First of all, I would like to greet everyone a Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a great vacation and is now ready for the challenges that 2011 will bring.
So did you make New Year resolutions for 2011? Is one of them to save more money this year?
If so, then I’d like to challenge you today with five simple tasks that will not only help you save, but make you money as well.
These challenges are easy enough for everyone to do but the lessons and skills involved in completing them will definitely be invaluable in helping you improve your finances.
Admit it, I could just say “pay yourself first”, “make a budget”, “learn how to invest” and other personal finance must-do’s but I know they seem to be too broad to turn into immediate and concrete action.
That’s why below, are exact goals you can work for in the next few weeks. Do them whenever possible, but I suggest the soonest. Because in the end, I believe it will really help you become a financial success this 2011.
Task #1: Spend a weekend without watching television
I don’t know why, but most of the successful people I know don’t or very rarely watch television. So challenge yourself and find something else to do at home besides watching TV. And if you’re really up to this challenge, then also avoid the movies, and playing video and online games.
The lesson: Hopefully, you will be inspired to do something more productive with your time. Go and organize your things, make your next grocery list, brainstorm money making ideas, or perhaps – learn how to cook something. And speaking of cooking…
Task #2: Learn how to cook spaghetti and meatballs
It’s so much cheaper to eat at home. But how can you avoid eating out if you don’t know how to cook, right? So challenge yourself and learn a simple spaghetti and meatballs recipe. If you already know how to, then how about doing pork menudo? Or if you have an oven, then why not learn how to bake chocolate chip cookies?
The lesson: Homemade food is not only cheaper, but more nutritious. Learning how to cook will help you save money. You can skip eating out and just bring lunch to the office. When you have guests coming over or going to a potluck party, you can now cook and skip buying take-out. And not to mention, selling baked goodies usually makes good extra income. 🙂
Task #3: Without using internet search engines like Google, Yahoo! and others, know what these desserts have in common: Cupcake, Frozen Yogurt (FroYo) and Honeycomb
Again, you cannot search the internet for the answer. And no the answer is not in any way related to food. If you already know the answer, or you think you do – then challenge yourself with this question instead: How did Gingerbread become part of Christmas traditions in the Western world?
The lesson: Polish your research skills with this challenge. Being resourceful in finding information will help you a lot when you need to find suppliers, do market research and other important tasks in your business. Likewise, it will practice your due diligence. Need more help in this task? Then here’s a hint: Donut and Eclair. 😉
Task #4: Go to a mall and find how much the cheapest plain red shirt is
Do you want to go out and do some window shopping? Then add some fun and productivity with your time by looking for the cheapest plain red shirt out there. Do this task with some friends and make it a game – winner buys “merienda”.
The lesson: Not only will you know where to buy the cheapest red shirt is for Valentine’s Day 😛 , but also, it will practice your bargain hunting skills. Who knows, you might discover a new boutique with quality but inexpensive clothes. Plus, you get free exercise with all the walking. 😀
Task #5: Sell something online
Look around your house, take inventory of your things, or make something that you can put up for sale on the internet. Old mobile phones in good working condition, baked goodies, books and even artworks. You can read about the best-selling items on eBay to get ideas on what to sell.
The lesson: This is one of the most practical ways to market your products and the fastest way to sell anything of value that you don’t need anymore. I’ve always been a strong believer in selling stuff online because for many years, even until today, it’s still one of the ways I make money.
And that’s it!
I hope you can do some, if not all, of these tasks. They’re quite simple and straightforward, and yet challenging enough to make you think, take stock and manage your time and resources.
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun and again, have a truly wealthy and prosperous new year!
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