3 Steps To A Debt Free Life

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The average household in USA is $155,000 in debt, according to NerdWallet. To a third of Americans, borrowing is always very easy but paying back on time becomes a fist fight. It is in no way a secret that the issue of debt is so far an alarming problem. To the rescue, debt management organizations have come up to equip traders with various money saving ideas as one of the many steps leading to a debt free life.

Differentiating between good and bad debts can go a huge mile in cutting on unnecessary debt. About 46% of Americans, between months carry some kind of credit card debts accumulating to $798 billion. Categorically, this is a bad debt as it is not purposed for investment but passive spending.  This worsens with the further sum of a 13% interest charge and the many errors often occurring on your credit card bills. Fortunately, the Fair Credit Billing Act has since come in to protect consumers from such errors.

Disputing Errors On Your Credit Card And Unfair Billing

Does your credit card debt look exaggerated? You can always evaluate it to look out for errors. These might include identity theft and unfair billing such as additional charges, double charges and deceptive pricing. You can further dispute these errors to minimize your debt. The Fair Credit Billing Act directs the various credit reporting agencies to attend to your disputes through investigation. They are also required to provide you with your credit card report at least once every year for you to look out for errors.

After you go through your report and identify the errors, learn how to write down dispute letters and do so for each error. You will also need to send a demand letter to the merchant for the case of unfair pricing. Make sure never to dispute online. These bureaus often take the furnisher’s word over yours. You must then include all evidence including receipts in your letters and mail them to both the bureaus and furnishers. Never take no for an answer.

Debt Consolidation

This option will work in minimizing your monthly payments, cut on your interest rates, secure your credit card score and ultimately help you do away with your debts in less time. It combines your many unsecured debts into a single bill. You can thus pay up for all using a single check. This way, you minimize often occurring mistakes such as late payment and incorrect figures as well as hefty bank transactions.

Minimize Debts By Avoiding  More Debts

An effective way of cutting on your debts is by first avoiding any additional debts. This can only mean identifying the underlying causes of your current debt. Among them mainly being mishandling of credit cards and living beyond your budget. It is important to keenly watch what you buy with your credit card. Make sure it is a necessary purchase. This is made easier by living on a budget and sticking to it. This will definitely give you enough room to work on clearing previous debts.

These options might not be a quick fix for your debt. However, more  importantly, they will eventuality get you out of it. This is only if done correctly. After all, ignoring your debts will only make them worse. Finding new ways to generate income is also great for managing debt. Cash from your side hustles could be directed to clearing debts. They could also fund businesses instead of seeking out loans.

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Personal Finance Myth Busting

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The management of
personal finances is something that most of us learn in bit parts. Unless our parents took it upon themselves to explain the ins and outs of financial management, managing this side of our lives is a constant learning curve.

As a result of this, financial knowledge across the general populace is… well, less than ideal. People learn what they have to learn to get by, but ignore the ins and outs that can make a real difference to your financial situation. In this atmosphere, it’s inevitable that certain myths have the ability to rise to the surface. These personal finance myths, that hundreds of thousands of people believe to be true, can be incredibly problematic when it comes to financial management.

So, it’s time to bust the myths to help ensure that your financial management is always as good as it can possibly be. Here are four of the most common myths, as well as an explanation on why these “common knowledge” sentiments should actually be ignored…

MYTH: People with excellent credit scores don’t have credit cards or debt

REALITY: You need to have credit cards, loans, and even debts for a good credit score.

The reason for this is simple: your credit score is a reflection of how good a customer you have been in the past. Creditors use this to judge how good a customer you will be in the future. If you don’t have a financial history — such as a credit card or debt — then they can’t judge if you’re a good customer or not, because there’s no track record on which you can be judged. Using a credit card sensibly is the best way to maintain good credit; read through credit cards reviews to find a card that works for you, use it for basic purchases, and pay it off in full every month, and your credit score will blossom.

MYTH: Debt is always bad

REALITY: Debt can be bad, but it can also allow you to further your life in a way that would otherwise have not been available to you. Debt can be beneficial if the debt was incurred for a specific purpose, such as a car to allow you to seek work with a longer commute, or funding your education. If debt is productive and manageable, then it isn’t inherently bad.

MYTH: Pay off highest interest debts first

REALITY: Paying off the highest interest debts may be beneficial in a financial sense, but research has indicated that such a strategy isn’t as useful in a psychological sense. Instead, you should pay off the smallest debts first, as this helps you to feel like you’re making more progress with your debts, and this helps you to focus.

MYTH: Budgets aren’t necessary if you’re financially secure

REALITY: Budgets are necessary for everyone, and can ensure that those who are financially secure stay that way. Learning to budget is one of the most useful personal finance skills you can learn.

In conclusion

Now that you know the truth behind these common myths, the management of your own personal finances should be a breeze!

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Easy Ways to Save Money (Without Changing Your Lifestyle)

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Most of the time, when you read articles and blog posts about saving money, you’re bombarded with lots of advice that require you to vastly change your lifestyle if you want to have more money in the bank. You’ll be told to stop buying your veggies at the store and grow them at home instead or to cut the cable and start reading more books instead of watching the TV; some people will even advise that you cut your own hair! Although there is nothing wrong with these tips, and they will undoubtedly save you money, they aren’t what you want to hear because they are asking you to change your lifestyle too drastically.

The good news is, you can save money without changing your lifestyle very much at all. Here are some pretty painless ideas that will help you to save more money every month while pretty much maintaining the kid of lifestyle you have now:

Turn Down the Temperature

If you turn down your thermostat temperature down by just three degrees, unless you experience a sudden arctic blast, you are unlikely to notice the difference in your home’s coziness levels, but you will definitely save at least 10 percent on your energy bills, which depending on how much you pay each month, could represent a significant saving!

Switch Power Suppliers

As long as the lights come on and you can heat your home, you don’t really care where the energy come from right? It won’t make any difference to how you live your life, will it? So, start looking around for the best electricity and gas prices available to you and make the switch. There is no reason to be loyal to the power company when you could save tens of dollars every month by switching, so do it now.

Determine the Best Time to Do the Laundry

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Many power companies run peak and off-peak hours and if your run your power-guzzling appliances like the washer and dryer during off-peak hours, you can save lots of money. This is a really easy lifestyle change to make because the laundry needs to be done no matter what and switching it to a later hour is unlikely to affect your lifestyle very much at all.

Turn Stuff Off

Before you leave the house, or when you aren’t using it, turn everything from the TV to the lights off. Leaving stuff on when you aren’t using it, and certainly when you aren’t even in the house is madness from a money-saving perspective, and it isn’t exactly good for the planet either!

If you’re concerned about maintaining the illusion that someone is home to deter burglars, then install a few energy efficient LED lamps in your home and connect them with a timer-based power strip, so the lights will come on for a little while when it gets dark.

Start Planning Your Meals

One of the most common ways we waste our cash as a nation is by shopping without a grocery list, particularly if we do so when we’re hungry. Why? Because when we don’t have a list we tend to buy all kinds of random things that may or may not feed us for a whole week in way that makes sense, and when we’re hungry, we tend to throw a lot more junk into the cart. By working out, then, what we plan to eat for a whole week and creating a list that contains only the ingredients to make those meals, we can save money. We’ll probably save a few pounds from being added to our bodies too!

Check the Unit Prices

While we’re on the subject of grocery shopping, don’t be fooled into thinking that the item with the lowest sticker price is the one that represents the best value – often it is not. You see, when you’re comparing like items, you need to compare the unit price, not the sticker price to see which represents true value for money. You’d be surprised how much you can save simply by doing this.

Bulk Buy

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Waiting until non-perishable goods that you use regularly go on sale – things like toilet paper, trash bags and dried beans and pulses – and then buying them in bulk is another smart way to save dollars without changing your lifestyle.

Use Coupons

When you’re buying anything, whether it’s groceries or electronics, look online for coupons first. It’s never been easier to find coupons and using them means you can keep buying the things you love, maintaining your current lifestyle, for less. You know it makes sense.

Make Do and Mend

Instead of immediately tossing that dress when the seam split or those shoes when the sole comes away if they are in otherwise good condition, mend them instead. You’ll save bags of money when you don’t immediately toss stuff because it’s no longer perfect and you’ll learn a few handy skills along the way too.

Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly

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If you’re looking for a good way to cut the cost of running your vehicle, then as well as shopping around for the best gas prices, you should be checking the pressure of your tires regularly too. What a lot of people don’t realize is that when you’re tires are at the optimum pressure, your vehicle runs more efficiently, burning more gas per mile than a vehicle where the air pressure is lower than it ideally should be.

Cancel those Memberships

If you actually go to the gym regularly and if you actually watch Netflix quite often, then they’re probably worth holding on to, but if you don’t, then cancel those memberships right now. Why are you paying money for something you don’t use? Most of the time, you only have to click a button to stop paying, and you’d be foolish not to!

Lifestyle changes are sometimes necessary when it comes to saving money, but as you can see, there are lots of really easy tweaks you can make to maintain the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to and beef up your bank balance at the same time!

 

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Easy Ways To Manage Your Money

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School is great for many things, but there are some things that it doesn’t prepare us for, and managing money tends to be one of them. Being good with money and being able to manage it is essential if you want to live a comfortable life and be able to have some money left over for vacations or trips or even just to have a meal out once in a while. When you have good financial skills, life suddenly becomes a lot easier. So if you want to improve your financial habits, here are some easy ways to manage your money.

Don’t Spend Without Thinking

If you need to make a large purchase (or any purchase really), then stop and think before you go ahead. Can you afford it, or do you just want it so much that you’re persuading yourself you can? If the item needs putting on finance, think about how that will impact your monthly outgoings; even if it is only a small amount for that one item, if you have many small amounts going out of your account then it will soon add up and could become unmanageable. Make sure that you really can manage the payment or payments, and ensure that the purchase won’t leave you short between now and next payday.

Make A Budget

Making a budget is not everyone’s idea of fun, and it’s true that picking through all your outgoings and noting them all down, listing out expenses, adding everything up, and making sure you haven’t forgotten anything isn’t an ideal way to spend an afternoon. However, once that budget is complete and you can see exactly where you are spending your money, you’ll be glad you went through with it. You’ll be able to see where there are things you’re paying for that you don’t need, and when you spot them, you can cancel or reduce those payments. You may end up being able to save a large amount of money on your monthly bills in this way. Check the budget on a regular basis to ensure that it all still holds true. If you make a purchase using payment plans or pay a credit card or loan off completely, make sure you adjust the figures to show your new potential spending or savings amount.

Go Unbudgeted

We’re not contradicting ourselves here – it’s important to budget and to stick to what you’ve got, but it’s also important to have fun. So try to keep a certain amount of money to one side per month which you can use in whatever way you want; you might get takeout or go to a restaurant, perhaps you’ll see a show or buy some new shoes. It doesn’t matter what it is because that’s the point; it’s fun money. This money doesn’t need budgeting minutely, as long as you know how much you’ve got to play with.

Get An App

Using financial planning apps to track your spending a wonderful idea. Not only are they easy to use, but they provide you with a lot of insight into how and why you spend money, and this could help you save more in the long term. It’s the little purchases you make each month that add up into a problem and can cause over-spending because they don’t seem like such a big deal when you’re handing over the cash or swiping your card. Using an app means that every time you spend money you can make a note of it (or, if it’s connected to your bank account it will do it automatically), then categorize your spending. This way you can manage your money much more easily.

Shop Around

Thanks to the internet and the plethora of online stores, it is likely that you will be able to compare your potential purchase before you commit to paying for it. This way you can make sure that you are paying the lowest price you can. Be sure to take any shipping and handling costs into account as these can make what looks like a great deal become a lot more expensive. As well as shopping around for the best bargains you can also look for coupons and discount codes or even cheaper alternatives to what you were going to buy. A good idea is to put the difference between what you paid and the most cost of the expensive version of the item into a deposit account; you’ll be more likely to look for cheaper ways to buy when you know you’ll be able to put more into your vacation or clothing account.

Save Up

Today is all about instant gratification; if we see something and we want it, we get it. However, this way of thinking can mean that many of us end up in financial difficulty, overspending on things that we don’t need or even particularly want. If you do want something, then the best way to buy it is to save up for it. It will, of course, take longer, but it will be worth doing because you’ll know as you buy it that you worked hard to get it; there will be a greater degree of satisfaction in that. Not only that, but you’ll know you won’t have overspent and left yourself short, and neither will you have to pay the interest that would be due if you bought the item on a credit card. Another bonus in saving for something is that by the time you have the money you may not even really want it anymore, so you can spend your money on something else.

Limit Your Credit Card Use

If you aren’t great with money then limiting your credit card usage is a clever idea. Many people run out of cash and then turn to credit, but they don’t give any thought to how they will pay anything off, or how long that might take them. Credit cards can be useful; they can actually build credit, for example! However, the key is to pay off as much as possible – preferably the entire balance – every month. If you limit your credit card spending and make the largest payments you can, then you’ll realize that although perfect in an emergency, it’s far wiser not to use them for everyday purchases.

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Shopping Smart To Save Money

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Everyone looks for ways to save money in every aspect of their lives. And it’s no wonder with the economy the way that it is, and even with living wages slowly increasing, it’s never at the same rate. And there always seems to be another bill to pay for, or a surprise one that forces you to dip into your hard-earned savings. But, at least they are there. So many people get into debt through depleting their savings and needing to find further funding. Which makes building up those savings again even harder. But it all begins with finding the money to save in the first place.

Apart from the essential bills, there are always more things we pay out for – like phones, Netflix and shopping. And you should be allowed to have those luxuries, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t save money while still having the things you want.

Online

The issue with shopping online is that you can’t judge the quality of the product until it has been delivered to you. And so you might be spending money on something that isn’t up to standard, plus shopping online can be hard to return products when buying through independent sellers, meaning that you can’t get your money back. Which is way it can be the better option to buy through the big, well-known brands. This way you are aware of their reputation, and they usually have a straightforward return policy. However, to save the most while shopping online, you should always look for the best deal, and to do that, you must shop around. Smaller sellers and e-commerce stores often have reviews written through sites like https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/dealdash.com, where you can get a clear idea of the store and it’s products. Bookmark the pages you’re interested in and compare the prices – and if it is approaching the end of a season, why not wait for a few weeks and see if the item you are looking at will go on sale.

Clothes

When buying clothes, either in store or online, the main thing to consider is quality. Luckily if you go in store you can feel the material and know pretty quickly whether it’s going to last. Fashion trends come and go, but staple parts of your wardrobe are always worth spending a little extra on. Coats and shoes take a big brunt of day to day life, so make sure you’re buying things that are going to last. Online, again the risks are there with independent stores, but everyone tends to have a favoured clothes store that they can rely on. You should always look to shop in the sales and to learn how to do minor repair work – if there is a split seam or missing button, most stores offer a discount on the product – you can find some basic sewing tips here http://www.threadsmagazine.com/2012/04/27/simple-fixes-and-mending-techniques. Buying in store rather than online also give you the chance to try on the product before buying, meaning that you will only spend money on something you know fits and looks good on you. Yes online you can always return – but that missing money for a few weeks might make all the difference. As always – look for the best deal by shopping around. Do your research online and then visit the stores in person to make sure that you are getting the right value for money.

Food

Food shopping isn’t really a luxury, however it is an expense where you buy luxuries. Swap out your branded products and try the store’s own – do it for a week and keep the swap permanently if you can’t tell the difference or prefer the non-brand product. When in the store you can do one of two things to help keep costs down; the first is that you simply buy what you need – no more and no less. If your meal plan (which you should definitely have) calls for two peppers, then only pick up two peppers rather than a pack of four. The second option is to bulk buy sale products. If a cereal your family eats all the time is on a buy one get one free then bulk buy that product and stockpile your long-life products. On top of these practices, you might want to look into coupons. You don’t have to go overboard and end up on that TV show, but you can save a lot of money through using some in your weekly shop.

Furniture

Shopping for furniture can be pretty straightforward; find the sale and buy what you need from the sale. Furniture needs to be hard wearing and last a lot longer than a new top would. The quality of materials here is so important; if it’s a sofa, for example, you will have people hopping on and off it constantly for the next five years. Food and drink will be spilled and naps will be taken – so you need to make sure that what you are buying is going to last. You can buy decent second hand furniture online through sites like ebay.com, and the item can be cheaper and just as good as buying it new from the shop. But, once again, you don’t know what is wrong with the product, if anything, nor can you return the items if it doesn’t work properly, it breaks or if it simply doesn’t fit.

 

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Set Yourself Up for the Future

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The future is a scary place, but you have to learn to accept it. There’s no going back or staying in one place. If you want to feel more comfortable with the passage of time, creating a plan for your future can help you a lot. Set yourself up for the future you want, so you know where you’re going.

Create a Life Plan

Creating a plan for the rest of your life might be a little ambitious. However, a lot of people think about what they want to do with the next five or ten years of their life. Sitting down to set some goals and then some smaller objectives is a smart idea.

Decide What Matters to You Most

Everyone has different priorities in life. For some, it’s having a family. For others, it’s earning a lot of money or enjoying their career. Whatever makes you tick, decide what matters most and how to get what you want.

Think About Your Finances

Even if you want to spend the rest of your life doing good for others or traveling the world, money is important. You at least need enough to support yourself while you do whatever it is you want to do. So it’s essential to think about your finances of the future.

Complete Your Education

A good education can set you up for a bright future. If you want to have a bright future ahead of you, getting to a level of education that you’re comfortable with will help you. Choosing the right things to study is an important part of your education.


Infographic On How to Choose an Online Graduate Degree

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Where Are You More Likely To Bag A Bargain Online Or In Store?

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Family life doesn’t come cheap, does it? That’s why so many people make it their priority to find ways to cut the cost of their monthly outgoings. The fact is that although running a home and purchasing all of the items that you need to get by can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. If you are clued up when it comes to how you spend your money and where you shop, it is possible to cut your living costs low.

 

When it comes to cutting living costs, one of the most common questions asked is what the best way to shop is – online or in store. When it comes to bagging a bargain, people often wonder whether it is best to shop online or in store for making the largest savings. It can be difficult to know which option is best, as both have their pros and cons and different deals on at different times.

 

Bearing this in mind, below is a comparison of shopping online vs. shopping in store, to help determine which options offers the best bargains. For everything that you need to know about finding the best deals and bagging the most amazing bargains, read on.

 

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Bargain hunting when shopping in store

Despite the fact that the internet is an incredible resource for shopping and a whooping 70 percent of shoppers do the majority of their shopping online, for many people stores still have an appeal. If you prefer to shop in store, then you may be wondering whether you are able to bag as many bargains in store, as you can online.

Believe it or not, it is possible to make some incredible savings when shopping in store; it’s just a case of knowing what steps you need to take to do so. The fact is that if you take the time to look for all of the best ongoing deals, for instance, you can easily reduce the cost of your shopping. It’s just a case of knowing what deals are available to you and how to take advantage of them.

Coupon clipping is a great way to reduce the cost of your spending when hitting the shops. You can find coupons in magazines, promotional leaflets, and online, so take the time to browse for them. When you find coupons that you can’t use yet, don’t chuck them away, store them in a folder and save them for the future. Coupon clipping can be a great way to cut costs and keep your shopping as cheap as possible when shopping in store.

Another way to reduce the cost of shopping in store is to take advantage of sales. A few times a year, companies run sales offering 10, 20, 30, 40, and sometimes even 50 percent off. Sign up for email alerts from all of your favorite stores, so that you are always alerted to any sales that are about to start, and don’t end up missing out.

Make sure to sign up for the loyalty cards of any store that you shop at regularly. Each time that you go shopping make sure to scan your loyalty card to get a small percentage of money knocked off the price of your shopping or to collect points to convert into money or vouchers at a later date.

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Sales shopping when looking online

When it comes to saving money when shopping online, there are lots of useful hacks that you can take advantage of. It’s not just a case of paying the price that you see, as a quick Google of the store that you want to shop at and the term ‘deal’ or ‘voucher code’ and you can often stumble across a code that will reduce the price of your shop.

Then there is the fact that a lot of the time, items are cheaper to buy online, particularly when you shop on websites like Amazon and eBay, or choose to use online auction sites like Deal Dash. Resources like https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/heres-how-dealdash-is-revolutionizing-the-online-auction_us_5a5e8566e4b03ed177016ec0 can help you to learn more about these kinds of sites and how you can take full advantage of them to make the largest savings. The fact that you can pick up lots of items online for a much lower price than in-store, does give online shopping an advantage over in-store shopping.

In addition to this, there are often various websites that have discount codes and vouchers that you can take advantage of to cut the cost of your shopping. Sometimes these vouchers provide a two for the price of one deal, a 10 percent off deal, or a free shipping deal, each of these help to reduce the cost of your shopping. If there isn’t a voucher available on the site itself, it’s just a case of taking the time to do some Googling to see what there is available on other websites. It is important to remember that there are whole websites dedicated to deals, discount codes, and vouchers, so more often than not, if you need a voucher, you should be able to find a suitable one.

Of course, that being said, when you shop in-store you don’t have to worry about the cost of shipping, so shipping is actually an additional expense to add to the cost of your shopping. However, should you get a coupon code that gives you free shipping, then this is not a problem that you need to worry about.

Often, online sites have more deals available at any one time that high street stores. You may even find that a high street store that also has an online store will have a sale online but not in store. So in many instances, shopping online can be a fantastic way to save – always make sure that before you purchase something in-store, you check the price online, as well as any deals available.

Another major benefit of choosing to shop online is the fact that online shopping makes it much easier to compare prices. There are various comparison tools that you can use online to ensure that you are purchasing an item from the site that offers the best deal. However, when it comes to shopping in store, comparing prices becomes much more difficult as you have to go from shop to shop to do so.

The fact is that where you are more likely to bag a bargain depends on when and where you are shopping. Both online shopping and shopping in store come with a range of pros and cons, so it is difficult to determine which option is the best one in terms of cutting costs. Often, it depends on your personal preference – usually, wherever you choose to shop you can find deals, it’s just a case of putting in the effort to do so. Want to make larger savings online? Resources like https://www.blesserhouse.com/2017/06/10-sneaky-ways-save-money-shopping-online.html can help.

The key to saving money is taking the time to shop around. Instead of deciding what you want and choosing to purchase it from your local high street or online, take the time to do some research first. Look at what deals are available to you, compare prices, and make a decision about where you buy from based on where you can get the best deal from.

However, that being said, online shopping is often easier when it comes to looking for deals. This is because it is much simpler and more straightforward to compare prices online, hence why it is easier to find all of the best deals when shopping online.

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Turning Your Crafting Hobby Into A Small Online Business

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You may have had plenty of your friends and family compliment you on your talent and skills, and ask why you have never thought to turn it into a business and sell your product. It could have been a thought you’ve kept in the back of your mind, not having the confidence to act upon it until now. Either way, there is a market out there for everything – especially personalised canvas bags, cross stitch family portraits, and creative bookmarks for the reading lover. If you are just starting out, here are some tips and tricks for creating your own successful online business.                                  crafts-1845686_640 (Source)

Create A Website

The first thing you will need to do is set yourself up a platform to sell from. You will need to create a unique brand that is easily recognisable, and an easy to navigate website to take your orders. It will need to be tried and tested – especially if your product is personalisable – to ensure you are able to get enough information to complete the order successfully. Think about the websites you like to order from – what are the qualities that make it an enjoyable shopping experience? Is it the product layout? The simple checkout options? Make a list of all your preferences and take them into account when designing your own website. If you have little experience, you can always source a website designer to help you create your perfect website.   

Market On Social Media

Join an online community for your business where other similar small businesses can support each other and share work. It is important to use being a small business to your advantage – as many potential customers will be people who choose to support smaller businesses, rather than the corporate big bosses, will be inclined to seek out companies like yours. Also, with the power of sharing on social media, your marketing can reach a high number of people overnight without you having to do any of the legwork yourself. Simply ask all of your customers to put up a review and share on social media, or offer a discount for every customer that shares your business on their social media sites – and you’ll start to gain traction quickly.

Set A Competitive Price

It is a good idea to take a look at other competitive small businesses and see what they are charging for a product similar to yours. Customers will always look for a cheaper option, however, you don’t want to be giving your product away for less than it’s worth. Comparing prices of a few businesses will allow you to choose a price that is still appropriate, but potentially a little cheaper to give you an edge when starting out. As well as your product price you may also want to look at courier prices to ensure you are giving your customers the best price for a safe service. For example: if you have already decided on Shiply courier services for your shipping needs, you may find another company that is cheaper when researching. However, if Shiply has more features in place to ensure your item gets to its destination safely, it may be the more cost-effective option. Taking the time to research your prices is an effective way of making you more money in the long run.

If you are starting out, remember that planning is essential to a successful startup of your online business, and marketing is your bread and butter for bringing customers in. Perseverance is a powerful thing, so just keep going and pushing forward, and your hard work is bound to be rewarded.

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Become A Momtrepreneur: 5 Tips For Starting Your Own Business

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Think that you can juggle being a mom and running your own business? Quite often self-employment can be the best option for moms wanting to earn money. It gives you a certain level of flexibility that working for someone else doesn’t give you – you can still pick up the kids from school or look after a small infant. It’s not easy being a momtrepreneur, but it can give you the best of both worlds, allowing you to spend time with your kids and earn money doing a job you love. Here are some tips to make your solo business venture a success.

Educate yourself in business

Whether you’re becoming a freelance writer or starting your own cake-baking business or dog-sitting, there’s a certain level of business know-how that you’ll need. You’ll have to work out your own taxes, which means doing your own accountancy. You’ll also need to learn to market yourself. You may be able to learn the ropes just by reading blogs and books, or you could consider taking a web-based course such as an online accredited MBA. If you have self-employed friends, make sure to ask them for advice too.

Create a startup budget

Often you have to spend money on a business to make money. If you’re starting a jewellery making business that was once a craft hobby, you may need to pay for additional stock as well as marketing expenses such as building a website or getting some advertising. You don’t want to spend too much money on your business – if it doesn’t work out it will all be for nothing. Having a budget is therefore important. Spend some time creating a financial plan and stick to it. Once you’ve earnt enough money and you’re getting a steady income, you can then start spending more and potentially expand your business.

Have a structure

Whilst you’ll want a certain level of flexibility, it’s worth having a loose structure in order to keep you focused. This could involve arranging to do a certain task each day, something to be completed in the morning and something to be completed in the afternoon. Even if something comes up and you have to rearrange plans, simply having a plan in place will keep you motivated and prevent the procrastination which holds back many new entrepreneurs.

Get help from others

Every entrepreneur, regardless of whether they’re a parent or not, needs help from other people. Whilst you can DIY a lot of aspects of business, a helping hand from professional accountants, marketing companies and couriers can be worthwhile. Sometimes your business will need to take priority over your children if you want it to succeed, so make sure you have a babysitter or a friend/family member on call who you can give your children too, allowing you to focus on your business goals.

Schedule free time for yourself

Don’t let every waking moment be dedicated to looking after children or looking after your business – you need your own free time otherwise you’ll burn out and both your children and business will suffer. Schedule time for yourself to have a bath, catch up on your favourite TV shows or socialise with friends. Your partner could take the kids – or if you’d like to spend time with your partner, hire a babysitter. With the many responsibilities of being a momtrepreneur, sadly you won’t be able to take free time as it comes, so make sure you schedule in this free time.

 

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Why Health Insurance Isn’t A Waste Of Money

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Health insurance; it’s just another wasted expense, right? The way the majority of Americans put it, you would think it to be the case. After all, large quantities of people pay for it year in, year out and don’t make a claim. That’s thousands of dollars every twelve months for a backup plan. No wonder so many US citizens don’t have coverage.

But, because it is expensive and doesn’t always pay out doesn’t mean it’s arbitrary. In fact, health insurance is one of the most important purchases any adult can have in the United States. Why? Why don’t you take a look at the following to find out more?

The Health Service Isn’t Free

Unlike many countries in Europe, the US doesn’t have a national, regulated health service. Sure, the NHS may not be a shining example of public health care, but at least it exists. As such, people in Britain, as long as they are citizens, can walk into any hospital in the country and get treatment free of charge. Americans don’t have this luxury as average people don’t have enough money to afford healthcare. Therefore, an insurance policy is essential to cover any and all ailments which you may have now and in the future. Over the course of a year, it’s better to pay in monthly installments than to pay a lump sum upfront. Even if you are rich and healthy, it’s a risk that isn’t worth taking.

Medical Emergencies Can Bankrupt You

The reason everyone has health insurance, including the rich, is because of the cost of treatment. A general consultation can cost upward of $100 depending on the length and seriousness of the visit. So, medical procedures can exceed thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, you don’t have this money lying around the house stuffed under a mattress, because, well you’re not an investment banker. And, even if you did, you would rather someone else pick up the tab. The great news is that insurance companies pay the bill on your behalf. All you have to do is keep up with the policy payments and they will always have your back. As an American, it’s nice to know a medical emergency won’t impact your finances as well as your health.

It’s Mandatory For Obamacare

President Trump may be trying to dismantle everything Obama did, but he hasn’t succeeded yet. Until such point the Republicans repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, it will stand strong. Designed to help people who couldn’t afford healthcare, Obamacare subsidizes treatment for the poor. However, there is one caveat which everyone should understand: an insurance policy is mandatory. Without one, you will face fines and the cost of looking after your health will rise. Don’t worry because the system is designed to cut insurance expenses, so there should be a policy for everyone. A tip to remember is that health shares and health insurance are not the same things. As a rule, look for a premium that is affordable but that also provides comprehensive coverage.

It Covers Malpractice

The idea that doctors and nurses are infallible is wrong. Like everyone else, they make mistakes and their mistakes are heightened because your health is at risk. No one wants to sue, but sometimes it’s the only option when the medical professionals were negligent. Of course, you don’t need insurance to sue anyone, including doctors and nurses. But, a comprehensive insurance policy makes a medical malpractice lawyer more affordable. As long as it is included in the terms and conditions, the agreement will cover the costs of an attorney. Considering a quality lawyer is expensive, it is a savvy move to include the clause in an insurance policy. Also, your medical malpractice coverage will help should the person in question not have insurance. It’s unlikely, but it’s a nice backup plan nonetheless.

The Price Is Flexible

There is no doubt that the main reason people don’t have coverage is the high cost. However, something most Americans don’t realize is that the price is flexible if you are smart. It’s worth noting insurance companies don’t accept payment plans and want their money as soon as possible. Still, it’s possible to structure the policy so that the cost is low and doesn’t break the bank. For example, a high deductible is an option. The way it works is that you pay until you hit the deductible, and the insurance company pays the rest. This is just one method, but there are dozens more.

Although it seems like a waste, health insurance is essential.

 

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