Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help people save more and spend less. He offers his financial advice through a nationally syndicated radio show and also makes regular TV appearances in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. He’s also the expert behind Clark.com, where he offers advice on a number of financial issues. If you struggle to save money, Howard could be the guy that helps you finally kick that overspending habit. If you’re looking for financial advice that is more specific to your own situation, you should consider working with your own financial advisor.
Clark Howard’s Financial Advice
Clark Howard’s philosophy is to save more and spend less. That’s also his biggest piece of consumer advice. He offers numerous tips to save money on every consumer item from razor blades to cars.
In general, Howard recommends taking advantage of free services. For example, people generally spend a lot of money on cable television. However, many people don’t watch the majority of channels that they pay for. Howard advises saving money by ditching cable and using an antenna. This advice is especially useful today since so many people use online streaming services.
Howard also stresses the importance of making sure that you understand what you’re paying for. As an example, cell phone bills are a big expense for many people. If you’re going to pay that much, you should go through your entire bill each month to make sure you aren’t overcharged for anything.
In his book, “Living Large in Lean Times,” Howard says that he finds a mistake in his phone bill about every four months. This same advice applies to credit card bills. Go through your credit card bill each month to make sure the charges are correct. Did that bar charge you $38 when it should have charged you $36? The difference is only a couple of dollars, but that adds up over the years.
Clark Howard on Credit Cards
When it comes to credit cards, make sure to find a credit card that works for you. Howard recommends simple cash-back credit cards. Yes, it is useful to get rewards for specific companies or products, such as airline miles, but Howard argues that a simple cash back card won’t require you to track points or spend in certain categories. You can just earn the cash and apply it towards your payment.
Clark Howard on Investing
He also strongly advocates that people have a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA is funded with after-tax dollars, so once you reach 59.5 years old, you can withdraw money without paying additional income taxes. As a comparison, money that you withdraw from a 401(k) is subject to income tax. You can also withdraw the money that you contribute to a Roth IRA at any time without paying a penalty.
Clark Howard Bio
Clark Howard was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1955. He received a B.A. in urban government in 1976 and an MBA from Central Michigan University in 1977. He began working in real estate and launched a travel agency in 1981. It grew into a successful chain with locations across the Atlanta metro area. In 1987, he sold the company and retired at the age of 31.
Next, he began giving travel advice through guest appearances on Atlanta radio. Howard wasn’t planning a career in TV or radio. It occurred mostly by accident. He was enjoying the beaches in Florida when someone asked him to make a guest appearance on a radio show about travel. His guest appearances were so successful that he got his own program, “The Clark Howard Show,” which has been on for more than 30 years. He also created the Consumer Action Center for people to get answers to their financial questions off the air. In 1991, Howard became a consumer affairs reporter for Atlanta’s WSB-TV. He has since appeared on multiple TV and radio shows to spread consumer advice.
Howard continues to live in Atlanta and has started multiple volunteer programs to improve the community and help its people. He has built over 50 homes in and around the Atlanta metro area through Habitat for Humanity. He’s also a Georgia State Defense Forces member to help prepare and assist the military. He joined after the terrorist attacks in September 2001 and has since performed medical evacuation work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
Today, Howard also provides a broad spectrum of financial advice through his website, clark.com, as well as through his podcast. The best-selling author pushes a lot of the major topics from his radio show into his daily podcast to make the content more digestible for people that may not have time to listen to the entire show.
Clark Howard Financial Focus and Philosophy
Clark Howard’s motto is to save more and spend less. His projects in television, radio, podcasts, books and more revolve around saving people money. He doesn’t focus on any one topic either. His advice covers key areas that affect people’s day-to-day lives. You can find tips to save money on debt, cars, cell phones and just about everything else.
Howard also offers advice on avoiding scams. Sometimes he just offers general advice on how to protect your personal information. Other times he will warn people of specific scams, like phishing scams.
On his shows, Howard frequently gives product, service and company reviews. His reviews are well-researched and he is not afraid to give a strongly worded opinion either for or against something. An important thing to keep in mind is that Howard does not do personal sponsorships or endorsements. He doesn’t give good or bad reviews just because someone is paying him. Instead, he bases his reviews strictly on research and the way he honestly feels about something.
Where You Can Find Clark Howard
You can find more advice on Clark Howard’s website, via his podcast or by listening to his daily radio show. On the website, you can find his advice on saving money and avoiding scams. There you’ll find articles, videos and money guides on topics like cars, student loan debt and investing.
If you prefer reading, Howard has published numerous books. His most recent book, “Living Large in Lean Times,” was a national bestseller. The book offers more than 250 ways to earn extra money, reduce debt and be smarter with your money.
“The Clark Howard Show” is a nationally syndicated radio show that airs weekdays from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET. Howard offers consumer advice on just about everything. There are hot deals, scam alerts and a lot of practical, money-saving ideas. If you can’t sit through a two-hour show, you can also listen to “The Clark Howard Podcast.” Episodes are about 35 minutes long and you can find them on either PodcastOne or iTunes.
Howard is a consumer reporter for Atlanta’s WSB-TV. His segments are sometimes syndicated to other TV stations across the country.
It’s no secret that Americans struggle to save money. The average credit card debt continues to rise and many Americans have no retirement savings. If you’re trying to cut back on your spending, you should check out Clark Howard. He is a master penny-pincher with lots of simple and useful consumer advice. His reviews are well-researched and his goal is to give people the best advice possible.
Tips to Help You Save for Money
- If you need help with either getting your spending on track or saving for retirement, consider working with a financial advisor. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have free introductory calls with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Following a budget can prevent you from overspending. It also help you ensure that you only spend money on the things that are important to you.
- It’s always a good idea to eliminate unnecessary spending from your life. However, it becomes more important when you get married. If you have two people who are overspending, things can get hairy, fast. But what if you’re financially responsible and your spouse isn’t? Here are five ways to deal with a financially irresponsible spouse.
- Clark Howard loves Roth IRAs. They can be a great way to help you save for retirement and they are particularly useful if you are young or just starting your career. They also have a number of other benefits for millennials.
Photo credit: First and third images from Clark.com, Second image from PodcastOne.com