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Congress To Vote Again On Economic Bail Out Plan

By Erik Folgate

I haven’t talked much about the economic bail out plan being rejected on Monday, because I feel like all I’ve been talking about on this website is the economy. There comes a point when we must think about our own personal finances and what is right for our families, rather than what the federal government is doing. The lack of care and consideration towards what goes on in our local governments is alarming. Having said that, this economic bail out plan has massive implications. Much of this is politically charged, and you would not have seen a $700 billion dollar bail out plan so quickly proposed by the White House if it weren’t an election year. Congress voted down the bill on Monday, and now they’re going to vote for a revised bill tomorrow, so the market is going to be turbulent the entire week until something gets passed.

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Banks Are Tightening Up On Extending Credit

By Erik Folgate

One of the biggest changes you will see from the fallout of the Wall Street meltdown is banks severely tightening up on their lending practices. Not only will you have a harder time getting a home loan, but you’ll have a much harder time getting a car loan, line of credit, and home equity loan.

Here is an excerpt from a CNN article:

Consumers whose credit rating teeters between ‘good’ and ‘not so great’ are the ones getting squeezed the most, added Carole Merchant, a fellow Bank of the West executive vice president in the company’s indirect lending business.

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What We Learned While Buying Our First House

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I finally closed on our house today. It was a long, tedious process. Most real estate transactions are tough, and this one was no different. We never had a set closing date, the documentation we sent to the lender kept getting lost, and we had to juggle moving out of an apartment, storing our furniture until the closing, and moving it back out of storage and into our new home. But, it was all worth it, right? Please tell me it was worth it! This is our first house, but it’s not our first time owning real estate. We owned a condo a couple years back, and we actually ended up flipping it for a profit. We didn’t plan on leaving it after a year, but our career plans changed. When we bought the condo, everything was already set in place by the developer who had purchased the buildings and planned on remodeling them. The process went very smooth, and we weren’t in a rush to close on it, because our apartment lease had three months left. Buying this house was not as easy, and here are a few things we learned along the way.

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The Easiest Way to Insure Your Bank Deposits Beyond $100,000

By Erik Folgate

You know that the economy is on shaky ground when the hottest topic in personal finance is making sure your bank deposits are insured. Many of us never think about what would happen to our money if our bank closed its doors. Almost all traditional commercial banks insured their deposit accounts up to $100,000, which is enough coverage for the average citizen. However, some of you are blessed with an abundance of money and $100,000 might not be enough. Many small businesses carry bank deposit balances over $100,000 as well. Traditionally, the only way to make sure you are fully insured is to spread out your money to multiple banks in $100,000 increments. In fact, Clark Howard suggests that you spread it out in increments of $90,000 to account for the interest you’ll accrue on the money. So, if the worst happens and your bank closes up shop, you’ll insure your interest as well.

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5 Tips To Help You Avoid Foreclosure

By Erik Folgate

This subject has hit home for me lately. I don’t even have a mortgage yet, so it’s not a personal situation, but someone I know is going through some financial issues right now with their mortgage. This is the first time that I’ve been affected by it on a somewhat personal level. Here are five things you can do to help prevent foreclosure:

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Where Should You Put Your Money During Times of Financial Turmoil?

By Erik Folgate

The recent news of the financial turmoil on Wall Street is unsettling. For younger folks like me, it’s even more unsettling, because my generation has never been old enough to remember financial problems like this in the past. Older folks know that we’ve rebounded from situations just as bad or worse than this one. One thing that we need to remember is that this is what happens in a free market. The market corrects itself by snuffing out companies that took on too much risk. This is why I disagree with all of the government intervention and bailouts on a philosophical level. On a practical level, I agree that it had to be done, or the future of our financial sector would have been very grim. Also, we need to realize that the government isn’t just bailing out these large corporations for the sake of helping a bunch of rich executives. They are thinking about the consequences that would ensue for the average customer of a company such as AIG. It’s a tough situation, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Could Today Be Black Monday For Wall Street?

By Erik Folgate

I woke up this morning, logged on to the Wall Street Journal web page, and a huge lump formed in my throat. The rumors of Lehman Brothers, one of the oldest investment firms in the nation, has failed. Merrill Lynch, one of the most well-known investment banking firms, is sold to Bank of America for about $50 billion dollars. AIG, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, will undergo a re-structuring process with its equity and debt holdings. This might not mean THAT much to you when you first read or hear about it, but it is huge. There is no telling what the stock market will do, but my guess is that the Dow Jones will drop well below 11,000 for the first time in a couple years.

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The Money Crasher’s Guide to Tipping

By Erik Folgate

We live in a society where service industries thrive by performing superior customer service. Because we live in a capitalistic economic system, a custom of rewarding superior customer service has developed through the use of tipping. Tipping is a controversial subject because many people disagree about who to tip, when to tip, and how much to tip. There are no set laws about these various aspects of tipping. In fact, there are not any laws about tipping at all. If you go to a sit-down restaurant, eat a meal, and leave without tipping, you won’t be breaking the law. The market correction for people who do not tip at restaurants is that they will build a reputation of not being tippers, and the servers of the restaurant will not give them good customer service. If you don’t tip when you should, you won’t receive good service. It’s as simple as that. Here are some ideas about who you should tip, when you should tip, and how much you should tip:

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Mortgage Rates Fall From News of Fannie And Freddie Mac Bail Out

By Erik Folgate

Fannie and Freddie Mac mortgage companies may be worrying Wall Street, but they’re woes have given a gift to those looking to buy a house. On Monday, the prime mortgage rates on a 30 year fixed mortgage dropped from approximately 6.5% to 6.0%, and it has since fallen to about 5.75% throughout the week. The reason is that the mortgage rates sometimes fall in lieu of bad market news such as the Freddie and Fannie trouble and a turbulent market. I didn’t write this article in the beginning of the week, because I wanted to see if the drop was a fluke or not. It looks like these low rates are here to stay for a little while.

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How Facebook Can Save You Money On Travel

By Erik Folgate

Facebook isn’t just a place to reunite with old friends and write cute little comments on your friends’ uploaded photos. There’s an application for everything, and the traveling applications are something that I’ve been checking out lately. Here are some facebook applications of interest.

Hostelbook.com application: this application helps you find the best hostel at the best rate wherever you may be traveling whether it’s in the United States or abroad. I backpacked around Europe four years ago, and we saved a ton of money staying at hostels. However, we didn’t have facebook to get quality reviews of which hostels to frequent and which ones to stay away from. There were hostel review sites out there, but facebook’s social network blows any of those sites away. Check this one out.

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Seriously, What Is The Deal With the Stock Market

By Erik Folgate

Enlighten me, because I can’t figure it out. I’m young, and I haven’t been tracking the stock market for too long, but the stock market’s pattern MUST be historic. One day the Dow goes up 200 points, and another day it goes down 300 points. I’ve never seen or heard about a stock market that acts so volatile. You know my thoughts about investing. I don’t think you should invest in the stock market unless you’re in it for the long-term. If you’ve been trying to day-trade the past 6 months, you’re probably about to jump off of a bridge, because the market has had no rhyme or reason.

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How To Find Free Money Today

By Erik Folgate

Do you need some extra cash? You may be entitled to some, but never knew it. There is such a thing as free money, well it’s not free, but it feels like it’s free because you never knew it was there waiting for you to claim it. Each state should have a bureau for unclaimed property, and many of them allow you to search by your name to see if you have unclaimed money to recover.

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How To Save Money In Your Fantasy Football League

By Erik Folgate

It’s that time of year again. Football season. Can you smell it in the air? I went to my first football of the season this past Saturday. We went to the Florida Gators vs. Hawaii Warriors, and the gators kicked butt. If you didn’t know, I’m a huge gator fan. All you bulldogs, volunteers, tigers, and seminoles can still read this blog, but realize that I don’t like you on Saturdays. Anyway, football season is here, and that means your fantasy football leagues are here as well. It is by far the most popular fantasy league of the year. Some of you might be asked by several different people to join their league, but there’s only so much time in a day! Offices around the country will suffer, but you don’t care. If you’re going to join some fantasy leagues this year, here are some tips for saving money this year.

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Good News About the Economy!

By Erik Folgate

Finally, there’s some good news to report about the economy, and I’m happy that the media isn’t ignoring it. If you didn’t notice, the stock market shot up today, but it’s been doing that a lot lately, and then the next day is drops like a rock, again. Here’s a run-down of the good economic news:

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  • Decline in Jobless Claims: the amount of people who filed claims for being laid-off dropped by 10,000 claim files this week, and declined for the third week in a row.

Question of the Day: Which Presidential Candidate Will Be Better For Our Economy?

By Erik Folgate

Please, keep this civil. I’m interested to know which candidate’s economic plan will be better for our country? Don’t know their differing plans? I’m not going to go through all of it here, so research it on your own.

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