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August 2009: Net Worth Update and House Buying Plans

August 2009: Net Worth Update and House Buying Plans

Published 8/31/09  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

The month of August 2009 is going to go down as a particularly momentous period in my life. It's going to be the month that I finally pulled the trigger and made the decision to purchase my very first home. While the actual date of my contractual signing will likely be dragged out until the first or second week of September as things currently stand - it was during the last few weeks of August when most of my major home purchasing decisions were rapidly set in motion.

The last few years have been quite the whirlwind for me. I know on this personal finance blog I may frequently portray a sense of stability and perhaps frequently offer up an air of someone who appears to know exactly where he wants to be in life and knows exactly how to get there - but the reality is quite far from it. I've been blessed with an incredible amount of luck, remarkable timing, and good fortune - with much of my financial success starting only a few years ago when I first started blogging online to make some extra cash on the side. My early attempts at trying to make money money blogging started rather surreptitiously without much fanfare and without the knowledge of most of my friends and family. Through the struggles and early process of starting my very first blog, I developed and honed a variety of entrepreneurial skills that I ultimately leveraged into the start of my own fledgling legal practice as

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Living Near Power Lines: Is it Dangerous to Your Health?

Published 8/28/09  (Modified 6/17/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

The Internet is quite a mixed bag of information - a wild, wild west cornucopia of unfiltered and unadulterated questions and answers. Among the nuggets of knowledge, there's an endless supply of trashy material and unsubstantiated half truths. For every debatable issue imaginable, there are legions of supporters and oppositions on both sides of the divide. Search engines like Google and Bing do nothing to segregate the legitimate articles from the biased quackery and it's often up to the readers themselves to differentiate fact from fiction. Such is the case with a very contentious and controversial issue of mine that's literally hitting close to home - the issue of living next to power lines and whether they have any negative impact on one's health.

From the various articles available online, you'll frequently read comments and posts from individuals claiming that their personal cancers and miscarriages were the direct results of living too close to nearby power lines. Though when subjected to scientific scrutiny, this does not necessarily indicate a definitive connection between the two, it's easy to see how the passionate and emotional voices could come to such conclusions. In my case, both of my parents are survivors of lymphoma cancer. Both of them successfully completed their chemotherapy treatments and both were able to cure themselves of the cancers that plagued their bodies for months. However, as far as I know - they and I have never lived in close proximity to power lines of any sort. However, if we hypothetically had, I'm sure I would

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July 2009: Net Worth Update and First Time Home Buyer Plans

Published 7/31/09  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

It's time for my monthly net worth report. As long time readers know, for months now, I've been calculating my networth changes and posting an analysis at the end of every month to chart the step by step progress I've been making in my lifelong financial journey. The purpose of such networth updates is not to necessarily boast about monetary successes or lament about the investment mistakes made during the preceding month - but rather, it's to serve as a routine reminder that the daily decisions, actions, and inactions in one's life truly have a ripple impact on one's long term financial health. While I post my own financial net worth reports throughout the year for my own statistical benefit and to share with readers a little about about what I've been up to during the previous weeks, this habitual exercise is also to encourage others to do the same as well.

It's About Time - I'm Finally Looking To Buy A Home For The Very First Time

This month has been a bit more hectic than usual. For one thing, I'm in the early stages of becoming a first time home buyer. Right now, my anticipated home purchase date is still likely months away, but I can already envision the prospect of finally moving out of my longtime apartment rental after all these years and into my very own single family home or town house for the very first time. If you've been following my previous networth reports, you probably already know that I've

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Pest Control: How to Kill Roaches

Published 7/21/08  (Modified 6/17/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I have a little secret to share. Well it's not really a secret so much as it's a phobia that I've held since I was a little kid. Here's the�  secret - I am deathly afraid of household insects, but in particular - cockroaches. There, I've said it - the cat's out of the bag - go ahead and laugh, but it's not funny (maybe just a little bit). Funny or not, it's something that makes my heart beat fast, makes my pupils dilate like saucers, and summons forth caveman like instincts to grab the nearest bunny slipper or rolled up U.S. News and World Report magazine for some self-preservation-inspired bug pounding.

The mere sight of the creepy crawly legs and wiggling antennas of the common household cockroach jetting out from dark corners and scampering across bathroom counters and kitchen floors utterly freaks me out. While I don't instantly jump onto chairs, call my mommy, or scream at the top of my lungs like a little girl, I do become visibly startled and immediately shift into fight mode whenever I encounter a lost spider or resident evil roach in my apartment. I'm sure you PETA fanatics out there may be turned off by my disdain and opposition to the plight of roaches and other household vermin, but I don't care. Roaches and insects have no place in my home and I'll do whatever it takes to eradicate the pests. I've had too many unfortunate experiences and bad memories of living with roaches during my student years.


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What Is My Credit Score and How Is My FICO Calculated?

Published 7/7/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

What Is My Credit Score and How Is My FICO Calculated? By MoneyBlueBook

If you're like most people out there, there's inevitably going to come some point in your life when you'll need to apply for credit and seek out deeper pockets to help you fulfill your personal financial goals and objectives. While the traditional American dream of home ownership seemed to be fading out of reach during the last few years, the housing meltdown is now thankfully forcing out of control real estate prices back down into sync with reality. But with the resultant repercussions and reverberations of the financial credit crisis, mortgage lenders have grown extra vigilant in weeding out unproven and unreliable mortgage debtors. While a mortgage applicant with a FICO score of 700 in the past could have easily obtained a lofty prime interest rate on their loan, lenders are now increasingly demanding higher FICO's in excess of 760 for the same prime interest package. The subprime credit mess has made one's credit report and credit score even more important gateway factors to determining who qualifies and who doesn't for the loan conditions of their choice. It's not just for expensive, higher denominational credit prospects like mortgage loans either - even routine applications for things like credit cards, checking accounts, auto loans, and even new jobs are undergoing greater credit worthiness scrutiny.

Both Your Credit Report History and Credit Score Help Determine Your Credit Worthiness, But Credit Scores Are More Uniform Measures Of Comparison From Individual To Individual

While credit reports, like your high school transcript does a better overall job in revealing the compete

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Even Celebrities Can Fall On Hard Times And Face Home Foreclosure

Published 6/8/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

Even Celebrities Can Fall On Hard Times And Face Home Foreclosure By MoneyBlueBook

When you think of Ed McMahon, you don't exactly associate or lump him with big time wasteful spenders like MC Hammer and some of the other well known celebrities of the past who rose to fame and fortune quickly but ultimately frittered away their money into bankruptcy on trivial pursuits. No, when you think of Ed McMahon, you think of the aging but charismatic late night show announcer, the TV personality, and the face and voice of the American Family Publishing sweepstakes team (not to be confused with the more popular Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes) that arrives unannounced at the homes of winners to present them their grand prize. You certainly don't see or hear about him throwing his money away on fast cars, fast women, or holding lavish sleaze parties to great excess.

So I was quite surprised when I learned that someone like the now 80 plus year old Ed McMahon has now found himself in difficult financial straits and faced with the prospect of mortgage foreclosure on his multi million dollar home. This housing bubble and credit crisis seems to be quite merciless and universally brutal, even to those who simply lived their lives with the best intentions, but still succumbed to hard times. With little regard to feelings or reason, the mortgage credit crisis and the powerful forces of housing supply and demand have devastated many good families.

Ed McMahon and His Wife Pam Speak Out About Home Foreclosure and The Possibility Of Losing Their House

Ed McMahon recently appeared on

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