Monthly Archives: December 2014

Investing for the First Time | Mike and Lauren LIVE!

We’ve got another on air case study for you tonight! Lauren’s sister Lindsay has saved over $10,000 dollars and doesn’t have it invested in the stock market. Tonight we’ll discuss how she saved so much money and her first steps towards investing as a beginner.

Tune in and be sure to chat with us LIVE!

Tuesday December 30th at 8:30PM EST.

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Better than Buying (4 DIY Skill Levels)

Lauren asked me how I learned to build things after our jewelry organizer video. I didn’t have a good answer. I’ve just been slowly acquiring skills in carpentry, mechanics, electronics, and design my whole life.

As best I can remember, these are the 4 stages that every DIYer has to go through before their projects turn out “better than buying.”

Our question to you is: Do you think anyone is capable of turning a wrench or pounding a hammer? Or are some people just not able to take care of things themselves?

Fear and Greed (Ignoring the Herd Is More Profitable)

Warren Buffet said “be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” While he was talking about investing in the stock market, I feel like it applies to many other areas of life.

The scarcity mindset can be devastating on your finances and overall happiness. Instead we propose to view life through a lens of abundance and generosity.

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Does Being Frugal Make You a Scrooge? | Mike and Lauren LIVE

Tonight we’re going to talk about being frugal during the holiday season.  How do we handle gifts for each other, friends and family?  Does being frugal automatically make you a scrooge?  Let’s get a discussion going about the differences between being cheap and frugal.   Be there at 8:30PM EST tonight!  We need your input!

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The Worst Car Detailing Tutorial on YouTube

I swear Alex is able to compound, buff, polish, and wax some of the crappiest cars back to life. He recently bought a 1995 Honda Civic for $900 and I thought it would be the perfect time for him to teach me (and you) how to do it.

The results were a bit underwhelming…We still had a lot of fun, and the information is still accurate. If you’re thinking about getting your own car detailing kit together, you can do it for under $100 bucks.

The car really did look a lot better in person and he probably added $500 dollars of value to the car, just by cleaning it up. It just wasn’t the extreme transformation I was hoping for in the video.

Why I Love My Scooter | Scooter vs. Motorcycle vs. Car

I drive a 2011 Honda PCX125 scooter as my primary mode of transportation. Here’s why I love it even more than my Harley Davidson or any other motorcycle.

To recap:
1. No warm up time.
2. Easier to park and maneuver.
3. Lots of storage under seat.
4. Cheaper
5. No smelling like gas and exhaust.

I also talk about how I deal with safety and weather issues. Is a scooter a viable alternative to a car? Let me know in the comments!

DIY Jewelry Wall Organizer and Display

I’ve talked before about how I don’t have a lot of clothes, but I do like to accessorize what I have to keep it looking fresh. I ended up collecting a plethora of costume necklaces, and they all just got piled up on my dresser and looked like a huge mess. I started looking for something to hang them on, but anything I found just cost too much to justify buying. So in the meantime I started hanging all the necklaces on a clothes hanger in my closet just to keep them out of the way.

A few months of this went by, and my necklaces were still getting in a jumbled mess that I would have to pull apart every time I wanted to wear one.

Mike of course is very handy, but I am not. I decided I wanted to change that and asked him if he would help to teach me some wood working skills, and he was totally on board. I looked up a few pictures online and found an idea for a cabinet that I really liked on Ana White’s website (http://ana-white.com/2012/06/plans/wall-jewelry-cabinet). Mike liked it too, but made a few adjustments to it to make it our own.

Unfortunately, the day we selected to do this ended up being a bit busy. We had to squeeze the project into a two and a half hour window between teaching in the morning and a bridal shower in the afternoon. Mike was a total trooper and gathered all the supplies and tools needed and was ready to get to work as soon as I got there. The two and a half hours weren’t enough to get everything done, so Mike had to finish up the door to the cabinet after I left. Even though I didn’t get to do a ton of work, I really enjoyed helping Mike and learning the processes needed for a project like this.

And it also doesn’t hurt that I LOVE the finished product!

How to Get a Promotion (The Hard Way)

This video started as a response to a question about getting ahead on minimum wage. But I quickly realized that my advice for someone working an entry level job is the same I would give myself today to get noticed.

The short version is you need to become your boss’s most responsible and reliable employee.

Here’s a few ways you can do that:

  1. Show up early or on time for every single shift. No excuses.
  2. Always be working. Even when things are slow, never stop doing. Depending on your line of work that might mean cleaning or organizing, stocking, or even just smiling and greeting. (When all of your co-workers are on their phones, you be doing side work.)
  3. Be a good co-worker. Being unlikable will cast a shadow on all of the hard work you’re doing. Do the things that make their jobs easier, even if it makes yours more difficult.

Once you’ve proven yourself responsible, you’re ready to become a silent influencer. Silent influencers are the ones who are quick to perform and slow to take credit. The raise themselves up by bringing everyone around them with them. (Example in video)

Once you have influence, you’ll be given more responsibility and opportunities to prove yourself. Now is the time to step up and perform. You need to become INVALUABLE. We are not paid for our time, we’re paid for the value we create. Make sure you provide more value for your boss then you are paid for. Only then are you in a position where you can confidently ask for a promotion and raise.

UPDATE: One of our subscribers dhawkins0000able had some great tips to add to the list. Here they are:

1) Show up. Be on time, if not early.–Sounds simple…it is. Don’t call in sick 5min before your shift…call as early as possible.
2) Volunteer. Sometimes managers would let us pick from a list of closing duties…picked the hardest, nastiest, or dirtiest (cleaning floor drains, grease vents)–This helps you stand out as a “go-getter” and “hard-worker”.
3) Ask. Express an interest in becoming a shift leader (advancement), and work toward it (learn SOPs).
4) Be Flexible. Often, the more flexible with your schedule, the more opportunities you will be able to accept. Would you be ready if a 3rd shift supervisor slot became available?
5) Attitude. Smile, and act like you want to be there. Nobody likes to be around people who just sap the energy right out of you.