Are you sick of seeing the commercials and hearing your local news anchor talk about preparing for the digital TV conversion? Yeah, I am too. But, they are cramming down our throats for a reason. There are still millions of Americans who aren’t listening and come February 17th, there will be a ton of angry people calling their local news station wondering what the hell is going on. You may not think there is a soul on the planet that watches TV on an old CRT model with a bunny ears antenna, but there are plenty of them. There are plenty of these people for a good reason. Some people in America are either just not interested in the crap on TV nowadays, they don’t want to pay for cable, or they live in remote areas where cable service is hard to find. Whatever the reason is, I will never judge someone for not having cable, because it is definitely one of life’s little luxuries, and some people can become addicted to watching television.
By Erik Folgate
Many of us are cutting back on things that are not necessary to spend money on, and entertainment is one of life’s little luxuries that we tend to cut back on during tough economic times. However, there are a ton of date nights you can do with your spouse, and I will have a list of my ideas for tomorrow’s post. One reason many married couples with kids cut back on entertainment is because of the cost of babysitting. Young teenage girls aren’t cheap anymore. The days of paying them $5 an hour are gone. they want $8 to $10 an hour. If you’re gone for 4 hours, that’s a huge chunk of change to add on to your night out. Here’s a way to completely eliminate the cost of babysitting.
You have all heard of thee “Miracle on the Hudson” coined by David Paterson, the mayor of New York, and the story should be inspirational to the entire world. This is a personal finance blog, so I won’t go into every angle and story that you could extract from this amazing story, but I just had to pay tribute to a true American hero that did not fold under pressure and put his 40 years of flying experience and air safety experience into practice.
Over the past few years with the credit crisis, our government has finally started to realize that credit card companies will do anything and everything to hide their unscrupulous practices, terms, and conditions. As part of a credit card regulation reform, credit card companies will be required to change the look of their credit card statements and terms & conditions.
Here are some things that will change on your statement:
- Late payment warning box
- Minimum payment warning box.
- Separate area detailing changes to your account terms and conditions
Maybe you can figure out what Kiyosaki is trying to say in this article about bad financial advice
Basically, he bashes traditional financial advice, which tells us to ride out the waves of the stock market and continue investing in tax-deferred retirement accounts and mutual funds with strong track records. He starts talking about how investing in real estate made him wealthy, and he depends on his businesses and investments to live. But, then he goes on to say that his advice isn’t for everyone and it’s not for those who work for commission and a paycheck. And he says that he’s not recommending gold, silve, and real estate as good investments right now.
Like many other products and services offering lower prices due to harsh economic conditions, consider buying term life insurance this year. The rates on term life insurance are lower than ever. A male, non-smoker at the age of 40 can expect to pay $400 or less per year for $500,000 in coverage.
At Money Crashers, we only recommend term life insurance over permanent life insurance such as whole life and universal life insurance for these reasons:
- We do not believe that you should mesh your investments with your insurance policy.
Looking for a job like me? Like I explained before, I am going to start a financial counseling business, but for now, I need something to hold me over and help us reach our goals of paying off all of our debt in the next two years.
My mother forwarded this article to me from Career Builder via CNN: 13 Companies Hiring in 2009
There are a wide range of companies on this list and many of them post job opportunities online. The only problem with applying online is that you never knew if your resume reached the right person.
By Erik Folgate
Here are the nine resolutions from the article:
- I will accurately assess my financial situation.
- I will diversify my assets — for real this time.
It’s easy not to be realistiic with your financial situation. I learned at an early age to asses my finances honestly. I am an optimist, but I look at my budget with realism.
The effects of the economy slowing down are hitting people in every aspect of their life. Now, if you visit Busch Gardens, you won’t be able to enjoy a free glass of beer courtesy of Anheuser-Busch anymore. The company decided to nix their hospitality centers at Busch Gardens that are famous for giving out glasses of Bud and Bud Light. Busch will be converting the hospitality centers to cafes and restaurants, and they cite the reason for taking away the free beer is because it alienated guest of the park to only people 21 and over. Yeah right. They’re struggling financially, and they punish the customers for it.
I am excited about 2009, because I am expecting big things to happen in my life. I have the opportunity to start a business and we will be spending a full year in Orlando, a town that I’ve never lived in before. In October, I left my day job as a claims adjuster. There were many factors that went into the decision, but the main one was that my wife took a position as a physician’s assistant for a prominent neurosurgery practice in Orlando, Florida. I did not have an opportunity to transfer my job to Orlando, but I was thankful, because I got out of an industry that I was not passione about. I am a firm believer that we should all strive towards careers that we love, not careers that pay a lot of money. During my job search in the past few months, I realized that so many people take opportunities solely for the compensation and not the work they will be doing. Then, when they fail at that career, they wonder why it happened. It happened because they hated what they were doing.
By Erik Folgate
Obama is labeling the proposed plan as an “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan”, and he wants it passed as soon as possible. The price tag could be $775 billion, and once again, politicians think the only way to get out of this economic slump is to spend more money. This philosophy was practiced by Bush and now Obama. Here is the speech he gave and released on radio and on YouTube.
What are your thoughts?
Before we start looking ahead to the new year, reflection on the past year is always a good exercise when evaluating your financial goals for the coming new year. Don’t dwell on the past, rather reflect on your accomplishments and failures and learn from them. Here is a list of some of our accomplishments and failures from 2008.
- We more than doubled our income. My wife graduated from physician assistant school, and she accepted her first job. I left my job to move to Orlando where she accepted the position, but even with the money I make from blogging, we have doubled our income from 2007.
By Erik Folgate
Coincidentally, my favorite story about giving involves a gift I gave to someone, but don’t take this as a self-serving story to build myself. The summer before my senior year of high school, I went on a mission’s trip to Cuenca, Ecuador with my church’s youth group. Cuenca is a quaint town nestled in a valley of the Andes Mountains, and it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The mission was to bring a small bit of medical supplies relief to the physically handicapped in Cuenca. In order to be a part of the trip, each high school student was required to bring a wheelchair with them. We also brought dozens of canes and walkers along with us. As you can imagine, checking 42 wheelchairs on an airplane was no easy task, and the airlines wasn’t even prepared for us to be bringing them despite the fact that we warned them weeks in advance.
We all had a rough year with the stock market, and we all know how much money our 401(k) and IRA lost this past year. We’ve also seen our home values drop, and we’ve watched our friends and family go through painful foreclosures. So, where do we invest our money? CD’s? The banks are going out of business. Money markets and bonds? Sure, if you want your money to rot. Stick it under your mattress? Hopefully, you won’t stick it under your mattress, but I have a feeling that some of you are contemplating it!
What I Will Be Doing
I don’t like to dwell on the past, but I was curious how much you all lost in your 401(k) this year. Obviously, this is personal information, so you can share with us the percentage lost rather than an actual dollar amount. My money was pulled out at the end of October, because I left the company that held my 401(k). I decided to roll it into an IRA, rather than keep it there. Just in September and October, my account lost about 30 to 35% of its value! That’s pretty depressing, but I found solace in the fact that much of that money was matched contributions from my company.