How to Spend Smart for Your Business

business-moneyEvery good business owner should have a plan for how to spend smart their hard-earned cash for the year. Whether it’s putting more of your cash into hard-line advertising or giving more discounts and promotional offers to your customers, there’s no doubt that you will have to spend on expanding your business and increasing its sales.

But before you take the necessary steps to spending for your business, you need to make sure that you have a well-thought-out plan on how much you are really going to spend smart, and for what. In addition, you should also keep a clear record of your expenses whilst still making sure you have money remaining in your savings for any contingencies.

How to Make Smart Business Spending Decisions

Below are some additional tips to spending smart this year and the coming years:

Create a plan to spend smart

As mentioned, you need to create a set plan for whatever expenses you have in mind for growing your business. Not only do you have to determine the amount of expenses you will have for your day-to-day expenses and other operational costs (such as taxes and salaries), you also have to determine your budget to spend smart when it comes to business opportunities, the purchasing of assets, and the like. This way, you are more likely to stick to your budget and will know when you are exceeding your projected budget as well.

Develop a plan for your savings

On the other hand, it would also be a wise idea to create a plan for your savings. How much do you need to save in order to continue growing? How much do you need to save for whatever unexpected expenses you may have? Allot a certain portion of your earnings for your business’ savings, as you never know when you will need it.

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Financial Aggression – When it Pays Not to Save

Trading ForexFinancial writers are proponents of caution. And this is a sensible way to be. Most finance blog readers are young enough to set money aside and watch it grow for a long time.

But, this method assumes quite a lot about the individual: 1) That you won’t find a better rate of return on your investment through your own study, 2) That you are uncomfortable with bigger-than-average risk and, 3) that you don’t see yourself as your primary investment strategy.

Of course, I will always advocate a certain amount of conservativeness in investments, but I also think it pays to be a bit more aggressive with some of your money, especially if you are healthy and young.

  • Find a Better Return on Investment. If the entrepreneurial spirit runs in your blood, you may see a much better rate of return, in the long run, from starting a business than investing in mutual funds. Some people don’t know they have it in them until they try. But when you get that first taste of money that you earned through your own hard work and ingenuity, it’s hard to turn back. Consider using some of your savings or investment capital to make a business dream come true. If it pays off, you may end up living a life you never before imagined.
  • Be Willing to Accept Big Risk in Some Areas. As people age, they aren’t able to maintain the same degree of risk they did as young people. But if you have a lot of life ahead of you, you will be able to recover from a momentary stumble, if in fact you do fail. There’s a lot to learn from failure and, getting up and doing it again, you are much more likely to succeed because of your experience. In practical terms, this may look like withdrawing your IRA contributions to pay the down payment on a house, or having CIYA annuity buy up your structured settlement, using the lump sum to start a business. Generally, these aren’t actions a financial advisor would push you to, but personally, you may be able to handle it. And thrive from the choice.

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Discounts – Not Just Another Post On How To Make Money

Rob Pivnick, Author “What All Kids (and adults too) Should Know About . . . Saving & Investing

Outlet malls may not be as great a deal“How’d you get that for free?” “You got a discount on that…how?”

To use a cliché, I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard something like that – that would be a real money-making tip. Sometimes, one of those questions is followed up with advice that I should write a book about all my money saving tricks.

My response has always been that any book I wrote would just get lost in the sea of other crappy books on how to save money. I did, however, write a more thoughtful book on good saving and investment habits, “What All Kids (and adults too) Should Know About . . . Saving & Investing.

But, this article focuses on the short term win – how to get discounts when purchasing retail.

With a bit of insight into the mind of a salesperson, this post sheds light into why people might agree to give something for free – that allows us to more successfully seek items for free or obtain discounts. And since not too many of us on are on unlimited budgets, with holiday shopping upon us, you might actually save yourself some real dollars.

These are real money saving tips, strategies and methods that work – based on tried and true experience and human nature. It isn’t a narrative on wants versus needs. Nor does this article touch on life advise ideas like “set a budget and stick to it,” “downsize your house,” “don’t buy the latest expensive trend” or “cut back on your vacations.”

If that’s what you’re looking for, buy a self-help book. This article details a concrete method to save money on just about every purchase thanks to asking for a discount.

And it is simple: Just ask. Really, just ask for a discount.

Aside from the other beneficial coupons and discounts detailed elsewhere on the Living on the Cheap site, this simple technique works for various reasons:

  1. the general foundation of customer service is to please the consumer,
  2. most folks who work retail either (a) don’t have an ownership interest and don’t care if they give something away or (b) simply don’t know that they may not be allowed to give you the discount you’re seeking,
  3. people generally want to make others happy and will gladly give you free stuff just for asking, and
  4. people don’t like confrontation and will avoid it at all costs (which means giving you the discount you’re seeking).

Ben Franklin was way off when he said that a penny saved is a penny earned. If you pay any taxes, then a penny saved is actually much more than a penny earned . . . that’s because it would take you much more than a penny to net a penny for your savings.

For example, if you’re in the 15% federal tax bracket, you have to earn close to $1.18 to put $1.00 in your pocket – so you would actually “earn” much more than the amount you save.

Ask For a Discount and Ye Shall Receive

People want to be accommodating. And people generally don’t like conflict. So you’ll find that more often than you thought you would, you’ll get free stuff just for asking. Ask nicely. And smile. It will make your wallet fatter.

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How a Master’s in Public Administration Can Help You Run the Show

Masters of Public AdministrationEarning a Masters of Public Administration offers you the opportunity to become your own boss. In the process of gaining your degree, you’ll learn much more than how to communicate with employees and the public.

You’ll learn how to form limited liability corporations and how to use a trademark to differentiate your brand. And if you don’t want to build a company from scratch, there are several jobs in both the public and private sectors where a Masters of Public Administration will boost you to the top.

Below are only a few examples of how an MPA can lead you to running the show.

Masters of Public Administration Jobs

City Director

The city director oversees the daily operations of all city departments and staff. The city director is also responsible for maintaining the city budget, and creating a proposal that the city council will consider and possibly approve.

Most of today’s city directors have obtained a Master’s in Public Administration and have several years of experience leading various branches within local government.

Community Health Director

Though someone with a Bachelor’s degree could gain employment as a community health director, most communities prefer a graduate degree. While an MPA isn’t a specific job requirement, the courses a graduate will have completed compliment the skills required to get this job.

Strong communication, team building, public speaking, and organizational skills, are among the skills this director will need. An MPA arms you with these as well as the ability to design and carry out programs designed to promote health and prevent disease.

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Simple Steps to Keep Energy Bills in Check in Canada

Keep Your Electricity Bill Check In Line

Keep Your Electricity Bill Check In LineCanadians use energy to heat water, operate appliances and cool, heat and light their homes. Heating and cooling account for much of the total household energy usage, but households can keep your electricity bill check in line over the winter.

They also use a great deal of energy for running appliances and other devices. Sources of energy include natural gas (47% of households), electricity (37%), oil, propane and wood.

The rising costs of natural gas and electricity as well as their impact on the environment call for householders to curb their energy consumption to cut energy costs and reduce their environmental impact. Factors such as household size, climate and fuel prices affect energy consumption.

Keep Your Electricity Bill Check In Line

In spite of these factors, every household could implement steps to reduce overall energy consumption and watch your electricity bill check. Consider the following suggestions to watch your electricity bill check and save money on your electricity this winter.

Cut Phantom Power

A great deal of your energy consumption might be due to phantom power, which is the electricity that keeps electronics on standby. Your computer, microwave, television, game console, cordless phone and other plugged-in devices use energy even when you turn them off.

While they won’t consume a lot individually, the phantom loads add up collectively over time and account for 15% of your overall electricity usage. A programmable power bar presents one of the simplest solutions for reducing phantom power. Use it to charge your electronics, and then turn them off in one click.

Change Your Lights

Switch to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and use 75 percent less energy than your standard bulbs. The average Canadian household has approximately 30 light fixtures, which can add up to $250 for lighting every year.

Replace the bulbs in high traffic areas, and you’ll save at least $30 yearly. CFLs cost more than standard bulbs, but they last longer and pay for themselves in energy savings in a few months. Remember to turn off the lights in vacant rooms, and you’ll save even more on your electricity bills and keep those energy bills in check.

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Is Geopolitical Risk A Danger To Your Retirement?

Is Geopolitical Risk A Danger To Your Retirement?

Is Geopolitical Risk A Danger To Your Retirement?Your retirement account is most likely the most important investment account you’ll ever have. The reality is that we work incredibly hard to retire; spending the vast majority of our lives working and saving so that we can enjoy our golden years. However, in times of geopolitical risk, unrest, and war, several people lose everything they’ve worked for; forcing them to work long into their retirement years.

The threat that geopolitical risk and unrest is becoming to retirement investments and how converting your 401k retirement plan and other qualified retirement accounts to gold can help protect everything you’ve worked for.

Is Geopolitical Risk A Danger To Your Retirement?

Russia vs. Ukraine

The first geopolitical issue on the chopping block today is the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine over the Crimea Peninsula. The Crimea Peninsula is property of Ukraine.

However, Russia claims that they have legal rights to the strategic land. As a result, months ago, Russia brought troops to the Crimea Peninsula. Since this move, we’ve seen military action from rebels and Russia and corresponding responses from Ukraine.

In an effort to end the crisis, the western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia for their aggression toward Ukraine. In response, Russia refused to trade many food products with western countries; ultimately leading to more financial troubles for the Eurozone.

In the beginning of this conflict, it was a major part of the stories we heard in the news. While news coverage has died down a bit, the conflict between the two countries is very much alive.

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