Take heed! The Consumerist warns that your account is never really closed at Bank of America. This sort of thing makes my blood boil. (Thanks, Sasha!)

Earlier today, JLP at All Financial Matters posted about Brian Tracy’s 40 plus formula to advance your career. This is classic Tracy:

If you work only 40 hours per week — if you work only the number of hours that are required of you — then all you will ever do is survive. You will tread water financially. You will make enough to pay your bills and perhaps a little more besides, but you will never get ahead and you will never be successful. According to the 40 Plus Formula, every hour that you put in over 40 hours on your job, or on yourself, is an investment in your future success.

I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, I’m not fond of the Protestant work ethic that so deeply rooted in American culture. I feel like it detracts from those things that are really important in life (such as family, friends, and personal development).

On the other hand, after having spent years slacking off at work (at the box factory), I’ve begun spending long hours on a different job (this web site). I’m now seeing first-hand the sorts of things that can be achieved when one actually does focus time and attention on something.

It’s clear that hard work is a key element of success. But it’s also important to be passionate about what you do. If you combine these two things — motivation and industry — you can achieve great things.

Elsewhere, Kimberly Palmer, the Alpha Consumer, wants to know: “If asking a question could put money in your pocket, would you do it?” After reading Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, Palmer decided to ask for discounts, and was surprised to find that it worked. GRS readers are vocal proponents of this technique:

Finally, an AskMetafilter user wants to know:

What’s the best strategy for buying new laptops and selling old ones? I usually buy a new computer once every five years or so and then sell my old one. Say I spend $3000 for a new one and sell the old one for $300. Would I be better off buying a new one every year and selling the old one each year?

I’ve wondered this myself. I used to buy low-end computers and replace them every year. That felt dumb. Eighteen months ago, I bought a high-end laptop and find that I have no desire to get a new one. My desktop computer is now nearly five years old, too, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to replace it. (However, part of the reason I no longer feel the drive to upgrade is that I spend my day in a text editor instead of playing video games…)

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