As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

May 2009

Congress Passes Credit CARD Act of 2009, Now What?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted on and passed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009, the Senate’s alternative to the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights. Here are some of the provisions, taking effect in February 2010: Credit card companies must give 45 days notice before raising interest rates. Under current […]

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HUD Wants to Let First Time Home Buyers Use $8,000 Credit for Downpayment

by Luke Landes

In February, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009, otherwise known as this year’s stimulus bill. One small part of this bill allows first time home buyers (anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years) to qualify for a $8,000 tax credit. For individuals or families hoping for some […]

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Digital Television Transition Approaching

by Luke Landes

June 12, 2009 is the final day that full-power television stations will broadcast in an analog over-the-air signal. The date was originally set for February 17, but due to broadcasters who needed more time and congressmen who felt the public needed more time to understand the transition, the deadline was extended until next month. This […]

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How Will You Divide Your Wealth Among Your Heirs?

by Luke Landes

We spend our life in modern society accumulating Things and possibly accumulating money. When you take a step back and look at life on the larger scale, money is not a goal in isolation. We strive to accumulate wealth not to die with our names in various banks’ computers associated with high numbers. There must […]

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Revisiting FICO 08 Piggybacking

by Smithee

Your money is important, and so I want to make sure I’m telling you the truth in every instance. A few months ago I wrote an article called What You Need to Know About the FICO Update, which contained some news about the process of “piggybacking”: Not too long ago companies started offering to add […]

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Podcast 4: Financial Advisory Website Thrive

by Luke Landes

In today’s podcast, Tom Dziubek and I talk with Avi Karnani, founder, and Matt Wallaert, Lead Scientist, from Thrive about the services offered by this financial services website and about frugality. To listen, use the player above (Adobe Flash required), download the podcast here, subscribe to the podcast RSS feed, or use the iTunes link. […]

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Credit Cards and Guns in National Parks

by Luke Landes

While the Senate is working hard to put together their version of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights some Senators are taking the opportunity of a sure-to-pass bill to tag on unrelated amendments. One example is Senator Tom Coburn’s amendment, S.AMDT.1068, whose stated purpose is “to protect innocent Americans from violent crime in national parks […]

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Airline Fees for Checking Bags

by Luke Landes

Spurred on by Erica Douglas in response to my thoughts about airline fees for checked baggage, here is a list of the fees charged by airlines for traveling with this particular expected service. I should have done this research before embarking on my previous trip to Arizona. I might not have been able to avoid […]

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2009 Federal Income Tax Brackets and Marginal Rates

by Luke Landes

Marginal tax rates are one of the most misunderstood financial concepts, and I intend to write more about this in the future. This misunderstanding occasionally leads people to mistakenly believe that earning $1 over the barrier into the next tax level would result in a significantly higher tax bill because all income would be taxed […]

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Airline Baggage Fees Increasing in Popularity

by Luke Landes

When I traveled to Arizona in April, I was charged $15 for each flight for checking my luggage. While I knew that many airlines had begun charging extra for services that were once “free,” like meals and baggage check, I didn’t recall seeing any warning when I originally booked the flight several weeks earlier. I […]

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