Month : November 2013

Money Management

Should You Have An Automatic Bill Pay Setup

The easier you can make something, the more likely for you to do it. When it comes to savings the best thing to do is automatically have money transferred to savings. Well, it’s the same thing with bills.

I had a student of my free Jumpstart Your Financial Freedom eCourse ask me my thoughts on automating your monthly bills. I think it’s a great thing to do so that you don’t forget about your bills and get a late fee or possibly a utility cut off. Yea that’s an extreme but a late payment can happen. I’m not a fan of flushing money down the drain like a late fee, so I have a setup that I’ve been using successfully for the last year.

My Setup

I don’t have many bills that I pay directly due to having roommates. However, If I didn’t have roommates I’d just add those bills into the system. What I do is have a credit card, a secured card, as my exclusive bill card. I set up all of my reoccurring monthly bills to directly get paid with that card. This way I have one source to go through and can check all of the bills to see if any of them are out of the ordinary. If they are I check out the bill itself to see where I can cut down or to see if there’s a mistake I can get corrected.

Warning

I did mention that you should check your bills for a reason. This isn’t a set it and forget it type of system. This is a set it but keep an eye on it system. You don’t have to worry about paying them on time, but you do have to worry about if your bills are going up or not.

This set up helps me to keep organized as well as help build up my credit since the card stays active. Once I got all of my bills set up I be sure to stash the card away somewhere so I don’t carry it around with me. That makes sure I don’t use the card for other purposes.

What do you think about automatically paying your monthly bills?

Mind Over Money

What’s Really Causing The Down Economy?

The Economy is based on how much money is being spent. So why is nobody spending?

Fear!

The TV is filled with stories that the world is coming to an end. That would make me want to save my money (and I do). If I don’t spend money then businesses don’t make money. If the businesses don’t make money then they don’t hire people. If people don’t have jobs then they don’t have money to spend. It’s a deadly cycle.

If either people stopped reading the news and watching TV we would be in a lot better shape because we wouldn’t know about the bad and would think everything is hunky dory. Ignorance is truly bliss and would help our country a lot, as far as the economy. But since people aren’t going to stop watching TV then we’ll have to think about something else.

Ninja had a good spin on the economy saying 91% of the U.S. does have a job. So how about the 91% of us that do have a job, help those that don’t by spending money. That would cause the business to make money, which would cause them to hire more people, which would cause those people to spend their money.

Sure you may be in debt up to your eyeballs, or your house may be underwater but that didn’t stop you from spending before. How did those credit cards get that much money on them? That’s right, you spent. So keep living your life like nothing has happened, spend your money and get payday loans. Eventually everything will pan out.

It’s a simple solution to a complex problem but it makes sense, doesn’t it? And then the TV will stop running stories about how the economy sucks. So lets take action and spend your money. Your country is counting on it!!!

What do you think about my solution?

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Business

Horsedrawn carriages: perfect for corporate events

Horsedrawn carriages are a perfect feature at any corporate event. Once a common part of everyday life, these days a horsedrawn carriage is something to be marvelled at. 

Cars, trains and aeroplanes may have left horses well and truly behind in the world of transportation, but they definitely still have their uses. People love horses and they love to ride on horsedrawn carriages

Therefore if you’re looking to really make your corporate event stand out, horsedrawn carriage hire is perfect. 

Types of corporate events

There are many types of corporate events you can organise. The most common tend to be:

  • Paintballing
  • Zombie apocalypse days
  • Yoga
  • Formal parties 

All of the above are fun and fantastic ways of marketing and giving your team motivation.

Zombie days are the latest craze and they definitely aren’t for everyone. If you want to really stand out then horsedrawn carriage hire is highly recommended. 

The benefits of horsedrawn carriage hire

There are numerous benefits of hiring horsedrawn carriages for your corporate event. The main ones include:

  • It’s unique
  • Adds style and elegance
  • Attracts more people
  • Fun and memorable 

One of the main goals of any business is to be unique. If you want to set yourself apart from the competition, you need to have a certain edge. The fact a horsedrawn carriage is unique and not used by many businesses will give you an advantage. You can use it as a marketing strategy and attract more people to the event. Advertising ‘horsedrawn carriage rides’ will definitely get more people interested in your event. 

If you’re looking to impress potential clients then horsedrawn carriages will also help with that. They add style and elegance to your event; creating a more high-end theme. While the cost of a horsedrawn carriage isn’t cheap, it will be a long term investment due to the impression it leaves with your clients/customers. 

The fun element is also something you can’t ignore. Corporate events can have the tendency to be a little dull. Hiring a horsedrawn carriage will liven things up and make sure your event is anything but boring. This in turn will keep your guests talking about it and that will generate even more interest in the company. 

Businesses that do take advantage of horsedrawn carriage hire are clever and resourceful. It’s a well-known fact that people love horses. They represent power and strength which is something you want people to associate with your business. Having horses there will give your business a more important stature. 

Overall, there are many ways to make your corporate event a success. Horsedrawn carriages are the topic of many excellent stories. They can really help to set your event apart from the competition. You can either hire the carriages to take people on rides, or simply to stay outside the venue to enhance the theme of the event. 

Carriage rides are a great way to explore an area and they can be really fun too. Why not take a look at the cost of horsedrawn carriage hire today to see if it’s something your business could benefit from? 

Frugality

Don’t Miss Out On Easy Savings: Coupons Pt 1

a-case-for-coupons-coupons1 There are many ways to save money these days, but one of the best and easy way is coupons. What? You don’t have time for that? Have you tried?

“Anything that’s worth doing, is worth doing poorly”

I’m not going to lie to you. In the beginning it’s not going to save you much money and you’re probably going to make some mistakes. However, as you build up a stockpile of coupons and learn the ways of the masters, you will save a significant amount of money and I’m going to tell you how.

Get Coupons

The first thing you need to do is actually get coupons. There are several places to get them and some of them may surprise you.

Newspaper

The best place to get them is the Sunday paper. You could just pick one up every Sunday but the easiest thing to do is get it delivered. Delivery is better for two reasons. Most likely you will get a discount on delivery versus buying it at a store. My local newspaper offers the Sunday paper for 6 months at $20.50. That’s about a 50% savings for choosing the easy route.

The second reason is so you don’t have to get dressed and go to the store, which will most likely keep you from actually going to the store. It’s kinda like automatic savings….kinda.

Before you sign up for delivery:

  • Check the paper at the store to see if there’s a deal on getting the paper delivered. Mine had a code for about $14 for 26 weeks for even more savings.
  • The most important thing is to make sure the paper you order actually carries the coupons. Go to the store first to check out which local newspaper carries coupons.

I suggest delivery the most because one of the mantras of couponing is the more the merrier (which I’ll get into more in the next part of this series). Getting more than one of the same coupon allows you to save so much more. Once you get the paper delivered, you can check to see if it’s a good week for coupons. If it is, then you can buy another paper or two in the store later, when you’re out and about. That’s not necessary when you’re just starting if you think it’s going to turn you off from couponing. Just get started first and worry about the best tips later.

Magazines

There are several magazines that contain exclusive coupons. Here are a few:

Unless you have an interest in the other magazines content, I’d only recommend All You and Everyday with Rachael Ray. They have the best content and coupons to go with it.

*Side Note*

I wouldn’t recommend buying it direct from the magazine company because you can usually buy it cheaper from a magazine discount site. I purchased my All You subscription from Tanga.com because it was the best deal around. Another great site is BestDealMagazines.com, this is where I purchased multiple hobby magazines I enjoy.

*Back on subject*

The World Wide Web

Another source is none other than the wonderful internet. One argument against printing out coupons is it costs more to print them than you’re going to save. Not true, especially if you print out more than one coupon at a time and reuse the paper to print another coupon. Some great sources are:

A surprising place to find coupons is Facebook. If you “Like” companies Facebook page, they usually have coupons you can access.

*Shameless self promotion*

Feel free to “Like” my Facebook page: Financially Poor. You won’t get any coupons to buy me, but you’ll get updated about my posts on Facebook and one day maybe even exclusive giveaways.

*End shameless self promotion*

Last but maybe not the most surprising is Twitter. The easiest way to find coupons on twitter is by sites set up to only show coupons from twitter, of course. The best sites I found are CheapTweet.com and CouponTweet.com.

Now What?

Once you get the coupons then the next step is to organize and learn how to use them. Join me next week as I go over these steps in the next episode of this chapter on couponing. Stay tuned….Dun Dun Duuuun…

P.S. Some of the links in this post I earn a little bit of money from, in order to pay my bills. But I promise to never to intentionally lead you to a bad company and to never let the money affect my opinion.

Have you taken on the quest of couponing? Have you had any bumps in the road when you first began?

Check out Part 2 of the series

Retirement

10 ways you save money when you retire

There was a time, when people approaching their sixties would dread the thought of retirement. How would it be possible to maintain the same lifestyle, without a steady flow of regular income? The answer to that horrifying question is simple Individual Retirement Accounts. For example, IRA services provided by Charles Schwab ensures that you’ll get personal investment guidance and great tools and resources—all with no account service fees. One must plan his retirement early in life or as they say, during the “sunny days”. In this article today we take a look at the most popular ways to save money post retirement;

  • The Individual Retirement Account: Be it then or now, IRAs win hands down. Based on whether you choose to go with the Traditional IRAs or a Roth IRA you can enjoy tax benefits by making contributions here. So even when you retire, IRAs ensure that between ‘death and taxes’ there is one, from whom you can escape safely. 
  • Higher rate of interests enjoyed: Banks and other financial institutions often offer higher rates of interests to the retired senior citizens. So if you were saving $1000 at 50, your return after a year would be a sum of $1050; if you save the same amount at 60 you get back $1100 after a year. 
  • Lower medical bills: Ideally. As you grow older your medical expenses should multiply. There are certain places however, where treatment to the retired elderly are done at a reduced rate. 
  • Lessen the shimmer: Research shows that a majority of your earnings is invested in maintaining your look and clothes. With no offices to go to, once you have retired, no need to spend hundreds of dollars on those items. Save that sum and instead prioritize your requirements judiciously. 
  • Forget Insurance and loans: So you have houses and cars, which you bought on loan at 30 and have been replaying the amount all your life? And added to that you also had to take insurance coverage? In all likelihood by the time you retire, you have probably washed your hands off these. 
  • The Annual Gas Contract: Once you have retired, you don’t really need to drive that fancy sedan to work. You may be thinking that driving to work cost you only about $20 everyday. But think of it as an annual figure and you will realize, what a lump sum of money you save post retirement. Alternatively, start taking strolls and walk 
  • Frugal Living: So your youth is gone and there is no reason why you need to live king size in a French Chateau. Restricting your living area to smaller houses not only saves you the burden of paying higher taxes but also is easier to maintain. 
  • Healthy eating and lesser fine dining: Keeping in mind that while working you probably had a larger social circle, it is likely that the circle will lessen post retirement. So do away with those fine dining places, which cost you a bomb shell and concentrate more on dining at home. 
  • Relocating: Ever considered taking up challenges post retirement? If yes, then leave the hustle of city life and relocate to a countryside or residential area. Not only will it bring down your living expenses, but also instill a sense of communal belonging, often missing in cities. 
  • Save something: It is likely that when you were working, you were covered under the company’s pension scheme. Once retired, this is a ready source of income. Consider saving a portion of this amount instead of spending it all.

    Retirement can be a fun activity if planned in advance, meticulously. These real money sparing tips help you through the thick and thin of retirement!