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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.

Getting Financially Fit in 2010: Save For Retirement and Large Purchases

By Erik Folgate


Have you ever lost a decent amount of weight and then found yourself back at the same weight a year or two later? The reason for that is you work so hard at working out consistently and changing your diet to meet your goal of losing weight, but after you reach your goal, you slowly slip back into your old ways and soon find yourself back at the same weight you started with. When getting financially fit, many people are able to reach their goal of getting out of debt, but then they find themselves slowly slipping back into debt and not increasing their net worth.

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Personal Finance Round-Up Giveaway Bash Style

By Money Crashers

5 days down, and 21 more to go for our New Year Giveaway Bash! We’ve had a huge response so far, and we appreciate your participation! We’ve been around for a while, but we haven’t done a great job at getting our name out there and giving back to our faithful readers, so this is our way of saying THANKS and Money Crashers is going full steam ahead in 2010!

Here are some of the best personal finance articles from the blogging community:

Wisebread shows you how to make your entire home paperless

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Will The Google Nexus One Change The Way We Buy Cell Phones?

By Erik Folgate


Ever since cell phones became popular and now to the point that you look at someone like they are an alien if they don’t have a cell phone, they have been sold exclusively with cell phone service providers. It was a marketing strategy that gave cell phone carriers an incentive to force customers into signing up for 1 or 2 year contracts. The cell phone is like a printer. The printer manufacturer doesn’t give a crap about the sale of the printer, they want to hook you onto buying ink from them for the rest of your life. So, you could buy the cell phone for really cheap or even free with a contract or if you didn’t want a contract, the phone would still be locked for that specific carrier and you paid a crap load of money for it.

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5 Financial Moves To Make In The Beginning Of The Year

By Erik Folgate

The new year is full of promise and optimism by many of us. I always chuckle when I go to the gym in early January, and I notice that about three times the amount of people are working out than in December. Then by February, the numbers drop again. We tend to focus more on losing weight early in the year, but there are other aspects of your life you should think about early in the year as well. To get ready for tax time and get your finances off to a good start, consider these 5 moves to make to better your finances for 2010.

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Get Financially Fit in 2010: Trim Away Your Debt

By Erik Folgate


The two most popular New Year’s resolutions are losing weight and getting out of debt. Money Crashers wants your physical life and your financial life to be as fit as possible, so the next five articles will be a series to help you get rid of your financial gut. Step 0 to becoming financially fit is to seriously work on becoming better physically fit. You’d be so surprised at how much your financial, relational, professional, and spiritual life can suffer if you’re not in good physical shape. If your body doesn’t feel good, the rest of your life will suffer as well!

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Best Year-End Tax Preparation Tips From Personal Finance Community

By Erik Folgate

I was about to write a post on year-end tax preparation tips, but then I saw that so many other PF bloggers had beat me to it, so I figured that instead of spewing out the same stuff as them, I would highlight some of the best tips from other bloggers.

From Bible Money Matters, he has 10 tax credits and deductions to consider:

Increase your retirement account contributions: Max out the contributions to your 401k, 403(b) or IRA to lower your taxable income. With an IRA you can contribute up to$5,000, $6,000 if you are 50 or older. For a 401k or 403(b) the contribution limit is $16,500 , or 22,000 if you’re 50 or older.

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Adopt a Family Pet Dog or Cat and Save Money with this Personalized, Unique Gift

By Erik Folgate

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Almost 4 and a half years ago, we rescued that cute dog on the left from getting euthanized. Her mom had 8 puppies, and the Gainesville Pet Rescue adopted all of the puppies and the mother. We paid a total of $75 for the adoption fee, and she had already been fixed and had up-to-date shots. Since my wife and I didn’t have kids immediately after getting married, we were glad to get a dog with a ton of energy and a lot of love. I am not some kind of crazy PETA member, but it bugs the hell out of me when I hear that people pay thousands of dollars on pure breed dogs and cats, when there are SO many great dogs and cats in animal shelters waiting to be adopted. Here are a few reasons why you should adopt a pet instead of going to a breeder or pet mill.

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5 Last Minute Christmas Gifts That Don’t Suck

By Erik Folgate

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There’s only 7 days left for Christmas shopping, and if you’re like me, you haven’t finished your shopping yet. Who has the time to shop? The one thing that I don’t like about online retailers is that you never know if you’ll get the item before Christmas, so shopping online for Christmas has to be done in November or it’s a waste of time. Fortunately, Money Crashers is here to bail you out. There are some great gifts that you can pull together at the last minute that don’t suck. I hate giving bad gifts. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. I’d rather not give at all, rather than give something that someone won’t want or need. So, here are my top 5 choices if time is not on your side.

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Analyzing the 75/25 Method As A Debt Reduction Plan

By Erik Folgate

Tonight, I participated in a personal finance chat on Twitter with the hashtag #bp, which stands for Budget Pulse, which is the company that hosts the chat at 7pm on Wednesday nights. This was only its second week, and there were dozens of participants, so you should definitely join next week!

To follow the conversation, follow the hashtag #bp on a website such as Twitter Search, Tweet Chat, or Twubs.

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Win $500 In The Credit Card Chaser Love/Hate Credit Cards Contest

By Money Crashers

Still need some extra cash for holiday gifts? Are you running out of cash and thinking of turning to credit cards? Well, CreditCardChaser.com wants to give you $500 in the form of an American Express gift card. The contest is easy. Tell them what you LOVE about a particular credit card and tell them what you HATE about a particular credit card. But you don’t have much time, the contest ends at 12pm tomorrow! So, get your creative juices flowing and submit your answers!

Here are the rules:

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Research Your Spending Habits To Create New Financial Goals

By Erik Folgate

The end of the year is here, and if you can find time in between last-minute shopping and spiked eggnog, then take an hour or so to reflect back on how you spent your money this past year. Creating yearly financial goals is a great habit to form when building a healthy financial future. Even if you don’t reach all of your goals, if you set them too high, or set them too low, they serve as a motivational tool throughout the year to strive toward something. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to making financial goals, start with what you spend and how much you spend on it.

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Lessons Learned From an Entrepreneur, Harris Rosen

By Erik Folgate

Today I was in a conference for green lodging and hospitality, and it was hosted at the Rosen Centre Hotel, a prestigious and luxurious hotel and convention center in Orlando, Florida. Harris Rosen, the founder and owner of the Rosen hotel chain, gave an introduction to the conference and instead of boasting about how green his hotels are or spitting out numbers about his hotel, he told his story about how and why he became an entrepreneur. He is the type of older man that speaks softly but captures you the moment he starts speaking. You just know that everything that comes out of his mouth is words of wisdom. Here are a few things he said that really stuck out to me.

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The Best Ways To Save Money On Christmas Decorations

By Erik Folgate

clark
Millions of people are dreading the time it takes to decorate their houses for the holidays. But if you don’t do it now, you’ll never do it, and you know how much the kids love it. You know the feeling of when you take a step back like Clark Griswald and look at your decorating masterpiece. So that’s why we do it. We decorate our houses for a lot of reasons, and we spend a lot of money to do it. As a Money Crasher, you shouldn’t be taking our a second mortgage to fund your Christmas decoration addiction, so we will share with you the best ways to save money on Christmas decorations.

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An Interview With Craig Kessler from BudgetPulse.com

By Erik Folgate

budget pulse
Personal finance applications and budgeting tools have become extremely popular over the past two years, with Mint.com being one of the largest players out of the group, but there are other alternative applications out there that offer a variety of different features that you may be interested. BudgetPulse.com is one of those budgeting applications that separates itself from its competition by offering features such as very high security for your personal information and a way to organize accounts for accepting donations. As many of you know, I have dedicated a few posts to Mint.com, and it’s the budgeting application that I currently use, but I have been tinkering with Budget Pulse lately, and it may cause me to switch allegiances.

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7 Tips For Saving Money This Thanksgiving Holiday

By Erik Folgate

charlie
I know what you’re all thinking, “It’s the holidays, we’re going to spend a lot of money and there’s nothing we can do about it”. It’s simply not true. You don’t need to break the bank to have a fun Thanksgiving. I love holidays, but they are so over-commercialized. We are programmed to think that we must spend a ton of money on the holidays, because the retail industry has brainwashed us into it. I’m not a bah, hum-bug, I promise. I just like to be practical, and I know man you do, too. Here’s my list of ways to save some cash for Christmas this Thanksgiving holiday.

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