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Wednesday, 10 April 2013 15:33

Don't cut hair out of your budget

We made it through another long, cold Maine winter, and now we have that dreaded date of April 15 looming ahead. When money is already super tight, many of us will have to dig and scrape to send even more in to Uncle Sam. The past few years have been an eye opening struggle for all of us. So, now what happens to the budget? Usually the seemingly frivolous things are the first to go. A lot of you will cut your hair out of your budget and even cancel your appointment. You know what it costs the last time you got your hair cut and colored, and you know you can't afford that right now. 

Published in Get Ginafied
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 18:14

Date night on a budget

My husband and I have been together for 25 years. We spent a lot of time together in the beginning, but as we progressed in our careers and the kids came along we found it increasingly difficult to find time for each other.

We worked. We ate. We went to bed.

I'm not sure how we even found the time to fit the kids in over the years. There was also a period during our marriage when he traveled quite a bit and we barely saw or talked to each other. And as the kids grew older, our schedules were pressured even more due to activities, sports and the many other things kids do.

Published in The Frugal Edge
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 16:44

Marketing spring cleaning

According to research conducted by Forrester Research, B2B firms have seen an average increase of 6.8 percent in their allocated marketing funds this year as compared to 2011. This budget expansion is a reassuring sign that the economy is picking up and B2B organizations are beginning to see substantial growth in revenue giving their marketing efforts an invigorating boost of capital.

After a few years of marketing budget drought, the new challenge for B2B marketers is figuring out the best ways to invest their funds. Although an increase of 6 percent or more may sound amazing, some of these budgets had been slashed to the bone and even with the increase, funds haven't yet returned to the point they were at five or six years ago.

As an agency, we suggest that our clients begin by taking a close look at their marketing activities. Nothing works better than developing a fresh marketing plan to assess where your business stands versus where you want it to be, and how you'll get there. This exercise is invaluable. Having a realistic view of where your business is positioned in the market in relation to your competition is the best reality check.

Published in The Marketing Edge
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 13:41

Are you making common money mistakes?

Life is full of surprises. Some of them are wonderful, but some stink. If you could take a few simple steps and avoid a few nasty mishaps from common mistakes, wouldn't you want to do that? I like to avoid unnecessary pain when I can, so I like a plan that incorporates mistake-avoiding steps. Here are the four most common money mistakes, and how to avoid them, from a recent survey.

Mistake #1 Budget - As in not HAVING a budget. According to this report, over half of Americans report not having a budget, and 20 percent have no idea how much they spend on housing, food and entertainment. No one has so much money that one can just make spending a hobby. If you spend without keeping track, life will be crazy, not cozy. In no other part of life do you get anywhere without a general plan. You don't get in your car and make a trip without thinking about your destination and whether you have enough gas to get where you're going. Budgets are a cozy. They are your money's plan for fun and savings, bill paying and your future. They track where you hope to go on your money journey and where you have already gone. A budget is a good thing. Please have one.

Mistake #2 Saving - Forgetting to save - or not knowing how to save - is mistake number two. According to the report, 40 percent of respondents are saving less this year than last, and another 40 percent have no money saved for retirement. Many surveyed reported that they didn't know how to save. I'm not even sort of suggesting that you need to be perfect at any of this, but you do have to try. That's what grownups do. They make proper plans. And when they don't know how to do something, they ask for help. We don't know what you don't understand unless you ask for help. I want to help you! But I don't do Vulcan mind-melds, so you'll have to speak up. Then I will quickly help you.

Published in Money

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