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FCN – Putting together an estate plan, my thoughts exactly

After my father-in-law passed away and we spent the last 2 weeks beginning to sort out their financial issues, I came across this post at Five Cent Nickel about finally getting around to putting together an estate plan. If you do not have an estate plan or a will already drawn up, please get started on it. It will help everyone just when they never think they would need it. Sudden emergencies pop up, and Five Cent Nickel shows us how they are beginning their plan.

For the sake of those around you, please look in to setting things up for the future. Please.

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One thing I have learned this week…

This last week we had a very important family member pass away.  It has been a very difficult time for all of us, and we will of course slowly get through it. But if I have learned anything this week, it is to make sure that there is someone else in your household or family that knows your financial situation.  Where the bank accounts are, the brokerage accounts, the insurance policies, any savings, etc.  In this case, we are trying to put together the financial pieces of this family member, and it is very difficult as only he knew where anything was.

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Save money the easy way…spend it wisely!

Let’s face it…the reason you get up and go to work in the morning is to make money so you can then spend your money, right? I mean, some of you might love your jobs or do it for selfless reasons (aka my teacher wife), but we all go to work so we have money to spend on the things we want (or actually need). That being said, we are also supposed to save a percentage of our money so we can (insert reason here, whether to buy a house, retire, change jobs, etc). So, here is my big idea on how to save money by spending it, and at the same time help the environment: buy compact fluorescent lightbulbs. “You want me to go to work all day to buy lightbulbs? And this is supposed to help me save money?” Well, yes, I do. And here is why. When you replace all the lightbulbs in your house with compact fluorescent ones, you will cut your monthly utility bill. The more lightbulbs you change, the more money you can save. We just recently started changing all our our bulbs, and our monthly electric bill DOES go down, albeight slightly, on a monthly basis. Added up over the long term (these bulbs last 10+ years, compared to regular bulbs) that can add up to a lot of savings. You can learn more about them here:

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Say it with me..”No, I don’t need more junk mail nor credit cards”

Ok, I know you NEEDED that 9th credit card that just showed up in the mail…I mean, how could you turn it down when they offered you 21% interest for 12 years, a free Geo Metro, and a trip to Siberia? Everyone I know gets offers daily in their mailbox for new credit cards…they hunt us down and send them out. But aside from the fact that people should be trying to get OUT of credit card debt, it is also a complete waste of paper that fills up landfills (if you dont recycle), and it makes your mailperson have to lug them around all day. (Like they dont carry enough junk mail to you already.) Anyway, there is a way to stop these offers from clogging up your mailbox…

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How we paid down our debt and saved money at the same time..it can be done!

I have been reading a lot of posts at different financial websites lately about the trouble people are having paying off their credit card debt while trying to save a little extra money for themselves. First of all, anyone doing their best to pay off credit card should be commended, as we all need to be free of this “bad” debt and get ourselves some “good” debt. (For some reason that still makes me cringe, but I suppose there are good reasons to have debt, such as owning a house or going to school.) It is hard work to pay off years worth of charging up those cards, and even though it seems insurmountable, it is in fact possible to both pay off the debt and save some money at the same time. One of the biggest concerns about getting out of debt is how to come up with that giant minimum payment due and then trying to add an extra couple dollars to that as well. You know, that dreaded white envelope that shows up once a month, that you carefully put on the desk only to be opened later when you have taken your medicine, put on safety goggles and pulled up a comfortable chair that you will not fall out of. Sometimes it might say this:

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