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

Goals Bring About Real Results

by Jeff

Do you have a 5-year financial plan? What about just a general idea? Do you know where you want to be financially in 25 years? Have you ever set a financial goal? If you decided you wanted to save $5,000 this year, could you do it? Far too often we get into situations where we ... Continue reading this article…

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Citigroup Employees to Receive 50% Pay Raise

by Luke Landes

After receive bailouts from the government on two separate occasions, Citigroup has announced that it will be increasing its expense for the salaries of the company’s rank-and-file employees, not upper management, by 50 percent. This will be a nice benefit, designed to compensate employees for smaller bonuses and raises last year. The government’s new “pay ... Continue reading this article…

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U.S. Will Likely Drop Case Against Swiss Bank Accounts

by Luke Landes

In February, I wrote that the United States was suing Swiss bank UBS in order to get the offshore institution to release the names of the wealthiest 19,000 of the 52,000 American bank account owners. These depositors have managed to evade paying United States income taxes on the interest earned within these foreign accounts. The ... Continue reading this article…

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The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

by Smithee

A new law signed by the president yesterday gives the Food and Drug Administration the ability to regulate the tobacco industry. The primary focus of the law is to stop cigarette companies from aggressively marketing to children. To that end, it will soon be illegal to: sell candy-flavored and fruit-flavored cigarettes put tobacco company logos ... Continue reading this article…

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Emotional Barriers to Negotiating and Haggling

by Luke Landes

It is in any consumer’s best interest to try to get the lowest price on all purchases, yet haggling, negotiating, or bargaining, at least in my culture, is not a social norm. Other than in specific situations such as buying a car that is not a “non-negotiable” brand like Saturn or Scion, haggling is uncommon. ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 9: Penelope Trunk from Brazen Careerist and Leo Babauta from Zen Habits

by Luke Landes

Penelope Trunk and Leo Babauta are today’s guests on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. Penelope Trunk is the author of Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success and founder of the career advancement website Brazen Careerist. Tom Dziubek and I speak with Penelope about maintaining careers in today’s recession and she presents a number of tips ... Continue reading this article…

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The Cash for Clunkers Program

by Smithee

Editor’s note: The program which was once suspended is still available through Labor Day, 2009. Yesterday the U.S. Senate passed a War funding appropriations bill that paradoxically included a piece of legislation popularly referred to as the “Cash for Clunkers” program. In an earlier article where Flexo pointed out the weirdness of including “guns in ... Continue reading this article…

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Extending the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Credit to $15,000

by Luke Landes

Update: The first-time home buyer tax credit has been extended and expanded. Click here for the latest details. The information below is now out-dated. The Senate is considering a number of changes to the $8,000 first-time home buyers credit. Spurred on by Sen. Johnny Isakson from Georgia, the adjustments being considered seek to expand the ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Although I post my financial reports each month to keep myself accountable for my financial decisions, I have moved to summarizing my investments rather than listing all the details. My reports now simply separate my investments between retirement and non-retirement accounts. An important part of anyone’s finances is how investments are allocated among stocks, bonds, ... Continue reading this article…

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New Consumer Financial Regulation

by Luke Landes

The White House is proposing a realignment of the financial regulation that failed to prevent the latest recession, but will the proposals help protect consumers? There is a long way to go between the President’s proposal and the enactment of a law, but here are the highlights as the plan stands today. The Financial Services ... Continue reading this article…

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