Growing Your Home Business

With more and more of us finding ourselves out of work or working limited hours, this is a great time to consider growing your at-home business. Today with a little funding, a plan, and some creativity, you can turn a passion or side hustle into a full-time role. You can be your own boss and be flexible enough to handle whatever is the next challenge 2020 is going through your way.

Initial Funding:

The first hurdle for a home business is finding the seed capital you need to start. To get others to give you money, you are going to need a clear plan and a clear elevator speech that shows what is unique about the products or services you are planning on providing. Your business does not have to reinvent the wheel; you have to prove you have a different angle to solve a problem or that you can solve it quicker or cheaper than others. Sometimes when starting a business, you will be fortunate and have savings or access to consumer installment loan products. In other cases, you will have to find others who are willing to back your work instead. This might include getting backers who are your family or friends or might consist of using Gofundme. This type of fundraiser is especially useful if you are seeking seed money for something creative like a book, comic, game, etc. By sampling your product and getting it in front of a large number of eyes means you are more likely to find those individuals who love your idea and want to support it.

Next Steps For Financial Health:

As you start your business, its important that you keep your personal and business financials separated. This is important for both tax purposes and for future audits. When you are a business with only you as an employee, this may seem less important, but once you start to expand, you are going to want to have healthy systems in place. Getting your business financials in order is essential, but you also need to think about personal finance as a small business owner. If you want to have a successful business, it’s vital to make sure you have an emergency fund, money put away for retirement, and a handle on your credit health. The last thing you want is to be like the character in many films who is about to lose everything they have because they did not plan in case their business had a hiccup.

How To Use The System For Your Advantage:

The final step to growing a home business is to understand the systems in which you conduct business. This often involves understanding what paperwork you need to files. It could also be determining what copyright issues you have to face. This might mean learning what expenses you can write-off and how to save the most on your tax bill. There are many resources for small businesses both on a local, regional, state, and national levels. While this might seem like a lot of work, it is well worth your time. You are putting your love and passion into this project, and you should take advantage of all the resources which are available to you.

This three-step plan will help you take your dreams and turn them into a successful small business. When faced with everything that 2020 is throwing at us, the satisfaction of such an accomplishment can bring us is indescribable. Allow this to be the beginning of the business that gets discussed long into the future.

Top Reasons You’re Falling Short on Your Financial Goals

Finances tie into just about every aspect of your life. Your finances can impact where you live, the kind of car you drive, the quality of healthcare you receive, the type of food you eat, and the overall lifestyle you lead. Not to mention, finances can cause physical and emotional stress and even ruin relationships (marital or familial). For these reasons, people try to improve their financial circumstances.

Setting financial goals and accomplishing them, however, are two separate things. You may very well want to improve your credit score, lower your debt to income ratio, make a certain amount of money annually, save for retirement, or invest in stocks to diversify your assets, but making it happen depends on your ability to take action and get stuff done.

If you’ve set financial goals but have been having a hard time accomplishing them, perhaps there is an underlying factor that’s causing you trouble. Below, is a look at some of the top reasons people fall short of meeting their financial goals.

Lack of Motivation

It’s easy to remain motivated for something positive. For example, taking your lunch to work every day for the next 3 months to save money for a vacation is something that you can probably stick to without much issue. On the contrary, trying to find the motivation to keep making sizable monthly payments on an old collection account so that you can improve your credit is a bit more challenging.

If you’re going to reach your financial goals, you need to find a way to stay motivated. Beyond having your vision board or goals somewhere you can visibly see them regularly, you can also find motivation by rewarding yourself every step of the way. Let’s say for every month you make a payment on your collection account, you’ll treat yourself to something cheap but meaningful (lunch, a t-shirt, at-home spa day, etc).

Too Much At Once (Unrealistic Goals)

Obviously, the quicker you’re able to reach your financial goals, the better things will be for you, but trying to take on too much at once is a surefire way to give up on your goals altogether. Imagine trying to save 3 month’s worth of income for emergencies, pay down more than $24,000 in debt, and launch a business all at the same time. No wonder you feel overwhelmed.

It is often better to break your financial goals down into small steps. So, it would be ideal to break that debt down into years so the number is not so large. Perhaps you’ll pay off $24,000 in debt over the next 2 years (which would be about $1,000 a month). As you master each financial goal and start to find room in your budget to accomplish more, then you can add on to your to-do list. For example, you might find room to start setting aside $50 a week towards emergency savings while you’re also paying down debt.

Distractions

Willpower will certainly be necessary if you’re going to reach your financial goals as there are a lot of distractions that could get in the way. Distractions can be anything from a killer sale at your favorite retail shop to a friend or family member needing to borrow money. While it’s alright to treat yourself on occasion and more than ok to help those in need, you cannot allow it to throw you off track.

Having your goals somewhere you can see them, creating a budget, and even having an accountability partner can help you to avoid distractions and make good on your financial goals.

Money isn’t everything, but it does impact a lot in life. As such, setting goals to improve your finances and build stability is ideal. If you find that sticking to those goals is too much of a chore, perhaps one of the above-mentioned underlying causes is giving you an issue. Simply work at resolving the problem and then begin taking strides towards financial freedom.

Explaining Car Ownership Costs to Teens

Buying your first car can be downright scary if you haven’t worked through all of the variables. Many first-time car buyers don’t stop to consider all of the potential ongoing or emergency costs they may encounter. Stepping in and helping your teen navigate the complex world of car ownership and maintenance is a great way to bond with them while making sure they avoid many of the pitfalls of car ownership. Here are three topics to raise when explaining car ownership costs to teenagers.

Maintenance Costs

Explaining vehicle maintenance to a teen can be difficult. Unless your child is a gear head or in trade school, they probably haven’t considered the different factors that go into vehicle maintenance costs. Talk with them about different brands and models of vehicle, and how and why certain varieties are more expensive to maintain. Most people know about the basics, like oil changes and brake replacement. Spend some time going into detail on some of the more costly but essential maintenance costs like suspension or transmission issues. If you can, work with your teen ahead of time to help them be able to identify some of these problems quickly.

Insurance Costs

Depending on your age, driving record, and other factors, car insurance can very quickly become a costly monthly bill. Most teens aren’t thinking about these variables that may well lead to a bill they can’t afford to pay. You might wonder: Can I insure a car not in my name? The answer is maybe. Talk to your insurance company about whether or not you can protect your teen’s vehicle and how much doing so might cost. Get quotes for the costs for them to insure their car on their own as well. Doing this work upfront will save you and your teen a lot of headaches down the road. Some important things to look into are the cost differences across different vehicles, as well as whether your teen can benefit from good student discounts.

Mileage, Age, and Depreciating Value

Unlike many large purchases, buying a car is seldom an investment with a return. As most of us know, cars depreciate beginning the moment they leave the sales lot. Talk to your teen about what their wants and needs are from their first car. Most teens don’t need a newer or more expensive car. If the most important thing is transportation to and from work or school, then buying an older used car may be the way to go. Go over topics like mileage, condition, and Kelley Blue Book value. Make sure to emphasize that taking their time is vital in this process. Checking multiple dealers and independent sellers is a critical way to find the best possible deal, and the same is true with test drives.

Ultimately, one of the most important things to emphasize with your teen is that finding the perfect first car is almost impossible. Work with them to prioritize their needs and help them consider all of the factors in play. Car buying is a daunting prospect for even experienced adults, but bringing up these essential topics now will help you and your teen avoid big mistakes in the future.