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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 Buy a Car – 15 Essential Tips to Get the Best Deal

By David Bakke

buy car keysI loathe the process of having to buy a new car. Dealing with pushy, overbearing car salesmen can be extremely frustrating. As a result, I do whatever I can to avoid buying a car. I perform all recommended DIY car maintenance checks, I keep my vehicle for as long as I can, and I consolidate my trips both to save on gas and decrease wear and tear on my car.

However, buying a car at some point in time is a reality that we all have to face. I’ve compiled a list of several important car buying steps that you should follow. Heeding the advice in this article will help you save money, get the best deal, and hopefully, reduce the amount of stress involved with purchasing a vehicle.

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VIPRE Antivirus & Anti-Spyware Software Review

By David Bakke

vipre antivirusThere are plenty of free antivirus software programs available, but they won’t provide your computer with comprehensive protection. And unfortunately, many paid software programs will decrease the performance of your personal computer. Purchasing the more popular brand name antivirus programs can cause issues, too. VIPRE Antivirus software is a comprehensive antivirus solution that’s well worth a look.

VIPRE (Virus Intrusion Protection Remediation Engine) is designed to optimize the overall performance of your home computer by combining antivirus and anti-spyware together into one powerful tool. This combination of technologies makes it easier to protect your PC from hackers and identity thieves. VIPRE also provides powerful protection against today’s highly complex malware threats. Finally, since the software doesn’t take up a lot of space, the resource headaches caused by the older antivirus programs aren’t a problem with VIPRE.

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Top 5 Companies with the Worst Customer Service

By David Bakke

angry woman telephoneIn this day and age, where competition seems to be fierce in just about all of the retail service-oriented industries, it is beyond me how so many companies just fail to get things right. I can only guess that they either think they are too big to make customer service a priority, or that they just don’t realize that customer service is at the top of consumers’ list of needs when making purchasing choices.

You may have noticed poor service from your cell phone and cable TV companies, or even in the treatment you get at the checkout line of your preferred brick-and-mortar retail store.

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8 DIY Car Maintenance Tips You Can Handle – Checklist

By David Bakke

car mechanic projectsIn trying to live a more frugal life, I’m getting better at handling projects that I used to pay professionals to do. In addition to home improvement projects, I’ve learned that I can save plenty by taking on some auto repairs and maintenance jobs myself.

Trust me, I’m not an auto expert. I’m not even very mechanically inclined. But I’ve found the kinds of repairs that just about anyone can handle quickly and easily, with minimal expenses.

I’ve decided to hold on to my car rather than sell it, so by taking care of these repairs, I’ve saved quite a bit of dough over the past several years.

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Flat World Knowledge Review – Open Source College Textbooks Online

By David Bakke

This post brought to you by Flat World Knowledge. All opinions are 100% mine.

flat world knowledge logoIt wasn’t too long ago that I was purchasing textbooks for my wife to complete her college education. The prices of those textbooks were appalling, to say the least. I remembered them being expensive back when I attended school, but the prices for college textbooks have recently gone completely through the roof!

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5 Alternative Uses for Dryer Sheets to Save Money

By David Bakke

uses of dryer sheetsDryer sheets make your clothes smell nice, and come out of the dryer all warm, fluffy, and static-free. But did you know they have many more uses than just for laundry?

For as little as $2 for a box of dryer sheets, you can clean, store, and refresh so many different items in your house.

Ready to save money and be wowed? Check out this list of five alternative uses for dryer sheets.

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Who You Gonna Call: 6 Phone Calls to Lower Your Monthly Bills & Expenses

By David Bakke

man phone lower billsI don’t like calling companies that supply my home services. Nor do I like pressing ten buttons just to get to the right machine and ten more to get to the right person. I don’t like getting put on hold, and I certainly don’t like being treated rudely by strangers when I’m the customer.

However, I do like saving money and lowering my bills. And when I can make a significant cut, it’s worth the irritating, time-consuming pain of dealing with phone systems and disgruntled service representatives.

Use this six-part phone call checklist to make sure you’re not paying too much on your payments every month.

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Kohl’s Charge Card Review – Get Coupons & Discounts

By David Bakke

kohls charge cardWhen the first Kohl’s department store opened in my city, it failed to capture my attention.  They have very few signs outside, and it was years before I even knew what kind of store it was. Finally, curiosity got the best of me and I eventually decided to see what they had to offer.

At first glance, Kohl’s seems like your typical department store. But once I poked around a bit, I realized that this is a department store with fantastically low prices. I quickly became a regular customer.

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DIRECTV Review – Promotions for Satellite Television Channels & Packages

By David Bakke

directv logoWhen it comes to the world of cable/satellite TV, I am a firm believer in “jumping around.” Switching from one provider to another is usually pretty easy and can save you a great deal of money. Most companies have no early cancellation fees, some require no contracts, and they always have great deals going on. In short, you should not hesitate to switch companies if there is a better deal to be had.

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Head of Household Filing Status Qualifications vs. Single – IRS Tax Filing for Single Parents

By David Bakke

single man sonRestarting life after divorce as a newly single parent can really take its toll on you emotionally, mentally, and financially. Similarly, having a child with someone you never married, and are no longer in a relationship with, can be equally difficult. If you’re in one of these situations, your tax filing status is probably one of the last things on your mind.

However, you can’t ignore this important issue: filing your taxes with the most beneficial status for you can lead to a significantly larger tax return. As someone who recently divorced and is now a single parent, I can tell you that every penny counts! Take the time to research your tax filing status thoroughly and you will be able to ease at least a small portion of your financial worries.

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7 Things You Should and Shouldn’t Buy from a Pawn Shop

By David Bakke

pawn shop neon signUnless you’re independently wealthy, you probably look for ways to save money as often as you can. Shopping online for discounts is one great way, saving money on groceries, utility bills and car insurance are others.

But here’s one you may never have considered: shopping at a pawn shop. It’s actually a viable way to save money – and not just on guns. Here’s why.

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Zions Bank Review – High Interest Savings, Checking & Money Market Accounts

By David Bakke

zions bank logoRecently, I’ve been looking to switch banks and find a new partner to support my banking needs. For now, I’m searching for a personal account, but eventually, I’ll need business banking solutions as well. Therefore, I need to weigh both the business and personal products offered by the banks I’m considering.

Though I have not yet made my final decision, one the of firms at the top of my list is Zions Bank. They have been in business for over 135 years, so you know that they possess tradition and history – two big pluses in today’s unstable banking world. They have FDIC insurance coverage (another security blanket) and offer some of the best interest rates around.

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Quicken Loans Review – Best Mortgage Refinance Rates for Home Loans

By David Bakke

Recently, I’ve been looking into options for refinancing my home mortgage in order to save some money. As part of my research, I decided to take an in-depth look at Quicken Loans, a site you’ve probably heard of before since it represents one of the major players in the world of online financing institutions. And I’ve found that they’re very popular for a reason.

Quicken Loans offers some of the most competitive rates around and they have loan products for just about anyone; from those looking to change their current mortgage to first-time home buyers. I consider myself to be a pretty savvy shopper, and Quicken Loans is at the top of my list for potential lending institutions for my re-fi.

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Victor Pest Control – Ultrasonic & Electronic Rodent Control and Mouse Traps

By David Bakke

This post brought to you by Victor Pest. All opinions are 100% mine.

victor pest logoA few months back,  I had an unwanted house guest. No, I’m not talking about my mother-in-law, I’m talking about a rodent in my home.

After seeing droppings several times, witnessing our plants and food get mysteriously munched on during the night, and going on several critter hunts with my wife to no avail, I called a professional. Almost $400 later, the problem was solved.

However, if I had known about do-it-yourself pest removal products, such as the ones from Victor Pest, I could have saved a bundle.

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Fannie Mae’s Know Your Options – Get Mortgage Help & Learn How to Avoid Foreclosure

By David Bakke

This post brought to you by Fannie Mae. All opinions are 100% mine.

If the ongoing economic downturn has led to unemployment or a general decrease in your income, you’re probably struggling to meet your monthly home mortgage payment.

know your options fannie mae logo

Whether you’re first starting to experience difficulties or you’re already in default, the KnowYourOptions.com site has the information and advice you need. The site, which is affiliated with Fannie Mae, is a credible, comprehensive collection of information to help you through your situation.

Before you make any rash decisions, check out the site’s advice about home mortgage scams, next steps, and the best options that are open to you.

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