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As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

When Does It Make Sense to Pay More For Quality?

by Smithee

My brain is slowly re-wiring itself now that I’m finally free of credit card debt, and I’m wondering about things that I never seriously considered before. I remember many years ago talking with a friend who tried explaining to me that it made sense to spend $600 on a pair of shoes, if they were ... Continue reading this article…

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What It Takes To Really Succeed

by Luke Landes

While half-watching the Primetime Emmy Awards last night, I considered what it must take to be the best in an industry. From what I could glean from the broadcast, and from what I’ve seen in my own life, winners share intense focus, hard work including sleepless nights, strong talent, moral support, and no tolerance of ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 71: Debt-Free U, Zac Bissonnette

by Luke Landes

On today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Zac Bissonnette, writer at the Huffington Post and DailyFinance and also author of the book Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents. Tom and Zac discuss how Zac was able to go ... Continue reading this article…

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ZYNC℠ from American Express 10,000 Bonus Points

by Luke Landes

American Express is best known for their charge cards. In June, Tom Dziubek spoke with an American Express representative about a new addition to their charge card family, anew card geared towards young professionals. ZYNC℠ from American Express is a new charge card specifically designed for students and young adults with above average credit that ... Continue reading this article…

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I’m Tired of This IRS Installment Agreement

by Smithee

Now that I’ve finally gotten my credit card balances down to zero, I’ve been trying to figure out the best use of the extra money I’ll have in my checking account. Options include: make extra car payments, put it in a savings account, put it in a mutual fund, make extra house payments, make impulse ... Continue reading this article…

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Why I Don’t Chase the Highest Interest Rate

by Luke Landes

When a bank, particularly a bank that functions without branches solely or almost completely online, wants to increase its deposits, they employ several specific tactics. The bank increase the interest rates on the savings accounts, establish a significant marketing and advertising push, and if they’re smart, offer new customer or referral bonuses. Let’s go back ... Continue reading this article…

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4 Ways Credit Cards Can Still Penalize Borrowers

by Luke Landes

Last weekend, the final changes to the credit card industry spurred by the Credit CARD Act of 2009 went into effect for all credit card accounts, including existing accounts. While the goal of the new legislation and resulting regulation is to protect consumers by clarifying the terms of using credit and by banning some unscrupulous ... Continue reading this article…

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Home Resale Fees

by Luke Landes

I’m adding to my list another reason I’ll (probably) never buy a condominium. Condos and townhouses often require sellers to pay a fee when sold. The fee is often a percentage of the sale price, such as 1 percent. I didn’t know about this fee when first contemplating whether I’d ever buy a condo. Unfortunately, it’s ... Continue reading this article…

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My Credit Score is Stuck at Good

by Smithee

I am a supporter of Credit Karma, a free service that shows you your TransUnion credit score, among other things, as many times as you want. Lately it seems like it hasn’t been working. It’s been reporting a FICO for me of 732 since March, and I’ve made what I feel are dramatic differences to ... Continue reading this article…

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The Long-Term Prospects for Stocks: Game Over?

by Luke Landes

For as long as I’ve been paying attention, which admittedly is only the last ten or so years of my total thirty-four, personal finance experts have been extolling stocks as the best long-term investments. Over long periods of time they provide more growth than any other type of investment like bonds, with an expected rate ... Continue reading this article…

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