Does money really buy happiness? Actually, it does if you earn at least $75,000 a year. Beyond that amount, your quality of life can still improve, but your level of increasing happiness will plateau. That’s the conclusion of a study from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.
However, these findings also imply that if you’re earning less than that amount, you’re not going to be happy. The reason is simple: you’ll have to forego some basic things you’ll need for your well-being and you may not have the resources to cope with any financial emergencies.
While, of course, money isn’t everything in life, how do you at least get to the $75,000 a year mark?
Here are 3 ideas to help you build your wealth:
- If you’re in a crisis, then borrow money to get your head above water.
It’s almost impossible to think straight about money if you’re in the midst of a crisis. If, for instance, your car has broken down and you need it to get to work, or the rent is due and you’re one paycheck short, then you need to borrow some money to get out of a bind. If you don’t know anybody who can help you out, then get cash through a lender who provides an easy approval line of credit. Once you’ve received the loan, work hard to get it paid off so that you can now begin to focus your mind on creating wealth.
- Increase your earning capacity.
If you’re not earning as much money as you need, then the idea of saving and budgeting tends to sound like an abstraction. So after you’ve pulled yourself out of any imminent financial pressures you may be facing, your next line of action should be to figure out how you can start earning more. You have to decide that you want to earn more than your fear of taking the necessary steps to change your current situation. One reason you may be afraid of change is that you’ve tried one thing after another, fallen prey to one get-rich scheme after another, lost money on investments that didn’t pan out, or didn’t improve your job prospects after taking a few courses in your field. After one disappointment after another, you’re burned out on even trying again. Another reason you may be afraid of change is that you’re finally in a position where you don’t hate your job. Although you hold little to no hope for a raise or promotion, at least you’re able to stay solvent.
So the first thing to do is identify what it is that is holding you back. What thoughts, feelings, and ideas do you have about your current situation that makes you reluctant to find new ways of increasing your income? In other words, identify your constraints. Next, decide what direction you need to start moving in to make a positive shift in your income. Finally, lean into your new idea. Think of developing your money making capacity as similar to increasing your physical strength and endurance. The worst thing you can do to get fit is to join a gym and have a few intense workouts. You’ll end up sore and exhausted and it will take a week or two to recover. So just as you would ease into an exercise program, you must work at strengthening your money making muscles in a gradual way.
- Develop a structure to keep more of what you earn.
After you’ve increased your earning capacity, focus on reducing your spending levels. First, create a family budget so that you know where your money is going in the first place; then, put aside a certain amount each month to build up your savings. Once you have saved enough money, your last and final step is to learn how to invest your money so that your money, rather than your labor, now starts to earn money.
So whether you want to be a millionaire or just comfortable, the main thing you have to do to live a better quality of life that will improve your chances of being happier is to earn at least $75,000 a year. More power to you, of course, if you go beyond that threshold.
When it comes to owning a bricks and mortar business, most business owners are content with getting the business of their own local area. That is the only business they can get! People in their local community. When it comes to the modern entrepreneur, sometimes that small catchment area just is not enough. The biggest reason to go global with a business it to increase the potential of your business to expand and grow. There are a whole heaps of markets that are out there for the taking when it comes to taking a business global. For example, if you’re based in an Asian market, can you extend beyond Asia?
All you have to do is run your hand over a map and you will surely find an opportunity to grow your business and find a new potential customer, somewhere in some way. Finding the right opportunity for your business is great! It’s what every business owner wants. But when you start to grow, so too do your costs. They will start to grow dramatically when you begin to scale internationally. What you must do to keep your costs low is look at starting up with a virtual office that is going to keep your costing down, and your ability to grow up, up, up!
Here are the five steps you should take to grow your business globally with a virtual office:
You need to assess where your ideal customers live and what they do on a day to day basis. This will factor in to a number of the decisions you must make about your business in the first stages of growth. For example, if you find a large market for your product and or service in Malaysia, do you need a local staff member on your team that does work for you with the local market. Finding the right people in the right area for your virtual team is imperative, but this begins with identifying your target market.
2) What infrastructure is needed for growth
It is important to look at what kind of infrastructure your larger business will need. Do you need someone to manage customer support? Who is going to field incoming enquiries? A growing business needs many more hands working. Looking for a virtual office provider that offers all of these as standards will tick another box.
3) Map your growth
The biggest mistake that a business makes is not ensuring that you are mapping your growth so that you know what your next needs are going to be and anticipate them before they even occur. This is going to be the key to growing your business in an ultra-effective method.
4) Keep your costing low
As a business grows, it is important to make sure that costs are low so that they do not get out of hand. Using a virtual office will allow you to grow well and grow strong. A virtual office is fantastic at separating your business from the competition when it comes to pricing. The lower your costs, the lower you can set your prices, and the more profit you can make on your product or service.
It is extremely important when doing business in new markets, to do your due diligence. This is an important step in every business decision, and something that is extremely important as your business begins to scale and grow. When choosing new markets, and the virtual office that is going to facilitate that growth, make sure you are looking into their processes, and background so you know that your business is doing the best job possible.
In the current climate, purchasing foods and other sundry items can be pretty darn expensive. Doing a weekly shop can often erode away a pay check pretty fast. However, there are a few things you can do to lessen this financial burden, and one of the easiest ways to achieve this is by purchasing your foods and other essential household items in bulk.
Get What You Can – In Huge Quantities!
Firstly, I’ll start by saying that it is not possible to purchase every single item on your shopping list in bulk. Fresh food items such as milk will not keep, so purchasing in bulk makes no sense, and will lead to a lot of waste. So, unless you use evaporated milk for example, you won’t really be able to purchase these items in bulk.
However, with that being said, there are many items you can get, that can be stored for lengthy time periods, and the rule of thumb usually is, the more of something you buy, they cheaper it will be overall.
Don’t Be Afraid To Drop Big Name Brands:
Big name brands are often priced at a premium. But the truth is, a lot of generic products are the exact same quality as these bigger named items. And the dirty little secret that they don’t want you to know – many of these generic brands actually produce the products for the big name brands anyhow. The big brand names simply wrap the items up in their own packaging and sell them on as their own. It just makes better financial sense to pay the lower price for these generic items, and best of all, you don’t have to skimp on quality at all!
Dry Goods Will Last For Ages:
A lot of dry goods can be stored in your larder or other cool & dry places for absolutely ages. You can get massive sacks of rice for many times less than those little packets you buy in stores (weight for weight), that will keep in your larder for a very long time. And things like dried beans, pasta, dehydrated potato and ramen noodles also have very long shelf lives. Those students are onto something! The same goes for tinned goods – these often have very long lives as long as the integrity of the tin is maintained. Things like baked beans are pretty much the same, regardless of the brand name, so generic is a great option for purchasing these kinds of things also.
Many essential items such as bleach, toilet paper, kitchen roll etc can be purchased in bulk at considerable savings also. Sure, you may get some funny looks heading to the checkout, but its well worth it for the savings that can be achieved. Also, fresh herbs can easily be preserved in a little oil, and popped into your freezer, much cheaper than those jars of dried herbs you buy at the supermarket. Why not see how you can make savings by buying in bulk!
One of the hardest things you can ever do in work, is approach your boss to ask for more money. It is the stuff of nightmares for a lot of the workforce, something to be dreaded and feared. However, it doesn’t need to be this way at all. There are some tips you can follow, that may just result in you getting that all important boost to your finances – and we all know how even just a little extra these days can make such a big difference to families out there.
It’s All in the Ask!
First of all – if the raises haven’t been dished out all round your workplace as of late, then you will have to take matters into your own hands. After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get! But, how you ask is just as important. You want to be able to demonstrate your value to the company, and be prepared to show the difference your being there in the company has made.
Prepare the Evidence:
Being armed with a little evidence in support of your claims is never a bad thing. It may be that your boss has never actually seen or observed these benefits to the company. So, if you have made unique contributions that are measurable, wield these during your request. If you have customer testimonials, these are gold! Make sure and highlight all of your achievements, especially in the past year. Another piece of evidence you can arm yourself with is salary statistics based on industry standards. Is yours below the average? It may be that your boss is so genuinely busy doing his own day to day tasks, that he or she is unaware of the lay of the land.
Choose The Right Time:
If your company holds annual reviews, this is not a good time to hammer the boss for more money! Chances are, he or she will be getting the same requests from everyone they have to review for the year, and your request has the chance to be “snowed under” or forgotten. A far better time is to wait until such a time as your own tasks change, or you have performed a task that is beneficial to the company, or has added value to the company. Say for example, you’ve just completed an important project for the company. You could approach your boss, demonstrating the value added to the company, and requesting that you share in that added value by way of a raise.
Don’t Lose Heart to a Rejection:
There’s always a chance your boss may decline your request, but it’s important not to lose heard. Request that you revisit the scenario in a few months, and there may be a chance that you then get that all needed raise. It may simply not be in the budget right now, but later on down the road, there’s always hope!
Marketing is a huge and very important part of family business. Nowadays, there are many different ways you can market and advertise your business. All of those marketing strategies are evolving each day, and that’s why you have to stay updated. In order to have a good marketing plan, you have to have some innovative marketing ideas that will stand out and get the attention from people. Here are some really good marketing ideas that you can try out for your family business.
Make Promotional Partnerships
A very creative way to market your family business is to cooperate with other local businesses that are in your area. Find a business that is willing to promote some of your products for their customers and you do that for them. That way both of your businesses will benefit because some of your customers will buy their products and his customers might come to your place. Of course, try to find a business that sells similar types of products. For example, don’t cooperate with a toy store if you are selling vehicle parts.
Nowadays, every successful company or business has its own website, some of them even have social media accounts. That is quite normal these days because everyone is using some type of social media. The best way to target that many people are by making accounts for your business on some of the most popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Make sure that you put as much information and detail in that account as you can because that way people can understand what is your business. After you have created those accounts and filled them with a lot of information about your business, then you can start building your follower base.
The best way to get followers is by telling your loyal customers or friends to share your business on their social media accounts. That way all their followers and friends will see your business and they will check it out. Unfortunately, there is to guarantee that you will build a huge follower base, but you have to stay consistent and update the account regularly. You can even post something from time to time and get engaged with the people that follow your business.
Don’t Forget Traditional Local Marketing
Because it is an old method of marketing, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work anymore. It is always good to give out a business card to people, that way you will know for sure that they have heard of your family business. Make flyers to promote your business around the whole city, make them interesting, put some special code on them that will give customers, for example, 10% off some of your products. You have to try out as much marketing methods as you can otherwise, you will never succeed.
We all need a holiday from time to time, an opportunity to unwind from the rigors of the daily grind, and to reset the stress levels to somewhere near normal. However, the problem with a lot of holidays is, they are quite pricey, and can stretch a family’s finances to the limit. That being said, there are a few ways you can reap the benefits of having a holiday, which will not necessarily bust the budget, leaving you in the red for the rest of the year.
Consider Mid Week Flights:
The vast majority of people, when booking flights, choose to fly out to the destination of their choice on a Saturday. This makes sense – they finish work on a Friday, so it works out nicely to fly on the Saturday. However, weekend flights can be a lot more expensive. Consider flying on a Wednesday instead. You will find that flights are a lot cheaper. Sure, you may have to sacrifice some extra day’s of your annual leave allowance, but if these are paid days off, then you are not at a loss (rather, you’ll have made a great saving).
Consider the Location:
Have you got your heart set on Japan as the location of choice for your holiday this year? Why would that be? Could it be that someplace such as Thailand may also tick all of those same boxes? Alternative locations could end up much cheaper for accommodation, eating out and other holiday activities. Flights to other similar locations, in similar areas could make you some unbelievable savings. But if you have your heart set on a specific country, maybe consider heading away from the major tourist hubs. Let’s say you want to head to Ireland. By avoiding Dublin, and going to say, Sligo or Galway, you will not only make a saving worth a huge chunk of change, but you will be enriched by a more genuine experience of what the country is really like.
Avoid Re-Visiting Airline Sites to Judge Prices:
Have you ever visited an airline page, and seen a price that seemed ok or favourable, only to go back a few hours later, and find the price has jumped up? The price of the flight won’t have magically gone up in price. The website for the airline has tracked your IP address, and as you have visited again, you are obviously interested in this particular flight. So, they up the price! If possible, use a different computer or your cell phone to first gauge prices, and if they are agreeable, you can then book using your home PC.
While On Holiday’s, Eat Like The Locals:
Many holiday destinations have food havens for tourists, and have price lists specifically geared to this incumbent travellers. Keep an eye out, or ask around, for where the locals go to eat. You will find that the food is more authentic, and the prices a lot more favourable.
To successfully run a family business, you have to have a lot of experience and knowledge about some important things. Without experience and knowledge, you will be struggling to run your family business. One thing that can have a huge impact on family businesses is the connection between those family members outside the workplace. We will use out experiences to help you and your family business to be successful. All you need to do is to read carefully through the whole article and implement some of the tips that we will now present to you.
Manage the Family Dynamics
This means that you must avoid taking your personal family problems to the workplace. The environment in the workplace must be totally different from your home environment. The relationships of family members usually are the thing that is keeping a business from succeeding. If you want to run a successful family business, you must learn how to leave some of the problems and issues at home. When you are at work, you should never mix your personal feelings in because that will lead to the breakdown of the business. Sort every problem out at home, before you go to the workplace, that is the best tip we can give you.
Have Someone Out of the Family Circle
It is very important to have a healthy balance in the business. If only family members are running the business, that can lead to some bad decisions because most likely that all of you will be thinking the same way. If you engage another person to have an opinion on how you should run your business, you will be balancing out the business. That one person can share his personal experience with you and give you some advice that can avoid conflicts between family members.
Put the Best People in the Right Roles
This is a very common problem in family businesses. They will put their family members higher up in some position just because he is a family member, even if he doesn’t qualify for that job position. That can be very bad for the business and for the other employees that are below that one person. In order to have a successful business, you have to make good and smart decisions. If your family member is not the best choice for a position, then you should not give him until he is ready and prepared to take over that position. Until then, put there someone that is experienced and knows how to operate. We highly recommend to never hire a family member just because he is a family member, that will never lead to you having a successful business.
These days, it is harder and harder for families to get by, with the cost of living rising ever higher, while it seems that pay packets have stagnated, and don’t match the rise in the cost of just surviving. And we know it can be hard to come up with the funds to even just have a little well deserved treat for the family every so often. It is for reasons such as these that having an effective budget is essential for families. Here, we take a look at some of the budgeting tools you can use to help keep track of finances, plan expenses better, and maybe even find additional funds for those all important treats. Best of all – they are all free to use.
Seen as a lifesaver by all that use it, Mint.com has been around for a long time, and for good reason. This is an online tool that you can link to your financial accounts, so it automatically updates in real time. You can even use this tool to work towards retirement goals! With their easy to understand graphs and visual tools, making a keeping to a budget becomes easy.
If you seem to be haemorrhaging money and cannot pin point exactly where this money disappears to each month, then this is the tool for you. With Moneytrackin’, you can monitor outgoings and see exactly where funds are going, making it easier to change behaviour. You can even use this tool if you run a small or home business.
My Spending Plan
My Spending Plan allows you to make better choices for your outgoings. Creating a plan is easy and quick, allowing you to set short term goals, and to plan for upcoming special events that require additional expense, such as birthdays. As well as this, the bill tracker keeps you totally up to date, emailing you reminders of bills that are upcoming. And perhaps best of all, you can also get coupons and money off vouchers through this service, that will better allow you to live within your means.
SavvyMoney is for those looking to take proactive steps to creating a budget. It will first provide you with an understanding of what your current situation is, finances wise. From there, you can create a plan to repay debts better, and to budget far more efficiently.
For those looking to manage their budget on the move, PocketGuard is available on both iOS & Android stores. Linking your accounts and cards to this app (over a secured connection) means that PocketGuard can keep track of, and categorise your outgoings, showing you how much exactly you have remaining to spend, which allows you to avoid going into the red.
These are just a small number of tools that are available to families out there who could do with creating a budget to better track and plan their finances. Truth is, we could all use a budget to plan out our financial comings and goings.
I don’t think there’s any of us out there that could not use a little help from time to time with managing of finances, preparing budgets, or any of the other monetary challenges placed in the way of today’s family units. In this article, we break down some of the better apps you can get for your smartphone or tablet, that will make the monotonous task of personal financial management that little bit easier to deal with. And best of all, these are all free in their respective stores.
Level Money is one of those apps that once gotten used of, becomes an essential tool for managing your finances. It allows you to calculate your remaining spendable money, after essential bills and other outgoings have been addressed. You can connect it directly to your accounts for real time updating of information, as money enters or exits your accounts. There is even a web version available, to give a better overall view for when you get back to the PC.
If you are hoping to keep track and manage your savings a little better, then Qapital is the app for you. Purely mobile based (no web app), Qapital also links directly to your accounts, so you can see at all times just how your savings are building. This app motivates the user to save even more, by making small daily changes to their routines. You can even set a budget target, and at the end of the month, if you are above the range set, the app can auto transfer the surplus to your savings account for you. Job done! Look this one up.
One of the best overall apps for making or sharing payments is Venmo. An alternative to PayPal, the fees for making or receiving payments are a lot more favourable at just 3%. And as you can link your debit / credit cards and bank account info into the app, you will have all you need to make and receive payments, right in the palm of your hand.
If you like to dabble a little in certain investments, such as stock market shares, then Stash Investment could be the app you didn’t even know you needed. Enabling you to both buy and sell through it’s easy to use interface, Stash Investments is perfect for keeping track of your portfolio. If you are only just getting started, all you need is $5 to start investing (there is a test account service available too, so you can see exactly how it works).
I have detailed the Mint app before in a previous article, and this app comes highly recommended by all that use it. The online reviews speak for themselves with regard to this app. Surely one not to be overlooked.
These are just a few of the huge range of options available out there when it comes to financial based apps.