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Share Your Black Friday Experience

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I were a part of the Black Friday mayhem, but it may be our last experience with it. I’ll give you a brief rundown of our morning…

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The Importance of Getting A Home Inspection When Buying a Home

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I bought our first condo about 16 months ago. We also sold it about it 4 months ago. One big mistake that we made when going through our first purchase was that we did not get a professional home inspection. We only had one major surprise, and that was the air conditioner. The real estate agent told us it was replaced in 2002. Yeah, I think they meant 1902. That A/C handler was as old as the hills, and we had to make multiple small repairs on it, but luckily it didn’t crap out on us entirely. It sounds like a no-brainger to get an inspection, but I’ve heard many people say that they skipped out on it. Unless it’s brand new construction, my recommendation is to always order the inspection, because the fear of the hidden and unknown can prove to be disasterous to your financial health.

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Ten Ways To Stay Out of Debt This Holiday Season

By Erik Folgate

Have you made it your goal to stay out of debt this holiday season, or are you already calling your credit card companies to raise your credit limit? My advice is to pay for everything with cash this holiday season. You won’t regret your spending come January and February, and you won’t pay for the items three times over by carrying a credit card balance on them. It’s one thing if you charge $1,000 on your credit card, but you make $6,000 or $7,000 a month. But if you make $4,000 a month, then you’ll probably be carrying that credit card balance for quite a few months. But, let’s stop thinking about the numbers, and start thinking about what debt does to your life. It adds more stress to your life, more risk, and it takes some of the fun out of owning something when it’s financed. So, don’t suck all of the fun out of Christmas, and pay cash for your gifts! Here are ten ways that you can stay out of debt this Christmas and still finish your shopping list.

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The Best Personal Finance Books That You Need to Read

By Erik Folgate

I looked over the article from Kiplinger’s about the Five Best Money Books for Young People. I was pleasantly surprised to see five very quality books. I have not read all of them, but I have heard good things about the ones I haven’t read. You should definitely read, “Debt free by 30″ and “Saving For Retirement (Living Like a Pauper or Winning the Lottery)”.

I am big propronent of becoming well-read about something that you want to become a bigger part of your life. If you have decided to make better personal finance habits a part of your life, then I strongly believe that you need to start reading more about it.

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Marriage and Money: What to Do When You and Your Spouse Have Different Risk Tolerances

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I are a perfect example of spouses with VERY different tolerances for risk. I am definitely more of a risk taker when it comes to investing money and Lindzee is definitely more conservative when it comes to money. I like the idea of flipping a house to make a quick profit, while she would rather put her money in a money-market account. However, Lindzee does not try to act like she knows more about investing and what levels of risk to take with our money. In most cases, we balance each other out. She helps prevent me from doing deals that will bankrupt us, while I help prevent her from allowing our money to rot from inflation and taxes. But, some of you might be in a situation where your spouse is stubborn about how to invest your money. Particularly, you might both have 401(k) or Roth IRA accounts for retirement. Just because the account is “your” account that takes money from “your” paycheck, it’s still both of your money. Which means that you should both be making decisions about that money together.

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Don’t Eat Your iPod Ear Phones Or You Might Die. Has CNN Gone Insane?

By Erik Folgate

I heard Rush Limbaugh talking about CNN reporting about a study that iPod earbuds are toxic to eat. I’ll just go ahead and say what you’re thinking. Who the hell eats their earphones? If you do, you won’t need to worry about them being harmful to your body, you need to worry about what’s going on in your head. I couldn’t find this story on the internet, so if anyone else heard about this story, please fill me in or tell me where I can read more about it.

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Don’t Let Your Fears Stand In the Way Of Investing

By Erik Folgate

Sunday morning, I was out getting the newspaper at the newspaper stand. I put in my 6 quarters, and I pulled the lever, and I did what I always do when I’m about to pick up a newspaper from the rack. I paused for a second, and then I lifted up two of the papers so that I could pick up the paper on the bottom. The moment that I was doing this, a guy was walking his dog past me, and he yelled out,

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Build Wealth To Give Back To Others

By Erik Folgate

As a Christian, I am very familiar with the Christian scene. Many times, Christians take scripture, and they interpret it based on what it means to them. They forget to look at the context from which it was written, who was writing it, and for what reason it was being written. The verse that states, “the poor will inherit the kingdom of heaven”, is a verse which is often misinterpreted. Never in the Bible does it say that being wealth is a sin. When Jesus is speaking to the masses, he is intending to warn those that love money. If you are obsessed with money, possessions, and the pursuit of becoming even more rich, you will have a harder time accepting what Jesus teaches, because you will have all of your needs met. You’ll have a great house, plenty of food, plenty of attention, and tons of toys to distract you from what is most important in life.

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A Real Life Story About Earning A MacBook Pro For $400 Bucks

By Erik Folgate

I asked my best friend, Timmy, to write about his experience with one of those “get a free laptop” sites that require you to complete promotional offers from the most obscure companies on the planet. Many of you are probably weary if they will ACTUALLY send you the free gift that they boast, and it may hinder you from trying it out. After hearing about his story, I was convinced. I finally knew someone personally that had done it, and received the gift. You can definitely get screwed over if you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s why I asked him to explain the process of how he earned a $2,000 laptop for $400 bucks!

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Questions To Ask When Setting Up A Small Business

By Erik Folgate

You want to start up a small business, but you don’t know where to start. Join the club with the millions of other Americans who start up small businesses, but don’t set them up properly. Too many people are incorporating when they don’t need to, or vice versa. Here are three major questions you need to ask yourself when starting up a small business.

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Are Credit Cards the Next To Fall After the Mortgage Subprime Crisis?

By Erik Folgate

I read an article on Yahoo Finance today about the possibility of credit cards becoming the next debt product to crumble at the feet of large, private banking institutions.

An excerpt from the article:

The doomsday scenario would play out something like this: Just like CDOs and other asset-backed securities, credit card debt is sliced, diced, and sold off again as packages of securities. Rising delinquencies would hurt not only the banks involved but the securities backed by the credit card receivables. Those securities would decline in value as consumers defaulted, leading to bank losses as well as portfolio losses in the hedge funds, institutions, and pensions that own the securities. If the damage is widespread enough, it could wreak havoc on the economy as much as the subprime crisis has done.

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Marriage and Money: Taking Leadership Of Your Money

By Erik Folgate

If you’ve read any of my other articles about marriage and money, then you know I am a huge proponent for spouses working as a team when managing money. However, I also recognize that spouses tend to have different personalities, different passions, and different things that motivate them.

One of the big questions when it comes to personal finance and relationships is: “How do I get my spouse on board to becoming debt free or saving more of our income?”

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Don’t Get Wrapped Up In Commercialized Holidays

By Erik Folgate

As you know, it’s Halloween today, and after seeing the sweet looking Google banner, I felt inclined to write something about Halloween. I’m only 26, so my younger years are still well remembered. Halloween was always a pretty fun time in elementary school and middle school. It was the only time where my parents would let me rot my teeth out eating candy and walk around the neighborhood after dark. Kids love this holiday and parents love carving pumpkins with their kids and seeing all of the cute kids in their costumes. But, there’s also those punky, jerky 13 year olds that ask for candy and then egg your house two hours later. Halloween has become an American tradition.

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Responses To My Question “Why Are You Still Paying For A Land Line?”

By Erik Folgate

I recently asked the question, “Why are you still paying for a land line?” I’ve had several great responses justifying why you still use a land line. Here they are:

It is required for DSL. By having the bare minimum phone service, I have DSL + phone for less than then cost of a cable modem service. Once I can get naked DSL, it will be gone.

This a good point. Although, I think that Bellsouth no longer requires you to have a land line to have DSL, but they’ll never advertise it, because they don’t want you canceling the land line. Whoever your provider is, you should call them up and see if you still need the land line to keep DSL.

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The Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs in America

By Erik Folgate

Business Week Online put together their list of top 25 young entrepreneurs in America.

Reading this article and looking at the types of businesses started by young twentysomethings will either inspire you or frustrate you. I think it does a little bit of both for me. On one hand, I say to myself, “If they can do it, I can do it”. And on the other hand, I say, “Dang, why didn’t I think of that?”. The reason I shared this list with you is to inspire you. Instead of us mourning over the fact that we didn’t think of such a great idea, we should read about these stories of young people starting businesses and use it as inspiration to start our own businesses. You know my philosophy about easily starting your own business. Treat yourself as a business. Focus on the talents and skills that you possess, and use it to build a business around yourself. No, you might not ever go public or have a house in the Hamptons, but you’ll be doing something fulfilling, and your income potential will be limitless.

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