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Archive for November 2008


November 2008 - Net Worth Update and Personal Finance Status

Published 11/21/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

In an effort to encourage readers to learn to calculate net worth and track their personal financial progression, I've begun the process of posting my monthly net worth updates online for all to see and review. While taking the time and effort to record and analyze my investments and liabilities requires a measure of dedication, I think it's an invaluable method to help me better plan and make adaptive financial decisions in my marathon journey to become financially independent.

My Current Net Worth and Financial Status Update Compared To Last Month

Assets
Balance
$ Change
% Change

Cash
$205,986
$56,439
37.74 %

Stocks
$17,464
-$3,734
-17.61 %

Bonds
$0
$0
-

Retirement (401K, Roth, IRA)
$8,559
-$1,662
-16.26 %

Car and Vehicle Value
$9,420
-$2,525
-21.14%

Real Estate and Home Value
$0
$0
-

Other Real Estate
$0
$0
-

Total Assets:
$241,429
$48,518
25.15 %

Debt and Liabilities
Balance
$ Change
% Change

Credit Cards
$3,872
$2,372
158.13 %

Car Loans
$0
$0
-

Home Mortgage
$0
$0
-

Student Loans
$27,872
-$145
-0.52 %

Total Debt
$31,744
$2,227
7.54 %

Total Net Worth

$209,685
$46,291
28.33 %

Saving My Small Home Business Income To Weather The Economic Recession

While October and November have been extremely difficult months in terms of the significant paper losses I've been seeing in my current stock and mutual fund investments, I continue to see a positive growth trend in my overall income cash flow (currently around $55,000-$60,000 a month). Despite the current economic situation, I continue to enjoy a steady stream of income from my legal practice day job and significant contributions from my side projects. While my small legal practice business has gyrated a bit in terms of leads and overall receivables, most pullbacks have been noticeably buttressed by steady increases in my alternative income streams, which includes profits generated by my online business blogs and my other real world developing ventures.

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Credit Card Offers For People With Bad Credit Or Poor Credit History

Published 11/20/08  (Modified 4/24/13)

By MoneyBlueBook

Updated List Of The Best Secured and Unsecured Bad Credit Cards For Credit Improvement

Credit card usage is a fact of life whether you agree with its pervasiveness and all around commercial necessity or not. What started out as a way for consumers to make payments quickly and efficiently without the need to carry around cash bills and coins has morphed into a mish mash variety of credit card rewards, airline credit card miles, and balance transfer offers. Today, credit cards are used and needed for everything from airline ticket and hotel room reservations to car rental bookings. Credit card numbers are also necessary for frequent online shoppers as traditional bank accounts and debit cards don't offer the same high degree of fraud protection that credit card issuers do. Owning at least one credit card and paying back the balance on a regular basis is also one of the easiest and most established ways to build up a credit score history, and secure your future ability to get approved for home mortgages and car loans.

Even those who are generally opposed to the use of credit cards and revolving debt on principle may find it difficult at times to survive without one. During tough economic times, independent minded people such as myself have used credit cards as emergency fund money to weather momentary periods of unemployment instead of relying on family handouts or resorting to desperate measures like high interest payday loans.

Of course, tapping into the myriad of credit card programs available in the

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Funding A New Bank Account With A Reward Credit Card For Arbitrage

Published 11/17/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I'm a credit card arbitrage seeker, which means I enjoy looking for creative ways to make an extra buck by legally exploiting the existence of attractive credit card rewards and 0% APR credit card offers in the marketplace.One of the ways I used to make some extra money on the side was by applying for introductory 0% balance transfer credit card offers and depositing the interest free funds into high yield savings accounts to earn some passive interest income. While the most lucrative 12 month, no balance transfer fee promotions have dwindled as a result of the ongoing economic slump and worsening credit crisis, there are still creative ways available for savvy credit card arbitragers to profit from.

As with all credit card arbitrage type activity, the decision to partake or not requires that you weigh the potential payoff against the risks and effort involved. While some people may shrug off such activity as a waste of time and not worth the potential rewards, others see it as a relatively effortless way to earn some free credit card rebates that they'd otherwise not have. I tend to adopt the latter viewpoint, regarding credit card arbitrage and interest rate pursuits as integral facets of my financially frugal lifestyle. Personally, I don't mind taking advantage of effortless free money opportunities as they present themselves, so long as the application or management process is not too onerous or prohibitive.

Of course, there will always be naysayers who cite such activity as a complete boring waste of time.

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The Best Reward Credit Cards and 0% Offers For Christmas Shopping

Published 11/6/08  (Modified 9/22/14)

By MoneyBlueBook

Updated List Of The Best Christmas Credit Card Offers With Shopping Rewards and 0% APR Deals Below

Well it's almost that time of the year again. No, not tax season - I'm talking about Christmas! For many Christians, Christmas is first and foremost a deeply religious holiday tradition that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. For the vast majority of folks though, the Christmas holiday season is all about shopping, buying gifts, and exchanging presents. The incredible compulsion to shop till you drop is so potent and all pervasive because the holiday starts so early and ends so late. Currently, the winter shopping season starts on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when retail stores unleash their tidal wave of heavily discounted sales and free giveaways to jump start the holiday shopping race. Black Friday is quickly followed by Cyber Monday, when online shoppers take to the Internet airwaves after their Black Friday shopping binges to seek out the best online shopping deals and offers. Helped along by the shopping demand of other winter holidays like Hanukkah, the cycle of Christmas bargains and shopping deals doesn't let up until well into the new year. Even then, hardcore shoppers still continue to raid the retail outlets and department stores for leftover holiday closeout sales and bargains.

Overwhelmed by the sheer number of retail store sales, promotional discounts, and limited time offers during the Christmas shopping season, it's no wonder the amount of money spent on Christmas presents for many far exceeds the seasonal spending rates of other

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My Vote Does Not Matter Because I Do Not Live In A Swing State

Published 11/4/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Well I voted. No one can blame me for not making sure my voice was heard. But yet I remain somewhat jaded and cynical at the fact that when all is said and done, my vote ultimately won't do much to affect the outcome of election results.

Every 4 years it's the same routine. I head to my designated voting station and pull the lever, poke the appropriate dot, or press the desired digital touch screen button to make my mark as a citizen of this great country. Unfortunately, any excitement or exuberance I may have in exercising my constitutional responsibility to participate in the political process is greatly tempered by the fact that I know my vote in all actuality counts for very little. It's not because my vote is only one out millions that will ultimately be cast that makes the relative unimportance of my single vote seem so sobering. It's the fact that I know with near definitive certainty that no matter which way I cast my vote, whether I vote for John McCain of the Republican Party, or whether I vote for Barack Obama of the Democratic Party, my home state of Maryland, a solid blue state as blue states go, will ultimately pass on all of its electoral college votes for the Democratic candidate no matter what. Such is the dilemma and troubling aspect of living in a state with such thoroughly entrenched political and social views, and in a country where Presidential elections are decided based on an electoral college

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