20 Ways To Create Million Dollar Ideas

How To Generate a Million Dollar Idea

Big companies like Apple, super successful websites like Facebook, and bestselling books like The 4-Hour Workweek all have one thing in common:  They begin with a million dollar idea.

The big question is:  How did their creators come up with these ideas?  Did they sit around waiting for an inspirational flash or a mystic spell of luck?

The answer is:  Spontaneity and luck had little to do with it.

In this article, we’ll take a brief look at 20 tried and true techniques that some of the brightest and most successful entrepreneurs have used to generate million dollar ideas.

You don’t need to have a 100-person company
to develop and execute a good idea.
– Larry Page (Google)

  1. Generate lots of ideas. – The more ideas you create, the more likely you are to create an idea worth a million bucks.
  2. Fail a lot. – All of the ideas that don’t work are simply stepping stones on your way to the one idea that does.  Sometimes you have to fail a thousand times to succeed.  No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  3. Consume information consciously. – Some of my friends think it’s wasteful that I spend so much time reading books and blogs.  It’s not.  It’s what gives me an edge.  I feel engulfed with new ideas and information.  And I’ve actually used what I’ve learned to launch a few successful websites.  When you read things and interact with people, take off your consumer cap and put on your creator cap.  There are million dollar ideas (or at least some really good ideas) all around you waiting for discovery.
  4. Focus on topics and ideas with large markets. – A million dollars is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but it certainly is if you’re trying to earn it in a small market with limited opportunities.  Even if you put Steve Jobs in the role of CEO for a new venture with a maximum market size of 100 people he wouldn’t make more than a few cents.  ‘Big bucks’ result from high demand in a substantial market.
  5. Make sure there’s money in your market. – Bank robbers rob banks because that’s where the money is.  Before you become emotionally attached to an idea, do a little market research.  Make sure the idea you’re pursuing is where the money is.  Who are the clients and consumers?  How much disposable income do they have?  Etc.
  6. Keep your eyes, ears and mind wide open. – Oftentimes one idea’s failure will open a door to a new idea.  Don’t get so hung up on one failed attempt that you miss the opening for many more.
  7. Test variations of the same idea. – Think about the iPhone and the iPad for a second.  One is just a variation of the other.  Both are multi-million dollar ideas.
  8. Figure out what works well in one market and tailor it to another. – Find an idea that’s already proven and think about how it could be applied in a different context.  Take a formula that works in one niche and apply it to a new niche.  Or take the best aspects of one product and combine it with another product.
  9. Put the pieces together. – YouTube’s creators didn’t invent Flash.  They didn’t invent modern digital cameras that can record computer-ready mpeg video.  And they didn’t invent broadband Internet connections, cheap web hosting, embedded website content, or one-click website uploading technologies either.  What they invented is a technology that takes all of these existing pieces and combines them into an online video sharing portal.
  10. Spin a new twist on a previous breakthrough. – A new twist on an old idea can still be a million dollar idea.  Take Facebook for instance, it wasn’t the first big social networking site, but Mark Zuckerberg and company added twists and features the others did not grasp.  How can you take an existing million dollar idea, or even a common idea, and give it a new twist, a new direction and journey?
  11. Systematize a popular service into a reproducible product. – A service is productized when its ownership can be exchanged.  Think about Alienware and Dell back in their infancy.  Both companies simply systematized the service of building IBM compatible PCs and then sold them as a packaged product.  If you can convert a high demand service into a scalable, systematized, efficient process and sell it as a packaged deal, the million appears.
  12. Play with opposites. – When something becomes extremely popular, the opposite often also becomes popular as people turn away from the mainstream.  When WordPress, Blogger and Movable Type exploded in popularity by giving anyone with an Internet connection the ability to share long, detailed blog posts with the world, Twitter and Tumblr came along and started the micro-blogging revolution – for people grasping to share extremely short content snippets.  There are hundreds of other examples.  Just remember, the opposite of a million dollar idea can paradoxically give birth to another million dollar idea.
  13. Look for problems and solve them. – There are many real problems in this world.  Like a business owner wondering why his profits are sinking.  Like a golfer worrying about his slice.  Like a young man who is growing bald at 26.  Like a mom whose child is suffering with allergies.  Like a new dog owner who’s unsure what to do about her puppy barking all night.  Solving problems like these can make millions.
  14. Design new products that support other successful products. – How much money do you think iPod, iPhone and iPad case manufacturers are making?  Millions?  Billions?  What about companies that jumped into the market of manufacturing LCD and Plasma TV mounting brackets eight years ago?  You get the idea.
  15. Keep it simple. – Don’t over complicate a good idea.  Business marketing studies have shown that the more product choices offered, the less products consumers typically buy.  After all, narrowing down the best product from a pool of three choices is certainly easier than narrowing down the best product from a pool of three hundred choices.  If the purchasing decision is tough to make, most people will just give up.  So if you’re designing a product line, keep it simple.  (Read Made to Stick.)
  16. Exploit the resources and skills you already have. – It’s not as much about having the right resources as it is about exploiting your resources right now.  Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has 25 Grammy Awards to prove it.  If you pursue a new venture that involves leveraging your resources and skills, you’re ahead of the game.
  17. Surround yourself with other thinkers. – You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you hang with the wrong people, they will affect you negatively.  But if you hang with the right people, you will be more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone.  Find your tribe and collaborate to make a difference in all your lives.  Bounce ideas off each other, etc.  (Read Tribes.)
  18. Be enthusiastic about what you’re doing. – Enthusiasm is the lifeblood of creativity.  Big ideas blossom when you’re passionate and enthusiastic about what you’re doing.  It’s nearly impossible to pioneer ground breaking solutions in a domain where there is not passionate intensity.  But when your mind is stimulated by a fundamental curiosity and interest in the subject matter, your creativity will run rampant and your motivation will skyrocket.
  19. Accept constructive criticism, but ignore naysayers. – When someone spews negativity about your idea or product, remember, it doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it, it matters how many do.  No matter how much progress you make there will always be the people who insist that whatever you’re trying to do is impossible.  Or they may jealously suggest that the idea or concept as a whole is utterly ridiculous because nobody really cares.  When you come across these people, don’t try to reason with them.  Instead, forget that they exist.  They will only waste your time and energy.
  20. Actually do something with your ideas! – A million dollar idea is simply a good idea given the chance to grow.  On paper, Google and Facebook sprung from fairly ordinary ideas: ‘a search engine that’s accurate’ and ‘a website where friends connect with each other.’  Remember, neither of these companies were the first ones in their market.  Their ideas weren’t groundbreaking at the time.  Many people had the same ideas even before Google and Facebook existed.  But Google’s and Facebook’s creators did something with their ideas.  They worked hard and one-upped the competition.  Their initial success was in their execution.  Remember, it’s not the ideas themselves that count, it’s what you do with them. With the right execution, a simple idea can evolve into a million dollar idea.  (Read Making Ideas Happen.)

Photo by: Noah Coffey

18 Things You Are Wasting Money On

Waste Your Money

Money can buy freedom – freedom from trading hours for dollars.  Money can buy options – the option to do what you want to do instead of what you have to do.  Money is great to have as long as you manage and spend it wisely.  But most of us never do – we waste it and we don’t even realize it.

How?  Why?

Because many of the items and services we buy aren’t worth what we pay for them.

Here are 18 common money wasters to beware of:

  1. Bottled Water – Water is one of the most abundant, freely available resources on planet Earth.  So is air.  If I bottled some air, would you pay 2 to 3 dollars a bottle for it?  I doubt it.  Bottom line:  Buy a water filter for your tap and stop wasting your money.
  2. Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions – The same exact articles are online for free.  I can read them right now and I didn’t pay a dime.  Why are you?
  3. Printer Ink Cartridges – If you’re buying brand new ink cartridges every time you need new ink for your printer you’re paying about $8000 a gallon for ink.  Yep, that’s right!  Computer printer ink is one of the most overpriced consumer goods.  For home users, instead of buying new ink cartridges, take your old ones to a store that will refill them for half the price.  For businesses that do lots of printing, consider outsourcing the bulk of your printing.
  4. More House Than You Need – When you buy or rent a house that’s bigger than you need, you end up wasting lots of money on larger monthly payments, higher upkeep costs, higher utility bills, and lots of random ‘stuff’ to fill up the extra empty space.
  5. Insurance – Car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, title insurance, etc.  Insurance companies love to rip us off.  And while you can’t totally avoid them from a legal standpoint, you can shop around and save yourself a boat-load of cash.  Don’t get comfortable paying what you’re paying simply because you’re used to it.  Make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  6. Premium Cable or Satellite TelevisionHulu.com offers thousands of television shows and full-length movies – all for free.  And Netflix charges $9 a month for access to hundreds of thousands of television episodes and movies on DVD, or you can stream them live to your computer.  So if you’re paying more than $9 a month, you’re wasting your money.
  7. Retail Furniture – Most people don’t realize that home furniture has a 200% to 400% markup on it.  A typical retail furniture store must maintain warehouse inventory, a showroom, commission salesmen, etc. which all equates to a fairly high overhead.  For this reason it is normal for furniture retailers to maintain extremely high markups.  A typical piece of furniture that has a ‘suggested retail price’ of $500 will usually cost the retailer less than $200, so even when they put it ‘on sale’ for $400, they’re still making over 100% profit.  The best way to save big money on furniture is to buy from an online furniture store with low overhead, buy wholesale, or buy slightly used on eBay or craigslist.
  8. Restaurants and Prepared Foods – I don’t need to tell you this.  Eating out is ridiculously expensive.  So is buying prepared foods at the grocery store.  Buy both every once in awhile as a treat, but learn to cook and prepare your own food on a regular basis.  It’s not just cheaper, it’s healthier too.
  9. Nutritional Supplements – Protein powders, vitamins, sports drinks, etc. – all of them are overpriced and have been proven by doctors to be mediocre sources of nourishment.  The answer to good health rests not in a once or twice a day supplement solution, but in an integrated approach to good baseline nutrition though healthy eating habits that give us the energy we need to enjoy our lives and the best chance of warding off illnesses.
  10. Luxury Name Brand Products – A car gets you from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.’  A purse holds your personal belongings.  A pair of sunglasses shades your eyes from the sun.  A shirt keeps you warm.  If you’re paying premium prices just to get a fashionable brand name labeled on each these products without any regard for how efficiently the products actually serve their practical purpose, you’re wasting your money.
  11. New Cars – See my previous point.  A car is a means of transportation to get you from one place to another.  If you’re buying a new car every few years even when your old car works perfectly fine, you’re likely trying too hard to impress the wrong people… and you’re going broke in the process.
  12. Electronics Warranties – When you buy new electronics a warranty might seem like a decent thing to invest in.  After all, a warranty covers everything from technical problems to spilling soda on the circuits.  But don’t be fooled.  Most of the time the numbers just don’t make sense.  For instance, a two-year extended warranty on a $400 laptop at Best Buy will cost you upwards of $280 – that’s about 70% of the original price.  You’re better off saving your money and taking your chances.
  13. Retail Computer Software – Most retail computer software is marked way up.  You can easily find OEM copies of the exact same software online (on eBay and similar sites) for 25% – 50% less.  Also, look into free open source software alternatives.  For instance, Microsoft Office Professional 2010 costs $300 at Best Buy, but you can download OpenOffice.org’s professional office suite which has all the same word processing, spreadsheet, etc. capabilities for free.  And OpenOffice.org is 100% compatible with Microsoft Office files.
  14. Medical Issues that Can Be Avoided – Eat right and exercise regularly!  Keep your body and mind healthy!  Major medical problems drain back accounts, increase insurance rates, keep you from working and earning money, and generally guarantee that you will have long-term financial problems.
  15. Prescription Medication – The previous bullet leads directly into this one.  Prescription medicine has one of the highest markups of any consumer good. The sky high cost of prescription medications is crippling parts of the US economy and keeping necessary medicines out of the hands of those who need it most – people living on fixed incomes with acute or chronic health issues.  Unlike other countries, there are no price controls on prescription medications here in the US.  So we end up paying 200% – 5000% markups on essential medicines and drugs such as Prozac and Xanax.  The solution is to buy wholesale at wholesale resellers such as Costco.  Costco’s prices are typically half the cost of the local retail pharmacy on many popular prescription medications.
  16. Jewelry and Precious Gems – All jewelry is subject to volatile changes in price and high markups.  The industry average markup varies widely – 100% to up to over 1000%.  And jewelers thrive on the uneducated buyer, so do your research.  Also, jewelry is almost always an emotional purchase, so you need to think logically about what you’re getting, how much you’re paying for it, and what your other options are.  And even then, you probably won’t get a great deal.  Buying and wearing less jewelry is always the smartest choice.
  17. Second-rate EntertainmentThe best things in life are free.  Stop wasting your money on movies, games, and other second-rate entertainment and take a good look around you.  Mother Nature offers lots of entertainment free of charge.  Go hiking, go skinny dipping, play in the rain, build a bonfire with your friends, watch the sunset with your lover, etc.
  18. Nasty Money-sucking (and life-sucking) Habits. – Smoking, drinking and gambling are all perfect examples of bad habits in which you choose to trade short term pleasure for long term debt and discomfort.  So light one up, shoot one down, and toss another chip across the table.  It’s only your life and livelihood.

Photo by: Tracy O.

This Is Why You Are In Debt

This is Why You Are in Debt

The only way to get out of debt is to understand why you’re in debt in the first place.

And the truth is…

You will not save money when you get your next raise.  You will not save money when your car is paid off.  You will not save money when your kids are supporting themselves someday.  And you wouldn’t even save a dime if I handed you $100,000 in cash right now.

How do I know this?

Because saving money has very little to do with the amount of money you have.  In fact, you will only start to save money when saving becomes an emotional habit – when you start treating the money you handle everyday differently.

So this is why you are in debt:

  • You buy miscellaneous crap you don’t need or use. – Stop buying ‘stuff’ on impulse!  Avoid the mall!  The mall is not a source for entertainment.  It’s a source for personal debt.  There’s no reason to tease yourself by staring at a bunch of brand new crap you don’t need.  And as you know, the novelty of a new purchase wears thin long before the credit card bill arrives.
  • You use credit to purchase things you can’t afford to buy in cash. – If you can’t pay for it in cash today, don’t buy it today!  It’s as simple as that.
  • You think of certain product brands as fashionable status symbols. – A car gets you from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.’  A purse holds your personal belongings.  A pair of sunglasses shades your eyes from the sun.  A shirt keeps you warm.  If you’re paying premium prices just to get a fashionable brand name labeled on each these products without any regard for how well the products actually serve their practical purpose, you have a problem.
  • You buy a brand new car every few years. – See my previous point.  A car is a means of transportation to get you from one place to another.  If you’re buying a new car every few years even when your old car works fine, you’re likely trying too hard to impress the wrong people… and you’re going broke in the process.
  • You buy things you could have borrowed from a friend or rented. – After you bought that DVD, how many times did you actually watch it?  Do you really want a 20 inch chainsaw collecting dust in your garage?  So you own a pressure washer you only use once every three years?  You get the point… borrow and rent when it makes sense.
  • You pay retail prices on everything you buy. – If you’re paying retail prices, you’re getting screwed.  You can easily save well over $1000 a year on general purchases by waiting for sales and shopping at discount outlets.
  • You own (or rent) way more house than you need. – When you buy or rent a house that’s bigger than you need, you end up wasting lots of money on larger monthly payments, higher upkeep costs, higher utility bills, and lots of random ‘stuff’ to fill up the extra empty space.
  • You don’t follow any sort of formal budgeting plan. – Do you assume that if you wait around and make more money your finances and credit debt will magically resolve themselves?  I’m sorry to say, you’re dead wrong!  It takes a lot of planning and proactive budgeting to erase a pile of debt and build a nest egg of wealth.  So start now!
  • You don’t automate 401K or savings deposits. – We’re ten years into the new millennium.  If you aren’t using simple technology to automate savings deposits, you pretty much deserve to be broke.
  • You don’t leverage the small investments you do have. – You have to give your money the opportunity to make money.  Any capital you do have, no matter how small, should be invested using a basic, long-term investment strategy.  If your capital isn’t invested, it’s just losing value as inflation rises.
  • You’re married to (or dating) a spend-thrift. – You’ll never get out of debt if you’re married to a person who spends every dime you make.  So help your soul mate become financially responsible, or except life in the poorhouse.
  • You’ve never educated yourself on basic money management. – Responsible money management is not an innate human instinct.  You have to properly educate yourself.  If you don’t, you’ll stay exactly where you are now, in debt.
  • You have a ‘get rich quick’ mentality. – For 99.99% of us, wealth doesn’t come instantly.  You’re far more likely to be struck by lightning twice than win the lottery once.  If you’re spending your time and money on a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, the debt will just keep piling up.
  • You have nasty, money-sucking (and life-sucking) habits. – Smoking, drinking and gambling are all perfect examples of bad habits in which you choose to trade short term pleasure for long term debt and discomfort.  So light one up, shoot one down, and toss another chip across the table.  It’s only your life.
  • You waste too much of your own time. – They say “time is money,” but I think time is way more valuable than money.  It’s the single greatest constituent of life.  If you fail to properly manage your time, you’ll absolutely fail to properly manage your money… and you’ll likely fail in every other aspect of your life as well.  So focus your time and energy on the important stuff and forget the rest.
  • You aren’t taking care of your health. – Keep your body and mind healthy!  Major medical problems drain back accounts, increase insurance rates, keep you from working and earning money, and generally guarantee that you will have long-term financial problems.
  • You aren’t enjoying life’s (free) simple pleasures. – The best things in life are free.  Stop wasting your money on second-rate entertainment and take a good look around you.  Mother Nature offers lots of entertainment free of charge.  Go hiking, go skinny dipping, play in the rain, build a bonfire with your friends, watch the sunset with your lover, etc.
  • You went through an unfortunate divorce. – This final point might seem cruel, but it’s impossible to discuss the major reasons why people accumulate financial debt without mentioning divorce.  Divorce absolutely destroys the finances of both parties involved.  So the best advice I can give you is:  Don’t get married until you’re certain you want to spend the rest of your life with your significant other.  And don’t get a divorce until you’ve truly exhausted all of your other possible options (marriage therapy, etc.).

Please remember, financial debt can be avoided and erased.  It just takes a little effort, education, and determination on your end to make it possible.  So as I’ve said before, live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  And always live well below your means.

18 Means for Living Below Your Means

Live Below Your Means

Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Always live well below your means.

A penny saved is a penny earned.
– Benjamin Franklin

  1. Redefine your definition of “rich”. – “I remember sitting in a cubicle at my first professional job staring at a picture of an SUV I wanted to buy (and eventually did).  Now, I sit in my office and look at the pictures of my kids, and just outside my window I can see the beater I drive sitting in the company parking lot.  What a difference a decade makes!  To sum things up, my definition of being rich is having enough money to meet my family’s basic needs, a few of our wants, and to be able to give some away to others.” – via Frugal Dad
  2. Borrow and share.  Everyone wins! – “We borrowed a DVD from a friend instead of renting or buying and had a little snack from our own fridge!  Way cheaper than using gas to drive to the theater/rental place, paying for a movie, and paying for a snack.” – via My Dollar Plan
  3. Avoid the mall. – “Going to the mall is not entertainment!  We used to go when we were bored.  Of course, we usually ended up spending money while we were there.  If you need clothes, then shop sales or go to stores that offer name-brands at a discount.  You can save a ton on these items if you are a smart shopper.  Dave Ramsey says, “Never pay retail!”  We probably save $15 to $30 per month by staying away from the mall.” – via My Super-Charged Life
  4. Limit your intake of advertisements. – “Advertising sucks.  That’s the cold, hard truth.  It’s engineered to make you feel like you’re incomplete, that you have an unfulfilled need, that you’re not good enough.” – via On Simplicity
  5. Buy with cash. – “You can’t spend money you don’t have.  Many bank accounts provide overdraft protection, so even with a debit card, it’s easier to go over your account balance than you think.” – via Simple Mom
  6. Find a better deal and actually SAVE the difference. – “Regardless of what they sell, if you’ve switched companies for price reasons, save the difference.  Think of phone companies, internet access, cell phones, credit cards, and others.” – via The Wisdom Journal
  7. Adhere to a long-term investment strategy. – “I’m a long-term investor.  The stock portion of my portfolio is spread over several mutual funds, a few ETFs and a few individual stocks.  Each and every one of these holdings was carefully chosen, after thorough research.  I believe in these stocks and funds.  I consider them as my best bet in growing my money – LONG TERM.” – via MomGrind
  8. Curb your consumerism! – “Have you ever watched how a child can play with a cardboard box for hours, and leave the toy that came in it by the wayside?  How is it that children can enjoy themselves without a lot of “stuff”, but we as adults feel the need to reward ourselves by buying more stuff?” – via Billionaire Woman
  9. Stay Healthy!  Medical problems drain bank accounts. – “James M. Rippe, M.D is a best-selling author, world-renowned cardiologist, and founder of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute.   He explains that if you look at all the risk factors for dying, the one that is most predictive is fitness level.  In addition, an older person with high cardiovascular fitness is healthier than a younger person who is physically inactive.  By increasing your fitness level, you can actually roll back your biological clock.” – via Abundance Blog
  10. Stay in and relax. – “So, think about it the next time you go out.  Are you going for with a purpose?  Maybe the solution is to not go out at all.  Stay home and save!  Save up for something you really want or need.” – via The Jungle of Life
  11. Gradually prepare yourself for a rainy day. – “Even when things are going great, and you feel on top of the world, you must always be prepared for a change.  If you take the time and patience to set yourself up properly, then when things to take a turn for the worse, you will be prepared to handle it.  If you live above your means, then when the slightest change occurs, you will not be prepared to adapt.  Financial flexibility is more important then keeping up with the Jones’.” – via Yin vs. Yang
  12. Stop competing.  Forget about the Jones’ altogether. – “If getting rich makes us happy, then why don’t countries as a whole get happier as they grow wealthier?  They discovered that as a country gets wealthier there’s no overall increase in happiness.  Why?  We continually compare our wealth against that of others.  We are competitive and envious. Add to that the fact that Western countries encourage people to strive for more and more, and you have a formula that spins many into depression.” – via Color Your Life Happy
  13. Get out of the “easy street” mentality. – “I think there is too much emphasis on the quick fix or the easy option in today’s society.  For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of the “hard option” – exercising and eating well…. money is sometimes being used as a substitute for hard work.  Do you think there is an increasing expectation that you can get want you want by throwing money around instead of working hard and “earning” it? – via Forever Change
  14. Avoid impulse buying.  Buy things you truly need. – “Don’t you just love the excitement you feel after coming home with a new TV?  Driving home in a new car?  Opening the box on a new pair of shoes?  I sure do.  But, from watching the behavior of myself and my friends I’ve found that the new quickly becomes just another item.  The excitement of novelty passes quickly.” – via Think Simple Now
  15. Time is money.  Properly manage your time. – “The fewer tasks you have, the less you have to do to organize them.  Focus only on those tasks that give you the absolute most return on your time investment, and you will become more productive and have less to do.  You will need only the simplest tools and system, and you will be much less stressed.  I think that’s a winning combination.  Focus always on simplifying, reducing, eliminating. And keep your focus on what’s important. Everything else is easy.” – via LifeDev
  16. Find ways to give without spending. – “Want a quick, easy and (almost) free way to be guaranteed that you’ll make someone’s day special?  Send them a letter.  Why not set aside some time this weekend to sit down and write to a few people?  If you don’t enjoy writing, try buying some nice postcards of your home town.  If you’ve got an artistic streak, why not design your own note cards?  You don’t have to write a long letter for it to be effective.  It’s the thought that counts and the personal touch that makes it special.” –via Dumb Little Man
  17. Don’t let greed and deceit get the best of you. – “According to Stephen R. Covey, if you reach an admirable end through the wrong means it will ultimately turn to dust in your hands.  This is due to unintended consequences that are not seen or evident at first.  The example he gives in The 8th Habit is:  The parent who yells at their kids to clean their rooms will accomplish the end of having a clean room.  But this very means has the potential to negatively affect relationships, and it is unlikely the room will stay clean when the parent leaves town for a few days.  Now, to return to the topic of wealth, I think it is possible to see much of the world’s current financial problems as stemming from people who wrongly believe the ends justify the means.  My advice?  It is fine to aspire to wealth, but don’t lose sight of the means to accomplishing it.” – via The Change Blog
  18. Never ever pay retail. – “You can easily save hundreds of dollars a year on clothing purchases by waiting for sales or shopping at discount retailers like Marshalls.  Better yet, avoid name brand clothing all together.” – via Marc and Angel Hack Life  😉

Also, check out these best selling books for more financial tips:

Photo by: CayUSA

28 Unique Bits of Financial Brilliance

Financial BillianceFinancial wisdom is not intrinsic to the mind, it’s learned.  Most people who are brilliant with their finances received at least some third-party guidance.  Maybe they absorbed the knowledge from a parent or grandparent.  Or perhaps they pursued it on their own by reading personal finance books, blogs and magazines.

Either way, if you’re not doing well financially, you’re probably ready for some advice that makes sense.  Here are 28 unique bits of financial brilliance from around the web, each linking back to a source article containing further instruction and insight.  Enjoy.

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.
– Jackie Mason

  1. Stop buying “stuff” you do not need! – “Purchases of a few hundred dollars add up quickly to thousands of dollars.  On top of that, if you carry a balance on your credit card, you will pay on average 12% to 14% interest.  These rates can skyrocket quickly if you are late on even one payment.  In addition, you may become subject to late fees and penalties.  All this to get something that isn’t even used or enjoyed.  No thank you!” – via My Super-Charged Life
  2. Start rolling an income snowball. – “Most people know how they’d make money in an ideal world. The problem is that most of these “ideal” schemes require lots of time, planning, risk taking, etc. On the other hand, most of us have skills that we could implement tomorrow to make money independent of an employer (this could be anything from doing landscape to hiring ourselves out as a consultant).  So the first step in creating an income snowball is to write a list of things you can do to make money in ascending order of difficulty and speed of implementation.” – via The Growing Life
  3. A car lasts longer than 5 years.  Stop wasting your money! – “Cars are simply a method of basic transportation…that’s all they are. They are assembled hunks of metal sitting on four tires designed for the purpose of transporting us safely from point A to point B. I doubt Henry Ford ever envisioned the kind of luxuries we see in today’s automobile – voice activated radio controls, heated leather seats, heads up displays, and backup cameras installed in bumpers. If families invested the $400 a month wasted on new cars into a good, growth stock mutual fund for 30 years they could easily retire millionaires. Hope you like the car!” – via Frugal Dad
  4. Live within your means. – “When you spend less than you make, you are buying flexibility and freedom. You gain the ability to change jobs or move to another area of the country. You are buying the ability to say yes to the things that matter because you save on the areas that aren’t as important to you.” – via Productivity501
  5. Debt can make you money.  It’s called good debt. – “Would you take a million dollar loan at 1% interest? I would. I’d immediately put it in a few interest baring accounts that are FDIC insured (I say a few because FDIC insurance doesn’t cover a whole million). At today’s rates, which are historically pretty low, you can make a guaranteed 3% on that money. That means the debt naysayers would be missing out on 2% of a million dollars, $20,000 a year.” – via Lazy Man and Money
  6. Money management can have many positive side effects. – “My husband and I both work out our finances together. I’m still the budget maker and bill payer in the family, but since we make the decisions on how the money is allotted, we have to make the time to communicate, come to an agreement, and project our monthly financial plans. We’re more unified in our marriage than we’ve ever been.” – via simple mom
  7. If you don’t have an emergency fund, start one now! – “It’s better to be safe than sorry.   Nobody can anticipate when the roof will have to be repaired or an appliance will need to be replaced.  The idea is to try to find ways to live below your means so that you can save for retirement and other long-term goals but at the same time make it a priority to set money aside in the event an urgent need arises.” – via Everything Finance
  8. Financial freedom only solves small problems. – “You know what really determines our happiness levels? Not money, but how optimistic we are and how often we have monogamous sex. Money cannot solve big problems, like cancer or world hunger or happiness. Money solves small problems, like, can you have a big wedding, can you go on a good trip. Small problems are what people talk about when they talk about financial freedom.” – via Brazen Careerist
  9. Financial calculators are your friend.  Use them! – “In various posts I have referenced financial calculators that I like.  I’m going to put them all in one post so they are easy to find for reference.  As I find more, I’ll add them to this list.” – via My Dollar Plan
  10. There is no specific template for business success. – “Living a life that’s not based on a template and being true to yourself may not mean paving a road in the sky like the Wright Brothers. However, if you tell everyone you want to start your own business, you will be doubted. They’ll tell you everything that’s wrong with your idea and why it won’t work: You have no experience. You’ve never run a business before, what do you know about sales? It takes money to make money. Almost no one starting their first business knows exactly what they are doing.” – via Illuminated Mind  [Read more…]