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

Majority of Bankruptcies Due to Medical Bills

by Luke Landes

Not only are most personal bankruptcies due to medical bills beyond the ability of the consumer to pay, but most of the households declaring bankruptcy for this reason do so despite having health insurance coverage. Researchers from Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and Ohio University reported 60 percent of personal bankruptcies in the United ... Continue reading this article…

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Would You Buy a Car From Wal-Mart?

by Luke Landes

After General Motors’ bankruptcy, there is no question that the automobile industry will change significantly. With less competition and higher costs of production, prices will increase. It will be more difficult and more expensive to find parts and service for some vehicles. The selection of vehicles will be more limited. Perhaps more brands will opt ... Continue reading this article…

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Savings Mistakes That Cost More in the Long Run

by Luke Landes

The economy is not out of the woods yet. Companies are still laying off employees; the automotive industry is just getting started. For many families, the pressure is on to find ways and make decisions to save more money in order to prevent going into or going deeper into debt. The situation presents a good ... Continue reading this article…

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Pros and Cons of Interest-Only Mortgage Payments

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Consumerism Commentary reader Ryan suggested I write about interest-only mortgages. There is no such thing as an “interest-only mortgage.” Wouldn’t that be nice, though, to have a mortgage that did not require you to pay any principal back to the lender? Unfortunately, when you become a borrower, your lender will insist upon receiving interest ... Continue reading this article…

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Comparing the Visa Black Card with American Express Platinum and Centurion Cards

by Luke Landes

American Express created a frenzy among the wealthy when it decided to take advantage of rumors of an exclusive black-colored charge card, used by movie stars and music celebrities for purchasing jets and other items beyond the financial reach of us mere mortals. In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Card, a black charge card ... Continue reading this article…

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

by Luke Landes

Every month, consistently for the past few years, I take the opportunity at the beginning of the month to develop financial reports. The first report I post every month outlines my “modified” net worth, basically a balance sheet including my bank accounts, investments, the approximate value of my car, and my credit cards. Following the ... Continue reading this article…

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Thinking is Not Enough

by Frank Curmudgeon

This is a guest article by Frank Curmudgeon, author of the Bad Money Advice blog. For updates from Frank, subscribe to the Bad Money Advice RSS feed. We often see the struggle to get control of our spending as being the conflict between our emotional and logical selves. Emotion wants to go out to that ... Continue reading this article…

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Best of Consumerism Commentary, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary Podcast At the end of April, I began working with Tom Dziubek to create the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. During the month of May, we produced five episodes of the podcast, including interviews with Dr. Bonnie Eaker-Weil, Liz Pulliam Weston, Matt Wallaert, J.D. Roth, Kerry Taylor, and several others. The Consumerism Commentary Podcast is ... Continue reading this article…

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What General Motors’ Bankruptcy Means For You

by Luke Landes

According to early news reports, General Motors will file for bankruptcy one hour from now, at 8:00 am Eastern Time this morning. GM was officially born as a company on September 16, 1908. Its long history is a reminder that no company will survive forever regardless of its performance; like humans, corporations are mortal and ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 6: Frugality and 397 Ways to Save Money

by Luke Landes

Kerry K. Taylor, author of 397 Ways to Save Money and creator of financial blog Squawkfox joins Tom Dziubek today to discuss her book, currently available from Amazon.ca. Kerry explains how she paid off $17,000 of debt in six months and how to make drastic life changes. She also shares some of her favorite tips ... Continue reading this article…

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