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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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The Low Down on Warren Buffet Giving Away A Ton of His Money

By Erik Folgate

It put a smile on my face to see that Warren Buffet was going to be giving away a big chunk of his wealth.  He is giving away about $37 billion dollars, which is about 85% of his wealth.  Although, I know there are some cynics out there, and that is why I chose to write about this current event.  First let’s break down one of the largest philantropic events ever. 

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Four Ways to Earn Respect At Your New Job

By Erik Folgate

I started my first real job about a year ago, and now I am reflecting upon my first year’s experience in the “working” world.  I have adjusted nicely, and I like the people that I work with, however, it was quite intimidating to be “the new guy”.  I thought that I would share four things that helped me earn some credibility with my boss and co-workers.

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Where We Learn Our Financial Habits

By Erik Folgate

I called my dad today and wished him a happy father’s day, and it got me thinking about how much our parents influence our lives.  We usually think about the morals and principles that our parents teach us.  Parents teach us the difference between right and wrong, and they usually try to instill their own political, social, and behavioral ideologies into us at an early age.  Parents want us to be like them, unless your parents are into bad stuff, then they want you to be exactly the opposite of them. 

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It’s Never Too Early to Think About Christmas

By Erik Folgate

Christmas is six months away.  Most of us are thinking about the beach, vacations, and hot weather at this point in the game.  Christmas is often overlooked as a big expense, but it usually hits our bank accounts hard.  In 2005, Americans spent an average of $900 per household on Christmas gifts.  If you start putting away $150 a month until the holiday season, you’ll have $900 to spend on your loved ones for the holidays. 

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Saving Money While Traveling This Summer

By Erik Folgate

Even though gas prices and airline tickets are at record highs this summer, people will still do a great deal of traveling this summer.  Some of you will stay in the United States, some will go to exotic islands, cruises, and some will venture to other continents.  Traveling is a big expense and vacations are something that you do not want to short change yourself on.  Let’s face it, we all need some good rest and relaxation!

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My First Closing On a Piece of Property

By Erik Folgate

I actually do not own any “property” so to speak, but I closed on a small condominium yesterday.  This was my first closing, and I was so stressed out that I was 20 minutes late trying to find the attorney’s office. 

The whole process was fairly new to me.  I know a good deal about how the process works with mortgages, taxes, insurance, and all of that good stuff, but it is always a different feeling when they hand over the keys to you and now you actually own something of great value. 

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Collections Agencies and Creditors: You Have Rights!

By Erik Folgate

I have recently been in the process of paying a bogus collection solely because I want to buy a condo soon.  The collection was from a tow truck company that charged me for impounding a vehicle that still had the title in my name.  Get this, I junked a car a few years ago (or so I thought).  This car was an old mercury cougar that would have been more money to fix than what it was worth.  The mechanic told my dad that if we sign over the title to him that he would take care of salvaging it for us.  Well, apparently he fixed the car and resold it to someone who didn’t have a license or a registration for the car.  They were arrested and when they went to go look for a name to charge for the impounding, they found my name.  Obviously, I was very upset, but it would have probabl taken me years to fight this off of my credit report.  So, I am giving in and paying it like a sissy, because I would rather own this condo.  Anyway, it has helped me to learn my right as a consumer when it comes to dealing with these not so pleasant people.  I was not sure of all the horrible things I had heard about collectors and creditors until I had to deal with them on a regular basis.  They are the scum of the earth!  I am sorry to say it, but I don’t know how they sleep at night.  All I wanted to do was talk to them about the situation, but they would keep hanging up on me.  It’s ridiculous, anyway, as far as them being professional, I never had a problem with that.  They never tried to harass me or else I would have had a lawyer on their butts faster than you can say lawsuit.  Here are some things to remember when dealing with a collection or past due account on your credit report.

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Sticking to a Budget is Harder Than I Thought

By Erik Folgate

I am fairly new out of college.  I got married straight out of finishing my undergraduate degree.  I was fired up to start saving money and buying wisely with my new found income which about tripled after I finished school.  This post is all about me being real with myself and those of you that read my blog.  This is not a surprise to any of you, but it was a lot tougher than I thought it would be to stick to a strict budget and save up for big ticket items. 

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Insurance Companies Looking Out For You and Your Car

By Erik Folgate

Insurance companies are not philantropists.  They create programs ans educate people about how to reduce their risk, because the less risk they have to take on, the more money they make!  That is the nature of the insurance business.  I definitely know, because I am a property and casualty insurance adjuster.  If you have ever bought a home, you will find out how particular homeowner’s insurance companies are with what your house is made of, what is in it, and what is going on in it.  Auto insurance is the same way.  Geico recently published an article about California having 6 of the top 10 areas for the most cars stolen.  That is scary!  I hardly ever think about my car getting stolen, and I’ve never met someone who has had their car stolen, but I can imagine it being a frightening experience.  However, I drive a ’95 Altima, so whoever wants to steal that car can go right ahead.  Some tips for reducing your chances of getting your car stolen:

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Florida Residents: Get your Tax-Free Hurricane Supplies

By Erik Folgate

UPDATE: To check out my most recent post about the 2007 Hurricane preparedness salex tax holiday, GO HERE.

From now until June 1st, residents of Florida will be able to buy designated hurricane supplies with no sales tax in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season.  The season officially starts June 1st, and many Florida residents are shaking in their boots after what has happened in the past two years.  Natural disasters such as hurricanes can pose a huge financial threat on individuals and their families.  This is a great way to save some money on supplies that you may need anyway!  Things like batteries, flashlights, generators, and other related products will be tax free! 

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Oh How I Hate Ebay Scams

By Erik Folgate

I’ve been selling on Ebay for a while now, and I am pretty kean to sniffing out ebay scams.  I know about Nigeria, fake cashier’s checks, and all of that.  So anyway, we accepted a personal check from a buyer.  This is where my ignorance comes into play.  I thought that once a check posts into your account, it is YOUR money.  I’m not talking about pending, but POSTED transaction into the account.  However, this is not the case.  The check still has to be verified by another bank before it is TRULY your money.  Many of us think that a cleared check is a good check.  Apparently, that is not the case.  You are probably either saying to yourself, “Yeah, you need to learn about how checks are cashed” and some of you are saying “Really, is that true?”.  Yes, it’s true. 

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Debt Elimination Step 5: The Importance of the Emergency Fund

By Erik Folgate

This is the last step to eliminating your debt.  If you have followed the first four steps, then you are already debt free.  But how can you STAY debt free?  The same concept of losing weight and KEEPING the weight off applies to getting and staying debt free.  You must change your habits.  It does you no good to lose 50lbs if you are going to stop working out and eating right as soon as you lose the pounds.  The pounds will be back sooner than you lost them! 

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Marriage and Money: Men and Women Have Different Financial Wants and Needs

By Erik Folgate

I have not been married for too long, but it has not taken me very long to realize that men and women are VERY different!  That is okay, because it would get very boring if I lived with someone just like me for the rest of my life.  In terms of money, I believe that most men and women think very differently.  I think we have different wants and needs. 

Disclaimer:  I know that this will be a broad generalization comparing men and women, so please refrain from hate comments if you are a part of of NOW. 

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