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The 11 Principles Series: Do Not Believe In Money Myths

By Erik Folgate

There are many myths about money and how to handle it. The key is identifying those myths and not falling into the trap that many other people fall into when it comes to money myths. I have identified four myths about money, and I will explain why I believe they are myths and how you can avoid being deceived by them.

Myth #1: Debt is a Tool, and you can use it to become wealthy

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Beware of Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC)

By Erik Folgate

When it’s time to tap the equity in your home, you usually have two options: a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a home equity installment loan (HEIL). Both will get you the money you want, but one may lower your credit scores, which will make everything you buy on credit more expensive – be careful.

So, which one is dangerous and which one is safe? A HELOC can potentially lower your credit scores. Here’s how. HELOC accounts can look exactly like a credit card account on your credit reports, and that can be a bad thing

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Should You Pay Off a Student Loan With a 0% Interest Credit Card?

By Erik Folgate

This is a question that a friend of mine asked me recently, and I thought it would be a good question to throw out there to the readers of Money Crashers. If you are in your twenties, it seems like you’re a weirdo if you DO NOT have a student loan. The reality is that college is not getting cheaper, and many of our parents did not pass along a college fund for us. I have about $18,000 in student loan debt, and my wife will have even more than that. She’s in physician assistant school right now, so her student loans will definitely be worth it in another 12 to 18 months. The National Center of Education Statistics shows that a little more than 50% of students hold student loans at an average of about $10,000.

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A List of the Best Careers for 2007

By Erik Folgate

U.S. News and World Report has come up with this list of the 25 best careers of 2007. There are the obvious ones like a doctor, dentist, engineer, and professor. But, there are also some surprising ones like medical scientist, librarian, urban/regional planner, and a fundraiser. The four criteria they graded the jobs on are Job Market Outlook, Attainability, Prestige, and Quality of Life.

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The Difference Between an ESA and a 529 College Savings Plan

By Kira Botkin

If you’ve just had a child, then it’s never too early to start thinking about their future. Sending a child to college is a huge expense, and many parents are unable to fund their children’s college expenses. By the way, it doesn’t make you a bad parent if you don’t pick up the tab for your child’s college expenses. However, if you plan early, you can help change your family tree by helping your child stay out of debt early in their life. The two most popular college savings accounts are the Coverdell Educational Savings Account (ESA) and the 529 college savings plan. Both of these savings plans act much like an Health Savings Account or retirement account, because they are invested in investments such as mutual funds and withdrawals must be used for a specific purpose or at a specific time in one’s life. I’ll give you the pros and the cons for each savings plan, and you can decide which plan will work best for you.

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Great Deal: Check out the 72 hour Airtran.com Sale!

By Erik Folgate

Are you thinking about doing some traveling this summer? Airlines are really churning out the deals this summer. It seems like every week I get an email from Airtran, Southwest, or Spirit Air boasting one of their online sales. You can get some great one way flights for under $100!

Check out the 72 hour Airtran.com Sale and you might come across a great deal on a flight! The sale ends Thursday, and you can book tickets up through November 7th, 2007.

Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation for this solicitation. I just like promoting good deals and sharing them with others when I come across them!

Save Money And Get Out of Your Car Lease

By Erik Folgate

It’s no secret that our wallets are really taking a hit from the astronomical gas prices. My wife and I both own small cars, so we do not get hit as hard as people with trucks and SUVs. Did you recently lease a truck, SUV, or other gas guzzling car? Are you trying to find a way out of the lease? CNN Money has a great article about how to get out of your SUV lease. Popular websites such as Lease Trader and Swap A Lease will help you transfer over your lease to someone else.

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Six Money Mistakes of Newlyweds

By Erik Folgate

I came across this across on Kiplinger’s website titled, Six Money Mistakes of Newlyweds. I thought that there would be a lot of advice that I disagreed with, but when I started reading the article, I realized that I agreed with most of it. Money is definitely one of the biggest issues that can cause strife in a marriage, especially new marriages. Typically, young newlyweds don’t have much money, and they need to watch what comes and what goes out more closely. Here are the three mistakes that I think are key in trying to avoid:

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Alternative Settlement Options For Homeowner’s and Auto Insurance Claims

By Erik Folgate

Your homeowner’s insurance and auto insurance are extremely important to staying financially healthy. Your home is one of the most important assets you own, and protecting it should be a top priority. Your automobile is an important asset as well, but the liability insurance involved is a more important coverage when it comes to protecting your financial life. Making a claim on your homeowner’s or auto insurance can be a frustrating process. You want to be compensated fairly for your damages. It is the insurance company’s responsibility to indemnify you, or in other words, put you back to a pre-loss condition. However, your definition of indemnity and the insurance company’s definition may differ. It’s fairly common for the insured to disagree with their initial settlement given by their claims adjuster, but you have the right to dispute your settlement. Typically, you have three different options when it comes to disputing an initial settlement of a homeowner’s or auto insurance claim. They are mediation, appraisal, and lawsuit. I will explain all three and the purpose they serve.

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Save Money and Rent a Movie for $1 at McDonalds

By Erik Folgate

Move over Blockbuster and Netflix, because Mcdonalds is moving into the DVD rental market. Most of you may have seen the commercials or seen the Red Box DVD rental kiosks at Mcdonald’s, but have you used it yet? My wife and I just used it tonight, and this will mark the fourth time that we’ve used the Red Box DVD rentals at Mcdonalds.

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Florida Residents: 2007 Hurricane Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, June 1st – June 12th

By Erik Folgate

Governor Crist of Florida has approved another salex tax holiday for hurricane-related supplies. From June 1st to June 12th, Florida residents will be able to buy these supplies free of sales tax.

Retail stores like this holiday, because it helps boost their sales. There is something psychological about going to buy hurricane supplies that causes consumers to buy other goods as well.

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Get Ready For the Actively Managed ETF

By Erik Folgate

Check out this article about the newest type of ETF. Exchange Traded Funds have grown exponentially in popularity over the last decade. Investors like them because they can trade them like individual stocks, but they offer the same diversification as a mutual fund. Although, these funds have typically followed an index like the S&P 500 instead of being actively managed by a fund manager.

Now, a new breed of ETF’s is putting in the human element of managing funds. An ETF provided lower fees, because you weren’t paying for a broker’s commission or fees, but now brokers like Vanguard and Fidelity and put their hot hands on an ETF and still charge a lower fee than the traditional mutual fund.

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The Stock Market Closes At Another Record High

By Erik Folgate

The Dow Jones and the Nasdaq closed at record highs today at 13,633 and 2,592, respectively. Now, the question is, when will the Dow hit 14,000 and when will the Nasdaq hit 3,000? Today was a significant one, because we saw the market pull through some early news from China and the release of the Fed’s minutes that could have caused the markets to dip down. Last February, the market saw a 9% drop, one of the largest in history, after bad news from China. Today, the market faultered on reports of a slumping Chinese market, but it quickly rebounded and never turned back.

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Reforming Health Care and How it Affects Your Finances

By Erik Folgate

I came across an article by Pat Regnier at CNN Money whom proposes three different choices for reforming health care in America. Health care is definitely the number two most important issue in America behind the war in Iraq. Once you stop talking about Iraq, the issue of health care comes up. What do we do? Do we allow the government to take full control of it and get taxed out the rear, or do we completely put it in the hands of employers and citizens to buy health care on their own? If you put it in our hands, then we continue to have the problem where people don’t buy it, and then they go to the emergency room to seek free help. Hospitals will do pro bono work and pass the costs off on the people who do pay for insurance. This is the dilemma.

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Making The Transition From One Career To Another

By Erik Folgate

Let me guess, you are completely bored at work, you watch for the clock to strike 5 o’clock, and you can’t stand the people that you work with. If you are nodding your head right now, then you might need a change of scenery. Chances are that it’s not the work place, it’s the career. If you enjoyed the work you were doing, you might be able to get over the fact that you can’t stand the people around you or the occasional downtime when business is slow. You may have thought about switching careers in the past, but you were paralyzed with fear. Here are some excuses that might be holding you back from making the jump to a different career.

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