The Broke Professional - grow your money and yourself

Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 7/24/2015

Slow time in the sports world for me.  No basketball and no football.  When the ESPY award show was on there were no sports anywhere!  Can’t wait for the NFL season to start.

Just a couple of articles today that made the cut:

Dangers of Earning Extra Money by Eyes on the Dollar:  Making more money is the goal, but it’s also important to be smart about it.  Keeping taxes in mind and giving your new found income a purpose right away is the key.

-Shouldn’t The Joneses Be Keeping Up With Us? by Dividend Mantra:  There are people out there that believe getting a fancy car is more important than being able to have free time.  These are the Joneses, and these are unfortunately most Americans out there.  It’s time for people to stop being fooled by marketing and start doing things that bring them closer to their goals.

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When a Sale Really Isn’t a Sale

What the recent Amazon sale felt like.

What the recent Amazon sale felt like.

Amazon recently had a “flash” sale on July 15 only for its Prime Members (which is pretty much everybody because who wants to wait more than two days for shipping?).  The company and other news outlets were hyping it up a few weeks before, saying this would be the biggest sale that Amazon users have ever seen etc etc.

I was actually thoroughly excited about it because I’ve had a great experience using Amazon over the years.  For example, my awesome new laptop I currently use was bought from Amazon.  I was originally going to buy it directly from the manufacturer as they had some type of sale going on.  I put in all of my custom specs and was excited to finally buy it, but a thought occurred to me to check if there is anything comparable on Amazon.  Lo and behold, the same model with better specs was available for $200 less than I was about to pay.

I would consider that a steal, but this most recent sale by Amazon, not so much.

If you don’t need it, it’s not a deal

When the big day came, I excitedly clicked on Chrome and typed my way right to Amazon.  As expected, the website was full of fanfare and can’t miss deal banners.  But after browsing for a few minutes, I came to realize that all the excitement was for nothing.

Nothing practical was for sale.  We get baby stuff and some household things from Amazon once in a while, and I was expecting to see some decent deals on this stuff but was sorely disappointed.  Most of the sales were for electronics and “services”, which I didn’t even know Amazon had.  Did you know you can order housecleaning services from Amazon?  It is definitely more expensive than finding a housekeeper on your own, but if you can just click and maids magically appear, then why the heck not?

There was even a Kindle on sale for a higher price than when I got it a few months ago!  Not much of a sale after all.  While I was ready and willing to spend some money on things that I needed or even wanted, I didn’t end up buying anything.  And it seemed that only things nobody really needs were the featured items.

Don’t give in to the hype

One thing I’m slowly learning over the years is that despite what the salesman says, this is not the last time a product (car, phone, furniture etc) is going on sale.  This is a classic line that retailers will tell you, increasing the pressure on you to buy now because you may never get a chance later.  This is a bunch of bologna because everything goes on sale again at some point.  Retailers are very good at making us feel that we have a limited time to make a purchase, but if you’re willing to walk away and wait, you will be able to find the same deal, or something even better, later on.

As the recent Amazon “sale” showed, don’t be swayed by pre-sale marketing.  And if you don’t see anything you really need or like, it’s okay to just walk away.

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Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 7/11/15

It's been a slow slow sports week.  Not much to talk about today except: don't play with fireworks.  Jason Pierre-Paul, one of the best defensive players on the New York Giants, had to have his index finger amputated because of a fireworks incident. … [Continue reading]

When You Don’t Want to Be Making More Money

Having a child was one of the best decisions we ever made.  Seeing our son go from sitting up to crawling to walking to running and now parroting everything he hears (gotta watch what I say now!) has been a joy and a privilege to be a part of. … [Continue reading]

Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 6/19/15

What a great end to a great NBA playoffs.  It was an NBA Finals with some very interesting storylines, the biggest one being the injuries to Lebron's two wingmen Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.  And when Irving was ruled out of the series after Game 1, … [Continue reading]

Want to Get Ahead? Be More Machine and Less Human

The Industrial Revolution was great.  It allowed increased productivity which made company executives very happy, but it made certain workers obsolete.  The ongoing digital revolution is awesome too.  We hardly ever have to pay bills by snail mail, … [Continue reading]

Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 6/5/15

What in incredible Game 1 of the NBA Finals.  I saw somewhere that it was actually the highest rated Game 1 in NBA Finals history.  Pretty impressive.  The Warriors got off to their usual slow start, but were able to climb back in it with the help of … [Continue reading]

Student Loan Interest Deduction: Who Really Wins?

Give them more interest deductions please!

I've talked to many colleagues and students about what their student loan payoff plan is and why they chose it.  I've heard extreme answers like some who are just going to stretch their plan out as long as possible and pay the minimum until the end, … [Continue reading]

Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 5/22/15

I have to say, I was worried about the quality of my beloved NBA the past few years.  But the playoffs have been incredible the past few years, and this year is no exception.  And it's nice to see guards taking the spotlight for once, as James Harden … [Continue reading]

Journey to Life Insurance Part 3: Time to Pay the Piper

The day after getting life insurance.

Recap This is the final post in a series of posts chronicling my personal step by step experience with buying life insurance.  Not the most exciting of topics, I know, but I found it helpful reading about others experiences with things such as car … [Continue reading]