Time to Get Your Finances In Order

I’ll admit, I am not the one to give financial advice because I still struggle with staying on budget as well as paying down debt.  As hubby says “You will never be a Rockefeller” which is why I was a perfect fit for social work and non-profits.I am always looking for tips on how to get better at this because:

Managing your money is the key to success!

So, if you’re looking to try and get your finances in order, stop spending, and start saving, here are some top tips are for you to try….

 

1. Create a Spreadsheet 

Do you know how much you owe?  If you have debt, do you now how much your interest rate is on each one? To easily organize your finances, a spreadsheet is a great way to see your income and your expenses.  You can create one in Google Drive so you can stay on top of it.   I have a list including interest charges so when there is extra money, I can pay down on the highest interest rate first.

2. Set Up Savings 

I know this sounds crazy if you have debt BUT you need to start saving for an emergency.  It can be as little as $10 a paycheck or $25 a month.  Check with your bank too for some of those instant kind of saving programs.  Bank of America takes the change from your ATM transactions, rounds up and the money is put in your savings account.  Those pennies add up quickly.  It all helps!

3. Organize Direct Debits 

I used to advocate direct debits but when my income varies, it is better for me to have repeated reminders set up. I have reminders set up on each of my credit cards when payments are due – 14 days out and 1 week out.  This ensures I avoid any late payment fees and any (further) damage to your credit score.

4. Refrain From Impulse Purchases 

Yup, we are all guilty of it.  Sometimes it is easier said than done.  Be sure to have some room in your budget for treats – large or small so you can occasionally splurge!

5. Make A List – Stick To It How many times have you gone to the store and your list is home?  The end result, you buy more than what you need and usually forget what you originally went to the store for.  I have started putting my grocer list on my phone.  When was the last time you left home without your phone?  Whether shopping for Christmas, clothing or groceries – always stick to the list!

6. Set Budgets for Events 

Everyone’s salary is different so why not set a budget for Birthdays so you don’t feel pressured to match what everyone else is spending.

7. Emergency Fund 

This goes back to #2 when we set up a savings account.  What happens why you have a surprise expense – car repair, etc?  Tempted to pull out the credit card. DON’T!!!  Use your savings account or emergency account.  By saving a little each money, you are ready for those unexpected events.

8. Don’t Be Drawn In By Offers 

Sales.  How often are you drawn in by the offers non things you may not really need.  If you need it, great.  If you don’t, why buy it.  I mean do you really need the  half price Ben & Jerry’s ice cream?

9. Make a Packed Lunch 

Taking lunch to work is so much cheaper than a daily visit to the local sandwich shop.  Think of the money and time you will save.  Have an hour for lunch?  Imagine being able to enjoy a full hour of leisurely eating your lunch and catching up with friends instead of waiting to order food and then gulping it down.  Bringing your lunch to work is better all around as well as far healthier for you.

10. Cut the Coffee 

Yes, I went there.  When I was commuting to work, I would do a WAWA stop on the way to and from work.  That came to at least $5 or more a day or $25 per week or over $1,300 per year.  I’m now hooked on Starbucks unsweet green tea and thankfully, I don’t commute or it would be about $1,000 a year on ice tea.  What could you use a $1000 on?

 11. Use Your Legs 

If you live in the city or your commute is to an area where there is good public transportation, this is a great way to save money.  Growing up in NJ, there really is not a very good public transportation system unless you are headed to NY to work. In addition to saving money, you can also burn some extra calories by walking to and from the stops.

12. Seek Out Deals 

Yes, I have gotten lazy when it comes to looking for the best deals.  Whether it is car insurance, phone service or our cable bill – I haven’t shopped around for the best deal in ages.  When I did call Comcast to re-negotiate our bill, I was able to save about $50 per month which is $600 to apply to paying down credit card debt.

13. Sell And Buy Online

I used to do this all of the time – selling on eBay was a regular thing.  It has gone by the wayside but it may be time to revive this old habit.  When it comes to shopping online, I am always looking for the best deal using apps like Ebates and others.

What is YOUR best tips for getting your finances under control?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Using Messaging For Business

 

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Just a reminder to set your clock BACK tonight.  Yes, it is getting closer to Spring and warmer weather.  I am so excited….

Do you have phone fear?  If you are in direct sales, you have heard the importance of picking up the phone and calling people. Phone fear is feeling like the phone weighs 100 pounds when it comes time to make business calls.  If you experience “telephone fear” and you can overcome it, you’ll make more money. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

I used to have total phone fear which meant I never picked up the phone.  Then someone said “just call and thank them for their business” and plant a seed.  I wrote out a mini script and it worked.  Yes, I do leave lots of messages but I do get some call backs and the chance to talk to some customers.

Now, I seem to have texting and PM fear.  I am doing to my customers the thing I hate most about getting text messages from other direct sellers.  It is time to make a change.

Thank you to Creative Success Systems for these four texting tips.  These techniques are easy, you’ll feel 100% authentic (not like a pushy salesperson), and they’ll increase the likelihood of your customer replying and purchasing.

#1 Don’t mention your company or product.

I know you have received messages where people just ask  you about buying or booking without any interest in you as a person.  You know the message has been copied and pasted a million times.  I have made the same mistake when reaching out to my customers.  I usually feel pressured to buy something or I ignore the message.  So why wouldn’t my customers feel the same way.

Are you friends on Facebook?  Check out  what’s happening in their lives. Send them a message via text on Facebook and ask: “How is your daughter feeling?” “How was your vacation to Disneyland?” “I love your new haircut. Who did your hair?” Get them to talk about themselves. They’re much more likely to respond to a personal question than one about your product.

Often they mention the product you sell. If they don’t, then ask, “I’d love to find out how the product you ordered is working for you. Do you have a minute for me to ask you a couple of quick questions?” Asking permission to talk about products easily transitions the conversation from a friendly chat into one between a concerned consultant and an interested client.

#2 End every message with a question.

How many times have been texting or sending a message on Facebook and the conversation just ends?  Go back to those conversations and see if the last thing you said ended with a period or a question mark.  When you ask questions, people feel compelled to respond.

How many times have we just answered their question or given them information about a product and hoped they would order?  The trick is to add a question at the end of your comment.  For example, if a question is asked about thermals, “what do you usually take for lunch?” or “what were you thinking of using it for?”

By digging deeper into the customer’s needs, you accomplish two things. First, you keep the conversation going so you can create a level of interest in a number of products. Second, you increase the likelihood of closing a deal. I definitely need to practice this one.

#3 Invite them to buy.

Did you know people seldom buy something without an invitation? Think about the last time you bought something.  Did someone ask you “can I help you find something?”?  The salesperson is usually eager to meet your needs, and help you buy what you’re looking for.  There are even pop-up boxes on websites for you join their mailing list or buy their products.  Sometimes even a chat box for customer service to make it a more personal experience.

Social etiquette is we wait for an invitation before we make spending decisions. This rule is the same when you are messaging someone. They’re waiting for you to ask them to purchase or invite them to visit your web site or book a party.

#4 Keep it short and sweet.

Do you read a full text or a long message on Facebook? If it is more than 2 lines, do you skim it and then move on?  So do your customers! Remember Rule Number 1 above, and keep your comments focused on their lives.

The first message is to test the water to see if they’re too busy to talk. On Facebook, only message when you see the green light.  They aren’t always online when it’s green, but the chance is a little higher if it is. After you get a response, reply to what they say, no matter what they say. “I’m sorry XYZ happened.” “Congratulations!” “That’s so exciting.” Validate what they say. Ask ONE additional question and then WAIT again before you move into a business discussion.

Using these four simple techniques may take a little longer to follow-up with customers.  You may not breeze through your list of calls quickly BUT isn’t your goal to build relationships with your customers.  These tips will result in repeat business, more recruit interviews, and growth in your overall business.  I am putting them into action TODAY!  What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

A Scrapbook of the Future

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I have just come home from an AMAZING Thirty One National Conference.  This is just a “few” of the friends that I got to hang out with on The Beacon of Hope team.  I am reflecting on all that I heard and realize that this was life changing in so many ways for me.

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This year’s theme was “What Matters Most?”.  If you were asked that question, how would you answer it.  Would you say: Family, Faith, Friends, kids, work, travel, or giving back?  For me, it is faith, family and friends.  But I realized that if I looked at where I spend most of my time, it was definitely NOT in that order OR on those 3 things.

What about you…. do you spend your time on the things that matter most to you?  Are you juggling lots of balls (tasks)?  At the end of the day, is your energy drained and you have nothing to give to the things that matter most?  I have been there.  I know what that is like. I actually thought that when I left my crazy full-time job things would be different.  I would have time for the 3 things that matter most to me.  WOW!  Was this weekend an eye opener when I realized that I was so far from where I wanted to be.

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I know that many of you have heard of vision boards and if you are like me, maybe you have been unsure what to put there.  Maybe you have even avoided them.  Maybe you put the things on there that you “thought” should be there.  Maybe your fears have kept you from dreaming BIG.  Sound familiar?  Maybe those Pinterest boards or Instagram pictures have you comparing your dreams to that of others.

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Let’s change the picture (actually, the mind set).  How many of you have made scrapbooks of your kids, family vacations, life accomplishments, etc?  Things that have happened in the past that we want to cherish their memory, right?  What if you were to do a scrapbook of the future?  I can see the eyes roll as well as the doubts and negativity creeping in.  HOLD ON!!!  Let’s break it down into 4 sections:

  • Relationships
  • Business
  • Finances
  • Kids

What if you were to visualize (DREAM) where you want to be in each of these areas?  Set aside about 30 minutes for each one and start making notes or flipping through magazines for ideas.  Focus on one at a time.

Relationships: Not in a relationship, do you long for one?  If so, what would that person be like?  What qualities would he/she possess?  Are you in a relationship, do you want to get married?  Are you married, what kind of relationship do you want with your spouse?  Is your relationship having some rough spots, what would you like to have happen?

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Business:  Do you have your own business (or would you like one)?  Do you have a career – what is your goal, where do you want to grow?  If you want your own business, why is it important to you?  What would it look like?  

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Finances:  Are you in debt and want to pay it off?  Do you want to own a house? What would it look like?  Do you want money to travel? Travel to where?  Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others – what would that look like?

Kids:  Do you have them or do you want them?  What would you like their life to look like growing up?  

For some this may seem like a silly exercise BUT did you know that if you HEART wants it your HEAD will get you there.  It is true!  Your current circumstances DO NOT control your dreams.  Your dreams are YOUR DREAMS!  They are not anyone else’s.  Others may think they are silly.  Who cares?  They are YOUR DREAMS!  You need to BELIEVE that all things are possible.

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I challenge you to make your own scrapbook of the FUTURE!  Share it with us.  I am headed out to find some magazines because we don’t get any at the house.  I am read to get my scrapbook together so my head will start heading to where my heart wants to be.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How to Feel Smarter and Stronger

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It is officially SUMMER!  That is what the calendar says, right?  The kids are out of school. We have heard for years that we are all becoming “coach potatoes”, right?  The more technology, the busier we get, the busier we get, the less time we spend enjoying nature and the great outdoors.  Funny, I always thought that it would be the opposite.  

Did you not that there are REAL health benefits from spending time in nature.  I don’t mean just opening the sun roof to your car and absorbing the sun.  I mean taking a walk or sitting outside and just breathing in the fresh air.  

There are awesome environmental benefits that are provided by trees and other plants. BUT do you take advantage of the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits available from nature?

Did you know that, “people today spend up to 25 percent less time enjoying nature than people did just 20 years ago.”

Remember how you felt after you took a break and spent a few minutes outside?  Didn’t you come back energized and ready to conquer the next challenge?  Statistics have shown that people that walked through an arboretum performed 20% better in memory and attention tests then those that walked on a busy street.  Okay, so maybe there isn’t an arboretum outside your home or office BUT there is probably a park close by.  Studies show that long stretches in nature have resulted in dramatic increases in our creativity and problem solving skills. Nature also improves our mood, and  generosity.

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Here are some of the other benefits from being out in nature:

  • Regain physical energy
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Decrease stress hormones
  • Heighten immunity
  • Lower heart rate
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Better cholesterol

Why does all of this work?  Because we are actually programmed to spend time relaxing and resting, especially in natural environments.  We are meant to spend a substantial amounts of time outdoors so we can experience our Creator and restore our spirits.

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A long walk, gardening, sitting by the ocean — any activity let us disconnect from the crazy and get reconnected to our hearts is a plus mentally, physically and spiritually.  Nature is God’s reset button for our minds, bodies, and spirits. If you’re spending all day indoors, you’re missing the restorative power of nature.

How much time do you spend outdoors each week?

Do You Want to SQUASH those holiday bills?

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Are you already dreading January credit card bills? Do you long for just two hours to catch up with your friends? Would you like to go to a party every time you go to work?  Are you trying to figure out how you can earn some extra money and still have time for family and friends?

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I have just the thing for you! I have been where you are and thought “it is impossible”. Guess what? It’s not!

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I was a single mom. Working a full time job and on call 24/7.  My daughter was an All Star cheerleader for 4 years – need I say more. My Friends? I rarely saw them. Christmas was filled with lots of shopping and YES, I used credit cards. Budgeting was not something that I used to do.

Can you picture you and a few friends gathered in your (or their) living room. Laughing. Talking. No kids. No significant other. There are some cute products on display. You feel like you are at private showing from a small boutique. When the night is done, you feel refreshed and energized. Your friends have had a good time. The best part is that you just earned an average of $150. Where could you work for 2 or 3 hours and make that kind of money?  Oh, did I mention that YOU picked the day and time for this gathering?

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There is still time to get in on Thirty One’s AMAZING opportunity for new consultants…

#1 The Enrollment kit awaits! You get over $400 in product (plus all the order forms, catalogs, and more to get started) for just $99.

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#2 – Host your launch party and enter $600 the first 30 days, you’re also going to earn your 1st Start Swell! You get to choose ONE kit when you submit $600 in your first 30 days. Which one do YOU want?! And in your first 4 months, you have a chance to earn FOUR of these kits!

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#3 Ask a friend to join you on your journey. If they join you in your first 4 months, and they qualify ($1000 in sales) within their Start Swell period, you earn $100 BONUS! There is no limit!!!!

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#4 The chance to earn NEW Spring Product with Ready Set Sell.  In addition to earning FREE product with Start Swell, you will also have a chance to DOUBLE dip!  Yes, that $600 launch party will not only get you the FIRST Start Swell but it will also get you Level 1 of Ready Set Sell which is a host of NEW Spring products.

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Did I mention that on top of all of this you get ME and the Rays of HOPE team to help celebrate, encourage and support you on your journey. Why not try it for 3 months? If it doesn’t work, what is the worst that has happened – you have earned some extra money and gotten some AWESOME products. BUT what if you find out that you LOVE it! You could have a new business or even a new career.

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Let me know if you have any questions, I would love to answer them for you.

So let’s recap, why you should join NOW:
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Here is how you can reach me:

Website: www.partywithHope.com

Facebook: Hope’s Thirty One Gift Closet

Email: HopeWs31@gmail.com

Ladies, have a ThirtyOne-derful Day!

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