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

August 2011

Wells Fargo Testing $3 Monthly Debit Card Fee

by Luke Landes
Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Bank, the primary brick-and-mortar bank I’ve been holding onto for my branch-based banking, ATM deposits, and immediate check-writing, is jumping on the debit card fee bandwagon. Chase was one of the first banks to start playing around with fees and debit card changes. Chase increased its ATM fee to $5, eliminated the short-lived […]

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Quicken Loans Review

by Luke Landes

For the time being, S&P’s downgrade on United States debt has yet to produce an increase in mortgage interest rates as some predicted. Borrowers can still find mortgage loans for such a low cost that if they qualify, low interest rates combined with lower house prices would make owning a house more affordable than ever. […]

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Credit Market Improving, Will Economy Follow?

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released their quarterly evaluation of the credit markets, and they are reporting some good news for consumers. Total consumer debt dropped $50 billion since last quarter, ending at $11.4 trillion on June 30. Mortgage balances and home equity credit balances declined, contributing to the overall decrease. Debt not […]

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Warren Buffett Doesn’t Want to Be Coddled

by Luke Landes
Warren Buffett Coddle

Update: The concepts implied by Warren Buffett have formed the basis of President Obama’s Buffett Rule proposal. Warren Buffett is staying in the news. I wrote recently about his desire to continue investing in stocks during market volatility, and today he published an opinion piece in the New York Times. He laid out the facts […]

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Nominate Your Favorite Blogs and Products for the Plutus Awards

by Luke Landes

I don’t normally like to interrupt the stream of personal finance articles with something that’s more related to the website than it is to money, but this is an important message that can help support the entire community of blogs that focus on writing about personal finance. If administration-type articles don’t interest you, skip ahead […]

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Extreme Couponing: Woman Arrested for Stealing Newspapers

by Luke Landes
Grocery shopping

I’ve spoken out against the concept of “extreme couponing” a few times already. In search of ratings, television shows — and in particular, “reality” television shows, use creative editing to make practitioners seem crazier than they are, but the concept has caught on so well, some people, in real reality, stop at very little in […]

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Podcast 121: Adam Levin, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek speaks with Adam Levin, co-founder of Credit.com and former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs about the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Adam discusses the goals of the bureau, how it’s an improvement over what was in place before, and some of the […]

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Warren Buffett: Buying More Stocks Amid Turmoil

by Luke Landes
Warren Buffett

There’s no doubt that the stock market has been a bit turbulent these past few days. After days when the stock market tumbles, the financial news media claims the double dip recession is here, and after days when the Dow and S&P shoot back up, stories point to the rally in 2008 that took place […]

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Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express Review

by Luke Landes

American Express continues to top J.D. Power & Associates’ list for best credit card issuers for customer satisfaction, thanks mainly to its strong rewards programs like the one that accompanies the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. The rewards program and top-ranked customer service from American Express continues to foster appreciation among personal […]

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Why I Still Drive My Old Honda Civic

by Luke Landes
Honda Civic

After noticing, month after month, that I include the value of my 2004 Honda Civic in my monthly net worth updates, a reader wrote in to Consumerism Commentary to ask why I haven’t given into my desires and purchased something newer or more exciting. I’ve had a bit of a storied past with cars, but […]

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