One of the good things about living life is that when you make money you have a sense of accomplishment, an increased sense of self-worth, a feeling of pride in what you have been doing. One of the worst things about living life is losing money and I don’t think I have to expand too much on that one, do I?
One of the easiest ways to lose money is to gamble. To gamble on horse races, sports contests, lotteries — you get the picture.
When you are tempted to gamble you have to remember that your odds of winning are stacked against you from the start and that, if you keep gambling, in the long run you are probably going to lose a lot more than you win … unless lightning strikes and you are that one in a million lucky gambler …. but I would rather hold my breath than wait for “The Big One.”
But there are differences in straight on “Betting” and taking “Calculated Risks” based on possibility research, results research, and the like.
One of my tactics over the years has been (and this is just an example) to scout out what is happening all around any parcel of land that I might be contemplating purchasing. If there has been evidence that the business center of a town or a city, for example, is moving along a path that might someday include the land that I am looking at, then the odds of profiting from purchasing it increase significantly. I have been wrong a lot, but when I am right, the sun shines brightly and when I choose a parcel of land that is obviously on the path of expansive development of the community then I feel satisfied that there will be a substantial profit somewhere along the line.
Thus, that old tax distressed farmer’s field located alongside the old two lane road that leads from my town to an adjacent city looks very much alone and neglected all by itself … but by keeping the taxes paid and waiting, that old field one day becomes very attractive to somebody who wants to build an airport or a shopping center because the town is expanding in that direction.
I had a friend once who had a private gun club and an old general store on just such a parcel of land and for years it looked like he was going to subsist on the profits from those small enterprises. That is until the day the developers of as major Amusement Park visited with him. He went into immediate retirement somewhere in Florida with a couple million dollars in his pocket. Who would have ever dreamed that remote piece of land in the middle of nowhere would enjoy such a fate?
One trick I have always used to hang onto my money concerns shopping.
When I go shopping and see something that I think I want to buy, I always deliberately refuse to buy it on impulse and/or on first sight. I go away and think about it for a few weeks or even a couple of months. If, after that time has passed I still want whatever it was as much as I thought I did when I first saw it, then is when I go and buy it. I have probably saved thousands of dollars simply by playing this little waiting game.
Another device I have used successfully is this one:
Here is an example of what it was that I had been looking to buy and the circumstances that saved me a handful of cash —-
The item was a high-end stereo system. I think the price was somewhere in the range of $200 or so.
Preparing to buy the item I asked the clerk to make sure I got the box in which it came as well as the item itself.
The store apparently had discarded the box.
I asked for a discount based on the lack of a box.
I got the discount …. but wait, there is more:
I rubbed my fingers over the stereo cabinet and got a finger full of dust — it really was unpleasantly grimy.
That accounted for the second reduction in price.
The third consideration came when I asked if the model I was going to purchase was the latest model available.
It was an older model.
Third reduction in price. My argument: “For a store of this caliber, a customer ought to be able to expect to purchase the latest model of merchandise.” The store agreed.
I walked out of the store in happy possession of a stereo set that had been marked for sale at $200 and I ended up paying only $69.00 for it.
Never pay the asking price for anything if you can avoid it has become a mantra with me.
In the grocery store, I am always saving money by getting the manager to reduce the price on dented cans of vegetables and things.
When negotiating the price of my former wife’s engagement ring, I complained about the occlusion in the stone and offered the store manager $1,800 for a ring that had been marked for sale at $2,000. The store manager was reluctant to take my deal until I informed him that I had the $1,500 in my pocket in cash. He took the cash. I saved $500.
Be in control of your life. Do not be intimidated by prices on shelves. Be assertive in demanding that you get full value for your dollar and that the stores pay you for any inconveniences or discomforts that you might be subjected to because of your transactions.
A high percentage of the time, you will gain a lot in savings by going this route or a similar route.