One of the most important aspects of running a small business is to keep an organized office. With a small operation, there typically isn’t a lot of money in the budget to put into an expensive IT infrastructure, and most small businesses don’t worry about it too much because their small amount of employees allows them to communicate and collaborate easily. However, email is still a huge part of the business world, shared calendars are invaluable, and collaborating on documents that are constantly changing is a big part of service-based small businesses. Google Apps offers all of those features and A LOT more. If you own a small business and you don’t want to pay $300 per MS Office license, then keep reading.
My pastor has been doing a mini-series on stewardship and personal finance the past couple of weeks, and a lot of it was very practical, but the final week was more about how our hearts and personal tastes dictate how generous we are and how that affects the choices we make with our money. When you boil it down, making a financial decision with our money comes down to needing something versus wanting something. There is sometimes a very fine line and sometimes it’s very obvious, but one thing is for sure: we all have different opinions on what is a need and what is a want.
Most of your companies will be holding their open enrollment period this fall and the beginning of 2011 for your health and retirement benefits. With the recent health care reform changes, health insurance premiums will rise even higher each year. Recent financial reform legislation may also increase the fees that stock brokers charge within your retirement plans. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of changes to your current health care options and 401(k) options. Expect more out-of-pocket expenses with your health plans and your boss to be throwing incentives at you to get and stay healthy. Here are some quick facts from CNN Money Magazine about what you can expect at your next open enrollment
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, even more exciting than Christmas for big college and pro football fans. I’m a huge college football fan. I bleed orange and blue. Yes, I’m a Florida Gator fan, Go Gators!
Now that I’ve made a ton of enemies by revealing that, I’ll try to win you back by helping you come up with alternative ways to fund your tailgate parties.
When I was convicted to change the way I handled money at the young age of 22, it wasn’t an educational revelation. It was an emotional and behavioral revelation, because I realized that the problem was ME. A lack of education was definitely one of the factors why I didn’t handle money well, but ultimately, it was my bad behavior and irrational thought process about money that led me to a ton of debt at a young age. If you’re sailing along in life with debt and you think that you’ll be okay once you start making more money, you might already be exhibiting bad financial behaviors and ways of thinking that could lead to a financial disaster. I completely agree with Dave Ramsey that personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge/education. Here’s 7 warning signs that the problem is YOU.
This past weekend, for the first time in my adult life, I was the victim of identity theft. We were walking into the movie theater about to sit down for a movie, and I got a phone call from a weird phone number. I listened to the message as we sat down in our seats and it was Bank of America saying there was suspicious activity in my bank account. My first reaction was that it was a scam, some kind of phishing attempt to get me to call them back and give them personal information acting like they were Bank of America. I have an iPhone, so I logged into my online banking from the BOA iPhone app, and sure enough, there were two $1,000 purchases and about a dozen smaller charges. My heart sank to my stomach. I couldn’t freakin’ believe it. Someone hijacked my account or one of our debit card numbers and was buying crap online. I couldn’t sit through that movie knowing what I now knew, so we left the theater, got rain check passes to see the movie another time, and I quickly called Bank of America.
Eliminating your credit card debt and all of your debt is the single most important thing you can do to help you start winning with money. But, it’s one thing to just pay off your credit card debt and get right back into debt. When you decide to eliminate your debt and achieve the goal, your next goal should be to never get back INTO debt. Wallet Pop has a great article about how to pay off your credit card debt once and for all. So, are you ready to cut up your credit cards? It’ll be a HUGE weight off of your shoulders, I promise!
We often think that getting hospitalized due to an illness or injury is something that we cannot predict or prepare for, but that’s not true. Over half of the people that file for bankruptcy do so because of extremely large medical bills that they cannot pay back. Now, this may be partly due to unbelievably high medical expenses and unaffordable health insurance, but it if you plan for bad things to happen, they won’t seem so bad when they don’t put you in bankruptcy. Here’s a good article from Bargaineering on how to prepare for a sickness and/or injury.
It’s really hard to believe that Summer is almost over, and many of you will be sending your kids back to school! Sending your kids back to school can be a really expensive time of year, because your kids are growing out of clothes and need new school supplies. Fortunately, a lot of states have implemented sales tax free holidays around this time of year to help parents out a little bit. You could easily spend about $250 to $400 dollars per kid for some new clothes, shoes and school supplies, so that extra 6% to 9% sales tax could add up to some nice savings.
Many of you are very tight on money, and an extra $1,000 a month would literally change your world. An extra grand of income per month doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a one-income family or a family with a lot of expenses, an extra $1,000 can make a big difference when it comes to reaching your financial goals or just preventing you from getting into more debt. If one of you is a stay-at-home parent, earning a $1,000 is an attainable goal, but many of us don’t know where to start. We automatically think that we’ll need to go get a part-time job with non-flexible hours doing work that we hate, but it’s simply not true. You just need to be a little creative, know the area you live in and its needs, and fulfill those needs. Here are 10 ideas for how to make an extra $1,000 a month: