Clark Howard to the Triangle

May 1, 2009 2:33:08 PM PDT
Clark Howard's message is clear, save more, spend less. He suggests taking a look at what was once the have to's to now the have not's, like cable and home phone. "How about going from what you're paying to paying nothing," he said.

Clark says cutting the cord on cable will not be a hard sacrifice. He said try www.hulu.com, it's an internet site that allows you to watch many of your favorite shows for free. Also don't forget about the network websites, you can catch many of your favorite programs on-line there too. But if you splurged for a big screen and still enjoy watching your shows on TV, Clark says you don't need cable, thanks to the digital transition.

"A simple $10 to $20 antenna now brings a beautiful signal into your home of any local broadcast channel for free," he said.

As for your home phone, he says dump it, as cell phone companies are offering great deals right now, and if you have internet, talk via Skype. You can make free calls over the internet to other people on Skype, it's free to download and you can even see the person you're talking to with the help of a web camera.

Clark also has advice on credit cards. If you get one of those letters in the mail from your card company saying they're increasing your interest rate, he says while it does hurt your credit score, opting out and canceling the card will be better in the long run.

"If I'm faced with going from 7% to 35%, I may not be able to handle that card anyways, so I would be in more credit trouble by being late with payments than by me having the credit line shut down or reduced on me," he said.

And no matter what your financial situation, Clark says remember this, “It's never what you make, it's always what you don't spend that sets the difference between who's financially secure and who's not."

Clark says there's a tremendous opportunity for great money to be made if you can ride out this financial storm. He says owning real-estate during distressed times will pay off in the long run. He also says if you're in the position, now's the time to buy a new car, and not just American made, but he says there's big deals with the Asian automakers, like Honda and Toyota. He said they're all overstocked and the deals are the best he's ever seen since Henry Ford rolled out the 1st Model T off the assembly line.

Clark will be at the Durham Performing Arts Center on Saturday. The bad news is tickets have been gone for several weeks.


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