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Have You Received Your Stimulus Refund Payment Yet?

By Erik Folgate

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I thought it’d be fun to hear from people who have received their stimulus payment so far. I haven’t received my payment yet, but according to the payment chart, it should be sent to my bank account next Friday, May 9th. However, it could be earlier than that since they started sending the stimulus refunds this past Monday.

So, if you were one of the few to receive it first, post a comment below that you received it and how you plan on spending/saving it.

Eating Healthy For Cheap At Chick-fil-A

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I are very similar, but we definitely have our differences. She doesn’t care for Chick-fil-A, but I love it. I love all of their stuff, and their management is great in my area. Every Chick-Fil-A in the Jacksonville area is very clean, has great service, and the food is very fresh.

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Update On My UpDown.Com Investments

By Erik Folgate

I wrote a review/post a few weeks ago about UpDown.com, the virtual stock applicaton. This isn’t the first virtual stock application to hit the web, but its unique in that you can earn real money by beating the S&P 500 on a monthly basis and writing quality stock analysis. So, I thought that I would update you with the progress from March 30th to April 29th.

My Overall Performance:

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  • My return since start: 2.79%
  • My annualized return: 40.73%
  • S&P 500 return since I started: 5.68%

Economic Stimulus Payments To Be Sent Out a Week Early

By Erik Folgate

The IRS has announced that they will now be sending out economic stimulus payments starting this Monday, April 28th. The first direct deposits were originally going to be made May 2nd, but I guess the government got antsy to start “stimulating the economy”. Again, I am skeptical that this will actually stimulate the economy the way the government thinks it will. It brings the assumption that everyone will go out and blow the money on goods and services that they probably don’t need. But, I suspect that many responsible people will use it to pay off debts, get current on their mortgage, or save it in their emergency fund.

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Cash In Your Old Dental Work

By Erik Folgate

Here’s a sick way to make some extra cash if you have old dental fillings laying around. ABC News has an article about people who actually saved their old gold fillings and bridges. Now, they’re cashing them in because of the recent record prices of gold.

A typical gold crown uses about 1/10 of 16 karat gold, which can bring in about $50 per crown. I never thought about this, but I’ve also never thought about keeping my old crowns. Who do you sell it to? Some coin dealers will buy it from you and resell it to a coin smelter (someone who melts the gold and reuses it.

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Investing Tip: Invest in Boring Companies When the Market is Down

By Erik Folgate

Everyone keeps talking about how we’re going to start reducing our gasoline consumption because of the high gas prices. I disagree with this premise. I don’t think we’re going to reduce our consumption much, because we still need to bring our kids to soccer practice, drive to work, and run errands. You can dream about people going to the grocery store on their bike, but it’s not going to happen. What will suffer is luxury items and services.

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Ten Inexpensive Ways To Be Green on Earth Day

By Erik Folgate

So, I decided to do the obligatory environmentally conscious article for earth day. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t jumped on the “going green” bandwagon. It’s not that I don’t like the environment, I am just skeptical about the hysteria that everyone thinks our planet is going melt soon. Having said that, whether your a tree hugger or not, there are many financial advantages to being more environmentally friendly. Most of it has to do with conserving energy. The less energy that you consume, the more money you’ll save over a lifetime.

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Question From Money Crashers Reader: What Should I Pay Off First?

By Erik Folgate

Here is a question from a Money Crashers reader. She is in a great situation, because she has a nice lump sum of money, but she doesn’t know what to do with it.

My home is worth about $375000 and I owe $62000 on it. My credit card debt is $21000 ($11000 at 3.99% for life of loan and $10000 at 10% until 11/08) and school loans of $10000. I am recently widowed and am struggling month to month with my bills. I have a lump sum of $80000. Should I pay off the credit cards and school loans which would decrease monthly payments by about $700? Thank you.

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Five Frugal Tips for Kitchen Remodeling

By Erik Folgate


We recently renovated a condo on a very tight budget. I started watching all of the HGTV shows to get ideas for ways to make the kitchen look good without spending a lot of money. I didn’t end up using many of the tips that I wrote down from asking friends, watching those TV shows, and reading books, but I thought that I would share them with you. Your kitchen is the most important room in your house. Selling your house hinges on the look and functionality of your kitchen. So, it’s in your best interest to start thinking about updating your kitchen if you ever think about selling the house or increasing its overall value.

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Are Smart People Bad With Money?

By Erik Folgate

A new study shows that people with high IQ’s tend to make more money, but they also spend their money more quickly and frivolously than those with lower IQ’s. Jay Zagorsky from Ohio State University looked at data from 7,400 Americans in their forties. It shows that every IQ point scored translated into about $200 to $600 a year. However, it showed that those with a low to average IQ accumulated more wealth over their lifetime, because they spent less and they lived a more simple life.

Zagorsky said this: “Those with low intelligence shouldn’t believe they are handicapped by it”.

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Last Minute Checklist For Filing Your Taxes

By Erik Folgate

So, you’re pulling an all-nighter to get your taxes done? The worst thing you can do is make a mistake that you don’t catch. Your cramming efforts will be washed away with one mistake. Here are some things to remember if you’re one of those procrastinators rushing to get your taxes filed by the end of tomorrow.

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  1. Be sure to fill in your social securiity number. The IRS only identifies you by your SSN.
  2. Sign and date your return. Make sure both you and your spouse sign it if you file jointly.

Help Me Take Down Paypal by Signing Up For Revolution Money Exchange

By Erik Folgate

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I hate Paypal. I think it’s the one of the most poorly run businesses on the planet, because they give no protection to the seller from credit card charge backs. A buyer could initiate a charge back on their credit card, and all they have to do is show a tracking number that they sent ANYTHING to the seller, and that the seller accepted the package. This is a huge scam that Paypal has never tried to fix from occurring, and their customer service is horrible. There are thousands of complaints out there from buyers as well, and then tack on the fact that their transaction fees are astronomical.

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An Easy Way to Save Money: Ask For a Discount

By Erik Folgate

I’m watching 20/20 right now on ABC, and they just had a segment about how to save a bunch of money while shopping. The formula was simple. Walk into the store, show interest in buying the item, and ask for a discount.

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Do We Always Need The Government Fixing The Economy?

By Erik Folgate

Fed Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, made a statement today in Richmond that struck me the wrong way. He said:

“We do not have the luxury of waiting for markets to stabilize before we think about the future,”

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Earn Extra Cash With a Craigslist Garage Sale

By Erik Folgate

It’s the spring and the weather is slowly getting warmer. I’m kind of the atypical guy when it comes to being clean. Generally, I like to keep the house clean, and I am a minimalist when it comes to stuff in the house. I don’t like hoarding things. So, my wife and I will go through little cleaning binges every six months or so we start selling stuff to get it out of the house.

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