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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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13 Tax Deductions Often Overlooked

By Erik Folgate

Tax time is in full effect. Have you done yours yet? I got mine done 2 months ago, because ours are pretty simple. There are SOME advantages to not having a load of assets and income. Here’s five quick tips for doing your taxes:

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  1. Gather together all of your important financial documents that may assist you in doing your taxes correctly. If you realized that you didn’t do a very good job of keeping track of this time, take the time to set up a folder or designated area to keep all of your charitable donation receipts, W-2′s, investment returns, and other important financial records.

Congress Finally Notices that Credit Card Companies Are a Bunch of Crooks

By Erik Folgate

It took a while, but Congress is finally starting to take interest in the unbelievable practices of the cut-throat credit card industry. Senator Carl Levin will be heading up a committee to investigate the practices of credit card companies and come up with legislation that would further regulate the financial practices of credit card companies. I work in the insurance industry, so I definitely understand that it is our responsibility to read the credit card terms and conditions. But let’s be honest, unless you work in the credit card industry, it’s impossible to figure out how they calculate your daily, weekly, monthly, and even your yearly interest rate.

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A Great Article About Paying Off Debt

By Erik Folgate

Free Money Finance posted this article about a guy who chose to be homeless and live out of his truck while trying to pay off his debt! Now that takes dedication. Read the article. It’s a good one, and it might inspire you to make a sacrifice today in order to help pay off your debt.

How Much House Can You Afford?

By Erik Folgate

It’s getting to be that time where more people are looking to buy a house and more people are looking to sell their house. My wife and I were looking at houses this weekend, and the question of “how much house can we afford” came up in a conversation.

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Educating Your Children About How to Handle Money

By Erik Folgate

My wife has a little sister in 5th grade, and like to make fun of her, because she loves asking us to buy her stuff, but when it comes to using her own money, she’s about as staunchy as it gets. I always say that she gets it from her big sister, and that is usually around the same time that I get punched in the arm by my wife. This brings up a great question about when young people first start learning about personal finance and how to handle money. How old were you when you started learning about the value of a dollar? Did your parents teach you, or did you have to learn about it the hard way?

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Great Deal On a Syntax 37? LCD Display – $599

By Erik Folgate

When I saw this deal, I HAD to share with all of you! I’ve been looking around for a nice size LCD TV lately, and I’ve been reading that Syntax Olevia is the best “off-brand” LCD for your money.

Well, I found a tuner-less 37″ LCD at Mac Mall for $599! GO HERE to check it out. BE ADVISED THAT I GAIN NOTHING FOR YOU BUYING THIS TV FROM THIS CLICK-THROUGH. I just wanted to share it with everyone, because I love when other people share great deals with me.

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Do You Need A Will?

By Erik Folgate

The answer to that is probably, YES! Generally, if you are worth over $10,000 in assets and cash then you need a will. A will takes all of the guesswork out of what you really want your assets to do when you part this life. And let’s be honest, do you really want some over-worked judge figuring out how to divide up your stuff? I will try to answer some common questions based on my limited knowledge about wills. My suggestion is that you use an attorney that specializes in estate planning to help you draft your will. You don’t need an attorney to write a will and notarize it, but this is something that you want to do right, and they can help you consider the tax ramifications.

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My Take On Investing In Single Stocks

By Erik Folgate

Thousands of blogs and other websites are dedicated to investing, and I see so much emphasis on individual stocks and company news. My question is, when do these bloggers find the time to follow the stock market so closely? Well, some of them blog full-time and others just read a lot. I know a few people that invest in single stocks. They’ll keep a chunk of cash in Google, maybe some in Apple, and now I’m sure they’ll jump on the XM and Sirius merger. But what they don’t realize is that they are playing Russian roulette with their money. You might as well put your money on a single black jack hand in Vegas if you are going to invest thousands into a handful of stocks. If ONE thing goes wrong with the company, the economy, the political climate, or the safety of the country, then you can kiss your hard earned money good-bye.

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The Difference Between a Career And a Job

By Erik Folgate

I was talking to my wife the other night about decisions that I wish I would have never made in the past. One of them was jumping on a job right out of college just because it paid a decent paycheck. I told her that if I was smart, I would have worked a menial job and wait for the right opportunity in a field of work that I enjoy. Instead, I took a job that I am not passionate about and the pay isn’t that great.

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Now Is The Time to Start Putting Your Home Up For Sale.

By Erik Folgate

Real estate agents will tell you that the spring is the best time to list your home for sale. This is because it starts to warm up a little bit, and for some reason, real estate is one people’s minds. So, what are you waitng for? Are you scared to sell your home, because you don’t think you’ll get enough for it? Well, here are a few suggestions to help sell your home quick and maximize your sale price.

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Save Some Money on Valentine’s Day While Being More Romantic

By Erik Folgate

her money this Valentine’s Day, but the truth is that it is easier to spend more money than less money. I also know that spending less money forces you to be more creative, and creativity is usually more romantic than anything money can buy. Here are ten ways to make your Valentine’s memorable without spending a ton of money.

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  1. Write about 10 – 20 notes and post them all around the house in places that he or she will find them
  2. Take him or her on a picnic in a romantic area or an area that is special to you both

Marriage and Money: Sit Down Together To Plan Your Budget

By Erik Folgate

I listen to a good deal of talk radio. I usually catch some of Dave Ramsey’s radio shows and a couple of local money shows as well. One of my favorite parts about listening to talk radio is getting to tap into the lives of other people and their struggles and accomplishments with money. One of the more interesting topics is when a couple is struggling to handle their finances like a married couple. What I usually hear is one of the spouses handles all of the finances and the other just takes orders from the one who handles the money.

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