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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 Save Money At The Dentist’s Office

By David Bakke

I recently had a dentist’s appointment to have my teeth cleaned. For the most part, I am terrible with keeping up with regular dentist appointments. This was the first time I had been in a few years. Regardless, this latest trip helped me to realize that, yes, you can save money at the dentist’s office. Of course, the first line of defense against saving money on dental visits is to take great care of your teeth. But beyond that, here are 5 more great tips:

1. Choose the Right One

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What Is Umbrella Insurance And Do You Need It?

By David Bakke

do i need umbrella insuranceI have never professed to know everything there is to know about money and finances, and I am reminded of that on a fairly regular basis. Recently, I came across the term “umbrella insurance” and realized that I basically knew nothing about it. I had heard of it before but really had no idea what it was, what it covered, and most importantly, not knowing if I should have it. We typically think of buying and paying for insurance as a nuisance until it really comes in need. I know that a lot of people have had horror stories with rejected insurance claims and bad experiences with adjusters and agents, but for the most part, insurance DOES save you from big financial disaster. Umbrella insurance is not a “necessity” when it comes to your portfolio of insurance, but for some people, it might make sense to have it. The following is a synopsis of what I found out:

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The First (And Most Important) Step To Fixing Your Finances

By David Bakke

how to begin fixing your financesI have had many conversations with many people in the past who have inquired about how to get out of debt. Most of these people realize that they are in debt and that they do need to do something about it. Realization of the problem and desire for a solution is one of the all-important first steps, but there’s still a lot of work to do. With that said, some people out there don’t even realize that they will be “wallowing” financially for the rest of their lives if they don’t do something. For them, they need to start off by admitting the problem. However, for those that have made the realization, their biggest question is: Where do I start? What do I do first? What’s the best way to get going?

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How To Save Money After A Car Accident

By David Bakke

choosing the right body shopRecently, my wife was involved in a car accident and we were looking back on the entire situation. We have realized that there were quite a few ways that we could have saved ourselves some money. I’d like to recount a bit of my experience and some lessons I learned in the hopes that if you are someday presented with a similar situation, you might be able to keep a little more money in your pocket.

My Quick Story

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How to Appeal the Property Tax Assessment On Your Home

By David Bakke

With the housing market having taken a serious hit in the recent past, I am sure you all know that home values have been plummeting. Well, one thing that did not plummet along with that is the property taxes most people are paying on those homes. The taxes some of us have been paying on our homes have been inaccurate (or unfair) to say the least. Several months after the housing market was in a full-fledged decline, I started seeing a good bit of coverage on this topic. And at the top of the list was what could the average homeowner do about it? About the only remedy is to dispute the property tax assessment on your home.

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Should You Walk Away From Your Home Mortgage?

By David Bakke

should I refinanceIn the midst of the current housing market crisis, there are a percentage of people out there who have simply decided to walk away from their home mortgage. For some, they had a part in making the decision, and for others it was made for them. The two main reasons people chose to do so are negative equity in the house and job loss, or a combination of both. We also recently recounted what to do when you’re upside down on your mortage in our Help A Reader segment.

Negative Equity

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Seven More Things I’ll Never Buy Again

By David Bakke

finding free thingsSeveral weeks back, I wrote an article about ten things that I would never buy again. It sparked quite a bit of interest, so since then, I have been motivated to find more things in my current lifestyle that I have stopped spending money on and plan to never buy again.

Feel free to comment on my selections, or add some more of your own. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than when I can learn new tips or ideas from our readers. And be sure to check out the original post as well!

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The Best Way to Save on Printer Ink Cartridges and Refills

By David Bakke

how to save on tonerDepending on how much ink/toner you go through on a daily or weekly basis, your ink and toner costs could be anywhere from minimal to significant. In my household, we probably print a little more than the average household. Since ink and toner are fairly expensive, I think it’s worthwhile to investigate the options out there for saving money in this area. After all, it’s not the sale of printers that companies make money from. That’s why there are always great deals on printers and they are often included with computer purchases. Printer companies will do anything to get their printers in your hands because they make the majority of their money from printer ink, and they know that you’ll be buying it on a consistent basis once you own the printer.

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WTDirect Review – Designed For Savers in Control

By David Bakke

I recently have had the opportunity to review quite a few different online banking websites. WTDirect seems to offer quite a few features and benefits that I have yet to see in my experiences. I am not saying that these benefits are strictly unique to WTDirect, but they are worth checking out as you won’t find them everywhere. Keep in mind that WTDirect was one of the first high-yield online savings accounts.

1.21% APY

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3 Ways to Save on Household Cleaners and Home Cleaning Products

By David Bakke

save on household cleanersPersonally, I do the best that I can to get the cheapest price that I can on just about anything. This includes most of the household cleaners that I use. For some, I have actually stopped using them altogether and gone to making my own while with others I use a generic cheaper alternative. However, it recently occurred to me that the savings shouldn’t stop there. I realized that it doesn’t make sense to get a great deal on any particular household cleaner and then proceed to waste it when it comes to actually using it. What comes to mind for me in particular is laundry detergent, dish detergent, and my liquid soap for pots and pans.

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Little Known Uses for Five Common Household Items

By David Bakke

There is nothing that I like better than to find an additional use for a common household item. This can cut down on having to buy additional cleaners and/or chemicals for my household, which is always good. And of course, invariably these additional uses will save you money. Once I got into living frugally, I really began to research these “extra” uses. Some of them are quite ingenious! I’ve come up with a short list of multiple uses for five common items you likely have around your house. The list is by no means inclusive, so feel free to add your ideas in the comments section. I know that some of you house moms and dads have some great ideas out there!

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MoneyAisle Review – Lenders Bid for Your Car Auto Loans

By David Bakke

best car loan ratesI recently took the time to review the website MoneyAisle. The site is basically an auction house for auto loan companies to compete for your auto loan business. They offer quotes for new car loans, used car loans, and for people who want to refinance their loan. They even have a section for bank CDs and high-yield savings accounts. If you’re in the market for getting a car loan on a new car or pre-owned car and you can’t pay for it in cash, then take a deeper look at my review of this website.

Their Edge

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A Healthier Lifestyle and Your Finances

By David Bakke

live healthy, save moneyI recently wrote about the financial benefits of quitting smoking. In a nutshell, one of the points I attempted to make is that if you can’t quit smoking for health reasons, then maybe you’d be motivated to quit for financial concerns. If you think about it, you can apply this idea to a healthier lifestyle as well. I think it’s safe to say that we all know that we should live a healthy lifestyle. We are bombarded with ads about it on television, the radio, and the internet. Yet we as a society are, on the whole, fairly “unhealthy.” We are addicted to salt, sugar, caffeine, trans fats, and other silent health “killers.”

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Wake Up! Time To Figure Out Your Finances

By David Bakke

start figuring out your financesFrom time to time when I am at my regular job, I do find myself speaking about personal finance issues with my co-workers. I don’t consider myself to be any kind of expert and most co-workers don’t even know that I write about personal finance here. However, every once in a while, if there is a piece of advice that I think they will benefit from, then I will pass along that advice. The subject of money can often be a touchy one, so you need to approach it like you are trying to be helpful without acting like you are condemning them or being a know-it-all. As with a lot of things in life, leading by example can sometimes be the best way to positively affect others around you.

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PerkStreet Financial Review – Setting Themselves Apart with Cash Back Debit Card & Rewards Checking

By David Bakke

perkstreet financial logoI recently decided to check out the website PerkStreet Financial, an online bank which offers a lot of things that you really won’t find anywhere else.

In this day and age, there are a wide variety of places that you can put your money, including a huge number of online banks. PerkStreet does a great job of setting themselves apart from most other online banking websites.

Features and Benefits

PerkStreet offers a checking account which is pretty much free. Here are the high points of what it has to offer:

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  • $25 to open the account
  • No minimum balance
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