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Halloween Savings Tip

By Erik Folgate

Here’s a tip for next year when you’re thinking about buying a jack o’ lantern for Halloween decoration:

We procrastinted buying a pumpkin up until today, but we still wanted to get one because the trick-or-treaters need some kind of indication that we’re a Halloween friendly house. So, I went over to the local pumpkin patch at a church, and I found a decent pumpkin. The options are obviously slim when you buy on Halloween day. I went to give the lady the money for the pumpkin and she said it would be $6.00, and I could get two more for free! I went and picked out tinswo more to put in our front yard flower bed. Three huge pumpkins for $6.00 isn’t a bad deal at all.

Great Savings Habits From Blogger At My Dollar Plan

By Erik Folgate

Here’s a cool article on Yahoo Finance about Madison Dupaix from the blog, My Dollar Plan. It’s her personal story about how she saved enough money so that she doesn’t have to work full-time. The article is a little misleading, because she says that she has “retired” from her day job, but it doesn’t mean that her and her husband are traveling the world. It just means that she was able to save enough money in ten years so that she can be a stay-at-home mom while her husband works. She works on the blog three days a week as extra income.

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Some Halloween Safety Tips For You

By Erik Folgate

  1. Check all of your kid’s candy before they eat it. My parents always did this and I thought it was lame. But, one time they found a candy bar unwrapped in a plastic baggy. Sounds a little shady, don’t you think?
  2. Check the material your child’s costume is made of. Costumes are made to be disposable, which means they are made with cheap, highly flammable materials. Look for costumes with nylon and polyester.
  3. Don’t light candles around the house. Don’t burn your house down just to decorate for Halloween.

How To Handle A Credit Card Debt in Collections

By Erik Folgate

A Money Crasher’s reader recently sent me a message about a credit card balance in collections. I thought that you all would benefit from his/her question and how I answered it.

Question:

I have a credit card debt of a little of 8,000. It went to collection, and I just don’t have the money to pay it off. I thought I would be able to use my student loan to pay it off, but it didn’t come through. Do you think it would be possible for me to set up a payment plan with the collection agency, and if so, how should I go about it? I know that I won’t be able to pay a lot at first because I just don’t have the money while in school, but once I get done (may 09), I’ll be able to pay it off a lot quicker.

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The Use of Layaway Is Becoming Popular Again With Retailers

By Erik Folgate

When I was a kid, if I was at the store with my mother and I pointed to a big ticket item that I wanted, she woud reply, “We’d have to put that on layaway to afford that!”. I didn’t really know what “layaway” was, but then she explained it to me when I was older and it made a lot of sense. Pay for something weekly or monthly increments until you’ve paid for it in full. Then, they give you the item. However, that was back in the 80’s when it wasn’t as easy to get a credit card or home equity line of credit. In the past 20 years, the use of credit cards and home equity lines has skyrocketed, and the average consumer carries thousands of dollars in debt. Our culture has changed since our grandparents and parents were young. Instead of saving up to pay for something, we want it now, so we buy now and pay later. But, all of this paying later business equals billions of dollars spent on interest every year on products that GO DOWN in value, including cars. But now that the economy has slowed down and many Americans are starting to realize that they need to get out of debt, the use of layaway in the retail industry is coming back.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Should I Sign Up With A Debt Consolidation Service?

By Erik Folgate

Should I Sign Up With A Debt Consolidation Service?

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Has The Housing Market Hit Rock Bottom?

By Erik Folgate

This is a subject that can lead to some spirited debate. Some experts say that the market is still dropping, and others say that the bottom has hit. I thought that the beginning of 2009 would be the bottom, because the Fall and the holidays are usually very slow times for real estate transactions, and the spring is when purchases increase. I found this article shows empirical evidence that the market could have hit bottom and be on the rebound. Here is an excerpt from the article:

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Buffet Encourages Investors To Buy Stocks and Trash the Cash!

By Erik Folgate

Here’s the Op-Ed from Warren Buffet in today’s NY Times encouraging investors to buy American stocks and stock stashing your cash under the mattress. If you’re going to listen to anyone during tough economic times, you need to listen to WEALTHY people, not the media and not other poor people in tons of debt. Wealthy people became wealthy for a reason, and many of them become rich by taking advantage of opportunities during tough economic times. I have harped and harped about this over the past few months, but I am not sure if anyone is listening to it. So, don’t take my word for it, take Warren Buffet’s word for it, the second richest man in the country.

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My Reaction to the Economic Topics Discussed In Last Night’s Presidential Debate

By Erik Folgate

Last night was the last presidential debate. So, now we need to make a decision and pick a president. I’m very glad that it will be over soon. Being in Florida, we’re a so-called “battle ground state”, which means we get bombarded with commercial after commercial about who is a bigger idiot. I watched most of the debate, and it was definitely the best of the three. Bob Schieffer knows what he’s doing as a moderator unlike Tom Brokaw. He kept the dialogue flowing and he didn’t freak out if they candidates wen over a few seconds on their answers. Nonetheless, here are my reactions, for what their worth.

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The Price of Gas Falls to An Average of $3.15 Per Gallon

By Erik Folgate

You have probably noticed that gas has dropped severely over the past couple of weeks. Now, according to George Jahn from the AP, the average price of a gallon of gas in the United States has dropped to $3.15. This is almost a dollar lower from the national average for gasoline in July.

Why did it drop so much?

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More Ways To Save Money On Your Pets

By Erik Folgate

A while back I wrote an article about different ways to save money on your pet. I was sitting in my house earlier today, and I realized that there are a few more things we do to save money on our dog, Harley. She’s pretty spoiled, but we try to cut costs in areas that are not necessary. We don’t cut costs on food, and we buy premium science diet naturals. We believe that more quality food you feed your pet, the healthier your pet will be. The healther your pet is, the less trips you will take to the vet. So, here are a few more ways that we save money on our pet.

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Two Examples About Saving Money During Hard Economic Times

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I recently bought a house, and this is our first house. We have NOTHING by way of appliances and tools that you need to maintain a home, so we were prepared to spend some money on things we need to take care of our house. The two major purchases we needed to make right away were a lawn mower and a washer and dryer. We don’t have a huge front and back yard, but our grass is very thick. We needed a quality mower that didn’t have much life on it. The house came with a washer and dryer, but the dryer was from the 1970’s, and it took about 2 hours to dry a load of laundry. The washer worked fine, but it was highly inefficient. We knew that we couldn’t buy new for both of these purchases, because we have so many other things to buy for the house like paint, patio furniture for our sweet deck, window coverings, and a microwave. So, here are two examples of how we saved some money and still got quality products.

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Bright House Review: Why It’s Much Better Than Comcast

By Erik Folgate

The cable industry is one of the most baffling industries in this country. It is still one of the only industries that allows companies to monopolize a territory. There are alternatives such as satellite TV which is getting big, but I live in Florida and I see my mother-in-law’s satellite go out every time there is a thunder storm. If you’ve ever lived or visited Florida, you know that there is a thunder storm almost every day. When we lived in Jacksonville, Florida, Comcast was our only cable option. It was the first time that I was hooking up an HDTV to cable, so I didn’t have any other experience to compare it with. We just moved to Orlando, and Bright house is the cable dominator here. I now have something to compare it with, and I must say that I am much more impressed with Bright House’s services.

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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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