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Career and Work

New Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

by Smithee

Yesterday the IRS issued the first set of rules for small businesses to benefit from a tax credit signed into law as part of the Affordable Care Act. Detailed guidelines with examples are available (PDF), but to summarize: the credit is available to small employers that pay at least half the cost of single coverage ... Continue reading this article…

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Suggestions For Women Seeking a Raise

by Luke Landes

The New York Times is running a feature designed to help women negotiate for and receive a raise from their employer. Even in today’s progressive society in the workplace, women earn less than men for the same job, even after controlling for factors like time away from the workforce for childcare. According to the article, ... Continue reading this article…

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How I Earn Side Income From (Mostly) Blogging

by Luke Landes

Subscribe to Consumerism Commentary by adding our RSS feed to your favorite reading software. As you know I’ve been writing for Consumerism Commentary since 2003. I’ve been blogging, or chronologically updating websites, since 1994 or 1995, at that time running a web server called “Winhttpd” from the computer in my dorm room. My university did ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Status Update Could Get You Rejected From Harvard

by Luke Landes

If you’re on Facebook, you might have seen the latest hoax. Hoaxes like these allow me to feel confident about my decision not to install any applications on Facebook or participate in any shady-looking groups. I ignore the endless petitions and attempts to find 1,000,000 fans for the latest trend. The latest hoax invites people ... Continue reading this article…

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Changing Your Life: From Contractor to the Farm

by SimplyForties

This is a guest article by SimplyForties, a 48-year-old single mother of a college-aged son, who is navigating her way through midlife and documenting it. Like a lot of people, I lost my job in the summer of 2009. I had a very lucrative position as an off-site paralegal for a retired Coast Guard commander ... Continue reading this article…

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Finding a Good Job in a Bad Economy: A Job Hunt Post-Mortem

by Revanche

This is a guest article by Revanche, a twenty-something west coast girl who writes about money at A Gai Shan Life. You’ve all heard that line about not burning professional bridges, right? That goes double or even triple for job interviews. I started my job hunt 20 months ago — as soon as there were ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Ways to Boost Your Human Capital

by Luke Landes

There’s something satisfying when looking at a bank statement. I know firsthand that this is more true when your balance is positive. The bottom line is a hard number; if it says $100, you know exactly how much money you have. The net worth, at least the way I count mine, is just as hard ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Human Capital

by Luke Landes

When I post my financial reports each month, they reflect only a small piece of who I am as a person. My bank account balances are only a small part of my life although they are center stage on Consumerism Commentary. I try to avoid labels for this reason; when I reach a net worth ... Continue reading this article…

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Raise, Bonus, and Weekend Reading

by Luke Landes

Along with tracking my finances on Consumerism Commentary, I also mention when the situation at my day job changes. For example, two years ago I successfully posted for a higher-level vacancy in my department (as expected). Last year I mentioned when I received a lower annual bonus and raise than I would have liked. I’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Poll: Proposal to Lower Retirement Age

by Luke Landes

Dennis Kucinich is floating a proposal around the Senate which would create a six-month period in which anyone age 60 can retire voluntarily and receive partial Social Security benefits. This is a $15 billion bill funded by the bailout and stimulus. Kucinich estimates that by offering retirement two years early, a million workers will leave ... Continue reading this article…

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Am I a Jerk at Work?

by Smithee

Last Thursday, Dallas/Fort Worth got more snow in one day than had ever been recorded before. People who had never seen a snowman before were suddenly able to roll their own, traffic was terrible, and offices were closed. The next morning, when nobody was going anywhere, my employer (who is the second-best employer I’ve ever ... Continue reading this article…

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Realistic Expectations For Making Money Through Blogging

by Luke Landes

When I started Consumerism Commentary in 2003, after about eight years of writing on the internet in a smaller, more personal capacity, I only had two goals: to track my finances while working to improve my money situation and to learn more about personal finance by finding articles, sharing links, and adding occasional thoughts of ... Continue reading this article…

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Time Management: Outsource to Save Money and Time

by Kelly Whalen

This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer who bought a second car with her husband last weekend. As a busy mom of four and work-from-home parent, I often get told people don’t know how I do it all. It’s simple, I don’t. These are some of my techniques to save time, ... Continue reading this article…

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Treat Your Employer How It Treats You

by Luke Landes

The more profitable your employer, particularly if it is a large corporation, the more attention the employer pays to its biggest asset, its employees. Profitable companies offer perks to employees like vacation days, 401(k) matching contributions, health care subsidies, free lunches, on-site day-care, unlimited restroom breaks, and development opportunities. Don’t confuse these benefits designed to ... Continue reading this article…

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$100 For a Movie Review? I Was Doing That Anyway!

by Smithee

As part of my 2010 (pronounced “MMX”) goal to publish one entertaining thing a week, I’ve been casting a wide net to find audiences and formats that can showcase my creativity and wit. (Aside: I’m not yet comfortable with self-promotion, so it’s a little awkward to be referring to myself as witty. But earlier in ... Continue reading this article…

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Start the Decade Off Right: Do Something You Love

by Luke Landes

Today, at the beginning of the “10s,” I am thirty-three years old. By the time this decade fades away in the last few hours of December 31, 2019, I’ll be forty-something. (I’d rather not do the math.) Lately, one particular phrase keeps repeating involuntarily in mind: “Life is short. Life is short. Life is short.” ... Continue reading this article…

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Mostly Clean and Mostly Sober

by Smithee

If I were to tell you that I think I drink too much liquor, you’d likely conjure up some images of alcoholics you’ve seen, maybe picturing some guy falling down, abusing the people he loves, making terrible decisions and driving like an idiot. So I want to be clear right from the start that I ... Continue reading this article…

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Wearing Many Hats: Specialism Vs. Generalism

by Luke Landes

Ron Howard, famous mostly for playing Richie Cunningham on the television program Happy Days, is one of the film industry’s most successful directors and producers, having been involved with a long list of films. He directed, among others, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, The DaVinci Code, Frost/Nixon, and Angels and Demons. I happened ... Continue reading this article…

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Annual Benefits Enrollment: My Cost Increasing 10%

by Luke Landes

The open enrollment period for my company’s 2010 benefits came to a close yesterday. My procrastination came to an end when I logged into our benefits management website, reviewed the options one last time, and decided to stick with the same plan I’ve had since I joined the company, an HMO plan offered by Aetna ... Continue reading this article…

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The Economy Triggers a Rebirth of the Entrepreneurial Spirit

by Debbie

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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