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Thanks to the Consumerism Commentary Community

This article was written by in Administration. 13 comments.


In just a short period of time, Consumerism Commentary will be entering its tenth year of existence. The site’s ninth anniversary is approaching, and I’ve been involved with the website longer than I’ve been involved with any other commitment in my life. Jobs and relationships have come and gone, but Consumerism Commentary remains.

I started the website in an effort to track my personal finances at a time when I was struggling financially, though I had already started a new path towards financial independence. Thanks to the readers early on who believed the website offered something unique, the growth of the community has been nothing short of amazing. Consumerism Commentary has changed character a little bit from those early years, when a blog was more about short, quick chronological updates and about sharing links to other interesting things found online. Last year, I solidified the website’s vision, mission, and purpose. While the owner of the site is now different, not much else has changed, and there are no plans to change anything in the near future, except for perhaps a more professional-looking logo and site design.

Thanks to all the readers who have continued to visit this website since 2003, our fans and friends on Facebook, and particularly those who continue to participate in discussions today. Thanks also to all the colleagues who have offered their advice and encouragement, and a big thanks to Jay Frosting (also known as Bryan J Busch) and Tom Dziubek who have held down the podcast fort for several years.

And if you’ve encountered any technical issues with the website recently, please continue to bear with me as the technical team continues to work out the bugs.

Last week, my article about The Rich and the Rest of Us by Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley attracted the attention of the two men, and I’m working on scheduling an interview with the pair later this week. They are crusading across the country to elevate the issue of poverty and potential actions to move the United States is a better direction towards resolution. Do you have any questions for Smiley and West?

There are five types of purchases — well, more than five but these five are big — you should never put on your credit card. Every purchase you make is tracked by your credit card issuers and can be used against you if the companies decide you’re a higher risk than they originally thought. And they can change your risk profile based solely on the types of stores you visit.

The Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Musings of an Abstract Aucklander last week included my article about Sprint’s $300 million tax fraud lawsuit.

Adrian from 7 Million 7 Years talks about how it may be hard to believe that someone in New York struggles on an income of $350,000 a year, but he understands the perspective. Andrew Schiff, who works for a brokerage firm, earns this salary but “feels stuck” according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Mike, the Oblivious Investor, argues that even an individual with a reduced life expectancy should wait as long as possible before collecting payments from Social Security. There are some specific circumstances in which it might be beneficial to claim Social Security benefits early, however. Mike explains within the article.

Published or updated May 1, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar qixx ♦1,895 (Half-Dollar)

Thank you for putting out such great material. While i can’t think of any questions for the upcoming Rich and the Rest of Us interview with Smiley and West i look forward to seeing it. Thanks again for this great resource..

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avatar Peter

Congrats on the upcoming anniversary – it’s hard to believe it’s been that long! I’ve been reading since at least 2006-7 I think, time sure flies!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,495 (Platinum)

Thanks, Peter! Time certainly does fly.

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avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

I have something for Smiley and West to comment on. Having worked in a welfare system, I always felt that a mentorship program would be helpful. Sometimes I think a person needs to see firsthand how a family budgets and manages money to really “get it.” Those living in poverty often have no model for this.

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avatar wylerassociate ♦162 (Cent)

flexo, this is one of the best personal finance blogs that I’ve been on. Keep up the good work & I’m looking forward to the interview with west & smiley.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,495 (Platinum)

Thanks, wylerassociate. I appreciate your visits and comments!

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avatar eric ♦1,549 (Half-Dollar)

Congrats! Not only one of the first PF blogs around, but also one of the best! :)

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avatar Sandy

10 years is a long time. You’ve earned everything that you has come your way. Congrats!

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avatar Squeezer

I wish Tom Dziubek was back to doing the podcast. I am more used to his voice than Bryan’s.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,495 (Platinum)

Tom will be back soon. His other (that is, real) job gets busier during tax season.

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avatar The Latter-day Saver ♦706 (Dime)

Congrats, Flexo. Keep up the great work.

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avatar Investor Junkie

First congrats. 10 years at anything is a long time and commitment.

My two questions:

First one like I asked on your post:

“Middle class is poor? Compared to what? At what income level are you considered poor to their measurements?”

Their data seems way off especially if you look around a general community (basically stating every other person you see around you is near poverty level) I find this stat very hard to believe in in very poor communities I’ve seen.

Second question: Isn’t education the answer to poverty. Not just higher education but financial education (which I deem critical yet so lacking in our society). We need education with the basics of finance. It’s sad we are taught all these sciences in high school, yet don’t learn the basics of finance.

Their solutions unfortunately seem to be what most liberals state: more rules/regulations and government intervention.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,495 (Platinum)

Thanks, IJ. I do plan to ask about their assumption of 150 million Americans in or near poverty, and what it means for the middle class to be the “new poor.” Your question about financial education is good, as well.

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avatar Adam Farwell

Congrats, Flexo, for the longevity and the milestones. Hope you go another 10.

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