Saving Money Tips – Set an Entertainment Allowance

Don’t we all just love to be entertained? There is nothing nicer than looking forward to going to the opera or attending a musical performance. We live in exciting times, as there are so many functions for us to participate in, that it can be difficult choosing what to attend and it can certainly be hard containing our spending habits.A lot of entertainment can be quite expensive and most times we don’t realise how much a night out actually costs us. You not only have the cost of the event, but usually these sort of social outings cost us money in other ways such as taxis, drinks, clothes etc.The best way to control the money that you do spend on entertainment is to set yourself a quarterly / yearly entertainment allowance. Below are some clues to help you do this.1. Work out what you would like to do over the next quarter / year:
Visit galleries / exhibitions  
Attend concerts / musical performances  
Watch opera / ballet / dance  
Attend pantomimes / theatre / shows / plays / musicals  
Attend film festivals  
Participate in balls / charity events  
Go to circus shows / live performances / comedy shows  
2. Estimate how much the tickets / entrance fares are going to cost you.3. Spend time working out the ‘hidden extras’ so you know the full cost of the function / event. There are often costs to consider such as:
 Buying / hiring attire – formal / semi-formal outfits  
 Attending the hairdresser / make up artist  
 Paying for accommodation / flights  
 Hiring a car / paying for taxis / parking fees  
 Eating out / drinks  
4. Tally up the whole cost of your entertainment. Look at your budget and ensure your quarterly / yearly entertainment allowance will fit in with your overall budget. Remember entertainment is a “want” and not a “need”. You have other priorities and financial commitments in your budget to allow you to meet your “needs”. These must be met before deciding where else you “want” to spend your money.5. If your quarterly / yearly entertainment allowance is above what you have available in your budget, look for some alternatives:
Buy a cheaper class of ticket e.g. B reserve instead of A reserve
Go to a matinee showing instead of a night showing
Find an outfit in your existing wardrobe instead of buying / hiring an outfit
Get a friend / family member to do your hair / make up
Eat before going out
Drink water / juice / soft drinks instead of alcohol
Attend events locally to save on airfares / accommodation / car hire
Drive to avoid taxi fares
Cut the number of events you expect to attend
Find a cheaper option e.g. go to a local theatre to see a show, rather than a big performance centre
6. Find a way of monitoring what you do spend over the quarter / year. Use a software programme to record all of your costs for entertainment throughout the quarter / year. The programme should record how much you have spent and how much you still have left to spend. This will ensure you stay within your proposed budget.Entertainment need to be looked upon as a treat. We have mentioned earlier that entertainment is a “want” and not a “need”. The functions and events you attend should be looked upon as special times in your life that you can really look forward to. If you don’t consider them as a specialty / treat, then attending such events will become the normal. You will think of these activities as “must haves” instead of “nice to haves”. You will expect to go to them on a regular basis and you will find you spend lots and lots of money satisfying your wishes.Your money can only go so far. I am sure there are a lot of important things in your life that you are trying to achieve. This might be something on your wish list to buy, a holiday you want to go on, someone you wish to help financially etc. So, see if you can make a bit of a sacrifice with what you spend on your entertainment and start limiting what you spend over a quarter / year. You don’t need to cut entertainment out completely. You still need to have fun and look forward to special times, but ensure you do so whilst giving yourself an opportunity to meet your other goals and wishes.

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.


For Real Business Success, It’s Action That Makes the Difference

When you read, hear or otherwise experience a new idea that may have the potential to help you grow your business or improve your personal life, it’s very important to keep an open mind. Try not to judge or cast the ideas aside too quickly because they don’t sound good, they’re not part of your personality or make’up, or because you may have heard them before.Instead, consider these courses of actions:
If you’ve heard an idea before, say to yourself, “Yes, I’ve heard that before, but am I using it?” If not, “Why not?”
If you are currently using the idea, ask yourself, “How effective am I at using it? How can I ‘plus’, or improve on it to make it even more effective for me and my business?”
Next, ask yourself this question: “What will I do as a result of what I’ve learned?”Remember, it’s not what you know – it’s what you do that counts. Ideas are powerful. And good ideas are really important for any business. They’re what keep your interest up and your business fresh, alive and growing. And be sure to put into action the good ideas can make a huge difference in the way you do business, the results you realize, the fun you have, and the profits you make.The “Real” Business You’re InIf you don’t learn another thing, remember this…You’re NOT in the (What business you’re in) business…
You’re in the MARKETING business.Read those sentences again… and again… and again. Digest them. Understand them. Internalize them. Make them an integral part of your business philosophy. Because unless and until you do, your business will be no better and no different than any of the other choices your prospects and customers can select to do business with.Let me explain by using the insurance profession as an example, and as I do, think about how these principles might apply to your business.It’s a well-known fact that very few people (if any at all), want to actually buy an insurance policy. It’s true, they may want the benefits, security and piece of mind that insurance provides them and their families or their business, but they don’t necessarily want to spend their money on an insurance policy. But, what do most insurance sales people sell?They sell insurance!No wonder the business is so difficult. It doesn’t take a Harvard degree to figure it out. If you sell insurance and know that people don’t want to buy insurance, why would you continue to beat your head against the wall trying to sell it?Consider the way most people shop for auto insurance. They call up a number of insurance companies and ask for a quote. The agent or his or her representative asks what coverage the caller is currently carrying, and gives a quote based on those figures.The caller then thanks the agent or staff member, and goes to the next number on their list. They keep repeating that scenario until they’re convinced that they’ve found the lowest price, and whichever company comes in lowest gets the business.But, wait a minute. Isn’t there more to buying insurance than just “low price?” Well, sure there is. And you and I both know it. And so do most insurance agents. Why is it, then, that nearly every agent from nearly every insurance company you call tries to sell on price… knowing that there’s probably someone out there with a lower price than they can quote?Why is it that so few agents try to differentiate themselves from their competition, and change the prospect’s base of thinking away from price, and on to other, more important things?Price is important, don’t get me wrong. It’s very important. And it carries a lot of weight in a prospect’s buying decision. But it’s only one of many factors that a person needs to consider when making their buying decision.In actuality, there’s very little difference in insurance policies issued by any number of insurance companies in the same geographical area. Likewise, there’s usually very little difference in the products or services you sell versus those same types of products or services sold by your competitors.General overhead costs, utilities, phones, supplies, wages, and product costs are also similar for most companies that sell like products and services. So, if all those factors… similarity of products and services, overhead costs and product costs are pretty much the same, the prices charged by each individual business must, out of necessity, be pretty close, as well.It’s true, that one company may, for example, obtain a lower purchase price on their products and as a result, be able to offer a more attractive sales price for a certain period of time, but eventually, things change and the playing field becomes pretty level once again.There are other factors not to be overlooked such as investment income and tax write-offs or advantages that can play a role in the prices businesses charge for the things they sell. But overall, all things considered, the prices charged for the goods and services from one company to another similar company are going to be fairly close over the long haul.The point is, that… no matter what business you’re in…You will never maintain, long-term…
a competitive advantage because of the products
you offer, or the prices you charge.As soon as you develop a new product, or offer a new service, it’s just a matter of time before your competition latches on to it and offers the exact same thing, or maybe enhances it and offers it for a lower price. And as soon as you lower your prices, your competition can do the same thing.The marketplace you operate in is so fiercely competitive… so cutthroat… so unforgiving… that you absolutely must do something to differentiate yourself from your competition. If you don’t, you’ll be relegated to just another “me-too” business, just like all your competitors.Now… you want to know the good news? That’s how your competitors operate… in a “ME-TOO!” mode.Just look around. They’re all the same. Their businesses all look the same. Their products are all the same. They walk and talk the same. And their advertising all looks like and says the same things as the next guy’s. And because they all operate that way and don’t know how to change… it gives you a tremendous opportunity!You see, if they keep on doing what they’ve always done… they’ll keep on getting what they’ve always got. But you… if you want to get something different… you’ve got to be willing to make some changes. Changes that will produce real and measurable results in your business. And that means you’ve got to constantly be on the lookout for new ideas, new strategies, and new systems… proven strategies and systems that you can implement with a reasonable amount of effort and expense.Remember… it’s not enough to just learn about the ideas… you’ve got to take action on them, if you expect anything different than what you’re currently getting.