How Creatives Can Launch a Podcast on a Budget

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. In 2021, many ‘creatives’ are launching their own podcasts and becoming good at it. As the old riddle says though, “It takes money to make money.” If you want to start a podcast a budget might be helpful for you. The following contributed post is entitled, How Creatives Can Launch a Podcast on a Budget.

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Image from Pixabay – CC0 License

It seems like everyone these days has a podcast. But if you take a look at some of the most popular podcasts, you’ll find that a lot of them are hosted by middle-aged white guys, often talking about true crime or occasionally other factual content. Fortunately, there is a more diverse range of podcast options out there, covering many different topics and hosted and produced by people from many different backgrounds. The great thing about podcasting is that it’s actually really easy to get into, even if finding your audience can take a while. Creatives can practically create a podcast for free, especially if you already have some of the necessary equipment.

Get Basic Equipment

There isn’t much that you’re going to need to get started with making a podcast. The most essential piece of equipment that you’ll need is a microphone or possible multiple microphones if you’re going to have several people on your podcast at once. Microphones are actually easy to pick up very cheap and can even give you a good quality recording without spending a lot. Of course, if you want better quality, you might need to spend just a little more money. However, it is a good investment.

Find Cheap Ways to Improve Sound Quality

Even if you have a cheap microphone, you can do some things to improve the sound quality of your podcast. One problem that you might have is popping from the microphone. You can buy a filter to stop this from happening, but there are also tutorials that show you how to make a DIY pop filter for your microphone. A DIY filter can be made for practically nothing, so there isn’t really any need to spend money on a professional filter if you don’t want to. Shielding your mic on all sides will help with the sound quality too.

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Use Free Editing Software

You also need the right software to edit your podcast. You have a couple of free options that you can use, which will mean you don’t have to spend money on a software license or subscription. If you already have an Apple computer, you can use Garageband, which comes free on any Mac. Another option is Audacity, which you can use to record and edit your podcast, as well as export them when they’re finished. If you don’t have a Mac, this is a great free alternative for you to use.

Choose Free or Cheap Hosting

You need hosting for your podcast before you can put it on streaming sites, such as Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play. Podbean offers a free plan, which can be useful if you’re just getting started with your podcast, as well as a paid option if you want more storage, bandwidth, and stats. Other cheaper options are available, such as Libsyn. If you’re willing to spend a little more, Blubrry offers slightly more expensive monthly plans that come with plenty of features.

It’s easy to start a podcast without many resources. You just need to have a great idea and someone to host or appear on the podcast.

5 Mistakes That Can Lead Young Filipinos to a Financial Nightmare

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. Our overall financial health come down to a number of factors but decision making plays a major role. This is true for all ethnic groups. The following guest post is entitled, 5 Mistakes That Can Lead Young Filipinos to a Financial Nightmare.

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Today, more and more young Filipinos are paying attention to their finances thanks to the increasing accessibility to financial tools and knowledge sources, something that their parents and grandparents were not lucky enough to have. However, there are still a lot of youngsters in the country that are committing the same mistakes that their predecessors did, as well as some new ones that came with modern technology.

Here are some of the most common ones, and how Filipinos, both old and young, can avoid them:

1. Taking out unnecessary loans

Whether it’s because of “petsa de peligro”, an expensive gadget, or an unexpected expense, many young Filipinos turn to payday loans to make ends meet before the next paycheck. While these types of loans may provide quick and easy cash, they also come with exorbitant interest rates that make borrowers pay more than half of the original amount. The result? Blown up debt that can make one’s finances even harder to manage.

The best way to avoid this problem is by establishing an emergency fund and practicing delayed gratification. With an emergency fund, one can pay for unexpected expenses without draining their main bank accounts and resorting to loans. And by practicing delayed gratification, one’s ‘wants’ won’t be a good enough reason to take out a high-interest loan.

2. Waiting too long to take out insurance

When it comes to insurance, many Filipinos display the “I don’t need it yet, I’m young and healthy” attitude, mostly because they don’t want to lose part of their income to something intangible or something that won’t immediately benefit them. However, no one knows when sickness, accident, or death can befall someone; health or life insurance plans and other types of coverage help protect the insured and their family in case something were to happen.

Moreover, insurance premiums increase with age. By waiting too long to take out insurance, young Filipinos are missing out on lower payments while they are still considered low-risk.

3. Spending too much on online shopping

With the massive popularity of online shopping platforms like Lazada and Shopee, it’s no wonder why so many Filipinos–both young and old–are finding themselves spending too much on their online purchases. Even with the frequent promotional ‘sales’ that these platforms offer, money spent is still money spent, no matter how big the discount is.

And that’s exactly the problem, too many online shoppers are blinded by sales, hefty discounts, and free shipping promos that they often buy things that they don’t even need. There’s nothing wrong with shopping online. In fact, it’s a safe and convenient way of shopping amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it may be causing shoppers to spend more money than necessary, and sometimes, money that they don’t even have.

4. Not planning for retirement

For the older generations, especially Filipinos, their children are their retirement plans. It’s a common tradition in the country to “give back” to one’s parents upon entering the workforce, and going against the grain is often seen as taboo or being ‘ungrateful’. Needless to say, this is a toxic belief that is putting too much pressure on young Filipinos and leaving them unable to prepare for their retirement at the same time. As a result, these young Filipinos will also depend on their children for their needs in the future, hence, a generational financial curse.

That said, it’s crucial for Filipino millennials and Gen Zs to break this cycle by planning for their retirement. This could mean taking out long-term investing plans, making contributions to pension plans, and building their nest egg as early as now. Contrary to popular belief, it’s never too early to start planning for retirement–even if it’s forty or fifty years away.

5. Succumbing to lifestyle inflation

Lifestyle inflation is a problem not exclusive to Filipinos, but it certainly is a common issue in the country, especially with a culture that makes people believe that when they move up in life, they should have something to show for it. For many Filipinos, this means buying a bigger house, taking out the latest car model, buying more expensive clothes, or going to high-end sources of entertainment when they start earning more money.

Lifestyle inflation, to a certain extent, is acceptable. However, when the expenses start equating to income, you’re probably spending too much and may be well on your way to debt.

These are just some of the financial mistakes that a lot of young Filipinos are guilty of, but are definitely some of the worst ones. If you’re still committing one or more of these mistakes, it’s high time to start taking more control of your finances for a brighter financial future.

The Technological Shift in the World of Finance

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Technology. As our world gets steadily more digital, we may be moving away from mainstays which we assumed would always be there like physical paper money and coinage. Other innovations are on the horizon as well. The following guest post is entitled, The Technological Shift in the World of Finance.

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For a long time, the only way people could transact money is through commercial banks. They would need to go to the location personally, fill up forms, and wait for the teller to call them forward. All the transactions were done over the counter until automated teller machines (ATM) came into the picture.

With the rise of ATMs, making basic transactions such as withdrawing and depositing money no longer had to be done over the counter. People could access their money easily through debit cards, and sometimes, they can opt to use those cards in place of money itself.

Establishments and businesses have adapted to this change to accommodate payments through cards instead of cash. Then, newer forms of cashless transaction methods were introduced through mobile payment platforms, online banking, and other technologies in the finance industry.

Online Banking

Gone are the days when people depended solely on brick-and-mortar banks, especially not with online banking that can be accessed through mobile devices. Most, if not all, of the traditional banks have now gone online through various mobile applications and websites.

This digital transformation has allowed customers to track their expenses, pay their bills, transfer money between accounts, and do other activities with a few mere taps on their phones. Online banking is a welcome change compared to the need to travel and transact with tellers physically.

Through the applications, people can apply for loans, make deposits, or open accounts without going through the complex processes in person. Although there is still a need for physical branches for those who have no access to mobile devices or an internet connection, online banking can very soon be the preferred method of transacting.

Digital Lending

Applying for bank loans for business and other purposes is time-consuming. This is because traditional banks can take an average of three to five weeks to decide the credibility of the borrower, depending on their credit score and documents.

After the decision has been made, it can take up to three months to actually cash out the loan so that it can be used for whatever purpose the borrower needs. These two processes alone can already cost the borrower more than four months in total, which feels like forever in the rather instantaneous way that people are now accustomed to.

To resolve this problematic time-factor, leading banks worldwide are looking towards digital lending to cut down the total processing time to one day, at the maximum. This includes the approval and cashing aspects that usually took months before being processed.

These are made possible through different technologies such as automation of processes, using credit scoring platforms, and fraud detection tools that can easily eliminate deceitful borrowers. With processes made so much easier, business owners should have no trouble getting loans through lending.

Mobile Wallets

Banks aren’t the only ones going digital. With mobile wallets, even the need for physical credit or debit cards is rendered unnecessary because people can transact with establishments through an application on their smartphones.

Anyone can download an app and open an account through a mobile wallet, which further eliminates the worrisome credit scores typically associated with banks. Mobile wallet users can pay their bills, transfer money to others, purchase products, and do almost any other financial transaction.

Mobile wallets are becoming the preferred method for cashless transactions that can contribute to green initiatives. This is because going cashless can eliminate carbon footprints and paper trails that come with printing receipts and bills.

Most establishments that can accommodate such payment methods have adapted by investing in mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems or terminals in place of cash registers. The introduction of mobile POS systems is beneficial to businesses because it eliminates the need for physical checkout counters.

These aren’t the only technological innovations in the finance industry. Artificial intelligence technologies are being used to detect fraudulent activities through complex algorithms in both banks and credit card companies.

Digital currencies, or cryptocurrencies, that exist completely online are growing in popularity by the day and are being exchanged like stocks or foreign currencies in the global market. These currencies are made possible through blockchain technology, which is basically digital ledger systems.

With all the advancements in technology every day, it would be foolish to think that it can end at some point. There is no such thing as an end in technology because people will always find more flaws in the existing technologies and develop better solutions to these flaws. It’s a never-ending cycle that can benefit the whole world in the process.

4 Simple Ways To Maximize Your Income

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. In the money world, an important skill is stretching our your dollars and maximizing your earnings. This can be done in any number of ways. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Simple Ways To Maximize Your Income.

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When it comes to looking at your net worth and gross salary, you may wonder how you do not have as much saved as you should. It can be easy to be reckless with your money if you have some to play with after each paycheck but do not let that happen. If you do, you will never be able to maximize your earnings and save enough for your dream home or goals.

Let’s take a look at how to maximize your income in four simple steps.

Via: Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/photos/calculator-calculation-insurance-385506/)

Invest Your Spare Money

After most monthly paychecks, you will have some spare money that most would spend on clothes or unnecessary foods. Instead, you could put that money aside and invest. There are numerous areas to invest in nowadays from property to cryptocurrency, which is wildly popular now and you can get more help on swyftx.ca.

When it comes to investing, it is important to look at what’s not hot. If you invest your money into something that is already popular, you may not be able to maximize your money. Investing wisely in smaller pots maybe offer you more of a guaranteed income and will minimize risk.

If you want a greater return, you will usually have to take more risks. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you’re saving over the short term, it’s wise not to take too much of a risk.

Negotiate Your Salary

If you have been on the same salary for a while, yet are taking on more work and responsibility, it might be a good time to ask for a salary increase.

Not negotiating is a huge mistake. Many employers who start with a lowball offer never ask for an increase, which they are entitled to if you are working harder and completing more work. Missing out on more annual income makes a huge difference, especially since future raises are typically based on starting salary.

Enhance Your Skills

Education is expensive. But, acquiring credentials and learning new skills can make you more employable and boost your earnings, as long as you pick a practical field.

For example, say you want to take the next step on the ladder in your current job, you may need an extra qualification. Taking that course may be costly and timely, but it will be worth it when you start earning more money.

Even if you don’t want to spend the time or money to go through an entire degree program, find out about training opportunities at work or certifications you could acquire to put you on track toward the promotion and more money.

Pursue A Side Hustle

If you have a passion or hobby that involves making a product or offering a service, there is no harm in turning it into a side hustle. If you have spare time at the weekends to make your favorite candles, you could sell them at a market or online to earn extra cash.

It may even turn into a full-time career, who knows? You will never know until you try.

Dollars And Sense: How To Manage Your Money Better

A key focus of my blog in Financial Literacy/Money. Winning with money requires more than just its generation. The management of it is also key. Even a relatively small income can be leveraged into strong financial position if managed correctly. The following contributed post is entitled, Dollars And Sense: How To Manage Your Money Better.

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Let’s face it – most of us aren’t particularly good at managing our money. We have all these plans we’d like to carry out in our lives, but we never quite have the resources to make them happen.

Mostly, the problem isn’t lack of income – it’s financial mismanagement and lack of planning.

Like it or not, money is an optimization game. The earlier you start thinking about your future, the better. When it comes to personal finances, you can’t fly by wire.

Start Your Planning Now

It doesn’t matter how young you are, financial planning should begin immediately. You need to map out what you want from your financial life ahead of time to ensure that you eventually get there. If you don’t know where you’re going years in advance, you’ll remain in a financial quagmire, unable to escape, according to Inc.com.

Work out how much money you’re likely to get paid over the next ten years. Think carefully about how you’ll spend and save it, and what you want to do with it. Work out how much money you’ll have leftover (that you don’t have to spend on essentials) for all your most-wanted projects and purchases.

Don’t Be Afraid To Borrow

Borrowing is good for two reasons. It helps to improve your credit score and it allows you to shift your consumption to the present – a great idea if you’re low on income right now.

Sites like paydayloanspro.com/, for instance, will provide additional money if you have a regular income.

Building up your credit score is a good idea in a low-interest rate economy like ours. It is much better, for instance, to pay for a car with zero-interest installments than it is to pay the full price upfront.

Paying full price means that you deny yourself to invest the capital for the duration of the loan and gain interest for yourself.

Think About What You Really Want

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How many people do you know who buy things on a whim and never really use them? A lot, probably.

And there’s a good reason for this: modern marketing is very clever. It knows how to get under our collective skin and make us believe we need things that we really don’t.

Therefore, it’s worth taking a step back and really thinking hard about what you want. Make a list of stuff you want to buy on a whim and a list of items that you’ve wanted for a long time. The stuff on the second list should always be your priority. That Friday-night take-out can wait!

Put Your Money In Tax Wrappers

Nobody wants to get to retirement age, only to discover that they have to pay a massive tax bill on their income. Fortunately, there are plenty of “tax wrapper” accounts out there that allow you to make massive financial savings. With these, you either pay the tax upfront and don’t have to pay any capital gains when you drawdown or you pay tax when you draw down but none on your income upfront.

How Owning A Corporation Massively Adds To Your Wealth

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Becoming wealthy doesn’t come of out of nowhere. There is a lot of planning and strategizing involved and a part of that involves creating business structures such as corporations. The following contributed post is entitled, How Owning A Corporation Massively Adds To Your Wealth.

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What’s the secret of the rich?

It’s not (usually) meeting in darkened rooms and plotting how to take over the world. And it’s (usually) not exploiting people endlessly.

Instead, it’s using a legal tool called a corporation.

Corporations aren’t just nice titles that companies have. They have real legal status and can have a massive impact on the amount of tax that you wind up paying.

The Value Of Corporations

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Let’s say that you sell lifestyle coaching services online.

If you operate as a sole trader, you have to pay full income taxes – regardless of what you do with the money you receive.

However, when you own a corporation, it’s a different story. You only pay taxes on earnings net of your expenses. And there are many accepted accounting practices you can use to reduce your liabilities.

The wealthy use corporations as a kind of shield from high rates of taxation to protect themselves from income taxes and to increase the amount of money they can invest.

When a person owns a corporation, they pay a lower rate of tax on any money they make within the business. They can then plow this money into investments and draw down on their returns later, without having to pay tax on income first.

Yes – corporation owners still have to pay tax when taking dividends. But they often only do this once interest accumulates on their investments held within the company. And that means that the burden of taxation is actually a lot less than it would have been otherwise.

Corporation taxes are a big deal. Upper rate taxpayers usually pay around 50 percent of their income in various types of income taxes. But corporations only pay corporation tax rates on their earnings – usually a much more reasonable 20 percent or so.

Can you see the difference here? If you earn money outside of a corporation, your tax rate is much higher, and more of your income winds up going to the government. But when you protect your labor inside limited liability companies, you massively reduce your tax bills.

Wealth Is A Mindset

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Most workers don’t know about the benefits of corporations. And to the cynical observer, this seems deliberate. If everyone used these corporate vehicles, the state would have to find other ways to raise taxes, probably by increasing rates on companies.

But a lot of it has to do with mindset. People don’t see themselves as companies, and they don’t understand the advantage of using them for tax purposes.

In many ways, this is a reflection of mindset. A lot of individuals can’t imagine themselves as anything other than poor. And so they spend their entire lives working, instead of taking the steps necessary to improve their situation.

Acquiring a wealth mindset is all about seeing yourself in a different light.

If you’re the type of person who says things like “I’ll never earn more than X amount during my life,” then you probably have a scarcity mindset. You’re putting limits on what you can achieve.

Mostly, people who are victims of this mentality aren’t even aware they’re doing it. It’s all unconscious, but it informs the decisions they make daily.

The good news is that you can often change this inner belief to something more positive, even if you’re living in a state of literal poverty right now. It requires identifying the false beliefs that you hold and consciously disregarding them.

Once you change your mindset, the prospect of owning a company makes a lot of sense, even if you’re the only person in it.

Growth Is Also A Mindset

Owning a company also changes your mindset regarding growth too.

When you’re a sole trader, you come to believe that it’s you against the world. You’re by yourself.

But when you own a company, the psychology changes enormously. All of a sudden, you see opportunities to grow and expand, increasing your overall earnings significantly.

Remember, when you have a company, you limit your personal liabilities. Thus, you can take risks that would seem unthinkable as a sole trader. If things go wrong, your house and car are not on the line.

That’s another reason the rich absolutely love limited companies. They allow them to privatize the gains from enterprise while socializing the losses.

If a company doesn’t make money, it’s no big deal. Administrators come in and liquidate all the assets the company owns, and the entrepreneur walks away with their house, car, and private investments intact.

It seems like a crazy setup – and it is – but again, most people don’t know about it. They’re still going about their lives, believing that working for a corporation is the only option. That’s not true. Being a corporation is a much better strategy.

Think about how your attitude toward growth would change if your investments were less risky. All of a sudden, you’d start thinking of ways to expand your services and hire more people. Ultimately, you’d look for ways to make more money and get ahead of the curve.

Plot Your Own Path

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Another reason people struggle with their finances and don’t set up corporations is that they’re following the path other people have laid out for them.

Again, this is a big no-no.

Most wealthy people do not follow the advice of others. Instead, they rely on their own judgment and use it to chart a new course that nobody has tried before.

And, for the most part, that involves owning a corporation in one form or another.

Remember, corporations offer so many advantages over traditional sole trader status or partnerships. And that makes them incredibly flexible. You can, for instance, sell goods in multiple countries but only pay taxes in one. Or take out loans in your company’s name, not your own, to get the equipment you need to thrive.

So, in summary, corporations are tools that you can use to massively add to your wealth. They protect you against risk and tax while allowing you to build wealth and expand.

Can Everything Be Monetized In This Day And Age

Three focuses of my blog are Business/Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy/Money and Technology. In today’s digital world, there are multiple ways to make money besides working a nine to five job. You are literally limited by your own imagination. The following contributed post is entitled, Can Everything Be Monetized In This Day And Age.

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Today, we’re talking about monetization. In brief, this refers to taking something and making money out of it. Specifically, I want to discuss the idea that everything can be monetized in our society. If you have an idea or see something, you can basically think of a way to make money from it. Well, that’s the hypothesis – is it true?

I’m certainly in the mind that almost everything you can think of can be monetized. There are a few examples in this post that go a long way to explaining this in more detail:

The rise of the influencer

Influencer marketing is a prime example of how anything and anyone can be monetized. Nowadays, if you have a large following on social media, you can monetize your profile. People will pay you to post pictures on Instagram, you get paid to write tweets, and you can make money from YouTube videos. This is all possible because you have an audience that’s interested in everything you do.

As a result, businesses recognize your influence and are keen to capitalize on it. To them, it represents a more effective way of targeting their audiences. I guess the overall point here is that anything can be monetized if it suits the needs of businesses. Or, more accurately, if it can help a business market its products.

The growing CBD market

CBD is just one example of many things that fall into the following category. In essence, I’m speaking about monetizing things that aren’t technically legal. In the case of CBD, it’s a way of legally monetizing marijuana/cannabis. You can’t buy and sell cannabis in some states, but you most certainly can extract chemicals from the cannabis plant and sell them as CBD concoctions.

In turn, this opens the door to many other money-making opportunities. Companies will produce things like a joint case to store marijuana joints in. It’s technically legal because you’re not selling weed at all. For me, the whole CBD and cannabis industry is a great example of how things can be monetized even when the actual product itself might not be able to be sold.

Monetizing knowledge

Lastly, let’s look at the idea of monetizing knowledge. If you know a lot about something, you can make money from it. Even if it’s as simple as understanding a foreign language. Now, you can sell this ability to other people online, with relative ease.

The same goes for anything; trading knowledge, marketing knowledge, business knowledge – the list goes on. The online world has given us platforms to share our knowledge with millions of other people, at a price! It’s almost impossible to learn anything for free – you have to pay for it these days.

This whole article shows you how everything and anything can be monetized in modern society. What does all of this mean to you? Well, it shows that there are so many ways you can make money! If you put your mind to it, you can find something that you’re able to sell for money.

How To Save Money In Your Business

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. While having a solid product to sell, marketing and building partnerships are all critical aspects of business, another part is simple mathematics and making sure you’re saving money where you can. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Save Money In Your Business.

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Photo from Pexels.com

When you manage a business, it is always best to work smarter, so you do not need to work hard. Working this way will often save you money, which will ease your budgets and increase profit margins.

Invest in used equipment.

Although it can be a nice feeling to Buy Used Industrial Equipment as they are pristine and give an exciting buzz around the office, it is better to buy used equipment. The wait times for new equipment can grind your business to a halt, with used items, they are ready and waiting for you to buy instantly as they have already been in the warehouse for safety checks. You will often save money on this option too because they are second hand, and they will still have a high-quality service to complete the job in hand. It can be worrying about buying second-hand equipment. Still, you can often inspect the items you are interested in buying beforehand to ensure it is up to your standard before investing in it.

Changes in the office.

Opting for Used office furniture can save a big chunk of your budget. It can be one of your office’s most expensive parts. Yet, you can get high-quality and comfortable furniture such as chairs that will give you and your employees support when you are sat for long periods, when you are designing your spaces, changing your lights so that they have a sensor to save on your electric bills. Even little things can save you a lot of money over time, which you will notice in your yearly paperwork, such as printing on both sides. You are saving on paper and keeping as many notices on computers to ensure you can reduce your printing and paper use—instead, email notices and documents to one another.

Social media.

Understanding social media can be overwhelming, but it can be highly useful to your business. Social media is free advertising. You can add part of your budget to it, but you can make a big difference without it. Engaging your customers online every day is the key to making your customers feel part of your business. Sharing your day to day running of the store and promoting products and sales can reach your target market in seconds. Having social media accounts that link to your website allows your customers to get to know you from all angles and reach people throughout the day. Uploading first thing in the morning followed by lunchtime and in the evening are the best times because people are scrolling down social media before work, on their lunch break, and after dinner while watching the TV in the evenings. If you are doing your research into how to use social media for your business style, it can help you massively get the word out there for free or little money rather than blowing your money on TV and radio advertisements. Take photos during the day and editing the contrast and brightness when editing to grab people’s attention rather than using filters.

Do You Really Understand Your Expenses?

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. Often we purchase things and spend our hard earned money, not know why we’re doing it. We also often don’t understand the long-term ramifications of our expenses. The following contributed post is entitled, Do You Really Understand Your Expenses?

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Understanding your expenses takes a lot more effort than most people seem to think. Sure, they know money is coming in and money is going out, but they’re not taking the time to look at the details that form this big picture. And sometimes, that’s going to be detrimental for their financial health.

And if you’re the kind of person who can be a bit blasé with your money, it might be time to sit back and work out what’s really costing you month by month. Do this before your budget breaks and your savings account looks bare – don’t worry, we’ve got some tips below to help you out.

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The Three Types

It’s said that there are three main types of expenses: recurring, non recurring, and variable. Let’s go through them:

The first type of expense are the things you absolutely have to pay for, such as monthly bills or car insurance if you’re on the road.

The second type are only periodic payments, which can include yearly or bi annual bills, and often enough we forget about these.

And finally we have the variable type – things we don’t need to spend on, but we want to, such as going to the cinema, or buying a whole bunch of new clothes, or even just food shopping.

And Without Knowing the Difference, You Won’t Save Properly

When you don’t know the difference between the three expense types above, you’ll never be able to track and/or save your expenses properly. You won’t be able to distinguish between the things you must pay and the things you only want to pay for; creating a realistic budget, and being able to stick to it, revolves around this whole concept.

Put down your income first. Then fit your recurring expenses into the picture, then the things you only need to periodically pay, and then work out what’s left for the variables. This way you’ll know where savings are manageable, and what you may be spending a little too much on from time to time.

Tracking is Important

And finally, tracking your expenses is the most important thing you can do to better understand what you’re spending on. Once you know what’s recurring, what’s variable, and what’s unnecessary, you can cut back in the right areas, and funnel a bit more money to the places that really need it.

Don’t worry, you’re never going to be alone in tracking your expenses. There are plenty of tools out there to help you; for example, Pigly.Com could help you work out how much of a mortgage you could afford, or how long it’ll take to pay off that credit card debt. Either way, make good use of calculators like this to give you some real numbers to work with.

Understanding your expenses will ensure your bank account both looks good, and feels good to use. Most of all, make sure you’re tracking what’s going out, and never spending over what’s coming in.

How To Save Money On Your Vehicle

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. A major expense for most people is their vehicle. A vehicle will cost you, but if you’re smart about it, it won’t break you. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Save Money On Your Vehicle.

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Although it seems everybody has one, having a vehicle is a luxury. Whether it is a motorcycle, a car or something bigger like a truck or trailer, these things cost money to run, not just buy. The ongoing expense of being a vehicle owner is something many people don’t expect; these unexpected bills, breakdown costs, part replacements and more can be a bit of a shock to the system. If you don’t know the tricks of the trade on how to keep your bills low, you could end up with a vehicle that costs more than it is worth. So how can you save money on your vehicle?

Here are some handy tips for keeping the bills down on your vehicle.

Image credit.

1. Before You Buy

If you are looking for a new vehicle and want to know how to keep your costs down, don’t just opt for the cheapest one on the market. There is nothing wrong with buying a used car, but it is essential that you do some research before you buy. If you just go straight away for the cheap option, you might be sold a car which is about to break down and will cost you so much more in repair costs. The best thing to do with a second hand car is to have it inspected by an impartial mechanic who can give you the honest truth about how the car will run.

2. Learning Yourself

If you want to keep repair costs down on your vehicle, one way to do this is to learn a few basic repair techniques yourself. With the right tools and know-how, you can fix your car’s general wear and tear issues yourself. Most mechanics will not only charge for the repairs, but will also give a call-out charge too. Learning the ropes for yourself will help you reduce costs and also give you some handy skills you can use anywhere you go!

3. Sourcing Parts

When it comes to cost-cutting, the parts you source for your car are a big part of that. A new clutch, gear stick, set of tires or bodywork can cost a pretty penny. Plus, if your vehicle is large and you are in need of trailer parts or truck tires, the expense will be even greater. So how can you source parts that won’t cost a fortune?

Firstly, find a mechanic that you trust. Make sure they are well-reviewed online, fair and transparent about any and all costs you incur. This will help you get the best deal when your car needs to go to the garage for a fixup. Secondly, ensure the parts you source are not heavily used. Although these will be cheaper, they will wind up more expensive in the long run when they inevitably do not last as long!

Final Thoughts

Having a vehicle is a necessity for many people’s lives, but the expense of owning one can be a big issue for their bank accounts. Use this helpful guide to save money on your vehicle!