Archive for May, 2010

Five minute can save you…

I am sure many of you heard of the famous line from GEICO Insurance ad, “A five minute call can save you 15% or more on car insurance“. I don’t know whether that’s really works or not. But I am going to steal their tag line to stress a point, “A five minute call or googling can really save you some dollars every day“.

That’s right. Five minute which may be a small amount of time but reasonable enough to save you tens of dollars. It’s saved me and saving me everyday. You can save too, just spend five minutes for a worthy cause to save yourself some money.

A five minute call…

Every year I have a tradition to call my service providers asking them for any promo’s or discounts. I pitch my tone in a way, asking them whether they can save me money for being a loyal customer. I don’t see anything wrong in it. If you are giving business to somebody and being with them as a long time customer, they should be able share some profit with the customer to show their appreciation.

So I called Vonage last week and happened to get good customer service rep in a long time. She was mindful and understanding. She couldn’t find any promo but she gave did waive one month of service fee including all taxes which was worth $34. That will surely pay for a sunday lunch with my family.  She even encouraged me to call me back next month to see whether they got any offer if not they can do something about it. I like the way I was treated by Vonage. I surely deserve it for being customer for almost 6 year with them and recommended atleast 10 people to signup with them.

If you are loyal customer to your phone company, cable provider or pest control company, any business. I urge you call them every year and try out in a nice way by asking them to save money and share some profit with you. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Let me know how it goes.

A five Minute Googling…

Googling can be addictive. These days, everytime we think of something and need answers, we automatically go to google. Why not google when you think of buying something? I know many frugalers and money smart savers research and google before buying anything. Being a frugaler myself, I do it all the time and don’t have too be scientist to do research. Just google for 5 mins and you will know whether your purchase is a deal or no deal.  I saved more than $100 on my online orders in last few weeks. See the list below,

1. Bought USI Electric Smoke detector – $54(w shipping) – saved $15
2. Bought Wireless Router from Buy.com – $39.99(free shipping) – saved $15
3. Ordered Perfume from Amazon for my in-law – $42(free shipping) saved –  $30
4. Purchased Laptop Battery – $49.99 with $5 discount from seller and also saved $30 compared to hpdirect.
5. Got new DC Adapter for vonage router – Free from vonage – saved $10

These are just few purchases from last few weeks. Almost all purchases only needed 5 mins of googling to price shop and order them.

You can also save money in this tough economy and keep it stored up in your saving account for future. Please share your experience about googling and 5 min calls. I can’t wait to hear.

Do’s and Don’ts when attending free seminars and Intro to Webinars!!

In last blog post, we talked about the real reason and importance to attend free seminars and workshops coming to your city. I hope most of your atleast convinced a bit and thinking about checking out few seminars which matches your interest. In this post, I am sharing some Do’s and Don’ts while attending these seminars which keep you out of spending money.

Here are few do’s and don’t which I would recommend.


Do’s

1. Go with an open mind to learn something new and ready to participate&share with others.
2. Take down notes of techniques, loop holes, hints, tips and useful ideas
3. Write down list of good websites which might be used during presentation.
4. Ask questions and get your doubts clarified for free.
5. Talk to the host after the meeting if you have further questions and pick their brain.
6. Try to talk to other attendees. Share, learn and create network which might help in future to create a power team of your own.
7. Note down the mileage and keep reciepts of any expenses like parking fee, lunch so you can account and claim.
8. Do take your friends or spouse only if they are interested in sitting with you and willing to learn. Otherwise you might have to leave in middle if they get bored and avoid feeling guilty.


Don’ts


1.  Don’t take your credit card or cheque book.
2. Stay away from signup and on’t get tempted by their special and attractive offers.
3.  You do not have to sit through the whole seminar. You will know when to call it quits if it doesn’t seems to add any value to you.

These tips are some of many coming out of my experience and surely will help you prepared when you plan on attending seminars. If you have few others from your experience, please don’t hesitate to share for the benefit of others.



Webinars


Alright!! We are surely in a internet age. Internet is name of the game. It makes our life easier every day in lot of different ways and getting educated is no exception. There are online universities which teaches classes and online seminars called webinars. SO if you don’t have time to attend seminars physically, don’t worry. Many financial institutions, brokerages firms and even rating agencies provide free webinars.

This is the new trend in the market these days. Webinars and webcast have become so easy for the organizers and also for attendees who don’t have to get out of their house.

List of Free Events/Webinars

1. Rich Dad Education – Realestate seminars
2. Ray Lucia Retirement seminars
3. Free Stock investing seminar from TDAmeritrade, Scottrade, Charles Schwab, Moody’s and more..


I strongly urge you try attending atleast one free seminar or workshop coming up in your city this summer and venture out. You will surely learn a trick or two. Don’t forget to let me know how it went.

Why you should attend free seminars?

For many years, I never bothered to check the flyers and free entrance tickets offers to attend an investment  or business seminar which came via postal mail.  In 2004, when I was venturing out on different business options, I got 2 free tickets to attend an internet related seminar. It was all about internet marketing, SEO and ecommerce websites. Being a software professional, I was attracted and decided to check it out.

That changed everything. It was worth a attempt and was totally worth my time as well.  I got exposed to some pretty neat stuff which I never knew as a techie guy. I learnt many new things about search engine optimization(SEO) techniques and other aspects on how to get high rank in search engine. Actually it was an eye opener for me. May be I could have learnt them all by reading few books but it might have taken me months. First of, I wouldn’t have known where to start and wouldn’t have experimented it. With the expertise I gained in that seminar, I did my research and implemented few SEO techniques in my websites and got pretty good results. That was just a half day seminar and I was amazed by the impact of the free crash course.

After that seminar, my perspective towards free seminars changed and I started to look closely on the free seminar offers before throwing it out to see whether it’s worth few hours to gain something or not.

What are these Investment/Business seminars all about?


These half/one day seminars are hosted by different organization who are either investing institutions or teaching institutions hired by them. They arrange these seminar at big 3-4 star hotels in many big cities every month mostly from Spring till Fall season.




Their motivation behind is to attract people interested in business/investing ideas and peek interest by throwing attractive figures and numbers, hoping to lure you into 3-5 days workshops. Thats their ultimate goal to make money.  They hope, if 50 people attend a session and atleast 20 signup, that would be enough to make profitable. Sometimes seminars are also conducted by wealth management firms and brokerage companies directly to explain their products and services.


Why should I go?


Are you an stock/bond investor or wannabe investor? Are you thinking about making some extra bucks by starting a new business or want to do something different?


If your answer is “Yes“, you better start attending these free seminars matches your interest and goals. Think it’s like a free crash course.  It is so effective than reading books all day.  Next question, you might ask whether it will be worth my time? I can assure you it will surely worth your time in long term. But only choose to go to seminars that matches your interest. If you been thinking about investing in stocks and funds, go and check out stock trading seminars. If you want to know more about real estate investing, attend seminars hosted by those type of organizations.

For example, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” author Robert Kiyoski started events to talk about real estate via his Rich Dad Education group. You can look out for their events at http://www.richdadeducation.com/

Gimme some or alteast 5 reasons to attend these seminars?

I can list down many reasons but there are the 5 importants reasons/advantages to attend these type of seminars.


1. Free Education


I won’t say, you will learn everything. But you will surely learn some good and dirty tricks. You should be able to get some pointers and books which might help you to know where to start. You either pick up certain topic from the seminar and research more further to learn the intricacies which will surely help in your trade or future endeavors.


2. Learn new tricks

Even if you are Pro and knowledgeable in your field, you can still crab some funky tricks from these semianrs. I never knew a website called “Zillow.com” until I attended a real estate seminar. I got to know
many great tricks and decent websites just by attending these seminars. I didn’t know how real estate flipping or wholesale worked. Thanks to these seminars.  Many seminars are hosted really with entertaining and well prepared materials to create interest among auidence to attract them to sign up. You will surely enjoy it.

3. Free Materials

You might be lucky enough to get some giveaways and free offers in these seminars. It is just worth to get these giveaways like CD’s and books even if the seminar is not upto your expectation. One thing tough, try to take seating in front rows so you can hurry and crab these giveaways if offered.

4. Networking

These seminars provide a great ground to talk and network with like minded people. You may even 
end up learning and partnering with those who attend these seminars.

5. Tax Advantage

Last but not the lease, do you know y
ou can write off the time spent and vehicle mileage to attend these seminars in your tax returns? Especially if you own a business or file self employment tax return, you can claim them under business expenses. This is really a good kick to top off all the pros in attending these seminars.

Hope these 5 reasons will convince you to attend these seminars and workshops. I will also talk more about the do’s and don’t in my next post and share some experience about the new trend in the seminar industry, Webinars and Webcasts. Watch out…

Source: Image from web.

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