Category: Savings

Smart Budgeting Tips and Tricks for Small Business Owners

business budgetCreating and launching your new small business can be a very exciting moment in one’s life. On the flip side it comes with its share of stresses. One such stress that many new business owners face is caused by finances. Starting a new business often requires a lot of upfront capital. According to one serial entrepreneur, Jay Reeder, who has started all kinds of businesses from software companies to an alpaca farm, “cashflow is the most important factor to growing a healthy business.” One way to alleviate some of the stress and financial burden of starting and maintaining a small business is to have a detailed budget to follow. Continue reading to learn seven proven methods to budget for your business wisely.

Let Your Employees Get Involved

It’s understandable to believe that since you are the owner of the business that you need to do everything yourself. Delegating tasks and involving others in your team is something all great leaders do. When budgeting for your business the same principal applies. Gather all your employees up and go over the budget together as a team. Not only will it provide your employees with a sense of camaraderie and importance it will keep them up to speed with what is happening within the business. Employees need to know this information especially if it could possibly affect them. Furthermore, having a few more sets of eyes on the budget wouldn’t hurt. Someone may point out something you’ve missed or point out an item on the budget that could be eating up too much cashflow. Lastly, it is instrumental that employees are well aware of the companies short and long term financial goals and their roles in responsibilities on the path to reaching that goal.

You Still Need to Pay Yourself

As a business owner it is very easy to get too caught up in the budget. Many are so focused on saving and allocating every penny within the business that they simply forget to pay themselves. While part of this is simply forgetting it is also due to guilt. You may feel guilty paying yourself or feel as though you may be taking too much money for yourself. At the end of the day you are another employee at your company and you have to remember to set money aside for yourself.

Identify and Understand Your Risks

No matter what business venture you pursue there are risks involved. Some risks can be serious enough to financially ruin your business and they need to be mitigated. The most effective method for doing so is to identify and plan for both long and short term risks your company may face. Such risks include changes to healthcare and increased premiums and increases in minimum wage. Being in a location that frequently experiences natural disasters can also put a serious dent in your operations and finances. Knowing what risks your company may face and following a strict budget will allow your business to save money for whatever life may throw at it.

Overestimate Your Expenses

For businesses that operate on a project to project format it is detrimental that you over estimate costs for your budget. We’ve all experienced having an unexpected cost or situation arise during a project that causes the initial budgeted amount to be exceeded. By over budgeting a project or job you can protect your business from unexpected financial burden. Often times such instances can cause a business to go under before it even had a chance to develop.

Anticipate Sales Cycles

It is not uncommon for your business to experience ups and downs throughout the year in regards to sales. Depending on your type of business the majority of sales may come during one or two seasons while the remainder of the year is slow. Effectively planning for those downturns is necessary for keeping your business open. During the slow periods its important to keep costs down and to plan for the next anticipated sales spike. It would also be wise to have money set aside while your busy to ride out the slow cycles to prevent your business from falling apart financially.

Time is Money

You’ve heard that phrase all too often. In life and in business especially that saying holds very true. You need to treat time as a commodity and as if it were money. Not accounting for time and how it may affect your business financially can derail any budget. This is especially important if your employees are paid on an hourly basis. Being mindful of deadlines is equally important. Set realistic completion times to ensure that the job is completed satisfactorily and on time.

Don’t Set It and Forget It

Once you have a budget in place it is important to keep a full court press on it. Many business owners simply forget to revisit their budget after it is initially created. This is a mistake that can financially cripple your business. Just like events and happenings in life constantly change so do events and happenings in business. Its important to be flexible and agile and to constantly monitor your budget. This will ensure that you do not go into the red and out of business. Anticipating what will happen next will keep you on budget and help you adapt to the ever-changing world of business.

How to Buy Rewards Points Instead of Waiting to Earn Them

card reward pointsNot many people know but it’s true that you can buy rewards points without having to wait to earn them. This has been a somewhat hidden option all this time. You can actually top up your account by buying points for a redemption. And the best thing is that the cost of doing so is not as unreasonable as you might think it will be.
People can buy points by their Membership Rewards Linked Cards, and at $25 for 1000 points, they’re not as expensive as one might think they’d be. These points are still cheaper than buying from an airline. So in this article, we’ll discuss how you can buy rewards points and why you might want to do that.

Why Buying Rewards Points Makes Sense

The main reason to buy rewards points is to top up your account for a particular redemption. Membership Rewards points happen to a flexible currency. This means you can check how many points you have and how you wish to use them. If you’re short, then you can buy as many points as you want to use them for whatever purpose you intend to use them for.

Buying points to top up your account when you know there’s an airline seat that can be redeemed is another reason to buy rewards points. This way you can secure the seat earlier instead of waiting until you have earned the remaining points from your day to day spends. If let’s say you’re another 1000 points short, then it could take a very long time to earn that many points, and the airline seat that you’re after won’t obviously wait for you for that long.

Important Details When Buying Rewards Points

The process of buying rewards points can easily be conducted over the phone number given at the back of your frequent flyer credit card or charge card. With American Express, you have to buy points in chunks of 1000. There is no limit on the number of points that can be bought. For more details about buying points, you can visit Points Bank.

Whenever you buy Membership Rewards points you’ll have to transfer them or redeem them over to a partner program at the time of purchase. So it’s better if you buy these points with a specific purpose in your mind. Points can be purchased on request immediately, and the transfer of points is also initiated at the same time.

Another advantage of buying points is that if there is any bonus promotion running at the time when you buy points, then the points will be offered to you at the bonus promotion that is being given at that time. However, you won’t be able to earn more points on the purchase of your points.

Buying rewards points is actually very easy. All you have to do is just make an account with Points Bank and state how much points you would like to purchase and for what purpose. These orders usually take 72 hours before your purchased points can be seen in your account.

After The Loan: What To Consider When Purchasing Your First Car

loan for carYour car is perhaps proof that you’re one step closer to your financial independence. However, sometimes you just can’t help but loaning your first car. Loans of course have their respective advantages and disadvantages, and they sometimes play a big role in determining just how your first purchase affects your overall financial situation. Before you decide to do that, however, always remember to have these considerations in mind when purchasing your first car.

Budget Counts

Chances are, you’re going to want a certain car immediately, especially when you get your loan approved. This is why sometimes we tend to immediately go for the dream car by the time we have the loan ready. Try to avoid this. Remember, you can’t take the car home if you can’t exactly pay for it.

● Let the rule of thumb be that you can’t spend more than 25-percent of your income for the cars you have at home. This amount should include everything about the car, including insurance and fuel.

● Try your best to calculate just how much your new car will be affecting your income. If it takes up more than 25-percent of your expenses, now might be a good time to re-assess the kind of car you want.

● Remember, if you have to suffer financially to get your car, then you’re doing the wrong thing. After all, you’re not supposed to suffer in the first place. Find a car with a budget you can adjust.

What Car, Finance Wise?

When we choose cars, we normally pay attention to the kinds of models we need or our preference based on family size. However, perhaps a more important consideration is just what kind of car do we need, based on the kind of finances we have? For instance:

● Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) cars are becoming the more go-to option nowadays thanks to a wide number of lease returns. This means cars more than three years of age are becoming on sale. Three years is actually not bad, considering car depreciation values. There are cheaper CPO cars as well, so make sure you take this into account as well.

● Used cars, however, tend to have a shorter warranty period and a higher interest rate. You also wouldn’t know the full history of the car in question. However, you may be getting your money’s worth, because it can be extremely cheaper than CPO cars.

● Leased cars are probably going to help you secure an upscale car for your budget. However, you don’t get to own the car immediately, and would instead have to pay for it with set terms. Be careful about these terms, though, as they also tend to have strict penalties.

● Brand new cars can be an option for you, though chances are you’d get a car with lesser features based on your budget. Getting this would also mean you have a lower interest rate and full warranty, though. Sometimes, dealerships even offer maintenance and assistance.

CPOs tend to be the go-to choice of a lot of people, since the vehicles that are marked CPO tend to be quite cheaper. Sometimes, these cars also have some duration of warranty left as well.

Narrow It Down Further

Chances are, you’re going to have a selection of cars you want based on the budget you have. You may want to write a shorter list, though, because you have to know by now that there are potentially more expenses that you should expect. You have to take into account maintenance options, fuel, and other expenses you would have with the car. With these in mind, you also have to:

● If your automaker has a website, try to visit it and compare the specs of your car with reviews from other websites. Take note of the features that matter most to you, so you can narrow down your list of prospective cars.

● Take note of what’s called the MSRP, or the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices and take note of invoice prices as well.

● You may want to check the local inventories of your dealership and find out which of these selected cars are in your local vicinity.

● Try to choose the cars that would at least be 5-percent less than the monthly budget you have. This 5-percent will more or less go for repairs, insurance, maintenance, and gasoline.

Be sure to print out or save images of the web pages with important information about the cars you like. Don’t just go to the dealership yet, though.

Ownership Costs Matter

With your short list at hand, try to create estimate costs for each of them and try to see if they fit your budget. There are websites such as Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) or Edmunds (edmunds.com) that have ownership costs in the area, so you can at least narrow your choices down.

● If you want, you can also make a personal calculation for better accuracy. Assess the miles you drive per year, and try to obtain a quote on insurance on the cars you may want to buy. Give the insurance agents the model and make, trim level, and even the engine just to get an exact quote.

● You should also get to learn the invoice price, wholesale price, the MSR, and the asking price whenever applicable. Check third party websites for invoice prices, and while they may not be extremely accurate, try to negotiate for one that is close to what those websites indicate. This is of course, before applying any discounts.

● The next step be you researching all the possible discounts you can get. There are a ton of ads promoting cash-back deals, or discounts to military members, students, and even credit union members. These discounts can also be stacked alongside the cash-back rebates if your preferred model has them.

Secure The Financing Before Visiting Dealers

Remember that dealers want to coordinate your car loan because they also receive a commission on the loans they get to manage. This means you have to secure financing immediately from credit unions or banks in advance, just so you could compare their loans to what the dealership offers.

● A lot of credit people and unions tend to be open to people living in their communities, so this means you don’t necessarily have to be a part of a certain industry or company to join. Credit unions are good options because they tend to have rates that are a few percentage points lower than banks. You may click here for more information about credit people.

● You should also remember that dealerships don’t always offer good deals, no matter how attractive they are. Only about a fraction of car buyers even get to qualify for low-interest deals, which means your chances of getting in on it are low.

● Even if you do get to qualify for the rate, you may be better off with your credit union or bank. Always remember, if you feel like you’re stuck with your finances at this point, it’s not bad to get a consultation with an expert.

Conclusion

Purchasing your first car is an extremely big financial risk which has its advantages and disadvantages. Loans are always a good option if you can’t purchase your car for the full price, but always remember the considerations above before purchasing a car. Always consider the loan as part of your long-term financial plans. What about you? What do you think are other factors when purchasing a car for the first time?

Moving Across The World Shouldn’t Cost You The Earth

moving costsAre you planning on moving abroad sometime soon? Whether you are moving for work and a new position or because you just want to try and start a new life in a new country, there are going to be some big financial burdens that could stand in your way. In fact, the cost of moving to the other side of the world can be so big that some families end up spending their entire life savings on the move. But does it really have to be so expensive?

Thankfully, you might not have to take out your entire savings to pay for your new life abroad. There are some ways you can make the transition a lot more affordable. Read on to find out more!

Ask For Moving Costs To Be Reimbursed

If you are moving because you have got a new job or your current firm wants you to relocate, there is a good chance that they will be able to help you with your moving costs. If the company haven’t mentioned anything to you as of yet, it’s worth asking them to find out if they can contribute to the costs. Sometimes, they might pay for your moving company or shipping costs. Even if they don’t cover all of the costs, they should still contribute a small amount as they are the ones making you move!

Hire Specialist Removal Firms

A lot of work and effort goes into packing up your whole life and shipping it to another country. Not every moving firm will be able to help you with this. But there are some international removalists that specialise in long-distance moves. It’s really worth hiring one of these firms as they will have a lot of experience in this kind of thing. They will advise you on the best form of shipping for your belongings, and will be on-hand to help with the practicalities of moving at each end of the journey.

Be Flexible With Your Moving Date

If you can be, it really is worth being as flexible as possible with your moving date. After all, the price of flights will go up and down depending on the time of year. If possible, you should try and wait to move until your destination’s low season. This will be when fewer tourists will be traveling there, so flights should be cheaper than in the high season.

Consider The Best Way To Transfer Money

It’s not just the practicalities of the move itself that could end up costing you big time. There are some hidden costs that you might forget about, such as transferring all of your money into a foreign bank account. Ideally, you need to wait until the exchange rates are in your favour so that you get as much for your money as possible. Even if this means waiting for a few weeks after you transfer your money, it will be worth it so that you don’t lose out on quite as much cash.

Follow these tips and your move abroad won’t be so pricey!

Moving Office? Don’t Forget These Business Costs

business moving expensesRelocating your office can be a great time for your business, however, it can also cause a few disruptions. Relocating usually means that you’re growing, but you shouldn’t just move without considering everything you need to consider first. For example, have you considered all of the costs that are related with moving offices? You may think you have them all covered, but if you read through the list here, you might be shocked and surprised.

Your Business Budget

When it comes to your business budget and moving office, there may be some delays and oversights – there usually is. Your budget can shoot up unbeknownst to you, especially if you have things that require special handling, like chemicals. Sizeable costs can be misjudged or missed if you’ve never moved offices before, so make sure you look at your industry carefully and create a plan.

Designing Your New Office

Depending on where you move, your new office may need just a spruce up or a full blown makeover. You can always hand over the responsibility by outsourcing, but of course, that’s going to cost much more. It can be worth the cost if you’ll have clients at your offices and you want them to match your company branding.

Consider your office furniture, will you buy new or take your old furniture? You may want a completely fresh start.

Your IT Systems

Your IT systems give you many points to consider. Computer systems are critical for running most businesses these days, and yours won’t be any exception, no matter how little work you actually do online. You need to make sure that you get back up and running as quickly as possible once you’ve made your move. An IT relocation company like https://www.prosyn.co.uk/it-relocation-london.php can help to get your desktops recommissioned and connected to new infrastructure so you can begin business as normal as soon as you’re in your new place. If you don’t want any unplanned business downtime (which could end up costing you more than you bargained for) this is something you must consider.

Communications

It may be worthwhile spending a little to let customers know that you’re moving, too. Letting customers know your moving is only polite, and you can do this any number of ways. Flyers and social media posts can work, and you can put a note at the end of your emails too. You may want to update your website with a notice. Flyers and similar techniques will cost money, while many online strategies can be free. It all depends on where your business is mostly based, but a mixture of techniques is a good idea. You have to keep your customers in the loop. You must let insurance companies and other important companies know too, or you could end up spending more trying to sort a mess out once you’ve let your old premises.

Make sure you remember these business costs when moving office and you should stick to your budget.