Posts Tagged ‘Frugality’

The 3 Keys to Start-Up Survival


“There were 3 reasons why we survived: We had no money, we had no technology, we had no plan. Every dollar we used very carefully” Jack Ma, Founder of (read that again)

It forces you to be clever, to dissect problems instead of throwing cash at them, to innovate instead of imitating better-funded competitors. Embrace your lack of resources, your weaknesses! Every problem has a potential solution.

There is an inverse relationship between the amount of funding and the ultimate success of companies.

1) Write down the positives of whatever you’ve been viewing as a negative. No funding? Budget wisely. Set trends, not follow them.

2) Consider the negatives of the positives. Too much funding gives a false sense of security. Nothing is perfect so do whatever you can.

3) Look for dark horse models. Has anyone overcome worse circumstances to do what I want to do? Yes, of course. Every problem has a potential solution. Go find it!

The above is an executive summary of an article written by Tim Ferriss. As a first-time entrepreneur, I understand the facts above to be “self-evident”. Think if it this way. If big companies have the best people, and the most money, how is it that entrepreneurship and small business even have a chance in Corporate America?

The answer, of course, is that funding doesn’t always lock in your success. Yet I would clarify that money is the life-source of any organization; profit or non. You need capital, and lack thereof can send your company to bankruptcy faster than you can sign your supplier’s check.

Find a way to grow using only profits from existing sales without any outside funding and you’ve got it made!

Related articles: The 8 Pillars of Business Endurance

Here’s to Frugality

Last week I came across the only two words you need to know that will earn you your financial independence “Frugality and Industry”. They were quoted by Benjamin Franklin and then repeated and adhered to for generations thereafter. So here’s to Frugality…

Top 10 Ways to Start Living the Frugal Life

1. Create a Budget
There are no more suitable words to the wealthy than “Live within your means”. Simply put, if you can’t afford it don’t buy it anyway.

2. Clip coupons
Take the time to clip coupons for the grocery items that you buy regularly, and shave an easy 25 percent off of your weekly grocery bill.

3. Eat Out Less Often
Eating out is fun, but far more expensive than eating at home. Challenge yourself to eat at home more often—even if it’s just once more a month, and watch your bank account grow.

4. Switch to Online Bill Pay
Save yourself a stamp, and avoid late fees by paying your bills online. You can pay direct to your creditors, or set up automatic bill pay with your bank.

5. Befriend the library
Instead of buying books and movies, take a trip to your local library free of charge.

6. Cook with What You Have
Missing an ingredient that you need for a recipe? Instead of running to the store, challenge yourself to cook with what you have on hand.

7. Seek Freebies
Freebies are fun and budget-friendly. Look online for a wide-array of free offers, and enjoy a mailbox bursting with goodies.

8. Wash in Cold
Cut your electric bill substantially by washing your laundry in cold water. Your clothes will still come out clean, and your hot water heater won’t have to work nearly as hard.

9. Flip a Switch
Reduce your electric bill even further by turning off lights and other electronics when they aren’t in use. It may seem like a small thing, but you’re sure to see the difference on your next electric bill.

10. Cut Back on Extras
Do you really need caller ID and call waiting? How about the premium cable or satellite package that you subscribe to? Examine your list of monthly expenses, and determine what you can live without—short term or long term.

Any more Ideas?

The Hidden Warning in Bernanke’s Testimony?


From Herb Greenberg’s Blog. It’s a rather older article (March 1st) but just as relative.



Interesting sitting here at CNBC on a day when the market is this volatile. Down 200 at the open. It could be up 300 at the close.

This is a market, as I’ve said for months, that has zero conviction. It always wants to go up, but now won’t be happy until it goes down — and I mean down in the form of a serious, prolonged, scare-the-living bajeebers out of everybody correction.

I personally think the “subprime meltdown,” capped off by our pals at NovaStar (nfi), will in retrospect be seen as having been the topping point. And now, in this morning’s WSJ, there talk about rising defaults and tightening in the mid-prime loan market — the gray area between prime and subprime, where a whole bunch of hard-working, good-credit-scoring, pay-their-bills on time Americans reside.

This is part of the story that simply gets lost in the translation, perhaps because it is one the bears have been growling about for longer than anybody really wants to hear: People have been using their houses as ATMs. Even Bernanke said it in his testimony yesterday when he conceded that the equity people have in their homes is replacing savings.

If the mid-prime market gets crunched, that crunch you hear could also rumble its way through the economy, as people suddendly find their savings — via their home equity — is dwindling, and unlike times past, they can’t get any more. It’s hard to argue higher coporate profits on that outlook. Even if rates fall, lenders are likely to be more rigorous than in recent time, especially as housing prices fall.

Look, I known none of this may matter. It never does until it does. But I also know it’s important to keep thinking six months out, not six weeks behind. And rather than blame the bears as being Chicken Little’s, perhaps investors should wonder whether they’re really roosters trying to harken the dawn of a new day.


So has a general increase in liquidity and great investment returns replaced the need for savings? The average American will tell you it has indeed.