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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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How to Intelligently and Responsibly Buy a Car

by Luke Landes

Car companies want you to buy their products on impulse. They would, generally, prefer that the step of thinking is removed from the consumer’s process. This is evident in the commercials you see around the holidays in which a spouse is surprised when he or she notices a gift wrapped in a large red bow ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 55: Generation Y Consumers, Kimberly Palmer

by Luke Landes

Our guest on today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Kimberly Palmer, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report and author of the upcoming book, Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back. Our podcast producer and host, Tom Dziubek, speaks with Kimberly about the typical Generation Y consumer, ... Continue reading this article…

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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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Congratulations to the Winners of the Plutus Awards!

by Luke Landes

The Plutus Awards is an awards ceremony highlighting the best personal finance products, services and resources. After a nomination process, finalists are chosen from the top nominees and the public — mostly from within the personal finance online and social media community — votes for the winners in a variety of categories. Here are some ... Continue reading this article…

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