Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The thing about saving money is you have to make it something that is fun. It’s not just the kids that need to have fun saving money but you personally need to have fun which means you have to get a kick out of what you have done. Saving money is all about finding personal satisfaction in what you have accomplished.

An easy way to have fun while saving money is just to pick a common coin that you get in change; a penny, nickel, dime or, quarter in the U.S. and every time you get home from work or a store you sort that coin out of your change and you save it. You can save that coin in a bottle, can or, piggy bank. The important thing is that you establish a habit for yourself to save that coin.

Of course before you start saving you should set some goals or reasons why you are saving a particular coin out of your change. Otherwise without goals you will be tempted to raid your piggy bank of coins whenever you go to the store. This will destroy the discipline of saving money and in the end, you will end up with a bunch of stuff you bought not because you needed to but such stuff but, because you could buy such stuff and it made you feel good to spend the money.

So the coin(s) you save should be designated for a particular purchase. It could be for Christmas or Hanukah gifts or it could be for an appliance or maybe a trip. The thing is whatever you designate the saving of a particular coin for, it should be more important to you than just stuffing your change into a piggy bank. Otherwise, your saved coins will be spent on lunch or groceries.

Getting your kids to pick a coin and save might lead to astronomical savings for yourself and teach your children that stuff is not free. Have them save a particular coin to buy a video game they want or to buy the latest very cloths that all the other kids are wearing. Rather than hitting mom and dad up for $10, $20 or, $50 for whatever a kid thinks they need immediately it will force him/her to maybe think ahead of the moment and perhaps evaluate whether or not they really want something.  Letting kids save for what is really important to them will empower them in the long run to be better consumers. Making choices as to how money is spent (a scarce resource for most people) is perhaps the most important life lesson that anyone can learn.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Even though we intuitively know that it is wrong, for convince we often agree for a product or service with the first person we’ve come into contact with that offers that product or service. We must always keep in the back of our mind that when we purchase products or services (particularly expensive ones) that we live in a competitive society and that there might be someone out there that can provide a product or service cheaper or even of higher quality then the first person we talk to.

It can be quite astounding the differences in prices given by various individuals. Of course some of that occurs because of overhead differences. For instance a drywall contractor who pays most of his employee’s health benefits might have to charge more than one that pays the minimum benefits he is required by law or contract to provide.
Now there is something to be said for using that first person you talk to about providing a service or product if they come either highly recommended by trusted others or you’ve done business with them before. Still, seeking competitive bids from others could help to keep the person you want to handle the service or job stay competitive in his or her prices. Should the person you want to do the job be somewhat higher on their price then others then tell that person the prices quoted by others. Although that person you want may only lower his price a small amount if anything thing at all that seller of a product or service should offer you a plausible explanation as to why the prices are different. If that seller cannot then perhaps you should cross that person off the list of persons you will do business with.


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