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Involving Children in Household Money Management

by Luke Landes
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At the right age, involving children in the household financial planning process can be a good way to teach responsible money management. Children internalize best practices when they not only receive meaningful instruction, but have visible, positive role models as parents. If parents want to impart a lesson of “buy only what you can afford,” ... Continue reading this article…

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Earn More Money: How to Be a Secret Shopper

by Luke Landes
Secret Shopping, Shopping Bags

For all of the eight years of Consumerism Commentary’s existence, I’ve written about big ways to earn more income, like changing a career path, learning how to negotiate, or building your own business, much more than I’ve written about options that might seem more available to most people. I’ve generally shied away from the smaller ... Continue reading this article…

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U.S. Will Sue Major Banks Over Mortgages

by Luke Landes
Foreclosure

Imagine you’re shopping for a new high-definition television. You’re looking around the store for the television with the best picture from a brand you trust. You pick the one you like, not the least expensive model but not the most expensive, either. You take it home, plug it in, and all the television can display ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, August 2011 ($368,817, -2.6%)

by Luke Landes

Almost every month since July 2003, I’ve been reporting my month-end financial reports on Consumerism Commentary. This reporting started as a way to hold myself accountable as I attempted to improve my finances through earning more and spending thoughtfully while saving and investing for my future. Somewhere along the way, the website became not only ... Continue reading this article…

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Betterment Review

by Luke Landes

Updated May 2014 to reflect the latest incentive for new customers. Betterment is a different type of brokerage. Unlike most discount brokerages whose purpose is to get customers to trade — as frequently as possible — Betterment is looking to be your asset manager. Currently, the brokerage is offering an incentive for new customers, but ... Continue reading this article…

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Financial Tips for Students Entering College

by Luke Landes

Seventeen years ago I was nervous about what was about to transpire. At this time, although I had been away from home for extended periods of time, I was about to leave for college. Honestly, I thought I might not have been able to handle the responsibilities and the new social environment. Rather than living ... Continue reading this article…

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Best Buy Reward Zone Credit Card Review

by Luke Landes

Several times, I’ve done what is considered unthinkable by most personal finance experts: I signed up for store credit cards at the point of sale. I have a Macy’s card, which I signed up for a discount on clothing I was planning to buy — clothing that is probably overpriced in the first place. But ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Avoiding Overdraft Fees

by Luke Landes
Nickel and Dime

Bank of America is settling the overdraft fee class-action lawsuit that alleges the bank knowingly manipulated customers’ deposits and withdrawals in order to maximize the fees they would receive. Although the banks aren’t completely to blame for the proliferation of overdraft fees, policies were so much of a problem that the government and regulators needed ... Continue reading this article…

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