The answer to the question in the headline above is this; time. The best weapon that any investor, new or experienced, big or small, has, is time.

One of the reasons that time is so powerful is that, if you have plenty of it, you can sit on your investments when times are tough and the market is even tougher. Even better, you might even be able to take advantage of some stock prices that are bargain-basement while you’re waiting for the market’s upward trend to return.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of consumers in the United States don’t take advantage of time as well as they should, if at all. Less than 45% of people 29 years of age or younger don’t take advantage of a 401(k) or IRA for example.

Let’s take a look at some of the excuses that people have not putting time to work for them. Once you see them you’ll realize that all of them are fundamentally flawed.

Many people believe that the small amount of money that they have left over for investing won’t garner them enough money to make it worth their while. The fact is however that even small amounts of money invested over the course of 40 years can multiply from 20 to 50 times, which can turn even a small amount of money into a substantial amount of money. For example, putting $25 a month into an IRA and leaving it there for 40 years will net you $133,000. You could also stash a small amount within well researched binary options trading strategies.

Some people believe that it’s not a good time to invest right now but the fact is that there’s almost always a reason to not invest and, if you never do, you’ll never be able to take advantage of the time factor that we’re talking about right now. You’ll also certainly miss out on a whole bunch of profitable opportunities that might have become available if you would just stop making excuses. (No offense.)

Lastly there are those people who don’t want to think about investing, or retirement, because they’re “too young”. While we realize that it’s tough to think about retirement when you’re in your 20s, or even 30s, and there are other things to do like pay down student loan debt, start families and buy homes, starting as early as possible allows you to take full advantage of time’s excellent effects. We’ve talked about it many times here before and it bears repeating; compound interest is one of the best financial discoveries ever made.

Also, starting early sets you up for excellent  financial habits that will definitely serve you well for all of your years. The fact is, putting aside a little bit of money now in order to get back a lot of money in the future is the most sound financial advice that you’ll ever receive, or could ever follow.

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Despite the name of our site, we cover topics that are much more vast than just saving and budgeting money! This is precisely why a new e-book I ran across caught my eye, 25 Money Strategies Your Teacher Forgot to Tell You About. As the subtitle of the book says, it’s for those of you who are trying to make ends meet. This book covers money strategies as a whole, whether that be saving, spending, budgeting, investing, or simply being a mastermind of your money!

The author, Latvian born Richard Pans, is already an avid finance blogger and published author. In fact the predecessor to this book was his initial foray into financial writing, and was aptly titled 20 Money Strategies Your Teacher Forgot to Tell You About. That first book was written four years ago, and since then Richard has been able to use his evolving knowledge of personal finance to build upon his earlier work. His self-proclaimed drive to understand and master wealth and prosperity shows up in several places within this book, and leaves us wanting more. While I don’t want to give away all 25 money strategies in this article, I would like to point out a few sections that were especially masterful, and perhaps whet your appetite for the book.

Spending and saving isn’t a new concept, but it’s a powerful one. Richard explains that after a daily shopping event you should go home and tally up receipts and then take 10% of the amount spent and set aside in your savings. This is quite similar to the big banks that take money from every purchase and round up to the nearest whole dollar and then throw that in your savings account. It’s a good idea that should be applied to everything you spend money on.

There is another fantastic section on how wasteful it is owning a car! Between the cost of a car, the routine maintenance needed, and of course the gas to fuel the car, these things are two ton money pits.  Oh, and let’s not forget the cost to insure. Avoiding the purchase of a car isn’t just the tradeoff of riding a bike to work and school, it could involve a lifestyle change as well. Perhaps living in a more dense and urban environment, or better yet, simply moving closer to the areas that you commute the most often.

One of the most powerful chapters in the book, and probably the most difficult to adhere to, is the “zero dollar day”. Think of the last time you went an entire day without spending one dollar! I can’t imagine going an hour without spending at least one dollar, I often use the coffee or snack vending machines at work a couple times a day. There is a lot of self-discipline needed to go an entire day without spending any money, but the idea is to go 1 day without spending, and then to continuously string more days on to that. That means not even putting $0.50 in a parking meter. I’ve often told my wife we need to give this one try but she is still skittish.

For more quality money strategies like the one’s above make sure you purchase your own copy of 25 Money Strategies Your Teacher Forgot to Tell You About.

 

This review is brought to you by Justin, author of Saving Without a Budget. I am also an MBA graduate with 10 years of post collegiate experience in Corporate Finance.

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How to Start Taking Advantage of Online Coupons

by Justin Weinger on July 15, 2014

The couponing craze is definitely a big trend these days and, with the cost of food going through the roof, it’s not a surprise. If you haven’t exactly been the best “couponer” up to now, but you’d like to be, the tips and advice below will help you to become an expert in no time using readily available online coupons that manufacturers send out all the time. Enjoy.

First, you should always print out your online coupons right away. While they may not expire immediately, and you may not need them right away, coupons from the Internet can be taken off of the Internet at any time with no warning. Some of them also have print limits and/or are “first-come, first-served”, so printing them right away really does make sense.

If you don’t want to use expensive printer paper, keep scrap paper handy to print out your coupons. Just make sure that there isn’t any personal info on the paper before you print out any coupons that you might want.

On many coupon sites, including Coupons.com, there is a limit of one coupon per printer. If you hit your “back” button however, in most cases you will be able to print one extra coupon as well. Some people actually set up multiple printers be able to do this, but that might be taking it to the extreme.

Coupons on social media website Facebook usually require that you have to “like” a product before you can print out your coupon for it. The problem with this is that, after a while, your Facebook News Feed will get very messy. There’s no stopping you from clicking the “unlike” button however. It’s on the bottom left-hand side of the page and after the coupon has been printed, you can easily click it and avoid any News Feed problems.

Couponing takes a good bit of organization in order to do it right, but you don’t have to buy expensive binders to help you do it. Some people simply use different envelopes for different types of products. For example, one for food coupons, one for cleaning products and so forth. The more organized you are, the more coupons you will be able to take advantage of before they expire.

One last bit of advice is simply this; sometimes even a coupon doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deal or price possible. Even if you’re getting a dollar off on a brand name product, if the generic equivalent of that product is two dollars less, you’re still paying more when you use that coupon. The point is that you shouldn’t let coupons get in the way of doing some real-time comparison shopping.

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More Investment Types Than You Can Imagine!

by Justin Weinger on July 10, 2014

Have you ever stopped to think about how many different types of investments exist today? Honestly, people are always looking for places to stash their money and earn a handsome return, outside of bank accounts that is. I’m going to give you a list of several different types of investments available to the average consumer, some of which they may never have considered before.

Dividend stocks! I’m starting here because these are the bread and butter of my portfolio. The idea is to build up enough shares in solidly performing dividend stocks and to live off the proceeds of the dividends, all the while letting the stock itself appreciate and grow. It sounds much easier than it actually is, but at the very least it could provide a solid income stream to help you into retirement.

Foreign currency is another investment. Many people think of arbitrage and speculation whenever foreign currency is discussed. In reality, your country’s currency probably fluctuates around quite a bit. Just like anything else you can and should diversify the currency you are holding. Most people make the mistake of holding all of the liquid assets in the same currency as the country they live in.

Binary options is another type of investment that allows you to draw an option on a stock, and you essentially predict which way the price might move on the stock in a defined period of time. Doing a simple internet search of “what is binary options” will give you a thorough explanation.

Real estate investments are becoming all the rage again. The housing market is on its way back up. Some people decide to sink their cash into an investment or rental property. Others with less disposable income might decide to invest in an REIT instead. Either way it allows you to pool some of your money into the real estate game.

Peer-to-peer lending is another investment that has seen huge growth in the past few years. Sites like Lending Club allow an investor to lend money to another person, in return that person pays you back interest over a set period of months. Studies have actually shown this type of lending to be less risky than business-to-consumer lending that you typically see with banks.

Bitcoins have become all the rage in the past year. The bitcoin market has risen and fallen numerous times in the past couple years, but one way or another it seems like it’s here to stay. This type of investment isn’t very regulated as of yet, but there are reputable exchanges that have been in business for awhile, so if this tickles your fancy go and check them out.

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