Much has been written about how to get rich, and this pattern will likely persist until the end of the human race. Some of the books and articles are worth your time; many aren't. The ones that are worthwhile, however, tend to be less earth-shattering than we expect.
Think all rappers boast about wasting money on overpriced luxury goods? Think again!
In case you haven't heard this song or seen the music video, comedic rapper Lil Dicky boasts instead about how he saves money on everything from laundry to parking to haircuts to toilet paper. The music video for the song was even filmed for (reportedly) no money! The jury's still out on whether the production was free, though...
Obviously, this can vary greatly based on your area in each state (cities have a higher cost of living than rural areas, for example). Pretty much any statewide cost-of-living evaluation is therefore useless. But it's a fun exercise, anyway!
Useful advice from Steve Lehto, a consumer attorney and car buff who often contributes helpful advice to prospective car buyers on Jalopnik. This man seems to have a lot of sense, judging by the many articles I've read by him.
Here's why arbitration tends not to work as well in practice as it does in theory:
In a brief bit of research into playing the lottery, I saw numerous comments to the effect of, "It's only a couple dollars, and it's cheap entertainment--I dream about what I'd do with the money if I won the jackpot. It may even start a conversation with family members about what they'd do!"
Ever felt overwhelmed by some decision, and just picked an option so you didn't have to think about it anymore?It can be easy to get lost in numbers. And when your head is swimming, you won't make the best decisions!
It helps to see this kind of junk displayed in a graph. As hard as it can be to imagine how compound interest works, graphs like this can make it easy to understand!
"Who are you to change this world? Silly boy..."
From "Carnivore" by Starset
I've been into this band lately! Starset is an interesting new rock band with a polished sound. You could probably classify them as arena rock: the outer-space-themed music is catchy and well-produced, and it gets stuck in your head pretty quickly!
They've gotten a bit of radio play on rock stations, particularly "My Demons" and "Carnivore." The lyric on the picture above comes from "Carnivore."
If you like Skillet's recent music, Starset has a similar sound. Their sound also reminds me of We As Human, My Darkest Days, Stria, and Ashes Remain. They also remind me of a more mellow alternative to Three Days Grace (before you jump on me that they sound nothing alike, note that I said "more mellow"--I think many Three Days Grace fans would like Starset, even though classic TDG has a heavier sound). I've embedded a couple of my favorite Starset songs here:
Yikes! According to a Washington Post article from 2013, colleges and universities are spending recklessly, and charging more tuition while spending less on education-related services. This isn't good for higher education--and it certainly isn't a sustainable path for the future!
-In fact, you don't have to be broke for years while taking on a monstrous student loan debt! If you aren't traditionally academic (you didn't enjoy your classes in high school, or you didn't do so well in tougher courses), you can take a quicker and cheaper route to a nice salary while solving people's practical problems! [The alliteration was unintentional, but I'm keeping it anyway!]
A number of blue-collar professions are in-demand and can't be outsourced. Some examples include electrician, mechanic, carpenter, roofer/builder, plumber, paramedic/certified first responder/emergency medical technician, or other professional trade. Don't count out working in the military, either--they need help in a number of non-combat areas, like working in logistics, intelligence, or repair.
You might find it more rewarding--on several levels--to work in one of these fields instead of trying to figure everything out while accumulating debt in a traditional four-year college. Stefanie O'Connell discusses that here: http://thebrokeandbeautifullife.com/how-to-make-six-figures-before-thirty/ *Disclaimer: working in these fields won't guarantee that you'll make six figures. In fact, you probably won't, unless you start your own business. But the point stands that there are a variety of rewarding, well-paying alternatives to college--going into one of these fields can help you avoid burdensome student loans!
-Microsoft is finally surrendering to pirates!
They will reportedly allow people who pirated Windows 7 or 8 to upgrade to the legit Windows 10 when it becomes available--just like the people who are running the genuine versions! Microsoft appears to be bowing to the inevitable: nobody is willing to pay for an operating system anymore. Credit Microsoft for finally getting in sync with the times! http://www.techrepublic.com/article/microsoft-gives-up-on-charging-for-windows-in-china/
Tech geeks might find it entertaining to debate whether or not this move will ensure that Linux never attains widespread use... *UPDATE 5/24/2015: Despite numerous reports originally, it turns out that this is not true. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2484352,00.asp?
-This is a common trait among entrepreneurs: they refuse to accept a "no." You might even say that entrepreneurs tend to have a lot of...grit!
Barbara Corcoran, an investor on the very entertaining show "Shark Tank," wrote an example of how she refused to take no for an answer--and that's why she got a spot on Shark Tank! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140906172705-264544111-the-best-entrepreneurs-don-t-know-when-to-quit
Speaking of Shark Tank--if you haven't seen it yet, you should! Here's a link to an episode from season 6 (aired March 2015).
And, if you haven't heard, Bowling Green State University in Ohio has a similar production annually, called "The Hatch." It's a great educational opportunity for students there (and it's entertaining to watch)!
-Diversification is just as important in marketing as it is in investing, as this article makes clear: http://marketingland.com/unofficial-death-google-means-marketing-122696
There's one particular quote from this article that really struck me, and it dovetails nicely with an article that's been simmering in the back of my mind for months (but so far exists only as a title). The quote is, "...there's often more to be learned from failure than successes."
Very true--and, as many successful entrepreneurs will tell you, they often learned valuable lessons from starting businesses that failed early in their careers. [See the note on Barbara Corcoran's article two paragraphs above. Remember, failure isn't final!]
I'll be attending an exciting opportunity for students at Bowling Green State University to gain experience pitching their business ideas to real investors, in a Shark Tank-style presentation: it's called The Hatch, and you can watch it online!
There were some innovative business ideas, including a way for coaches to diagram their plays using technology, a personalized clothing line, a teddy bear to teach children several languages, and a music sharing app, among others.
Chalk one up for these student entrepreneurs! This program is a great way to give young people practice thinking through an idea, pitching it to investors, and potentially bringing it to market!
One note: the investors appeared to have "inside information." It appears that they were given business plans that were more detailed than the 10-minute pitches allowed. I suppose that's only to be expected, but I wish the investors had to base their initial reactions on the same information that the rest of us had.
And, of course, the hype about the new devices being revealed at this year's Mobile World Congress (and the slew of commercials that are sure to follow) will muddy the waters for anyone looking to get a good deal on their next phone.
Here's a pro tip: If you haven't already done so, let your cell carrier's contract run out, get an unlocked phone and an off-contract plan, and enjoy paying under $50 per month--probably less than half of what you're currently paying!
There are a ton of devices out there for any budget...but not all of them are worthwhile! How can you tell which phones are a good deal and which are junk?
Never fear, the Froogal Stoodent is here to point you toward some of the best options for any budget!
Antoine Walker, however, had to learn his lesson the hard way. He now advocates the importance of saying "no." Walker plans to spread this message in his forthcoming book and documentary about his personal financial struggles. (This book and documentary will probably make him another windfall! It seems that he's learned his lesson, though--perhaps he'll hang on to his money this time around!) http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/antoine-walker-blew-110-million/
On the website Pretend to Be Poor, Neil and Kalie Brooks advocate the idea that contentment with one's life is the secret to financial freedom: http://www.pretendtobepoor.com/the-secret/ There's a lot of wisdom in this--the people who outspend their income are the ones who are trying to show off, or trying to please other people.
If you're content with your possessions and lifestyle, then you are truly free from having to worry about money!
In another post here: http://www.pretendtobepoor.com/mindless-austerity/, they discuss "mindless austerity." This works well in tandem with automating your finances. Many think you should pay your bills automatically so you won't be charged a late fee.
The corollary advocated in this article is that you should automatically adopt habits that encourage you to stay within your budget, like packing your lunch and shopping at discount grocery stores. I agree!
I encourage you to check out the Pretend to Be Poor website here: it has a lot of useful advice!
This is an old article and will no longer be updated. Please see my latest version here.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of laptops.
However, I’m also a fan of saving money and living within my means. If you're looking for a great deal on a new computer, I've picked out some of the best deals around to include in this article. Isn't it nice to have someone else do your shopping for you? :)
This is an old article and will no longer be updated. Please see my latest version here.
Being Froogal doesn’t mean you can't have nice stuff! The trick
is to allocate your resources effectively. If you
can justify the purchase of a higher-quality, more expensive item because you need it for work or a hobby and you can afford a premium item, you can still get a great value!
People who don’t care what laptop specs mean, or already
understand them, can skip this article. But for those who just want a quick guide through the ocean of letters and numbers may find this helpful! For people who would like to know even more, I've created a guide to the dirty technical stuff.
If you don’t quite understand all of the
technical mumbo-jumbo when you’re looking for a computer, that’s OK—that’s
what I’m here for! My handy guides are free! Any computer I recommend will be a great value for
its speed, quality, reliability, and common-sense pricing. Some (though not
all) will also be lightweight and/or have great battery life. Check out my my
latest recommendations by clicking the links below!
My latest series of three posts is currently under development--check for it next week! (UPDATE: Done! You can find the post on value-priced laptops here, the post on premium laptops here, and there are two tech guides to help you make sense of the jargon: a quick guide here and a detailed guide here).
As you may be aware, I'm a fan of finding great values, particularly on laptops like these and these, and headphones like these.
I haven't posted much here in the past two months (but see my guest post from December 2014, "Setting Goals Like the Wealthy," at Canadian Budget Binder). But I'm working on finding more great deals, and a series of posts are coming soon--promise!