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Treat Your Money Management Philosophy Like A Marathon

By Erik Folgate

I didn’t run a marathon last weekend, but it felt like it for someone who has never trained for long-distance running until this past January. I always played basketball when I was young, and basketball is a series of fast sprints, not methodical long-distance running. I ran in the Gate River 15k Run here in Jacksonville, which is a pretty well-known 15k run. I didn’t run it to compete, I ran it because I had never done something like that before, and I wanted to say that I had done it. I ran it in about an hour and 40 minutes, which is pretty slow, but I was proud of myself for jogging the whole time. Like the personal finance nerd that I am, I was thinking about how running long distances relates to becoming wealthy. The obvious cliche is that becoming wealthy is like running a marathon. The slow, methodical individual will become more wealthy than those that have short spurts of wealth building over a period of time. But, there was something else that I learned about money management when training for and running a long distance.

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The Importance of Helping Each Other With Financial Problems

By Erik Folgate

I was reading this article by Jeffrey Strain from TheStreet.com and he gives five ways to help other people with financial issues from your own personal experiences with managing your money. One of the things he listed was starting a personal finance blog. This is what I did two years ago, and my goal was not to act like I knew everything about money and I wanted other people to know it, but I had a revelation about money. I made a 180 degree change about the way I managed money, and I wanted to share that with other people. My goal for this blog is not to see how much money I can make from it, if that was my main reason, I would have stopped a long time ago. My goal is to help other people with the things I have learned about money and research the things you want to know about. So, if you do learn anything here, please don’t keep it to yourself. Share it with someone else. With the housing market going down the drain, gas prices continuing to rise, and the economy on the verge of a recession, people need help with their money!

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Financial Question Of The Day: Do you prefer index funds or mutual funds?

By Erik Folgate

Do You prefer investing with index funds or mutual funds?

Some of you might not have an opinion about this, either because you haven’t started to seriously invest, or you’re not financially nerdy enough to care. But, I’ve found that personal finance advisors and bloggers differ quite a bit on this issue.

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Received A Notice From The IRS About the Economic Stimulus Refund Checks

By Erik Folgate

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After a lot of speculation. the IRS has finally sent out an official notice that cleared up a couple of questions people were having about the economic stimulus refund checks. I was right about everything that I had wrote about the checks, but it’s always nice to be reinforced about information you read about by the people that will be sending out the checks, the IRS. If you haven’t received the notice in the mail yet, don’t freak out. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to receive a check. It just means that it takes a while for them to send out $130 million letters. Here is some information that was confirmed in their letter.

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An Analysis on the Seven Baby Steps for Obtaining Wealth by Dave Ramsey

By Erik Folgate

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I am a supporter of the teachings of Dave Ramsey. There are many bloggers out there who think that Dave Ramsey has too much of an “emotional” approach to personal finance and neglects the math behind personal finance. There is some truth to that, but Ramsey doesn’t ignore the math. He embraces the premise that he believes that 80% of personal finance is behavior-based and 20% is about the numbers. A group of personal finance bloggers have analyzed the seven baby steps that Ramsey teaches for becoming wealthy. I thought that I would pass the links on to you to get their take on each step.

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What I’ve Learned About Saving Money On My Pet

By Erik Folgate

Many personal finance bloggers have written great articles about the cost of owning a pet and ways to save money when owning a pet. I didn’t realize how much it really does cost to own a medium-sized dog. For one thing, if you don’t have children, that pet becomes like your child, so you tend to spend a little bit more money on them than usual. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with spoiling a family pet if you can afford it. I thought that you might be interested in ways that we have saved money on our dog by using common sense and practicing good preventative care. Here are some ways that we feel we’ve saved money in the long run on pet care.

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Financial Literacy Grant Program Proposed by The Senate

By Erik Folgate

Consumerism Commentary reported on a financial literacy education program that would allocate $250 million dollars a year toward personal finance education in the K through 12 public school system and public colleges. The bill would provide grants to schools that want to implement the education program, but it might require that the school make it a required class for graduation. I agree with Flexo that it shouldn’t be a required course that replaces the other core classes. I know that in Florida you are required as a senior to take a semester of American Government and a semester of American Economics for graduation. I think the most logical thing to do would be to use the grant money for training economics teachers to implement the persoanl finance education into their existing course and also use the materials for teaching materials.

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How I Evaluate A Mutual Fund Before Investing In It

By Erik Folgate

I have five things that I look for when evaluating a mutual fund to see if I want to invest in it. I’ll outline the five criteria that I look for when evaluating a mutual fund to know if I should invest in it. Here are those five criteria:

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I Am Feeling The Squeeze of Rising Gas Prices

By Erik Folgate

My wife is currently doing a clinical rotation for physician assistant school in Orlando. She has to drive 30 miles each way from her parent’s house to the hospital. We budgeted out $150 dollars for her to get through two weeks, but now I am starting to rethink that budget amount. She is going through stop-and-go traffic and she’s driving an SUV. The price of gas in Jacksonville is currently right at the national average of about $3.25 a gallon. I get paid for all company mileage that I accrue each month, so it typically pays for my car, gas, and maintenance. So, this is probably the first month in a long time that we will start feeling the squeeze of rising gas prices that could get to $4.00 a gallon.

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Updates On the United States Economy

By Erik Folgate

This is a quote and text from a USA Today article published today:

President Bush said Thursday he doesn’t think the country is heading into a recession, but “there’s no question the economy has slowed down.” “There’s a lot of uncertainty and I’m concerned about the uncertainty,” he said. “Hopefully this pro-growth package will help.”

Here are some quotes from Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed and text from this USA Today article.

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An Interview With Flexo from Consumerism Commentary

By Erik Folgate

Recently, I did a brief interview with personal finance blogger, Flexo from Consumerism Commentary. It’s my intention to get to know some of the other personal finance bloggers out there, and I wanted you to get to know them better as well. I don’t see the other bloggers out there as competition, but rather I see them as a community of people that share the same goals and values as me when it comes to helping others manage their finances better. We can all learn from each other, and that’s my goal with interviewing other bloggers in the personal finance community.

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Five Tips for Saving Money On Your Summer Vacation

By Erik Folgate

It’s about that time of year when we start daydreaming at work about basking in the sun on the beach while drinking a pina colada. Then, we wake up and realize that we need to start saving some money to make that summer vacation happen! Vacations can be a financial drain, and I think that you should splurge when it comes to your vacation, as long as you can save up for it and pay cash. After all, you do deserve some rest and relaxation from the grueling grind of work. So, here are five tips that I’ve found to help me save money when planning a vacation.

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Two Reasons Why You Could Be In a Financial Mess

By Erik Folgate

The other day, I had the TV on in the background, and a lesser known morning talk show caught my attention when they were going to have a segment on helping a single mom get their financial life back on the right track. Of course, they disappointed me with focusing more on fooling with different types of bank accounts and setting up automatic overdraft protection with a credit card on her bank account. Yeah, that’s great. Just keep assuming that she’s going to keep bouncing her checking account. That’s why she asked you for help! Anyway, they did little to correct WHY she was in the predicament that she was in, but they did ask her this one question: “What was it that got you into the situation that you are in now?” She responded by saying, it was poor decision making and the lack of financial knowledge. It made me happy to hear that she wasn’t trying to blame someone else for her situation. She took responsibility for the decisions that she made and knew that she made some decisions due to ignorance. I think she hit the nail on the head for most people that find themselves in a financial mess. I know that I can trace many of my financial mistakes back to a poor decision and a simple lack of financial knowledge.

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Financial Question of the Day: What To Do With Child Support

By Erik Folgate

There are quite a few single moms and dads out there receiving child support from their ex-spouse. Unfortunately, there are also some single moms and dads out there that should be receiving child support, but they aren’t getting it. I know that one of the excuses that deadbeat parents don’t pay the child support is because they don’t trust the parent with custody to use the money on the child. So, here’s the question, and it’s more of a moral question, than a financial question:

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Treat Your Emergency Fund Like an Insurance Policy

By Erik Folgate

Now that many of my friends and family know that I write for a personal finance blog, they tend to ask me more questions about personal finance. I always tell them that I’m not an expert at this point. I don’t have enough experience to call myself an expert. But, writing this blog and my passion for helping people learn what I have learned is what distinguishes me from the average individual. I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge from doing research for this blog, reading books, and thinking beyond the box about personal finance. My philosophy about personal finance is that there is an emotional element and a mathematical element to it. Some personal finance bloggers focus more on the mathematical side and others focus on the emotional side. I think that a healthy balance of these two elements is essential to winning with your money.

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