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Mother’s Day Reading: Financial Lessons, Saving for Retirement, and Pretending

by Luke Landes

To all those who celebrate, have a happy Mother’s Day. Jim from Bargaineering asks, “What financial lessons has your mother taught you?” Jim’s mom provided negotiation skills and some of his readers learned various lessons for dealing with credit cards, spending smartly, and being compassionate. Here are five reasons the author of the Well-Heeled Blog ... Continue reading this article…

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Insurance Companies Work for Shareholders, Not Customers

by Luke Landes

The entire concept of insurance, particularly public insurance companies with shareholders, is backward. If a company is to survive year after year, it has to make money for its owners. In the case of public companies, executives answer to the board of directors and the shareholders. The goal is, of course, to make money for ... 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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Personal Balance Sheet, April 2010 ($356,832, +4.5%)

by Luke Landes

About a decade ago, I realized that I needed to track my spending down to the dollar, if not to the penny, to get a grip on my financial condition. It was the start of a long journey for me, one which saw me get out of credit card debt, start earning money, and getting ... Continue reading this article…

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Customer Service: Politeness vs. Demands

by Smithee

The prevailing wisdom when dealing with customer service representatives is to just keep repeating, “Let me speak to your supervisor,” until you eventually get what you want. Every time I read this, though, I get defensive and annoyed. I can’t forget that year I spent answering the phones for Bank of America, and the myriad ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 54: Improving Gas Usage and Saving Money

by Luke Landes

Our guest on today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Schwark Satyavolu, president and co-founder of BillShrink. Our podcast producer and host, Tom Dziubek, speaks with Schwark about trends and tips for saving money on travel this coming summer. This episode contains a number of suggestions that will help travelers and commuters consume less ... Continue reading this article…

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Biweekly Mortgages: Do It Yourself to Save Money

by Luke Landes

On the surface, it seems like it would make sense to enroll in a biweekly mortgage payment plan. In theory, these biweekly mortgage programs offered by lending servicing companies work by allowing you to send half of your monthly mortgage amount every two weeks. As a result, you make two “extra” biweekly payments each year, ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting a Better and Cheaper Shave

by Luke Landes

One successful retail business model is the concept in which a company sells a main device at a discounted price while the necessary, refillable or replaceable supplies for that device are sold at a premium. One example is the ink-jet or laser printer; the printers are generally priced to be bargains, occasionally included for free ... Continue reading this article…

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GM Used Bailout Funds to Repay Loan: Mostly Irrelevant

by Luke Landes

Update: According to news reports, GM paid back one loan in order to qualify for a new government loan at a lower rate. This basically negates my original opinion regarding the loan repayment announcement. Read further at your own risk. Ever since General Motors announced that it paid back its $6.7 billion government loan, a ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Teach Kids About Advertising

by Luke Landes

As I sat down to write this article, a commercial for an upcoming movie appeared on the television. Here was my thought process throughout the minute-long trailer. One: I recognize that voice. That’s Ben Stiller, who is adequate in comedies but better in movies that are slightly off mainstream. Two: The music in the background ... Continue reading this article…

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