real money growth

pearson vue: investing in yourself - microsoft test preparation

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I wanted to give a big shout-out to Pearson VUE for helping me pass the Microsoft 70-761 and 70-762 SQL exams. Without their software and practice exams, I would still be studying for the tests. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to provide exceptional practice test questions for the many Microsoft tests.

All information below can be found on the Pearson VUE site.

investing in yourself: shop for deals - chasing FIRE

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I’m a huge fan of investing in yourself.  Whether it’s attending community college, a prestigious university, or working toward certifications in your trade, attaining knowledge in your field cannot hurt you.  However, there are many people and institutions out there that try to take advantage by inflating and overselling products that aren’t really needed.

6 saving steps that lead to financial independence

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Following these steps, you will be able to save and put your savings to work!  No matter how much money you make, these steps will lead you down the path to financial independence.

The 6 saving steps:

1) How to recognize and view an inflated lifestyle

2) How to reduce inflation - this will create savings

3) Where to put savings

4) How to put savings to work

5) How to maintain the simple lifestyle

6) How to continue to put your savings to work

vehicle rants: is there a right decision?

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Here’s what I learned:

1) If you are not mechanical, bring someone who is.

2) Make sure to take your time and inspect everything.

3) Run the vin number to make sure that the mileage is as advertised, and that the vehicle is paid-off.

4) Research to make sure that you can pay for the fuel bill, insurance, and maintenance.

5) Sleep on it and really make sure that you want the vehicle.

6) When you perform any cash transaction, do it at the bank so that they can check the bills for legitimacy.

random product rants: can we save money?

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The new style coffee cups are cool. Well, not cool in temperature, but cool in the ability to keep your coffee warm, throughout the day, for hours. I used to use an old-style cup that my soon-to-be father-in-law gave me until my fiancée brought home a new style cup from her work - it was a freebie. I never looked back at the old-style cup and sometimes wonder how we - humankind - have made it this far.

what happens after the lease?

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After making two attempts to turn in my leased Subaru, it wasn’t until attempt three that I was successful. The first attempt, I took the car in to the dealership a few weeks early. I was debating on turning it in and renting a car or just taking Uber until I got my used truck I purchased. At the dealership I was told that the lease pre-check needed to be completed by Subaru; this was a little confusing to me, because I thought that I was at Subaru? The gentleman at the dealership told me that I should have received a postcard in the mail from Subaru that had a number on it to call in order to get the lease return pre-inspection. I drove home to start digging for the piece of mail.

coffee cups: old or new style?

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The new style coffee cups are pretty cool. Well, not cool in temperature, but cool in the ability to keep your coffee warm, throughout the day, for hours. I used to use an old style cup that my soon-to-be father-in-law gave me until my fiancee brought home a new style cup from her work - it was a freebie. I never looked back at the old style cup and sometimes wonder how we - humankind - have made it this far.

you're cheap: thank you, that's a compliment

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Sometimes, I get told that I’m cheap; I choose to take it as a compliment. It means that I’m good at stretching a dollar and am conscious about saving. Over the years, I’ve actually started to change my thinking in that, when I’m around someone who spends freely, without thought or worry, I find it somewhat disturbing. Now, I’m not saying that you should save so much that you can’t enjoy life; I’m just saying that enjoyment can be a mindset and you can most certainly enjoy life and do it frugally.

straws: paper vs plastic - the cost

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The paper vs plastic straw human transition is far from maturity. It really seems like restaurants just stopped providing straws. I’ve noticed this in California and its’ neighboring states. I’m usually served the drink and have to ask if I can get a straw. About %50 of the time, I am given a paper straw. I feel like the transition from plastic to paper is a good idea; but wait, wasn’t this offered to us before? It wasn’t offered with straws; it was offered to us in grocery stores - would you like paper or plastic? Wasn’t the “smart” eco-friendly choice to choose plastic, because the creation of paper-bags relied on cutting down trees?