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.
If you’re mired in debt, do your best to get out of debt before worrying about investing. But once you’ve paid off all of your loans, start investing some of your monthly income to build for your future.
As you’ve probably seen, many new products and services come with some sort of “free trial offer.” While I’m sure that there are a lot of these free trial offers on the market that are truly worth it, many (especially ones offered over the Internet for particular services) are traps that you should stay away from.
Why, you ask? Many times, the offers are not truly free. There could be minor purchases required for the free trial to kick in, there could be activation fees, and there could even be return shipping charges if you’ve received a “free” test item that you want to send back.
This year, I’d like to purchase a home security system. I’m interested in a system with an alarm to prevent residential home burglary for a few reasons: I have a young son who is at home with me quite often, I started my own home small business and therefore store a lot of inventory in my house, and I have been aware of increasing crime rates for quite some time now. I don’t live in a bad area, but these days, you just never know.
I recently stumbled upon a website called Offermatic, and I’m excited to tell you about it because it has the potential to save you money at places where you’re already shopping.
It’s actually difficult to categorize the site because it’s pretty unique and there isn’t anything else like it out there just yet. It’s not really your typical coupon site, it’s not an online budgeting or money management tool, and it’s not one of those group buying daily deals sites either. In fact, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch calls it the “freak love child” of Mint.com, Groupon, and Blippy.
A topic that I’ve seen written about quite a bit lately is the proper time to start teaching your children about money. And frankly, some of the advice I’ve read borders on the ridiculous. I have actually heard some people claim that you should start teaching your children about money as early as age 2! That seems to me like overkill. I doubt that a child of that age can even process whatever you might be teaching them, let alone retain it.
Here’s what I’ve learned as parent about kids and money.
In the “disposable” society that we live in, we are constantly upgrading or replacing the electronic gadgets that seem to rule our lives. Laptop computers, cell phones, smart phones…the list goes on. Some might say that we’re addicted to consumer electronics. And most of us have no idea what to do with our old or unwanted electronics. Sell them on eBay? It’s not always worth the time. Give them away? Sure, but to whom? Throw them out? Electronic waste (e-waste) disposal is no good for the environment (and, in some places, illegal).
I think we can all agree on the fact that your credit score is one of the most important things in your financial life. I also think we all know about some of the more obvious effects that a bad credit score can have on your finances. First and foremost, if you have a bad credit score, you won’t qualify for the credit cards with the best rates. This can lead to an unending cycle of credit card debt and paying too much in interest. Second, a bad credit score will have a large impact on any kind of loan for which you might want to apply. Whether it is a mortgage, a personal loan or a business loan, the terms are just not going to be as favorable as they could be.
I recently had a chance to take a look at a web site that should be particularly helpful to anyone currently leasing an automobile. It’s called LeaseTrader.com, and it is essentially a full-service online auto lease transfer marketplace.
The site matches people who currently have vehicle leases they wish to get out of, with individuals who are looking for short-term leases with attractive payments and no money down.
How It Works
The way the LeaseTrader.com is set up really couldn’t be any easier. There are only two buttons to click on the site’s homepage. One says “Get In,” for those looking to take over a lease, and the other one says “Get Out,” for people trying to exit their lease.
I have been a small-business owner for approximately two years now. What a ride it’s been! The road to small-business ownership can be a rough and rocky one, but I can tell you that I have learned a great deal along the way. Here, I will share with you the top 7 habits that I have come to believe all new entrepreneurs should cultivate. There are common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, but these tips focus on action and what you need to do to find success.
Since their inception, gift cards have become quite popular. Buying a gift card is much easier than shopping for an actual gift and allows the recipient to choose something that he or she really wants. However, if you’re not lucky enough to get a generic-type card that is good anywhere (i.e. best gift cards to give), what are you supposed to do with unwanted gift cards for places where you don’t, or wouldn’t, spend your money?
Technology advances extremely quickly these days, and it’s difficult to keep up with it all. This is particularly true in the area of flat screen televisions. Before, you really only had the choice of a Plasma vs LCD TV. The debate on which is better still continues and the more recent introduction of LED TVs has further muddied the waters of this discussion.
So which is best for you? Let’s review exactly what an LED TV is, and whether paying the extra money is worth it.
Although your Christmas shopping may be winding down, you may still be in the market for a flat panel television. And if you look in the right places, you should be able to score one at a great price. However, the question remains—do you go with the plasma or the LCD? I decided to look deeper into this issue and outline the pros and cons for both types of televisions. For the purposes of comparison, I have broken down my findings into four important categories: picture quality, functionality, durability, and price.
We’ve recently discussed some of the worst retail company policies out there. Hopefully this has helped you to avoid some holiday buzz kills. As a follow up, I want to review some of the best consumer deals around. Not only do these show the ways that companies can treat a customer well, but they might also help you to make some great last minute holiday purchases.
Some of these policies have to do with retail purchasing, while others are good to know before making your holiday travel plans. I consider myself to be a pretty savvy shopper, but even I was pretty surprised by some of these, especially in comparison to the “worst” list.
We recently had the honor of conversing with J. D. Roth, creator of the incredibly successful personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly. In just five short years, J.D. has managed to build a following of roughly 85,000 readers! J.D.’s story is a fairly simple one, but one that rings true to us all. He found himself deep in debt, and finally, one day, decided to do something about it. He parlayed this story into a wildly popular personal finance blog, and recently authored his first book on the subject, entitled Your Money: The Missing Manual.
I think it’s safe to say that almost all of us have paid our bills online or have done some kind of online shopping. I recently had a chance to look at a website that goes a long way in making these experiences faster, easier, and less stressful.
The website is called Billeo. It has a Bill Pay Assistant that allows you to simplify and organize your online bill paying process, a Shopping Assistant that auto fills all of your payment details and shipping information, a Password Assistant that saves all of your online passwords, and finally, an Offer Assistant that tags your search results with special offers and discounts. I personally do almost all of my shopping online, and it seems like Billeo was designed just for me!
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