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Net Worth Competition: Don’t Compare Yourself With Others

by Luke Landes
Calculator

One of the most important metrics for tracking financial progress is net worth. I write about my net worth, or a modified form of it, every month when I report my balances. I’ve been in the practice of publishing my net worth updates for eight years. By watching my net worth change over time — ... Continue reading this article…

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Sales Tax Holidays, 2011

by Luke Landes

For several years, many states offer sales tax holidays, several dates set aside during which merchants will not charge customers sales tax. Each year, the dates and the participating states change. I’ve updated this list for 2011 as we’re approach the back-to-school shopping season. Consumers should take advantage of the few days their state offers ... Continue reading this article…

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Spirituality and Money: The Pastor and the Purse

by Ellen Cooper-Davis
Purse

This article is written by Consumerism Commentary’s new columnist, Ellen Cooper-Davis. Ellen’s column will look at the role of spirituality within the context of personal finance. This first article serves as an introduction to this new column, and your feedback is welcome. Give me your credit card statement, and I’ll tell you your theology. Well, ... Continue reading this article…

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The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN Review

by Luke Landes

For people in certain businesses, perception is more important than reality. A real estate agent who sells high-value properties generally tries to impress his or her clients by looking the part of a high-value property real estate agent. Fancy cars, fancy meals, and fancy clothing are all part of this facade. While the American Centurion ... Continue reading this article…

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The Unemployment Cycle

by Luke Landes

The dangerous thing about advocating more saving and less spending, a responsible approach to personal finances, is that when the public applies this approach, the economy doesn’t move forward. The Commerce Department released consumer data from June today showing that personal spending dropped 0.2 percent during that month, the biggest decline since September 2009. It took ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, July 2011 ($380,209, +0.2%)

by Luke Landes

Before getting into my monthly financial reports, I wanted to take a moment to mention that The Second Annual Plutus Awards are now underway. The purpose of the Plutus Awards is to bring more public attention to personal finance blogs. While the community of blogs and their authors help move the industry forward by commenting ... Continue reading this article…

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Pay Down Debt or Build an Emergency Fund?

by Luke Landes
San Diego

Although I’m not a financial professional and I don’t normally give advice, I’m relatively comfortable offering some opinions when it comes to strategy. A reader presented this question to me recently. I’m open to answering questions as long as the answers don’t involve giving stock picks or legal advice. My wife and I recently moved ... Continue reading this article…

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Aurora Bank Review

by Luke Landes

In my neverending quest to find more options for banking in today’s environment of low-yield high-yield savings and money market accounts, I’ve come across Aurora Bank. I don’t move money around from one account to another to chase high rates, but until I get around to simplifying my banking options, I tend to open accounts ... Continue reading this article…

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