Author, Living Large in Lean Times (2011)
Host, Clark Howard, on HLN
Radio Host, The Clark Howard Show
BA in Urban Government, American University
MA Business Management, Central Michigan
Married, Two Daughters & One Son
Clark Howard: Living Large in Lean Times
The 700 Club
In this uncertain economic time, Clark Howard has tips on not only a clear path to financial freedom, but also attainable ways to gain wealth. Clark believes every dollar is worth saving."Save more and spend less" is more than just a motto for him; it's a way of life. He is a successful lifelong entrepreneur. Clark’s career has included working in both government and private sectors. He was a civilian employee working for the U.S. Air Force at the end of the Vietnam War. He started a travel agency in 1981 that grew into a chain with locations across metro Atlanta.
In 1987, he sold the company at 31 and retired. While living in Florida, Clark was asked to be a guest on a radio show about travel. He received such a good response that he was given his own program, The Clark Howard Show. In early 2009, the radio expanded to a weekend TV program on HLN. Clark also shares daily, minute-long consumer tips on HLN.
Clark shares more of these practical consumer tips in Clark Howard’s Living Large in Lean Times, his eighth book. Along with his advice, he likes to tell people, “Don’t feel bad about what you’ve spent, feel good about what you won’t spend anymore.” He also likes to empower consumers by saying, “Don’t wait for someone else to provide for you…do it yourself.” Clark has creative ways to save money, spend wiser, and invest for the future. He says if you are a first-time home buyer it is the best time to buy – it’s the best time ever in modern history.
SOME CLARK SMART MONEY TIPS
Clark will be showing us how to save money in the following ways:
-Who Wants to be a Millionaire Chart
-Glasses – Clark was able to buy his prescription glasses with progressive lenses for about $20, which can usually cost hundreds of dollars elsewhere. ZenniOptical.com is one of several websites that offer prescription eyeglasses starting at $7 a pair plus $5 shipping costs.
-How to Buy Gold Clark Smart Way- Clark recommends putting only 5-10% of your portfolio in gold or other precious metals – anything else is too risky. His preferred way to own gold is through a gold exchange-traded fund (ETF). If you want to buy gold, some of Clark’s favorites are Fidelity’s PowerShares DB Precious Metals Fund, iShares COMEXGold Trust, Central Fund of Canada, and SPDR Gold Shares.
-The Ooma - This device makes it possible to get free home phone service on a landline for life with no monthly fees. The Ooma device looks like a house intercom. You plug your Internet cable and landline phone into it and you have phone service. Clark has seen the Ooma device for as low as $179 at Costco Wholesale. With Ooma here won’t me anymore monthly fees, though you will pay $11 annually for an FCC charge. The website for the device is www.ooma.com
-Work at Home Guide
-Clark’s Smart Phone- Clark uses Straight Talk and pays $45 each month for unlimited calling/texting/ web plan, which he loves. There’s a monthly plan for $30 that comes with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 text messages, and 30 MB of data for Web surfing and Free 411 calls. He’s been testing the Android-based phone manufactured by Huawei on the Metro PCS network, which sells for $100 with no contract for now.
-Disposable Razor Blades-In February 2006, Clark had a man call his radio show who told Clark he had been using the same razor for a year. This caller, a metallurgist (works with metals), revealed that blades corrode over time from the moisture that collects on them. From that conversation, Clark was inspired to find different ways to make a single 17-cent razor last for a year. Clark blots his razor with a towel to make the blade last.
SEVEN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR FINANCES IN ONE WEEK (for smaller expenses):
Here are seven tips to improve your finances in one week:
- Start a ROTH IRA account.
- Check all monthly statements line by line
- Search for unclaimed money in your name
- Free TV
- Get 2% cash back credit card with Fidelity Investments
- Raise insurance deductible
- Switch to a no contract cell provider and exit a cell phone contract without early termination fees.
TIPS FOR BUYING A CAR
For bigger purchases, like buying a car, it is always best to start by doing your research. It is good to buy a used vehicle instead of a new one, but doing your research beforehand is very important. First, you need to know financially what you qualify for. You should never finance a car for longer than forty-two months. Many people make the mistake of financing their car longer. Also, you should consider the potential operating cost of the vehicle.
Next, you should look at the Consumer Reports Buying Guide to find the best rated car. This is a part of your researching process. You may go to the dealer to test drive the car if you’re buying new, however, don’t feel like you need to purchase right away. You can avoid haggling for a price at the dealership by finding a direct no-hassle price online. If you are buying a used car, only purchase the vehicle after it has been inspected by an independent certified mechanic.
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