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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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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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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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Money Magazine’s Best Banks 2011

by Luke Landes

In early October, I will announce the winners of the Second Annual Plutus Awards, which will include the best bank, best credit card, best brokerage, and a number of other categories. Later today, the Plutus Awards website will list the finalists. Money Magazine has already completed its survey and announced the publication’s editor’s picks for ... 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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How to Qualify for a Mortgage Without a Steady Paycheck

by Luke Landes
Dollar

It’s been almost nine months since I had a regular paycheck. Last year around this time, I was starting to make my plans for leaving my day job. One of my concerns was the possibility of qualifying for a mortgage with only self-employment income. Banks are still tight with their lending. Although mortgage rates are ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You Stop Saving and Investing When Paying Off Debt?

by Luke Landes

The concept of multitasking, for a person, is a myth. When someone says they are multitasking, they are quick task shifting. We can move our attention quickly from one task to the next, and shift back again, but it’s practically impossible to focus on two different things at the same time. To excel at anything ... Continue reading this article…

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