FIM: Financial Tips # 4


Financial Information Month made possible by the FIM partners


Making Wise Investment Choices

Don’t fall for too-good-to-be-true scams. Wealth creation is a simple process based on common sense principles. While regulation offers a degree of customer protection, the burden of making sound investment choices remains with the investor.


Spending Controls

You work hard for your money, do don’t make it too easy to lose it through unbridled spending. Adopt a spending plan based on controls and goals and watch your debt intake. If you have to splurge, consider the return on the investment on the item to be purchased. Ask yourself a few questions: How long will the item last? How often will it be used? Is there a long-term benefit that your will derive from the item you are considering purchasing? What are you giving up to purchase the item?

Shopping Tips

· Always do you grocery shopping with a list of items you need and avoid impulse food purchases. Also, avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach, you tend to buy much more than you need.


· Purchase in bulk where possible, as it saves on cost and also lessens the need for frequent trips to the grocery store.


· Prioritise needs and wants. While you may want that new car or that extra hot latte at the coffee shop, are they really things you need or are they things you want? Prioritising your spending means listing all the items you normally spend money on and deciding what you really need and what you can do without.

· Shop your closet. Take a fresh look at the clothes you own instead of hitting the stores/mall.


· Look at some of the garments you don’t intend to wear again and carry to the seamstress or tailor to rework into another style – this will result in a fraction of the cost of purchasing new outfits.


· Check to see if you have outfits that you have bought and never worn because they either do not fit right or there is something about them that you do not like. Carry them to your seamstress or tailor and discuss ways in which you can re-create a whole new outfit from them at a fraction of the price of purchasing a new outfit.


· Take an inventory of your shoes. Some may just need a little cleaning, others some crazy glue, you can also get the heels fixed at a show repair shop and before you know it, you have a whole lot of wearable shoes again.


· Compare prices and quality before buying especially expensive items.


· Do not buy on impulse, be patient, look now and buy later.


· Buy items when they are on sales and save.



Relationship Money Tips

· Money may not buy you love but fighting about it will bankrupt your relationship. Before you marry, fix your finances. Too many couples start off their married lives with an enormous amount of debt. That’s a lot of pressure on a new marriage.


· Couples need to establish a financial plan and have open communication about their financial situation. One partner’s hidden spending can ultimately lead to credit problems that affect both partners. Without complete financial disclosure, it can be difficult for couples to create effective long-term financial plans.


Keep track of your business finances by having a good record keeping system. Tracking your business finances keeps you and your business accountable. You can measure what is working and what is not working. It also helps you to meet your financial obligations and keeps your business running well. It will help you to stay on track, keep your focus, and build your business.


Small Business Tips

· Market yourself. Your product is often tied to your name. Produce consistent, good work on a timely basis. Be careful not to take on more than you can handle; and don’t take on what you cannot do. Remember your reputation is your trademark.


· Promotions and Samples: At times it may be feasible to offer free or low cost samples or promotions to promote your small business, but don’t go overboard and give away the business.


· Don’t price yourself out of the market. Exorbitant prices will only serve to drive away existing and potential customers. Don’t expect to make a great profit when you start your small business. It takes time to build up a solid reputation and a strong clientele base.


· Do not imitate your competition, but be aware of what it is offering. Keep abreast of current trends. Upgrade your knowledge base by taking local and online courses.

· Enjoy what you do, for that is what will determine the quality of service that you provide and therefore the strength of your small business.


· Marketing and selling your product is much easier if you believe in yourself. Base your business on your interests, strongest skills and expertise.


· Visualise what you want for your business because then you can make it happen.


· Surviving and thriving in your business means cultivating a host of relationships. You and your business have to be visible so that prospective customers, suppliers and collaborators can become aware that you exist.


· Get connected. Getting exposure for your business, finding new contacts or learning about new business opportunities is all about being connected. You could be the absolute best at what you do but if nobody knows you are there, your best is useless; you’ll wither away and die.


· Get involved in community activities – An entrepreneur’s social network is a major contributory factor to the start-up and development processes of a new venture.


· Cultivate your people skills. Make a list of the people and attributes that are required to network successfully in your industry and begin acquiring them.


· Dress for success. As a small business owner, you define and project your business. First impressions are critical to establishing credibility.


· Get into the loop. Join groups and attend events that can provide you with the connections, industry news and contacts your need to network successfully. They only way you can improve your understanding of your customers’ industry is to spend time speaking to people in the industry. A deep understanding of your industry niche is vital in order to successfully serve the market, so use these events to increase your knowledge.


· Have the right mindset for business success. Don’t allow other people’s squabbles or negative views about people, issues or organisations to cloud your views and rob you of the potential opportunity to bring in more business.


· Be vigilant. Make it an ongoing business task to seek out potential weak areas or areas that require attention and then address them. Also look for opportunities and make the most of them.


· You have a much better chance of success when your business model makes what’s good for customers match what’s good for the business and vice versa.


· Don’t be daunted when your actual sales do not meet your expectations. Continue to do your research, update your business plan and implement new strategies until your sales meet your expectation. Success does not happen overnight. It requires planning, diligence and hard work.

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