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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.

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

How To Trick Yourself Into Saving For A New Car

By David Bakke

save money on a new carThe strain of a monthly car payment on your finances can be a considerable one. Personally, I had “Life Without A Car Payment” for many years until 2007, when I got married and purchased a new car for my wife. That one got paid off late last year, so now I have the luxury of not having to deal with any car payments once again. The question is whether I’ll be forced back into car payments should I want to buy another car down the road. This is the topic I want to explore in this post.

It’s a Beautiful Thing

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The Financial Benefits of Quitting Smoking

By David Bakke

how to save money by quitting smokingFor those of you that smoke, I would imagine that you are well aware of all of the health risks involved. Your chances for contracting lung cancer go way up, your chances for heart disease go up, your skin ages at a faster rate, and on and on. Yet, there are still many of us out there that still choose to smoke cigarettes.?If the health risks involved with smoking are not enough to make you quit, maybe the financial costs involved might be. Actually, I am not even here to try to get you to quit smoking. More importantly, I am just here to try to show you how much money you could save yourself if you did.

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Personal Finance Round Up: The Real Truth Behind Being Frugal

By David Bakke

For some time now, those of us leading a “frugal” life have been getting a bad rap. Basically, getting a bad rap from the non-frugal bunch. We’re “cheap”, we’re wasting our time, life is too short to do some of the things that we do, and a lot of times, people just don’t understand why frugal people are frugal. Well, we will now attempt to solve the grand mystery! In all actuality, the real reasons behind why frugal people are frugal are quite elementary. Check out the article 5 Dead Simple Reasons Why People Are Frugal over at Wise Bread. I couldn’t agree more with their reasoning. For the non-frugal group, take a quick look at it, you might just learn something.

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Netflix vs. Blockbuster Review – Which Movie Rental Company Is Better?

By David Bakke

I recently took some time to review the website Netflix.com. I would imagine that most of you have heard of it before. Personally, I am not a huge movie watcher, but after reviewing the site, I can certainly say that if I were, that Netflix would probably be my first choice.

There’s a reason why Netflix has become so popular in a short amount of time. Its prices are great and the movie selection is even better. Their intelligent algorithms that pick movies based on your movie interests and how you rated other similar movies is very accurate and helpful. Plus, they’re coming up with new ways to instantly watch their movies all the time.

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How to Choose the Right Funds For Your 401K

By David Bakke

the right funds for my 401KIf you are not already participating in an employer-based 401K program, you should really consider doing so. It is one of the best savings/investment vehicles out there, because it invests your money before taxes are taken out. Briefly, if you are in a 401K, you choose to have a percentage of each paycheck taken out that you do not pay taxes on that is then invested in funds chosen by you (but you ARE taxed upon taking the funds out). Many times, your employer will even “match” the funds in which you invest to a certain percentage.  We recommend that you invest in a Roth IRA if your employer doesn’t offer a match for your 401k, because we think it’s be better for you to be taxed now, instead of when you’re in retirement (especially if you’re fund has grown over your lifetime). But if your company has a great 401k plan with a match and you’re contributing to it, you need to have some quality knowledge when it comes to picking the right investment mix for your 401k. Here are some tips on choosing your investments:

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More Frugal Ways to Entertain The Kids This Summer

By David Bakke

cheap ways to entertain childrenSo school lets out for the summer and my family did what I’m sure a lot of families did…we went on vacation! Maybe it was to a touristy travel spot or maybe to visit friends and family, but we got out of town. The kids loved it and we loved the break and the relaxation.

Now What?

However, once we returned home a somewhat grim reality began to set in. How do you entertain the kids for the rest of the summer? Your vacation is what, one, maybe two weeks? Well, the long hot summer is usually about three months long. And, as I’m sure any parent can attest, children (especially smaller ones) are not the greatest at entertaining themselves.

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What Is Financial Triage and How Do You Perform It?

By David Bakke

financial triageAs I was doing a little research for this article that I’ve been wanting to write about, I never knew that the term “financial triage” was a real term and had an actual definition. I had always thought it was coined by people in the debt management field. I think it has something to do with hospital patients and their ability to pay their bills. Regardless, I‘d like to discuss with you my own version of financial triage, including when it should be performed and how to do it the right way.

What is it?

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TrustedID Review: A Proactive Identity Theft Solutions

By David Bakke

identity theft productI just finished reviewing the identity theft solutions product TrustedID. They offer practical identity theft solutions to protect individuals, families, and businesses. They also offer the industry’s most comprehensive protection regarding your personal information. What I immediately liked about TrustedID is the word “proactivity.” So many other sites out there that either claim to offer protection or claim to monitor your credit only do so in an “after the fact” sense. Meaning, they don’t do much about preventing identity theft, they can only help you once it’s already occurred. TrustedID offers more and that’s a big reason they are highly-touted and have received some great reviews. The website offers three basic products:

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