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Laid Off, 2010 Edition

by Smithee

Last Thursday I lost my job without any warning. The small web design agency I was working for lost a couple of big contracts and they decided they couldn’t afford to keep me on as their only full-time User Experience Designer. This is extremely frustrating, not only because I liked most of my co-workers and ... Continue reading this article…

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The Savings and Interest Rate Paradox

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve recently announced that consumer debt declined in July for the sixth straight month. The continuing elimination of personal debt is a positive development on an individual level. Consumers are buying less of what they don’t need and saving money whenever possible. At the same time that savings account balances are increasing throughout ... Continue reading this article…

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Qualifying for a Mortgage as a Self-Employed Individual

by Luke Landes

I mentioned recently that I’m considering buying a multifamily home in the area close to the local Ivy League university and renting out the units, and perhaps living in one unit myself. A quick search on Yahoo Real Estate reveals two are available, priced a $665,000 and $420,000. My current lease isn’t finished until July ... Continue reading this article…

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When Does It Make Sense to Pay More For Quality?

by Smithee

My brain is slowly re-wiring itself now that I’m finally free of credit card debt, and I’m wondering about things that I never seriously considered before. I remember many years ago talking with a friend who tried explaining to me that it made sense to spend $600 on a pair of shoes, if they were ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 71: Debt-Free U, Zac Bissonnette

by Luke Landes

On today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Zac Bissonnette, writer at the Huffington Post and DailyFinance and also author of the book Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents. Tom and Zac discuss how Zac was able to go ... Continue reading this article…

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My Credit Score is Stuck at Good

by Smithee

I am a supporter of Credit Karma, a free service that shows you your TransUnion credit score, among other things, as many times as you want. Lately it seems like it hasn’t been working. It’s been reporting a FICO for me of 732 since March, and I’ve made what I feel are dramatic differences to ... Continue reading this article…

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Money, Sex, and Infidelity: Who is More Likely to Cheat

by Luke Landes

The results of a study at Cornell University show that in a long-term relationships such as marriage or cohabitation of over a year, income disparity within the couple increases the likelihood of infidelity. The headlines of the study speak more to the data that show men who earn less than their wives are five times ... Continue reading this article…

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Paid Insufficient, My Old Friend

by Smithee

Last week on Facebook I was celebrating the new law that stops banks from auto-enrolling new customers into overdraft programs, making it merely optional instead. A more conservative friend from college expressed his dislike of the law, asking me (I’m paraphrasing) “What happened to personal responsibility in this country? Why is it a good thing ... Continue reading this article…

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