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Archive for October, 2014

4 Ways To Save Money On Gift Buying

It may be too late to get some of the best bargains for some holiday shopping but anytime you can get some ideas of how to save money that might fit within your budget as it pertains to gifts it’s a good day.

We want to preface this by saying that even with savings, you should always make sure you’re staying within your budget as much as possible. Nothing’s a deal if you can’t really afford it. Here we go:

1. Buy online. There are many deals to be made online, even for new items. Be cautious that you’re not losing your savings via lousy shipping deals, which some retailers are sneaky about (such as charging you multiple times for multiple items you know are going in the same box). There are the generic sites where you can bid on things and other sites that offer low prices by comparison, but sometimes the best deal you can get is directly from the manufacturer.

2. Buy within the first two weeks “after” a holiday. This may not work well for items that won’t come out until just before a holiday but for everything else almost all businesses are trying to clear out inventory at drastically reduced rates. If the item you want to buy isn’t time conscious this is a great way to save a lot of money.

3. Don’t always buy “new”. There are a lot of big ticket items that are still pretty good that people decide to sell for reasons other than because something went bad. Things like cars and jewelry, sometimes even appliances, often get sold because someone didn’t like it as much as they thought the would but otherwise are just like new. Sometimes you can save as much as 75% on some items that aren’t fully new, and we’ve seen some cars with less than 5,000 miles go for upwards of 40% off, depending on the model.

4. Look for “vintage”. Going further with the theme of not buying new all the time, things like paintings, quilts and furniture sometimes retains itself pretty well over time and, in some instances, if you shop properly you can save some money on really nice stuff. Of course some vintage items go up in price over time so you might want to think about your purchases as an investment to help someone make money later on.
 

Businesses Sometimes Must Spend Money

As much as we tell businesses and individuals that they need to budget their money in case something comes up, we need to also mention that if you’re a business you need to spend money from time to time for multiple reasons. It’s hard to spend money you don’t have, which is why we talk about budgeting, but it’s important for your business not to be too shy about buying a thing or two here and there.

The biggest reason of course is that you get to write off those expenses when it comes to taxes. This is why we say to keep receipts and track your mileage. As we stated in our previous post, you can still make good money while having your business considered as operating at a loss, and it’s all legal.

What should you be spending your money on? Here are 5 things to consider.

1. Business meals. Networking is the name of the game when it comes to most businesses and a major perk is that you get to write off your meals when you’re doing any sort of business. You get 50% off of any meals you pay for towards your taxes, which means you don’t have to meet potential clients at McDonalds. And if you’re traveling a lot, any meals you buy out of town count as business expenses.

2. Education. There isn’t a business in the world that stays stagnant. Yet the first thing businesses often do is stop training and learning when things get financially tough. That will put you behind your competitors and that’s never a good thing. You get to write off training seminars and materials.

3. Networking. Most businesses have some kind of professional group they can join to either learn more about their business or network with others who are in business for themselves. Chambers of Commerce in your local area are always something to consider, especially if you tend to spend most of your time alone, if only because it not only gives you a reason to get out of the house, but it’s tax deductible. Getting to know other professionals, even if they’re not in your field, is always a good business move.

4. Office equipment. Unless you’re a large business you’re probably not depreciating any of your office equipment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about changing things from time to time, especially when you get to write it off. Computers, software, office furniture… sometimes you have to bite the bullet and buy something new, but knowing you get to write it off should lessen the blow somewhat.

5. Clothes or uniforms. There’s no rule that says you have to keep wearing the same thing over and over. Clothes and uniforms sometimes wear out, and since you get to write off the costs of these things it makes sense to update your wardrobe from time to time. You may not be able to write off that Syracuse University t-shirt, but if you buy a couple of dress shirts and maybe a pair of shoes… you’re good to go.