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23
Oct

Use Halloween To Teach Kids About Money

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Halloween is a good time to teach your kids the basic principles of money management. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend about $6.9 billion on Halloween this year, an average of $74 per shopper. This figure includes the cost of candy, Halloween decorations, and costumes. Shopping together for these items gives you an opportunity to discuss important money lessons with your kids. Here are some good opportunities for using Halloween to teach kids about money.

Saving Money With Bulk Purchases

You can show your kids the importance of bulk buying certain items by showing them the price savings per unit of their favorite bags of Halloween candy. On the labels on the store shelves, the stores post the price that you are paying per ounce for that selection, making it easy to compare values in the store. You can also turn this into a math lesson by asking your kids to calculate which item is the best value using the size and unit price of the items under consideration.

Comparison Shopping

Kids need to know that comparison shopping can help them save a lot of money on their purchases. You can demonstrate how to use apps like RedLaser or ShopSavvy to compare current prices for Halloween costumes or for Halloween décor across several stores. Letting your kids see you price checking your purchases will make it more likely that they will do the same in the future.

Searching For Deals And Discounts

Another important lesson to teach kids about money is that they don’t always have to pay the full retail price for their purchases. Many stores run weekly specials and last-minute markdown offers on Halloween products in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Show your kids where to find the latest deals, coupons and special offers using apps or weekly circulars and let them help you find the best price for the Halloween items you are looking for.

Trading And Bartering

While our cash based financial system has eliminated much of the trading and bartering in our society, it is still an important thing to teach kids about money. Halloween provides you with an opportunity to show kids basic trading and bartering skills, like how they need to trade more than one piece of less popular candy for premium brands to make it a fair trade. Even the youngest kids can start learning this skill and it will put them in a better position to negotiate when they get older.

15
Oct

Spend Less On Holiday Shopping By Avoiding Retail Traps

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Many retailers make a significant portion of their profits for the year during the holiday season. This gives them a strong incentive to get you to spend as much as possible. Over the years, retailers have developed a number of tricks and traps designed to get consumers to spend more than they intend. You can spend less on holiday shopping this year by identifying and avoiding these retail traps.

Decoration Traps

Studies have shown that the longer a person looks at an item, the more likely they are to buy it. Retailers take advantage of this by placing beautiful holiday decorations near the items they want you to buy. Spend less on holiday shopping by making a list of the things you want to buy before heading out to the store and sticking to this list while shopping so you avoid buying unnecessary items impulsively.

Loss Leaders

Loss leaders are one of the most commonly used tricks of the retail trade. Loss leaders are popular items that the retailer marks down significantly to get you in the door in the hopes that you will buy other higher-margin items while you are there. You can spend less on holiday shopping by only buying the item that you came in for and leaving empty handed if the item that you wanted is no longer in stock.

Avoid Upsells

Salespeople are trained to upsell you on your purchases so you spend more than you intended to spend. These upsells may include additional equipment to go with your purchase, buying an additional item at a discount, or adding a warranty to your purchase. Unless the item the salesperson is trying to sell you is something you already intended to buy, politely decline the offer and only purchase what you originally wanted.

No-Interest Credit

Another ways retailers get you to spend more during the holiday season is by offering to extend you credit to buy more stuff with no interest charged for a number of months. People use the credit to spend more than they intend, thinking that they will be able to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends. However, if the balance is not paid off in time, the interest charges accrue from the date of the purchase, considerably raising the amount you eventually pay for the purchases. If you decide to use one of these offers to spend less on holiday shopping, limit your costs to what you can pay off in two months.

15
Oct

Why Tesla Has No Dealerships

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tesla-motors-1024x766In Fremont, California there is a large building. It houses Tesla Motors. This plant is the only place in the world where Tesla’s vehicles are made. Each car is custom made and designed especially for its owner. This is the only place you will find these vehicles shipped from, because Tesla has no car dealerships, at all.

Tesla produces an electric car, with an aluminum base with stability that cannot be matched by any other car on the road. Even their glass topped vehicles exceed any other car on the road for safety. This safety affords less accidents, which saves the dealership and the car owners’ money. Imagine the competitors have accidents which create an average of 50 million disabled people a year. This costs time, money (to the tune of millions) and heartache for families, friends, and loved ones. Wouldn’t you want to save your family, and income, from these tragedies by purchasing the safest vehicle available?

Since this car is so superior wouldn’t you want a dealership on every corner? Tesla has chosen not to go with the dealership marketing plan. They will not franchise or create dealerships and Tesla maintains full ownership of all galleries, similar to how Apple owns its own Apple stores. This is to create superior customer service experiences for each person that buys a Tesla. When you buy a Tesla you are not just buying a car, but a way of life.

Even phone conversations with their Tesla sales associates surge with energy and appreciation for this fine vehicle and the innovations being made by the company each day. Speaking with those who actually sell the car is like talking to a beaming parent after their child has receives the student of the month award. They have an unmatched enthusiasm for their job and the company they work for. They even go above and beyond to help you learn to save money by buying a Tesla.

Thanks to Tesla and its innovations you can save time, and money. You get to pull into a charging station and within an hour an empty fuel cell is full and you haven’t spent a dime, except maybe on dinner while waiting for your car to charge. At home you can charge your cells enough to go about 350 miles for around $11 worth of power.

With the fluctuations in gas prices you never know how much your fill up will be with a gasoline powered car, but if you were able to get an energy plan that gives you free nights and weekends you could drive for simply the cost of insurance and maintenance. Yet another reason to get one of these amazing cars.

If you enjoy having one of a kind possessions and want to save time and money, you should consider getting a Tesla. Not only are they one of the safest cars on the road, they are also one of the most economical too.

14
Oct

Effective Ways to Save Money as a Home Based Entrepreneur

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entrepreneur-593357_640As an entrepreneur, you’re the boss of your own show. Though it can be beneficial having the means to make your own choices and set your own hours, there are other responsibilities that need to be considered. This includes the sole responsibility of being able to effectively manage your company finances. If you’re like most entrepreneurs you have a small budget to operate on, particularly if you’re just starting out.

Learning how to monitor your spending and make adjustments as needed will be imperative to having the necessary funds to run your business. By finding ways to save, you can improve your company budget, thus allowing you to apply your financial resources to growing your business further. Below are some suggestions on how to accomplish this:

Review Overlapping Expenses

When you’re working from home your personal finances tend to coincide with your company expenses. While you don’t have the financial expenses of a brick and mortar business, you still have the responsibility of paying your mortgage, utilities, and phone and internet bills in order to work each day in your home office. Finding ways to cut back in areas that cause your household and business expenses to overlap is ideal. Here are some suggestions on how to save:

Mortgage – You don’t have a separate lease for your office. However, if you don’t pay the mortgage, you have nowhere to operate your business from. There are some things that you can do to lower the costs of your mortgage payments. These include:

  • Refinance or modify your loan terms
  • Find ways to save on insurance (for individuals who have their mortgage and homeowner’s insurance tied into one payment)

Utilities – One of the most costly utilities are gas and electric. They are necessary in order to operate but can get out of hand since you’re home all day and constantly using energy. There are several ways in which you can save money on your energy costs. These include:

  • Assess your consumption – Sometimes you may not be aware of how much energy you’re consuming during the day. Complete an evaluation of your use. Do you leave the television on? Do you forget to turn off lights? Are you leaving devices on that are not in use? If so, changing these few practices can help to cut back on the cost of your energy.
  • Switch energy providers – Thanks to deregulation in the energy market, consumers in the US and Canada now have the freedom to choose their service provider. By shopping around and reviewing the costs and value of various energy suppliers in your area, you can save a reasonable amount of money. Click here to learn more about deregulated energy plans.

Phone/Internet Costs

Many entrepreneurs utilize their home phone (or mobile phone) and home internet connection to conduct their business. While this can be an effective way to save on business costs, because you’re utilizing each of these services more often, the costs may go up. Some ways to save in this category would be to:

  • Shop around for more affordable services
  • Consider bundling your phone and internet services for additional savings

Determine Where You’re Overspending

Next up, you want to do an evaluation of your business expenses. You may come to find out that you’re spending unnecessary money that could be used towards something else. Below are some areas that you might consider viewing carefully.

Marketing – marketing is certainly a valuable concept of running a successful business; however, thanks to modern technology you don’t have to spend as much on marketing. There are tons of free platforms and marketing strategies such as social media that can be utilized until you have the means to invest more.

Office Supplies/Equipment – there is no need to invest in fancy office supplies and equipment in the beginning stages of your business. While you do need to be comfortable in order to be productive, you could just as easily be comfortable in used furniture and refurbished equipment as you can with something new. If you’ve been ordering top of the line supplies, cutting back and looking for more affordable options is suggested.

Inventory – Having enough products on hand to offer your customers is important to your business. However, keeping too much inventory in stock could be costing you money. Consider the fact that there are costs associated with storing the inventory if and until you get rid of it.

Running a business from home will present its challenges, especially when a lot of your personal and business expenses overlap. However, if you’re carefully monitoring your expenses and periodically looking for effective ways to save, you’ll find it a lot easier to manage. Hopefully, these tips will help you to get things in order around the house and in your office. You can then use the allocated funds to invest in your business for its continued success.