, and includes a ... Continue reading this article…

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Financial Institutions Have Yet Another Terrorist Threat

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, my company was put on alert for a day thanks to the supposed discovery of a terrorist plot. The CEO announced a number of new security measures to be put in place. It looks like they’re at it again and this time it’s financial websites that may be targeted in an ... Continue reading this article…

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New MoneyBloggerPodcast: Frugal Duchess

by Luke Landes

Scott from the MoneyBloggerPodcast has posted a new interview with Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, the Frugal Duchess. They have a great discussion about product markups and the discount ruse. Is a 60 percent discount really a great deal when the original markup could be 1,000 percent? Thanks to Scott for another great interview and to Sharon for making ... Continue reading this article…

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Make Your Kids Rich: 5 Fun Gifts

by Luke Landes

Here is what I’ve been looking for: specific reasons for my lack of wealth at the age of 30, stemming from my childhood. Count on Money Magazine to let me know how I am not worth all I could be (and to have another quality list, like yesterday’s 8 smart year-end moves). Here are gifts ... Continue reading this article…

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Did You Miss National Retirement Planning Week?

by Luke Landes

While I was in California, I heard the venerable Ben Stein on the radio. (Why doesn’t he have a blog yet?) He was being interviewed for National Retirement Planning Week, which apparently started on November 13 this year and presumably ended one week later. I hadn’t heard much about this event, so I tried to ... Continue reading this article…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

by Luke Landes

From all of us here at Consumerism Commentary (that is, me) to all who celebrate Thanksgiving today, have a happy holiday! I’ve been in California with my family for the last few days, and I’m thankful I have the means to travel to see them twice a year. Regular posting will return next week after ... Continue reading this article…

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U.S. Mint Will Try Dollar Coins Again

by Luke Landes

The U.S. Mint has unveiled the first designs for the new Presidential Dollar Coin program. The new coins will feel identitcal to the Sacagawea coins that begun production a few years ago. For some reasons, the American public just doesn’t like dollar coins. Most vending machines won’t take them, and companies don’t want to retool ... Continue reading this article…

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There’s No Way to Sugarcoat This: I Spent Too Much This Weekend

by Luke Landes

I attended a wedding this weekend, out of town. I thought I had prepared properly by trying on my clothes before leaving for the weekend, but I must have grabbed the wrong slacks at the last minute. Needless to say, I created an emergency for myself the day of the wedding. Well, this was as ... Continue reading this article…

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I’m the Chief Financial Officer of My Own Life

by Luke Landes

My friend J.D. asked me to write a little about how and why I assemble and publish my monthly financial updates and how the idea of looking at your personal finances from a quasi-business point of view helps gain perspective. What resulted is now a guest post at one of my favorite money-related blogs, Get ... Continue reading this article…

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Quick Update: Picked Up My Car from Repairs

by Luke Landes

To wrap up my latest vehicle-related saga, I picked up my car yesterday. The repairs took almost two weeks, but the shop did an excellent job. The suggestions from readers helped (thanks!) as I inspected the car before paying the bill. I took the car for a test spin to make sure there were no ... Continue reading this article…

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Mapgirl Moves Her Fiscal Challenge and Makes the Switch

by Luke Landes

Mapgirl, the blogger behind the excellent personal finance blog, Mapgirl’s Fiscal Challenge, has moved from BlogSpot and Blogger to WordPress. I’m very excited about the move because I enjoy her blog and it will hopefully be more stable on the new server and because I helped her move through my “Get Away From BlogSpot” project. ... Continue reading this article…

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Enrolled in My 2007 Employee Benefits

by Luke Landes

Today was the deadline to enroll in my 2007 employee benefits, so I took some time to do so. It wasn’t necessary for me since my options are staying the same as my 2006 selections, but it did give me an opportunity to compare the prices. The HMO medical program sponsored by Aetna increased from ... Continue reading this article…

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