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My Entrepreneurial Spirit At A Young Age

By Erik Folgate

I was going through some old junk a few days ago, and I stumbled across a necklace that I made when I was in elementary school.  When I was young, I would buy materials to make beaded necklaces, bracelets, and anklets.  I don’t think I charged enough money for them, but when you are working with kids whom only have enough money for lunch, you’ll get what you can take.  In middle school, my friends and I used to take cans from neighborhood recycling bins, crush them, and take them to the recycling center.  We would get $5.00 for every so many pounds.  It ended up being enough money for some baseball cards and Checker’s burgers. 

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Marriage Drops Below 50% In Family Households

By Erik Folgate

Recently, you saw the statistic in the media about married couples comprising less than 50% of the family households in America.  This is the first time since they started keeping track of the statistic that it dipped below 50 percent.  Many households contain single-parent families, gay/lesbian partners, and unmarried couples co-habitating with mutual children.  However, the main reason for the decline in marriages is not due to the rise in alternative lifestyle relationship, rather it is due to an increase in divorce over the past three decades. 

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No Extra Cash After The Bills Are Paid: What Do You Do?

By Erik Folgate

For many of us, the problem with our finances boils down to a lack of extra cash.  By the time the bills are paid, there is no money to save, pay down debt, or have fun.  In my opinion, this is the point where many people begin the painful cycle of using debt to substitute a lack of cash flow.  Society has taught all ages to use debt as a “tool” in order to maintain the life we live or upgrade the life we live.  It is this simple concept that I believe is the reason why Americans are in debut up to their eyeballs. 

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The Difference Between YTD Return and Yield

By Erik Folgate

I’m new to fairly serious investing mostly because this is the first time in my life that I have had any money to invest.  I took a couple of finance classes in college, but let’s be honest, some stuff just does not stick.  I started looking at my 401k more seriously the past few weeks and I started wondering why my year-to-date return was decent, yet my yield was like 0.3% or something ridiculous like that. So started educating myself on why this was so. 

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Would You Rather have a Down Payment On a House or a Nice Wedding?

By Erik Folgate

Before I begin, do not take me as being cynical when it comes to weddings or getting married.  I am married and I had a fairly large wedding in terms of guest size and cost. 

I was in Ohio this past weekend for my best friend’s wedding.  The wedding was smaller, low-key, and quaint.  It was actually a breath of fresh air to go to a wedding where the bride was not freaking out about the wedding favors that no one remembers after the wedding.  I am sure the wedding still cost a decent chunk of change even without all of the extra frills, large number of guests, and huge reception. 

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Should You Save For Retirement At a Young Age?

By Erik Folgate

This is a question that usually bugs younger people when they start their first “real” job.  Most larger companies offer some kind of 401k plan, and other smaller companies will help you open an IRA.  The attraction to contributing to a 401k is that some companies will match your contribution up to a certain amount.  It truly is one of the only times in your life where a company will give you FREE money.  The only catch is that sometimes they make you stay with that company for certain amount of time before the money is fully vested.  This means that you will have to work at the company for so many years before you can keep all of the matched money.  The other side to this question is that most young people could use as much of their paycheck as they can get.  We do not have a lot of room to be thinking about 40 years down the road.  I do not have a great answer to this question, because I believe it depends on your situation.

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Question: If you lost your job today, what three things would you cut out of your life to help save money?

By Erik Folgate

I’ve been trying to spur some reader participation lately, but have not had much luck!  I enjoy reading comments from you all out there!  Anyway, I heard this question posed on the radio today, and I thought it would be an interesting one to think about.  Here are my three: 

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  1. Eating out (even the little $6 meals that you don’t think about as much).
  2. Home improvements (I’ve spent way too much money at Lowe’s and Home Depot lately).
  3. iTunes downloads  (have not done it lately, but when I do, it’s not pretty!) 

Saving Money On Your Phone Calls with Voice-over IP companies

By Erik Folgate

I just saw the new advertisement from Vonage boasting service for $19.99.  VoIP has been an emerging technology for making phone calls across the United States.  This is not a tech blog, but basically it works by using the same type of technology that helps to connect computers with each other on the internet by using an IP address which is unique to each phone or computer at the time of use.  It actually uses a broadband internet connection, so this is one of the things that most people do not know.  You need to have high-speed internet in order to have a VoIP phone service. 

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Starting Salaries, Annual Raises, and How They Affect Your Long-Term Earning Ability

By Erik Folgate

Over at Free Money Finance, there is a great article about starting salaries and how annual raises compounded over a long period of time will greatly affect your earning capacity.  However, a true money crasher would be thinking of ways to take the shackles off of their earning potential by creating alternative creative streams of income that are limitless.  Don’t settle for an annual raise and salary jobs. 

If you are reading this blog, then I am sure you have read Free Money Finance’s Blog, but I encourage you to go through some of his most popular blogs.  This is one of the most popular personal financial blogs on the net for a reason. 

Make Money By Getting Paid To Blog

By Erik Folgate

The people over at Problogger have posted a Job Board that helps connect businesses and blogging entpreneurs with other bloggers.  There are people looking for people to write for their blog, and they are willing to pay fixed incomes and/or share in the revenue from the site.  This is a great opportunity to earn some extra income if you have relevant blogging experience and a passion for the subject of the blog.  Remember, earning extra side income is a Money Crasher principle which is essential to gaining traction for eliminating debt, investing, and saving for large purchases.  I thought that I would pass along this great resource to find a job as a professional blogger. 

The Weekly Top Five Favorites List: Top Five Favorite Websites To Find A Deal

By Erik Folgate

In the spirits of the “question of the day” that JLP from All Financial Matters, I am going to start a weekly Top Five Favorites List.  I would like anyone and everyone whom reads this blog to participate in this.  I’m really interested in getting readership involvement, because I learn the most from other people’s comments, opinions, and suggestions.  I’ll try to come up with a weekly topic every and post it every wednesday night.  Here is this week’s topic:

Your Top 5 Favorite Websites To Find A Deal:

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  1. Orlando Craigslist
  2. Ben’s Bargains
  3. Passwird
  4. Woot

Craigslist Will Soon Replace Ebay As The New Website To Find a Good Deal

By Erik Folgate

If you have not checked out your local craigslist website on www.craigslist.com, then you need to go do it right now.  The chances of there being a craigslist pertaining to the city you live in or a city near you is VERY high.  Craigslist.com is a classified ads website with literally thousands of ads for anything and everything. 

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Generation Next Faces More Stress, More Costs of Education and Living

By Erik Folgate

There have been numerous newspaper and magazine articles lately about Generation Next and the things they face and will face as they enter college and the working environment.  I am intrigued by this generation because I am a part of the last half of it.  We are deemed as the technology generation, the ipod generation, the MTV generation, and there are many other names floating out there.  While this generation may be known for its technological prowess, it is undeniable that young people between the ages of 18 - 30 are hard working, motivated, and dedicated to replacing our baby-boomer parents in the working world.  However, Generation Next faces many challenges in the years to come with the cost of education rising, more pressure to succeed and follow in the footsteps of their over-achieving parents, and trying to keep up with the rising costs of living. 

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Student Loan Consolidation Can Never Hurt You

By Erik Folgate

You will hear me harp over and over about consolidating your student loans.  There are several reasons why you need to do it.  For one, it will lock you into a fixed rate for the life of the loan.  Second, you only have to pay one payment per month, rather than several different ones.  Lastly, it just makes sense, because there are no hidden fees or catches associated with it. 

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Housing Market Cools, More People Will Look To Buying Foreclosures

By Erik Folgate

Now that the housing market is starting to shift back to a buyer’s market and with the rising popularity of 1-year adjustable rate mortgages, you will start to see more people looking to buy pre-foreclosure and foreclosed properties.  This is a subject that con-artists and late-night “get rich quick” schemes love to talk about.  It sounds so easy — Find a house in foreclosure and buy it for pennies on the dollar.  Well, the truth is that it is extremely risky and tough to buy a foreclosure and actually get a good deal.  But don’t get me wrong, people do it, and some of them do get a good deal.  The bottom line is that you need to know what you are doing.  There are three different scenarios when it comes to buying a foreclosure and I will go through all of them with their respective pros and cons. 

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