Sunday, August 9, 2009

Setting Small Goals to Get things Accomplished

You can accomplish almost anything just by setting small goals. The smallest goals can lead to success. For example if I set a small goal like: getting two followers on this blog. I think I will be able to accomplish it within a year or two of constant posting. When I accomplish that simple goal I can move on. I will feel more confident and a lot closer to my goal of making this a successful blog.

I don't just set a small goal, I set a large goal too. The small goals will be grouped under the large one. I could have the goal of learning a language at the top. Let's say Mandarin. My goal is to learn Mandarin. My first stepping stone goal would be to learn one hundred words. After that five hundred and so on. I could also have the goal of knowing enough to read my first Mandarin book. The goals help me stay on track and doing things I had never thought I could do before.

Here is a summary of how you can accomplish a difficult thing with simple goals.
  1. Ask yourself what is it that you want to do. Make this your ultimate goal.
  2. Figure out what the first thing you need to do to accomplish you ultimate goal is.
  3. Set a very simple goal for accomplishing that first task.
  4. Once that is accomplished, set another goal. Done? Another. This will continue until one day you realize you have almost accomplished your ultimate goal.
An example of this happening in my life was my quest to get perfect marks in one of my high school classes. I tried hard, I found an understanding of the topic and figured out that if you truly understand how something works you know almost everything about that topic. My first goal was to get perfect on a test, easy, done. Then I decided I needed to aim higher, I started helping others in class when I realized I was the most knowledgeable on the topic. I also aced my next tests. Whenever there was an assignment I was able to complete it with ease. The topic had become very interesting to me and I was realizing how important knowledge is. I finally completed my ultimate goal of getting perfect in the class. How rewarding it was.

Anyone is able to complete any goal they want to complete if they put their mind to it.

Keeping a Price Journal

Keeping a price journal is a great way to save money and keep track of you spending.

The price journal itself doesn't save you money, but its tracking of your spending does.
To start your very own price journal all you have to do is find a small notebook or buy one.

The layout of your book should have a number at the top of the page. This number is your spending budget. Below that there should be some white space, it will allow you to jot down the prices of things at different stores.

The most important part of the journal is the spending chart below the white space.
It should have 3 columns; one for the name of your transaction, another for the price and the last one for the subtotal of what you have spent that month. So a good price journal would look like this (just not typed):

As you can see: I spent too much (even though this isn't my spending journal). I also spent a considerable amount on coffee that is prepared at a store. Unless I am financially stable I should not be buying that much coffee. Also if my rent didn't include utilities I would have to be much more frugal. It would be good to have a certain amount of money going to a savings account or something like that.

Remember that you are the one putting everything in the journal so you have to stay on top of it or your budget could go out the door.

Saving Hundreds by Fixing an Old Laptop

Looking to buy a new laptop? Look no more.

Unless you plan on using your laptop for heavy duty gaming you can make do with an old fashioned laptop with a little bit of modern software.

You can either buy a very cheap and old laptop from a site like Craigslist or eBay or you could buy a relatively newer one at a discount.

For example I am able to find a computer worth $2500 for only $1100. I could invest the saved money or put it towards something important.

The best idea is to buy an old computer such as this one:
Then retrofit the computer by adding a new, leaner operating system to it. Chances are you are only going to use your computer for internet browsing, email and music. Ubuntu linux should be a great operating system to run on that laptop.

To set this up you should:
  1. At the Ubuntu website download the image file for Ubuntu Home 32 bit.
  2. Once it is downloaded you should burn Ubuntu to a DVD. If you don't have DVD drive, use UNetbootin.
  3. When you insert the CD, the Ubuntu installer will guide you through the installation.
  4. You now have a fast and speedy computer, enjoy it even more by installing the programs you like or ones like it.
If you have your own laptop you should follow this guide from The Simple Dollar.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Making More Money by Selling What You Don't Need

Many people have buildups of things they don't need. These collections can include things such as:
  • Perfectly good toasters
  • Waffle Irons
  • Video Games
  • Computers
  • Beds
  • Cribs
  • Televisions they don't use
  • Baby clothing
Many people try to sell these things to stores that will sell it for them.

This is all fine and dandy, except these stores won't give you your moneys worth.

An example is Gamestop, this store gives you $5 or less for your video games then they go and sell it for $40. You should sell your video games on your own with video games such as eBay or Craigslist and get what you deserve.

We had some baby stuff left over and were able to make hundreds of dollars.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Saving Money by NOT Buying What You Don't Need

A smart consumer knows what they actually need and what they just want.

A smart consumer knows that they don't actually need a new phone every time the models are updated nevertheless many people do buy new phones every month.

Here are some tips to not wasting your money on something you already have:

  • If your phone works, don't buy a new one.
  • If your car is fine don't buy a new one unless the new one is more fuel efficient and saves you money in the long run.
  • Don't waste your money on expensive TV channels you watch once a year.
  • Remember that for every dollar you spend from your savings account is possibly $10 after many years.
  • If you are wondering if you need something, just wait a month and if you still "need" it you can buy it.
Remember this money is your money earned through your hard work.

Getting Recession Deals on Appliances

Lifehacker recently had an article about how you can get great deals on appliances right now because of the recession.

It got me thinking, what a good time to buy energy efficient and high quality appliances that you were eventually going to get.

Cars too are dropping down in price rapidly, and Canadians can get good deals like American pricing.

Televisions are also very low priced, even the new models. Recently I was able to buy a 40" LCD TV for only $500. It was a good deal and some are even better.

Make sure you also check out the prices between stores, there is stiff competition for your business. Price matching may get you a deal with some perks.

Don't buy things you know are low quality, try to see how expensive of an item you can get because of price drops. Things that used to be expensive may now be "budget" priced.

Always find reviews and see if your friends have any recommendations.

Just because we're in a recession doesn't mean you can't find deals.