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.
Black Friday is just a week away, and Cyber Monday is 10 days away. I am a big fan of these iconic shopping days, not because people get whipped up in a frenzy and not because I love waiting in ridiculous long lines, but I truly believe that you can get some great deals if you are smart about it.
Have an iPhone? Here are some applications to help you get great deals!
Deal News App: This app is an iPhone friendly way to search the popular deal aggregator, DealNews.com, which is great at updating you on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
I currently have a 403b with about $20k in it. I am planning on leaving my job late April and was previously planning on moving the money somewhere else. However, I owe a family member $15k for a car they bought me almost 5 years ago. I did not pay them back yet because we have been working on paying off all of our other debts (which we have paid them all off!), and the family member was not charging me interest or asking for the money back. So this $15k (and our mortgage) is the only thing holding us back from being debt free. Would it be wise to consider pulling the money out of the 403b when I leave my job, paying the taxes, and then giving my family member the money to pay off the debt? Then I was thinking about opening a Roth IRA with any remaining money since I think we can get down to owing the family member $10k by the time I leave my job.
Black Friday isn’t for everyone, but for some of us, it’s the first fun event of the Christmas season. If you treat it like a family event or something fun to do with friends, you’ll have a much better time than treating it like a chore. The one thing I can’t stand about Black Friday is when I hear stories about people getting hurt trying to reach for the Nintendo Wii or whatever. This is absurd, people! It’s just stuff! Have some fun shopping, and if you score a great deal or a door buster, be happy, but don’t turn into a pack of wolves trying to get a door buster.
The past 14 months have been one of the hardest time period for Americans looking to find work. The recession will not be over until the unemployment rate stops rising and starts receding again. Our economy cannot flourish without people contributing to the workforce and making enough money to put it back into the economy. I came across this article on Career Builder the other day revealing 10 companies hiring for the holidays
Number of openings: 1000+
Seasonal positions available: Retail sales associates; store managers; and sales support
My wife and I just got back from a trip to Chicago. I surprised her for her birthday and took her to the Windy City for four days. We have a best friend that just moved there, so that was part of the reason for picking Chicago to visit. Visiting big cities can be really pricey, because hotels, eating out, and entertainment are usually very expensive. We didn’t go frugal on this trip, but there were certain things we did that helped us save some money during the trip.
You’ve heard me get on my soap box in the past about car payments and how they can soak up a lot of your monthly income. I really don’t like car payments, and I don’t think you need one to have a reliable car that serves your transportation purposes. As Americans, we’re obsessed with having nice, new cars. We have been taught from a young age that car payments are inevitable. You buy a car on credit, you pay the payment for five years, then you sell it. Follow that cycle, and you’ll actually never own a car outright. Here is an email that I received from a reader recently.
I listen to the Dave Ramsey Radio Show every once in a while on my way home from work, and one of the most common topics I hear from callers is the question about bankruptcy. So many people call in for advice about whether or not they should file for bankruptcy. Ramsey, having gone through a very messy bankruptcy himself 20 years ago, almost always talks people out of filing for bankruptcy. There are some cases where bankruptcy is the only option, but after listening to his show for a while now, I’ve realized that bankruptcy doesn’t need to be the first option for someone in serious financial trouble.
Welcome to the 228th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance! This week’s theme is Halloween, even though I think Halloween is a big waste of time and money! I’ll try not to be the Scrooge of Halloween, because I know it’s fun for kids, it gives us something to do before Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there have been some great scary movies spawn from the Halloween “holiday”. I have included a couple of scary images, so if you don’t like those, then I apologize in advance! So, does your bank account scare you? Does budgeting give you the creeps? Is your credit report haunted with collection ghosts? If so, use this collection of spook-tacular articles to help you improve your financial situation.
I’ll admit that Halloween is not my favorite holiday, and it’s not because I’m some overzealous Christian who thinks it’s the “Devil’s Holiday”. I am a man of faith, but Halloween ticks me off more from a financial perspective. Along with Valentine’s Day, it has become one of the most commercialized non-holidays that have no meaning. I understand that the kids have a good time with it, and it’s fun for them, but when you take a step back and really look at Halloween, it really is pointless to spend a bunch of money on it. With Halloween parties, costumes for the kids, house decorations, and all of the crap that schools make you buy for arts and crafts time, Halloween can get really expensive.
A reader sent this question to us about a water damage claim she is dealing with that occurred in her home. I was a claims adjuster for three years, and I definitely know that adjusters and insurance companies love to pay the least amount possible for a claim, and they try to get away with as much as possible, hoping that the homeowner won’t push back or question their decisions. It’s the job of the insurance company and the claims adjuster to “indemnify” you, which means they have the responsibility to put you and your home back to its original condition. Here is the question from the reader:
CNN has come out with their 2009 list of best jobs in America. Jobs and career opportunities are at a premium in this economic recession, and the unemployment rate is 10% across the United States. It’s even higher than that in some parts of the country. Young people are getting hit the hardest, and they are being forced to take jobs that they don’t want. Many young people sail through college without direction, and they choose majors and career paths with no potential. This list will help you get some ideas of jobs and careers with high potential for future growth. Here are the top ten jobs:
If you are like me. then you don’t spend much money during the week. You’re too busy MAKING money to have time spending any money. But the weekend is my financial weakness. I eat out more and I spend money on crap that I don’t need. I am s\ure that I am not the only one that is guilty of this, because it’s natural spend more money on the weekend when you aren’t working and you want to relax and have fun. However, if you have financial goals like getting out of debt, saving for retirement, or saving for large purchases like a house or a car, your weekend binge spending is probably hindering those goals. Here are a few ways to curb your weekend spending.
Our culture is really weird when it comes to money. We base our financial status on how much stuff we have, rather than how much money we actually have. Banks have brainwashed us into actually evaluating a purchase based on how much the payment is, rather than how much the product really is. When is the last time you heard a car commercial that told you how much the car was? It’s not very often. They often say something like this, “You can sign and drive this great car and pay only $299 a month!”. We have it all backwards about what it means to be wealthy, and that is why you run into so many people that are broke. So, if you want to stay broke forever, follow this step-by-step process.
Dave Ramsey has a saying called the “powdered butt” syndrome, which means that your parents have a hard time taking advice from you, especially financial advice, because they were once powdering your butt as a baby. Some parents have a hard time taking criticism or advice from their children, because they don’t want to think that their kids have more wisdom or knowledge than them. Some of you have parents who were great at teaching you how to handle money, and their finances are in great shape. But, the rest of you have parents that have no concept of managing money. They have no retirement saved, and you find yourself wondering what will happen to them when they are unable to work. Move in with you? Wow, that’s a scary thought. So, what can you do to overcome the “powdered butt” syndrome?
Quizno’s isn’t my favorite sub place. That award goes to Firehouse subs. But, Quizno’s does have some very good subs that I crave from time to time like the chicken carbonara and the peppercorn prime rib sub. I try to use coupons as often as possible, but sometimes you just forget to use them. But for some reason, my wife and I tend to use more coupons for sub shops like Subway, Quizno’s, and Firehouse. Here are two coupons for you
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