Month : June 2014

Frugality

Financial Freedom And The Grocery Store

One of the biggest expenses that we all face is food.  While it isn’t a good idea to stop eating to save money, there certainly are some great tactics that you can use at the grocery to make sure you don’t spend too much.

Watch for Sales

Some items, especially canned and long lasting products, can be purchased in bulk when on sale.  This can save you from spending a fortune on product by buying them at full price.  Additionally, it is always a good idea to glance over your grocery store ad to see what is on sale.  It can even help when making a plan for the week to have the ad nearby.  Remember that if you buy sale items that you won’t use, you aren’t getting a good deal no matter how low the prices are.

Don’t Fall Prey to Tricks

Grocery stores have a few tricks up their sleeve to make you spend more.  If your store uses these tactics, it doesn’t mean that items aren’t a good price.  You really just need to pay attention and determine what you need.  One common trick is to list items as 2 for $5 or 3 for $12.  Most of the time, you can buy just one and still get the same sale price.  Just because they say 10 for $10 doesn’t mean you need to buy 10.  Decide what you can use and then buy that amount.  Also it is wise to calculate the price per item to make sure you really are getting a good deal.

Store Cards

Many stores require you to sign up for their store card to get their advertised prices.  It only takes a few minutes and can really save a lot of money.  Sign up for these cards.  If you really don’t want  a card, many states will require the stores to honor the lower prices without a card upon request.  Talk with your grocery store and see what they can do.

Figure Out What You Actually Need

Sadly, if you don’t plan, you can end up throwing your grocery budget into the trash.  Food is perishable and if you buy things you aren’t going to eat, you are wasting money.  Honestly consider how much produce, fresh meat and other perishable products you will use before they expire.  It is usually best to buy less than you think you will need, since inevitably things come up.  You will probably end up eating out or going to dinner at a friend’s so buy a little less than you might need to reduce waste.  Use perishable items first to keep them from spoiling.

These few tips will help keep your budget in line at the grocery store.  Often, by just buying what you need and not wasting, you save quite a bit on groceries without even having to change your eating habits.

How do you save money at the grocery store?

 

Book Reviews

Should I Buy This Book? Review: How To Run A Thriving Business

How to run a thriving business is a pretty good book for someone deciding if they want to run a business or someone that’s about to start a business. It doesn’t really go into any of the technical aspects like accounting and inventory. It goes into mostly how to choose a business you’ll be passionate about, how to hire a great employee that will work hard for you, and how to market creatively.

I would definitely recommend it to those that are beginning to start a business or thinking about it.

Buy It

How to run a thriving business new

How to run a thriving business used

Book Reviews

Wealth Virtues Book Review

images I’m a fan of Benjamin Franklin because of the impact he has had on this nation. Wealth Virtues has made me an even bigger fan (yea I know he had his problems, who doesn’t?).

The book goes through Ben’s 13 virtues and how they apply to personal finance. I really like how there are actions you can take now to get started in the book. Wealth Virtues goes into the financial crisis and show the lessons that can be learned from it so that we don’t repeat it. I also like how there are personal stories to provide examples so you can learn from other people’s experiences.

I will say that overall this is a pretty complete book when it comes to personal finance and taking the right steps towards financial freedom. I’d highly recommend it to anyone that wants to get their finances straight.

Buy it

Wealth Virtues New

Wealth Virtues Used

I was given a copy of this book by the author but that had no effect on my opinion of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Debt Management

Financing Your Business: How is Factoring Different from Traditional Financing?

Business owners of all sizes must constantly find sources of financing. This is especially true during the initial stages of growth; however, it remains true at every level of operation. When a company requires additional funds, most turn towards traditional methods of financing. These methods vary by name and particulars, but they have one uniting factor:  they are all forms of debt. Essentially, traditional financing is when a loan is procured and then must be paid back. While this method has served the business world well for years, there are alternative forms available as well, such as purchase order financing and factoring. You may be left wondering what factoring is; factoring is a financing option your business should seriously consider

The Definition of Factoring

According to AOL Small Business, factoring is when a bank or another type of financial institution purchases outstanding accounts receivable, which are typically invoices, with a percentage of the total deducted. This gives the selling company access to quick funding for any invoice that has not yet been paid. This provides a distinct advantage to any company that qualifies for factoring by helping them avoid the cash gap.

The dreaded “cash gap” is a term that describes the period in which capital has already been expended, yet payment has not yet been received. The cash gap can be extremely detrimental, depending on the size of the outstanding order and the working capital of the company. If a company had to expend all of their working capital in order to fulfill the order, they are rendered unable to process further orders until payment is received. This is when factoring is ideal, funds can be immediately provided. Depending on the factoring company, funds may be received the next day. This allows new orders to be processed, materials to be ordered and payroll to be satisfied.

Factoring Vs. Traditional Financing

Traditional financing operates solely on debt. Some forms of debt financing are dependent upon your company’s credit, while others depend on your company’s equity. Either type of financing is based on the promise of future income. This means that securing these types of financing can be difficult as well; each bank or institution will have its own requirements for granting a loan. Depending on your company’s financial situation, securing a loan based either solely on credit or with collateral may be easy. If it is done with enough forethought, these types of financing can help cover the cash gap and allow for growth. However, they are not a fast solution, since it can take time to receive funds. Additionally, these options may not even be available due to the stringent requirements on most types of loans.

Conversely, factoring is a readily available method of securing financing. It is in no way a loan – your company will not take on any additional debt. Instead, invoices are sold to the purchasing company, known as the factor. Each factor will have their own requirements, however they are typically much easier to meet than a traditional loan. Most factors will base their decision on the creditworthiness of your customer, as opposed to your business. They will also consider the total transaction amount and the amount of transaction history with your customer. Also, consider that most factors will not grant financing if there is currently a bank lien on your company’s property or if there are back taxes owed. Otherwise, obtaining funds is a relatively simple process.

Which is Right for You?

Each company will have its own unique circumstances. Some situations will call for traditional financing, as factoring only applies to past due invoices. However, if your company is regularly encumbered by the cash gap – factoring is for you. Regularly using factoring can greatly enhance your control over your capital. Instead of waiting for fulfilled orders to be paid, simply contact a factor and request factoring services. The initial transaction may take a few business days, however future transactions can be processed within 24 hours. This means your company will never again have to wait 90 days to receive funds for a completed order. Instead, you’ll be able to move right on to the next one. 

About the Author:   Raul Esqueda is founder and CEO of 1st Commercial Credit LLC (www.1stcommercialcredit.com) out of Austin TX. Raul has experience in funding businesses of all industries and sizes within the United States, United Kingdom and Canada and has written many articles about purchase order finance, factoring and asset based lending.

Insurance

Travel In Style: Get Yourself Holiday Insurance

It’s one thing to go out and enjoy your holiday, and another thing altogether to really enjoy it knowing you are adequately covered by the appropriate travel insurance. Sure, we all have the tendency to set insurance concerns on the side because we think that incidents happen to other people but not to us. But then again, that’s why we call these accidents: it is because we can never adequately plan for them. 

The right travel insurance is the perfect way to ease all of these concerns because you know that whatever happens, you have signed up for the right coverage to address all your needs while you are out traveling. For example, the Debenhams holiday insurance actually foots unlimited medical expenses should you choose this for your next trip. When you are out there on an adventure, whether enjoying an African safari or taking in the water attractions in the Great Barrier Reef, whether you are lazily lounging in theBahamas or skiing in the Swiss Alps, whether you are conquering Mt. Fuji in Japan or enjoying water sports attractions and the cozy, crystal clear beaches in the Philippines, you can be confident that your holiday and travel insurance will have you covered for any eventuality. 

The same holiday insurance can also be broken down to include or exclude things that you feel may or may not apply to you. For as low as £5, it is actually possible to get a “single trip holiday insurance.” Likewise, one can also get an annual travel policy for £30. Ski adventures are readily affordable at only £13 per trip while backpacker adventures can be bought for £15. And as if you need any more reason to try it out, consider that the kids are covered for free during the travel period so much so that you are practically care-free and worry-free because you know your concerns are adequately addressed. In fact, some of the best holiday insurance policies even allow for holiday cancellation coverage, refunding your travel booking expenses up to £7500 just so you know you can always re-schedule without losing any money from all that hullabaloo.

If you are a frequent traveler, no doubt you have seen all the good and the bad that can happen in a trip. Likewise, it would not be a stretch to assume that you have suffered through all the mess that comes with trip-related emergencies. These emergencies are so disrupting that even when they happen once every 20 trips or so, they can still get us off-balanced and leave us frustrated. 

Trust the best holiday insurance providers to take care of you during this period so you can focus on enjoying the scene and the attractions. After all, isn’t that why you chose to go out on a trip in the first place? Leave it to your travel insurance to put you at ease. At very affordable rates, you won’t have to fret about trip-related problems ever again.