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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Write about 10 – 20 notes and post them all around the house in places that he or she will find them
- Take him or her on a picnic in a romantic area or an area that is special to you both
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.
One of the worst experiences you’ll ever have is dealing with collection agencies and creditors. There are some reputable ones like mortgage and some car loan creditors, but when it comes to credit card collection agents, forget it. They will do anything and everything to pressure you into paying off your debt now. Let me preface this post by saying that I believe you should always pay back your debts in a timely fashion, but I understand why some people get behind. If you don’t have the money, there’s no way to pay it back! Before you even start talking and negotiating with creditors, you need to set your financial priorities. Your priorities should look something like this:
Whether this was something initiated by Democrats or Republicans, Congress and the Bush administration are finally getting it when it comes to the level of student debt floating around the country. Today, USA Today reports in this article that Bush plans on raising the pell grants for low-income students by about 25%, and he’s going to lower the amount of subsidies to private lenders such as Sallie Mae who dominate the student loan sector. The banks are saying that this will put a monopoly on government run student aid and students will receive IRS-quality customer service. I say, go cry about it some more you corporate bank crooks! Their profit margin will still be plenty fat even by reducing the government subsidies.What this will do is put more money into the pockets of students who come from lower-income families. It will also reduce the amount of money students have to borrow to cover school costs. Current pell grant levels are enough to cover tuition, but if you went through four years of college, you know that the tuition is not the expensive part. Books, food, rent, and other necessities add up quickly and the $7 an hour part-time job just doesn’t cut it sometimes. I am a strong advocate of college students working while in school, but it is not fair to kid who have no support from their parents to be working 60 hours a week and missing out on some of the college experience. This is a good thing and Congress and the Bush administration should be applauded for it.