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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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PayPerPost – An Alternative Way to Create Some Revenue For Your Blog

By Erik Folgate

I am still relatively new to the personal financial blogging community, and one thing that I can say is that 9 out of the 10 blogs out there are genuine about wanting to share about our personal financial struggles and successes with the hope of helping each other out.  I hope that those of you that read my blog think the same of this blog.  Since we produce a large amount of quality information and content, I do believe that we should take steps to monetizing our blogs in a non-invasive way. 

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Four Types of Insurance You MUST Have At All Times

By Erik Folgate

Today, I was reading an article in USA Today about homeowners that lost a court case contesting the policy language of their homeowner’s policy about storm surge/flood waters regarding the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The judge upheld the ruling that the policy language is clear about not covering damages caused by storm surge or flood waters whether it is caused by actual flooding or wind.  Obviously, none of these people had flood insurance, because they believed they would never need it.  It’s a tragic story, because now we’ll definitely be seeing the true fallout of the Katrina damages when foreclosures and bankrupties sky-rocket in New Orleans.  I am a property claims adjuster, so this article was very interesting to me, and it got me thinking about what types of insurance all adults should have no matter what phase of their lives they are in.  Here are my top four types of insurance that every human being should buy in order to maintain financial stability. 

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The Lost Art of Clipping Coupons to Save Money

By Erik Folgate

This may be a broad generalization, but I will venture to say that the younger generations of America do not use coupons the way that our parents and grandparents used manufacturer’s coupons.  I was flipping through a sunday paper coupon book, and I started saying to myself, “why have I not been using more of these coupons?”  I will admit it, I have never sat down and clipped coupons to use at the grocery store.  After finding numerous $1.00 off coupons for items that I buy every other week, I realized that  could be saving some serious money when I go to Wal-mart and the grocery store. 

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Don’t Create a Tax Deduction For the Sake of Having a Tax Deduction

By Erik Folgate

I read all the time about financial people advising to set your life up to be eligible for as many tax deductions as possible.  They give you all of the numbers and show you how much money you can save throughout the year if you have a mortgage, student loan debt, and various other things that create a tax deduction.  However, the financial world has gone one step further to encourage consumers to keep their debts that are tax deductible for as long as they can to milk the deductions.  This is completely absurd, and again, anything you say to me will not change my mind about it.  NEVER CREATE A TAX DEDUCTION JUST FOR THE SAKE OF HAVING A DEDUCTION. 

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Becoming a Homeowner At a Young Age

By Erik Folgate

Is it possible to own a home right out of college?  Well, it depends on your situation.  It is true that a single young person will have a much harder time owning a home than a young couple with two incomes, but do not be discouraged by that.  Homeownership is the American dream, and I think that everyone should be working towards owning a piece of property, or mayb even two, three, or ten pieces of property.  The fact is that real estate is a great investment, even in the post real estate boom era.  Real estate very rarely goes down in value, and it gives you more control over your investment by being able to build an extra bathroom that may cost you $6,000, but it will increase the homes value by $15,000. 

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Help for Pastors and Ministry Staff to Find Jobs

By Erik Folgate

I am fairl active in my local church, and I did an internship at one point as a youth pastor for a church one summer.  One thing that I know is that it is very hard for young pastors, music ministers, and church administrators to locate open jobs in churches.  Most of this has to do with the fact that many churches hire internally within their congregation and pastors are found heavily on a referral basis. 

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Monopoly Sells Its Soul to Visa

By Erik Folgate

I knew that Parker Brothers was hurting when they kept coming out with every gosh darn version of Monopoly that they could think of.  But this information is very troubling to me.  No matter what version of monopoly you are playing, whether it is knitting-opoly or gator-opoly or whatever, you are using cash to buy things in the game.  Now, monopoly will be coming out with a “high tech” version of the most popular board game ever with a swiping credit card and a credit card machine that deducts money from your account.  And you may think, “Oh, well they are just keeping up with the times”, but this is not the case.   Visa credit card is sponsoring the charge machine and giving Parker Brothers a huge chunk of cash to be its sponsor.  This troubles me on two levels.

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Don’t Let Money Ruin Your Vacation

By Erik Folgate

Let me start off by saying that I think that you should ALWAYS pay cash for a vacation.  It is silly to finance a luxury.  You may feel like you deserve a vacation, but they are still a luxury expense.  That being said, I am a huge proponent of living it up when you go on vacation.  Vacation is a time of releasing stress, thinking about nothing, and rejuvenating your mind and body.  If you try to go cheap on your vacation, it will not feel like much of a vacation. 

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Long-Term Disability Insurance Is Something Everyone Should Buy

By Erik Folgate

As a twenty-something, I have really never paid attention to long-term disability insurance.  Because I am in the prime years of my life, I have this feeling of invincibility like nothing could happen to me.  I feel great and I work at a desk job.  But lately I started thinking about how one tragic event could change my life forever, and it made me realize that this insurance product is for everyone. 

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Real Estate Investing Should Not Be a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme

By Erik Folgate

I was listening to a radio show the other night where a guy was describing that he went out and bought three properties with zero money down.  Now, he has had some deadbeat renters and he is 3 months behind on the mortgage payments.  He is having a hard time selling the properties and is close to foreclosure on the properties. It had him very scared and confused about what to do next.  My assumption is that this guy listened to some get-rich-quick scam artist and now he is getting burned. 

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Twenty-somethings Turn Out To Be Savvy Investors with Roth 401(k)

By Erik Folgate

This blog article from USA Today talks about a poll that shows that young people in their twenties are most likely to opt for a Roth 401(k) when their employers offer it as a retirement benefit. 

About 14% of the twenty to thirty year old demographic opted to invest their money into a Roth 401(k).  A Roth 401(k) combines the characteristics of a Roth IRA and a traditional 401(k).  Basically, the money from your paycheck goes into the Roth 401(k) AFTER taxes are taken out, whereas the money goes into the account BEFORE taxes in a traditional 401(k). 

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A Degree Is Worthless. An Education Is Priceless.

By Erik Folgate

My generation has fallen into a huge trap when it comes to our philosophy about higher learning.  We have created a society of young people whom think that having a college degree will automatically make them successful in the marketplace.  Young people will spend anything and everything to get a so-called “prestigious” degree, and most young people look to Uncle Sam to help them fit the bill.  The end product is a young and broke twenty-something whom is working at a decent job making $30,000 a year with $25 – 50 grand in student loans. 

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