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

Possible Federal Action on Credit Rate Hikes

by Smithee

Nationwide, and probably on your street as well, credit card issuers are making life tough for consumers by raising rates and adding fees on otherwise good customers. The recently passed Credit CARD Act of 2009 is meant to protect non-risky customers from arbitrary rate hikes, among other things. Now, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Purchases That Can Harm Your Credit

by Luke Landes

Do you live your life as if everything you do could be made public? I once heard a suggestion that you should judge every decision you make based on whether you would like to see this decision on the front page of the New York Times. That is a good theory, but I can’t say ... Continue reading this article…

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Unplanned Expenses and Your Budget

by Jeff

While a budget in one form or another is a must-have financial tool, it’d quickly become big and ugly if you tried to anticipate and include every expense you might run in to. You’d quickly lose interest and wouldn’t stick with your budget, right? A budget is a basic recorder of recurring expenses, and trying ... Continue reading this article…

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Evaluating My Progress Towards 2009 Goals

by Luke Landes

Now that the halfway mark of 2009 has passed by, it wouldn’t hurt to review the financial mini-goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and determine how far I have strayed from my path. For me, these goals are only milestones. They help my gauge my progress but numbers in my ... Continue reading this article…

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Take a Financial Health Day to Organize Your Finances

by Luke Landes

Ron Lieber, a columnist for the New York Times, spent one day focusing on the financial tasks that he had been neglected. He calls this day a “fiscal health day,” like the mental health days everyone needs to take once in a while to remain a functional human being. I think this is a great ... Continue reading this article…

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Vacation vs. Social Networks

by Smithee

Summertime is traditionally when most people take their annual vacations, and since the social media explosion, more aspects of a given person’s vacation will end up as photos on Flickr, or “wish you were here” messages on Facebook. I’m a big fan of openness (with the obvious exception of my use of a pseudonym on ... Continue reading this article…

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SmartyPig Should Be Compared With CDs, Not Savings Accounts

by Luke Landes

I enjoyed Tom Dziubek’s discussion with Jon Gaskell, the CEO of SmartyPig, in the latest episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. If you have a chance, listen to the part discussion in which they discuss SmartyPig’s interest rates. Tom asked how SmartyPig can continually offer high interest rates. Jon Gaskell intimated that SmartyPig’s restrictions and ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Income, and Expenses, June 2009

by Luke Landes

We have reached the half-way mark for 2009, and time certainly does fly when you keep busy. As long-time readers know, the original purpose of Consumerism Commentary was to keep myself accountable for my own financial decisions and to blog about interesting things I find on the web. I freely admit that Consumerism Commentary has ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 11: Jon Gaskell from SmartyPig and New Consumerism Commentary Contributor, Jeff

by Luke Landes

Today’s guests in the eleventh episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast are Jon Gaskell from SmartyPig and Consumerism Commentary’s newest contributor, Jeff. SmartyPig is a unique banking application that works closely with West Bank to offer surprisingly high interest rates but presents limitations to its customers. In this interview, Tom Dziubek and SmartyPig founder Jon ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, 2Q 2009

by Luke Landes

Happy Independence Day to anyone celebrating today! I’m celebrating by spending time with friends later and sharing my investment portfolio with readers now. Last month, I began sharing my investment portfolio more in-depth than I have in the past. This is part of a renewed effort to make myself more familiar with the investments I ... Continue reading this article…

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