Are You Content With Your Business Card Marketing? Tips To Marketing Yourself With Business Cards

Are you content with the way that you use business cards to market your products or service?
Business cards are one of the most basic tools in your frugal marketing arsenal.
Here are some ways that you can market your business using your business cards.

Mail your business cards to your contacts.

They may have lost your card or given it to someone.

This way they always have your info.

Make your business cards magnets.

Some people collect magnets.

This will give your business card a longer shelf life.

Pass them out everywhere you go. Pass them out at church, the grocery store, the barber shop, networking events, the airport, the hotel, leave them on bulletin boards. EVERYWHERE!

You never know who is going to become a potential client or source of referrals.
You can be sure that if someone does not have your contact information they will not be able to contact you to inquire about your product or service.

Put them in bills when you mail your payment.
Mail them to people that send you junk mail if they supply a return envelope.
This does not cost you any postage at all.

Put a discount on them.
Offer something free.
When you send someone a greeting card, include one of your business cards.

Business cards can secure major deals for you, but only if you know how to use them properly. Start implementing these tips today and increase your customer base tomorrow.

Five Reasons You Should Lease Your Next Car

With the current economic climate being what it is, most people are putting a lot more thought into how they spend their money. And for many, this additional thought has lead to them forgoing the luxury of a new car purchase. After all, something that depreciates by up to thirty percent the second you drive it off the forecourt isn’t exactly a frugal purchase.

One alternative that many people are turning to is car leasing. Despite the fact that a car lease will never actually be something that you own, car leases do actually come with a number of attractive benefits. I will now outline just what those benefits are.

Skip the Mechanical Problems That Come With Age

Cars tend to be at their most reliable during their first few years on the road. When you choose to lease a car rather than buy one, these are the only years that you need to deal with. With most car leases lasting around three years, you never have to deal with an aging car and the mechanical problems that tend to come with it. You’re local mechanic won’t like it but you probably will.

Forget About Depreciation

As well as mechanical problems, you also get to skip depreciation problems. As you are likely aware, a new car depreciates at a pretty astonishing rate. Many estimates suggest that new cars lose up to seventy percent of their value during their first five years on the road. When you lease a car, this becomes the dealers problem, not yours.

More Car for your Money

Unless you have quite the healthy bank balance, you are likely to find your options at the forecourt somewhat limited by what you can afford. One major advantage of car leases is that your money can take you a lot further. While you mightn’t be able to afford to purchase the car of your dreams, that certainly does not mean that you cannot afford to lease it. The best cars cost a hell of a lot less to lease than they do to purchase.

Significantly Lower Monthly Payments

If you are considering purchasing a car on credit, you might be interested to learn that the monthly payments on a lease tend to be significantly lower than those associated with a car loan. In general, all other factors being equal, you can expect your monthly payments on a car lease to be half that of what you would be paying had you purchased the car.

A New Car Every Three Years

Few people can afford to purchase a new car every three years but when you choose to lease, this is exactly what you get. After three years, you can simply return your car to the dealer and lease a new one. You don’t need to worry about finding a buyer and you certainly don’t need to worry about market value. All you have to do is hand over the keys and choose your next ride.

What You Need To Manage Your Money

With record bankruptcies, mortgage foreclosures and prices skyrocketing, it’s more important now than ever before to properly and effectively manage your personal finances.

Statistics show that most people could manage very well on the income they have now if they were able to keep their bills and expenses within their income. Sadly, too many people do not understand how to do this or how to recover once they have overextended themselves.

Personal Money Management is not a one step process. Simply having a budget in place or keeping up with your checking account isn’t enough. You need to follow a set process that covers several aspects of money management. Here are the basics of this process:

Set Your Goals

Most people think of setting goals as strictly long-term like retirement and college for the kids. While these are very important goals they are just the beginning. You need to decide what you and your family want your future to be and make all financial decisions with that in mind. This could include things like setting aside money for an annual vacation, replacing your car or home repairs.

Find Out Where You Stand Now

It’s absolutely necessary that you know what you have coming in and what you have going out. While a pre-set budget form is best to accomplish this you can do it on a piece of notebook paper. Just right down your bills and expenses in one column and your income in another. Then add them up and subtract your expenses from your income. You will know at a glace if you have money problems.

Develop A Budget You Can Live With

There are literally thousands of budget sample forms available and most are very effective. However, many have as many as 50 categories of expense items you must keep up with to make it work. This requires entirely too much time and effort and are usually abandoned within a few days or weeks. Find a simple budget with very few categories and once set up only requires your attention for a few minutes on payday.

Cut Expense In Every Budget Category You Can

There are thousands of ways to cut your expenses and not change the way you live. As an example, the current trend that is saving a lot of money is to eliminate your land line and use your cell phone as your primary phone. It’s a fact that most people could cut their monthly expenses by 10% or more leaving that money to be used for more important purposes. The internet is the best place to get tips that you can use.

Set Up A Debt Repayment Plan

Consumer debt is robbing people of hundreds of dollars each month in interest charges and late and over limit fees. Your goal should be to eliminate all of your debt as soon as possible. There is a simple process called snowballing that will allow you to pay off your debt much earlier and save you possible tens of thousands of dollars in interest charges.

Basically, snowballing is where you add up all of your minimum payments and choose one bill to add extra money to the payment until it is paid in full. Then you take the extra money and the payment you were making on bill 1 and add it to the next bill and so on. The extra money you add doesn’t have to be much. Just adding $25 will pay down your bills much faster because the amount of money you have allotted for bills remains the same until all of your bills are paid off.

Know Your Credit

Your credit rating, or credit score, is very important when obtaining a loan. As an example according to Myfico.com, show that for a $300, 000 loan, an individual with a credit score of 760-850 would pay $1745 and an individual with a credit score of 500-579 would pay $2676 per month.

The only way to really know what your credit looks like to lenders is to obtain a copy of your credit report regularly. Residents of the US can obtain a free copy of their credit report from the three credit reporting agencies each year. I urge you to get your free copies by visiting https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

Look For More Sources Of Income

If your paycheck doesn’t stretch far enough to cover all of your bills and expenses you may need to look for additional sources of money to cover everything. I would employ the expense cutting method mentioned above first but if you still can’t make it then more money would help.

Each of us have our own specific talents. Trying to come up with a one size fits all method of generating more income is next to impossible. But, if you take the time to really look at the talents you have you will probably find that you could use them to provide a product or service that people are willing to pay for.

Like I said, these are just the basics. There are other areas of personal finances that are just as important like investing and building your personal wealth, but those are topics that you can concentrate on when you have the basics covered.

If you aren’t aware of where you stand financially you may be a victim of what I call “Financial Complacency”. That is simply defined as not being willing to put in the time and effort necessary to control all aspects of your personal finances. Normally, this is a result of being confused about your money and how it should work because you were never taught the right way.

Simply by making a concerted effort to properly manage your money will go a long way toward solving any problems you may have. You may be surprised at how easy the solution can be.

Why Not Do Loan Modification on Your Own?

No matter what situation you can think up, it almost always comes down to the eternal conflict of time versus money. Do you want to spend your own time doing something, and spend less money, or would you like to spend more money to have someone else do most of the work for you? Another question you might want to ask yourself is: Can you do the work?

Loan modifications are no different. If you want to go through the process on your own, without paying a third party to represent you, it’s going to take a lot of your own time. First of all, it’s important to understand the concept of “opportunity cost.” If you are taking a lot of your own time to accomplish something, and that could be time better spent making money at work or spending time with your family or friends, you have to weigh the cost of what you could be doing with that time.

When it comes to loan modification, if you go the solo route, you will bear the brunt of the grunt work, such as filling out paperwork, calling and negotiating with loss mitigation representatives at your lending institution, and attempting to demonstrate how you qualify for a loan modification. If you are in financial trouble, it is understandable why you would want to avoid spending even more money on representation for the negotiation of your loan modification. Unfortunately, being frugal in this area can be the most expensive decision you make.

Assuming you do have the time to devote to tackling the loan modification process by yourself, you must then be sure you have the knowledge necessary to present your case effectively. There are “do it yourself” kits and other resources online that try to help you prepare for negotiating the terms of your loan, but unless you are already familiar with real estate, banking, and loans, or you are superhuman in your dedication to learning all about them, you will not be able to match the knowledge of someone with schooling, training, and experience in those areas.

Essentially, your goal is to give the bank a clear picture of why they would benefit from changing the terms of your loan. As sad as it is, the bank isn’t run to be charitable toward those who are having a tough time; the bank is run to be profitable. Therefore, you need to put aside emotions and go into negotiations ready to discuss numbers, percentages, interest, and why the outcome will be a positive one for the bank. If you don’t feel you can successfully learn all of this and handle it by yourself, you might want to look into a professional third party loan modification attorney.

The biggest reason not to go it alone is that banks can be predatory, and they are much less likely to take an individual seriously. Think about if you were on trial for murder, and you were trying to defend yourself, rather than using an attorney to defend you. Just the fact that you have an expert to argue your side of the case will cause others to pay closer attention and have more respect for what is said. It’s unfortunate, but you really do benefit from having a strong ally in something as important as negotiating a modified loan.

“The best way to protect yourself is to be educated on all of the possibilities. Make sure to keep an open line of communication with your lender on the subject. If you have hired an attorney to represent you against the bank, be sure to express your concerns about any future liability,” says, Joel Jacobi, Managing Attorney at American Residential Law Group.

In the end, even with diligent research and effort, you simply cannot match the results of a professional company with resources and personnel dedicated to helping you. If you can save hundreds per month on your mortgage payment, you can certainly justify the cost of seeking a third party for loan modification.