7 Things You Can Budget for Amidst the Coronavirus

Budgeting is an integral part of personal finance. It may very well be a crucial factor during these times given the current economic climate. 

Although businesses are slowly starting to reopen, no one is entirely certain of the future. What is certain, though, is the need for one to have a solid financial plan. It can help you manage your money better during the pandemic and keep you from getting deeper in debt. 

For simple ways on how to keep your finances in order, follow these recommendations below from the bankruptcy attorneys at Scura

Here are seven ways to budget amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

Say Goodbye to Unnecessary Habits

What Coronavirus has done is make us realize that we might not be able to indulge in some, if not most, of the activities we did pre-Corona. Staying indoors has kept us from socializing outside of our homes and frequenting to places that are happy to take our money. Whether these are bars during happy hour or just going to the mall to shop to our hearts content, these habits after Corona might have to take a backseat as most people’s salaries have taken a toll.

As life slowly crawls back to a normal pace, you need to ask yourself, what can you actually afford and what can you put on hold for the time being? Can you survive if you do not indulge in activity A or B? If yes, then you do not need it in your life at least until things come back to the way they were. If you cannot survive without them, these are the services or businesses you need to keep in your life and include in your budget. 

Enjoy Homemade Food More Often

While we are on the subject of leaving behind unnecessary habits, eating take out every day or even a couple of times a week is another thing you can consider placing on hold.

Staying home has probably opened your palette to home cooking and this is probably something you should do more often coming out of Corona to tighten up the load on the money you spend. Cooking homemade food can be drastically less expensive than eating out, and yes that includes take-out. 

The internet is full of fun and delicious recipes that you can easily cook up in no time to serve up a full course meal rather than spend money at a restaurant, say for example, that you could most likely hold off for the moment until your paycheck starts increasing again.

How Fat is Your Emergency Fund? 

While no one knows how life post-Coronavirus will be for sure, most are anticipating that the economy will not be so kind. The possibility of losing one’s job, having a pay cut or reduced hours at work is very high and has actually been happening to many already.

If you are still receiving your paycheck, this is the right time to fatten your emergency fund. Try to be as frugal as possible with your spending and put as much money as you can aside for the time being. This way if you are directly affected by the loss of a steady income, you will have something that you can rely on. 

Look to the Long-Term When Saving

Putting money away shouldn’t only be for short-term emergencies that might come up. Think also long-term. What will happen a couple of years down the line and the closer you get to retirement? What kind of lifestyle do you envision having and will you have enough money stowed away. 

While you put money away during the Coronavirus pandemic to have some coins to spare, why not throw some of that money towards your retirement.  

If you already have a retirement account or a Roth IRA why not throw up a few more dollars for down the line. It can be as easy as increasing your contribution amount by a few percentage points. This way your future self can thank you.

Don’t forget alternate investments like cryptocurrencies. Some financial experts predict the price of Bitcoin to shoot up from the current prices to over $1 million in the next five years. You may not want to miss the boat on that one.

Pay off debts with Higher Interests

If you have some money to spare, pay off your debts with high interest like credit cards or personal loans. If you keep paying the minimum balance only, the debt will keep accumulating. 

You can try talking to your lenders to see if they can agree to lower your interest rates to make it easier on your pockets during these trialing times. If you manage to lower your interest rates, you will have some extra money to invest or pay off other low-interest debts. 

Personal Investment is Important 

Do you invest in yourself? Emergency fund and long-term savings aside, if you have some extra money in your account after budgeting, have a personal budget that helps improve your current self today. 

For example, you can take online classes for that course you always wanted to take or buy that book that can help you with your financial planning.

Consider Your Children’s Future in Education 

If you have children, open up a savings account for their future education expenses. College is not a cheap undertaking. A 529 college savings account will spare you the headache of having to pay taxes on it and the money saved can be used on any postsecondary accredited school.

Although Coronavirus has wracked havoc on the economy, proper budgeting will keep you afloat for times to come. With proper planning, you can survive the storm and still manage to save for your future.

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How to Run an Effective Startup on the Road

With a world full of opportunity and beauty, it can be difficult to not want to hit the road indefinitely. Unfortunately, the priorities of life tend to weigh us down and keep us in our place our entire lives. However, with technology making many of these aspects of our lives far easier, the prospect of full-time travel whilst pursuing a career is finally attainable.

Despite telework making the average employee’s traveling dreams possible, many young entrepreneurs still worry about how consistent they can be when running their own startups, starting a company from nothing, and traveling full-time. Although it isn’t impossible, it is highly important that these young individuals are aware of what it means to be a traveling startup company owner so that they can not only run their businesses but actually make them successful and profitable.

With this said, although there are many things to consider, five of the most important aspects of travel and business are:

  • How connected you are
  • Whether you can communicate with clients
  • How you can deliver and receive items
  • The reliability of your mode of transportation
  • What exactly makes digital nomadism an ideal and viable choice

Once you have analyzed these aspects thoroughly, you can begin to prepare for your life of adventure and excitement knowing that you are fully prepared and braced for the many changes needed to succeed.

Internet: How to Stay Connected, Even in “the Dead Zone”

For any startup, the internet is the golden ticket to gaining traffic, creating a fan base, and receiving payment. When it comes to internet on the road, there are three main ways to ensure you don’t ever find yourself facing a dead zone during a crucial business engagement. The first one is satellite, which is typically the most effective choice. The reason for this is that it allows you to camp in national parks and other areas where other internet options simply can’t be utilized. Furthermore, although a satellite setup is the most expensive ($700 to $1500) in comparison to the other two options, it is also the most reliable by far.

The second option is to open your settings so it will connect to any open Wi-Fi hotspots in the area. The issue with this is that it significantly reduces the amount of places you can actually visit due to the fact that most national parks, tourist attractions, and rural locations have very few spots with reliable hotspot access. Furthermore, this also means that you are opening yourself up to various types of cyberattacks, including malicious hotspots, snooping techniques, and other compromised devices. This is why it is important to consider fraud prevention techniques if you do intend to use this option before hitting the road.

Lastly, it is also possible to connect to your phone’s hotspot as well, depending on the phone service you have. Some service providers have very reliable mobile hotspots that can help you get internet without a satellite. The only big issue with this is that there will still be certain places that will not be available, and if you intend on traveling through national parks and other areas that tend to lack Wi-Fi service, this option is once again not as viable as a satellite would be. On a related note, the next thing to consider when looking to hit the road is your phone service and what provider can be trusted in what places. 

Phone Service: Coverage Maps and Reliable Providers

The ability to talk to clients at the drop of a hat is highly important when starting a new business. Personal connection and charisma are the backbone of any successful new company, and a lack of communication is exactly the kind of thing that could significantly alter the perception clients have of you and your business in a highly negative manner.

Therefore, it is important that you weigh the odds and choose a reliable network before hitting the road. Keep in mind that most service providers have coverage maps which will help you to see firsthand what providers are reliable and which are not for comparison. Currently, one of the most reliable networks is T-Mobile due to the fact that John Legere, CEO of the company, recently invested over $8 billion to make their network even more reliable than those of their various competitors.

On top of this, they not only have a super impressive coverage map but also have various incentives, such as gas discounts and free food provided by T-Mobile Tuesdays that could prove to be very valuable when on the road. Finally, T-Mobile also provides its users with ways to call via Wi-Fi which enable its users to make phone calls virtually anywhere. This means that the fear of not having service or missing important phone calls on the road is a thing of the past — and that your company will not be affected by a lack of service ever again.

However, if T-Mobile is not your first choice, as long as the phone service provider has Wi-Fi calling opportunities and provides you with a mobile hotspot, you should be fine. Another viable source is MetroPCS as they are both reliable and affordable. Their coverage map is also extremely reliable but does show signs of a few weaker spots in the northwest, however. Despite this, they are still fairly reliable for the price and also have many cheap phone options likewise which make them an affordable alternative to some of the more widely recognized carriers out there.

Once you have chosen a quality carrier, the next step is to figure out how to receive more than just calls and texts. For this, it is vital to consider what you intend on receiving and how you intend on receiving it.

Mail Delivery: A Vital Part of a Startup Made Easy

One of the most common problems entrepreneurs have when on the road is how to send and receive mail. Although many companies have online options for payments and shipping processes, younger companies tend to not have fully fleshed out sites, which means that a lot of the processes happen in the mail. Therefore, it is vital that you know how to receive and deliver mail even when you have no set address.

Despite there being many options out there, the most reliable and simple option is to use online postal services. The reason for this is that they will receive all of your mail for you at a set location (your new address according to clients) and then ask you where they can actually send it to for you to receive it. The best part is that these services allow you to go anywhere as they can be delivered anywhere in the world for varying fees. You can also track them online, which means that you will never wonder when mail will arrive either.

With all of these issues addressed, it is now time to move on to the first and most crucial step needed to begin your new life on the road — transportation. After all, if you intend on traveling via RV or any other form of vehicular travel, the quality of your vehicle will directly determine not only where you can go but also how far you get before you find yourself stranded or unable to move without paying to repair the issues.

Transportation: Getting Stranded Isn’t an Option

It’s not enough to simply want to travel. The form of transportation you take must be reliable and efficient when on the road. For instance, when looking at various different RV options, you may want to first look at whether or not you want a Class A, B, or C motorhome as well as whether or not the gas mileage is fair, the motorhome can be easily repaired when on the road, and can carry all you want to bring with you likewise.

For many young individuals, motorhomes simply are not as effective as other options such as travel trailers and truck setups. The reason for this is that most motorhomes truly are hard to work on, you are literally left with nothing to live in if they break down, and they tend to be far less spacious than the average travel trailer likewise.

Furthermore, because you can choose what truck you want to get, you can also save money on gas mileage and have a more eco-friendly vehicle likewise, which looks good from a business angle. On top of this, you can also carry more, which means merchandise can be packed in the trailer likewise allowing you to attend conventions and even deliver certain items yourself. However, it is important that you calculate how much weight your vehicle can pull before packing everything up, as a flipped trailer could lead to the end of your startup and adventures in no time at all.

Now that you have ensured communication on the road is taken care of and your vehicle is efficient and reliable as well, it’s time that you reflect on why this is a great decision and how it can not only help your company but your own well-being as well. 

Also Read: Benefits of video marketing

Endless Opportunity: An Adventurous Life with A Job To Match

The truth is that travel is the key to happy employees, and, as a startup owner, your happiness is an integral aspect regarding the success of your business as a whole. When you finally hit the road, you will be able to actually live a life free from the drudgery of normal everyday life. This exciting new world also encourages creativity and makes you want to learn and push forward to bigger and better things each and every day.

As new experiences occur and new lessons are learned, you and your business will continue to grow, and your clients will be able to see just how effective making the world your office can be. In the end, life is one giant adventure, and your career path is a journey worth trekking — so why not put both hand in hand and live your life to the fullest?

6 Ways Leaders Can Help Their Team Do Better

We often talk about all the ways employees can be better, or ways that leaders can improve their interpersonal skills. But ultimately, one of the most important jobs of a leader is to lead their team. If a leader flounders, the team is going to struggle to keep up. Let’s look at a few ways that leaders can support their team and help them to be more productive, proactive, and support the overall company mission.

Rearrange The Office

Is the current layout of your workspace conducive to collaborative work? Does it offer separated space for those who need to recharge away from the team? Is it laid out in such a way that those with mobility aids can use them easily, without bumping into other people or feeling like an imposition?

If the office isn’t laid out for the functional use of individuals and teams, the team overall isn’t going to be as productive as it can be. Taking a hard look at how to better organize your office space, with input from your team, can be incredibly helpful. This can also improve morale, as employees feel like they own more of the space.

Be Consistent

As a team leader, it’s important to be consistent. You need to do what you say, and say what you’re doing. You need to treat everyone roughly the same, and make sure that when you set a goal or an objective, you are clear and consistent about roles and delegation.

That said, it’s important not to let consistent blur into rigid. More and more research is showing that leaders who flex for realistic life situations have better teams than those who demand that everyone meet exactly the same standard at all times.

For example, if someone has a sick parent, spouse, or child that they need to care for, allowing them to work from home should be treated differently than someone who chronically does not complete their work. Everyone who chronically does not complete their work, however, should be treated the same way.

Set Achievable Goals

Few things demoralize a team faster than setting goals that are unachievable from the start. Setting a goal and being unable to meet it is frustrating, but it happens. Knowing from the first moment that a goal will not be able to be achieved and being forced to try anyway is discouraging.

This is commonly seen when businesses try to improve metrics by demanding teams do more instead of looking at what is limiting teams.

Provide Specific, Positive Feedback

Do you know how to compliment your employees? The answer isn’t “Great job,” as you walk past their cubicle. The answer is also not the same for every employee. Some team members would love public recognition at the next staff meeting; others would hugely prefer getting an email detailing what was well done on their last project.

Whatever method is the best for team feedback, make sure you’re specific. Instead of just telling the employee that their work was good, tell them why it was good. Tell them what happened because of what they did. We do these things instinctively when we’re offering constructive criticism, but forget them entirely in this situation. They are just as necessary when giving compliments.

Share Credit, Accept Responsibility

This is a simple truism in the leadership world. When your team does well, share the credit. When your team does poorly, accept responsibility. Too often, poor leaders do this backwards, taking credit for a team’s wins while shifting blame onto other team members. The team notices, and they resent it. They won’t work as hard for a manager who follows this model, so don’t be that leader.

Support Employees

Your team members should feel like they can come to you with a problem and get reasonable and helpful feedback, whether that concern is with other team members, upper management, or a situation outside of work that is affecting their performance. Leaders should know policies like flex time, FMLA, and other benefits to help employees know what their options are, long before HR is contacted. It’s also important to be able to represent employee concerns to your own boss, not just to other people on the team. After all, in many organizations, the team leader might be the only point of contact a team member has with anyone higher than themselves in the organization. If you don’t advocate for their needs, who will?

Building a solid, reliable team is a necessary part of running a good business and being a good leader. Companies with great leaders have better retention, better picks of hiring candidates, and are overall more successful.