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8 Things Warren Buffett Did To Make $53,000 By Age 16

8 Things Warren Buffett Did To Make $53,000 By Age 16

Warren Buffett is one of the most famous billionaires in the world, with good reason. He’s a very impressive man, and before that he was a very impressive young man. Buffett earned a staggering $53,000 by the time he was sixteen. How did he accomplish that feat?

Here are several of his methods listed below.

1. Warren Buffett sold soda pop and chewing gum.

At the tender age of six, Warren Buffett made his first sale. He started off selling packs of chewing gum, before moving on up to the more profitable cartons of Coca-Cola.

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2. Warren Buffett delivered newspapers.

At a young age, Warren did what a lot of boys did to make some money: he had a paper route. As an avid reader of the news, like the rest of the family, the part-time job was a perfect fit. But, unlike most boys, Warren Buffett juggled three different paper routes for two rival newspapers. What really made him stand out though, is how he utilized his brain doing this somewhat mindless chore. Here is an excerpt from his biography, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.

“I liked to work by myself, where I could spend my time thinking about things I wanted to think about […] I could be sitting in a room thinking, or I could be riding around flinging things and thinking.”

3. Warren Buffett sold golf balls.

Along with his friend Stu Erickson, Warren Buffett sold used golf balls at the Elmwood Park golf course.  They got in trouble with the cops for doing it, but Warren’s parents didn’t mind. They were mostly just proud of their son’s ambition.

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4. Warren Buffett sold peanuts and popcorn at football game.

A born salesman, Warren Buffett walked through the stands of the University of Omaha stadium yelling, “Peanuts, popcorn, five cents, a nickel, half dime, fifth of a quarter, get your peanuts and popcorn here!”

5. Warren Buffett sold stamps.

Buffett’s Approval Service offered stamps to out-of-state collectors… for a price.

6. Warren Buffett made money off of pinball machines.

Warren bought a broken pinball machine for twenty-five dollars, and went to his friend Don Danly to fix it. Together they started Wilson’s Coin-Operated Machine Company. They asked a local barber if they could put the machine in the back of his shop, in exchange for half the money they raised. In just a single day, enough customers at the barbershop played pinball to make four dollars. Within a week Warren had enough money to buy more pinball machines, which he negotiated into other barber shops, building a small empire before he could even legally vote.

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7. Warren Buffet made money at the horse tracks… without even gambling!

Warren Buffett and his friend Bob Russell were too young to gamble, but that didn’t stop them from cleaning up at the horse tracks. They looked everywhere for discarded tickets that might be worth something. Buffet describes this in his own words,

“They called that ‘stooping.’ At the start of the racing season, you get all these people who’d never seen a race except in the movies. And they’d think that if your horse came in second or third, you didn’t get paid, because the emphasis was on the winner, so they’d throw away place and show tickets. The other time you’d hit it big was when there was a disputed race. […] By that time, people had thrown away their tickets. Meanwhile, we were just gobbling them up.”

8. Warren Buffett built a bigger snowball.

At the very beginning of the The Snowball, author Alice Schroeder writes about how Buffett would catch snowflakes at the age of nine. He’d proceed to scoop up handfuls of snow. He turned those into balls of snow, and placed what he’d collected on the ground. He pushed and picked up more and more snow, building a bigger and bigger snowball.

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That’s how Warren Buffett made $53,000 by the age of sixteen: continuing to add to what he already had, until he’d cultivated a small fortune. Years later, that small fortune would grow to one of the biggest networths in the world. To speak metaphorically, it’s all due to Warren Buffett’s dedication to building a bigger snowball, one tiny snowflake at a time.

Featured photo credit: BorsheimsJewelry via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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