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You Can Help Control The Cost Of Home and Car Insurance

By Erik Folgate

Ever since the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the devastating hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 in Florida, insurers have received quite a bit of criticism for their business practices and consistently raising the cost of insurance premiums. The cost of car insurance also continues to rise. Insurance companies have really screwed up in the past. State Farm was caught using one engineering report to justify their position on multiple claims that the damage was due to flood not rain water. All of the major insurance companies in Florida have dropped more than 50% of their homeowner’s insurance business forcing people to look to the government for an expensive alternative. But, instead of sitting around and complaining about how horrible the insurance companies are in this country, I have some ways for us to help control the rising insurance costs. Yes, it is a fact that responsible consumers will make an impact on the cost of insurance over the long term. We can’t control whether a hurricane hits or a tornado rips through a town, but we can control the way we maintain our homes and cars.

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Four Tips For Starting A Business With Low Risk and Big Success

By Erik Folgate

I was reading this post on Career Ramblings, and it made me think about how our educational system has slowly taken away the importance of entrepreneurship and the ability to create jobs for others. Do you realize that when you launch a new business, you are adding value to your community and to the job market. The narrow-minded idea of going to GET a job riight out of college has diminished the value and importance of thinking like that of an entrepreneur. What about starting a business while you are in college? The main argument for having the mentality of going to work for someone else is that it’s easier to get a job rather than start a business, and it’s more risky to start a business than go and get a job. I don’t think that is always true if you are wise about the way you start a business. Here are four tips for launching a business at the start of your working life.

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Starbucks Will Give Away 50 million Free iTunes Songs

By Erik Folgate

Starbucks comes to the marketing rescue of Apple by starting a promotion that will give away 50 million free iTunes songs to customers who purchase one of their lattes. Maybe this will help justify buying one of those over-priced drinks! Although, like any other promotion that sounds so cool, there’s a catch. The free song won’t be redeemable for any song that you want. Starbucks or iTunes will pick a “Song of the Day” that you can use to redeem the free song. I know that some of you were already scheming up ideas of how to get like 50 of these cards each day. Don’t bother going around asking every grandmother for their free card, because it won’t do you much good. Also, remember that the card expires at the end of the year if you don’t use it.

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GM Union Workers Go On Strike

By Erik Folgate

Could things get any worse for GM, and the auto industry? Thousands of GM workers go on strike citing that it has much to do with job security issues and a retirement health care benefit plan that did not come to fruition. Okay, let’s back up here for a second. You’re concerned with job security so you go on strike? Who the hell do these unions think they are? First of all, they’re idiots. Your job security is somewhat GM’s fault for not keeping up to speed with Honda, Toyota, and Nissan’s market share of the industry. But probably 75% of the problem is TECHNOLOGY. Wake up people. You’re being snuffed out and becoming obsolete because of technology. GM can do things faster, more efficiently, with more productivity using machines. It’s a sad reality, but you need to wake up and face that reality. The job market is falling away from factory shift work and moving towards knowledge and critical thinking. If you’re in your sixth or seventh year working in a factory at an auto company, don’t plan on retiring with that company. I sure wouldn’t plan on it. Plus, going on strike isn’t going to help the fact that jobs are being taken away from you by Japanese manufacturers.

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Marriage and Money: Spend 30 Minutes Each Week Discussing Your Finances

By Erik Folgate

We live in a fast-paced society. Our time is precious to us, even though we spend hours every week wasting it by watching television, daydreaming, and doing other meaningless tasks to kill time. But when it comes down to it, it never seems like there are enough hours in the day to get what needs to be done. I know that when my wife and I don’t sit down and go over our monthly budget at least 2 times a month, we end up spending more money as a result of it, because we’re not on the same page and we haven’t set forth a clear plan for our money.

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1 Million Chinese Made Cribs are Recalled Due to Infant Deaths

By Erik Folgate

If you own a Simplicity brand crib, you may want to take it down right away. According to the article from CNN Money, 3 infant deaths have been reported because of design flaws in the cribs. The instructions for building the crib may have allowed people to build the crib incorrectly, causing the crib to collapse and potentially entrap and suffocate infants.

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On-Campus Credit Card Booths Might Be A Scam

By Erik Folgate

I would suggest staying away from these credit card booths no matter what, because it’s just another form of predatory lending. Blueprint talks about how these credit card booths might be stealing your identity while stealing your financial virginity. It’s sad that we have to be so paranoid about our identity these days, but that is the world we live in. We need to make sure that we don’t just flaunt our personal information to anyone.

Besides, is a free t-shirt or a free pizza worth having 29% credit card debt with no job? Just stay away from them altogether, and you won’t have any problems.

Write A Successful Business Plan On Your Own

By Erik Folgate

Writing a business plan doesn’t have to be such a daunting task if you know what to include and what not to include in it. Some businesses don’t need a business plan. However, writing one out can be a good way to figure out if you really want to go through with the business. A business plan should include three major sections:

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  • The BUSINESS CONCEPT section
  • The MARKTING PLAN section
  • The FINANCIAL section

Stay Positive When Paying Off Debt

By Erik Folgate

After reading a few of my posts, you’ll soon realize that I HATE BEING IN DEBT. I’m doing everything that I can to get out of it, and I can’t stand it when I hear people say, “Why bother paying off my debt, when I can invest it and make more on the interest than I owe”. Borrowing against my own money doesn’t sound like a plan to become wealthy. I’m a big believer in the psychology of money and how to handle it. You have to master the mental part of handling money before you can master the mathematical and logical part of it. And that means being sold out on getting out of debt. You can’t be on the fence, or else you’ll stay in debt the rest of your life.

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What The Fed Rate Cut Means To You

By Erik Folgate

When you are listening to the news and you hear that the Fed cut some of the national interest rates, it doesn’t mean much to you. The average American doesn’t care what the Fed does, but they should, because their decisions affect us in many ways. AZcentral.com has a good article about what the recent interest rate cuts mean to the average American and each financial category.

Consumer debts

A cut will help many people who owe money. Interest on variable-rate credit cards could ease, and so might the bite on adjustable-rate mortgages. But anyone facing an ARM reset still should expect higher payments – just not quite as bad as they otherwise might be.

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Stock Market Update for September 17th, 2007

By Erik Folgate

The the Dow Jones has dipped about 70 points in the first half of the day. The Nasdaq index has fallen 25 ponits. Traders are weary about the upcoming Fed meeting where experts are predicting that they will raise the interest rate. Tuesday, the Fed will meet to discuss making adjustments to the federal fund rate. Many experts are expecting a quarter point increase. The decrease in jobs and the slumping retail sales market has caused some to believe that the Fed will make the adjustment and that we are approaching a recession.

A quote from the Yahoo Finance Article.

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How to Start A Family While Saving To Buy A House

By Erik Folgate

A Money Crasher reader and personal friend of mine asked me a question about how her and her husband should plan to start a family while trying to save for a house. She wants to be a full-time mom once they start having kids, and he’ll be making about $60k in the next 3 to 5 years. Here is her question:

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Statistics Support That We Are a House Poor Nation

By Erik Folgate

USA Today has an article about homeowners who are paying more than 30% and more than 50% of their household income towards their mortgage. Here are the statistics from the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Homeowners with mortgages spending at least 30% of income on housing:

  • 2000: 27%
  • 2005: 35%
  • 2007: 37%

Homeowners with mortgages spending at least 50% of income on housing:

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  • 2000: 10%
  • 2005: 13%
  • 2007: 14%

Financial Lessons to Learn In The Post 9/11 Era

By Erik Folgate

Before I begin the topic of this post, I just want to recognize all of the men and women that lost their lives six years ago today, whether they were in one of the airplanes, in the twin towers, or trying to rescue survivors. Your lives were taken by a bunch of cowards, and for that reason, we’ll always remember you.

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Choose the Debt Elimination Method That is Right For You

By Erik Folgate

I am a strong believer that eliminating your debt is the first step to becoming wealthy. Once you are debt free, there is nothing holding you back from saving a higher percentage of your income. Think about how much of your household income goes to credit card payments, car payments, and other miscellaneous debts. I’ll venture to say that it’s at least 20% of your take home pay. Saving an extra 20% of your income over 30 to 40 years will ALWAYS make you a millionaire, even if you make $35K for the rest of your life. There are three popular ways of methodically paying off your debt. I don’t want to tell you which one that I think you should do, because I think it has much to do with what kind of person you are. Here are the three methods for eliminating your debt.

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