Broke In Lockdown – Day 4
The power of asking
After completing my morning meditation and exercise, I hopped online in the hopes of securing breakfast for free this time around.
Latestfreestuff.co.uk is a site that gives you access to all kinds of freebies from various companies. Most of what I found this time around, that I could actually secure now, were coupons for drinks from companies like McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s. So, I would still need food.
Avocado on toast, with chopped tomatoes sounded pretty good to me. But could I find all that for £1?
I gave the discount isle of Lidl a visit, but the cheapest avocado I could find was going for 75p. If I could find bread and a tomato for 25p, that would be great, but it was unlikely. I settled for buying a Panini for 25p and decided I’d see if I could get a free tomato from a local vendor.
I went to the closest outdoor market and asked a vendor if he had any tomatoes to spare. To my relief, he did!
When it comes to asking, it’s important to know who you can ask. In this scenario, a friendly shopkeeper is ideal. Friendly shopkeepers are also good businessmen, because they understand that their acts of kindness will most likely be repaid through continued patronage. I decided that I would definitely be going back for lunch and dinner.
Time to start trading – for real!
Things like Forex, crypto currency, and stocks have become something of a religious pastime for a lot of people during lockdown. I’d never really done a deep dive into trading, though it had always piqued my interest.
In June of 2020 I’d had the option to start trading in bit coin. At the time it was around £6000 pounds for 1 bit coin. Everyone around me was saying it was too risky and that I shouldn’t waste my time or money on it, so I didn’t. Now, one bit coin is going for £41000!
My advice to you? Use your gut. It’s always great to get advice from those around you, but at the end of the day you’re the one who has to live with your decisions.
Now, there are a couple of things you’ll need in order to succeed at trading.
You need to be good at keeping up to date with the latest news and event, not just the ups and downs on the charts.
And you need to get good at forecasting. The ability to notice trends is everything, which is why staying up to date is so important. After watching how people respond to certain events and situations for long enough, you’ll have a better idea of when to invest and when to pull out.
To start out, try playing it safe. Companies like Amazon, Tesla, and Google are bound to keep growing. Investing with them might not make you a million air over night, but they’re pretty darn safe as far as bets are concerned.
Because I’m pretty new to trading, myself, I decided to use a platform called etoro. Upon signing up, etoro gives you £100,000 in virtual (fake) money for you to play around with, so you can try different investment techniques using a real market. Once I’ve messed around with that for a bit, I think I’ll be ready to do it for real.
Ultimately, the best way to start is to just jump into it! But when you get to the point where you start using your own money, make sure you only use an amount you’re willing to lose! No matter how safe things may seem, trading is always a risk at the end of the day.
Find the good businessman/woman
In the spirit of returning favours, I made my way back to the marketplace where the man had given me the free tomato. It really was a good move, because now every time I walk past this shop, I associate it with his act of kindness, which makes me much more willing to use his services above anyone else around him. Even if he never remembers me, that will be with me forever.
I decided to buy five plantains. I say five, but really it was six, on account of two of them being stuck together. When I asked if they were considered one plantain or two, he told me they were sold as two. I preceded to remove one of the plantains, as I only had enough for five, but the shopkeeper stopped me, and told me he would only charge me for five, regardless. And here I thought my impression of this place couldn’t get any better!
I decided to get my dinner right there and then – and added four packs of instant noodles to the mix.
Buy low, sell high.
On the theme of trading, I felt it would be good to touch on the idea of buying low and selling high. There’s a ton of things you can do this with, from shoes, to clothes, to electronics, to vintage items – the sky really is the limit.
A great place to start with this kind of thing is shopping at places where you know the items are going to be a steal. In the UK, this might be a store like Poundland, where an assortment of items are sold for as little as £1!
To give you an idea of what the mark up might be, I’d found a glass jug being sold for £1 going for £7 online, and a pair of solar lights that were £1 selling a near-identical counterpart for as much as £19! Needless to say, there’s definitely some money to be made here if you’re looking for a little extra change.
Whether it was bitcoin, buying low and selling high, or marketplace negotiations, I’d love to know how your experiences with trading has been in the past, and what ways you’ve found of improving your success in those areas. Let me know in the comments below!