There are also money lessons to be learned in this roundup from millionaires who hate fees as much (or more) than you and I, high-profile pawn shop owners who are wise enough to walk away rather than lose money on deals, and parents who rarely if ever splurge on purchases for their kids.
3 money lessons from ‘Pawn Stars.’ The History Channel show “Pawn Stars” has been a hit with viewers. It’s also a regular demo of how to make deals in your best interest. For example, there are times when the wisest financial move is doing nothing and walking away:
If, after you invest a lot of time researching and learning about something, you discover that it’s not what it appears to be, walk away. It’s the idea of sunk cost. It stinks you spent all that time but don’t let that force you to do something you otherwise wouldn’t.
4 things my parents didn’t splurge for (and why I’m glad they didn’t). Kids always feel like they’re missing out. But guess what? Spoil them, and you’re setting them up to expect to be spoiled (and likely, battling debt) for their entire lives. Here’s a reflection of how, in retrospect, kids will wind up thanking their parents for raising them frugally. Someone who doesn’t wear full-price, brand-name clothing as a child will understand the wisdom of avoiding original retail price in the future:
If I had been used to name-brand clothing in my youth, I might not have become the bargain hunter I am today. Now, upon entering any clothing store, I make a bee-line for the sale rack.
5 ways to save on group dinners. Consider having dessert back at someone’s house:
Have sweets on hand for a post-restaurant get-together or split one dessert between everyone, says Stephanie Nelson, who runs CouponMom.com. By skipping individual orders of dessert and coffee, you can easily shave $30 off the bill—not to mention the treat it will be for your waistline.
5 money lessons from millionaires. Rich people hate getting nickel and dimed with fees as much as the rest of us—perhaps even more so. Always hanging onto as much cash as possible is one way they got rich in the first place, after all:
A client with a portfolio well past the multi-million dollar mark once remarked that despite the fact that $25 to him roughly equated to what a nickel is to me, small bank fees were the bane of his existence. As it turns out, bank fees annoy the heck out of millionaires just as much as those of us who sweat and toil for a living. Even if it’s a nickel.
You don’t even have to get out of your car to pick up a Big Mac. You place your order at the drive-thru and within two minutes you can take the first bite as you drive home. You can hardly get a pan hot enough to fry in that time. The sooner you have the burger in hand, the sooner it can trigger the release of the cocktail of rewarding chemicals in your brain.
7 best things to buy secondhand. Golf clubs, cars, bicycles, and exercise equipment can all be smart, solid values when purchased used. So can hand tools, which shoppers are especially likely to find at yard sales and estate sales hosted by baby boomers who are downsizing or moving:
You’ll have a great chance to stock up on tools that never wearout, such as hammers, pliers, planes, chisels, screwdrivers, and the like. Stay away from files and saws, though; these do wear out, although the wear might not be apparent.
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7 ways to cut household costs by opting for green alternatives. Save money, and feel better about your impact on Mother Nature by, for instance, subbing hand towels for paper towels:
It’s true that paper towels make for an easy reach when your kid spills something. Yet I’ve seen a number of stories decrying paper towels as an absolute waste. Planetgreen.com, for example, claims paper towels create 3,000 tons of landfill waste a day.
7 urban legends about motor oil. The big one is that all cars need oil changes every 3,000 miles, which even Jiffy Lube says is not the case. But what about the long-accepted idea that the oil should be changed when it appears black on the dipstick?
Experts say this is a myth, as is the related notion that you can identify spent oil by smell. “That is old school,” says Kristen Huff, vice president of Blackstone Laboratories in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “Oil is meant to get dark — it means it’s doing its job,” she says.
8 ways to save money and get fit by living inefficiently. Yes, here are suggestions to make your life less efficient—all in the interests of saving money and/or improving health. Committing to biking or walking when handling short errands accomplishes both:
Biking or hiking just five miles a week when you’d ordinarily use your car will save around $40 a year in gas and burn the calorie equivalent of five to seven pounds.