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Not negotiating salary when you accept a job offer can cost you up to $1 million over the course of your career. Still, many workers hesitate to ask for more money, either when they negotiate a new offer or at review time once they’re on the job. In fact, 57% of workers have never asked for a raise in their current field, according to PayScale. Why don’t more people ask for raises? In most cases, it comes down to fear. Seriously: …

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It’s a pretty familiar feeling for everyone at some time or another in their life. You’re doing some household chore and you realize that having some particular item would make this task more convenient, so you add that item to your shopping list. Or, maybe, you’re at the store and you see something that is pretty obviously going to take care of a problem in your life. Or, maybe, you’re at the store and you find some sort of incredible …

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There is no shortage of mistakes you can make when it comes to your credit. Missing your payments, running up large credit card balances, and never checking your reports are just a few you’ll need to avoid if you ever want to achieve the type of credit scores that make qualifying for a loan a breeze. Yet one of the most dangerous credit mistakes often occurs when you’re just trying to help someone out of a bind. It might make …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Career, marriage, and life crossroads 2. Taxes for disabled veterans 3. Paying off a lease early? 4. Queen of Versailles 5. Buying a car with cash 6. Huge salary a requirement? 7. Career versus cost of living 8. Buying a pepper mill 9. Strategies for minimizing food expense …

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If I offered you the chance to immediately double every dollar you saved, would you take it? Of course you would! You work hard to save that money, and a magic money-doubling machine is just the thing you need to make all that hard work pay off. Well, in essence, that’s exactly what your 401(k) employer match is. It’s a way to get an immediate and guaranteed 50% to 100% return on your investment, which is as close to a …

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Americans now spend more money on bars and restaurants than they do on groceries. A major reason for the change is that we live increasingly busy, on-the-go lifestyles. However, there’s another factor that might be just as significant: Many Americans have poor cooking skills or simply aren’t comfortable in the kitchen. The problem is magnified among millennials. In fact, just 45% of those ages 18 to 24 consider themselves at least “somewhat good” at cooking. When a generation that’s known …

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Once a month (or so), I share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I hope they bring similar success to your life. 1. Marie Forleo on clarity “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” – Marie Forleo To put it another way, action often makes things clear in a way that mere thought and study cannot. You can have all of the ideas in the world floating around in your …

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Over the last few years, a hybrid pressure cooker and slow cooker called the Instant Pot has become quite popular in some circles and, as a result, many people have written to me asking for my thoughts on it. I’ve given some brief thoughts on it in the past, but I wanted to spell out my thoughts at length on this device in terms of whether it really makes sense as a purchase for saving money. First of all, I …

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John writes in: Recently, you mentioned in this article that you’ve set up some additional income streams to the point “where any income stream can go away and it won’t really adversely affect my family.” — I’m curious to know what they are and how you’ve achieved that. I’ve been listening and reading up on multiple income streams for a few years now and from what I understand they are really hard to build for people with full-time jobs and …

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I have had a wild ride the past couple of years, career-wise. I went from making just $22,000 per year working in the mailroom of a Hollywood talent agency to making far more than that at my current job at a startup. Sure, I had to sell my soul and give up my artistic dreams, but that’s a small price to pay for a big raise, right? I joke about selling my soul, but it’s something I actually think about. …

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