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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is not a far-fetched idea. There’s no doubt that a positive correlation between technological advances and increasing life spans exists. The article describes how 20 to 40 year olds should plan on living a long life of retirement and planning to pursue multiple careers, because we’ll be awfully bored if we retire at 65 and live another 35 years!
Are you looking for a nice 32″, 37″, or 42″ LCD TV? Vizio and Syntax are two of the best off-brand LCD TVs you can buy, based on the research that I have done. I’m going to buy either a 37″ or 42″ Syntax as soon as I have the money.
Anyway, I like passing off great deals to all of you Money Crashers readers. Check out the deals going on at Tigerdirect.com for LCD televisions. You can get 42″ LCD’s for $650! Some of the deals end today and some end on 5/27. Make sure you look to see which ones are refurbished models and which ones are new.
By Erik Folgate
Are you in the middle of trying to pay off some debt? Are you having a hard time gaining ground on paying off the debts that you owe? Well, if you are like me, then the 9 to 5 job isn’t cutting it when it comes to helping me reach my goal of getting out of debt. The #6 principle of managing money like a Money Crasher is to find creative ways to generate extra income. The reason this is one of my core principles for winning with money is because sometimes even on a strict budget, it’s tough to scrounge up enough money to gain traction with paying off debt.
By Erik Folgate
I graduated from my undergraduate degree at the perfect time. Consolidation federal student loans rates were at an all-time low. I locked in a consolidated rate of 2.75% for the life of the loan! It was awesome, because I have already saved thousands in interest with a rate that low. Yeah I know, i’m rubbing it in your face if you graduated this May. The best consolidation rates you’ll find this year are in the 6 to 7% range. More than two-thirds of college students leave with student loan debt, and the average bill they are carrying is $19,200 according to the Department of Education. There’s an obvious need for recent graduates to be counseled about what to do with their student loans. I am only one person, and I’m not an certified financial counselor, but if you want my opinion, that is what I will give you.