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:
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.
Now that the housing market is starting to shift back to a buyer’s market and with the rising popularity of 1-year adjustable rate mortgages, you will start to see more people looking to buy pre-foreclosure and foreclosed properties. This is a subject that con-artists and late-night “get rich quick” schemes love to talk about. It sounds so easy — Find a house in foreclosure and buy it for pennies on the dollar. Well, the truth is that it is extremely risky and tough to buy a foreclosure and actually get a good deal. But don’t get me wrong, people do it, and some of them do get a good deal. The bottom line is that you need to know what you are doing. There are three different scenarios when it comes to buying a foreclosure and I will go through all of them with their respective pros and cons.
I am still relatively new to the personal financial blogging community, and one thing that I can say is that 9 out of the 10 blogs out there are genuine about wanting to share about our personal financial struggles and successes with the hope of helping each other out. I hope that those of you that read my blog think the same of this blog. Since we produce a large amount of quality information and content, I do believe that we should take steps to monetizing our blogs in a non-invasive way.
By Erik Folgate
Today, I was reading an article in USA Today about homeowners that lost a court case contesting the policy language of their homeowner’s policy about storm surge/flood waters regarding the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The judge upheld the ruling that the policy language is clear about not covering damages caused by storm surge or flood waters whether it is caused by actual flooding or wind. Obviously, none of these people had flood insurance, because they believed they would never need it. It’s a tragic story, because now we’ll definitely be seeing the true fallout of the Katrina damages when foreclosures and bankrupties sky-rocket in New Orleans. I am a property claims adjuster, so this article was very interesting to me, and it got me thinking about what types of insurance all adults should have no matter what phase of their lives they are in. Here are my top four types of insurance that every human being should buy in order to maintain financial stability.
By Erik Folgate
This may be a broad generalization, but I will venture to say that the younger generations of America do not use coupons the way that our parents and grandparents used manufacturer’s coupons. I was flipping through a sunday paper coupon book, and I started saying to myself, “why have I not been using more of these coupons?” I will admit it, I have never sat down and clipped coupons to use at the grocery store. After finding numerous $1.00 off coupons for items that I buy every other week, I realized that could be saving some serious money when I go to Wal-mart and the grocery store.
I read all the time about financial people advising to set your life up to be eligible for as many tax deductions as possible. They give you all of the numbers and show you how much money you can save throughout the year if you have a mortgage, student loan debt, and various other things that create a tax deduction. However, the financial world has gone one step further to encourage consumers to keep their debts that are tax deductible for as long as they can to milk the deductions. This is completely absurd, and again, anything you say to me will not change my mind about it. NEVER CREATE A TAX DEDUCTION JUST FOR THE SAKE OF HAVING A DEDUCTION.
Is it possible to own a home right out of college? Well, it depends on your situation. It is true that a single young person will have a much harder time owning a home than a young couple with two incomes, but do not be discouraged by that. Homeownership is the American dream, and I think that everyone should be working towards owning a piece of property, or mayb even two, three, or ten pieces of property. The fact is that real estate is a great investment, even in the post real estate boom era. Real estate very rarely goes down in value, and it gives you more control over your investment by being able to build an extra bathroom that may cost you $6,000, but it will increase the homes value by $15,000.