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Carnival of Personal Finance #281: Halloween Candy Edition

by Luke Landes

Holidays are about two things: family and food. Halloween is no different. Although families celebrate some holidays with a large meal, with ingredients like turkey, ham, fish, potatoes, and pies, the central food theme of Halloween is candy. Once a year, everyone is provided an excuse to eat the stuff that parents always told them ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Opinion: Will You Buy GM Stock or Cars?

by Luke Landes

In April, I noted that General Motors repaid taxpayers for the company’s government-initiated bailout loans in full. There has been quite a discussion about this repayment, but the main points are that the loans accounted only for a small portion of the bailout, and one could consider that the loan repayment was possible only due ... Continue reading this article…

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Debt Settlement Companies Can Easily Skirt New Rules

by Luke Landes

A new regulation goes into effect today, potentially limiting the profitability of debt settlement companies. These companies can no longer ask for up-front fee payments from customers wishing to settle debt; clients need to pay only after the companies provide results. In other words, for-profit debt settlement companies, including those masquerading as non-profit entities, must ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Opinion: Is Debt Slavery?

by Luke Landes

I’ve written several times on Consumerism Commentary, and other people have written and said many times as well, that debt is slavery. In fact, there is a popular book on the topic aptly titled, Debt is Slavery. It’s a convenient metaphor; if slavery is working without the benefit of enjoying the fruits of your labor, ... Continue reading this article…

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Where Your Federal Tax Money Goes

by Luke Landes

Thanks to an organization called Third Way, American taxpayers can get a good, detailed look at how much of a typical tax bill is destined for any particular government program. Third Way is a progressive think-tank, and they studied the federal budget to provide an itemized tax receipt for the typical taxpayer. Here is their ... Continue reading this article…

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Rationalizing an Expense By Changing Your Words

by Luke Landes

As any marketer knows, words have a power beyond their literal meaning. No one knows this more than political marketers, who create campaigns that usurp specific words and ensure their meaning is replaced with some sort of thought the’d like to embed in the public consciousness. This effect isn’t only thrust upon us by marketers; ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 78: Generation Earn, Kimberly Palmer

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek and Flexo talk to Kimberly Palmer, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report and author of the newly released book, Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back. After first talking with Tom about Generation Y back in May, Kim joins the ... Continue reading this article…

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How Much Money You Should Spend on Hobbies

by Luke Landes

A Consumerism Commentary reader wrote in with a simple question which should have a simple answer: What percentage of income should a person spend on hobbies? I enjoy talking about hobbies. I have a wide variety of interests, and many of these have little prospect of making money for me for the time being. This ... Continue reading this article…

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