What’s Your Financial Horror?

A few weeks back (on Friday the 13th, appropriately enough), Jana from Daily Money Shot revealed what her biggest financial horror would be.  I thought I’d give it a try.

The obvious stuff (losing all your investments or something that would wipe out everything) is excluded because, well, it’s too obvious.

I thought I’d drop in the one thing that gives me a near panic attack at least once every couple of weeks:

Losing my wedding ring.

See, here’s the deal.

I am not one of those guys that leaves their ring on 24×7.  I love having it on but I don’t wear it to bed and I take it off when I’m doing outside work or other ‘involved’ work where it could get damaged or lost.

And the lost part is the worrisome part.

Read moreWhat’s Your Financial Horror?

Why Small Businesses Need To Take Control Of Their Web Presence

The Internet has revolutionized the marketplace for small businesses. With a vast potential audience, small businesses can utilize different tools to grow their businesses rapidly online.

A shocking two in three UK start-ups fail within their first year.  With this in mind, it is important to ensure that your business’s online presence is properly maintained.  This is crucial to success, especially if you don’t want to become another negative statistic. A 2011 study undertaken by marketing company Tealeaf in conjunction with Econsultancy found that companies are missing out on millions, if not billions of pounds in lost revenue due to poor websites.

“A poor online user experience, coupled with a lack of visibility and understanding, translates into a significant amount of lost revenue,” commented Geoff Galat, CMO of Tealeaf about the study.*

Companies need to take control of their online activity in order to ensure that they stay one step ahead of the market. The internet is in a constant state of flux and businesses need to adapt their online presence accordingly if they are to get ahead.

Read moreWhy Small Businesses Need To Take Control Of Their Web Presence

Learn Your Long Term Lessons

Every now and then, I get back pain.  I typically lift things with my knees and not my back, but the usual issue comes in for me when I twist it the wrong way, whether it be lifting something or doing something else.  I can usually feel a twinge and can predict that a few days later, I’ll be in some pain.

The pain has never been that debilitating for me.  It’s just more of an annoyance.  For a few days, it will hurt a bit to change positions when sleeping and I’ll be sore when I wake up but it will generally go away after I stretch out for a bit.

I went to the doctor some time ago when it was actually really bad on one occasion.  He told me that I needed to do a series of exercises when this happened, and also said that I could reduce this by strengthening my back.

Cool.

Read moreLearn Your Long Term Lessons

How To Get Free Debt Consolidation

If you are looking to consolidate your debts, you may have been disheartened to see the many types of fees involved and the high cost this would add to your existing debt.  However, if you look hard enough and get creative enough, there are some ways to get free debt consolidation.  It just takes a little time and patience.

Do It Yourself Debt Consolidation

You first free option for debt consolidation is to try and do it yourself.  You may not be able to do this based on your credit scores or other consideration, but you should give it a try.

The object of debt consolidation is to get a lower interest rate and single payment for all your debts.  You could find this yourself by either: looking for a credit card that offers balance transfers and low APRs, or even looking at getting a home equity line of credit.  Both of these options can offer lower rates, and you can do it yourself.

Second, you could look at getting a loan from a peer-to-peer lending site like Prosper or Lending Tree.  Both of these sites offer loans from other individuals, so you can usually get a loan for just about anything, regardless of your credit score.  The only risk here is that the interest rate may not be lower than your existing debt.

Read moreHow To Get Free Debt Consolidation

Why Managers Should Spend An Extra $8 Per Month

It’s been a few years since I have been a manager.  I work in the IT industry and I managed groups consisting of tech support members, from help desk to desktop support to network and server techs.

I always got favorable reviews as a manager.  I was hands on enough to be involved and know what was going on, yet not so much a micro manager that my team did not have the flexibility to put their own style into their work.

Two things that I always did.  Always:

  1. Provide consistent feedback.  Nothing infuriates me more as a manager that does not provide feedback on a regular basis, instead choosing to point out faults (or as I would call them, areas of opportunity) during a review.  This blindsides employees and I refused to have any of it.  I always made sure to provide feedback, both positive and negative, on a timely basis.  With this, employees were able to improve or build on their strengths all the time, not just after a certain period.  I’m also proud to say that I never had an employee once tell me during a performance review: “I’m surprised to hear that.”
  2. Stay in touch with employees.  It’s important to have regular interaction with employees.  I am less a fan of one-on-one meetings or weekly team meetings as I am chatting now and then to see how things are progressing, what’s being worked on, and to figure out anything else of importance.

Read moreWhy Managers Should Spend An Extra $8 Per Month

When One Cost Offsets Another

We recently had a couple of trees in our backyard removed.

One of the things that attracted us to the neighborhood where we purchased our house was the fact that the developer left many of the trees in place.  This is pretty rare for most neighborhoods built in the last 30 years or so (ours was built in the late 1990’s) as most prefer just to level all of the trees.

Our backyard really wasn’t a backyard as the developer and the previous owners elected not to do any landscaping.  We loved the trees but we wanted trees and a backyard.  So, our first major project upon moving in was to have a portion of the yard cleared of many brush trees and trees that had died off which allowed us to in some grass.  We left about 20 trees along the back of the property line and about 15 trees around the yard, so we still have plenty of trees.

Read moreWhen One Cost Offsets Another

A Little Technology Provides Big Help for Your Business

Most people would agree we live in the age of technology, and most businesses can see major changes by incorporating a little of that technology into their business strategy. You can increase your profits by embracing the advantages offered by today’s technology whether it is in presentation, communication or accepting new methods of payment.

Communication

Technology can play a big role in the way you communicate with your clients, potential clients, contractors, vendors, manufacturing source and employees. There are many devices from laptops, tablets and smart phones that facilitate communication. There are also many features included with these tools that can allow you to organize and update all your contact information for better and smarter communication.

Read moreA Little Technology Provides Big Help for Your Business

5 Examples Of When A Good Deal Isn’t Worth The Bother

I’m all about getting a good deal on stuff, but price isn’t everything. There are other factors that come into play when it comes to deciding where to get your ‘stuff’.  Sometimes, a deal is too good to pass up.  I know people that detest Best Buy, but will sit outside all night to score a good deal there for Black Friday.  Chances are they don’t go back for another 364 days!

Here are a few real world examples of decisions we’ve made that go above and beyond price:

Read more5 Examples Of When A Good Deal Isn’t Worth The Bother

When Is The Payback Period Worth It?

Say you have a leaky faucet.  You replace the washers and do all the standard stuff that normally fixes leaks, but this one doesn’t go away.

You measure the leak as costing $0.10 per day in wasted water.  You check around and estimate (and for the sake of this post, say the estimate is fact) the cost to fix this is $100

That means, barring any increase in water rates, you would have 1,000 days, or roughly three years, before this repair would pay for itself.This is the concept known as the payback period.

To put more succinctly, the payback period is the length of time required for an investment or expense to pay for itself in terms of cost savings.

A three year cost savings is kind of rough.  Something else could break.  You could decide to remodel and toss the old fixture anyways. On the other hand, it might be worth more to avoid hearing the constant drip, drip, drip every time you’re in the room.

What would you do in this particular situation?  Do you have any ‘thresholds’ when it comes to whether undertaking a repair is worth it or you just live with the somewhat working thing?

 

 

I Wouldn’t Wish Some Success On Anyone…Especially My Friends

We all want to be successful.  However you define success, we crave and work for it for ourselves, and most of us enjoy seeing the success of our friends and family.

There was a time, though, that I wished against the type of success that some of my friends, and looking back, I have no regrets about my wishes.  As it turns out, my wish came true. They weren’t successful as they had hoped.  And I think that is the best outcome.

So what success were they looking for that they didn’t get?

Simple. They were in a band and they wanted to make it big.

Read moreI Wouldn’t Wish Some Success On Anyone…Especially My Friends