Archive for November 2016

How to Handle ?I Wants? from Your Kids During the Holidays

How to Handle ?I Wants? from Your Kids During the Holidays

How to Handle ?I Wants? from Your Kids During the HolidaysAs a parent, the holidays are likely a time of mixed emotions.

Sure, you enjoy the chance to spend quality time with your family, and you love seeing how excited the kids get when they are able to open their presents.

However, you have to balance the budget even during this exciting time of year, which can be difficult to say the least.

If you are going to get through the holidays successfully without ruining all of the hard work you have done on your finances during the year, it is crucial that you manage to tell your kids ?no? on some of the most expensive holiday ideas. Here are some tips to help you handle the ‘I wants’ from your kids during the holidays.

Setting Expectations

Well in advance of the holidays, start to talk to your kids about what they can expect to receive in terms of gifts. You can still allow them to have the fun of looking around for various presents that they can ask for. But make sure they understand that you won?t be able to buy everything in the store all at once.?Ask them to pare down their list to just the few things that they want the most. Then you can pick from options that they are likely to love.

It is never easy to tell your children no. Involving them in the process of picking out presents is a great way to help them see the big picture.

Steer Them in the Right Direction

Depending on the age of your children, you may be able to ?steer? them in the right direction. Point them toward gifts that are fun and yet also affordable. By introducing them to fun presents that come with a lower price tag, you can get them excited about receiving something that you can easily afford.

It isn?t going to be a fun holiday season if you have to stretch your budget all the way to the max in order to pick up the presents that will make your children happy.

Save Up

If you are committed to buying expensive?presents for your kids, you will need to plan well in advance to be sure you can afford to pay cash for them. You don?t want to put these kinds of purchases onto a high interest rate credit card. Plan ahead and save up accordingly so you have the money available to buy the gifts on your list.

One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to tell your children no. But sometimes that is exactly what needs to be done in order to keep the family in good financial position.

Don’t?a disappointing holiday season by just saying no. Work together with your kids to find toys that will make them happy and will also suit your budgetary restrictions. As long as you are smart about the shopping process, the holidays can be fun and affordable at the same time.


Do you hear the ‘I wants’ from your kids during the holidays? How do you handle it?


Photo courtesy of: Paval Hadzinski

What to do When You Dread Budgeting

What to do When You Dread Budgeting

What to do When You Dread BudgetingBudgeting is an ever necessary evil if you have financial goals you are working toward.

Budgets themselves aren?t evil. In fact, they are very useful for things like paying off debt, saving money and more. Budgets can be anything and fit any need.

Having a budget doesn’t mean you can’t spend money. In fact, if you are planning a vacation,?you can use a budget to help save and estimate expenses for your trip. Budgets can be as comprehensive as you need.

As great as budgets are, it can be hard to find the energy and motivation to get excited about budgeting. Budgeting takes discipline. If you are struggling with dread about budgeting, here are some ways to combat those feelings.

Start Small

If you really dislike budgets, start small. Write down your fixed expenses, like rent, utilities, and Netflix, and your fluctuating expenses, like groceries, house supplies, etc. Then write down how much income you bring in. Make sure your expenses don?t exceed your income. That?s it. That’s all you need to do. You don’t have to make budgeting complicated or use a fancy app or tool to help you. All you need is a pen and paper to get started with a simple budget.

Find a Template

Now the above is simple, but it isn?t great for long-term planning. If you want to work toward long-term financial goals, you need to find a budget template to help you plan for those expenses and goals. You can find free budget templates online from several financial gurus and even you favorite personal finance bloggers may have something you can download and use. You might find you have to tweak the template to work for you, but it’s a great place to start.

Hire a Financial Planner

If you really dread budgeting and can?t seem to stick with it on your own, you may need to hire a financial planner. They can sit down with you and help you plan your financial goals whether that?s planning for retirement, saving for college or buying a house. They can draft your budget and help keep you on track. But they won’t be there to help you make the day-to-day decisions. So sticking to your budget is still going to take effort on your part.

Take a Finance Class

If you want to budget and you don?t know where to start, consider taking a finance class. You may be able to find some online classes, or you could look for an in-person class in your hometown. These classes can help you meet other people who are in the same financial boat as you. Then you can help each other with financial accountability.

Keep a Visual Representation of Your Goals

You might have a budget and you might have tried to stick to it several?times, but it?s just not working. One reason it might not be working is because you forget why you are budgeting in the first place. Try having your end goal visible somewhere as a reminder. This usually helps with the discipline part.

If your motivation is to travel, you could tape a picture of your travel destination?on your bathroom mirror, or wrap it around your debit card so you are reminded about it every time you think about buying something not in your budget.

Another option is to draw or print a thermometer and color in your savings or debt payoff. Anything to keep you mindful of the money you are spending will help.

Get Your Family on Board

Share your financial goals with your family. Tell them if you need to cut back on dining out or giving Christmas presents this year because you are trying to pay down debt or save up for a large purchase. They will usually be understanding, and you might even give them the energy to follow their budget better too.

If you’re married, make sure your spouse is on board too. You can?t do it on your own, you’ll need their support for your budget to succeed.


Do you dread budgeting? How have your gotten over this feeling?


Photo courtesy of: Unsplash

How to Fit Communication Tool Investments Into Your Business Plan

How to Fit Communication Tool Investments Into Your Business Plan

How to Fit Communication Tool Investments Into Your Business PlanFor any modern business, the proper communication tools are a must. During the early phases of starting your enterprise, it is wise to think about which ones you are going to choose. Communication has been a deal breaker in business for generations, and is perhaps even more important now that so much sales and trade takes place online. This also means that the methods of communication have changed greatly, so some parts of your business plan will have to be adjusted to fit this.

Software such as video conferencing is a worthy investment for any new company that will pay for itself with the possibilities it opens up. However, since it is still a relatively new trend, not everybody you show your business plan to may understand why it is a part of your projected budget. Here are a few ways you can fit the investment into your investment plan when you are starting out and how it can go a long way towards securing funding for your new venture:

Marketing Plan

Canada Business Network lists the marketing strategy as an integral part of any business plan that should be somewhere near the top, as an enterprise cannot hope to stay afloat for long without good marketing. This is an ideal time to note down how you hope to use your meeting software as a marketing tool as well as a communication device. Using it to contact new clients is one useful thing, but keep in mind the other creative ways you could use it to your advantage. Perhaps you could use it to host a seminar you can share online to build your reputation. Or you could use it to hold a virtual product launch, which will have much more of a memorable impact than sending out a press release document, which can be easily ignored. This will hopefully have the double advantage of generating some marketing ideas and demonstrating how you intend to use the tools you invest in to their full advantage.


Marketing is only one area where money can be saved using conferencing software. Mentioning other areas where you can save a substantial amount of money, making back the relevant expenses in the budget, is also useful. The renting of office space is an obvious example if you are able to work from home and communicate remotely. Transport costs and the expenses of hosting out of town visitors is another. You could also note how you will save on repairs by relying upon your software?s technical support line, save on new equipment by using devices you already own and use regularly, and cut down on phone bills by using your video meeting software in its place. If you go through your projected expenses, you may find plenty more which could be struck off or at least reduced greatly thanks to your conferencing software.

Available Opportunities

Entrepreneur says that another important part of a business plan is to answer how you are going to turn a profit. The obvious answer is finding the best clients you can which will allow your company to grow, and you should note how you plan to use video communication to reach the global marketplace and bring in plenty of revenue to your company, much more than if you relied on the local market alone. Mention also how much of a difference this will make over relying upon older methods, such as e-mail communication, and how using the most up-to-date software will put you at an advantage over others in your field, as many still haven?t adapted to this way of working yet. If you can tap into the opportunities that your competitors are missing out on, you can capture much more potential business than they will.


You don?t need to go into intense detail, but it may be worth giving some clue about how you will use your software for daily operations.?Video conferencing solutions will likely be used not only for client meetings or sales events, but also for day-to-day communication with colleagues, customers, or collaborators. You might even be planning on using it in place of your e-mail program. Projecting the amount of sales you can make directly through the use of online conferencing will go further to demonstrate how you plan to make the most of the investment and why the monthly subscription costs will be worth it.

This should demonstrate why you should include video conferencing software in your business plan and why it will impress bank managers or potential investors who you show your plan to. By demonstrating the savings it will provide your company at a small up-front cost and how useful it will be in day to day operations, it will show what a smart investor you are and make it much easier to secure the funding you require.

Photo courtesy of: jayakrishnan

4 Ways to Make Money Quickly for the Holidays

4 Ways to Make Money Quickly for the Holidays

4 Ways to Make Money Quickly for the HolidaysIf there is one time of year when you would like to be able to make a bit of extra money, it is certainly in the weeks leading up to the holiday season.

For most people, the holidays are the most expensive time of year. Between buying presents, going out for dinners, traveling to see family, and more, the bills around the holidays can certainly add up in a hurry.

To get a jump on this costly season, you should start to think now about how you can make a little bit of extra money to help keep yourself on budget. Consider each of the 4 ideas below and use the ones that are best suited to your situation so you can make money quickly for the holidays.

Have a Sale

Look around your house ? is there stuff in your home just taking up space? Almost certainly, the answer to this question is ?yes?.

If that is the case, consider selling some of this stuff?online in order to raise money that can be used during the holidays. Not only is this plan good for making some extra money on a temporary basis, but it will also help you declutter your house. Even if you don?t think that you have anything worth much money, take a look around anyway. You just might be surprised at what you will find.

Pick Up Extra Hours

Often, the best place to look for more money is the place that already supplies you with your income. Ask your boss/supervisor if you can pick up some additional hours in advance of the holiday season. Working a few extra hours per week might not seem like much when you are already used to working 40 or more hours, but the difference on your paycheck will be noticeable. Of course, while you are asking for additional hours, you could also ask for a raise. That would be even better!

Find a Part-Time Job

With the busy holiday season closing in, many retailers and other businesses will be hiring workers on a part-time basis to fill in the gaps. If you have a schedule with your regular job that allows you to work a part-time job as well (such as picking up hours on weekend days), you could use this method to make some extra money. Look around your local community for part-time work offers so you don?t have to drive too far in order to earn some additional holiday income.

Help Your Neighbors

This is an idea that won?t be feasible for everyone, but it can work nicely in the right situation. If you are handy around the house and have neighbors who could use some help, you may be able to pick up a bit of extra money by offering your services. For instance, you could offer to put up Christmas lights, shovel snow, rake leaves, or any other task that a homeowner may be willing to pay you to do. In addition to making money, this idea is something that can serve to strengthen your ties with the neighborhood, which is always a good thing.


Have you used any of these ideas to make money quickly? What other ideas can you think of to make money quickly?


Photo courtesy of: Tax Credits

5 Ways to Find More Time for a Side Hustle

5 Ways to Find More Time for a Side Hustle

5 Ways to Find More Time for a Side HustleThe infamous side hustle.

These days, it seems pretty common for people to have something they do alongside their day job?to earn extra money. Sometimes it?s a hobby that they have found a way to make a little money?off of, or they might have a “home business” selling something like Pampered Chef or Avon.

Whether you use your side hustle to save?for a vacation or to further your financial goals, making a little money on the side is always a good thing. If you are thinking about trying a side hustle, here are some ways you can find more time for a side hustle.

Wake Up Earlier

Some days it may seem that there aren?t enough hours in the day to do everything you want. But you can add hours to your week by becoming an early bird. By starting your day earlier, you can have an hour or two extra to get some more work done on your hustle. It may seem hard at first, but it usually only takes a few days to get used to waking up earlier.

Utilize Your Weekends

There are a lot of hours during the weekend. By taking a few hours out of your weekend, you can devote time to your side gig instead of a mindless activity like watching TV. You don?t have to spend all weekend working, but by using just a few hours to work on your side hustle, you can make a lot of extra money every month.

Make the Most of Your Evenings

Coming home and binge watching Netflix may sound?great, but it doesn?t allow you to attend to your side business. If you give up this time sucking habit, there will usually be a couple of hours in the evening that you can devote to your side hustle. Finding two hours to work in the evenings gives you an extra 14 hours a week you can devote to making extra money. But even if you only work in the evenings five days a week, that’s still an extra ten hours each week.

Plan Your Days Carefully

Planning your days doesn’t work out perfectly 100 percent of the time, but by setting aside specific hours during the day or scheduling evening and weekend activities ahead of time, you can squeeze every?drop of time from your week. If your side hustle requires daytime meetings from time to time, maybe you can schedule your lunch around those, adding value to your business while still working your regular job.

Move to a Part-Time Position at Work

This may seem like a drastic way to make time for your side hustle, but it could be a feasible option for some. If your side business is growing to the point where you are making enough income to live on, it might be?feasible to reduce work hours at your day job to part-time so you can devote more time to?working on growing your side business.

However, keep in mind that if you approach your supervisor to ask about switching to part-time instead of full-time, they could choose to fire you instead. Plus, some companies may not offer part-time positions. Before you approach your supervisor to find out about switching to part-time, make sure you could support yourself with your business or another job if you were fired instead.

If your side business is growing and you feel passionate about?it, you can probably find the time to devote to it. Side hustles are a great way to bring in extra income and follow your passion.


How have you found time for a?side hustle? Are there other ways to make time for a side hustle?


Photo courtesy of: Tax Credits