August 5, 2009

Work smarter with money; even if you have little money!

Not making enough money in your job? Don’t plan to be there forever? Or work forever? If you stopped working today – would you still get paid? A lot of us are trained to work harder and put in longer hours at work (sometimes up to 80hrs!) just to get noticed over someone else for that raise, promotion, and/or title. And if we don’t get the raise this year – we will try harder the next year. Working hard is good – but working smarter is GREAT! Why put in longer hours at your J-O-B and not be fully compensated for it? The Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that wages and salaries fell again for a tenth straight month decline of 0.4%, even though personal spending increased 0.4%. So we’re making less and working more.

But we can BE our own boss and not spend our life working for others – and it really doesn’t require an MBA or Doctorate degree, but rather just thinking differently and wisely about how to apply your money. I’ll show you 3 ways to do so:

1. Keep your day job (for now) – although we never get paid enough while working for someone else, it is the best alternative for a steady income in your household. While on the job be sure to take advantage of the 401k program and hopefully you invest the full percentage amount up to what your company matches.

2. Invest yourself – Instead of spending your extra money on movies, expensive shoes, or cars – why not open up your own investment account through Sharebuilder, Scottrade, TD Ameritrade, etc. and manage your own portfolio? And for those of you who don’t have the time to research stocks – you could easily invest in index funds that statistically have outperformed 70% of the investment managers out there.

3. Find Opportunities – “BE greedy when others are cautious, and cautious when others are greedy” – Warren Buffet. Did you know that if you invested $1,000 in Ford Motor Co. back in January 2009, you would have over $8,000 in your account today? In just 8 months!!?? (Yes I made the call to my friends and family to pick up this stock back in January, but sadly not many did…) This is an example of how to work smarter with money…even if you have little money! For those of us who DO have time to invest and research the stocks for our portfolio, you can find hidden rubies such as Ford was in January (there are still several out there waiting for you). Also take advantage of stocks that pay constant dividends – over time you will come to find that you may have a substantial amount being paid to you quarterly that adds to your bottom line.