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SmartyPig Raises Interest Rate Today

by Luke Landes

In March, I opened a savings goal with SmartyPig, and I’ve been sending $172.20 from my ING Direct account every two weeks since then. My savings goal is to expand my collection of photography equipment to include a full-frame digital camera. I originally identified the Canon EOS 5D Mark II as my planned purchase, but ... Continue reading this article…

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18 Year Old Buys Investment Property With Hog Money

by Luke Landes

Lindsay Binegar, now nineteen years old, has been raising hogs on her family farm in Highland County, Ohio, since she was at least four years old. That was the age at which she showed her first hog and earned $100. Since that time, Lindsey entered hogs in competitions, saving every penny she earned from these ... Continue reading this article…

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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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Podcast 56: Bank Overdraft Fees and moneyStrands

by Luke Landes

Today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast features two guests. First, Tom Dziubek talks to Preeti Vissa of the Greenlining Institute about the organization’s recent study on bank overdraft fees. Tom’s second guest is Atakan Cetinsoy, Vice President of Corporate Development and Personal Finance Products at the personal financial management website, moneyStrands. Atakan explains moneyStrands ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Debt Update, Mid-May 2010

by Smithee

Happy Vacation-makes-finances-a-bit-messy Friday! It’s been about a month since my last credit card debt update. Since then, we managed to pull off something akin to a coup or a miracle. With help from my wife’s bonuses (which are only considered miraculous because mis-management at her company makes those difficult to realize), we were able to ... Continue reading this article…

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Premium Gasoline Possibly Switched With Ethanol E-85

by Luke Landes

When I drive up to a gas station, I have a number of expectations. First, if I see a price advertised for regular-grade gasoline, that’s the price I expect to pay for regular-grade gasoline. That wasn’t the case a few years ago when my local gas station decided to implement price discrimination for customers who ... Continue reading this article…

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FCC Considering Regulation to Stop Surprise Phone Bills

by Luke Landes

As the story goes, I was about fifteen when I started getting involved with online communities. At that time, however, being online meant using a slow modem to dial various bulletin boards over a regular telephone line. My problem was that I didn’t realize that I was dialing long distance phone numbers. My parents weren’t ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Pay More Than You Should: Stop Paying Attention

by Luke Landes

In March, I wrote about reducing the amount of automation in handling personal finances. Leaving your payments on auto-pilot is asking for trouble. Leaving your brain out of the decision-making process is a sure way to rack up overdraft fees when you don’t have enough funding to pay an automatic bill. Also in March, I ... Continue reading this article…

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Sallie Mae Increases Interest Rate and 10% Upromise Bonus

by Luke Landes

Earlier today, Sallie Mae Bank increased the interest rate offered on its savings account 50 basis points to 1.4 percent APY. This is one of the highest interest rates available. I’ve shared my thoughts about opening a Sallie Mae Bank savings account in this review. Sallie Mae ties directly into the Upromise savings plan, a program ... Continue reading this article…

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