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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.

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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Taking the Fear Out of Starting Your Own Business

By David Bakke

The term “start your own business” used to be one of the most intimidating concepts on the planet for me. The phrase “You can never get rich by working for someone else” has always been very appealing. I just had no idea how to do it and I was scared to death to even try. I thought it involved thousands of dollars in startup costs, making no money at first, and possibly losing everything I have. I feared failure, I feared the unknown, and I feared financial risk.

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How Frugal Is Too Frugal?

By David Bakke

frgual or cheapI have been living what you would call a “frugal” lifestyle for a little over a year now. I try to save wherever I can, whenever I can. But at some point in time you will have to draw a line. That is, a line that marks where frugality ends and where unethical behavior begins. You probably know what I’m talking about. You come across ways that could save you money, but may not necessarily be ethical or even legal. So where do you draw the line? Let’s define the line that I have drawn for myself. Because when it comes down to it, if you have no morals or ethics, you could probably save a lot more money than you are right now.

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Personal Finance Round-Up: Beat The Heat Without Breaking The Bank

By Money Crashers

ways to stay cool summerI don’t know what’s worse–getting my electric bill in the summer or my gas bill in the winter. The Simple Dollar has The Real Reason Your Summer Energy Bills Are So High. The cost of cooling my home just seems to skyrocket in the summer months. Find out some great and not-so-obvious tips on staying cool and still keeping your utility bill in check from The Simple Dollar. The Internet is filled with talented writers who are always coming up with great new topics for personal finance articles. As we do once a week, we’d like to share with you the best of what we’ve found out there in terms of great posts from our friends in the personal finance world:

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myFICO Review – Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Your Credit Score

By David Bakke

img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-6769″ alt=”review your credit score” src=”http://www.moneycrashers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/myFICO.png” width=”144″ height=”46″ />I was recently able to spend a good bit of time going through the myFICO site. Here you can get your most up to date FICO score for only $15.95. But the site offers much more than just your score. They have several other “tabs” on their home page that provide you with everything from a variety of products related to monitoring and protecting your FICO score to the latest in low interest credit cards.

FICO Score Defined

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When It Comes To Money, Don’t Act Like A Kid!

By David Bakke

I spend every possible spare minute that I can with my three year old son. And it never ceases to amaze me the amount of special treatment that he gets. Sure, it is probably standard treatment for all children, but he just always seems to get all the freebies and extras that life has to offer at his age. An extra scoop of ice cream for his ice cream cone, extra sprinkles on that cone, free stickers and suckers from the bank and the post office, balloons from the grocery store, and the list seems to go on forever. Sometimes after a day of errand running, you’d think it had been his birthday or something. So I began to compare his life of virtual bliss and excess to the stark reality of my financial life. Boy, what a difference there is. I soon came to the conclusion that regarding all things financial, you’re just not a kid anymore…

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5 Great Reasons To Start Your Own Business Now

By David Bakke

why start your business nowThe concept of starting your own business can be an intimidating one. The fear of failure, funding start up costs, and many other reasons probably come to mind why NOT to start one. Actually, there is also a long list of great reasons TO start one, and now could be the perfect time to do it. I currently work a regular job, and have two of my own businesses that I run on the side. My days are full, but I still have plenty of time for my friends and family. As one who put off the idea of starting my own business for far too long, I thought it might be helpful to outline for you some of the best reasons that I see why now is a great time for you to start your own business:

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CheapOair Review – Cheap Airfare, Car Rentals, and Hotels

By David Bakke

One thing that I have recently learned regarding online shopping for airfares, car rentals, and hotel reservations, is that no longer do the “heavy-hitters” always give you the best rates. There are a lot of newer, lesser-known sites that a lot of times will have better pricing. I just finished researching the online booking website CheapOair. In addition to airfares, they offer great travel information and rates on cars, cruises, hotels and packages. 

All the Same?

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Ways to Conserve Water (From The Five Minute Money Manager)

By David Bakke

how to save waterThis is the first installment of a continuing series on fast and easy ways to impact your personal economy. The process of getting out of debt can certainly be overwhelming depending on how far into debt you are. One very important thing that I learned is that taking “baby” steps is just as important as big money-saving changes in your life. What I found to be most helpful are the things that I can change in my daily routine that only take a few minutes. If you can come up with a variety of these, the savings will slowly add up.

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