3 Tips to Take Charge of Your Finances

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article | 3 Tips to Take Charge of Your FinancesIf you feel as though you’re not doing enough to save and plan for the future, you’re probably right that you could be doing more. It’s surprisingly common for people to let years elapse before making any life changes that will affect their financial status. In many cases, people simply aren’t able to exercise forward thinking because their expenses are continually in excess of what they earn. The cost of living continues to rise, yet wages remain fairly static. Nevertheless, even when people aren’t earning enough to pay for basic necessities, they often put money towards less important expenditures. Also, they don’t look for savings where they can or make an active effort to achieve better financial health. They simply accept that money is tight and they give up on trying to effect change.

Despite the difficulty of making changes or the realities of having to go without the things that you want, there’s a lot that you can do to take charge of your finances. Small steps towards being more attentive to spending and saving will ultimately give you better control of your financial future.

1. Preserve Your Credit

Even if you’re not planning on buying a home or taking out a loan, your credit score can be a huge factor in your overall financial health. When you apply for a new higher paying job, a poor credit score may be a red flag to a hiring manager. If you want to move into a more affordable apartment, poor credit may make you an unappealing tenant. Furthermore, your credit score can subject you to higher interest rates on monthly expenses such as your credit cards or car payments. Make it a point to check your credit regularly so you can stay on top of any reporting mistakes. Pay your bills on time, and avoid letting outstanding account balances fall into collections.

2. Plan Ahead

Even when you have a lot of outstanding expenses, you still need to think about savings. Having some money put away is extremely important to your financial security. You need two different types of savings accounts. First, you need a rainy day fund that can go towards emergency expenses or help you withstand a sudden loss of income. Second, you need to save as a part of your retirement planning. Although retirement may still be many years away, your efforts to plan for it now will have a considerable impact on when you can retire and how comfortably you can live when you do. Determine what percentage of your income you can set aside each month for both accounts, and don’t deviate from your savings plan.

3. Avoid Frivolous Spending

It’s okay to get yourself some of the things that you want, but you simply can’t buy everything that you want. Put some reasonable limits on unnecessary expenditures. In particular, it’s essential that you don’t spend more for things than you really need to. Avoid paying full price for items that you can purchase at a discount by shopping around or waiting for a sale.

Tips To Keep Your Files Organized

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |file organization|Tips To Keep Your Files OrganizedSearching for files takes time. And that time is, for many, money.

Keeping yourself organized means you need to get your digital files in order too. You have a lot of options too. You can use computers to store things; others use an HDD, cloud, or are considering implementing electronic document management.

Before you can have your best-organized self, you need to note down your requirements. If you have a team, then you probably need to consider the ability to work in a collaborative manner.

Why organization matters

Your documents for work will contain sensitive data; it will contain details of the work you have done, the work you need to do, and more. Keeping them well organized will mean that you can find everything quickly.

It isn’t uncommon to misplace files or need more than a moment to find something. That time is valuable and being wasted.

Folder

This is so simple, but so many people simply don’t do it. At the start of each project, create a folder, and name it something that is related to the project. It can be the name of the client you are working for or anything else that makes sense.

Files

Make sure that your files are as well named as your folders. This will mean if you need to use the search function, you will find everything quickly.

Nesting

If you have a long term client, then it is a good idea to nest your folders. Have a single folder with multiple folders within it. You can break that down further by adding years or months to each of the folders within. This will avoid having ophan files or not being able to find something.

Monthly File Sorting

Once a month, take a look at your files and decide if you still need them. You can email clients and let them know that their files will be deleted within the next two weeks. Or you can compress the files and put them on a hard disk drive.

This allows you to use your computer memory for files you need currently.

Business files should most often simply be transferred as the work can be pulled out for new projects and research.

Cloud

There are several cloud services that you should consider. Some have bigger bonuses than the others.

Sync – Sync is quick and lets you share your files on any device quickly. You have the ability to control passwords, expiry dates, upload capacities, and email notifications. Your clients don’t need Sync to be able to access a link that you share either.

The free storage is limited to 5GB.

CloudUp – This is a very easy store and share option. You can upload or any form and then share the files with a simple link.

The free storage has 200GB.

Slack – Slack can double up as a communications tool too. You can work with your team, share files.

The free storage is 5GB.

All of them have upgrade possibilities, with varying costs and abilities.

Your file organization can save you time and money – when it really counts.

How to successfully work from home

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article | How to successfully work from homeThe transition from office to home is almost irresistible. According to Stanford News, the culture of working from home is going to continue even after the CoronaVirus pandemic.

As usual, the home space can be relatively small and the unforgiving environment of destruction. You need to have an ideal working space to increase your productivity. In this article, we have provided some tips on how you can successfully work from home.

Let’s have a look at them.

Create an official workspace

Having in mind that destruction is almost inevitable at home, it is wise to inform your friends and family members that you are at work. Treat it with the seriousness it deserves just like when in office.

However, it is healthy to give yourself a healthy break to prevent boredom and muscle inactivity. You can also empower yourself with office-like tools to facilitate your work.

To deviate from the norm, you can dedicate a working space within the house or a room to enable you to feel different from the typical house set up.

Set office hours

For you to be productive, you need to be disciplined with your time. Working remotely with no organization can cause you to underperform. Create a schedule with breaks like time to eat, rest and time for the family. This will help you get used to that schedule, and you will avoid boredom.

Use a sit-stand workstation

Sitting in one position for a very long time can be toxic to your health. Changing positions is helpful to your muscles and the trunk. With the spine being part of the central nervous system together with the brain, changing position is needed.

It’s important to have a special work space at home, and just the desk could make all the difference. You can use a desk from HADO to help you avoid sitting in one position. An adjustable standing desk allows you to raise it to a comfortable height.

Docking station

You could be having a laptop, and that’s what you have to work from home. Nevertheless, it’s usually hectic to stare on the tiny screen all day, no mouse with a keyboard that demands hunch over.

A docking station will be your best choice that will assist you in converting your laptop to a desktop. This will help you have a mouse, a keyboard and speakers in a separate way.

Chair

The chair plays a vital role in your locomotor nerves, especially with the current trend of working remotely. This, therefore, becomes an essential tool in your efficacy. The choice of your chair will determine your well being because of muscle mobility and blood supply.

A steady blood supply to your system makes your body feel great, and you become productive. A chair that allows you to change postures is usually the best.

Excellent communication skills

Communication is very vital in virtual work. Now that you are not in office to give a physical report, you need to brush over your communication skill to improve on efficacy. Conveying your message clearly and precisely makes the work smooth.

You need to save yourself embarrassment due to poor communicating by polishing your virtual communications skills.

Organizational tools

Averagely, your working space at home is likely to be smaller than the office working space. You could have a room but not big enough or a space at the corner of your living room. This will need a super organization to have your office tools at the right place.

It also entails the creation of enough space for an ambient working environment. If it is a room, you better make it private under lock and key to prevent a lot of destruction. On the other hand, if it’s at the corner of your living room, you will have to arrange it in a way that it doesn’t destroy the aesthetic appearance of the whole room.

Proper lighting

Are you having trouble with your sight or unending headaches? This is the proper time to consider redoing your lighting system. It is advisable to have layers of colours at the comfort of your eyes. This must also blend with the colour of the walls.

During the day, natural light is preferably the best, and so your room should be well lit. Consider all options from ceiling lighting to desk light stand to suit your preference. This must be comfortable for your eyesight and to allow you to get details to the core.

Keep the supplies you often use within reach

To avoid a lot of destruction and unnecessary movements, it is noble to put all you need at your reach. This will save you a lot of time and also keep you professional in all you do.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Weight gain is a common issue among most people working remotely. Having in mind that you are a reflection of what you eat, then it is a good and noble thing to have a healthy eating habit.

This will include having healthy snacks around you and most importantly taking enough water. Having regular exercise on your schedule is one part that most telecommuters don’t consider. Don’t be enslaved by work without exercise because it is toxic to your health.

There is so much in terms of working remotely. There are a lot of innovations about making working at home bearable and productive. It is good to put into consideration all these factors because they are so beneficial.

What else do you do to work from home successfully?

Executives: 8 Ways to Wow Your New Employer from Day One

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Corporate Ladder|Executives: 8 Ways to Wow Your New Employer from Day OneThe climb up the corporate ladder is rarely a steady one, with fits and starts that can leave you frustrated. If your career feels stuck, it may be time to move on with a new employer.

Changing jobs can be a great way to jump start your career and boost your earning power. The first thing you need to remember is to make sure that you having a good resume in line with your job is the top priority. You can seek executive resume samples to help you update yours.

Landing that new position is only the beginning. Once you walk through the doors of your new employer, you will want to make a great first impression. And once that is done, you want to keep wowing your new boss. Here are eight ways to make that happen.

  1. Show up early for your first day on the job. Impressing a new employer can be hard, but arriving early is a good place to start. Get to the job early, be enthusiastic and be ready to get right down to work.
  2. Study up on the company. Hopefully, you learned a lot about the company as part of the interview preparation, but you can always learn more. Use the days leading up to your new job to research the company, and ask questions about what is going on with the firm.
  3. Project positive energy. The energy you bring to your new job can make all the difference, so focus on the positive. Look for opportunities instead of problems, seeking creative solutions to difficult problems.
  4. Ask intelligent questions. Starting a new job is always a learning process, so pay attention as your training commences. Ask intelligent questions, ones that will give you a better understanding of the company and your role in its success.
  5. Dress the part. A post on Professional Resume Writers, says that even on your job interview, dressing the part matters as you are already incorporates the company’s dress code. To succeed on your new job, you must dress even earlier at this point. That does not necessarily mean a fancy dress or three-piece suit, but it does mean knowing the company dress code and donning the right duds.
  6. Be the last to leave. Expect to work long days as you learn the ropes and strive to fulfill your new job duties. Being the first to arrive and the last to leave is sure to get you noticed, so set your schedule accordingly.
  7. Engage with your coworkers. When you start a new job, you also adopt a new workplace family. So engage with your coworkers, learn about their lives and join in on the fun.
  8. Keep a work journal. It can be hard to remember everything you need to learn, so start a workplace journal and keep it handy. You can use your workplace journal to jot notes, record impressions and keep your training on track.

Starting a new job can be a wonderful adventure and a boon to your career. But if you want to succeed in your new position, you need to prepare carefully.

Some of these preparations can begin weeks ahead of time, when your first day of work is still in the future. Others must be done on the job, so you can fine tune your presentation, build your skills and wow your employer even more.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Samantha WrightSamantha Wright is a content contributor of psychologyjobs.com. She writes about careers to provide job hunting tips. She is also interested in all works involving psychology.

The Importance of Setting Investment Goals

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Investment Goals|The Importance of Setting Investment GoalsAlmost anyone can start investing nowadays, and they can do so without the guidance of a financial advisor, a stock broker, or any guidance at all. While novices are urged to start small and do their due diligence and research prior to getting involved with investments, there is a reason why some people choose to jump right in. The stock market is a big draw for novice investors looking for a big payday, and sometimes they do hit big. However, without a plan and investment goals, that one-time payout usually ends up being a case of beginner’s luck. The importance of setting investment goals should not be lost on anyone who will be building a portfolio of investments.

Setting a Healthy Financial Standard

There are various ways to make money and earn an income, with the majority of working age individuals choosing to seek out gainful employment. When you have a relatively steady income, you can estimate your expenses, and then live in a manner that allows you to stay within your means. Investing is one way of “beefing up” your finances, so to speak. If done properly, your investment portfolio will represent one of your assets that can be leveraged, liquidated, or transferred in the event that you need financial relief. In order to set a healthy financial standard, you have to look toward developing multiple channels of income.

Knowing What’s Going Out Versus Coming In

During the initial phase of investing, there will definitely be more money coming out of your bank account than going in. It doesn’t matter if you are investing $50 or $1,000 a month, as all investing plans should be developed with the investor’s budget in mind. Using the best Robo advisors will allow you to easily track the total amount you have invested and compare it against current total profits. Wealth Simple offers tools designed to help investors meet their personalised investment goals. Make your investments while operating in autopilot mode with Wealth Simple and you can always keep track of your investments made versus profits earned.

Having the Ability to See Consistent Returns

One thing that new investors need to learn quickly, is the term volatile. This single word perfectly sums up the stock, forex, and cryptocurrency markets perfectly, as anything and everything can happen. What all traders want, in spite of the volatility of the markets, are consistent returns. You can lose money on one trade, but quickly make up for it and then some on your next investment. Some investments will promise small, yet regular returns that can slowly bolster your portfolio. When you have investment goals, it is easier to see the act of investing as a long-term and large-scale plan as opposed to overanalysing individual trades.

Allocating Your Free Time

When you have an investment plan, you start to think about structure, resources, and time. While you are learning about investing and getting your first few trades underway, it’s okay to be as slow, careful, and methodical as necessary. Soon though, the amount of time you spend trading has to match up with the profits you are earning. Consider your work schedule and how it coincides with your salary. If you get hired at a set salary, then you would expect to make more money in the form of raises, bonuses, and other increases over time. So, someone hired in a position for $50,000 annually today would not usually expect or be okay with earning $35,000 annually, in a decade. The time that you spend investing works in the same manner.

Changing Priorities and Investment Goals

It is not uncommon to have set investment goals change. A change in income would definitely be reflected in your investment goals, while buying a home, getting married, or enrolling in college would also cause a change in your priorities as well as your investment goals. Don’t think that whatever you plan has to remain set in stone. It is actually a great thing to evaluate what your investment goals are from time to time, as the market and economy are going to change frequently, too.

Starting from Where You Currently Are

Some people are raised in families where everyone starts investing from the time that they are quite young. Parents may purchase stocks and bonds for their minor children, turning them over when they mature. As such, there are also many novice investors who have to learn everything themselves. Don’t worry much about where you are currently. Motivated investors can and do learn very fast. In addition, you don’t have to learn about investing on your own if you are also making use of all available resources.

Learning More as You Hit Your Investment Benchmarks

Investors who develop their portfolios with a goal in mind are simply more likely to hit their benchmarks. So, your ultimate goal might be to amass an investment portfolio worth $1 million by the time you retire. Logically, you will have several benchmarks to meet before you can even think about hitting that goal. The first benchmark may be $1,000, or $10,000 or some other relatively low amount. If it takes a very long time to reach those first critical benchmarks, then you will have to shift your approach in order to meet that end goal.

Guaranteeing You Won’t Take a Financial Loss

Setting investment goals helps you to avoid taking lasting financial losses. The fact of the matter is that all investors take losses. It’s just part of the nature of all the various trading and investing markets. Your losses might get offset by the close of the day, or you could be looking at making up that loss for months. Either way, if you have an investment goal, you will be focused on creating strategies to recoup your losses and not be caught up on one potentially dangerous plan of action.

Being Methodical About Making Investments

A good investor will always move methodically, which is what you can look forward to as you develop your investment goals. If an investment looks strong, you might purchase shares over the course of a few days, until you have a healthy amount. When selling, you will probably offload your shares in no particular rush. Biding your time might even help you to gain more profits than expected.

Determining What It Means to Take Calculated Risks

While slow and steady is said to always win the race, there are times when investors can benefit from the chaos that sometimes develops here. When you get an alert that a stock is way up or way down, you will probably pause for only a second before making up your mind and going for it. There are times when a risky move is your best course of action. With more experience in the stock market, you will come to know what those moves are and when you should be making them.

Remaining Calm During Market Shifts

Throughout a single day, prices are going to go up and down, sometimes quite sharply. The key to making good investments and creating intelligent investment goals is holding tight when the market shifts. Realise that major shifts in the markets ultimately lead to corrections in the polar opposite direction. So, if an investment you have just made goes way down unexpectedly, you have to remain calm until prices correct themselves. You have to know it will happen, even if the signs don’t seem to be there presently.

Gaining Confidence in Your Ability to Pick Profitable Investments

As you learn, trade, and build up your portfolio, you will feel much better about each subsequent decision. There won’t be that nagging feeling that you have done something wrong, and you won’t second guess yourself even if an investment does not turn out how you had hoped. The confidence that is gained during the course of you setting investment goals is going to change your perspective on a lot of things.

Being Sure That It’s Worth It

Whether you keep track of your investments by checking stock prices continuously while the market is open or utilise a suite of automated tools to collate data, what you gain on your investments has to be worth your time. People invest because they want to make money, build up their nest eggs, and have something substantial to rely on in case their primary sources of income dry up. Of course, you may need decades of investing to get there, but you will know along the way if your efforts have been with the reward.

You don’t need to be a stock market expert in order to make smart and profitable investments. In fact, you will learn just as much by actively investing than you will by reading predictions or finding out that a stock has skyrocketed after the fact. On the other hand, there are ways for you to learn about investing that don’t require you to blindly wager your hard-earned money. Check out various automated investment tools, including robo advisors and automated trading signals. Eliminate as much risk from your investment plan by taking advantage of all these resources and technologies.