Do you have a crazy aunt and uncle in your family? Do you remember the crazy uncle from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation played by Randy Quaid? They love to drop in unexpectedly and like they’re so glad to see you. But, the truth is that they want to “borrow” money. Even though, they have no intention of paying you back.
Are you a shy person? Do you avoid conflict? You might be missing out on numerous ways to save money. Did you know that you can actually save money by complaining? It’s not really complaining. It’s being persistent with big corporations and not letting them push you around with hidden fees. Here is a list of the industries that respond to complainers the most:
The Ponemon Institute put together this statistic based on the number of times that customer service representatives give in to customer’s complaints:
By Erik Folgate
Check out this article on MSNBC about a guy who sold his life insurance policy to an investor for a lump sum of $125,000.
Is it just me, or does this creep you out a little bit? Knowing that someone will profit from me dying doesn’t sit well with me. I would be looking over my back and sleeping with one eye open for the rest of my life.
What do you think? Would you sell your life insurance policy for a quick $100 grand?
We can complain as much as we want about the gas prices, but it doesn’t do us any good. We need to come together as a country and come up with a short-terrm and a long-term solution to our energy crisis. We need energy to survive. Oil is the most efficient, most abundant energy we have right now, but it’s being controlled by countries that don’t like us. So, what’s the answer? The answer is finding alternative energy sources to become less dependent on foreign oil.
The Short-Term Solution: We need to drill for oil in areas like Anwar, the Mid-Atlantic Continental Shelf, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Some of you don’t like the fact that I don’t like credit cards. One of my regular readers criticized me for putting too much blame on credit cards. He thinks that the lack of personal responsibility is what causes people to misuse credit cards, not the credit card itself. I agree that personal responsibility is the key to sound money management, but credit cards are a horrible financial product. The universal default provision, which many of you are familiar with, is the best reason why it is such a horrible product.
What is the universal default provision?
This week, I am visiting my brother and his family in Los Angeles, California. To be more specific, they live in Pasadena. People from Los Angeles don’t like when you say “They’re from L.A.”. You need to be more specific, because the city is so huge. It’s a fun city. The whether is amazing, but the traffic and the cost of living is enough to keep me away. I’ve been observing some of the interesting ways that they save money in this city. Los Angeles is a little different than big cities such as New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. It is a hybrid city. It has a downtown, but very few people live there. They live in the hundreds of towns that surround the core of Los Angeles. You can’t call these smaller cities suburbs of Los Angeles, because they still feel like the big city. Los Angeles doesn’t have a great public transportation system. It’s so spread out, that a transportation system to cover every area would cost a fortune. Here are a few ways that my brother and his family save money to live well in Pasadena.
By Erik Folgate
The economy is slow, inflation is rising, and the price of everything seems to be higher. What will you do about it? Use your credit card to supplement the difference? I don’t think that’s the answer. The opposite is the answer. Trash your credit cards today, and you will be free from their bondage.
I’ve written about the advantages of using cash over credit cards, even when you never carry a balance on your credit cards. Here are a few more reasons that support my stance on using cash over credit. Donna Rosato from Money Magazine wrote an article in this month’s issue titled, “Life Without Plastic”. Here are some studies she refers to that support the notion that we spend more when we use plastic.
I am in California right now visiting some family and friends for the holiday weekend. The posting has been sparse lately, but I am coordinating with a friend of mine to do some guest posts tomorrow and friday. California is a crazy state, and Los Angeles is even more crazy. I have tons of topics to discuss including saving money by using public transportation and how to save money in a big city.
I hope everyone has a great 4th of July. Take a minute to think about the freedoms that we take for granted every day. The United States is a great country, and we owe it to our ancestors for their hard work and sacrifice. God Bless America!
For those of you that like to borrow money to the point that it comes out of your eyeballs, you might not want to listen to this advice. But, for those of you that are fed up with owing money to everyone for everything, and you don’t want to put your kids through the same agony that you’ve gone through, this is the article for you. The problem is that our nation is indoctrinated to think that borrowing money for everything is a way of life. Swiping the credit card has been woven into the fabric of our society, and now children are learning how to borrow at a very young age. So, the cycle will continue unless parents start teaching their children something different. Don’t count on the schools to do this for you. Most of them don’t even have a personal finance cirriculum, and if they do, it’s probably sponsored by a credit card company. Here are some tips for how to teach your children not to borrow money.
If you are wondering if you should lease or purchase a car, here is a link to a decent calculator to help you make the decision.
What Would A Money Crasher Do? If you choose to follow the 11 principles of a Money Crasher, you would never consider leasing a car. I don’t think it’s ever worth it, because there are a lot of fees and if you end up buying it at the end of the lease, you’ll spend more money than if you had purchased it in the first place. I’ve read a bunch of articles about the justification of purchasing a new car rather than a used car. I don’t buy it. I’d buy a two or three year old car any day over a new car, because someone else broke it in and took a bunch of depreciation with them.
We are continuing to see the fall-out of the housing slump which means more foreclosures, falling home values, and more financially distressed homeowners. Scam artists love to prey on people that are in a tough financial situation. It is only fitting that scammers are trying to capitalize off of the housing crisis. Here are some housing scams that you need to watch out for:
Okay, there are basically two different energy policies being proposed to help alleviate a possible energy crisis. Here is a synopsis of both:
Bush/McCain Proposal: They want to “drill here, and drill now”. Basically, they want to reverse a bill signed by Bill Clinton that took away the possibility of drilling for oil offshore of Florida and in Anwar, Alaska. They want to start drilling for oil in North America to take away the dependency on foreign oil, alleviate some of the high prices by increasing supply, and give companies and entrepreneurs a chance to continue development and research for alternative fuel resources.
Hopefully, you don’t have any credit accounts that are in default. But, some of you may have recently seen the light about changing your finances, and now you’re trying to clean up your past. Part of that cleaning up may involve dealing with bill collectors. Bill collectors have one of the worst jobs in the world. It is their job to collect money from people that don’t have any money. Collectors have made a very bad name for themselves in the past few decades, because they have been known for their harsh collection practices. In fact, their treatment of customers was so bad, that it spawned a federal act to be drafted called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act gave more rights to the consumer and restricted collection agencies from certain practices. It basically stopped collection agencies from acting like monsters and gave consumers a legal argument against the way bill collectors treated them. If you are not familiar with this act, please click on the link above and read about your rights as a consumer and the rules and regulations that collectors must follow in order to fairly collect the debt you owe.
I wrote an article a few days ago about the possibility of the FCC changing the way that cell phone companies rope you into contracts with exorbitant early termination fees. One of the ways that cell phone companies try to rope you into signing a new contract extension is by heavily subsidizing an upgrade to a new phone. Most people want to upgrade their phone after a year or two, so they sign the new 2 year contract extension, and get a phone for cheap. If you don’t want to sign a new contract and save money on a new or newer phone, try looking for a lightly used phone.