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Today is the last day of tax season, and I’m not blogging this week.

After today, our offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday of this week for some well-deserved relaxation.

See ya soon!

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

The other day, my wife came out of the grocery store with two pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – and she didn’t even pay for it! She does that kind of thing regularly. No, I wasn’t ashamed that she had just pulled the five-finger discount on our ice cream. She had some coupons that allowed her to get the ice cream for free. Sweet! I love ice cream.

Actually, my wife gets about $275 worth of groceries each week but only pays around $125 for them. She stays home with our three girls and still makes us about $7,800 per year… by saving money. She often amazes the cashiers, other customers and ME! She even gets stores to pay her for products because her combined coupons and savings actually totaled more than the cost of the product! Wow!

As I’ve watched her perform these amazing feats of coupon agility, I’ve seen a few points (after she taught me her secrets) that can be potentially applied to your business to help you save money too:

  1. You Can’t Be Brand Loyal. Saving money is all about buying what’s on sale when it’s on sale. You don’t pick your favorites and buy it when you want it. If you do, then you are paying a higher premium to retailers for the convenience of having your wants met immediately. You have to show some restraint and buy the things that are discounted. Same for business – you may not get the brand you want, but you may get something that meets your needs. That’s good enough.
  2. Saving Money Takes Time… Just Like a Job. The cashiers and other customers often say, “How do you do that?” Well, it takes about 3 to 5 hours per week to cut coupons, follow blogs, search for online coupons and plan her grocery trips and what she’ll buy. People often want the savings, but they don’t want to put in the time it takes to create the savings. Saving money is a job for my wife… and she is good at it. Saving money in your business is one of the hats you must wear in your business.
  3. Organized People Make More Money. My wife has a huge notebook filled with all sorts of coupons in 40 different categories. And if you touch her notebook, you are going to have the wrath of the “coupon queen” come down on you. She put many hours of work into her notebook so she knows where everything is located. She can whip out a coupon on a moment’s notice and argue any cashier into fearful submission with knowledge about the store’s own coupon policies (which, of course, the cashier has not been trained in). She approaches these savings in such an organized way, she makes more money than if she just kept her coupons in a drawer somewhere and was unaware of the strategies and time it took to save money. Likewise for your business, your organizational abilities will allow you to (1) apply for loans more quickly, (2) know where your expenditures stand as compared to your budget on a daily basis, (3) pull out properly filed documentation when a client says they’ve already paid you, (4) keep from paying the same bill twice, (5) avoid late fees and penalties to governmental agencies for paying your taxes late, (6) be more prepared for upcoming client projects and payments, etc.
  4. You Earn Money When You Save Money. People often want to make more money. So they consider getting an extra job, bringing in more clients or increasing their marketing. But once you make more money, part of it goes to overhead, part goes to pay you and then you might have some left over. But if you save money instead, then every dollar you save is a dollar-for-dollar increase to the bottom line. As Ben said, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Think about how you can save money in your business today, THEN go get new clients second. You’ll make more money.
  5. Keep At It And Be Consistent. If my wife saves $150 one week, but overspends by $200 the next week, then she is down by $50 for the two week period. But the fact that she is consistent over time means her savings and knowledge one week turn into savings and knowledge the next week. And this process continues to build on itself. Savings add up over time. Saving $100 per week turns into $5,200 every year… but you have to be consistent to realize this savings. You may need to hire someone (virtual assistant, back-office help, etc.) to help you be consistent and organized in your business, but that individual may ultimately pay for themselves over time.

Can you think of any points I’ve left out? Maybe I’ll run them by my wife and see what she thinks of them.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

As of November 1, our firm has been officially publishing a blog at www.thriveal.com.  I wanted to share 1 thing I’ve learned about blogging after attempting the task for 1 year:

1  Writing good business content requires that you read good blog feeds from other business sources and to find a blogging rhythm is difficult so you have to actually blog to get that rhythm going but you must remember that your busy season is the most difficult time to try and keep your posts up, and if you don’t promote what you write then no one will read it, so you need a solid email publisher to send your message out, but that won’t do you any good unless you glean email addresses from your clients that you can use to keep your firm name in front of your clients but they still won’t read your posts unless you show some consistency as to types of posts that they can rely on to get business acumen from and if your posts are too long, NO ONE in the world will spend their precious time reading your brilliant insight into the world of freakin’ finance especially if you have no direct knowledge about what you are writing, and above all else don’t consider rss subscription numbers and page hits as marks of success since you are doing it for your clients anyway and not for your own petty fame, although you can’t ignore your blog analytics if you want your readership to grow, but you need to get over your bad self and redirect your focus to good consistent content without plagiarizing content from Seth Godin or Darren Rowse, and NEVER EVER use run on sentences… it makes you look like an idiot.

Thanks to our consistent readers who have been with us throughout this one year journey.  We love all 3 of you.

iPhone Pic

iPhone Pic

This is the first picture I took with my new iPhone.  I was driving down the road to Publix to get cucumbers for the cucumber salad and grilled salmon.

I almost died…

Just Tweeted by @JasonBlumer…

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