So you go out one weekend to look at furniture. That couch with the funky smell and the 1970’s style dining room table just aren’t cutting it anymore. You don’t really have the money to spend on new furniture, but you deserve it, right? You walk into the furniture store to the smell of fresh popcorn and oven-baked cookies, two of the most alluring smells on earth. You go and get yourself a snack and you start browing around the store with no real intent on buying anything today.
If you’re like me, then insurance costs are becoming quite a problem for your monthly budget. I live in Florida, and it seems like the insurance rates continue to rise and there is no sign of it stopping. You can call me conservative or republican, but I support individuals taking the initiative to help the problem of rising insurance costs rather than waiting for the government to do something about it. Insurance companies reward those people and those real properties that are less of a risk to them. Here are some ideas that I conjured up for how you can save money on your insurance premiums by reducing the risk in your life.
At Money Crashers, there are two main goals that I am trying to achieve:
- Educate and inform you about managing money, investing, buying insurance, and spending wisely.
- Help you change your personal financial behavior.
The Answer is YES! Here’s the good news and the bad news about disability insurance.
The Bad News:
- Disability insurance is one of the most overlooked insurance coverages in America. We all think we’re invincible, and that will never happen to us. But let’s get real, people go blind, deaf, get paralyzed, or contract certain diseases every day that disable them from doing the job that they are equipped to do.
- We have a lot of pride on our hearts. Pride might prevent you from buying disability insurance. You need to be realistic with yourself, especially if your job is a little more risky than others.
If you’re like me, you love getting a deal whether it’s on something you’re buying or some kind of event. If I had to choose, I would much rather spend money on doing something or going somewhere rather than buying the newest product. I love to travel and I love going to concerts, sporting events, and the theater. Here are six tips that have helped me score a discount on entertainment and travel:
- Bring Your Student ID or AAA card everywhere you go. You’ll be surprised how many places give student discounts. If you’re not a student, then join an organization like AAA. You can always find a hotel, airlines, or even museums that will give you discounts for being a member.
If you are like me, then you dread opening up your mailbox to find about 15 pieces of mail and only one or two of those pieces of mail has any real significance. The rest of it is, “0% financing, pre-approved for ultra, hot, sexy, platinum visa card” or “Tired of your insurance rates? Get a free quote with
CNN Money writes this article about the housing market continuing to slump. If you look at the numbers, they are not unbelievably bad. It’s been a gradual slip back reality which should have been expected after one of the biggest housing booms in United States History. Seriously, take yourself back to 2003 and 2004 when you had to actually had to outbid other buyers above the asking price in some housing markets. That’s how crazy it was getting in places like Arizona, Florida, Atlanta, New York, and California.
Recent College Graduates
- You must be less than three years removed from college graduation
By Erik Folgate
The other day I received a call from my bank offering life and disability insurance for my credit card. The pitch was, in case of death, critical illness or disability, my credit card payments would be taken care of for only 0.98% of my credit card balance each month. This would keep me in good financial standing while sick, or ease the burden on my family in case of death.
What the woman on the other end of the telephone didn’t mention was that should such an unfortunate situation arise, the policy would only cover my minimum payments, or 3% of my balance.
By Erik Folgate
My first experience with buying a car on a dealer’s lot came a couple of weeks ago. My 1995 Nissan Altima had come to its end. A big, huge, hairy truck plowed into the Altima in a parking lot and pretty much totaled the car. It was actually a blessing, because then I didn’t have to spend the money fixing it up to make it pretty enouh to sell. I’ve always had clunker cars up until now, so buying a car at a dealership was a very new experience. I don’t like buying new cars, so I went to an “up-scale” used car lot, if there is such a thing. My wife and I went back and forth to different dealerships looking at full-size sedans and a couple of small SUVs. We started looking at 2006 Hyundai Sonatas because they were in our price range, they looked nice, and they are a very smooth drive. Plus, we could get a Sonata with a V6 engine that was in our price range. I was ang. little skeptical about buying a Korean car with the track record it has had in the past, but Hyundai has definitely separated itself from Kia by a mile. Many reviews by magazines like Motor Trend and Car Buying Guide say that Hyundai is getting closer and closer to Toyota and Honda type quality. I know, it’s hard to believe, but all you really need to do is drive a newer Hyundai, and you’ll see what they are saying. So, we found the Sonata that we really liked. It was a nice, midnight blue color, had about 30k miles, and the interior was very clean. And so begins the adventure. Here are a few things that I did to help prepare myself for negotiating and buying my “new” used car.
By Erik Folgate
Have you ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness? Have you received an anonymous gift or had someone help you in a tight situation? When I was in college, I had horrible luck with cars. My first car lasted a couple of years, but it was about 15 years old, so I didn’t expect much. My second car was a 1996 Nissan Altima, and it was a great car, but it was totaled by some girl that ran a stop sign. Then, I had an older Mercury Cougar, and the head gasket on the engine blew. Compared to the value of the car, it wasn’t worth it to fix. So, I was in Gainesville, Florida with no car, taking the number 5 bus to school, and calling my girlfriend to pick me up for our dates. It wasn’t a high point in my life, but plenty of college students survive without cars. I had no money to pay for a used car or even a down payment for a financed car. My mom told my home church back in West Palm Beach, Florida about my situation, and that is when I became the recipient of a random act of kindness. Someone in the church donated a 1995 Nissan Altima to the deacon’s ministry at my church, and the head deacon gave me a call. He asked if I wanted the car, and I gladly accepted. I paid the deacons $100 a month for about eight months, and then they handed over the title to me. It was quite a blessing, because I had a reliable car for VERY cheap.
The old saying, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true” can help you save a great deal of money in your lifetime. At some point in your life, you will probably be a victim of a scam whether it’s on a small or large scale. The reality is that there are people out there that don’t care what it takes to steal money, so they try to do it in creative ways other than robbing a bank. Unfortunately, the elderly and the those in financial distress are targeted the most when it comes to money scams. It is always in a time of financial hardship that we tend to be more susceptible to a scam, because we are more willing to let go of our common sense and go for something that does not feel right. You could dedicate an entire book about all of the scams to watch out for, but I will touch on a few that I have been in contact with lately, and I will also touch on identity theft and how you can protect yourself from it.
Educating yourself is the key phrase in this installment of the “11 Principles of a Money Crasher” series. If you want to save money and ultimately be wealthy when you retire, then you need to be an educated consumer. Educated consumers get better deals on the large purchases made during the course of one’s life. I’m talking about cars, real estate, boats, and also insurance products. Insurance is a HUGE expense over the span of one’s life, because you will ALWAYS need to carry auto, homeowner’s, and health insurance. There’s also term life insurance, long-term disability insurance, and renter’s insurance that people pay every year. The people that just randomly point at a car or an insurance product are the ones that get ripped off. I’m not saying that you need to become the ultimate negotiator and take courses at your local community college about insurance, but you need to get familiar with these large purchases. The power of the internet has made it so absolutely no one has the excuse that he or she could not do any research on cars, real estate, insurance, or other big ticket items. The information is there at your fingertips. If you decided to cut your internet out of your house, you can STILL get it for free at the library. This article would be brutal to go into great detail about these big ticket items, so I will give you a brief overview of each and reference some of my most popular articles in these subjects for you to reference.
I was watching the weekend edition of the NBC Nightly News Sunday night, and there was a segment that struck me about a retired physician who started a free clinic for the poor in Hilton Head, South Carolina. This man came to Hilton Head almost two decades ago in hopes of living the normal retirement with plenty of golf, going out to eat, and laying on the beach. But, after a few years, he realized that fully retiring was boring. He saw a need where many of the blue collar workers in Hilton Head could not afford health care. He decided to start a walk-in clinic, and all patients that met the low income requirements were treated for free. The clinic helped take pressure off of the local emergency rooms to treat these individuals and the retired physician found a whole new meaning to his life when he started giving back to the community with his professional expertise.
Being debt free is a great indication that you are doing well with managing your finances, but it’s not the only benchmark for good financial health. You may be debt free, but are you saving for retirement? Are you stashing away enough money to retire comfortably and sustain a good lifestyle for 25 to 30 years? Investing can be a very controversial subject. Everyone seems to have their own opinion about long term investing. Stock brokers, financial advisors, and other financial professionals make a killing to do one thing, maximize your long term return on investment. Here’s my question, is investing really as complicated as some people make it sound? Can an auto mechanic figure out how to invest for his or her retirement?