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

January 2011

Series: Life After Salary

by Luke Landes

In December 2010, I left the day job where I had worked since 2002. My intent was to focus on Consumerism Commentary, the blog I started in 2003, and other related projects, without distraction from a nine-to-five day job. By that time, the revenue generated by my projects significantly exceeded my day job salary — […]

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Check Your Federal Tax Refund With Your Phone

by Luke Landes

Although the tax code is mired with decades-old rules, fixed up with temporary bandages every year, and convoluted, the IRS is still able to produce something fresh, modern, and simple. Today, the government agency released its free application for iPhone and Android phones, IRS2Go. The app simplifies the process of checking the status of your […]

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Braces and Orthodontics: Costs and Benefits

by Luke Landes

Through most of my four years of high school, I had braces on my teeth. The braces helped to correct an overbite, and I wore them longer than most kids my age most likely because I wasn’t consistently wearing the head gear during the night as prescribed. It’s hard for me to weigh the cost […]

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Podcast 92: The Real Cost of Living, Carmen Wong Ulrich

by Luke Landes

On today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek speaks with Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of The Real Cost of Living: Making the Best Choices for You, Your Life, and Your Money. Carmen’s new book goes focuses on the “personal” aspect of personal finance, showing how the best decisions can be made by considering both the financial […]

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Weekend Reading: Buying Your First House, Poetry, and Warren Buffett

by Luke Landes

Here are a few articles to keep you entertained and informed this weekend. 4 Questions Before Buying Your First House. Here is my recent contribution to US News. “The decision to buy a house is about more than just mortgage interest rates, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and property taxes. Your home is more than […]

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Itemizers Must Wait Until February 14 to Submit Tax Returns

by Luke Landes

Thanks to the bevy of new changes to the tax code for 2010, the IRS is still unprepared to handle tax returns filed early. If you itemize your deductions, you must wait until Valentine’s Day to submit your returns to the IRS. That doesn’t stop taxpayers from starting early. If you use software to file […]

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Do You Have to Repay the Homebuyer Tax Credit?

by Luke Landes

If you purchased a house in 2008, beware of this new change on the 2010 income tax returns. Some taxpayers who claimed the first-time home buyer tax credit will be required to pay the credit back to the government this April. The initial $7,500 tax credit was available to homeowners who purchased their first house […]

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Life After Salary: One Month Without a Paycheck

by Luke Landes

About a month ago, I celebrated my imminent departure from my former employer with a lunch with my co-workers. They’ve been spending the past few weeks trying to get through the year-end reporting period, and from what I hear, I should be glad I left when I did. I know, however, that I should have […]

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Open a Yuan Bank Account in New York or Los Angeles

by Luke Landes

If you visit the Bank of China’s branches in New York or Los Angeles and bring two forms of identification and your cash, you have the opportunity to open a savings or money market account denominated in yuan (renminbi), the currency of China. The interest rate you’ll earn is low, but that would not be […]

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Discover® More Card: No Balance Transfer Fee, 0% APR

by Luke Landes

When you take a look at our list of the best 0 percent balance transfer credit cards, you’ll notice that all offers are featuring balance transfer fees these days. Whether it’s 3 percent, 4 percent or 5 percent, every time a consumer takes advantage of a 0 percent balance transfer offer, the credit card issuers still make money by charging […]

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