By Brian McKay
It costs to live, that’s for sure. But as sad as the fact that this is the truth is, there are ways to keep these costs down. Yes, there are ways to beat the system that makes living so damn expensive. To see just a few of these ways, make sure to read on.
Time can and should be bought
The costs placed upon us to live often come with deadlines to be paid back by. For instance, bills are a massive factor in the cost of living and they, more often than not, have deadlines placed upon them to be paid back by, don’t they? But, there are ways to buy yourself the time needed to pay these bills back by when you don’t have the finances to pay them off, ultimately saving them from growing even bigger in the long run.
To do this, if your costs of living have been bumped up drastically by the financial flight that is debt, you should be taking as much action as you can in the field of debt consolidation. What consolidating your debts would entail you doing is placing all of the debts that you owe into one payable package, meaning they would all be allowed to be paid together and at the same time. Yes, even if your debts are for different companies or different purposes, as long as they are legally bonded debts and not just debts you have rung up with individuals, you will be able to put them altogether in one package and pay them off in one. And, if you are struggling with debt you should most certainly be doing this as it will stop you from having to pay out at multiple and, quite frankly, inconvenient times of the month, ultimately meaning you will be buying the time you need to pay off your debts safely and securely.
Stay on top of your taxes
Taxes are a massive factor when it comes to the cost of living, that much always has been and always will be for sure. Yes, as much as seemingly everybody on our planet seems to hate paying taxes, they will always be a part of life. So, moaning about them is futile and truthfully a waste of time, as that isn’t going to change them or anything at all in regards to the cost of living. But, what can change your tax charges for you, and then subsequently bring your cost of living down drastically, is staying on top of them at all times.
The first thing that you should do when seeking to stay on top your taxes is to get in touch with a professional in the field of doing so, such as a tax attorney like Travis Watkins, found here: https://www.traviswatkins.com/offices/dallas-tax-attorney.cfm. What such an attorney would offer you is expert knowledge in the sometimes very complex field that is tax law, and having such knowledge on your side would help you to be able to spot when and where you are paying far too much tax — a fact that those without the eye to spot it would struggle to do. And then, once you have spotted where and why your taxes are seemingly too high, you will then be able to campaign or work towards bringing them down. So, get the assistance you need when it comes to tax to be able to know how the tax system works and how it can be beaten.
Something else that you should be doing when it comes to staying on top of your taxes and bringing your tax payments down — if you are dead set on not enlisting the help of a professional in the field, that is — is keeping all evidence of your taxes, both those that you pay out and those that you receive back. You see, when you keep evidence and a track of your taxes you will make it far easier to query and question a particularly high tax payment and this will ultimately give you a better chance of bringing it and the cost of living down.
Finally, when it comes to tax payments, just make sure you avoid these common tax mistakes.
Be smart when it comes to insurance
The insurances you take out in life are also a massive factor when it comes to the cost of living, so bringing their price down as much as you can is vital if you want to lower yours.
When it comes to doing this, first of all you should be tapping into as many multi-deal discounts as you possibly can. This means only ever opting for insurances offered by insurance brokers when they promise to bring their premium prices down if you combine said premium with another type of insurance premium. Basically, if an insurer offers to bring your home insurance cost down if you also take out car insurance with them, make sure you do it!
The cost of living is high, but it can be lowered if your just make sure you follow the advice above. And, another piece of advice that it would be useful to take heed of is the advice given here regarding the decluttering of your home. Yes, decluttering your home can help you bring down your cost of living and even make you some money, too!
By Lina Martinez
Opinions on Trump waver from day to day. It’s not surprising: due to Trump’s relatively unpredictable nature and the consistent stream of evidence and anecdotes purporting to his controversial behaviour, actions, and comments, a staunch supporter one day could be turned away from him the next. Here are a few notable Republican figures whose loyalty to the party has waned due to its current figurehead.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is noted for being a stalwart Republican. However, approaching the Presidential election, he revealed on Twitter that for the first time since becoming an American citizen in 1983, he would not be voting for the Republican candidate for President. He noted that despite being proud to call himself a Republican, he would call himself an American first, going on to speak of how one should support their country over a party, implying that Trump would be no good for America at large.
Mike Crapo is a US Senator, representing Idaho. However, as a proud advocate of women’s rights (having campaigned for years against domestic violence), he noted that he could not support an individual who has made such consistent demeaning, disrespectful, and profane comments against women. Like Schwarzenegger, he believes that the USA requires a conservative rule. However, cannot bring himself to support Trump as a leader of the party that Crapo represents himself.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine may not have publicly questioned Trump’s leadership, but she did highlight how political figures are privately discussing their doubts as to his ability when a microphone picked up her conversation with democratic senator Jack Reed at a hearing. During the conversation she questioned his mental state and overall competence. While Reed noted that he thought Trump was “crazy” she confided that she was “worried”.
Now, John McCain’s name has been splashed across the news a whole lot due to his lack of alliance with Trump. But if you’re not quite up to scratch with Arizonan politics, let us fill you in. Despite a last minute phone call with the President himself, McCain refused to get behind Trump’s Republican healthcare bill, essentially sinking it in a vote in the early hours of the morning. The senator has been upheld as a maverick for this move. His relationship with the President is notoriously taut, as he refuses to back down and has long been open with his criticisms of the President himself, his rhetoric, and his foreign policy. Despite undergoing medical treatment, McCain is staunch in his views and has opposed Trump time and time again throughout his Presidency so far.
Perhaps never before has a President proven so controversial and largely unpopular amongst their very own party as Donald Trump has managed to become. Bear in mind that these are just a few of the Republican individuals who are in leadership positions or are prominent in the public eye who oppose his actions and comments. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of individual Republican-identifying voters who are coming to question his leadership.
By Nigel Hilton
If you sell physical products of any kind, it’s likely you need to keep some kind of inventory. Whether you have a small storage space or a sprawling warehouse, you need to know what’s in your inventory at all times. If you don’t, you could end up delaying orders, letting down customers and wasting money. Good inventory management is the key to ensuring you have what you need, whenever you need it. Making improvements to your inventory management could save you time and money, and increase customer satisfaction too. If you think it’s time to do that, you can use a variety of strategies.
Find the Right Inventory Software
These days, it’s easy to find software that will help you do almost any task. Inventory software helps you to keep track of the stock you currently have, and could even help with placing orders and other tasks. Many inventory software choices can link up to other software too, such as whatever you use for your accounting. You can use your software to keep track of what’s selling so you know what’s flying off the shelves and what’s not doing so well. Plus, you should be able to reduce the amount of data entry you need to do with automated tasks and bulk inputs.
Work Out Optimal Order/Production Frequency
You can’t just guess what you need to have in your inventory and when. If you do, you could end up having too much of one thing while your customers have to wait while you get another item back in stock. You need to know the best way to calculate when you should be making or ordering new products, and in what volumes. You need key information to work these things out, like sales forecasts and production lead times. Using these statistics, you can use formulas to work out when you need more stock and how long before that you should be ordering it.
Improve Picking and Sorting Equipment
Part of managing an inventory is picking the items and packaging them, ready to be sent out. This needs to be done accurately and efficiently so that the right items are picked in the right numbers. Equipment and technology can help to make this easier. You can even get specialist equipment for different industries. Pharmacy dispensing robots not only help you manage your inventory more easily, but they also make sure dispensing medications is carried out safely. They can reduce potential liability issues due to mistakes made.
Keep Doing Physical Counts
Even if you use various types of technology to manage your inventory, it’s still worth physically counting now and then. It doesn’t have to be too often, but it’s useful to do it perhaps once a year, every six months, or after major sales events or changes. When using tech to improve things, it’s always helpful to have a human check things that a computer could miss.
Stay on top of your inventory with effective management tactics. It could make a huge difference to how well you run your business.
By Sharon Jones
If you visit any college in the land, you’re likely to come across lots of fit young men and women sweating it away on the football, volleyball or basketball fields to make a few. You might wonder how they find the time to take sports so seriously when they have so much school work to do, but if you knew about the many benefits for college spots, you shouldn’t question it one little bit, and if you’re currently at college, you would try getting involved too! Not convinced, here are just some of the brilliant benefits of playing college sports:
Get a Scholarship
Okay, so the most commonly recognized reason for individuals to get into college sports is the scholarships that great athletes can win. Of course, unfortunately, most of us aren’t great athletes, but if you are, there’s no denying that you can benefit from free or subsidized tuition should you choose to play, so it’s well worth mentioning here.
Team sports are an excellent way to get to know new people in college. Whether you’re the shy type, someone who likes to know as many people as possible, or even someone who wants to make as many lasting connections that could help you out in the future as possible, get your name on that softball lineup card, join your college’s football team or get involved in lacrosse. Why? Because you’ll form lifelong bonds with your peers, ensuring that you have a social life/support now, and quite possibly, high powered connections to help you get along when you graduate, and you’re looking to start your career!
Avoid the Freshman 15
Many people, when they head off to college for the first time gain a lot of weight. This is probably a combination of always having had someone else cook for them and the convenience of fast food when studying for that important test. Whatever the cause, getting involved in college sports will help the average student involve college weight gain and quite possibly help to alleviate the stresses of college life too.
Do Better in Class
Did you know that playing sports can, as mentioned above, reduce stress, improve concentration and even boost your willpower? These are all skills that the average student needs to master if they want to do as well as they possibly can in class, so even if you’ve never thought of playing basketball or tennis before, give it a try, and you might just be surprised by the results.
Boost Your Resume
A lot of employers know that a person who plays sports is quite likely to have learned how to be a team player, have lots of motivation, stamina and a competitive way of thinking, amongst other things. These are all excellent qualities to have in the average workplace. So having a long history of college sports on your resume really can’t hurt.
Of course, the main reason you should consider giving college sports a go is because it’s fun. Do it for the fun and the extensive benefits will surely follow!
By Jerry Mooney
They say nothing is perfect. In business, this rings true. Even if you’re getting rave reviews from customers and your sales are soaring, there is always room for improvement. Every entrepreneur should aspire to improve on a continual basis. The future may look bright, but if you rest on your laurels, you may get left behind. The world of business is always spinning, and what works one day may not the next. If you’re an aspiring mogul, here are some failsafe ways you could improve your business.
There is nothing more important for a business owner than understanding the marketplace. It doesn’t matter if you have a new business or you’ve been around for years, research is an incredibly valuable means of ascertaining what people want and how you can ensure your company stands the test of time. Without research, business can become a stab in the dark, and there’s a higher risk of failure. Carrying out market research can provide you with all kinds of valuable information from data related to price points and promotions that will work to the kinds of features, programs, products or services your customers would like to see from you in the future. Keep your ear to the ground, send out surveys and organize focus groups and use the information you obtain wisely. Don’t pick and choose when it comes to polls and studies. If people give you negative feedback, this is likely to be even more valuable than positive comments.
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/2217375343
Being a better boss
If you lead a team of people, the relationship you have with your staff will have an impact on the success of the company. As the business owner, you may choose to appoint others to manage teams and sub-teams, and that’s fine, but if you want to lead from the front and assume control, it’s essential to do a good job. The people you employ will look to you for inspiration and advice. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to being the boss, and people have different leadership styles. Some people prefer to be more authoritarian while others are more laid-back. Whatever your leadership style, be aware of the importance of your role. Having a happy team is likely to boost productivity. Nobody wants to go to work filled with dread on a daily basis. As the boss, you don’t want everyone sat at their desk watching the hours tick by waiting for the end of the day. You want your team to relish the challenges, work together and tackle jobs with enthusiasm. Try and make it your mission to keep morale high and get the best out of your employees. You don’t need to hang out with them in your spare time or reward them with huge bonuses you can’t afford, but bear in mind that a valued workforce will work harder. If you expect maximum effort, make it worth your team’s while.
Image by https://www.flickr.com/photos/themuuj/2493956518
Listening to your customers
Listening to your customers is of paramount importance. You may assume that you’ve got clients for life, but if you ignore feedback or you’re not delivering on promises, there is nothing to stop even the most loyal customers looking elsewhere. Use customer satisfaction surveys and encourage your clients to provide ideas and comments to enable you to gauge how you’re doing and how you could improve going forward. Using software and features like a ticket satisfaction tool for Zendesk make it easy to access customer feedback and identify potential problems, which can then be rectified. Make an effort to reach out to new and existing customers, talk to them about what you do and how you operate and take their ideas on board. If they’ve been shopping at your store for years, for example, they may have ideas about how you could improve the experience in the future. Perhaps they’d like the option to shop online, or they’d appreciate extended opening hours so they can visit after work, for example. If you don’t ask questions, you won’t know what your customers are thinking and what they want. If you can’t cater for their needs or preferences, they may be swayed by competitors who can do this.
Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/feedback-opinion-customer-1977986/
Having a clear vision
When you first started jotting down ideas about your business, you probably had a very clear vision of what you wanted to achieve. Now that you’re months or years down the line, don’t let this vision become clouded. It’s so important to have goals and objectives to aim towards. Of course, as time goes by, your ideas may change, and the goalposts may move slightly, but don’t lose sight of the importance of having plans and aiming to improve continually. If you get complacent or lazy, you may soon find that others are overtaking you.
Image from https://pixabay.com/en/center-target-objective-result-736423/
Showing your passion
It takes a lot of time and effort to get a business up and running, and this is why it’s so important that you’re passionate about what you do. Having passion for the business isn’t just important in the early stages. Taking an interest in your staff and customers and showing how much you care about the company will stand you in good stead for years to come. Customers, buyers and investors will be impressed by your commitment to the cause and your employees will be motivated by your enthusiasm and energy. If you lose interest in what you do, you can’t expect clients or members of staff to maintain their passion for the business.
Image via https://pixabay.com/en/business-idea-planning-business-plan-1240834/
You may think that the moguls of this world go to bed thinking that everything is perfect, but you’d be wrong. It’s highly likely that the names and faces you recognize have got to to the top of the tree by realizing that perfection doesn’t exist and understanding that there’s always room for improvement. If you’re keen to take your business to the next level, there’s no time to rest. Hopefully, this guide has given you inspiration to keep going and working towards your goals.