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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 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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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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When is The Right Time To Learn About Health Insurance?

By David Bakke

what you need to know about health insuranceNumerous times in the recent past, I have come to learn things about my employer-based health insurance policy that I wish I would have known before. I recently found out the hard way that the deductibles on my policy are tracked separately for each covered member, that my prescription drug plan leaves a lot to be desired, and that there are a lot of procedures that are not covered that I assumed would have been. Put simply, I have recently been hit with a lot of sobering news about the health plan that I signed up for. After calming down a bit, and after getting over feeling like an idiot, I began to examine the problem.

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How To Feel Like You Take Free Vacations All Year

By David Bakke

free vacationsUp until a few years ago, vacations in my life were always a non-budgeted expense for me. Sometimes I had the money for them and sometimes I did not. I never made any plans for them and never saved up for any of them. I decided to change that in my life for a few reasons. And for the past few years, I have been able to take vacations seemingly without spending any money out of my wallet.

Everything Should Be Budgeted

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Could Your Finances Survive a BP Oil Spill?

By David Bakke

The oil currently gushing out of the Earth into the Gulf of Mexico is a tragedy of epic proportions. While I was watching the updates on television, I began to think if my finances and my family could survive such a catastrophe. What I mean by that is, If I died tomorrow, or were suddenly unable to work for an extended period of time, how would my wife and son be able to get along without my income? The thoughts were many and sobering to say the least. If I were not married and had a small son, I guess a lot of these points would be moot. But in my situation, I realized that there are a lot of things that I can do now, or look into now, that would make that time more tenable for my loved ones.

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The Only Skill You Need to Get Out of Debt

By David Bakke

eliminate debt quicklyBack when I was in debt, I was hopelessly in debt to the tune of about $30K. And I was unemployed and living with my parents. When the topic comes up in conversation now, the first thing that people ask me is “How did you do it?” For anyone who’s been there, obviously, the answer is complex. For me, it was a lot of things. But, at the end of the day, the question most people ask is: “What is the most important thing you need to do to get out of debt?”

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