Last Tuesday, Dateline started a piece about identity theft. They have done segments on identity theft in the past, but this is an ongoing series that is going deep into the life and behind the scenes of identity thieves and the elaborate crime rings going on around the world. I didn’t get to see it, but I am going to try to watch the show this coming tuesday.
By Erik Folgate
Whether you agree or disagree with the war in Iraq or even the “war on terror”, I think we can all find common ground in the fact that terrorism is a horrible reality in the world and it needs to be stopped. In order for terrorism to take place, it takes resources and these resources have to come from a some kind of funding. The fundamental reaon why the Bush Administration justifies their actions in the Middle East is because they believe that terrorism would not exist if oil-rich countries were not sponsoring terrorists. Terrorists are poor. If you think Osama Bin-Laden is a self made millionare, you are wrong. If you think that terrorists can still pull off acts like 9/11 with limited funding, you are wrong. Many leaders in our country believe that we need to cut off theses sources of funding and many believe that Iran and other Middle Eastern countries are funding terrorist groups. So, what can we do about this?
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.