Break up with your credit card. Did you know that people who use credit cards for purchases end up spending more money than people who use cash? That's because parting with cash is painful. Using a credit card doesn't carry that much of a sting. If you can, divorce your credit card and see how it feels to pay with cash. You'll probably end up saving a boatload of money.
Of course there are also the famous differences between the productivities of the economies of different countries: the differing national average productivities of Japan and the United States and France and Germany. Actually, though, there are differences between the productivities and wealths of different business sectors within the same country. For example, the German metal-working industry has a productivity rivaling that of the United States, so the Germans are certainly capable of organizing industries well, but the German beer-brewing industry is less than half as productive as the American beer-brewing industry. Or take Japan — we Americans are paranoid about the supposed efficiency of Japanese business, and the fact is that the Japanese steel industry is 45% more productive than the American steel industry. Why is it, then, that the Japanese food-producing industry is less than 1/3 as productive and efficient as the American food-processing industry? Still another example: in Korea, the steel industry is equal in efficiency to American steel making, but all other Korean industries lag behind the United States. What is it about the different organization of the German beer brewers and the German metal workers, or the different organization of the Japanese food processors and the Japanese car manufacturers, that accounts for the different productivities of these sectors within a given country?
Become a freelancer in an area where you have expertise. If you have a skill that’s in demand, you can sell your services directly to clients who need them. Advertise your services on a personal website and look for freelancing jobs on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fivrr. Additionally, hand out business cards and encourage happy clients to tell others about your work. Here are some ways you can earn money as a freelancer:
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While Etsy is fantastic for handmade goods that you’ve already created, if you’ve got killer designs that would look good on phone cases, t-shirts, or even wall hangings, pillows, and duvets, you can sell them on Society6 without paying anything to start. Society6 lets artists upload their designs and create their own shops where they choose what products their designs can be used on. That means one design can be used to make a whole range of awesome products that are printed and shipped on demand whenever someone buys from you. With top creators making thousands every month just from selling their designs.
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I have practiced the same debt elimination and savings techniques for years, and do so quite aggressively, though more conservatively than one of my best friends. I am 60% there in savings and my only debt is my mortgage payment. My best friend in 23 years reached 130% of his goal to become a millionaire. He began with $3000 and was more aggressive in his investing than I have been. My point is, he made it…retired last year and is living off his retirement, social security and investments to the tune of $150,000 per year. He owns two homes, bought a boat and is traveling and enjoying his life to the fullest. My goal is to follow in his footsteps. All of this takes discipline and sacrifice, but believe me it can be done by anyone, so don’t think this is a bunch of bull…anyone can do it, but you MUST make saving a life time habit. Set short term savings goals and work hard to reach them. Once you reach a short term savings goal, set your next savings goal and continue to work hard to reach it. Then repeat, repeat, etc.
Now let's finally apply these lessons to comparing different industries or industrial belts within the United States. I mentioned that when I was growing up, Route 128 outside of Boston led the world in productivity for an industrial belt, but Route 128 has now fallen behind Silicon Valley. Since my book "Guns, Germs, and Steel" was published, I've spent a lot of time talking with people from Silicon Valley and some from Route 128, and they tell me that the corporate ethos in these two industrial belts is quite different. Silicon Valley consists of lots of companies that are fiercely competitive with each other, but nevertheless there's a lot of collaboration, and despite the competition there is a free flow of ideas and a free flow of people and a free flow of information between these companies that compete with each other. In contrast, I'm told that the business of Route 128 are much more secretive, and insulated from each other like Japanese milk-producing companies.