4 Ways to Transform Small Gains Into Big Results

Improving ourselves isn’t always easy, but the results are well worth the effort. The great news is that you don’t have to make a ton of huge adjustments all at once in order to see the changes you’re after. Take a few lessons from the school of small, cumulative gains, and learn how they can have a major impact on your journey to self-improvement.

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5 Techniques for Enhancing Your Creativity

Do you ever feel like you’re just tapped out creatively? Whether you suffer from writer’s block or you simply can’t wrap your head around a creative challenge at work, you probably don’t realize how much you rely on your creativity until it’s drained. But there’s good news: there are tons of techniques and tricks that can promote mental fitness and help you get your creative juices flowing again. Here’s a look at a few mental fitness exercises and tactics to try when you need a creative boost. 

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3 Things You Can Do to Manage Business Expenses Even If You Hate Numbers

One dirty little secret some small business owners have is that they hate working with numbers. Small business owners especially enjoy making connections with customers, overseeing daily operations, and making decisions to improve their business. They do not, however, love managing business expenses and concerning themselves with numbers more than they have to. While numbers are an essential part of the game, there are several ways that you can manage your expenses to make more sound business decisions even if you hate numbers.

1. Maintain Good Business Records

Just because you hate numbers doesn’t mean that you can be lackadaisical when it comes to maintaining your business records. When you keep sufficient documentation for all your business expenses, you save yourself plenty of headaches at tax time. Keep receipts for your expenses and label them as necessary so you can quickly look at them to know what they are for and which expense categories to put them in.

Do yourself a favor and develop a system for filing your business expense receipts. Your system should save you time, so keep the files in a handy location and consistently do your data entries each month. If you work from home, be sure to create a dedicated space for your business expense files. You will need to be able to access your files if a question arises from your accountant or if you get audited, so invest in a filing cabinet and clearly label file folders so you know the month and year of each receipt.

Maintaining sound business records also includes knowing which types of receipts are most important to you. If you meet for lunch or coffee to conduct business, keep a receipt and record the attendees and purpose of the meal on the receipt itself. If you have out-of-town business travel, use your receipts to prove you were on business while traveling.

Anytime you use our vehicle for business, record where, when, and why you used it; then, reapply the percentage of use to your vehicle-related expenses. It’s also a good idea to keep gift and entertainment receipts separate. And, calculate the percentage of your home being used for business and apply the percentage to your home-related expenses.

2. Regularly Review Key Vendors and Renegotiate Often

You always will have business expenses, but you can save money by regularly reviewing key vendors. You may find that you can limit expenses by consolidating purchases. It’s also important to review key vendors regularly, but you especially need to do so if you have had a recent boom in growth. You may be able to save on purchases if you renegotiate prices and keep a close eye on how your prices could change if you alter your purchasing volume. It’s also a good idea to see whether local businesses in your area can combine to increase buying power.

Another way to get vendors to work in your favor is to get them to compete for your business. Make sure they know you are getting outside bids and that you are hunting for competitive pricing. You can reduce costs and lock in the best rates if you play your vendors off one another. And, you won’t have to compare prices for yourself if you get your vendors involved in offering competitive pricing.

3. Invest in Accounting Software

Fortunately, there are several cloud-based accounting software solutions designed specifically for small business owners. You can input your data from anywhere and at any time with this type of software, so you don’t have to worry quite as much about keeping receipts and other business records handy. You will get real-time insights into your business expenses with cloud-based accounting software because you can access it from anywhere whenever you’d like. This type of software also updates itself regularly, which saves you time and money. You might also consider investing in electronic payment software, especially if your business is online-only or you plan on accepting payments other than cash. Having payment software also makes it easy to keep track of receipts and invoices.

If you run a business but hate managing business expenses because you don’t have an affinity for numbers, you are not alone. Many small business owners dread dealing with business expense numbers, but you can make the task easier on yourself if you maintain good business records, regularly review key vendors and renegotiate often, and invest in accounting software in the cloud.

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Why Seniors Should Continue to Work in Their Golden Years

Startling research suggests that the majority of middle-class seniors don’t have enough money to maintain their retirement, which is reducing buying power and quality of life while increasing stress and anxiety. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that 28 percent of seniors admit to being worse off during retirement than before. While nobody plans to work in their elder years, it can actually be beneficial for more reasons than money alone. Keeping busy also boosts mental and cognitive health, promotes physical activity, increases confidence, prevents isolation, and provides a purpose. Considering many seniors admit to being bored, picking up a part-time gig could be the best way to bring to bring gold back to the golden years. Here’s how to get started.

Looking for Work

It can be intimidating to look for work later in life, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, considering the popularity of seniors in the workforce, there are several channels you can consider. For example, seasonal work that’s conducive of holidays or weather-related tasks, gig-economy jobs (from ride sharing to writing) that allow you to set your own schedule, making money from a hobby (think woodworking or jewelry making), and using a previous skill to start a business — even from a consultant standpoint. On a more specific level, here are some jobs to consider:

  • Realty

It’s never too late to obtain your real estate license, especially if you previously thrived in a sales environment. It’s also a great way to ensure you’re out and meeting others. If you live alone, becoming a real estate agent is a great way to avoid social isolation. Most real estate agents are self-employed, which means you’ll set your own hours.

  • Dog Walking

Studies indicate that animals can have a positive effect on seniors, including stress reduction, decreased blood pressure, and increased physical activity. Starting a dog walking business could be a great way to keep all of these benefits in check on a regular basis while making some extra cash at the same time.

  • Teaching

Whether you were a previous teacher or have a skill that warrants instruction, teaching is a popular job for retired seniors. In fact, statistics indicate that jobs will increase by 7 to 8 percent by 2026. Substitute teaching is a good way to get your foot in the door while not committing to a full-time schedule.

  • Writing

You need not be a millennial with a blog to make money at writing. Start by looking for work in areas that you have an expertise, whether that’s cooking or finances. If you don’t want to commit to a full-time job, there’s the option to take on freelance work on a per-project basis. Taking your level of experience into account, establish a goal of how much money you’d like to bring in per week/month so you can determine your rate. Most writers have both an hourly and per-word rate in mind.

  • Financial Services

If you have a finance background, you could become an advisor to help companies track their growth, or work as an accountant or auditor. Some retirees choose to only work during the busy tax season.

Whether you start your own business, work as a freelancer, or are considered a part- or full-time employee, set up a time to talk with your tax professional or financial advisor. Make sure you’re setting aside funds for taxes (if applicable) and properly managing your extra income. Don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labor, too, as working at any age can be overwhelming.

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