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March 09, 2009

New Internet Venture - Make Extra Money

NEW INTERNET VENTURE: 
"BarterForFree.com"  &  GLOBAL TV INTERVIEW
A month or so ago, I offered an opportunity to become involved in a new internet venture; I look foward to working with the group of people who have joined me on this wonderful ride.   This new spin on an old idea will be LIVE by the summer.   Although there is no longer an opportunity to become involved with the venture, you can still register now to receive our Free Gift when we go Live on the Net!
It's free to register, you'll receive a free gift in the early summer, and you'll learn how to barter goods and services to reduce your cash outflow and get stuff you want or need.  If I haven't convinced you to register at www.barterforfree.com, you might do so after seeing what I've received with no cash outlay over the last few weeks only!
  • a couch reupholstered
  • fitness classes for my students
  • large dents on my car repaired
  • driveway resurfacing
  • carpet replacement at my cottage
  • plumbing repairs
Regsiter with www.barterforfree.com today and save thousands tomorrow with this innovative approach to a time-tested concept.  

March 07, 2009

Market Update & Personal Finance Suggestions

MARKET UPDATE

For many months, there have been warnings of a market meltdown, or an impending crisis.   Unless you live in a cave, you know by now that there are problems both in the US and globally.   Financial markets like the TSX went down over 800 points this week, house prices all over Canada are falling, the US situation is a disaster, with people loosing their homes left, right and centre, and debt load consumers are bracing for job losses in all major Canadian industries.   And although, we're not facing the same horrific situation here in Canada, we are definitely feeling the pinch on the credit lending side.   There will be less lending, more prudent decision making, and tighter controls.   As of October 15th, Canadian lending institutions will administer the change in law on lending practises, to buffer the Canadian economy and avoid the credit crisis facing the Americans.   (In parts of Southern California, for example, half of all house sales are reposessions!   HALF of all house sales!   And listen to this:  a majority of all houses are full of stuff the owners leave behind, including TVs, flat screen TVs, and other high-ticket items.   What's the reason?   They can't afford movers, so they just pack their car with whatever fits and leave the rest behind.)  Surely these are all signs of omminous times. 
What does that mean for us?    Well, I think it means time to plan ahead.   We're likely a few months behind whatever economic horror is occuring across America.   According to Warren Buffett, the "Americans are heading for an economic Pearl Harbour."  If Pearl Harbour or something like it is in the near future, then we should clean house to make sure we are padding ourselves with cloaks of safety.  
Here are some personal financial suggestions:
  1. Clean house:  review all of your monthly expenses and reduce them in any way you can.
  2. Get rid of excess stuff you don't need by selling on e-Bay.   You'll generate income AND clean house.
  3. Start an internet business and spend a few hours per week working on it... it may provide you with a few extra thousand in a year or two.
  4. Do not pay off all your bills with any windfalls:  buy some property instead. 
  5. If you have any savings accounts, switch them to banks paying high interest on savings accounts (without the bother and chains of locking in).   This means you leave TD or BMO and head over to www.hsbc.cawww.icici.com, or www.ingdirect.ca.   All of these banks offer regular savings accounts that pay out 3% interest.   It's better than nothing and it's NOT locked in.
  6. Review all your credit outstanding and make a plan to get rid of them.
  7. Consider buying stocks now or in the next while... as things are sliding.    When stocks go down, we forget that it's actually the best time to buy!

Here are some real estate suggestions:

  1. Refinance today!    Get a credit line quickly.   If your house goes down in price and you lose your job, at least you'd be able to use the credit (from today's value of your home) to purchase something which will generate income. 
  2. Buy cash flow property now!   
  3. Sell off large scale equity property that have no possibility of becoming cash flow property.  

Take heart, things will get better.   In the meantime, make sure you clean house and review your holdings.  Slight adjustments now will guarantee your financial future will be that much brighter!

Barter - The Recessionary Economy

USE BARTER DOLLARS

Has anyone heard about barter exchanges?   I've been using BNL (Barter Network Ltd.) and Itex Canada for sales and purchases for several years, and it's worked really well.   What is a barter exchange?   The simple version of a barter exchange is that it works on the old fashioned idea of trading services or goods.    It's a great system if you're short of cash, or want to produce extra disposable income with little effort to a dedicated market.   The barter exchanges I have used are "Barter Network Limited"  http://www.barternetworkltd.com/index.asp and Itex Canada michael.muzzin@itexcanada.net, (www.itex.com) as well as Trade Business Exchange:   www.oktrade.ca.   There's also some internet websites www.barterforfree.com and www.swapsity.ca.  
In effect, you barter (trade) your services or goods in exchange for a credit, which then you can spend with any of the other people in the barter exchange system.   The bonus to this system is that it is cashless (you don't need money), and it is a dedicated market:  people will look to you because you are a barter exchange member.   It's a great idea!  (P.S.   The exchanges charge a small fee to join, then a percentage of sales, but it's worth it.)    Tell them I referred you - you never know I might get a kickback or referral fee, and instead of donuts and juice at the next meeting, we might just have champagne and caviar!  LOL....

March 06, 2009

Recession Beater!

AN OPEN LETTER DURING THIS RECESSION TO ALL CLUB MEMBERS AND INVESTORS

If you have studied the path to financial freedom, you will know that it consists of these two things:
  • Lowered Expenses
  • Increase Income
And you will also know that freedom is attained only when your Independent Cashflow Income (money you don't have to actively work for) > (greater than)  Monthly Expenses.  
We have all been studying how to find cashflow properties to increase our income, and all who have worked on this and stay focussed on cashflow properties have been successful to varying degrees.  What we sometimes forget is that it is even easier to spend some time reducing your expenses:  this will equal the same thing.   Imagine reducing your expenses by $400/month just by spending one Saturday afternoon doing some work.   Did you get that?   Spending one Saturday afternoon reducing your monthly expenses will net you a $400/month reduction on your expenses!   Isn't that the same as locating a cashflow property that will increase your income by the same amount?   Only, this is a lot easier and you're less likely to be rebuked by your local mortgage broker or banker!  
Here are some tips to reduce your monthly expenses, so that you can increase the rate at which you become financially free:
  • Before buying anything new or at retail prices, check out sites where you can buy or find stuff much more inexpensively than retail:  www.kijiji.ca, www.ebay.ca or www.craigslist.ca
  • Learn how to monetize a website to give yourself independent income without quitting your day job.  For example, you could start a blog, or website, publish it free to search engines, grow an email list and start selling your wares.   You could even create a simple website called: "EducationalBooks.com", (less than $50 for a domain name and three months hosting at www.yahoo.com) to Amazon as an Associate (for free), set up a Store (simple to do at www.amazon.ca) and load it up to your website.  Begin earning money quickly!   Use www.paypal.com to effortlessly and securely get people to 'buy stuff' from your site.  
  • If you can't build a website, or are afraid of the job, get a website developer to do it for you:  www.cheapinternetwebsite.com.  At this website, you can get an inexpensive website for $500 or a bit more complicated website for $1000 - no extra fees except the domain registration and monthly hosting - which can be as little as $10/month.  
  • Reduce your banking fees by switching to some of the no fees accounts from www.pcfinancial.com,   http://www.sbicanada.com, www.hsbc.ca
  • Check out the following for great interest rates for your parked money... www.icici.com, www.hsbc.ca.
  • Transfer your credit card balances (with high paying interest rates) to other companies for drastically reduced rates.   (Capital One Mastercard and TD Emerald are good examples  of cards with great rates.)
  • Call all your credit card companies and ask for a reduction in interest rate!  If they refuse, ask to speak to a supervisor and say you'll switch over to the company who's ad you just received in the mail promising .009% financing for 6 months, then 10% after that (or whatever)... you'll be surprised!
  • Analyze your credit cards by lining them up and organizing them by interest rate (after you've phoned each one to inquiry on what you're paying).  Write up a table with the amount owing on each one, and the interest rate - in order of interest rate - highest first.  Pay the minimum on every other credit card (but put them ALL in ziploc bags - see below), but pay as much as you can on the first highest interest card.  Once that's paid off, move down the list.
  • While we're on credit card spending, a tip I overheard from some wise person goes like this:   fill a ziploc bag with water and insert your credit card, close and insert in freezer.  Let it freeze.  Next time you want to use it, you'll have to wait until it thaws out.   If it does thaw out, hopefully you've had a chance to think about whether you really want your purchase or not.
  • Reduce your insurance costs by checking out the following sites:  www.insurancehotline.com and www.kanetix.ca as well as www.pcfinancial.com!
  • Reduce your long distance payments by NEVER using your Bell line to dial out of town!   Buy phone cards for $5 and yap as long as you like across the world.   Or get a bulk rate organized with your provider.   Try www.skype.com for free or VOIP plans.   PC International and MagicJack are also cheap phone options.
  • Call your cable company and get rid of all the extras on your bill!   Drop as many features as you can.  Do we really need 500 channels?   (And if you watch a lot of TV, cut it off completely....then there will be no excuse for having no time for your part-time real estate career!    Or check out the new "Free To Air" receivers to cut off hundreds of dollars in costs yearly.  
  • Call your cell phone provider and drop features and get a better rate.  If you've tried that, contact Hilary (a club member) and have her reduce your cell phone bills immediately at www.savecell.ca.  
  • Contact club member rstaubin60@hotmail.com if you want to find out how to pay $20 and get $100 worth of gas coupons!  While we're on gas, don't drive an extra 10 kilometres for a few cents less.   Fill up when you see reduced costs (don't wait till Friday of a long weekend to fill up).   Cehck out the points from Real Canadian Super Store or www.canadiantire.com to get points for gas.
  • With home heating, there are many websites that offer tips to reduce your heating footprint.  Check out www.energyshop.com  for tips on how to lower the temperature on your water heater a few degrees to save hundreds over the course of the year, switch to an automatic thermostat to reduce energy consumption overnight (when you're sleeping anyways), switch to energy bulbs, insulate your hot water lines, use low usage showerheads, and more.
  • Shop at outlet stores like the ones on Orfus Road in Toronto, or Cookstown near Barrie, or the outlet malls near Niagara Falls.   Get the same nice stuff - just pay a LOT less.
  • Take another look at your life.   Decide where you spend money frivolously and remove the problem.   For example, if you shop a lot for frozen foods, try "Almost Perfect" in Toronto instead of the grocery store.  Or, if you buy paper cups for your  office coffee, go the dollar store instead and get 20 plain white ceramic mugs for $20 bucks and never pay another cent in styrofoam fees!   If you truly scruitinize your purchasing habits, you will find hundreds of ways to reduce your expenses.
  • Don't forget "The Latte Factor" by the famous author of www.finishrich.com.  Discover what your Latte Factor is and do something about it today!   (If you're not convinced, check out the example on his website where $30/week on coffees and muffins will equal $950,000 after 40 years!)   Your own personal Latte Factor is really worth figuring out!
  • Go through everything in your house that you don't need and photograph it.   Upload to your computer and then create a free ad in www.kijiji.ca  to sell it off.   (Wouldn't it be great to get an extra $1k in cash just from the extra stuff lying around your house that you don't need and don't use?)
  • If you have an extra room in your home (or a vacant basement), rent it out!  If you're concerned with renters, try one of the international students hosting programs, especially if you're close to subways or transportation.
  • Use Points Programs from various retailers:  www.pcpoints.ca/en/index.asp?refId=topnav, www.airmiles.ca, www.aeroplan.ca.  These are great ways to save money.   I hardly ever pay for a movie anymore.  I just redeem airmiles points for a movie certificate and go with that.
  • Barter your goods and services and reduce your cash outlay but still get what you want!   (www.barterforfree.com, www.swapsity.ca, www.barternetworkltd.com, www.itex.ca, www.oktrade.ca ).  These are great places to conserve cash, get rid of stuff you don't need anymore, and generate additional income! 
  • Coupons or Freebies:   Check out www.Attractionsontario.ca for freebies in Ontario theme parks, museums, and galleries.  Or check out www.save.ca, www.canadianfreestuff.com, www.bestbuys.cawww.shoestringshopping.com, www.frugalshopper.cawww.free-samples.ca,  for additional savings. 
  • If you'll be travelling, google the internet for cheap flights (www.redtag.ca or www.cheapoair.com) to save hundreds on flights!
  • Reduce your interest payments on your mortgage by renegotiating your mortgage now that it's gone down so far - even if you're in a closed mortgage situation.   The savings will far outweigh the cost.  If you can, with the savings you just renegotiated, turn around and ADD 20% to your monthly mortgage payment to pay down your mortgage even faster! 
  • Check out the following websites for more money saving websites:   www.moneysavingmoose.ca 
  • Make sure you work daily to beat the effects of the recession; you'll come out wiser (and richer) on the other end!

     

December 24, 2008

I Saved A Lot Of Cash This Christmas

Well, I was looking for ways to save money this Christmas.   Loaded with my incredible list on hand, and my knowledge of the imminent economic disaster in mind, I decided to practise what I preach and find a way to reduce my cash output this Christmas.  

It was then that I fell upon a new Canadian (local) and very interesting site:  www.swapsity.ca.   If you're looking for something without having to pay for it, or you want something but can't afford it, swapping or bartering is the way to go.   Here's a list of the things on my Christmas list I either swapped or bartered for over the last few weeks:  Raptors tickets, Winter Trip Accommodation for my school (a value of about $2500 - I would have had to pay for it out of pocket), a massage gift certificate for a very stressed out friend, and completely new carpeting for the open basement in my cottage.   Try it.  You might just like it!   And you might save a load of cash!

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