Hey, here’s $161.87 for free… Finally Making Smart Choices

“Would you like to save 5% today by applying for the Target Red Card?”

I’ve been to Target 114 times in the past 2 years and every time I got to the cash register, the cashier said, “Would you like to save 5% today by applying for the Target Red Card?” I always said, “No, not today.” What a big doh I had when I actually realized I was wasting money… a total of $161.87.

Like I said, I’ve been to Target 114 times in the past 2 years, and spent $3,237.36 on those transactions. Each and every time, I was leaving at least 5% on the table. When you hear 5%, you don’t think it’s much. However, when compared to other credit cards, 5% is an insanely good reward for spending money. My main credit card only gives me 1% cash back on all purchases (So, really, I cost myself $129.49).

There are two takeaways from this experience that I want to bring to light: number one, when a person is young, a person should try to build credit as responsibly as possible. By building credit at a young age, that person will be more attractive to borrowers in the future and will be able to take on more debt to finance a company or get a better interest rate on a home in the future. Number two, the amount of savings over a lifetime taking advantages of programs like these can have on a person.

Building Credit

Building credit is huge in today’s world. If a person wants to start a business, invest in real estate, or buy things on credit in the future, they will need to convince a lender to do so. How do we build credit? Simple: open up different lines of credit, be it credit cards, loans (for cars, education, houses, boats, home improvements, etc), lines of credit, and pay them off (by making timely payments). It’s that simple! (Make sure to pay it off on time though!)

Improving my Credit Score

Credit scoring companies recommend having more than 12 open accounts at a given time to obtain a favorable score. While this has a low impact on your score, it is still something lenders will consider. I only have 3 currently, which is one of the reasons I finally applied for the Target Credit Card.

In addition to opening another account, my utilization will decrease. Credit scoring companies recommend keeping utilization under 30% if possible. I usually never have to worry about being utilized more than 30%, but there are times when it creeps up to 50% if I’m doing a project or an unexpected expense needs to be paid.

For number two, my lifetime savings will increase by a few thousand dollars. As mentioned above, in 2 years, I spent $3,237.36 at Target and would have saved at least $161.87 through their rewards program. Let’s extrapolate that over 5 years, 10 years, and 30 years.target credit card savings

A savings of almost $5,000!?!? That’s not even considering any investing I could do with these savings over those 30 years!


To sum up, I was stupid for the past two years and missed out on $161.87. Going forward, I will be able to save 5% at Target and as time goes on, this will help me in my pursuit of financial freedom.

What other rewards cards should I be taking advantage of? Home Depot and possibly Costco are next on my list.


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5 MBA Concentrations and How to Pick One

Most students are pursuing an MBA select a specialization or concentration to pursue. MBA programs today allow you to focus on a specific business aspect through MBA concentration, giving you a competitive advantage in the industry. The focus will signal skills and credentials in a specific field, making you a more attractive candidate. Having an MBA concentration on your resume increases your chances of being considered for a job that requires expertise in a specific field.

When deciding what concentration to pursue in a graduate program, making the right decision can be challenging. Several factors influence your decision, including your career goals, previous experience, and the length of the program. To make things easier for you, we have provided below a list of the most in-demand MBA concentrations and how you can choose one.

MBA in Supply Chain Management

Obtaining an MBA in Supply Chain Management prepares graduates to take on organizational management responsibilities to ensure supplies and products are available when needed. This MBA concentration provides students with the skills necessary to obtain jobs involving logistics, procuring raw materials, developing production methods, and cost and risk management. 

These jobs would require specialized training in the specific industry. They can make a big difference in business logistics, so pursuing your education and gaining relevant industry experience is essential. So students looking to work in these areas can pursue an online MBA in supply chain without the hassle of attending physical classes. 

MBA in Finance

An MBA in finance aims to give students an in-depth understanding of critical financial issues, including corporate finance, investment management, and financial markets. The curriculum emphasizes the development of critical thinking abilities, decision-making skills, and the study of global finance, investment strategy, and risk analysis. 

This degree prepares students for careers in financial management, which include accountants, risk managers, financial managers, and chief financial officers (CFO).

MBA in Marketing

An MBA in marketing allows you to reach consumers, predict their behaviors, design marketing campaigns, and increase public awareness of your company. You can develop a solid understanding of marketing fundamentals as you study advertising, public relations, and sales topics.

There are a variety of job opportunities in marketing since it is used in a variety of industries. Even though an MBA is not a prerequisite for entry-level marketing positions, it can be valuable when seeking a job at a higher level. Specialization in this area may lead to brand director, brand manager, marketing director, marketing manager, and digital marketing manager positions.

MBA in Human Resource Management

An MBA in human resources emphasizes strategic approaches to managing human resources within an organization. The curriculum includes leadership, employee development, labor relations courses, organizational behavior, and finance courses. Graduates of the program will be prepared to assume management positions in the human resources field, such as human resource manager, training manager, payroll administrator, etc.

MBA in Business Management

A management specialization is recommended for students who wish to pursue leadership positions. The objective of this degree is to provide you with skills that will enable you to efficiently and effectively manage resources to maximize efficiency and productivity for the organization. The student acquires the ability to communicate, make decisions, delegate, and solve problems through this program.

Graduates with an MBA in management typically find employment in project management or general management.

How to Choose the Right Concentration for Your Career?

For those considering specialization in a specific area, picking a concentration can be a source of anxiety. As you make your choice, this small guide may be of help.

Do Your Research 

Start by researching the requirements of the company you dream of working for. Consider what these employers and similar ones are looking for. There may be specific requirements or qualifications they prefer. Getting in touch with MBA graduates in a particular field can also provide insights into the needs of that field.

Identify Your Strengths

The acquisition of new skills may prove beneficial. However, when making decisions about your course of action, it is often helpful to build on the skills you already possess. It is essential to recognize your strengths. Identify subjects or personality traits that you are good at or possess. Choose a concentration that will allow you to make the most of these strengths. An MBA concentration in financial management may be more effortless if math has always been your forte.

During this process, consider the aspects of previous employment you enjoyed or disliked. Your career path may be influenced by how you perceive specific tasks at work.

Define Your Goals

Understanding what you seek will help you select the right concentration. For instance, if earning a high salary is your primary objective, you may consider pursuing an MBA in one of the most lucrative business fields. Several industries offer starting salaries over $100,000 on average, including financial services, consulting, information technology, and health care, according to a report by U.S. News & World Report.

Examine the Outlook of the Industry

MBA is often regarded as a highly esteemed degree. In 2021, based on data from the Graduate Management Admission Council, 91 percent of employers in the United States were planning to hire candidates with an MBA degree. It is crucial to consider this when examining specific career fields and concentrations. However, it is also essential to consider how the field will evolve over the next ten or twenty years. If you are interested in analyzing career statistics and job outlook predictions, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is a valuable resource. 

Wrapping Up

A student’s career goals determine the usefulness of a particular MBA concentration. Depending on their chosen specialization, students can develop skills in a specific area and prepare themselves to succeed in their chosen career field.

Selecting the ideal MBA concentration for your career may seem overwhelming, but the effort and time invested in this will be well worth your while. When you follow the tips outlined here, you will be able to remain focused and succeed academically and professionally as an MBA graduate.

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How the Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio

Currently, I am reading Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins and it is a fantastic book(I’m excited to keep reading and be able to provide you with a book review in the coming days). In chapter 4, he is discussing asset allocation and interviews many top money managers.

One of the money managers Tony interviews in MONEY is Ray Dalio, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund which has $160 billion in assets under management. Bridgewater Associates has two main funds, the Pure Alpha fund and the All Weather fund, both of which have made investors very happy over the past 25 years (so happy that Bridgewater had to stop taking on new clients as they became too big).

Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is becoming a role model of mine. He is constantly asking himself, “What don’t I know, and what should I do about it?”and looking to find the answers. Ray Dalio put together a presentation on the economy: How the Economic Machine Works, and it was very beneficial for my understanding of, well, how the economy works. I want to share it with you; I have attached the YouTube video later down in the post. First, a picture of Tony Robbins and some key points and takeaways.

What I’m Reading

Main Points from the Video

Some key points and takeaways to watch out for in the video:

How the Economic Machine Works

For more information, visit www.economicprinciples.org.

Did this increase your understanding of the economy? Are videos like these helpful to your understanding of things in general, or how do you prefer to learn?


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