Friday, May 9, 2008
Wedding budget list - how it is made?
Before you get to a final figure, start off by making a complete list of requirements for your wedding. One by one just recollect the requirements and write it on paper along with approx cost. Things that you should try and count cost for are the church / house of prayer, reception hall, decorations, dress, groom formal attire & brides evening gown or dress, flowers, menu, photography and music and many other. Once the list is prepared you can put a tentative price against each one and total up to know where you are headed.
The budget for a wedding ranges from anywhere between $15,000 to $30,000. You're your budget in a way that you could ending up paying more than you initially set our to. By dong this you are not splurging merely making room for any unforeseen expenses. So if you want that you would like to spend $15,000 on your wedding then have in place at least $16500.
Supposing you would like to meet your wedding expenses within $10,000 then create a budget which spends only $9000 or even less. An early decision on who will be paying for the wedding is necessary. If you both as a couple would meet out the entire expenditure or is they're going to be some family contribution or something else.
All this will just make you know that from where the finances are going to pour in. And at the end of the end you will not have to run from pillar to post to acquire the sum. So whichever way to look at the wedding budget it is of great importance the you plan out the wedding budget.
Have a small budget in which to carry out your wedding!
Never mind if you have a small budget in place to finance your wedding, many other people to have similar budget constraints. At this point wedding budget planning comes in handy and actually proves crucial to existence itself. You must have prepared the list of requirements for the wedding along with cash in hand status. Pick a pen and tick those things that cannot be separated from the list for instance your dress or cake and cross those that could be done away with.
Then put each of those items on a fresh page, when that is done put some alternatives to that item that will pinch your pocket less. For instance, your liking is designer/expensive watch, or some costumed stitched dress well it is highly unlikely that all these could fit into your small budget.
So find the alternatives to your requirements on the Internet where exquisite watches and handsomely crafted dresses can be found at much more better prices than you were willing to buy at. Surely it might consume some of your time but eventually it will be a fraction of what you set out to pay. Plan ahead of time so that nothing is left for the 11th hour.
Budgeting: A Complete Guide to Idiot Proof Your Wedding
KIS or keep it simple is something we all have heard. This goes unsaid for your budget as well. Though this is once in a life time day for you but it doesn't mean splurging on all your savings. Create a expenses dairy where in you can note your requirements as well expenses day to day. Various online sites offer information as well help to plan and execute your wedding planning. Theknot.com is one that comes instantly to mind.
There are tips that shall help you a great deal. Once you have given a particular heading to the expenses, you can assign the priority to each one and then spend money wisely. This will allow you to enjoy you wedding peacefully without having any regrets later on with regards to excessive expenditure
Setting-up a sunroom in your house makes it look beautiful, but it can also disturb your budget plans, because the material which is required for a sunroom is expensive. In order to build a sunroom you need to manage your budget plan properly from the beginning. For appropriate planning, you should know the estimated cost of sunrooms including materials that are used. Labor cost should also be kept in mind along with the furniture requirements. Only then it will be easy for you to judge the type of material you want to use in your sunroom.
The roof structure and other furniture items that are required to decorate the room can cost you more than you expect. The best thing you have by building a sunroom is that extra living space you get. Sunroom is probably the best solution to increase the living area in a much less cost. A sunroom can be built in 3 days to a week time, and this is much less than building a traditional room which is made-up of mortar and bricks. The cost incurred in building a sunroom varies, depending on the size, material, drainage, facility, ventilation, location and design of the sunroom.
If you live in a hot and humid area, you should get the material for cooling system. But if you live in a cold region, you need to get the heating system installed in the sunroom. That is why the cost of the material varies, depending on the climatic conditions of the region where you reside. It also depends upon the land of your residency. Rough land requires thick and good quality of floor that can maintain its quality for longer period. Likewise, if the region where you reside is covered with snow then your sunroom requires deep flooring system that can restrict the floors from contracting and expanding with the fluctuations of weather.
The labor cost in your region can affect the total cost involved in building a sunroom. People with budget constrains can choose to build it on do-it-yourself basis. That way they can save a lot of cost and experience much lesser expenses. It is a tiring experience but people who love outdoor activities and adventure also love to perform this task. Decorating a sunroom can be expensive experience that should be kept in mind. If you have tight budget plan made for the sunroom then you should consider buying the furniture items accordingly and if you have more money left then you can purchase high quality furniture.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Typical Household Budget Percentages
33-38% Housing (59%-66% of this is on shelter - mortgage interest, property taxes, repairs, and rent, and other items)
15-19% Transportation (38-48 of this is vehicle purchase - 2 cars per household average)
13-14% Food Budget (55% at home, 45% away)
0-3% Tobacco and related products
0-2% Caffeine related products
4-5% On clothing and related services (drycleaning)
4.5 - 6% on out of pocket Health Care
9% Personal Insurance and Pensions (breakdown: 1% life and other personal insurance, 7.5% SS, .5% investment
2.5% Charitable Contributions
2% Reading and Education
1% Personal Care products and services
4% Credit Card, Consumer Loan Interest
If your budget closely matches the above, here's what you can do to fix that. Do these in order. Do not proceed to the next step until you've addressed the current step:
1. Stop using your @#!&*! credit cards!
2. Make a down and dirty budget right away! Don't worry about it being right at first...you can perfect it over time. Just do it!
3. Cut back on your easy to identify, frivolous spending habits (3 dollar lattes, magazines, 450 extra satellite channels, etc.) If you've got some expensive habits you've wanted to quit for some time, now's the time. For example, if you're a hard-drinkin', chain smokin', coffee drinkin' fool, you can reap a windfall of up to 7% or more of your income! Just cutting back to 2 drinks per day, only drinking coffee from home and quitting the cigarettes will net you a nice amount of extra cash and add years to your life! Refine your budget after eliminating what you can.
4. Reduce your 401K and other investment payments (if you have any) to the minimum allowable to keep your 401K and/or other investment accounts open. If your employer has a stock matching plan, keep that in addition to the minimum to keep your investments accounts open (but only up to the minimum you need to get all the matching money.) You're going to reap a whole lot more return on paying off your debts than you can ever hope to reasonably get from traditional investments. If you're paying into a college fund for your kids - keep doing that - if you're not and you really want to, hold off until step 6. Refine your budget to reflect the extra income available, if any.
5. Build an emergency fund equal to 2% of your gross annual income. It should be a little hard to get to (like a separate checking account or mutual fund), but not too difficult (Certificate of Deposit.) Work this into your budget - it's very important. You will not believe the amount of stress that will melt away when you do this.
6. Pay off your debts - everything except mortgages. And don't just move your revolving debt into a second or third mortgage - that's bad. Pay them off using a rapid debt paydown system like the Debt Hammer™. Pay off any student loans (for future reference, these are a bad idea.) Pay off your car(s) too. If you're not upside down on a car loan (your car is worth more than you owe) you can sell it and get a cheaper, paid for car. Throw a small (inexpensive but fun) party for yourself and your loved ones every time you pay off a debt.
7. Take all the money you WERE spending to pay off your non-mortgage debt and start putting it into those investment accounts you put on idle. Make sure you're investing at least 10% of your gross income. If you followed steps 1-4 exactly, you should have lots of breathing room in your budget now. If this is true and you want to invest more than 10%, go ahead, but be sure to reward yourself too and live a little. Grow your emergency fund to a level you're comfortable with (2 or more months of income is a good start.) If you have young kids and you want to send them to college, start putting money into a college fund of your choice for them, if you haven't already. Throw a bigger party than usual when this is done.
8. Pay off your mortgage and throw your biggest party yet! You can start towards this by refinancing to a single fixed rate mortgage (your credit should be in pretty good shape having paid off all your other debts.) If it's a 30 year mortage, pay more than your monthly payment to dramatically lower the amount of interest you give to the bank. If it's a 15 year fixed - wow! That's excellent!
9. When you're totally debt free, regularly give away whatever you think you can afford. It's good for the soul!
Easy? Not. Worth it? Doing the above will pay dividends in your life in many more ways than just dollars and cents. You will assure yourself a dignified and financially secure retirement. Do this well and you will also build a way for your kids and your grandkids to enjoy prosperous lives, and they will remember you with fondness and respect long after you've moved on to the other side. Now get started!
A budget allows you to see where you are overspending and to take corrective action. The most important part of a budget is constant review and discipline!
Now it's your turn to determine your budget. Having a written budget is very important as it prevents you from "cheating". You can create a plain budget on a piece of paper, or you can create a spreadsheet to do all the calculation for you. In the resources below, a free budget spreadsheet is provided.
The basic budget should include a "Planned Budget" and "Actual Budget" (where you document what actually happened). As you consistently review your budget each month, you will discover ways to save even more money.
Here are some basic instructions for filling out a Budget Worksheet:
Fill out the first column on the spreadsheet labeled "Planned Budget". This is your GOAL to achieve each month. This column will represent the amount of money you hope to spend in each of the given categories.
Fill out the "Actual Budget" as the month progresses. This will help you see where you are overspending.
Compare the Planned Budget to the Actual Budget at the end of each month. As you focus on saving money, you will surprised at the many different areas in which you can cut back your spending!
Also, note on the Budget Spreadsheet that some of your expenses are "Necessary" and others are "Discretionary". Try to eliminate as many discretionary expenses FIRST, and then look to other categories to save even more.
You should continually assess where your budget is each month and you will notice your net worth increasing.
For a free budget calculator and a continuation of this article, see the resources below.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Information is the lifeblood of the economy. That’s especially true for businesses, because the ability to identify current customers and locate new prospects makes the difference between boom and bust. So how do successful companies do it? Through targeted market research, which usually means arcane computer systems, large staffs, and six-figure budgets.
That situation is ripe for change, according to the CEO of Catenate, LLC, Wendy Cobrda. “Solutions that used to sell for $100,000 plus are now available for less than $5,000. And even better, these tools are web-enabled, which allow companies of all sizes to easily access the information they need instantaneously for a relatively small investment.”
Ironically, many of those companies rely on the U.S. Census Bureau data, because of its low cost, but by the time Census data is compiled and formatted, it is two to three years out of date. That data often doesn’t reflect the reality of today’s marketplace. And what if you need a finer-grained solution than the 10,000 foot view that the Census Bureau offers? That’s where Catenate’s web application, Catopshere, enters the picture. Catosphere leverages databases which include Census data, current year estimates and five-year Projections (ESRI), traffic counts, shopping centers, market potential, consumer expenditures, and lifestyle segmentation. Site guests simply carve out a subset of that data that applies to a geographical region of their choice. What results is a geodemographical study that captures the statistical “vital signs” of the target region. Surprisingly, obtaining the survey runs less than five minutes from start to finish. Once the target region and the type of study are chosen, Catosphere dynamically generates the study in either PDF or Excel format.
Although refreshingly usable (the “1-2-3” type instruction lists show up more than once), Catosphere also provides substantial flexibility. Reports can selected from ten categories, including aerial photographs. Target regions can be selected via Dbase databases, predefined geographic units, address intersections, a Mapquest-style map selector, or latitude and longitude. Reports may also be automatically branded with a business logo. In that way, Catosphere helps you convince the next level of management that you’re on the ball.
The company provides two avenues to obtain geodemographic reports – a la carte reports or subscriptions. Subscriptions range one to three years across two detail levels, Basic and Premium. Per-report prices fall in the sub-$100 range; subscriptions range from $995 (Basic) to $2500 (Premium), but allow unlimited access to national data. Subscriptions provide the most value to companies that need to keep abreast of volatile markets or require the ability to conduct speculative analyses. “I use the reports and maps to make my business case,” notes Keith Chamberlain, CEO of Live Arts Today.
In the age of micromarketing, businesses need tools to ensure that their marketing campaigns strike gold. Catosphere provides an intriguing tool that may help small to medium-sized businesses do exactly that.
SEO (search engine optimization) is an incredibly young and volatile marketing realm. As a marketing manager with great expectations for SEO, you likely feel intense pressure to generate a great ROI, but you also feel dizzy from the possibilities and risks inherent to any internet marketing adventure.
Before you and your accounting team pull out your calculators and Excel spreadsheets, you MUST organize your strategic marketing goals. If you don't spell out these goals explicitly - and harmonize them with your vision for your company - you will burn up your investment and fast. Think of building a budget for SEO like designing a house. Unless and until you select the right neighborhood and style of house (vision) and map out the architectural skeleton (strategy), you will be hammering nails (budgeting tactics) essentially at random. And this will inevitably lead to a big mess.
That said, let's get down into the nitty gritty and discuss SEO budgeting tactics that work.
Three ways to gauge your project's budget:
- base your numbers on a (successful) past campaign that's similar to yours.
- aim to capture a specific share of your SEO market, and work backwards (based on figures published by competitors) to determine what SEO resources to deploy and where.
- designate a target percentage of total sales you wish to achieve though SEO marketing and work backwards to make this figure a reality.
What percentage of your total marketing budget should go into SEO internet marketing:
• if you're selling pharmaceuticals or herbal products, you may want to go as high as 25%.
• the average (across industries) is somewhere around 6%, but this figure will likely grow as SEO gains prominence as a marketing tool.
• If you advertise primarily in the brick-and-mortar realm and/or have an unusual online demographic, your percentage could dip to 2% or lower.
Other important info to keep in mind:
• nearly 90% of all business traffic generated from Google, Yahoo, and the other search engines comes from organic listings.
• every month, nearly 6 billion search engine queries are made.
• The top three search returns generate over 91 percent of traffic.
Unlock your SEO budget with the help of SearchMar.com, a full-spectrum website optimization company with enormous experience.