Trading ForexFinancial writers are proponents of caution. And this is a sensible way to be. Most finance blog readers are youngish, young enough to set money aside and watch it grow for a long time. But this method assumes quite a lot about the individual: 1) That you won’t find a better return on your investment through your own study, 2) That you are uncomfortable with bigger-than-average risk and, 3) that you don’t see yourself as your primary investment strategy. Of course, I will always advocate a certain amount of conservativeness in investments, but I also think it pays to be a bit more aggressive with some of your money, especially if you are healthy and young.

  • Find a Better Return on Investment. If the entrepreneurial spirit runs in your blood, you may see a much better return, in the long run, from starting a business than investing in mutual funds. Some people don’t know they have it in them until they try. But when you get that first taste of money that you earned through your own hard work and ingenuity, it’s hard to turn back. Consider using some of your savings or investment capital to make a business dream come true. If it pays off, you may end up living a life you never before imagined.
  • Be Willing to Accept Big Risk in Some Areas. As people age, they aren’t able to maintain the same degree of risk they did as young people. But if you have a lot of life ahead of you, you will be able to recover from a momentary stumble, if in fact you do fail. There’s a lot to learn from failure and, getting up and doing it again, you are much more likely to succeed because of your experience. In practical terms, this may look like withdrawing your IRA contributions to pay the down payment on a house, or having CIYA annuity buy up your structured settlement, using the lump sum to start a business. Generally, these aren’t actions a financial advisor would push you to, but personally, you may be able to handle it. And thrive from the choice.

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Rob Pivnick, Author “What All Kids (and adults too) Should Know About . . . Saving & Investing

Outlet malls may not be as great a deal“How’d you get that for free?” “You got a discount on that . . .how?” To use a cliché, I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard something like that – that would be a real money-making tip. Sometimes, one of those questions is followed up with advice that I should write a book about all my money saving tricks. My response has always been that any book I wrote would just get lost in the sea of other crappy books on how to save money. I did, however, write a more thoughtful book on good saving and investment habits, “What All Kids (and adults too) Should Know About . . . Saving & Investing.” But this article focuses on the short term win – how to get discounts when purchasing retail.

With a bit of insight into the mind of a salesperson, this post sheds light into why people might agree to give something for free – that allows us to more successfully seek items for free or obtain discounts. And since not too many of us on are on unlimited budgets, with holiday shopping upon us, you might actually save yourself some real dollars.

These are real money saving tips, strategies and methods that work – based on tried and true experience and human nature. It isn’t a narrative on wants versus needs. Nor does this article touch on life advise ideas like “set a budget and stick to it,” “downsize your house,” “don’t buy the latest expensive trend” or “cut back on your vacations.” If that’s what you’re looking for, buy a self-help book. This article details a concrete method to save money on just about every purchase.

And it is simple: Just ask. Really, just ask for a discount.

Aside from the other beneficial coupons and discounts detailed elsewhere on the Living on the Cheap site, this simple technique works for various reasons:

  1. the general foundation of customer service is to please the consumer,
  2. most folks who work retail either (a) don’t have an ownership interest and don’t care if they give something away or (b) simply don’t know that they may not be allowed to give you the discount you’re seeking,
  3. people generally want to make others happy and will gladly give you free stuff just for asking, and
  4. people don’t like confrontation and will avoid it at all costs (which means giving you the discount you’re seeking).

Ben Franklin was way off when he said that a penny saved is a penny earned. If you pay any taxes, then a penny saved is actually much more than a penny earned . . . that’s because it would take you much more than a penny to net a penny for your savings. For example, if you’re in the 15% federal tax bracket, you have to earn close to $1.18 to put $1.00 in your pocket – so you would actually “earn” much more than the amount you save.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

People want to be accommodating. And people generally don’t like conflict. So you’ll find that more often than you thought you would, you’ll get free stuff just for asking. Ask nicely. And smile. It will make your wallet fatter.
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