Archive for the ‘Efficiency’ Category

This week is National Pay Your Bills Week

February 20, 2012

I try not to look at these things as “national holidays” but gentle reminders of ways we can improve our lives.

Given the current economic climate, everyone seems to be more concerned than ever about money.  Having systems in place can reduce stress, save time, and save money. Almost every client who contacts me has those 3 criteria listed in their reasons for wanting to get more organized. Getting more organized does pay! Don’t wait; start TODAY!

Payingi Bills

PAYING THOSE BILLS

  1. Have a designated place for all incoming bills.
  2. Decide on a schedule to pay bills and stick to your schedule.
  3. Have a place to pay your bills. Have everything in one place to streamline your bill-paying process: checks, pen and pencil, a calculator or calculator program like Excel, any payment coupon booklets, postage stamps, envelopes, return address labels, and a stapler.
  4. Balance your checkbook prior to actually paying bills. If you have a joint account, this is the time to communicate with your spouse or significant other to make sure all debits and credits have been properly entered.
  5. Have a Master Checklist for all bills. With companies encouraging us all to go paperless, oftentimes if we don’t have a Master Checklist, a bill could be missed; you might incur late fees and/or additional charges. Suggested columns for your checklist: Date of Month Due / Payee / Paper or Paperless Bill.
  6. Automate where possible or where you are comfortable. For example, bills such as your monthly cable bill can be automated to 1 credit card or auto draft to your bank account. You can opt whether you still receive a paper copy of the bill each month. A note of caution: It is your responsibility to review all bills. Phone companies are notorious for attempting to slip through “3rd party” charges to unknowing consumers.
  7. Consider reducing the number of credit cards you actually use to 1 or 2 debit or credit cards. The rewards: less bills coming in; less bills to pay; simplified record keeping; and simplified filing. Those department store and gasoline credit card “rewards” are not truly rewards in the big picture.
  8. Simplify your filing routine. If the bills you pay have no Tax or Legal implication, consider filing them by the month you have paid them (Jan / Feb / March …).

Easy Steps for Reducing Credit Card Debt (okay, I admit it is never totally easy; you first must decide this is something you want to make a priority)

  1. See if you qualify for cheaper credit cards. If you have a credit card at a bank, you may be throwing away money. Simply ASK your current company is you qualify for a reduced rate due to your timely payments and FICO score. If not, check out options at a credit union where reduced rates are often offered.
  2. List your credit cards, with the highest rate card first. Include the balance, the interest rate, and the minimum payment.
  3. Every month: pay extra on your credit card with the highest rate. The goal is to pay that baby off! Keep doing this until all your credit cards are paid off.
  4. Every month: as you pay off your high-interest cards, start paying money into a savings or investment account.

In it to win it with direct sales!

March 7, 2011

Ask any person who is in direct sales why they do it, and they will usually tell you they are passionate about their particular product. It is what originally enticed them to the business as a consumer; then came learning they could actually do “this” as a business and make money at it. Somewhere from that first spark of passion to their time in business, most struggle with actually running their businesses and earning what they expected. There are a ton of direct sales companies out there. Here are just a few:

  • Mary Kay / BeautiControl / Avon / Arbonne
  • Lia Sophia / Silpada / Stella & Dot / Premier Designs / Guy and Eva
  • Juice Plus / Advocare /Genesis Pure / Nature’s Sunshine / Isagenix / MonaVie
  • Pampered Chef / Tupperware
  • Thirty-One Gifts / Scentsy

As an organizer who specializes in helping clients with their paperwork, I often see insides the lives of these very talented people . The problem is certainly not with their chosen line of products. Most of the products are fantastic products which are priced reasonably; the companies themselves are well-known, reputable, and well-respected; and with many, the company itself has invested a great deal in marketing and advertising.  The rate-limiting step is, quite simply, organization. Take heart, however, the problem is not with you. Most of these businesses are paper-driven businesses with a plethora of forms, brochures, product announcements, price sheets, product information sheets; you name it. It can be absolutely overwhelming! Each person trying to run this type of business wears many hats, to say the least: that of trying to run a “storefront” with products on hand, being the sales person, office manager, and bookkeeper, at a minimum. 

Working with clients in these types of businesses, I have successfully put into place systems which help them to run their businesses so that they can focus on what they do best: selling the products they are passion about. I typically hear, “Now, I can really do this!”

Whether you are have been in a direct sales business for a while, you are a newbie to this type of career or are thinking of dipping your toe in the water, being organized is an absolute must. If you want to win at this type of business, start with GETTING ORGANIZED! Then SALE ON, SALE ON, my friends.

Bless you in your day and in your success! ~ Kat Jacoby

10 dozen cookies baked and another successful holiday event!

December 9, 2010

We just had another successful Client Appreciation Dinner for my husband’s Edward Jones office in Llano, Texas! The evening included an entire community hall full of people who dined well on a Mexican buffet and scrumptious desserts. Lots of great fellowship was shared and all attending heard how the market is going to get stronger in the coming months (it is, you know!).

In the 10 years Archie has been with Edward Jones, we have entertained lots of customers and put on lots of events! How does it all get done, done well, while sticking to a planned budget? I stress budget because truthfully, anyone can put on events with the myriad of options available in our world today, but doing it on a tight budget is a totally different thing.

The answer: Planning. Lists. Work, yes; but each time notes and lists are used, the work becomes easier! One tool I have found which I really love is ListPlanIt. As a proud Professional Member of ListPlanit, I have access to a plethora of planning lists! Check out the over 500 lists they have available:

http://www.listplanit.com

As we work together on our next organizing project, let me know if you are in need of a list to help you. Whether you are planning your upcoming Holiday Meal or simply your family’s meal plan and grocery list, lists help save time AND money!

Everyday Strategy: Stop Using Post-Its!

November 12, 2010

Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE Post-Its (especially bright-colored ones) and they have their purposes, but for keeping track of your Master List of tasks, they are not the right tool. If you like to write them down, use a spiral bound notebook you can carry with you everywhere. Personally, I am a huge fan of using Outlook Tasks. There are countless ways you can stay on top of your tasks, calendar items, and contacts.