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business costs

Tips for Controlling Your Business Costs and Saving Money

While running a business the peak concern of business owners is controlling the cash flow. Businesses are just like any standard budget.

You must make more at your business then you spend.

How can you go about this?

Well, you could always put out a cheap product and be the only employee, but then you wouldn’t have a business to run for very long.

It’s a fine line on how to cut business costs to save money and how to just slash your budget and ruin your business model. How should you handle business cost management?

Technology Can Save

Technology is a life saver for a lot of people. This is especially helpful for people who are hesitant to grown their employment numbers.

Technology can be very cost effective when it comes to business cost management. Automatic invoicing in the cloud, project management, and payment acceptance.

woman laptop

A lot of the tech products are offered on a free trial by their production companies to ensure that people get the best for their money.

When you hear about the $15/hr pay that Seattle enacted you wonder how they saved on business costs in the city. They decided to install payment centers in numerous McDonald’s to slash costs.

Use technology. Don’t be afraid of it.

Freelance/Contract, Not Permanent

Having a permanent employee can be expensive. It’s very expensive if you are able to offer benefits. Taxes, healthcare, uniforms, training, etc.

These things truly pile up in the cost department. Business cost management dictates that if you’re going to make a permanent hire, you don’t spend all of that money in one lump sum.

Numerous companies have a probationary period of at least 90 days before benefits begin. Freelance and contract employees are the way to go if you can’t afford to offer those benefits.

Even if you don’t want to offer those things contract employees can be the answer.

Most freelance/contract employees will ask for more money because they’re not getting benefits, but ultimately overtime you will save money.

It’s also much cheaper if you have to end up firing the person.

Communication Costs Can Hurt

There are four big cellular companies that cost a good bit of money for communication.

Then you have landlines which haven’t gotten much cheaper because they are predominantly used for businesses now instead of residential.

Business cost management can be difficult when it comes to business expenditures.

Whether it’s just you or you have multiple employees you can save money on communications. Skype, Google Chat, and other free services will cut communication bills by a lot.

Replace The Dead Weight

When your employees become dead-weight, cut them. Employees can become quite stagnant after a while. Especially when they don’t believe in the vision of your company.

Take a look at the revenue per employee and determine who is not worth the money you’re having to spend on them.

If you have employees doing the bare minimum they are going to make your company look like it is doing the bare minimum to serve your customer base.

Take your bottom 10-15 percent of performers and replace them with people that show they can match with the top of your revenue per employee producers.

Renegotiate Vendor Contracts

Vendors are a lot like bills. They tend to slowly elevate costs as time goes on.

They use excuses about increase in costs of production or they try to say the price was only good for a small window of time. Do not let vendor contracts go longer than a year.

Renegotiate vendor contracts every year at the very minimum. This ensures that you can discuss terms and costs frequently.

Vendors who don’t meet your needs while the contract is active can be easily replaces by a cheaper and more efficient alternative.

Be Your Only Employee As Long As Possible

This one is simple. When you’re running a small business you can tend to feel overwhelmed and then you decide that it’s time to hire.

Not so fast.

If you don’t want to be a giant corporation then you can consider being a small business for a long time. Small business start out being run by self-employed owners.

You need to decide whether you want to entrust other employees with your vision for your business or you want to be the only one responsible for your business being effective.

When you’re not having to pay anyone, your business cost are as low as possible.

Limit Equipment And Supplies

Equipment and supplies are expensive. The problem for a lot of business is their costs are so tied up in the purchasing aspect, they bleed money.

Sure, you want quality equipment, but you don’t want to overspend on something that is maybe a couple percentage points more effective than a much cheaper alternative.

Remember that the supplies you purchase are going to be turned into whatever good or service you’re offering.

If you’re giving the customer a great experience, your cheaper alternative supplies aren’t going to hurt the outlook on your product.

Don’t buy 24K gold toilet paper when you can get off-brand from any generic store.

Work From Home Or Share

Most self-run businesses can fit in a home. Working on a computer, out of a garage, or out of the backyard.

They are all very easily done at home.

This saves you on rent and electricity for your business because you’re already paying that for your place. Another alternative is to share a store front or office.

Numerous store fronts and offices are split. You will see a 231A and a 231B storefront which splits up the store into two smaller stores. This helps cut the costs virtually in half.

Business Cost Management Is Simple

It is very simple. Calculator business costs are controllable to a point, but if you want to run a business, you have to spend money.

Remember that cutting costs is important but producing a good product and service is better and makes you irreplaceable.

personal loans online

How Do I Get a Personal Installment Loan?

Have you been looking for financial assistance for a little extra cash to be able to pay for an upcoming event? Or are you dealing with an emergency or sudden crisis you have no way to pay for out of pocket?

A search online for financial help probably turned up payday loans or installment loans, and your question is probably why and how you should get one.

Personal loans like these are offered by independent brokers and finance agencies either in brick and mortar stores or online, and their aim is to help consumers who may lack the qualifications for a bank’s loan.

The Main Way Installment And Payday Loans Work

Some alternative lenders lump payday and installment loans into the same product, while others prefer that they be completely separated and referred to as different because they do have one distinct difference which is in the time and amount of payments.

money cash

A payday loan in the traditional structure is meant to be a small cash loan that’s both funded in a lump sum and meant to be paid off in a lump sum.

An online installment loan on the other hand is funded in lump sums, but they’re paid back in many payments stretching out over a period of months, and you pay off both principal and interest with those payments.

How You Get Approved For One Of These Loans

Each lender’s personal loan product will have different requirements as to how they are obtained.

That’s because these loans are primarily dictated by state authorities, although there are a few rules that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has set that lenders have to abide by regarding balloon payments and making sure consumers are able to cover them.

But aside from the CFPB and their warnings to consumers on installment and payday loans, it’s mostly up to the states to put in place the rules lenders follow for determining who can use them, and how much can be borrowed.

Amount of Money

Usually these loans are small dollar amounts, and while loans paid in installments will last longer or perhaps be used for larger expenses than very short-term payday loans, they aren’t meant to be ongoing forms of financing.

Most of them are offered online instead of in brick and mortar stores, though you may still find lenders who give you the option to visit them in-person.

But since they are usually online loans, you can expect to submit electronic copies of the following:

  1. Documents or electronic records that verify you are employed and have income that meets the threshold for the amount you want to borrow
  2. Information about your checking account since the lender will need to charge a withdrawal on the due dates
  3. Documents about regular bills or rent you pay since usually a lender will conduct an alternative credit check to see if you’re able to borrow money and repay it accordingly

What they’ll usually do first is have you fill out an installment loan estimate first before contacting you to complete the main application.

This is just to give you an idea of how much you might be able to borrow.

Once they ensure your information is correct and you meet the borrowing requirements, it’ll usually be up to about a day or more before you receive funds in your checking account.

Repaying These Loans

Usually these loans are repaid in the scheduled amounts on the due dates the lender has in their agreement.

Usually you do have the opportunity to pay off the loan before its final due date to avoid interest payments, and most states require that lenders allow this without penalty charges.

It is important to check with the lender’s terms as well as your state’s laws to be sure you won’t be hit with penalties as well as to ensure your lender accepts the form of payment you want to make with them.

saving money

10 Things Parents Can Do to Save on Their Monthly Family Budget

You thought budgeting was hard when you lived alone. Now you have a small army of miniature humans to care for and money seems to fly out the window faster than it comes in.

To maximize your income and save on your monthly budget, try a few of these tricks on for size.

1. Cut Coupons

Contrary to what you might have heard, cutting coupons is not a major life choice or lifestyle change. “You wouldn’t believe it, but I’m a couponer now,” is the common admission from those who turn to coupons for savings.

Coupons have gone out of style, but they’re slowly regaining popularity because of a simple fact: they help you save money.

When you cut coupons, you’re not just getting two for the price of one, you’re making a plan as to what you are going to buy when you visit the store.

You have specific items you are looking for and will be less likely to veer off track from your objective.

You can plan your meals around coupon deals, adding variety to your menu and structure to your meal-planning.

If it’s not on sale, on a coupon, or something you use every day, don’t buy it. You have a new mantra to live by when shopping for food and household goods.

cutting coupons

2. Dine In, Not Out

Taking your family out to dinner isn’t a crime. But ordering pizza one night, heading out to the local family restaurant two nights later and getting Chinese takeout on Friday all adds up.

It might take some planning, but limiting your “eating out” budget to once a week, or even once a month, can drastically help your budget. For the price of two meals outside the home, you could reasonably buy groceries for a whole week.

3. Utilize Subscription Services

What do you find yourself buying over and over again? Whether you are out of dog food or diapers, you’re always running back to the store, even when you thought your shopping was completed for the week.

You can sign up for a subscription service, such as the option offered by Amazon, and get products delivered right to your doorstep at regular intervals.

You’ll not only save on gas driving to the store, but you’ll also be less tempted to add a few unnecessary items to your total purchase while you’re there.

If you subscribe to video streaming services like Netflix, pass on the cable subscription movie. Take advantage of the subscription services you pay for. If you don’t watch much live television, consider whittling down your bills and canceling cable altogether.

4. Shop at Thrift Stores

Your kids grow fast – so fast that the brand new wardrobe you just purchased will be obsolete in six months or less, either due to growth or worn-out from usage. Save yourself a bundle and locate a thrift store near your home.

“Like” their page on Facebook or sign up for their mailing list.

Many thrift stores have 50 percent off days, accentuating their already low prices. While you might not always find the exact item you’re looking for in the size you need, it’s worth a try.

A two dollar shirt is always a better option than a fifteen dollar shirt, especially for gently used clothing with no stains. If you don’t have thrift stores near you, shop for used children’s clothing on eBay.

thrift store sign

5. Use Recyclable Items

It’s time to clean your bathroom and you use half a roll of paper towels to clean up the mess your kids left behind.

You could simply grab an old facecloth instead and avoid cutting into paper products supplies that you’re only going to throw away.

Always attempt to use a recyclable item in place of a disposal item. Purchase plastic dishware for your kids – don’t use paper plates.

6. Change Your Tax Withholding

If you normally get a giant tax return, you have been loaning the government your money interest-free over the past year. Wouldn’t you rather have those funds up front so that you can avoid debt and maintain a higher standard of living?

Talk to your employer about changing your tax exemption status so that you get higher paychecks throughout the year rather than a lump sum from your tax return that you’ll be tempted to spend on frivolities.

7. Fix It, Don’t Throw It Out

If a button falls off your favorite shirt, don’t despair. You don’t HAVE to dispose of it just yet. Learn to fix things instead of tossing them out with the garbage. Buy a needle and thread so that you can repair clothing and preserve coats, hats and the like.

Make sure you have tools on hand – like a hammer, nails, screws and screwdrivers – so that you can address small problems that arise in your home and do your best to be Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It instead of adding to the local landfill.

8. Reduce Utility Usage

There are so many ways you can cause your electricity, heating and water bills to drop. Don’t wash your bathroom towel after each individual use. You’re using it to dry off your clean body, right?

Reuse it and clothes that you only wore for a brief period of time during the day.

In the kitchen, rinse and dry plates that only had a few sandwich crumbs. Don’t take up needless space in the dishwasher.

Make each family member use one drinking cup per day, rinsing it when needed. Turn down the heat when you leave and take advantage of natural sunlight and turn off the lamps.

turn off light gif

9. Don’t Pay for Haircuts

If you only need a slight trim, don’t pay to see a hairdresser. Cut your hair on your own, or enlist the help of a friend or relative. For your children, buy a set of hairdresser scissors and a pair of clippers.

Watch videos online to teach yourself how to give them professional-looking haircuts. The first few sessions might be difficult, but over time you can hone your skills and save hundreds of dollars per year.

10. Become an Expert at Free Fun

There’s so many free or low-cost entertainment options in your community – you just have to know where to look. Get involved at your local library and bring your children to story-time sessions and play groups.

Some libraries even offer discounted passes to museums. Make friends with like-minded parents who want to expose their children to new experiences without breaking the bank.

Each one of these suggestions are ideas that you can take action on right now in order to save money immediately.

By this time next month, you’ll see a lot more wiggle room in your budget and you can start paying off debt, saving money, or have extra cash on hand to take a vacation. You can use a title loan calculator to help.

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lease car

How to Lease a Car with Bad Credit

Everyone needs a set of wheels to get from point A to point B, but you’re savvier than most. You know better than to fall for the first deal offered. You believe in research, planning and wise decision-making.

You know good credit is important for not only buying a vehicle, but for many other aspects of your financial life. But if your credit isn’t quite up to par, there are still plenty of vehicle-purchasing opportunities for you.

And don’t forget about lease options. Can you lease a car with bad credit? You bet!

car insurance

How to Save Money on Your Car Insurance

Everybody wants to save money, and auto insurance is a great place to start.

The dynamic nature of the policies means that you can take control of what you need and how much you’re paying for it, but the last thing any driver wants is to give up necessary coverage that could cost them more than it saves.

You can save on your insurance without compromising on quality of coverage, though, and you can do it in a way that you’ll be sure fits your needs.

How?

Well, you get to decide where your insurance is working best for you, and make your choices from there.

money stress

How Your Personal Finances Affect Your Mood

If you’re anything like me (human), your moods fluctuate in ways that you can’t always control. I know that I get excited when I know a big paycheck is coming – I’ve even been caught singing a little too loud with a new check in my pocket on my walk home.

Other times, I feel pressure from an upcoming payment, and I find myself trudging harder through life than I need to. If your moods are affected by your finances like mine are, this article should help you understand what’s going on in your brain and control your cash flow with a renewed sense of ease.

bad credit cash

How to Get Cash When You Have Bad Credit

If you’ve been downsized or laid off, if you’re still weathering the effects from a sluggish economy and your credit has taken a hit, there are still opportunities for you to get cash when you need it.

Normally, having poor or no credit can hinder you from getting a loan or credit card.

6 Money Stressors to Eliminate From Your Life

Between juggling work, family and other obligations, your days might be hectic and stressful. But if you can eliminate some of the anxieties you face on a daily basis, you’re moving in the right direction.

Unfortunately, getting rid of stress is much easier said than done — especially when it comes to financial stress. Of every potential stressor in our lives, money tops the list.

car value

Up Your Car’s Value Before Getting a Title Loan

One of the main reasons title loans are popular is for their reputation of funding loans in a hurry, usually in a day or less. Borrowers who find themselves in a financial pickle can complete the application and pick up their check thanks to a streamlined process.

However, maybe it’s time to look at title loans through a different lens. Maybe your back isn’t against the wall because the roof-is-leaking-I’ve-been-laid-off-the-refrigerator-broke-and-tutition-is-due.

Maybe you have a bigger plan and want to maximize the financial opportunity of your auto title loan.