All Articles Tagged "money saving tips"
The month of February is dedicated to recognizing those who’ve paved the way with innovative ideas and products within African-American culture. We cannot thank those enough who have advanced and changed our lives for the better.
With that said, there are many of us who have been inspired to be innovators or business owners ourselves. Oftentimes, that inspiration fills us with the excitement and determination to get our idea to the forefront. However, it is very common to make money mistakes while doing so. To keep this from happening to you, here are a few tips you may want to consider while giving your business a jump-start.
Have a plan. A builder does not build a home without first developing a blueprint. Don’t get so excited about your end goal that you don’t first put together a business plan. According to Dictionary.com, a business plan is defined as “a detailed plan setting out the objectives of a business, the strategies and tactics planned to achieve them, and the expected profits, usually over a period of three to ten years.” This is very important for a number of reasons. On top of the list: once you have details on paper, you’ll see real numbers and figures, giving you an idea of how much your business is projected to cost to develop.
Make it official. While developing an idea, product, or business you may want to consider getting a patent, trademark and/or filing for incorporation. This can be very costly if you have to hire an attorney. However, there are plenty of ways you can accomplish these tasks at no-to-minimal cost.
- Lawyers for the Creative Arts states that they provide free legal service to financially eligible clients in all areas of the arts — the visual, performing, entertainment, literary, arts education, and more. They help individuals as well as for-profit and not-for-profit organizations with business issues, contracts, copyrights, trademarks, and many other legal areas.
- Do it yourself. If you are not intimidated by legal terms and jargon then you may want to complete the paperwork yourself. Since, we live in the age of technology everything is online. Google should become your best friend. And keep in mind, you should search on a state-by-state basis. Also, each state has a Secretary of State website with forms for you to file your business. All you should have to pay are the state fees that go along with filing your paperwork. Typically, you can do all of the filing directly online. This also goes with filing for a patent or trademark. Visit www.uspto.gov, the official United States Patent and Trademark Office website. While there, you can find articles explaining how you can obtain a trademark or patent on your own.
- Use an online legal preparation service. There are many online legal preparation services that will help assist you in filing for a patent, trademark and/or incorporation. Some of these services use accredited attorneys to file the paperwork for you at a discount. Be sure to do your research on which online legal service is best for you. There are a lot of legitimate services as well as fraudulent ones. So be careful. Our favorite online legal service that we use is Legal Zoom. They will assist with all of the filing and follow-up, and, at a low cost, they have attorneys on-hand to consult with in case of any legal questions or need assistance.
Don’t buy a lot of inventory. If you want to sell a tangible product, don’t go pulling out the cash up front. This can be a huge mistake! Believe it or not, there’s no need to purchase a lot of inventory to store away because you have a product that is going to go flying off of the shelves. Start slow. Find a trade show that will allow you to exhibit a display so that you can meet potential buyers. You don’t have to have physical products in hand to attend or participate in a trade show. All you need is flyers, displays, and a prototype to help get your product or idea in front of potential buyers. Surprisingly, there are a lot of buyers who are willing to put in orders for your product and wait months before they receive the product.
Extra tip: If you’re not ready to present at this year’s trade show of choice, ask the host if there are media passes or volunteer options available for you to attend free of cost to become familiar with the experience.
If you apply these tips, they will pay off in big ways. Anyone can have a dream. But, it’s about making smart decisions in order to make your dream a reality!
Tai and Tarin Perry, the Double Saving Divas, are financially savvy identical twin sisters, and investment bankers turned money saving experts. You can also connect with them on their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube Channel.
Be sure to join us on Wednesday, February 13 for our next Facebook chat with the Double Saving Divas at 3pm ET. Click here and have your questions ready! They’ll be answering live.
Christmas is quickly approaching and there aren’t too many days left to find that perfect gift at the perfect price. We know all to well how life can become very chaotic with trying to juggle work and family responsibilities. This can drive many of us to last-minute Christmas shopping, which can be very costly. You are more likely to purchase on impulse when shopping a week or less before Christmas. Impulse buys can lead you into a financial crisis. This is why many people decide to go on a spending hiatus for the month of January. Consider these helpful tips to take with you while shopping these final days leading up to Christmas.
Seek Out Free Gifts With Purchase Items. For example, most cologne/perfume purchases made at department stores during the holiday season will throw in a free gift, such as a tote bag or fragrance set. This gives you two gifts for the price of one. Use the free gift to give to another family member or even your child’s school teacher to help you stay within your Christmas budget.
Pay Cash. Keep your credit cards at home to help avoid overspending. Companies purposely configure and display their merchandise in a way that will cause most people to get sucked into buying more. Keep in mind, most impulse buys are made while standing in line waiting to pay for your purchases. Always remain focused and keep as much money as you can in your pocket!
“DIY” Gifts. Using your creativity and hand-make your gift is a great way to save yourself some extra cash. Try baking your favorite cake or making a fun jewelry piece. (Other ideas available here.) If you are not the most creative person, consider turning to YouTube to find tutorials that will give you step-by-step instructions on making your ideal gift.
Consider Restaurant Gift Cards. Many restaurants have special promotions on their gift card purchases this time of year. This is where you could purchase a $25 or $50 gift card for example, and the restaurant will give you an additional $15 gift card for FREE! We suggest that you give the “free” gift card as a stocking stuffer or use it yourself the next time you dine at that restaurant. Many movie theaters have these same promotions too!
Don’t forget to give gift receipts to your gift recipients when possible. This will make exchanging less difficult and will also keep the value of the price you paid despite future sales. In addition, be sure to keep your purchase receipts. You may find yourself with gifts left over that you never gave away. Don’t let the items stay in your home to collect dust. Either gift it for another special occasion or take it back to the store in exchange for something useful. While we’re on the topic, make sure you know the store’s return policy. Stores that typically don’t allow refunds will usually have a period of time that they will allow for returns and exchanges during the holiday season.
You can exhale because it won’t be long before presents are being unwrapped with holiday cheer in the air. In the meantime, don’t allow last-minute Christmas shopping to turn your finances into a debt nightmare. Maintain a budget to keep you focused on the real reason for the season. Are you a last-minute shopper? If so, do you have any strategic money-saving tips that help keep you focused on your Christmas budget?
Tai and Tarin Perry, the Double Saving Divas, are financially savvy identical twin sisters, and investment bankers turned money saving experts at . You can also connect with them on their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube Channel.
Join us on Facebook this Wednesday at 3pm for a Facebook chat with the Double Saving Divas. We’ll cover everything from holiday shopping to overall budgeting.
We all want to take great care of our bodies through proper grooming—like manicures, pedicures, haircuts, beauty appointments, etc.–as well as reap the benefits of being physically appealing once said grooming is done. We may not, however, always have the resources to maintain going to professionals to aid us in these endeavors. Luckily, they recognize the value of a partnership with you and many are willing to negotiate ways to gain new business for them, and cost savings for you. It’s a win/win. When looking to save money on grooming services, start with these tips:
Inquire about discounts for frequent visits. Many barbers and hair stylists will offer discounts for their regular customers; they might give you a coupon to have stamped that allows you, after so many visits, to obtain a service for free or at a discounted rate. Others might send e-blasts containing specials exclusively to those on their electronic list. Make sure you’re on it.
Check the website or signage within the shop for day-of-the-week specials. The hair salon where I have my hair straightened offers free deep conditioners on Thursdays. I know this because I check their website frequently, and because it is listed on a dry erase board along with other specials inside the shop. Be on the lookout for deals that might benefit you each time you visit.
Find out if there is a referral program. If a vendor wants to drum up business, he or she may use word-of-mouth advertising (your endorsement) to get people in the door. The incentive for you is often free or discounted services if you send a certain amount of business their way. If you love them, you’re already doing this anyway—why not benefit?
Host a party. In-home parties are becoming more and more popular in the grooming industry. Spa parties, massages, manis/pedis, makeup—you name it: you can get it done at home. Most of the time, there is a host discount if you are able to meet a minimum quota of party attendees for the person conducting the services.
Offer a trade. “Use what you got to get what you want” as the old adage goes. If you have a photography business, a column in a digital magazine, a blog, a marketing company—or any other business where you might be able to help promote your barber, stylist, aesthetician, etc—offer your services. They may consider lowering their rates if you are willing to write about or promote their services to an audience you have already built.
Follow them on social media. The quickest and easiest way to reach out to a brand business or company; or to be among the first to know when they are offering discounts or having a sale, is by engaging with them via their social media channels.
Use social discount sites. Websites like Groupon and Living Social that work with businesses to present special offers to customers are a fantastic resource if you’re willing to pay before you have a need for the service, and if you like trying out new establishments. Sign up for their email lists, and customize the info you want to come to you most often to make sure you can snatch those deals up while they last.
There’s no disputing that growing up is a necessary part of life, but along the way it’s important not to forget the lessons and experiences you had that helped you be the person you are today. There are a lot of lessons you can learn from younger you, and many of them may help you manage your money just as well as the adult financial guides. Savvy Sugar has the lessons from childhood you should continue to take to heart today.
Now that you’re an adult you sit around complaining about how costly everything is. But one thing younger you most likely knew very well is that there are plenty of fun things to do that are free. Make a budget friendly list of free and cheap things to do in your area.
Doing chores for cash when you were younger generally led to a specific goal–you were saving for the latest gadget, to go to a concert or a class trip. You had an end goal in mind and you worked diligently and eagerly towards that goal. The same applies today. Having a goal in mind for saving is a huge motivator to help you stay on track.
Another life lessons from our younger days we knew well was the importance of friendship. Often as we work to make more money and to reach new levels of career success, we leave our friends behind. It never hurts to take an occasional break to spend time with the people we love.
As a kid if you didn’t buy school lunch then you brought your lunch to school. For the on-the-go working professional we often choose to eat out instead, but eating out costs add up big time. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t bring your lunch with you. The good news is you that now that you’re all grown up, you get to pack whatever you want.
Remember when you were little and you spent all day creating a card for mom or dad on their birthday? Now you spend hours agonizing over the right present for a loved one and how you are going to afford it. But as Saavy Sugar points out, the best gifts aren’t always in stores. If you don’t have the money to give the ultimate gift, it’s ok to get creative with a thoughtful gift from the heart.
Do you love the thrill of a sale or get a rush when you realize your favorite brand of jeans has finally hit the sale rack? Well you might be missing out on some important bargain hunting tips that could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year.
With the holidays among us, it’s important to shop smart and save when and where you can. Take a look at these 9 helpful tips to bring out the savvy fashionista in you.
Saving money is one of those things you know you should do but find little fun in doing it…that is until you actually need the money. It’s pretty safe to assume that holding off on a shopping spree, postponing a vacation, or actually putting money away before spending it, is probably far from anyone’s idea of exciting. Still no one said that being responsible is synonymous with a good time.
If the thought of saving borderline depresses you or you can’t seem to come up with ways to consistently put away money, try these ten obvious and not so obvious ways to help you save some money and increase your savings account.
E-readers are all the rage now from the iPad to the Kindle and everything in between. In fact, Harris Interactive did a recent survey that found that 1 in 6 Americans now owns an e-reader. It’s not surprising since you can now download the newest novel delivered to you without leaving your couch. The downside is that if you are a voracious reader, like I am, purchasing all those e-books can get quite expensive. When I purchased my first e-reader, I racked up over $200 in e-books in less than 6 months. However, once I did my research, I realized that ebooks are often cheaper than physical books. Here are some tips to get your read on without breaking your pockets.
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Sometimes the safest, secure ways to hide your cash is not in a personal bank account, but in the privacy of your own home! Yet, there maybe consequences for storing cash in areas where they might be wastefully spent or spotted by the naked eye. The dog could sniff it out or someone else may be lucky enough to find your stash and pocket it for themselves, which is why a clever hideout spot is warranted.
Here are some odd places you may want to keep your loot: Read the rest of this entry »
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What’s a fab girl to do when her wants are excessive and as a result saving usually takes a backseat? Although the practice is hard, the concept is easy: if the fab girl wants to remain fabulous years from now, she better change her habits, live within her means, and have a cushion of savings in case of emergencies.
While the economy is gradually picking up, it’s still a chance that your job may suddenly give you the pink slip, the car you’re almost finished paying off could require some serious mechanical work, or other emergencies occur. For this reason, saving money allots you a peace of mind that even the hautest pair of Christian Louboutins won’t provide if you lose your job or other financial hardships arise.
If you’re like me, you understand the concept of saving and how vital it is to your financial well-being; but still, you love to splurge on your favorite clothes, eat out with friends, and travel as much as your paychecks allow.
So for those who subconsciously consider saving the enemy of fun and flyness, yet still understand its importance, check out these tips to help you begin your financial journey. Some of them are easier than others, but all of them are vital if you’re serious about saving.
Check it out!