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Preview: Consumerism Commentary: A Personal Finance Blog Since 2003

Consumerism Commentary



Consumerism Commentary offers daily articles focusing on personal finance and living.



Last Build Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2017 13:16:58 +0000

 



Appeal Your House’s Assessment to Lower Your Property Tax Bill

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:30:10 +0000

Though I’ve lived in the D.C. area for the past 5 years, I still haven’t bought a home here. It just hasn’t made sense yet, especially since I’m not sure how many more years I’ll choose to stay in this area. The properties I do own are located back in Texas and stay consistently rented […]

The post Appeal Your House’s Assessment to Lower Your Property Tax Bill appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




How is the Country REALLY Doing With Its Credit Card Debt?

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:29:11 +0000

National averages for credit card and other consumer debt can be a good barometer of consumers’ financial capacity and goals. For instance, when debt decreases, Americans, as a whole, may be spending less and saving more. Of course, that’s a good thing. So, when SmartAsset released its average credit card debt study recently, we took […]

The post How is the Country REALLY Doing With Its Credit Card Debt? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Is Quicken Right for You? Here’s Our Ultimate Review

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:44:13 +0000

We’ve always been fans of Quicken here at Consumerism Commentary, and we’ve got a lot of reviews floating around to prove it. But you don’t really need reviews of Quicken from five years ago. You just need to know what to expect from the latest version: Quicken 2017. Here, we’ll give you the highlights, and […]

The post Is Quicken Right for You? Here’s Our Ultimate Review appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Overbooking Flights is Good for the Consumer – Let Me Explain

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 13:50:00 +0000

As the entire world has likely seen by now, United Airlines removed Dr. David Dao from his Sunday evening flight, by selecting him at random and then dragging him off the airline. While the United apology tour took a good 48 hours to get started, they finally came around and said they were very sorry […]

The post Overbooking Flights is Good for the Consumer – Let Me Explain appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Should High Schools Require Money Management Classes?

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 12:31:53 +0000

It’s common knowledge that kids today aren’t learning the same things that we learned when we were younger. Take cursive, for instance. Forty-six states have implemented Common Core Standards on at least some level, which eliminates mandatory teaching of cursive in the elementary school curriculum. While children are instead learning how to type and use […]

The post Should High Schools Require Money Management Classes? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




A Free Online Checking Account Earning High Interest: The FNBO Direct Checking With BillPay

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 15:49:57 +0000

Have you been looking for a new online checking account? Preferably one with a higher-than-average interest rate? Then the FNBO Direct checking account may be the answer. I’m a bit particular when it comes to my checking accounts. I don’t like paying any monthly fees, regardless of how much money I keep in the account. […]

The post A Free Online Checking Account Earning High Interest: The FNBO Direct Checking With BillPay appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Are Credit Card Annual Fees Worthwhile?

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:00:54 +0000

The best credit card deals are often spoiled by an annual fee. Annual fees can range from about $50 to $2,500, with the high end reserved for the super-select American Express Centurion Card (the “black card”). In return for this fee, credit card issuers provide a range of benefits beyond what typical no-fee cards offer. […]

The post Are Credit Card Annual Fees Worthwhile? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




How to Pay a Tax Bill You Can’t Afford

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 17:00:32 +0000

It’s a good thing I’ve been saving a good portion of my income for the past year. Even with making estimated tax payments — the last of which was due on January 16 — I still have a significant tax bill this year, thanks to increased income. Many taxpayers dread filing their taxes, even if […]

The post How to Pay a Tax Bill You Can’t Afford appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Money Systems That Lead to Success: Automatic Savings

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:22:50 +0000

A while back, I wrote about the opinions of Scott Adams on his eventual success as the creator of the comic strip Dilbert. I focused on the failure aspect of the article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal and I wanted to revisit the topic, as only touched lightly on the success factors. Specifically, […]

The post Money Systems That Lead to Success: Automatic Savings appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




The Impact of the Philadelphia Soda Tax

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:05:19 +0000

Earlier this year, I wrote an article discussing the new Philadelphia Soda Tax that had just been put into effect. At the time, the discussion focused on the possibilities the law would present: from having more people drink water and getting more funding for the school system, to Americans losing money to the tax and companies […]

The post The Impact of the Philadelphia Soda Tax appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




FNBO Direct Savings Account — Opening and a Review

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:30:40 +0000

While I’m generally happy with my Capital One 360 account for a good portion of my savings, I’m looking to spread the money around to take advantage of some higher interest rates. One of the banks I’ve targeted is FNBO Direct, the online arm of First National Bank of Omaha, currently offering 0.95% APY as […]

The post FNBO Direct Savings Account — Opening and a Review appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Credit Karma is Offering 100% Free Tax Software – Look Out Turbo Tax

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 15:47:43 +0000

The first time I filed my very own taxes was with Turbo Tax, back in 2003. I was 18 years old at the time, attending college, and it was the first year my parents could not claim me as a dependent. I had earned a fair amount of income from my jobs on campus (and […]

The post Credit Karma is Offering 100% Free Tax Software – Look Out Turbo Tax appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Today is the Day to Finish Your Gift-Buying… It’s Free Shipping Day!

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 19:17:56 +0000

Well, we’re less than two weeks from Christmas, which means the shopping pinch is upon us. If you’re like me, you’re probably nowhere near done with your Christmas shopping – still have three people to shop for, and we are coming down to the wire. This year, though, I’m avoiding that last-minute, mad dash at […]

The post Today is the Day to Finish Your Gift-Buying… It’s Free Shipping Day! appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




The Price of Oil is on the Rise. Is That Good for You?

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 20:52:24 +0000

After a lull in the price of a barrel, we are seeing the cost of oil begin to once again increase. With it comes increased revenue and, in turn, money being pumped into both the stock market and the economy. So, is this good news for the average person? Well, the immediate answer is no, probably […]

The post The Price of Oil is on the Rise. Is That Good for You? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Which Credit Card Should Be Your First?

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 03:50:10 +0000

Getting your first credit card is a significant financial milestone. Maybe you’re a college student jumping into personal finance for the first time. Or maybe you’ve just never had a reason to get a credit card before. Regardless, you may be overwhelmed with all the options that are out there. When it comes to getting […]

The post Which Credit Card Should Be Your First? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




How One Cafe is Changing Financial Wellness for Chicagoans

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05:15:18 +0000

Last week, I walked into a hip coffee shop nestled between Ann Taylor Loft and Urban Outfitters. Located in a family-friendly Chicago neighborhood on a cheerful, bustling street, the cafe didn’t appear to be anything other than typical. However, I soon learned that Next Door Cafe was offering a lot more than your run-of-the-mill espresso. […]

The post How One Cafe is Changing Financial Wellness for Chicagoans appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Year End Reminder: Change Your 401(k) Contribution Level Now

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:00:26 +0000

At the end of the year, most people in the United States are thinking about the holidays and the potential credit card bills for gifts and family visits. One good way to control this potentially stressful month is to take some time to breathe and get your own finances in order. There are several actions […]

The post Year End Reminder: Change Your 401(k) Contribution Level Now appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Will a Bonus Make You Pay Higher Federal Taxes?

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:05:02 +0000

With the holidays approaching, many companies are preparing their bonus checks. However, some employees who are looking forward to their bonuses are also concerned about tax consequences. I gave up this “extra” part of my corporate pay, in exchange for the benefit of working for myself, when I left my day job a few years […]

The post Will a Bonus Make You Pay Higher Federal Taxes? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Will Traditional Retirement Accounts Allow You to Retire Early?

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:07:00 +0000

If you plan to retire early, you may be wondering whether it makes sense to invest in traditional retirement accounts, such as employer-sponsored 401(k)s/403(b)s and IRAs/Roth IRAs. The speculation comes into play because there’s an early withdrawal penalty when you take money out of these accounts before age 59 ½. I argue that it’s still […]

The post Will Traditional Retirement Accounts Allow You to Retire Early? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Can You Earn More With a Fidelity CD Ladder?

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 17:40:40 +0000

It’s been a long time since banks offered savings accounts with decent returns. The Fed may raise interest this year, meaning rates could finally rise. In the meantime, what do you do? If you’re looking for a quick way to create an investment vehicle that is FDIC insured, and promises greater returns than online savings, […]

The post Can You Earn More With a Fidelity CD Ladder? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




A Penny Saved is $1,000 Earned

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:33:46 +0000

Are you the type of person who picks up coins on the street? Even pennies? Well, I’d encourage you to step up the habit — and the rest of you may want to take up this hobby, at least for the next few weeks. Ally Bank has a fun scavenger hunt promotion going on right […]

The post A Penny Saved is $1,000 Earned appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Amazon Prime: Is It Worth the Cost?

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 21:36:50 +0000

In 2006, I was receiving about five deliveries a week from online shopping orders. What can I say? I was an online shopaholic. Amazon Prime was only a year old at the time, and I became tired of hoarding filler items in order to qualify for the $25 free shipping minimum. To me, receiving free […]

The post Amazon Prime: Is It Worth the Cost? appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.




Trump’s Childcare Plan: How the DCSA Will Affect You

Sat, 12 Nov 2016 07:22:49 +0000

Whether you’re taking care of multiple children, a disabled spouse, or elderly parents, you’ve likely experienced the high cost of dependent care firsthand. With expenses from babysitters to after school programs, it can be difficult to stay ahead of all your other financial obligations while spending on dependent care. To help make dependent care more […]

The post Trump’s Childcare Plan: How the DCSA Will Affect You appeared first on Consumerism Commentary.