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David Bakke
David started his own personal finance blog, YourFinances101, in June of 2009 and published his first book on ways to save more and spend less called "Don't Be A Mule..." Since then he has been a regular contributor for Money Crashers. He lives just outside Atlanta, GA and most all of his free time is taken up by his amazing three year old son, Nicholas.

How To Lose Weight on a Budget

By David Bakke

lose weight on a budgetSo, summer time is here and if you haven’t done so already, now might be the time to try to shed some of these unwanted pounds around your waist line. As always, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about doing this. Actually, what I mean is that there is a wasteful way to do it and a “frugal” way. Since you’re reading this article, you probably want to hear the frugal way to do it.

My Own Little Roller Coaster

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The Golden Rule of Credit Cards

By David Bakke

avoid credit card debtI remember this day like it was yesterday. After many years without credit cards, there was finally a credit card company out there willing to take a chance on me. I was not completely out of debt yet (I was probably about halfway there). My old credit cards had long since been cut up. I was at a point where I still wasn’t allowed to have bank accounts and still owed my parents lots of money, but I had been making progress. Facing a mountain of about $20K in overall debt, I was somewhere around halfway home. Ten thousand paid off, ten thousand still to go.

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Do It Yourself or Hire A Contractor?

By David Bakke

DIY or bring in the prosSomething that has progressed along quite nicely with my ability to get and stay out of debt was and is my ability to fix things. Back when I was mired in debt, I barely knew what a screwdriver was. In the recent past, I have accomplished such tasks as changing out electrical fixtures in my household lighting, replacing a kitchen faucet, installing a privacy fence in my backyard, and a wide variety of car repairs. Maybe not so amazing on the grand scale of things, but considering where I came from, it has worked out pretty well.

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Lessons from a Three Year Old: Everybody Makes Mistakes

By David Bakke

how to fix financial mistakesKids say some pretty cute things. I think we can all agree on that. My three year old, Nicholas, is no exception. I have no idea where he gets some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth. Most of it is humorous, but some of it is quite enlightening. His latest quip is that whenever he gets caught doing something he knows he shouldn’t be doing, or whenever he makes some sort of “mess” around the house (which these days is quite often), he looks up at me with his big brown eyes and says “Daddy, everybody makes mistakes.”

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Ten Things I’ll Never Buy Again

By David Bakke

household cleaners to never buy againAn obvious way to impact your personal economy is to save as much money as you can on the things that you buy. Smart shopping, paying attention to sales, couponing and so forth all go a long way towards accomplishing this goal. However, for those of you who are just getting into the “frugal living” game, it can be overwhelming at first. As a matter of fact, the first few times I set out to do it, it seemed so overwhelming to me that I just gave up! If you want to start living a better financial life but don’t know where to start, I say start simple. Listed below are ten things that you virtually NEVER need to buy. And this is by no means a comprehensive list.

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Personal Finance Round-up: School’s Out–Family Vacation Time!

By Money Crashers

School should be out in just about all parts of the country by now. So, for us parents, that means finding activites and so forth to occupy our children for the next three months. And high on that list of options is a family vacation. For those of us on a budget (and who isn’t if you’re a parent), cost is definitely a factor when planning a family vacation. But an article I read recently over at Help Me Travel Cheap raises the question: Should you take your own car on your family vacation or consider renting? My first reaction would be to take your own car all the way, but after reading this article, I almost became convinced that renting might be the better alternative. Check it out and make your own call.

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Is Buying An Extended Warranty Ever A Good Idea?

By David Bakke

never buy extneded warranty for laptopI have long been of the belief that extended warranties offered on any product are an absolute waste of money.  The benefit that you get out of them is usually zero, and most companies know that.  For the majority of all products which generally have this extended warranty, their average lifespan far outweighs the short time of these extended warranties. On a side note, I am the type of person that likes to buy a brand new electronic (whether it is a laptop, flat screen TV or something else) and keep it for a long time.  So if there were ever a person that an extended warranty was designed for, it would be me.

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Minimizing Expenses: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

By David Bakke

not what you know, but who you knowLet’s say for a moment that you were an expert in the following areas: computer repair, auto repair, insurance, mortgages, purchasing electronics, credit cards and your credit score.
If that were the case, wouldn’t life be sweet?  You could fix your computer for free, you’d never have to take your car into the shop, you would always know that you were getting the best rates on all types of insurance, you would know that you had the best mortgage available, you’d get the best prices on the electronics you buy, and so on.  All without ever having to enlist the services of a paid professional.

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Money Myths: The More You Make, The More You Spend

By David Bakke

spend up to your level of incomeI remember my days back when I was about 7 or 8 years old.  I started my own business, so to speak, cutting grass in the neighborhood. I had just finished cutting a neighbor’s grass, and life was just grand.  There was the smell of fresh cut grass in the air (what could ever be wrong with that?) and I had a fresh $3 in my pocket.  Yes, back in those days, my going rate was the whopping sum of $3 per yard.  It took me about an hour per yard.  And that $3 in my pocket made me about the happiest kid on the block.

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