InboxDollars – My Experience And Review

Yesterday, I finally got around to checking out InboxDollars, the best email marketing tool for small businesses. InboxDollars is a tool that allows you to schedule, manage, and analyze your email campaigns.

What I found most interesting about InboxDollars was how simple it was to use. I was able to create a campaign, add recipients, and schedule them to send out emails. The next step was to review my campaigns and see how well they were executed.

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Overall, I was very impressed with InboxDollars and would definitely recommend it to any small business looking to improve their email marketing strategy.

I recently had the opportunity to use InboxDollars, a new email marketing service that I’ve just discovered. I absolutely love it!

InboxDollars is a free email marketing service that allows you to send out as many as 100,000 email newsletters per month. You can also create a custom email campaign, or even send out automated emails to your list on a specific day or topic.

The coolest part of InboxDollars is that it’s completely free to use. You simply sign up and create an account. You can then choose to send out newsletters or automated emails.

The best part of InboxDollars is that it’s so easy to use. After you sign up, you just need to create a list of people that you’d like to send email to, and then you can start sending out emails!

Overall, InboxDollars is a great email marketing service that is totally free to use. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an easy and free way to send out email newsletters.

InboxDollars is an online service that allows you to manage and pay your email, social media, and other online expenses in one place. The service is free to use and has a variety of features to make your life easier.

One of the main features of InboxDollars is the ability to add expenses to your account easily. You can add expenses such as postage, shipping, and customer service fees. You can also add expenses for things such as groceries, transportation, and other bills.

The InboxDollars website has a variety of features to make managing your expenses easier. You can see your account balance, see what expenses have been paid, and see what expenses are remaining. You can also see how much money you have left in your account.

The InboxDollars website is a great way to manage your expenses. The website is easy to use and the features make it a convenient way to manage your money.

The Challenges Of Owning A Bridal Business

As the owner of a bridal business, you know that there are many challenges that come with the territory. From finding the perfect dress for each bride to dealing with the stress of weddings, you have to be on your game at all times. Here are some of the challenges that you face on a daily basis:

Making sure each bride finds the perfect dress

This is probably the most important task that you have as the owner of a bridal shop. Each bride that comes in has a different body type, budget, and style, so it can be difficult to find the one dress that fits all of her needs. You have to be patient and have a good eye for detail to be able to find the right dress for each bride.

Dealing with the stress of weddings

Weddings are a very stressful time for everyone involved. From the bride and groom to the parents and the wedding party, there is a lot of pressure to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. As the owner of a bridal shop, you have to be able to deal with the stress of weddings and make sure that each bride is happy with her dress.

Keeping up with the latest trends

The world of fashion is always changing, and bridal fashion is no exception. You have to make sure that you are always up-to-date on the latest trends so that you can offer your brides the most current styles. This can be a challenge, but it is important to keep up with the times so that you can offer your brides the best selection possible.

Managing your finances

Running a bridal shop is not a cheap endeavor. There are the costs of the dresses, the rent for the shop, the salaries of the employees, and many other expenses that can add up quickly. It is important to be good with money and to have a solid financial plan so that you can keep your business afloat.

Promoting your business

In order for your bridal shop to be successful, you have to promote it. This can be a challenge, but it is essential to get the word out about your business so that brides know where to go when they are looking for a dress. There are many ways to promote your business, and you have to find the ones that work best for you.

These are just a few of the challenges that you face as the owner of a bridal shop. It is a lot of work, but it is also a lot of fun. You get to help brides find the dress of their dreams and you get to be a part of one of the most important days of their lives.

The Importance Of Personal Finance For Your Retirement

It is never too early to start planning for your retirement. In fact, the sooner you start saving and investing for retirement, the better off you will be.

There are a number of important factors to consider when planning for retirement, but one of the most important is personal finance. Your personal finance situation will have a big impact on how much money you will have to retire on and how long your money will last.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to personal finance and retirement planning:

Savings: It is important to start saving for retirement as early as possible. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money will have to grow. If you wait until later in life to start saving, you will likely have to save more money each month to catch up.

Investments: Another important factor to consider is how you will invest your money. There are a variety of different investment options available, and it is important to find the right mix for your situation. You should work with a financial advisor to help you determine the best way to invest your money.

Debt: Debt can have a big impact on your personal finance situation and your ability to retire. It is important to pay off any high-interest debt before you retire. This will free up more money each month that you can use to save for retirement.

Retirement Income: When you retire, you will need to have enough income to cover your living expenses. There are a number of different sources of retirement income, including Social Security, pensions, and investments. It is important to have a mix of different sources of income to make sure your needs are covered.

Taxes: Taxes can also have a big impact on your personal finance situation. It is important to understand the tax implications of your retirement income and investments. This will help you keep more of your money in retirement.

Personal finance is an important consideration in retirement planning. By taking the time to understand your personal finance situation and make smart decisions, you can ensure that you have the money you need to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

How Personal Finance Can Help You Save Money

Money is tight these days. Whether you are struggling to make ends meet or you are just looking to save a little extra, personal finance can help. By learning how to budget, invest and save, you can make your money work harder for you.

Budgeting is the key to controlling your finances. By tracking your income and expenses, you can see where your money is going and make adjustments to ensure that you are spending within your means. A budget can also help you to identify areas where you may be able to save money, such as by eating out less or cutting back on unnecessary expenses.

Investing is another important aspect of personal finance. By investing your money, you can grow your wealth over time. There are many different ways to invest, so it is important to do some research to find an investment strategy that best suits your needs.

Saving is also essential for building your financial security. By putting away money each month, you can create a nest egg that can be used in case of an emergency or for future goals, such as retirement. A savings account can also help you to earn interest on your money, which can further grow your wealth.

Personal finance is all about taking control of your money and making it work for you. By budgeting, investing and saving, you can improve your financial well-being and secure your future.

Personal finance is all about making smart money choices in order to achieve your financial goals. It can help you save money by teaching you how to budget and manage your money wisely. By learning how to save money, you can put yourself in a better financial position and achieve your financial goals sooner.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to personal finance and saving money. First, you need to have a clear understanding of your financial situation. This means knowing what your income and expenses are, as well as your assets and liabilities. Once you have a good understanding of your financial situation, you can develop a budget.

A budget is a tool that can help you track your spending and ensure that you are living within your means. It is important to remember that a budget is not a diet; it is a guide to help you make informed choices about your spending. When you develop a budget, be sure to include a savings plan. This will help you set aside money each month to reach your financial goals.

In addition to developing a budget, there are other personal finance tips that can help you save money. One of the best ways to save money is to live below your means. This means spending less than you earn. Another way to save money is to make wise choices about your purchases. When you are able to save money on your everyday expenses, you will have more money available to save for your future goals.

Personal finance is all about making smart money choices. By learning how to save money, you can put yourself in a better financial position and achieve your financial goals sooner.

How To Save Money And Still Live A Millionaire Lifestyle

We all know that the key to saving money is to live below your means. But what does that really mean? In order to save money, you need to make sure that your spending does not exceed your income. That may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s actually harder than it sounds.

If you want to save money, you need to be mindful of your spending. Track where you are spending your money and see where you can cut back. There is no need to live like a pauper, but you don’t need to live like a millionaire either. Find a happy medium that allows you to save money while still living a comfortable life.

Here are some tips to help you save money and still live a millionaire lifestyle.

Invest in yourself

One of the best ways to save money is to invest in yourself. Investing in your education and career can pay off handsomely in the long run. Not only will you be making more money, but you will also have the knowledge and skills to better manage your finances.

Live below your means

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually harder than it sounds. If you want to save money, you need to be mindful of your spending. Track where you are spending your money and see where you can cut back. There is no need to live like a pauper, but you don’t need to live like a millionaire either. Find a happy medium that allows you to save money while still living a comfortable life.

Make a budget and stick to it

Making a budget is a great way to control your spending and save money. When you make a budget, you need to be realistic about your income and expenses. Don’t try to live on less than you earn – that’s a recipe for disaster. But, if you can find ways to trim your expenses, you can free up more money to save.

Invest your money wisely

Investing your money is a great way to grow your wealth. But, you need to be careful about where you invest your money. Invest in solid, long-term investments that will offer you a good return. Avoid high-risk investments that could leave you with losses.

Live a simple lifestyle

You don’t need to have the latest and greatest gadgets to be happy. Live a simple lifestyle and focus on what’s important to you. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save by living a simpler life.

Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. By following these tips, you can save money and still live a comfortable, millionaire lifestyle.

What Is Term Life Insurance And Why Do You Need It?

Most people have some form of life insurance, whether it be through their job or a personal policy. But what is term life insurance, and why do you need it?

Term life insurance is a type of life insurance that provides coverage for a specific period of time, usually 10, 20, or 30 years. If you die during that time period, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit. If you don’t die during that time period, the policy expires and you (or your beneficiaries) don’t receive anything.

So why would you need term life insurance? There are a few reasons.

1. You have young children. If you have young children, you need life insurance to make sure they’re taken care of financially if you die. No one knows when their time will come, and it’s important to make sure your children are taken care of if something happens to you.

2. You have a mortgage. If you have a mortgage, you need life insurance to make sure it’s paid off if you die. Otherwise, your family will be stuck with the bill.

3. You have other debts. If you have other debts, such as credit card debt or a car loan, you need life insurance to make sure they’re paid off if you die. Otherwise, your family will be stuck with the bill.

4. You want to leave a financial legacy. If you want to leave a financial legacy for your family, you need life insurance. Otherwise, your family will have to use your assets to pay for your final expenses, which could leave them in a difficult financial situation.

5. You have a special needs child. If you have a child with special needs, you need life insurance to make sure they’re taken care of financially if you die. Without life insurance, your family may not be able to afford the care your child needs.

No one knows when their time will come, so it’s important to have life insurance in case something happens to you. Term life insurance is an affordable way to make sure your family is taken care of financially if you die.

The Importance Of A Personal Finance Policy

It’s no secret that money is one of the leading causes of stress in our lives. And with good reason – our financial wellbeing is essential to our overall health and happiness. That’s why it’s so important to have a clear and concise personal finance policy.

A personal finance policy is a set of guidelines that you develop to help you make smart financial decisions. It should outline your goals, both short-term and long-term, and provide a framework for how you will achieve them.

Your personal finance policy should be tailored to your unique circumstances and should reflect your values and priorities. For example, if you place a high value on financial security, your policy might include a goal to build up an emergency fund equivalent to three months’ worth of expenses. Or, if you’re aiming to retire early, you might have a goal to max out your retirement savings accounts each year.

Developing a personal finance policy can help to reduce stress and anxiety around money matters. It can also help you to make better financial decisions, both in the short-term and the long-term. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available to help you develop a personal finance policy that works for you.

It’s no secret that money is one of the leading causes of stress in our lives. Managing our finances can be a difficult and time-consuming task, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why it’s so important to have a personal finance policy in place.

A personal finance policy is simply a set of guidelines that you follow in order to make financial decisions. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like, but the important thing is that it gives you a framework to work within.

Your personal finance policy should be tailored to your unique circumstances and goals. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for someone else may not be right for you.

Some things to consider when creating your personal finance policy:

-Your income and expenses

-Your short-term and long-term financial goals

-Your risk tolerance

-Your investment philosophy

Your personal finance policy will evolve over time as your circumstances and goals change. That’s perfectly normal, and it’s actually a good thing. As you gain more experience and knowledge, your policy should become more refined.

If you don’t have a personal finance policy in place, now is the time to create one. It will make managing your finances much easier, and it will help you stay on track to reach your financial goals.

How To Create A Personal Finance Policy For Your Family

It’s no secret that money is one of the leading sources of stress in our lives. And when it comes to our finances, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to creating a budget and getting our finances in order. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to create a personal finance policy for your family.

A personal finance policy is simply a set of guidelines that you and your family agree to follow when it comes to your finances. By creating a personal finance policy, you can take the guesswork out of budgeting and financial decision-making, and help to ensure that your family’s finances are on track.

Here are a few things to consider when creating your personal finance policy:

1. Determine your family’s financial goals

The first step in creating a personal finance policy is to determine your family’s financial goals. What are you hoping to achieve with your finances? Do you want to get out of debt? Build up your savings? Invest for your future? By setting some financial goals, you’ll have a better idea of what your personal finance policy should include.

2. Set some ground rules

Once you know what your family’s financial goals are, you can start to set some ground rules for your personal finance policy. These rules will help to ensure that everyone in your family is on the same page when it comes to your finances.

Some examples of ground rules that you may want to set include:

– No one should spend more than X dollars without consulting with the rest of the family

– We will only use credit cards for emergencies

– We will save X percent of our income each month

3. Create a budget

A budget is an essential part of any personal finance policy. By creating a budget, you’ll be able to track your family’s income and expenses, and make sure that your spending aligns with your financial goals.

4. Have regular financial check-ins

Once you’ve created your personal finance policy, it’s important to have regular financial check-ins with your family. This will help to ensure that everyone is still on track with your policy, and that any changes that need to be made can be discussed and implemented.

Creating a personal finance policy for your family can help to take the stress out of budgeting and financial decision-making. By following the steps above, you can create a policy that will work for your family and help you to achieve your financial goals.

Young Driver’s Guide to Auto Insurance

Accidents can happen – even to the best drivers. Insurance can help cover repairs to your own vehicle and medical costs. But insurance is your firewall against economic disaster should you cause an accident and there is property damage or injuries to other people. With today’s high medical costs, increasingly expensive car repair costs and high litigation expenses, even a seemingly minor accident could cause a major financial hardship for you. Insurance is not an option. It’s an absolute necessity.

What is Insurance?

Insurance is an agreement between you and your insurance company in which you pay the insurance company a certain amount of money and, in return, the company will protect you from major financial losses due to an accident for a given period of time. The amount that you pay is called the premium, and it could actually be less than the cost of an insurance claim.

What kind of insurance coverage should I get?

This depends on a number of factors. Certainly, you want to get liability coverage to protect yourself against claims in case you cause an accident. However, if your car is older, you might not want to get collision insurance since you might pay more for the premiums than the car is worth.

On the other hand, if your car is new or is a used one that is being financed, the lending institution will probably insist on collision insurance and comprehensive coverage. Below is a listing of the different kinds of coverages a policy may contain and what they do.

Body injury liability pays medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering of other people injured in an accident that you caused. It also covers the cost of litigation if you should be sued.
Property damage liability – pays for other people’s property damaged in an accident for which you are responsible.
Medical payments – pays medical costs if you or your passengers are injured in an accident. There are usually limits specified in the policy.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorists – pays your medical bills and certain other expenses if you’re injured in an accident caused by someone who has no insurance or inadequate insurance to cover the costs. In some states, it will also cover damage to your property.
Collision – pays for damage to an insured vehicle in an accident involving another vehicle or some other object.
Comprehensive – pays for damage to your car not caused by an accident, like theft or vandalism.

How do I get insurance?

You can contact a direct writer either through the mail, over the phone or on the Internet. A direct writer sells insurance directly to its customers through salaried employees. Your other options include going to an independent agent who sells insurance for several different insurance companies. Or you can contact an exclusive agent, one who is under contract to a particular insurance company to sell only that company’s policies.

How can I bring down the cost of my insurance?

  • Drive safely. Nothing drives up the cost of insurance more than a history of accidents and moving violations.
  • Pick your car carefully. High-performance cars are tempting, but not only are they expensive to operate, they’re expensive to insure. Pick a car with a good safety record that’s less expensive to repair and that’s not on the car thieves’ most-wanted list.
  • Increase your deductible. The deductible is the amount of a claim that you pay. Usually, it’s $100, $250 or $500. The larger the deductible, the lower your premium.
  • Maintain a B average for a “good student” discount.
  • Attend a driver’s education course.

Finally, there’s one thing over which you have no control that will lower your premium. Since young people, particularly males, have more accidents than older people, your premiums will be higher. But as you grow older, and if your driving record remains good, you should see your premiums decline.

Pay Off Student Loans or Save for Retirement?

Today it’s not uncommon for college graduates to owe $50,000, $100,000 or even $150,000 in student loans upon graduating.  Unfortunately, it’s commonplace given the escalating costs of tuition and students taking more than four years to complete their education.

Students loans are the necessary price to pay for opportunities and the possibility of career advancement.  But be warned, once you assume these loans it becomes your responsibility to manage them effectively and “do your homework.”

If you’re like most of us, you didn’t hesitate to take out loans your first year of college because you were filled with the optimism that a college degree would provide you with more than enough income to meet your living expenses, save for retirement, and quickly pay off your loans.  But reality isn’t always so kind.  Now you realize that between taxes and inflating living expenses there’s not as much money to spread between paying bills and saving for retirement as you had thought.  You’re faced with a decision.  With your limited income, should you pay off your students loans or save for retirement?

If this isn’t a question you’re asking yourself, it should be.  You know that your loans won’t repay themselves, but at the same time you need to maintain a lifestyle and try to put some money away for retirement.   There’s just not enough money to go around and the question becomes one of balance, and finding out where every dollar of your income will be put to its best use.

You have three options:
Option 1: Pay off your student loans now and save for retirement later.
Option 2: Save for retirement now and make only the minimum student loan payment required.
Option 3: A combination of paying off your student loans and saving for retirement at the same time.

Though always painful to watch your money go, the decision between the three options is easy and comes down to pure math.

Review each option to decide what’s right.

Let’s review each option so you can decide which is right for you.

Option 1: Pay off student loans now and save for retirement later.

Paying off students loans before starting to save for retirement is a common mistake a lot of college grads make. The reason is simple. When they took out their large student loans a few years ago they convinced themselves the debt would only be temporary and would be paid off within the first few years after college. In other words, their goal was to erase the loans and forget they ever happened ASAP. I know this mindset because it was mine not too long ago. Another popular reason college grads decide to pay off student loans first and save for retirement later is because they want to get out of debt before saving for retirement. This is very idealistic and not very practical. If Americans waited until they had no more debt to begin saving for retirement no one would be able to retire!

But, there is a time when it makes sense to pay off student loans immediately and save for retirement later.  This is a smart decision when your student loans are charging interest greater than 8%.  The long-term investment return on the stock market is roughly 8%, so if you’re paying more in interest than you’re earning on your investments, your money is best used paying off your high interest loans first and investing in retirement later (but not too much later).  If you have multiple student loans with multiple interest rates, only pay off your over-8% loans first and put any excess money towards retirement.

Option 2: Save for retirement now and make only the minimum student loan payment required.

You should consider this strategy if the interest rate on your student loans is less than 8%. If the stock market returns 8% over the long run, and the interest rate you’re paying on your student loans is less than 8%, then your money is best used being invested for retirement rather than paying off your student loans. And when you factor in the benefits of tax deferred growth provided by retirement plans, it makes an even stronger case that you should invest your money for retirement and make only the minimum student loan payment.

Option 3: The compromise: A combination of paying off your student loans and saving for retirement at the same time.

Remember, all things in moderation.  If your student loans have an interest rate that is between 6% and 8%, you may want to consider a compromise between paying off your student loans and saving for retirement.

Example: Your $30,000 student loan (at 6.5% interest) requires you to make a minimum monthly payment of $200.  You find that after you make the minimum monthly payment and pay your other bills, you still have $100 left over from your paycheck at the end of each month.  You should consider putting an additional $50 towards paying off your student loan (because the interest rate is between 6% – 8%), and put the other $50 into your retirement account.

You’re also allowed a small tax deduction for interest accrued on your student loans if your income is under $55,000 (single) or $110,000 (married), which provides an additional benefit.

Final words of caution…

For your student loans (unlike other debt), if you can prove you don’t have the wherewithal to make your monthly payment, many lenders will let you temporarily put your student loan payments on hold – known as deferment or forbearance. This usually occurs if you’re facing unemployment or have high medical bills. But be careful, many times your interest will continue to accumulate during this time. You should check with your student loan provider and make sure you understand the fine print in your loans.

Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Credit Cards, Part 2

In part 1, I discussed setting up your business to do e-commerce and accepting credit card payments. In this installment, I’ll discuss personal and business credit cards for the young entrepreneur.

For some, “credit card” is like a bad word. For the young entrepreneur, it’s a necessity. Without a credit card, you have to siphon personal spending money directly from your business the minute you make a profit. Yet, at the outset, profit can be hard to come by. I’m not advocating for you to go into debt. I’m saying that using credit cards the smart way can help keep your head above water as you navigate the beginnings of a business.

Personal Credit Card Versus Business Credit Card

Some solid advice from Entrepreneur Magazine: “If you think you won’t be able to pay off purchases in a single billing period, it might be better to charge them on the personal plastic, rather than a business card.”

Business cards come with incredibly high interest rates, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation found that every $1,000 of credit card debt your business accrues will make you 2 percent more likely to fail.

In other words, take on $10,000 in debt, and your chances of failure are 20 percent higher than they would have been otherwise. And that’s just due to credit card debt alone. There are countless other issues that can throw a wrench in the works, such as staffing issues, ineffective marketing, and inventory problems.

For the most part, keep business expenses and personal expenses separate when you’re paying with credit cards. But think hard about whether you should burden your business credit with expenses over a certain amount.

Establish a set baseline figure you can afford to put on the business card—it should not exceed revenue. Fill out a cash flow statement. Look at projected expenses, revenue and profits, and charge basic expenses on the business card. Then, charge additional expenses onto your personal card. If you can’t pay it off right away, your creditor can’t raise the interest rate like they can with a business card.

Consider tried-and-true methods of stacking savings—for you, the number one piece of advice here is to use a cashback credit card.

You won’t be able to get a cashback credit card unless your credit is good enough as is. Once you’re able to get one, use business profits, your own savings, as well as investor funds to pay off the card immediately. Try to pay your entire balance each month. You’ll make extra money that can go right back into the business. And you’ll build your own credit.

Building Business Credit

Your own credit score is extremely pertinent to your business credit. Before you even begin looking for a business credit card, check your FICO score and dispute any claims you think may be in error. Next, review your options for your business credit card.

Noobpreneur points out that the best option may not come from a major company. Rather, talk to the bank you’re using for your merchant account. They may be able to offer you a card more tailored to your specific business needs, and since they want to be competitive, they could give you a better interest rate.

Think about the nature of your business. If a lot of travel is involved, look for a card that earns you frequent flyer miles. If you’re confident you can pay off the card at the end of the month, find a rewards card, even if it has a higher interest rate. This is a gamble, but those rewards can really pay off. Ignoring them is one of the big mistakes small businesses make with credit cards.

Another mistake is paying interest. Again, if you can’t pay in full or miss payments, your credit issuer can immediately raise interest rates. But your credit issuer may initially give you a deal in which you pay no interest on purchases and balance transfers. For the new entrepreneur, it’s a wise idea to take advantage of those offers.

Make sure to protect your business against fraud by keeping your financial docs in a safe place, and only allow your most trusted employees access to the card for business expenses. Monitor the account and make sure no large, unfamiliar charges pop up, and be careful when you’re exchanging any sort of financial info with clients.

Watch your cash flow carefully and only charge what you can afford to the business card. Regular payment will build your business credit.

At the outset, do your best not to rack up credit card debt. Use any other means you can to finance your business. Small business loans are more forgiving than credit card debt, and your friends, family, investors, and personal savings are better sources of funding than credit cards. Once your business is on stable footing and you have good data to plug into your cash flow doc, you’ll be able to reasonably predict expenses, revenue, and profits. Then, make smart charges to your business credit card as you continue building credit.

Entrepreneurs: How to Minimize Marketing Spend Online

Are you a young entrepreneur going into business for the first time? If there’s anything you don’t have a lot of at the outset, it’s money. In terms of cash flow, 28% of small businesses that go bankrupt have big problems with their financial structure. There are a multitude of expenses, from product development, to finding and leasing a quality brick-and-mortar location, to hiring and training staff, to paying consultants and accountants—the list goes on.

Thankfully, many of your first-time expenses are tax deductible. You can deduct up to $5,000 in your first year of doing business. After that, deduct your remaining expenses in installments over a period of 5 years.

Things like property, vehicles, and inventory aren’t expenses—they’re capital expenditures. Over time, you can write off the cost of tangible items through depreciation. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that you have to invest money in capital expenditures at the beginning. The same applies for expenses; you could spend well over $5,000 at the beginning. With both capital expenditures and expenses, you have a year during which you’re on your own, and you may not see any return on investment (ROI) unless you do some high quality marketing.

That’s where this guide comes in. If you lower your marketing spend, you may be able to write off all of your marketing expenses in the first year. A great place to start is right here, on the internet.

Understand Google and Internet Advertising

If you’re planning on drawing in customers, invest in a website. There will be costs, such as web hosting fees. If you want to minimize your overall spend, check out a free course on how to make a website. You can DIY and achieve awesome results. It’s purely a matter of how much time and effort you put into your site.

Once you have a site, consider the matter of making yourself visible online. There are several ways of going about this, but let me just get straight to the reality of the situation: You can spend plenty of money on advertising, but not achieve any results. When it comes to display ads, publishers and advertisers have to cope with the fact that over 200 million people use ad-blockers. You are 475 times more likely to survive a plane crash than click a display ad, and 33% of people find ads “intolerable”.

As a first-time entrepreneur, you’re nowhere near the point where you’re a publisher who can prompt people to whitelist you on their ad-blocker extension. The best, and most inexpensive way for you to gain visibility online is to rank as high as you can in Google.

There are two ways to do this. You can buy AdWords, meaning that if you pay Google for certain keywords related to your business, you’ll show up at the top of the page when someone enters that particular search phrase. The unfortunate thing about AdWords is that if someone clicks on your ad, but doesn’t buy anything, you still pay for that click. Also, if you’re looking to compete on a national level, the competition for your keywords will be incredibly fierce unless your product is so niche nobody else is selling it. Fierce competition equals expensive keywords.

The second way to rank in Google is the organic way, otherwise known as content marketing. Organic can also be the least expensive. Start a blog on your website and create informative content related to your product or service. Put the keywords you want to rank for in your posts, but don’t overdo it. Make sure the meta structure of your site is also in good shape. Send clear signals about what you want to rank for. Next, guest post on high authority blogs and create backlinks to your content. Particularly since you’re the business owner, many different sites will want to hear from you.

This is all part of the complex and competitive world of SEO. Before you undertake this, make sure you know exactly what the deal is with Google and links. Some links to your site can be negative, some can be great. You want good links to your site, and you want internal links between your pages, ultimately funneling the user to product pages where they can make purchases. The only way they’re going buy anything is if you’ve convinced them along the way.

Understand Social Media Marketing

Social media is a great tool for valuable, inexpensive marketing. You’ve probably seen plenty of it during your personal time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media sites you might use. There are entire websites devoted to the topic of social media marketing; it’s an art, just as content marketing is to Google.

This is a huge subject so here’s a digestible, step-by-step intro:

  • et up your business page on Facebook, which is the social grandaddy
  • Decide on your Twitter handle, and start your business Twitter account
  • Sign up with one or two other platforms on which you’d really like to see some engagement; i.e. you’re appealing to a young audience, and they’re all over Instagram and Snapchat
  • On your website, provide social media buttons for sharing content and liking your company
  • Consult these four social media rules for businesses:
  1. Along with promotional content, provide valuable information related to your niche
  2. Pay attention to your brand message by using the right words, images, and other media
  3. Post at good times; e.g. Facebook users prefer 1-4pm, Google+ users 9-11am
  4. Create conversations that evoke emotions
  • Pay attention to video marketing trends and take advantage of them; people love video—about 65% of viewers will visit your website after watching your video
  • There are so many great free tools you can use for social media marketing; even just looking at these will help give you an idea of all the different things you can do
  • Respond to your audience as quickly as possible when they reach out to you

Overall, your reach on social media can be huge and you can get started on most networks for free. Link up your content marketing efforts with your social media efforts. Think about who your customers are and what type of customers you want, then design your marketing messages accordingly. Put your heart into this, and you’ll get great results for a very small investment.

Life Insurance Something To Consider For Anyone

Most people prefer not to think about insurance whenever possible. Almost everyone prefers to avoid mention of life insurance. The Houston Chronicle, however, lays out some of the basic principles behind life insurance and the keys to a cost-effective policy.

While most younger Americans are willing to accept the sense behind health insurance, many see life insurance as a concern for another time when there are children to worry about. Last year, research and consulting group LIMRA released a survey showing life insurance coverage had dropped to a 50 year low, with 30 percent of households having no policy in place. Between 1999 and 2009, the American Council of Life Insurers notes that the the number of policies fell by 3.8 percent.

Life insurance, however, can help protect spouses and family members just as effectively. This is particularly important given the amount of debt many Americans now accrue at a young age, a fact that is often ignored when considering potential expenses after death. Life insurance policies can go toward providing for dependents, but they can also help with debts like mortgages and expenses incurred such as burial.

The strongest argument in favor of investing is the likelihood that many people will eventually invest and the price only ever goes up with age. The Chronicle cites data from suggesting a healthy 35-year-old can get a $250,000 policy for as little as $160 per year, compared to $505 for a 45-year-old or $945 for a 50-year-old.

The key is to purchase a term policy, which can offer low rates for a fixed period, generally for 20 years. Longer-term plans, such as universal or whole life insurance offer benefits for those who pay in and live past certain points. These policies can prove profitable, but policy holders must meet a certain level of investment or face reductions in benefits, leaving the returns on investment constantly at risk.

“Using costly insurance contracts primarily as investment vehicles is generally inferior to purchasing low-cost, term life policies and investing the difference yourself,” Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning for the Schwab Center for Financial Research, told the Chronicle.

Despite the potential benefits and the relatively low cost at young ages, life insurance does not always make sense. Without substantial expenses or vulnerable dependents, a policy can prove an unnecessary complication.

Americans believe that $150,000 a year would make them rich, Gallup poll says

A recent Gallup poll conducted between November 28 and December 1 revealed that the average amount of money that an American household would need to make in order to consider itself rich is $150,000.

The poll asked people the following question: “just thinking about your own situation, how much money per year would you need to make in order to consider yourself rich?”

The participants provided responses ranging from as little as less than $60,000 in annual income to more than $1 million, according to the survey.

The New York Times reports that having a household income of $150,000 would place that household ahead of either 89 percent or 90 percent of households.

The current debate surrounding “tax credits for the rich” involves additional tax benefits provided to individuals earning more than $250,000 per year and families generating more than $200,000 per year. Households earning this amount are somewhere between the 96th and 97th percentiles.

The results varied significantly depending on demographic differences. Young people without families generally do not have to worry about coping with high expenses, though loans have proven an increasingly heavy burden for many young Americans.

The End of the 30 Day $100!

Was a success! 

The challenge proves that saving money can start from small places. These small expenses add up, significantly impacting how much we save. Thinking large-scale, it’s easy to believe that we don’t make enough to save, but, looking at the small things is what matters. 

My Grand Total Saved Is….$89.38!! 

Even without reaching $100, saving money in small ways, is possible. It does take some time and effort, but good habits soon become second-nature. 

The Calendar of Savings

30 days of finding small ways to save, and making smart money choices doesn’t have to end at day 30. This kind of saving, and conscientious spending, can continue beyond this month. 

Continue following Young & Free Maine for more smart money tips, and stick with Maine’s credit unions to make the most of your money! Print this calendar of savings tips to help you stay on track with your day-to-day savings! 

One Minute Money Show: #SpendingProblems

This month’s One Minute Money Show is all about how to get rid of spending problems once and for all! If you’ve ever gone on a crazy spending spree, and felt like you couldn’t hold on to your paycheck, this show is for you.

Show Notes

Step 1:  Recognize the problem.

You have to recognize the problem in order to fix it! If you spend more than you make, struggle to afford bills, and don’t have financial priorities, these are red flags.

Step 2: Figure out where your money is going.

If you’re not sure what your spending habits are, keep track. Keep receipts, check online banking statements, or carry a notebook for the next two – four weeks.

Then ask:  Do you spend more than you make? Does the majority of your paycheck go to non-essentials, i.e. dinners out, entertainment, subscriptions/memberships, junk foods, etc.? 

Over-spending on non-essentials may be hurting your financial health.

Step 3:  Make adjustments

The experts recommend the 50/20/30 breakdown.

Can you account for your spending in these three categories? I recommend writing this out to help visualize where all of your spending fits in. If your budget is in the positive, GREAT! If you need to make adjustments so that everything fits, try trimming some of the “extras.” Tip:  The best places to cut are in fixed costs or flexible spending. Cutting in the financial goals category will hurt you in the long run.

50% Fixed Costs – The expenses that don’t change much from month to month, like rent, mortgage, utilities, car payment, gym memberships, Netflix, other subscriptions.

20% Financial Goals – This part of your budget helps you secure a solid financial foundation, for example, paying down credit card debt, or other debt, saving for retirement and building an emergency fund.

30% Flexible Spending – These are day-to-day expenses that can vary from month to month, like eating out, groceries, shopping, hobbies, entertainment, or gas. You can add any miscellaneous expenses in this part of your budget, just be aware that it must account for only 30% of your budget.

Step 4:  Account for all spending in your budget

Make sure all of your spending is accounted for in your budget! Doing this will ensure that you don’t dip into other important parts of your budget.

Take care,

Saying No to College Kids

I need to make a financial resolution not to give my kids money every time they ask for it. My husband and I are trying to help pay their college expenses as much as possible, but we spend a ton of money on our kids. Whenever they ask, I feel guilty if I don’t give them money. It has put a huge gap in our budget. If anyone has any advice as to how I can deal with these guilt feelings, I would really appreciate some advice.

Check Into Work-Study
Your children should check out the work-study program at their college(s). Every U.S. college receiving federal funding has a work-study program. Students work at various jobs on campus, from library assistants to tutoring and then some. They are paid minimum wage for their state, cannot work more than a set number of hours each week so their studies don’t suffer, and acquire a sense of pride from earning their own money while helping their school. It also takes some of the burden off of mom and dad as they will not be asking for money as often! I participated in work-study programs as an undergraduate and as a graduate student and found myself with more money and a greater sense of accomplishment.
The Baroness In Oregon
Learn to Set Boundaries
I would guess these guilt feelings are coming from the idea that you should be giving this money, but you really don’t want to or can’t afford to. If you want to resolve these feelings, then you’ve got to get everything into perspective one way or the other. So here are my suggestions:
1. Sit down with your budget and figure out exactly how much you can afford to give.
2. Compare this amount to what you’re actually giving. You may find out that you’re killing yourself financially because of a feeling of obligation or you may find out that it’s not as bad as you thought.
3. If you find you’re spending more than you can afford, make a list of the expenses and prioritize. Help with tuition or books is far more important than concert tickets or pizza money.
4. Understand that you’re not an ATM! Don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries between your children and your checkbook. It will benefit them and you in the short term and the long run.
5. Parents paying for college isn’t a “given.” It’s great when you can, but if you can’t, there are other options to explore.
To be honest, this isn’t a money issue. This is a boundary issue. Feelings of guilt or resentment coming from giving is a signal that either we shouldn’t be doing the giving or don’t want to be. Once you dig around and find the root of those feelings and work all that out, you’re either going to find the strength to say no or be able to give without the negative feelings.
Sometimes Difficult Lessons Must Be Taught
Just like little kids, college kids will try to get what they think they can! We love our kids and want to see them happy, but money doesn’t bring happiness and just handing it out is a long-term disservice to them. Our “bad parent” guilt feelings have to be balanced by the fact that some difficult lessons must be taught. We’d not make our kids learn how to live on constant cookies and sweets, so let’s apply the balanced diet approach to finances, too.
First step: Make it clear to them that any money given to them is generosity, not a guarantee. There is no entitlement here.
Second step: Clearly define what amount, if any, they can expect from you and stick to it!
Third step: Help them look at their budget and figure out how they can make ends meet on their own. If you’re willing, show them your budget and explain how you handle life’s unexpected bumps.
Fourth step: If they ask for more, empathize with them and work on solutions, but don’t surrender. Explain that your advice is always free, but the financial solutions are their own.
Fifth step: Step back and know you’re a good parent for passing on some life-long skills!
Set the Budget
These parents should first open prepaid Visa or MasterCard accounts for each child. Then they need to sit down and figure how much they can give their kids each month to help them out. Each month on a set date, they should deposit whatever that figure is. Since they have two kids, they might choose something like the 1st for the son and the 15th for the daughter, or the day that corresponds with their birthdays. This teaches the kids to budget their money, and when it’s gone, they have to be creative instead of calling on the parents. There is no need for the parents to feel guilty or be pressured into debt because their kids are always needing money at the drop of a hat. As a footnote, I would discourage them from opening bank accounts. These kids seem fairly irresponsible to me, and I wouldn’t risk bank overdraft fees.
Teresa, mom of 2 in Missouri
College Expenses vs. Retirement Savings
The best advice I’ve ever heard about college expenses is that there are loans, grants, scholarships and future earnings to pay for college expenses. No such thing exists for retirement. When making the decision about whether to give to your kids for something they can pay themselves or do without, or paying yourself to prepare for retirement, pick yourself. Explain to your kids that you don’t want to be a burden on them, and as such, you’re setting aside for retirement now so you don’t have to rely on them in the future. Work with them on how they can meet their own needs; they’re grown-ups after all.
The Guilt Is Misplaced
You should really be feeling guilty that you do give them money! What are you trying to accomplish in raising children? Are you raising them to be dependent on handouts or to be independent self-starters? Are you raising them to be spendthrifts or to be thrifty? It is no favor to give spending money to college kids. It’s crippling their ability to learn good money habits. You are doing them a huge favor by financing their college tuition. That is a huge boost in life that many of us cannot afford. You might point out to them the huge debt loads that many students have to assume to go to college. Debt loads that they will spend decades repaying. Paying for their tuition is a noble thing to do for your children, but giving them spending money just perpetuates their adolescence. You want your kids to grow up! If you make it too easy and fun to be a college student, who would want to ever graduate?
College students can and should learn to function within their own means. If they can take on a part-time job or start a web business while being in school, that’s a great thing for their future. They are learning to provide for themselves and starting on a resume! And that’s where their spending money should come from. If they are in college programs that truly do take their every moment, and they therefore cannot work at a job, then they should be grateful you’re supporting their basic needs and put off the “wants” until they are earning their own money.
A Solution All Can Live With
As the parents of six children, my husband and I know the difficulty of balancing the desire to help your children financially with the ability to afford it. Instead of “giving” them money when they ask, we have established a “loan” fund for each of our children. We set a dollar amount that we could afford and told the children how much was there. The rules are simple. They can borrow up to the limit and pay it back interest free at their convenience. If they never pay it back, that is okay. However, they cannot ask to borrow more money if they have reached their limit. This method gives us a way to help them when they get in a jam, but also defines a limit for our budget. Some of our children have been very good about repaying the debt to us right away. Others have not been as good, but they also don’t call and ask us for more. Instead, they find a way to make it work and we don’t feel guilty because we have to say “no.”
A Lesson Learned Now Saves Financial Problems Later
College kids who don’t have a job or aren’t on a sports team have a lot of extra time on their hands. Talk to them about getting a job. A summer job is a must. If they absolutely have no time for a job, give them an allowance and tell them it must last. Do not give in. Kids can be very frugal and creative when they want to be. Help them itemize what their extra needs are and give accordingly. It is also important for them to understand the dangers of credit cards. This is necessary for your budget as well, and you want to set an example.
My two children are twenty something college graduates. They, like many graduates, didn’t understand that they were going to have a tough time after college getting a decent paying job that would pay rent, education loans and other bills. If you don’t become a bit tough now, they will have a harder time when they graduate, unless, of course, you want to be the “parent” bank for the rest of their lives. All people have a hard time, financially, sometime in their life. That is where the “budget” especially comes in. Once they learn to handle money, they will manage their lives on their own. Without financial boundaries, no job will satisfy bottomless greed.
Please understand that even the strictest of parents want to save their children from sure disaster. A couple of weeks ago, my son put a $100 in a pocket with a hole in it. He got to the grocery store with no money. He had no money coming until payday. I gave him a few food items from our cupboard, and he was happy. He is doing better with his money than in the past, but he has had to sell a few items to keep his bank account on the plus side. My daughter? She is a banker and keeps a strict budget. Don’t wait until after graduation to decide you can’t live with needy adult children. Start cutting some of the purse strings now. They will have struggles to be sure, but it could save them from huge financial problems later on.
Mary in WA
Parenting Is Not a Popularity Contest
I believe that one of the most important things we can offer our children is the opportunity to work for things themselves. If we give them everything they desire, they will have less to work for. Plus, you should look at the real value of what you are already giving them. You are offering your children a college education. What a wonderful gift! What could you possibly feel guilty about? I also frequently remind myself and my son that parenting is not a popularity contest. My job is to teach and guide, not satisfy every whim. When I am tempted to shower gifts on my child, I pause and ask myself what I will be teaching him with the gift. If I find an item I just can’t pass up (like a two dollar shirt at a thrift store by a favorite designer), I will hold onto it for the next holiday or to commemorate a personal success (like a great report card).

Americans believe that $150,000 a year would make them rich, Gallup poll says

A recent Gallup poll conducted between November 28 and December 1 revealed that the average amount of money that an American household would need to make in order to consider itself rich is $150,000.A recent Gallup poll conducted between November 28 and December 1 revealed that the average amount of money that an American household would need to make in order to consider itself rich is $150,000.

The poll asked people the following question: “just thinking about your own situation, how much money per year would you need to make in order to consider yourself rich?”

The participants provided responses ranging from as little as less than $60,000 in annual income to more than $1 million, according to the survey.

The New York Times reports that having a household income of $150,000 would place that household ahead of either 89 percent or 90 percent of households.

The current debate surrounding “tax credits for the rich” involves additional tax benefits provided to individuals earning more than $250,000 per year and families generating more than $200,000 per year. Households earning this amount are somewhere between the 96th and 97th percentiles.

The results varied significantly depending on demographic differences. Young people without families generally do not have to worry about coping with high expenses, though loans have proven an increasingly heavy burden for many young Americans.