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Breaking Down Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

By Erik Folgate

When buying homeowner’s insurance, you are buying a package. You cannot break this package. You either take all of it or none of it at all. There are six parts to the insurance package. Typically, they are identified as Coverages A,B,C,D,E, and F. This can be intimidating when buying homeowner’s insurance to understand what all of these coverages do and how they protect your home and possessions. I am going to break down each coverage to let you know what it covers and how it helps you. Also, I will give a tip for what it DOES NOT cover and what important endorsement I recommend. Let me remind you that I am not a professional when it comes to personal finances, however, I am a licensed practicing claims adjuster. Property insurance is my life right now, so bookmark this post and keep it as a reference for the next time you need to purchase a homeowner’s policy. Also, recognize that every insurance policy is a little different, but most of them follow a similar format and possess similar endorsements that may be filed under different names.

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Sell Your House In Less Than 60 Days

By Erik Folgate

Do you have what it takes to sell your house in less than 60 days? Do you believe that it can be done? Many people begin to wonder about houses that stay on the market for longer than 90 days. They start assuming that something is wrong with it or the seller is unwilling to negotiate. The ideal time frame would be to spend 4 – 5 weeks of very aggressive marketing and then the next 3 to 4 weeks working out the mortgage qualification, negotiations, home inspection, and closing. I think that your house can be sold quickly if you keep a proactive role in the selling process. So often we hire a realtor and say those famous words, “set it, and forget it”. In a perfect world, the real estate agent cares only about your property and is doing everything he or she can to sell your home. But this isn’t a perfect world, so you have to stay active in the selling process. After all, YOU are the homeowner and it is ultimately your responsibility to get your house sold. The real estate agent is merely a professional to help you sell it. I think you do need a quality agent to sell a house quickly and for the most money possible. For sale, buy owner always sounds like a good idea but it’s only for those who aren’t serious about selling their house quickly. If you need to get your house sold quickly because of a job relocation or a sudden change in finances or a family situation, then I would always use a top-quality real estate agent.

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SCAM ALERT: Last Minute Taxpayers, Beware of Phony IRS E-filing Websites

By Erik Folgate

Good Morning America reported this morning that there is a new scam where scammers send emails with links to phony IRS websites.
The scammer gets you to click on the phony website, file your taxes electronically, and then at the point of you submitting your file, the scammer comes in and changes your bank account information with their bank account information. Apparently, this is a really easy thing to do, because the IRS requires so little identity verification to file your taxes. It figures that the federal government would screw up on something that could be EASILY preventable.

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Organizing Your Finances The Money Crasher Way

By Erik Folgate

I have a hard time keeping my life organized, and I didn’t work about organizing my finances when I was in college, because I didn’t have any money to organize. But now that I’m in the working world, I have an emergency fund, a 401(k), lots of bills, and a condo that I own. It’s easy to accumulate many accounts over a period of time and have your money spread around so much that you lose track of it. My philosophy is to keep it as simple as possible. You can usually put your money into four different categories.

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Four Ways To Get Out of Debt Before Christmas

By Erik Folgate

For some of you, this will not be attainable, but many of you have a few thousand dollars of debt lingering out in the abyss of debt that won’t go away. If you have less than $10,000 in debt, then I believe you can be debt free before you start drinking egg nog and listening to stories from your parents that you’ve heard every year since you can remember Christmas. So here are my four ways to getting out of debt before January 1st, 2008.

Start Selling Stuff, Lots of Stuff!

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Income Does Not Produce Career Fulfillment

By Erik Folgate

One of the biggest decisions we make in life is the work we engage in on an every day basis. You may be in a job that you hate right now, or you may be loving what you do right now. The fact is that our career may change over our lifetime, but our passions and desires never change. The hard part is finding work that lines up with our passions and desires. College students and recent graduates make the huge mistake of starting a career based on the income. Our parents, friends, and the media tell us to go for the money, even if the work is boring or lacks meaning in our life. In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 5:10 says:

” Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”

Once we get in the habit of loving money over everything else in our life, we start to realize the other areas of our life that begin to fail. Constantly pursuing money without pursuing your passions leads to a downward spiral of more shallow relationships, less physical health, and less mental stability. In reality, a large salary plays much less of a role in how we feel about our job than we may think.

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Great Deal: 20″ Philips LCD TV for $268!

By Erik Folgate

Check out this Philips 20″ LCD TV on Walmart.com.

In no way do I get any compensation for you clicking on that link or buying the television, I just like to share great deals with my readers when I see them. I am obsessed with buying a flat panel LCD TV, and I will someday when the time is right. This little TV looks great and it’s from a good brand. It’d be perfect for my room or office, but I need to think about the 37″ one that I want in the living room before I can get ones for the other rooms!

Stop Endorsing Payday Loan Companies on Personal Finance Blogs

By Erik Folgate

Whenever I am surfing other personal finance web sites, I sometimes glance at the advertisers that sponsor their site. Many times, I see that payday loan companies are paying for their own banner or link on personal financial websites that I believe would not normally advocate someone to get a loan from a payday loan company. So, why are bloggers still earning advertising money off of payday loan companies? I understand that many of you are producing a high quality informational product. I am always amazed at some of the knowledge and expertise that is out there when it comes to the world of personal financial blogging, however, I think bloggers have a personal and professional responsibility not to be hypocritical when it comes to the products and companies we endorse.

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A Great Post About Ways To Make College Affordable

By Erik Folgate

Lifespy wrote an article about how to make college more affordable.

I completely agree with letting go of the idea that private schools with big brand names will always give you a better education. You can get a great education at your public state university. It all depends on how you apply yourself. Also, staying in town for two years and going to community college is a viable option for those whose parents cannot pay for their tuition. I should have done this, but instead I went to a private Christian school in Georgia and found out after a year and a half that I had amassed over $10,000 in debt just for my undergrad degree!

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Resolving a Financial Dispute With Your Spouse

By Erik Folgate

There will quickly come a time in your marriage or dating relationship when you disagree about money. The most common argument occurs when two people disagree about how a certain amount of money should be spent. The guy might want to buy a television while the girl wants to put the money away for a vacation. One spouse may want to cut down on eating out while the other may want to cut off the cable or cell phone bill. These and many other financial decisions will often cause a dispute between two spouses. One of three scenarios occurs when a financial dispute arises.

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Look Into Buying Identity Theft Insurance

By Erik Folgate

Last Tuesday, Dateline started a piece about identity theft. They have done segments on identity theft in the past, but this is an ongoing series that is going deep into the life and behind the scenes of identity thieves and the elaborate crime rings going on around the world. I didn’t get to see it, but I am going to try to watch the show this coming tuesday.

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Invest In Anti-Terrorism Mutual Funds

By Erik Folgate

Whether you agree or disagree with the war in Iraq or even the “war on terror”, I think we can all find common ground in the fact that terrorism is a horrible reality in the world and it needs to be stopped. In order for terrorism to take place, it takes resources and these resources have to come from a some kind of funding. The fundamental reaon why the Bush Administration justifies their actions in the Middle East is because they believe that terrorism would not exist if oil-rich countries were not sponsoring terrorists. Terrorists are poor. If you think Osama Bin-Laden is a self made millionare, you are wrong. If you think that terrorists can still pull off acts like 9/11 with limited funding, you are wrong. Many leaders in our country believe that we need to cut off theses sources of funding and many believe that Iran and other Middle Eastern countries are funding terrorist groups. So, what can we do about this?

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How to Deal With Creditors and Collection Agencies

By Erik Folgate

Here’s how to deal with a creditor: Tell them to shut up, give the finger to the phone, and hang up! No, just kidding, but I know we all think about doing that sometimes. If you have fallen behind on some bills or you have some really old bills that you let go and they insist on calling you 5 years later, remember to always keep your composure. Collection agents and creditors thrive on threatening you, scaring you, or backing you into a corner and trying to get you to think in an irrational manner. NEVER stoop to their level. Depending on the company or agency, they WILL be ruthless at some point. This goes mostly for unsecured debt creditors. Auto loan and mortgage creditors are generally more reputable, because they know that they can just take the car or house away if it gets too bad. Here are five steps to dealing with creditors and collection agencies.

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Festival of Under 30 Finance – March 23rd Edition

By Erik Folgate

We had some great submissions over the past two weeks. I categorized them as best that I could so that you can check out the topics that interest you most! Hope you enjoy!

Saving and Investing

The Skilled Investor presents Own investment funds and not individual securities posted at THE SKILLED INVESTOR Blog. Owning individual securities is just a big waste of your time and money. Individual investors tend to be terrible investment portfolio managers. Almost everyone can hire an index fund manager to do a much better job for far less time, money, risk, and consternation.

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The Pressure of Rising Housing Costs

By Erik Folgate

You saw it coming, I saw it coming, we all saw it coming! The fallout from the real estate frenzy is in full effect. It started with the realization that home prices are halting and “for sale” signs are sitting in the lawn for a longer period of time. Now, those 2/1 and 3/1 ARMS that so many people bought on their home are starting to adjust, and their adjusting UP, UP AND AWAY! Their adjusting so far up that people don’t know what to do, and they may lose their home. If you are savvy at buying foreclosures and have the liquid capital to do it, you’ll probably get a steal on real estate in the coming year or two.

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