The 2015 Savings Challenge

by in Personal Finance on Dec 16th, 2014

Last week, Graham from Moneystepper launched the Moneystepper 2015 Savings Challenge where anyone, from anywhere in the world, in whatever financial situation they may be in, is invited to come together and work as a community to accelerate their journey on the path to financial freedom.

To keep things succinct, the key points of the challenge can be summarized as follows:

  1. Everyone strives towards the same two goals. These goals are designed to be appropriate for EVERYONE. They are:
    1. % Increase In Net Wealth
    2. Savings Rate %

These percentages have been designed to be appropriate (and comparable) for everyone: from people paying down mountains of debt to multi-millionaires.

  1. Each participant submits their two percentages before the start of the year, and their progress against their goals each month.
  2. The results are released monthly and everyone will be “grouped” with people who are of a similar net wealth (although participants’ net wealth will never be published) and who have similar goals.

Simple enough, right? But, hugely powerful – believe me! Read More

Four Important Hardware Peripherals for Your Mobile POS

by in Personal Finance on Nov 4th, 2014

So you’ve decided that a mobile Point of Sale system will work better for your small business. You already have your iPad (or other tablet) and have picked out the ecommerce software provider you are planning on using. But now you need to figure out which hardware add-ons you need. Unlike the older, cumbersome cash register terminal systems you are used to seeing, a mobile system provides an unprecedented level of mobility and flexibility.

You can use just the tablet and a cash drawer or you can outfit your system with all the hardware peripherals you’d expect to see with a regular register terminal. But what are the peripherals you should definitely get your hands on? Truthfully, that depends on your personal desires and the type of business you are running. However, there are some items that could be considered absolute necessities in any situation. Read More

Smart Couponing: How to Maximize Your Savings on Amazon

by in Personal Finance on Jun 30th, 2014

Coupons. The very word conjures up mental images of being stuck in line behind an elderly lady rifling through her purse for an eternity to save 2¢ on a package of gum. Fortunately for all of us, thanks to the global superstore of the future, the Internet, today’s shopping experience is far quicker and more efficient. Consequently, coupons have also received a makeover and are much more popular with Americans. No more waiting in line behind Queen Save-A-Lot.

Conversely, your local supermarket just got a few light-years bigger. As such, the prospect of online shopping is a potentially time consuming, not to mention hazardous concept. For instance, one of the kings of the online shopping arena, Amazon, is a venerable one-stop shop for everything you could possibly need, ever. Sites with online coupon deals have considerably lessened your workload, helping you get the most out of your online shopping trip by locating the best deals and conveniently listing them in one spot. This makes the store of the future a much more manageable, far less scary place to venture.

With the tips in this article, you will learn how to develop a smart savings strategy and get the best deal every time. Read More

The Cure For Overspending Is Also The Reason For Spending Paralysis

Using Blogging Research To Solve Financial Problems

by in Personal Finance on Jan 21st, 2013

One of my favorite things to do is try and understand consumer psychology. Why do people spend more than they earn is so basic, yet so complex in nature. The same goes with why we eat so much bacon when we know it’s so bad for our health. I was going to publish this post on Financial Samurai, but I figure with so much blogging related feedback, it’s best to stay consistent.

About one week before the 2012 Presidential Election, my online affiliate income declined around 70%. Traffic was also down about 20% as Hurricane Sandy turned off the lights for some 30% of the working population.

Given I receive hundreds of thousands of pageviews a month, most of which come from search engines, my sample set is statistically significant. All things being equal, I should have seen a roughly 20% decline in affiliate income corresponding to a 20% decline in traffic rather than a 70% drop. So I got to thinking, what made for such a drastic drop?

There is no better real-time testing ground for social scientists than having their own highly trafficked website. Lucky for you, I’ve got the curiosity to make some analysis and share my findings. Damn, how I wished I had this site in college. Getting straight A’s would be a piece of cake!

To understand overspending, we must first understand why there is spending paralysis.

MAIN REASON FOR SPENDING PARALYSIS Read More

Are Spending Habits Impossible To Change?

Predestined To Spend Or Save And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

Instead of buying new clips for a rubber bumper that was falling off Moose for $25, I decided to buy some super glue at the convenience store instead.  I’ve had a fascination with super glue ever since I accidentally glued my thumb and middle finger together in the 6th grade.  I remember telling everyone that I was in meditation pose so they’d leave me alone.  Didn’t happen.

While at the convenience store, I had to choose between a stick of brand name Krazy Glue for $4.99, or a six-pack of generic super glue for just $3.  Six times as much for $1.99 less!  What a steal!  Of course I decided on the six-pack and away I went to not only super glue my loose bumper, but also my rear taillight, and my friends broken sunglasses!  I was a super glue machine and went through two sticks in two seconds.

NO MATTER HOW MUCH I MAKE I WILL NOT CHANGE Read More

Controlling Spending The Fun And Easy Way

Making Sure You Don't Go Overboard This Holiday Season!

by in Personal Finance on Nov 25th, 2011

With holidays sales galore, it’s very easy to go overboard on spending.  You work so hard saving your money all year only to blow it on some trendy tickle me Elmo doll that goes unplayed just a month later.  Computer gadgets seem to be particularly popular as companies such as Apple discount their Macbook Airs by an uninspiring $100 dollars, and their iPad 2s by an even more unexciting $50 dollars off.

I’ve got a perfectly healthy 3.5 year old Macbook with 4 gigs of RAM and a 120 gig hard drive.  Even though I just spent $29 to upgrade my OS to Snow Leapard to improve the operability of my computer last week, I still almost couldn’t help but buy a MacBook Pro for $100 off!  Shopping is like crack where one saves more if they buy more.

Recognizing I have a problem with spending, I wrote out a list of things I wanted to buy: socks, shoes, cards, ties, toys for the kids, Macbook Pro, 40″ LED TV, round-trip to Hawaii, and a 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo in black.  You know, the usual list of things every minimalist needs to have.  Hey, gotta throw something really sweat in there right?  Adding up the items excluding the Porsche, came out to a not cheap $3,500.  Yikes!  That’s a lot to spend in one weekend.

COMING UP WITH A FUN GAME PLAN Read More

Why Reduce Debt?

The Perks Of Cash Flow

While there are some Yakezie members that started financial websites to talk about good money habits and become a resource for readers, I was not in that group.  I was (and still am) more about the whole “On the ground” portion of the finances, as I’m still struggling forming good habits and getting out of debt.

Some started out with good financial habits, and I started out my adult life ignoring the good financial habits that I was taught.  I guess I’m one of the people that always has to learn the hard way.  Since I was always in debt but reading about others who were able to right the ship, my habits have gotten a lot better.
Read More

I Can’t Help You Budget If You Can’t Help Yourself

Personal Responsibility and Loved Ones

by in Personal Finance on Jul 6th, 2011

I thought I’d share some situations involving loved ones and money where I just finally gave up. Maybe you can relate to some of these stories; you may have some of your own.

The main takeaway is that success in personal finance is due to work. Not necessarily hard financial work with calculators and miles of spreadsheets, but actually having a plan and executing it yourself.

“Can You Help Me With A Budget?”

I like helping people. I like spreadsheets (yes- I really do), so when people asked me to help them out by creating a budget, I was excited. I took time to create something that would work for them, not just a standard template.

My new policy now with budgets? I just don’t do it anymore. I’ll send you a template or a link to Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Lite tool. It’s not worth the hassle and most of the time (9/10) it’s just pointless as I noticed the same people keep coming back.

Reasons Why The Budget Doesn’t Work Read More

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