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.
I am very excited to announce that one of my articles was posted on one of my favorite magazines. Check out the Insurance For Stewards article at Relevant Magazine. I have a feature article talking about the four most indispensible insurance policies that a young person should own. You can check out my comment on why I did not include life insurance as one of those four.
I have been so busy lately that I did not even realize my article was posted on their website! Craziness. Anyway, check out this magazine. It is a great resource for music, pop culture, movies, life, and God.
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.
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.
I just wanted to apologize to anyone and everyone that read this blog on a somewhat regular basis. I have been very busy taking care of some persoal matters the last couple of weeks. We have run into some plumbing mishaps with the condo that I bought recently, and now we have some angry neighbors! I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio one time, and he was talking about how Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) will move into your house faster than you know it if you try to buy a house without a large emergency fund. We have an emergency fund, but it is nowhere near the amount it should have been before we decided to buy a condo. You live and learn, and I believe one of the best ways to learn about how to handle money is to fall on your face first, because I promise you will never make the same mistake! I know we will not make that same mistake ever again. The silver lining is that we are young and we do not have any kids, so when finances get tight, I can always go out and work two or three jobs.
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.
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.
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:
- Eating out (even the little $6 meals that you don’t think about as much).
- Home improvements (I’ve spent way too much money at Lowe’s and Home Depot lately).
- iTunes downloads (have not done it lately, but when I do, it’s not pretty!)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.