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Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

The Saving Deficit in America

By Erik Folgate

USA Today reported that in the month of January the average household spent $575.00 OVER their budget.  This means that they spent way more money than they had coming in.  Not only is America increasingly spending more money, they are saving less.  Spending is only healthy for an economy when they are saving money at the same time.  The article revealed that many economists are not worried about the spending deficit.  I think they are idiots.  Just because they are economists does not mean that they don’t go out and buy a 50″ plasma television on the 29% Best Buy credit card.  When the average household is spending hundreds of dollars over budget every month, that worries me. 

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Our Country is in Love With Debt

By Erik Folgate

  • BusinessWeek says that total household debt in the US was more than 100% of our disposable annual income last year. Now that is scary.
  • The total consumer debt is at 1.7 trillion dollars. (You can visualize a trillion dollars as a stack of $1000 bills placed one on top of the other, flat side on top of flat side, reaching 67 miles high.)
  • The personal credit card debt carried by the average American is $8,562 and the total interest paid in 2001 was $50 billion…. an average of $1000 in interest per consumer. The average consumer caries 8 cards and 20% of cards are maxed out.

Watch Out For the Young Indian Generation

By Erik Folgate

This morning, Good Morning America ran an interesting segment about the ferociousness of the young Indian generations (35 and under) that are passionate towards education and entrepreneurship.  It is now common for young Indians to be well versed in English, technology, and business practices.  With these three skills combined, it poses a great threat to young Americans whom they will be competing with for jobs in the near future. 

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Advantages of Low-Cost Mutual Funds

By Erik Folgate

Kirby On Finance writes a great article about the advantages of low-cost mutual funds versus high-cost funds.  It is always good to see the numbers sometimes.  Plus, this just furthers my belief that mutual funds are the BEST investment tool for the average joe investor.

An Interview with Ben Casnocha, Teenage Entrepreneur

By Erik Folgate

After reading the USA Today article about Ben Casnocha, I was intrigued to read about a man whom started a software company at such a young age.  I found myself reading his personal blog every day.  If you read the posts that Ben writes, you will soon find out that he is wise beyond his years, and he has a passion for knowledge and understanding the complicated issues of our society.  The most refreshing part about Ben is his humble attitude that oozes out of everything he writes.  I introduced myself to Ben through e-mail about a month ago, and recently I asked him to answer some interview questions for this website.  He was kind enough to do so.  Here is the full interview. 

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Debt Consolidation: Is It Right For You?

By Erik Folgate

With millions of Americans taking on debt that they cannot handle, numerous non-profit debt consolidation and credit counseling companies have popped up all across the country.  Many people think that consolidating debt is a magical way to reduce payments and interest rates, but it comes with implications.  You need to know the truth about debt consolidation before you make the decision to hand over your finances to a stranger

Relieving, not Curing

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Paying Off Debt Will Increase Your Net Worth

By Erik Folgate

In my opinion, personal finance is 80% about the behavior and 20% about the numbers.  However, this is one example of how looking at the numbers can cause a behavioral change.  Everyone wants to increase their net worth, and many people try to come up with a 101 get rich quick schemes to boost their net worth.  I am going to show you a 100% guaranteed method for increasing your net worth!  There is NO start-up fee, and I do not run info-mercials at 4am on sunday morning.

Calculating Net Worth:  Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth

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Five Businuesses To Start With $200

By Erik Folgate

Professional Consulting

Are you an expert at something?  You may be able to start a professional consulting business by giving your expert advice.  Some examples of successful consulting firms are business, financial, computer, advertising, and tax consulting.  This is a service industry so start-up costs can be very low.  There is no inventory and if you already have a computer and basic office software, then all you need is a budget for advertising and a web presence

$100 for web domain and web hosting package

$100 for printed business cards, brochures, and direct mailers

Computer Repair

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The Entrepreneur Inside of You

By Erik Folgate

The entrepreneurial spirit lives inside all of us.  You may not have found it yet, but it is there.  I am confident about this statement, because the great country of the United States was founded upon the principles of freedom, democracy, and entrepreneurship.  Most of you work for someone else, but you can still be an entrepreneur!

Answer these Questions:

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  1. Have you ever daydreamed about being your own boss?
  2. Have you ever provided a service and collected a fee for it?
  3. Have you ever held a garage sale?
  4. Have you ever sold something on Ebay?

Money Crasher’s Quick Guide to Insurance

By Erik Folgate

This blog is geared primarily toward twentysomethings, so my insurance recommendations will be answered based on the assumption that you are a college student, recent graduate, or similar young adult.

Car Insurance

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Give Yourself the Chance to Give

By Erik Folgate

The reason that I am so passionate about being financially wise about money is not so that I can hold onto all of it until the day that I die.  Someone who does that is foolish.  A wise, sensible person will do three things with money according to Dave Ramsey, “Save it, Have Fun with it, and Give it”. 

We have no problems at ALL having fun with money, we have a decent problem with saving money, but we have a HUGE problem with giving money.  And this is not because people are greedy.  In fact, most people are not greedy.  The problem is that they do not set themselves up to be in a position to give.

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The Millionaire Next Door

By Erik Folgate

There are quite a few critcs of this book, but I think that you need to understand the overall message of this book, regardless of the validity of the research done.  Read my review of this book that was posted on my personal website. 

College: A big decision

By Erik Folgate

Going to college is a big step in a young person’s life.  For the first time, that young person goes off on his or her own to conquer life without mom and dad standing over his or her shoulder.  The problem is that too many college bound seniors in high school are ill prepared to manage their money while in college.  Some college students are still fully supported by their parent while going through college which delays the realities of managing money even further.

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25 Reasons Not to Save For Retirement

By Erik Folgate

Here is a humorous list of reasons why you should NOT save for retirement.  The sad thing is that I bet there are people out there who actually use these excuses.

401k vs. Roth IRA’s

By Erik Folgate

It is never too early to be thinking about retirement.  Obviously, if you start early, then the earlier you can retire and the more money you will have working for you.  There are a number of ways to save for retirement, but the two most advantageous from a tax stand point are the company sponsored 401k and the government sponsored Roth IRA.  So which is better?  It depends…

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