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?

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

Money Management

3 Tips For Couples To Make A Budget

CoupleHaving a budget as a couple is not an easy thing. Me and my girlfriend have one and I’ll be the first to tell you it takes a lot of adjustments. I have definitely learned a lot going through that. Here’s some tips to get you through it.

Be Open

Talk about how you feel about a budget. If you’re both not ready for one then it’s not going to work. Go over the whole budget together and talk about each category. Make sure that you agree on how much you are going to spend on the categories. The important thing is to talk about it and make sure that you let your feelings out. If you have a problem let it be known. If you don’t let the other person know about it, then they won’t know why you can’t stay in budget.

Compromise

Doing a budget with two people can end horribly if there is no compromise. The process of give and take in a relationship applies to a budget as well. With me and my girlfriend (Beth), she’s more of a spender. In order to accommodate that I have to save a little less but her spending gets put under control with the budget. So it’s give and take.

Know Each Other

This goes somewhat with compromise but know if each other are spenders or savers. I’m a saver but she’s a spender. I know she likes to buy things, so there’s a place in the budget to spend. I like to stay in but she likes to go out, so there’s a little more in the entertainment category. It’s easy for me as a saver to say “Why don’t we just save our money instead of going out”. But It’s just as easy for her to say “Why don’t we just go out and enjoy life instead of stay cooped up all night”. So we adjusted the budget to be able to go out a little and save a little.

I used to get upset when we would spend more than we budgeted for but after talking it over with her I decided to increase the amount we could spend on certain categories. Just having that extra breathing room decreased my stress level and we actually ended up not spending as much as we budgeted for and saved more money than I planned.

In the end, the important thing is that you are both happy. Life is too short to be upset at every little thing and be stubborn. If you can create a budget together, you have a great future ahead of yourselves.

Have you had any issues making a budget with your significant other? What did you do to get through it?

Passion

How Women Can Get Ahead in a Tough Economy

Women have made great strides in the workplace over the past few decades, but the sad fact is that their earnings, in most fields, are lower than those of men who work in similar positions and have similar education. By some estimates, women only make 80 cents (or less) to every dollar a man earns. Understandably, many women are frustrated by this inequity.

As a result, women are on the lookout for ways they can get ahead. Small changes can make a big difference in how you are perceived in the workplace, and how much you see in your paycheck.

Learn New Skills

You were first hired for your skills and knowledge, but that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels and assume that your existing abilities will bring take you to the top. The business world is constantly changing. It’s up to you to stay on top of the developments and enhance your abilities accordingly. This might mean attending conferences or workshops on topics related to your field, seeking out training opportunities or even an advanced degree like a master in health administration.

Find a Mentor

Some companies have formal mentorship programs that pair upper-level executives with less experienced workers. A mentor can provide feedback, access to the inner workings of the organization and advice on how to handle issues that you might face day-to-day. They can prove to be valuable allies as you climb the corporate ladder. If you don’t have a mentor, consider who in your organization you might connect with. Discuss the possibility of developing a closer working relationship.

Take Risks

One reason that women don’t get ahead at work is they resist taking risks, instead waiting until the “time is right” or they feel more comfortable with whatever it is they need to do. However, to land the highest-paying healthcare management jobs for example, women must be willing to get out of their comfort zones and do things that might make them nervous, but will pay off in dividends later. That might mean volunteering for a high-profile project, proposing a major process change or speaking up more often with more force.

Promote Yourself

Experts say that too often, women wait for others to promote them in the workplace. And, all too often, the accolades they deserve are late in coming, if they come at all. Women who want to get ahead need to be self-promoters, letting their superiors know about their accomplishments. That doesn’t mean being a braggart, but sending your boss a quick email to let her know that you’ve made significant progress on a problem or facilitated a major win for the organization will get you noticed.

Be Visible

If you show up to work every day and hide in your cubicle, performing your work and going home, you’re never going to get to the top. Don’t be invisible. Make it a point to network within your organization, chatting up everyone from the mailroom manager to the executive sharing the elevator. Be the friendly face that is interested in others’ work. Attend networking events outside of work as well. Work cocktail parties or golf tournaments might seem dull, but that’s when you can get the real scoop and make the contacts that will help later.

How far you can go in your career depends on a number of factors, including the organization you work for, the demand within your industry and how you manage your own career. Develop a strategic plan for getting ahead and reaching your goals, relying on your skills, talents, knowledge and network. If you do, you’ll contribute to closing the gender wage gap. 

About the Author: After working in health care communications for almost two decades, Patti Babcock recently returned to school for a master’s degree in health care management. 

Image Source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Business_People_g201-Smiling_Woman_Looking_At_Camera_p123151.html