You’ve seen all of the articles and news segments about the skyrocketing percentage of homes going into foreclosure around the country. It’s not hard to figure out why the foreclosure rate has risen so drastically. Mortgage lenders took advantage of buyers, and buyers threw away all logic and reasoning when figuring out how much house they could afford. However, looking back at the past will not get us anywhere. The damage is done and now this country needs to clean up the housing market mess. Ask someone who has gone through a foreclosure how much fun it was. They will most likely tell you that it was an extremely emotionally draining time period in their life. Losing your home is a nightmare come true. However, there are ways to avoid the full foreclosure process. Here are two options to consider if you’ve found yourself in a position where you can’t pay your mortgage payment.
This article from Ken Bensinger from Smart Money, is refreshing to read knowing that other people are getting the hint that consumer debt is out of control. The part that I found most interesting is that he points out that so many Americans fall into the trap of paying off debt with more debt. The idea of refinancing a mortgage to roll debt into your mortgage or buying a HELOC to pay off credit cards or students loans is not solving the problem. Credit consolidation companies don’t solve the problem either. They help your situation, but they don’t solve your problem. If you’re swimming in debt that you can’t handle, the problem is YOU.
By Erik Folgate
Check out this article on consumerist.com about an interview with George Monbiot’s perspective on ethical shopping.
I think he hits the nail on the head and he says that trendy “green” consumerism is doing nothing more than dividing shopping into ethical products and unethical products, but it doesn’t actually do anything to help the environment. Doesn’t it seem like so much activism these days comes down to what he is saying? It ends up being more about the political statement rather than the actual cause.
By Erik Folgate
The Fed met today, and for the first time in a year, they did not raise the interest rates. I think this is a smart move by the Fed. This shows that they are confident in our economy and the steady, consistent growth it has shown in the past few years. It is unprecedented that our economy has survived the most gruesome terrorist attack in American History, record oil prices, and a housing bubble that swelled up to the size of a hot air balloon and popped faster than you could say, “Do you want to buy my house?”. Much of this has to do with the Bush tax cuts that were put into effect in 2003. The tax revenue has been up, more jobs created, and more disposable income for consumers to save and spend.
You don’t need to feel ashamed or down on your luck if your budget is busted. You’ve taken the first step to financial recovery if you’ve taken the time to write down a budget and stick to it. Here are a few tips on what to do when your budget doesn’t cover all of your expenses.
Prioritize Your Life and Money
By Erik Folgate
So you go out one weekend to look at furniture. That couch with the funky smell and the 1970′s style dining room table just aren’t cutting it anymore. You don’t really have the money to spend on new furniture, but you deserve it, right? You walk into the furniture store to the smell of fresh popcorn and oven-baked cookies, two of the most alluring smells on earth. You go and get yourself a snack and you start browing around the store with no real intent on buying anything today.
If you’re like me, then insurance costs are becoming quite a problem for your monthly budget. I live in Florida, and it seems like the insurance rates continue to rise and there is no sign of it stopping. You can call me conservative or republican, but I support individuals taking the initiative to help the problem of rising insurance costs rather than waiting for the government to do something about it. Insurance companies reward those people and those real properties that are less of a risk to them. Here are some ideas that I conjured up for how you can save money on your insurance premiums by reducing the risk in your life.
At Money Crashers, there are two main goals that I am trying to achieve:
- Educate and inform you about managing money, investing, buying insurance, and spending wisely.
- Help you change your personal financial behavior.
The Answer is YES! Here’s the good news and the bad news about disability insurance.
The Bad News:
- Disability insurance is one of the most overlooked insurance coverages in America. We all think we’re invincible, and that will never happen to us. But let’s get real, people go blind, deaf, get paralyzed, or contract certain diseases every day that disable them from doing the job that they are equipped to do.
- We have a lot of pride on our hearts. Pride might prevent you from buying disability insurance. You need to be realistic with yourself, especially if your job is a little more risky than others.
If you’re like me, you love getting a deal whether it’s on something you’re buying or some kind of event. If I had to choose, I would much rather spend money on doing something or going somewhere rather than buying the newest product. I love to travel and I love going to concerts, sporting events, and the theater. Here are six tips that have helped me score a discount on entertainment and travel:
- Bring Your Student ID or AAA card everywhere you go. You’ll be surprised how many places give student discounts. If you’re not a student, then join an organization like AAA. You can always find a hotel, airlines, or even museums that will give you discounts for being a member.
If you are like me, then you dread opening up your mailbox to find about 15 pieces of mail and only one or two of those pieces of mail has any real significance. The rest of it is, “0% financing, pre-approved for ultra, hot, sexy, platinum visa card” or “Tired of your insurance rates? Get a free quote with
CNN Money writes this article about the housing market continuing to slump. If you look at the numbers, they are not unbelievably bad. It’s been a gradual slip back reality which should have been expected after one of the biggest housing booms in United States History. Seriously, take yourself back to 2003 and 2004 when you had to actually had to outbid other buyers above the asking price in some housing markets. That’s how crazy it was getting in places like Arizona, Florida, Atlanta, New York, and California.
Recent College Graduates
- You must be less than three years removed from college graduation
By Erik Folgate
The other day I received a call from my bank offering life and disability insurance for my credit card. The pitch was, in case of death, critical illness or disability, my credit card payments would be taken care of for only 0.98% of my credit card balance each month. This would keep me in good financial standing while sick, or ease the burden on my family in case of death.
What the woman on the other end of the telephone didn’t mention was that should such an unfortunate situation arise, the policy would only cover my minimum payments, or 3% of my balance.
By Erik Folgate
My first experience with buying a car on a dealer’s lot came a couple of weeks ago. My 1995 Nissan Altima had come to its end. A big, huge, hairy truck plowed into the Altima in a parking lot and pretty much totaled the car. It was actually a blessing, because then I didn’t have to spend the money fixing it up to make it pretty enouh to sell. I’ve always had clunker cars up until now, so buying a car at a dealership was a very new experience. I don’t like buying new cars, so I went to an “up-scale” used car lot, if there is such a thing. My wife and I went back and forth to different dealerships looking at full-size sedans and a couple of small SUVs. We started looking at 2006 Hyundai Sonatas because they were in our price range, they looked nice, and they are a very smooth drive. Plus, we could get a Sonata with a V6 engine that was in our price range. I was ang. little skeptical about buying a Korean car with the track record it has had in the past, but Hyundai has definitely separated itself from Kia by a mile. Many reviews by magazines like Motor Trend and Car Buying Guide say that Hyundai is getting closer and closer to Toyota and Honda type quality. I know, it’s hard to believe, but all you really need to do is drive a newer Hyundai, and you’ll see what they are saying. So, we found the Sonata that we really liked. It was a nice, midnight blue color, had about 30k miles, and the interior was very clean. And so begins the adventure. Here are a few things that I did to help prepare myself for negotiating and buying my “new” used car.