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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 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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Three Simple Ways to Save on Medical Expenses

By David Bakke

how to save on medical expensesWhen it comes to medical expenses, you probably think that there aren’t too many ways that you can save money. Other than choosing the best and most efficient health care program for you and your family, what can you really do? Well, I recently had a few unexpected trips to the doctor’s office and I came up with three simple ways that one can save on medical expenses. Personally, I do one of these very well and two of them I don’t do well at all. The ones that I don’t do well have cost me significant amounts of money in the recent past.

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How To Find Cheap Entertainment On Vacation

By David Bakke

save money on vacationSo you’re about to go on your summer vacation and you’ve decided to visit a tourist destination that you’ve never been to before. You want to have a good time but you also don’t want to have to break the bank to do it. So the question is: How do you find cheap entertainment while visiting somewhere you’ve never been before? It’s a safe bet that all of the “mainstream” attractions are going to be expensive. So, rather than blowing all your money on all of these things, why not mix in a little budget entertainment?

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Coupon Cactus Review – Online Deals & Coupons with Cash Back Shopping

By David Bakke

online coupon site reviewsI recently had the pleasure of reviewing the coupon/deals site CouponCactus.com. They offer coupons to over 3,700 stores, helping you save money every time you shop online. Additionally, they have a cash back feature which allows you to get additional savings back in cash for all purchases made through their site.

Before I begin, I just want to say that I am no stranger to online shopping. In another business endeavor of mine, I do a great deal of online shopping. There are a wealth of so-called “coupon sites” out there. I am here to tell you that Coupon Cactus seems to be head and shoulders above the rest.

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How To De-Clutter Your Financial House

By David Bakke

simplify your financesThe word “de-clutter” is all over the place. I’m not even sure it was a word until recently. “De-clutter” your house. Get rid of all your junk. “De-clutter” your life. Live more simply. And the beat goes on. Then I began to think. What if that concept were applied to our “financial house”? Isn’t it just as important to get rid of all your financial “crap” as well? The more bank accounts, credit cards, and bills you have, the more complicated your finances get, and you begin to lose track of it all. Once you do this, you’ll start finding yourself missing payments, paying late charges, paying for interest on credit cards, and getting frustrated VERY quickly.

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Car Driving Tips (From The Five Minute Money Manager)

By David Bakke

cost of unsafe drivingIn a continuing series, what I am trying to do with the Five Minute Money Manager is to show you ways that you can impact your personal economy by taking up very little time. Most can be done in five minutes or less. A great deal of them involve changing our behaviors, and a behavior that is very near and dear to a lot of us is…driving aggressively.

Who, Me?

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How To Consolidate Your Student Loans

By David Bakke

When it comes to student loans, the landscape has certainly changed. Lenders who used to be major players in the game have disappeared, and the rules governing consolidation aren’t the same anymore. Is consolidation right for you? The answer may not be as easy as it seems, but hopefully we can help you navigate those waters. The average student loan debt in this country is right around $23,000, and only about 19% of 2009 college graduates are employed at their time of graduation.

What Does Student Loan Consolidation Mean?

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Equifax Review – Credit Monitoring and Identity Protection From A Name You Can Trust

By David Bakke

Recently, I took a good hard look at the website Equifax, which is devoted to products regarding monitoring your credit and protecting your identity. The site has some built-in credibility to it as it is one of the three main credit reporting companies, along with TransUnion and Experian. This means a lot in my opinion, because the number of websites and companies out there in this field are numerous, and some are much more trustworthy than others.

What They Offer

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