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Five Reasons Why You Haven’t Received Your Economic Stimulus Payment

By Erik Folgate

There are quite a few people that are angry and frustrated over the first week of economic stimulus payments rolling out as portrayed by the comments on this post. The payment schedule that the IRS printed is obviously not being followed. People with their last two digits in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, are getting their payment before people in the 00’s, 10’s, and 20’s. I’m not going to sit here and act like I know why it’s all screwed up, but here are a few ideas for why you may not have received your payment yet.

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Using A Car Buying Service To Negotiate and Purchase A New Car

By Erik Folgate

I just read this article on Yahoo Finance, courtesy of Bankrate about using a car-buying service to shop for a new car. I’ve heard of this, but I’ve always been a little skeptical about the service. What if they don’t get you any deals? Do you get your money back?

The way it works is you give all of your information to the company including credit information, (scary) contact information, and information about what type of car you are looking for. Then, you shell out a couple hundred bucks, and they go shopping for you. Apparently, they are supposed to negotiate the best deal possible for you to get the new car. According to the article, some companies can negotiate prices close to invoice. However, sometimes the price they give you isn’t the “out-the-door” price.

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Stay Away From These Two Scams

By Erik Folgate

HITMAN BRIBE SCAM

This is one of the most ridiculous scams I’ve heard about in a long time. Apparently, it started popping up in late 2006 and early 2007, but this is the first time I have heard about it. Which means, it hasn’t been too effective. However, I think it’s still worth bringing to your attention, because it could land in the right person’s inbox and severely scare them into doing something stupid.

It’s called the “Hitman Bribe” email scam. For two examples of the email you might receive, click here.

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Economy Grows 0.6% For The First Quarter of 2008

By Erik Folgate

Yes, the economy has slowed down due to the housing market decline, the credit meltdown, and high oil/food prices. But, according to a report today, the economy’s GDP still grew 0.6 percent. No, it’s nothing special, but it does bring out one point. By definition, we are NOT in a recession.

The definition of recession from Investopedia.com:

A significant decline in activity spread across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, employment, real income and wholesale-retail trade. The technical indicator of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth as measured by a country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

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Have You Received Your Stimulus Refund Payment Yet?

By Erik Folgate

Do you like the information on this blog? Be sure to subscribe to our feed to receive updates on new articles.

I thought it’d be fun to hear from people who have received their stimulus payment so far. I haven’t received my payment yet, but according to the payment chart, it should be sent to my bank account next Friday, May 9th. However, it could be earlier than that since they started sending the stimulus refunds this past Monday.

So, if you were one of the few to receive it first, post a comment below that you received it and how you plan on spending/saving it.

Eating Healthy For Cheap At Chick-fil-A

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I are very similar, but we definitely have our differences. She doesn’t care for Chick-fil-A, but I love it. I love all of their stuff, and their management is great in my area. Every Chick-Fil-A in the Jacksonville area is very clean, has great service, and the food is very fresh.

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Update On My UpDown.Com Investments

By Erik Folgate

I wrote a review/post a few weeks ago about UpDown.com, the virtual stock applicaton. This isn’t the first virtual stock application to hit the web, but its unique in that you can earn real money by beating the S&P 500 on a monthly basis and writing quality stock analysis. So, I thought that I would update you with the progress from March 30th to April 29th.

My Overall Performance:

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  • My return since start: 2.79%
  • My annualized return: 40.73%
  • S&P 500 return since I started: 5.68%

Economic Stimulus Payments To Be Sent Out a Week Early

By Erik Folgate

The IRS has announced that they will now be sending out economic stimulus payments starting this Monday, April 28th. The first direct deposits were originally going to be made May 2nd, but I guess the government got antsy to start “stimulating the economy”. Again, I am skeptical that this will actually stimulate the economy the way the government thinks it will. It brings the assumption that everyone will go out and blow the money on goods and services that they probably don’t need. But, I suspect that many responsible people will use it to pay off debts, get current on their mortgage, or save it in their emergency fund.

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Cash In Your Old Dental Work

By Erik Folgate

Here’s a sick way to make some extra cash if you have old dental fillings laying around. ABC News has an article about people who actually saved their old gold fillings and bridges. Now, they’re cashing them in because of the recent record prices of gold.

A typical gold crown uses about 1/10 of 16 karat gold, which can bring in about $50 per crown. I never thought about this, but I’ve also never thought about keeping my old crowns. Who do you sell it to? Some coin dealers will buy it from you and resell it to a coin smelter (someone who melts the gold and reuses it.

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Investing Tip: Invest in Boring Companies When the Market is Down

By Erik Folgate

Everyone keeps talking about how we’re going to start reducing our gasoline consumption because of the high gas prices. I disagree with this premise. I don’t think we’re going to reduce our consumption much, because we still need to bring our kids to soccer practice, drive to work, and run errands. You can dream about people going to the grocery store on their bike, but it’s not going to happen. What will suffer is luxury items and services.

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Ten Inexpensive Ways To Be Green on Earth Day

By Erik Folgate

So, I decided to do the obligatory environmentally conscious article for earth day. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t jumped on the “going green” bandwagon. It’s not that I don’t like the environment, I am just skeptical about the hysteria that everyone thinks our planet is going melt soon. Having said that, whether your a tree hugger or not, there are many financial advantages to being more environmentally friendly. Most of it has to do with conserving energy. The less energy that you consume, the more money you’ll save over a lifetime.

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Question From Money Crashers Reader: What Should I Pay Off First?

By Erik Folgate

Here is a question from a Money Crashers reader. She is in a great situation, because she has a nice lump sum of money, but she doesn’t know what to do with it.

My home is worth about $375000 and I owe $62000 on it. My credit card debt is $21000 ($11000 at 3.99% for life of loan and $10000 at 10% until 11/08) and school loans of $10000. I am recently widowed and am struggling month to month with my bills. I have a lump sum of $80000. Should I pay off the credit cards and school loans which would decrease monthly payments by about $700? Thank you.

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Five Frugal Tips for Kitchen Remodeling

By Erik Folgate


We recently renovated a condo on a very tight budget. I started watching all of the HGTV shows to get ideas for ways to make the kitchen look good without spending a lot of money. I didn’t end up using many of the tips that I wrote down from asking friends, watching those TV shows, and reading books, but I thought that I would share them with you. Your kitchen is the most important room in your house. Selling your house hinges on the look and functionality of your kitchen. So, it’s in your best interest to start thinking about updating your kitchen if you ever think about selling the house or increasing its overall value.

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Are Smart People Bad With Money?

By Erik Folgate

A new study shows that people with high IQ’s tend to make more money, but they also spend their money more quickly and frivolously than those with lower IQ’s. Jay Zagorsky from Ohio State University looked at data from 7,400 Americans in their forties. It shows that every IQ point scored translated into about $200 to $600 a year. However, it showed that those with a low to average IQ accumulated more wealth over their lifetime, because they spent less and they lived a more simple life.

Zagorsky said this: “Those with low intelligence shouldn’t believe they are handicapped by it”.

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Last Minute Checklist For Filing Your Taxes

By Erik Folgate

So, you’re pulling an all-nighter to get your taxes done? The worst thing you can do is make a mistake that you don’t catch. Your cramming efforts will be washed away with one mistake. Here are some things to remember if you’re one of those procrastinators rushing to get your taxes filed by the end of tomorrow.

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  1. Be sure to fill in your social securiity number. The IRS only identifies you by your SSN.
  2. Sign and date your return. Make sure both you and your spouse sign it if you file jointly.
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