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Another 6 Strategic Ways Businesses Can Use Coupon Codes

1. Use Coupon Codes in a Crowded Market

The problem with coupon codes is that you’ve jumped into the game of competing on price. That might not be a good strategy for service providers or those businesses with a unique product that is only distributed on their sites. However, coupon codes can be very smart for retailers that compete with other sites to sell the same items. An extra 10% off can make a customer choose your site over the competition.

2. Discount Coupon Codes Close Sales

Consumers today are programmed to find a deal, so discount coupon codes are a must-have for any online business. Our best coupon conversions come from a prominent tab labeled “coupon” on the left side of our homepage. When clicked, our email club sign-up form pops up. Customers can then submit their info. Shortly thereafter, they receive a discount coupon code via email.

3. Ask and You Shall Receive

Late last year, we had pro athletes retweet a coupon code to their followers. Cumulatively, our discount went out to 2 million Twitter users. But our conversions from that campaign were less than our current strategy, which is to give a discount to anyone who asks. We encourage people to ask us for a code in our social media bios. Our conversions are higher when people ask, rather than us doing the asking.

4. Perform Acts of Kindness

Give your employees a handful of discount codes in varying increments, and let them surprise customers with them. You can teach them to say: “We appreciate your business so much! You know — I’d like to give you $50 off your next order. Thanks for being such a great customer!” Acts of kindness like this go a long way toward building brand loyalty.

5. Consider Customer Acquisition Cost

Never offer discount or coupon codes unless you understand the unit economics of your business. I’ve seen friends get buried by deal sites — not because deal sites are bad, but because the business itself did not understand its own unit economics. Before you offer any sort of discount, know your customer lifetime value (CLV), and whether offering a discount will pay off in the long run.

6. Collaborate With Affiliates

Want to encourage affiliates to market for you? Give them a coupon code they can give to their audience. When the coupon codes are redeemed, track the affiliate’s sales. In the end, users get discounts, your affiliates get commission and you get new customers.

7 Strategic Ways Businesses Can Use Coupon Codes

The online coupon seems like a simple, straightforward way to increase conversions, but that’s not necessarily the case. Rock-bottom discounts (see: Groupon) can actually have a negative effect on a booming web business.

Instead of using coupon codes to spur sales at checkout, savvy business owners are finding ways to leverage discounts to track customers, build affiliate relationships and more.

A panel of successful young entrepreneurs shares the strategies that are actually working. Here’s what they had to say.

1. Retargeting and Cart Abandonment Strategies

Coupon codes are essential to an ecommerce startup if it is in a competitive market. Business owners can use coupons wisely in their marketing strategies by retargeting with banners or shopping cart abandonment emails to lure shoppers back to a website. Nevertheless, if you want to build a sustainable business, never make discounted product your only value proposition

2. Distribute Through Partners

Here’s how we’ve used coupons and special discounts with great results in our business: We provide partners with special discount offers they can distribute to their audiences. We set a time-based deadline or quantity-based limit. And we provide partners with commissions on sales, so they have an extra incentive to promote the offers

3. Track and Measure ROI

Coupon codes are an excellent way to track and measure your advertising ROI. Simply use a different code for each ad outlet (i.e. Google vs. Bing vs. Facebook) so you can see exactly how many sales each campaign generated. With a little bit of tech work, you can also use coupon codes to track — down to the keyword level of your search ad campaigns — which is critical for optimization.

4. Reward Loyal Facebook Fans

On your Facebook fan page, you can offer coupons and discounts to your fans right through Facebook, or you can choose to use third-party apps. Instead of just offering a coupon to everyone, I think it’s neat to reward your most loyal fans, as one company called Earthegy does. The gemstone jewelry company offers discounts and promotions, but only to their top fans, which it determines through an app.

5. Track Revenue Sources at Events

Discount codes are great for tracking which sales channels are performing the best for you. For our Entrepreneurs Unpluggd events, we give our marketing partners unique discount codes to distribute, so we can see which channels refer the most sales and concentrate on optimizing those channels.

6. Encourage Action

Use online discount or coupon codes to offer discounts to the first buyers. This creates scarcity, so more people take action quickly and move forward with their purchase decisions. A scarcity component drives the people who may be on the fence to take the leap.

7. Customize and Learn

Many businesses make the mistake of simply using coupons to increase conversions. The bigger opportunity is to utilize them to also learn more about your customers’ behavior along the way. Create unique codes to be used through a variety of channels, create custom codes for partners and then test different discount formats to maximize conversions based on real data.

Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2014

Market Research Company Euromonitor International released today a new report identifying the top 10 consumer trends for 2014 with a focus on consumer behaviors and beliefs going into the new year.

According to the consumer trend report, there is an overwhelming desire globally to indulge in luxury goods, download more apps and document experiences visually through social media. However, consumers are also struggling with work-life balance, maintaining an eco-friendly lifestyle and eating better. These trends are sure to change the way brands appear and interact with consumers and in turn, brands will need to work harder to maintain customer loyalty.

The Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2014

1. A Narrowing Gap Between Interest and Purchase

As consumers are looking for instant gratification with various products, brands are looking for ways to harness customer impulse buying. Most recently, MasterCard announced a partnership with publisher Conde Nast in an app called ShopThis, allowing digital consumers to instantly buy items they see in a magazine ad or an item of clothing worn by an actor in a film.

2. Eating Right

Interest in eating right goes beyond the obesity statistics – many are aware that healthy eating can improve quality of life and extend longevity. Also, many are discovering food sensitivities and are looking to purchase “free-from” products. According to Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey, online consumers are willing to pay more for food items with specific benefits, such as added nutrients.

3. Eco-Worriers and the Blooming of Social Conscience

Consumers are increasingly looking to connect with brands, business models and products that do not associate with negative environmental or social impacts. A new lifestyle platform called SHFT is aiming to convey a new, more sustainable approach to the way we live. Created by actor Adrian Grenier and producer Peter Glatzer, SHFT believes “Sustainability should be folded into the fabric of our lives… and nudge us further towards the sustainable direction in which we’re inevitably headed.”

4. Home Base: The Importance of Home and Community

A homebody is not just a person anymore but also a state of mind as consumers are centering more of their entertainment in the home. According to Argentina’s newspaper, La Nacion, “You can get a professional chef to cook for you, host a band for an exclusive show in your living room or attend a play in your garden.” Consumers are also members of multi-generational households, due to rising costs of childcare, housing and eldercare. Multi-generational living is important in terms of purchasing, as a mix of generations will influence buying behaviors for food, holidays and technology choices.

5. Frustrations with the Lack of a Work/Life Balance

An unfulfilled work/life balance will be a widespread source of consumer stress in 2014. Many believe that mobile connectivity is blurring the work/leisure divide, creating more stress while others believe it may relieve pressure on working consumers. According to Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey, two-thirds of consumers say they are actively trying to simplify their current lives. While the majority of consumers make financial security concerns a priority, others are questioning personal and career satisfaction and goals, and opting for simpler living.

6. Luxury for More Consumers

In 2014, consumers are still looking to purchase luxury goods. However, more consumers want to get their hands on luxury items for less. Japanese consumers are option for more “affordable luxury” in greater numbers. For example, popular purchases include cashmere sweaters at fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo and gourmet coffee at 7-Eleven convenience stores.

7. People’s Choice

Digital technology has given people the power to react to what displeases them in minutes and enables them to become brand ambassadors, spreading the word about good buys when satisfied. Consumers can influence others purchasing habits thanks to social networks, so brands need to work harder than ever to earn consumer loyalty in 2014. Transparency and sincere apologies earn consumer respect.

8. Post-Recession Coping Strategies the New Normal

While many cash-stretched consumers are still suffering from the remains of the recession, post-recession coping strategies are about how people behave after processing the shock of living in recession. Many consumers have modified their buying behaviors and started doing things such as thrift-store shopping, relying on credit and considering collaborative consumption. Two-thirds of respondents in Euromonitor International’s 2013 Global Consumer Trends Survey agree that finding bargains while shopping is something they enjoy.

9. There’s an App for That…

With global consumers relying more than ever on mobile technology, it is no surprise apps will continue to grow in popularity in 2014. Apps are indicators of consumer interests and offer marketing opportunities for brands. New apps in the UK for ‘smarthomes’ enable users to remote control their home, such as the Hive Active Heating app from British Gas. A UK budget hotel chain, Premier Inn, recently revealed a new app allowing guests to control lighting and entertainment through their mobile phone.

10. Visual Craving

Consumers are becoming a visual audience. Those who are digitally savvy can take their pick from popular software apps such as Vine and Instagram to showcase their life pictorially. However, it is making it hard for consumers to grasp reality amongst “perfection” found in filters and editing. A blog, Filter Fakers, scours Instagram for those pretending their photos have #NoFilter. Once found, they out them for the Internet to mock. Meanwhile, another blog called Pinstrosity asks readers to submit pictures of their DIY and cooking projects gone wrong.

6 Profitable Business Ideas to Start During the Christmas Season

Christmas is near! Isn’t it? As an entrepreneur, this is the best time to plan how to maximize profit on some of the business opportunities that comes with the season. Here are 6 small but profitable Business Ideas to start during the Christmas season.

1. Design and Sell Christmas Cards

There are two ways to doing this: make beautiful handmade cards (if you are a creative artist) or buy in wholesale quantity in Eko – Dosumu or Oke Arin Market in Lagos Island. You can sell them to friends, families and business organisations. People don’t usually have that time to go shop for Christmas cards. You will be saving them the trip while also making some good profits.

2. Sell children’s toys, shoes and clothes

You would be amazed by how much parents spend on their children at Christmas. Children’s toys and clothes sell very well during the Christmas season. In fact, they are most abundant in the market during this period. This business is very easy to put up because children’s toys are quite affordable, and can be very profitable.

You can order them online or ask a relative abroad to buy them for you from sales.

Another scoop? Go to Eko-Idumota and Dosumu, you will find quality designs of beautiful princess dresses for girls and smart and stylish wears for boys in different colours, shapes and sizes.

3. Sell Christmas Items Online

If you are very active on social media platforms with a large online followership, you can make money during Christmas by selling various items for people and getting commissions from each sale. This works the other way round too. Put your items on blogs, social media platforms. Your products will reach more people than word of mouth would.

4. Sell Gift Baskets (Hampers)

Packing hampers is fun! You can use attractive plastic or hand made basket to pack your gift baskets.
Categories of Hampers:

  • Food basket
  • Fruit basket
  • Drinks basket
  • Kitchen/Electrical appliance basket
  • etc.

Pack a basket (however you want it), arrange the items beautifully in the basket, wrap with colourful Christmas-branded wrapping sheets to make it more attractive. You can sell your gift baskets to office workers and other interested customers around you.
You can also advertise on your social media platforms and BBM.

5. Organize shows

Now this is for entrepreneurs interested in making money from the entertainment industry while also having some good fun.
If you’re a musician, or you have a band, or a dance group, you can make money during the Christmas season by organizing musical concerts or featuring as guest artistes at concerts. Even if you are not an artiste yourself, you can collaborate with famous artistes and organize a musical concert aimed at celebrating Christmas in your neighbourhood, church or any other place.

6. Sell Christmas Souvenirs

Souvenirs are cherished and appreciated more in Nigeria. (Do you agree? )

Aside from spending money on food and fun activities at the end of the year at company parties, corporate organisations likes to give out souvenirs to staff, clients or customers to appreciate either services rendered or patronage. Whichever the case, Your job is to get useful and unique survenir samples to show people and they can start ordering.

Be careful though, branding suuvenirs is not as easy as one thinks. You have to mke sure there is no mistake with the press. (the brand name and other information that goes on the items).

Examples of souvenir items that people like to buy include custom-branded/Christmas-branded T-shirts, mugs, home decorations, carrier bags, face towels, pen and paper holder, calenders etc.

How to enjoy an inexpensive Christmas

Christmas is a time for giving but it can be expensive. Instead of being a simple holiday it sometimes turns into a shopping nightmare. When choosing presents for a family, it can be difficult to know what to buy without a budget being exceeded. Finding gift ideas for men or women of all ages needn’t be difficult whatsoever because there are many ways that can help with reducing how much is spent overall at Christmas, such as coupons.

Coupons can help to stay within budget

A coupon can be used for buying gifts at Christmas, such as those that are issued by grocery stores. Many grocery stores offer their customers the opportunity to earn a coupon throughout the year that can be redeemed in-store. By using a card that is swiped at the tills, a coupon can be sent to their customers. As a coupon can be valid for several months, a family can save many of them so that a Christmas budget isn’t exceeded.

Shop around

As the cost of Christmas continues to rise, shoppers should visit many shops in order to find the most cost effective presents. When looking for gift ideas for men or women, lots of presents shouldn’t be bought from one particular shop. By visiting many shops, gifts can be compared against each other. Although it can take longer to look at several shops, the cost of buying gifts and other items that are needed at Christmas i.e. food, will probably be much lower.

Why not make jewelry?

As jewelry can be very expensive, making it is an alternative. By purchasing raw materials from a craft shop, stunning jewelry can be made at a discounted price. Creating jewelry can even be a family activity. Young children can help their parents with making jewelry that can then be given to friends and loved ones.

Consider how much food is actually needed

Although it is very tempting to purchase large quantities of food when a discount is applied, it can be much cheaper to buy less food. Christmas is a time to have fun but many families across the world purchase too much food and wine. As a result, more money is spent on doing so than intended. By writing a list of the food that’s actually required, there won’t be any temptations to buy other items that aren’t needed. In fact, a percentage of the money that’s saved could be donated to a charity.

How to Save Big on Your Next Car Rental

If you’re like most drivers, at some point you’ll have to rent a car. Maybe you need a reliable vehicle for vacation or while your car’s in the shop. Many drivers assume rental car rates are all the same and don’t bother to shop around. But taking a little time can save you a lot of bucks.

Here are nine tips that can put you in the driver’s seat to snag a great deal.

1. Plan ahead.

Walking into a rental agency or up to a rental counter at the airport without a reservation is risky business. Odds are you’ll pay more, have to choose from a limited and more expensive selection of vehicles, or find that the agency has no available cars.

Also, the fees, taxes and rates for rental cars often are less at off-airport locations. If it won’t wreck your travel plans, you could save big by taking public transit into town and renting a car there. However, be aware that off-airport locations may have limited selections and restricted hours, so make that reservation.

“Some agencies now offer additional discounts if you prepay,” says Ogechi Namme, product manager for USAA’s rental car program. “Depending on the dates you rent, you could receive a free weekend day or free upgrade. Often, agencies will discount your rental further the longer you keep the vehicle, so check a few dates before you lock in your rate.”

2. Verify your reservation in advance.

To avoid hassles caused by overbooking, confirm your reservation and vehicle type a few days before your trip. If the car you reserved is unavailable when you arrive, ask for an upgrade at no extra cost, or for the company to get the vehicle you need from another location or agency. In a worst-case scenario, in which no agency has any cars available, request that the rental company reimburse you for taxi expenses.

3. Maximize “members only” discounts.

Don’t miss out on car rental deals available through businesses and organizations you already use. For example, in addition to significant discounts year-round, USAA’s rental car program offers other perks, such as waived fees for additional and underage drivers, through select rental car companies.

Program members Enterprise, Hertz, Avis and Budget also waive “loss of use” costs and offer unlimited mileage on most vehicles (excluding one-way rentals) when you use your USAA discount codes.

4. Add up loyalty rewards.

Consider redeeming some loyalty rewards. In addition, through USAA’s rental car program, you can enroll, at no cost, in loyalty programs for Hertz, Avis and Budget. Not only will you be able to bypass the counter, saving you time, you’ll also earn points or credit toward your next rental. While these programs were designed with businesses in mind, families and individuals can take advantage of their perks.

5. Be wary of Web deals.

Popular travel websites allow you to compare offers from multiple companies, displaying all taxes and fees upfront. Beware of websites, however, that promise deep discounts if you commit to booking without knowing all the details in advance. You could face restrictions and fees if your travel plans change. Before you book, check with USAA’s rental car program, where the benefits could outweigh the base price you find online.

6. Avoid the call of extra, extra.

Add-ons are critical revenue generators for the car rental industry and can increase your bill by 20% or more. Resist the temptation to purchase any extras you don’t really need. You can always bring your own GPS or use your phone for navigation.

7. Play by the rules.

Be sure you understand the terms of the rental contract. When you pick up your vehicle, go over the details with the rental agent.

Most rental companies require drivers to be at least 25 years old or charge younger drivers extra, and they sometimes add a fee if more than one person will drive the car. But there are exceptions, depending on the rental company. Spouses who meet age and licensing requirements often drive at no extra charge through the USAA program, for example.

8. Always fill the tank.

It’s usually cheaper for you to refuel than to buy the prepaid fuel option. But there could be circumstances in which paying for the convenience is worth it — it’s better than missing your flight because you couldn’t find a gas station. If possible, though, don’t decline the prepaid fuel and then return the car empty. That could cost you a bundle — as much as $9 per gallon for gas and the “refueling service charge.”

9. Be in the know about rental car insurance.

Knowing if you should purchase rental car insurance can save you, either upfront — by helping you avoid paying for coverage you don’t need — or in the long run — by limiting your liability if the car is damaged in an accident, for example. Whether you need to purchase additional rental car insurance through the rental company depends on the following:

  • The level of coverage on your primary auto insurance policy.
  • The rental car provider you select.
  • If you are renting in the U.S. or internationally.
  • Additional benefits from USAA’s rental car providers: Hertz, Avis, Budget and Enterprise.
  • Any additional benefits and protection offered by your credit card.

For USAA members with auto insurance, in most cases, securing extra insurance through the rental car company is not necessary inside the United States. The coverage provided by your policy combined with the protection offered when paying for a rental with your USAA credit card should be adequate.

10 consumer trends for 2013

The end of the year is close and it is time for market analysis and research to make their way to the Internet and the press. It is interesting to see what the marketing milieu for the next year will be. Some popular economic websites such as Trend Watching are always ready with fascinating analysis and they have already published their top 10 key trends for 2013.

What lays ahead of us for the next year? here’s the answer:

1. Presumers on the go
Presumers – this weird group of consumers, want to help your product even before it has seen any popularity. These consumers are yet to influence the rise and fall of brands, even more so of the innovative companies. One can say that this is in line with the growing global trend of crowdsourcing and with the increasing role of social media, which make brands more open to communication. Some companies have already started using the power of presumers by collecting their support before launching new products.

2. From emerging markets to emerging markets
It seems like we are seeing the demise of a powerful trend we witnessed till not long ago – Chinese products conquering the world. The emerging economies seem to be paying much more attention to providing for the domestic market in order to stimulate internal consumption. The developing countries such as China and Brazil are now discovering the strong, till now dormant, potential of home consumption.

3. A mobile world – a world of mobility
The world has gone mobile. With the advent of 4G LTE, mobile phones have long become part of our lives. The use of mobile devices is constantly growing with huge leaps making companies add mobile-only features such as QR codes to facilitate access to their products. This sphere is yet to develop so we are living in interesting times, it seems like.

4. Eco-friendly to the core
Well, this is more of a trend in product marketing than a real phenomena. More “green” products will be launched at the market but these are more eco-inspired rather than really eco products produced under sustainable conditions. Even if they can’t save the world, though, these product at least draw attention to the problems.

5. Appresciptions or health applications
Smartphones can be smarter than their owners, and this is especially relevant to the huge variety of applications they can support. As a current trends, applications are getting more intertwined with the health-care system. For example, they can remind you of the time to take your medicine and monitor if you actually take it.

6. National identity
In our globalised world national identity seems to be melting down. The thing about this new trend is that the new markets and the smaller nations are beginning to promote their unique cultural heritage and identity. It’s interesting to see where this trend will eventually end. We’ll be keeping an eye on it.

7. Data for offers
Till now companies preferred to gather data of user behaviour and give nothing in return. No free lunch anymore though – companies start offering services using consumers’ information. The result is more personalized and useful services. Mostly it is loyal customers who can benefit from this trend, so now it pays to be loyal to a brand. In fact, this makes customers happier and companies end up with bigger sales.

8. Homework
Carbon footprint has become all the more important when making decisions. More and more consumers are eager to support local production and now technology makes it all the more easier. A possible solution is 3D printing. Can you think of other ways to boost local production?

9. Actions speak louder than words
Although PR specialists keep working feverishly to draft corporate missions and visions, consumers are growing more and more suspicious and want to see results. Hence, the increasing overtness that brands are looking for, eventually letting consumers become part of the whole process.

10. Demanding brands
There are some lucky brands enjoying true consumers’ credit. In order to carry out certain campaigns these brands are entitled to require more dedication and loyalty on the part of their fans. These campaigns, however, should not be too intrusive and should take place over reasonable intervals of time. Thus consumers’ energy will be channelized to support meaningful causes, for example.

6 sure ways to infuriate your customers

Well, it’s part of business, isn’t it! We all have nightmares in our jobs. But those we call “PR blunders” seem like to be the worst of all. PR blunders usually arise from customer dissatisfaction and the worst thing about them is that when you look back, they could all have been avoided. Now, relax and read the following scenarios which we hope you never encounter in your business.

1. Great expectations
Many companies create unjustifiable at times exorbitant expectations in their potential customers. Today with the help of social media, businesses have the chance to hold sweepstakes, games and promotions and draw the attention of many prospects. If you embark on this journey, keep going. Social media are thought as channels for two-way communication, but when companies fail to do so, customers easily get dissatisfied. Of course, it is hard to support many communication channels when you are a small business. So if you are small, keep perfect communication along one channel rather than poor communication in many channels.

2. Untrained team
Inexperienced, unqualified or incompetent for their position, the front-end team need to be perfect. You might have an impeccable product and service, but if the person who answers the phone was not born to communicate, then your whole business will suffer. Don’t let this happen. Your customers need to have the feeling that they are talking to someone who knows what they are doing, someone who is also open to criticism.

3. Failure to deliver on time
Imagine someone is having a stag or hen party and they have ordered their party costumes, fancy dress and various party supply from your online shop. The party is tonight and everyone’s ready for a grand time. But you fail to deliver the products on time, although you’ve guaranteed to do so. Provided there are tens of reliable transport companies, and there is no blizzard outside, you have no excuse to fail the customer. Place meeting promises as priority No. 1 in your business strategy.

4. Wasting precious time of your customers
Would you be happy spending hours on end sending emails and calling someone on the phone just to get something done? We doubt it. Sometimes PR blunders might arise exactly from the fact that it takes hours and hours for you to figure it out what went wrong, instead of simply fixing the problem.

5. Lack of feedback
Have you ever sent an email and never get an answer? Even to someone whom you know in person and who is expecting your email? In B2C communication, this shows lack of respect for your customers’ time and will certainly reduce their desire to buy from you. If customers send an email with a request, big or small, if you don’t pay attention to if and fail to return a reply, you will most probably lose this customer for good.

6. Standing in your team’s way
The worst PR blunders arise from bad management. In B2C there is often a discrepancy between the work of the employees whose tasks are related to face-to-face communication with customers, on the one side, and the opinion of the management, on the other. This discrepancy may result in inadequate decision making, training, establishment of wrong work procedures and so on. The best solution for this problem lays in regular meetings with every department and with very competent team leaders whom you can trust.

Improve Your Financial Situation

We’ve been talking constantly about financial discipline in the last several years. If you live on the Planet Earth then you might have had some financial problems, whatever they may be – lack of money, bankruptcy of employer and loss of job, bad credit, or even worse – loss of ability to work and so on. The banks are pressing you to pay your loans and you seem to be moving in a vicious circle.

The good news is that in economy events tends to move towards a state of equilibrium. How can you achieve personal financial equilibrium, though, given you’ve brought the financial trouble about your ears?! There are certain steps that you can follow in order to achieve good financial discipline and live happily ever after…

How to improve your personal financial situation?

First, a feasible solution is refinancing. Refinancing is a possibility to reduce the burden of your debts by refinancing them with a credit signed under more favorable conditions. You can either reduce the interest rate, cut the monthly payment amount, consolidate all your credits into one and so on. It is an opportunity to renegotiate the terms of your credits, especially in the face of swift changes in the bank sector.

Also, you can get a loan and make it work for you. It is tough to think of investments when you can hardly make ends meet. Still, think of ways to invest in things that are cheap at the moment but will probably turn out lucrative in the short or long run. Gold is not a good idea to invest in right now, as its prices are scraping the sky. Perhaps you can buy some small property and win on renting it? Don’t forget that all predictions on the market situation are subject to speculations, but if you take an interest in a market niche, it is probably worthwhile analyzing its trends and history and put some money into it.

You are in a dire straits and have absolutely no cash but still need it desperately? Whatever the reason, if you need cash, you need cash. But what can you possibly do if you have bad credit and banks refuse to credit you anymore? A good solution are personal loans for bad credit – a solution in harsh times for quickly improving your financial situation. What’s more, you can be approved within days.

Observing a strict personal financial discipline is also a possible way out. If you want to save some money, think of all the expenses you could cut:

  • First, don’t fall into the pitfall of sales just because you think you need to refresh your wardrobe.
  • Second, if you can cover distances by alternative transport, buy a bicycle and save on gas. Carpool or commute with a colleague to share transport expenses.
  • Third, go back to all the fun things you can do at home instead of spending for outdoor activities. Catch up on the reading left behind, enjoy the time with your family, indulge in hours at the verandah, do some housework and repair works that you usually pay for, try some DIY, and so on.
  • Don’t buy food like it’s the end of the world – you’ll throw away most of it anyway, so try not to buy big packs only because you think they are a good bargain. They are not – it’s just a marketing gimmick.

There are many ways to improve your financial discipline as long as you decide to do it. Don’t just cry over spilled milk and trouble your head with how poor you are. Be strong-willed, disciplined and orderly with your finances and shortly you will see more opportunities offered to you.

Saving on Christmas shopping

Here a pound, there a pound, here a new dress, there a new jacket, gifts for the family, festive dinner, Christmas embellishment… And you wake up one bright morning worrying about the Christmas evening and how on earth are you going to meet these costs…

Don’t worry. We will offer you some crafty ways to save on shopping over Christmas. It makes perfect sense to cut costs on food and drinks so that you save money for more meaningful purposes. But how do you do it smart?

Special offers and sales
First, it’s a public secret that one can save only on keeping an eye on the prices and promotions in the big supermarkets and shops. Special offers are a good way to buy expensive stuff that you’ve always abstained from. Ultimately, you might prove to be paying from 20 to 30% less for the basic goods and products.

Lets go shopping! Sensibly though
Second, when you do your shopping, be wise. When you do your Christmas shopping (dinner, presents, a Christmas fancy dress for a perfect look, and what not…), don’t buy things you will hardly ever use or even worse – thrown away. Don’t cook too much as if you’ve gathered with the family to celebrate the end of the world. You’ve come together to enjoy this magical time of the year, talk, dance and have fun, right?

Loyalty programmes
Some grocery chains offer loyalty programmes, such as Tesco clubcards, Sainsbury’s Nectar points and so on. Don’t hesitate to benefit from the reward systems, as using them you are entitled to either a discount or to an allotment of points that you can use in the future. If you’ve used the card over the past year, Christmas time you might turn up to be doing your shopping practically for free.

You might ask yourself is it worth spending so much time and efforts on finding the best discounts, sales and special offers. The thing is that if you go shopping with a plan, you will find the time for this. Most shops are open from very early till late in the evening. Some are open round the clock. Besides, some specialists say that looking for the best buys is a good brain activity, which boosts your imagination and brain power. A shopping tour might also help us lose a kilo or two ;-)

So, get ready for the Christmas holidays and enjoy being with your loved ones. When you draw the line, you’ll see that you’re much happier, healthier and perhaps slightly richer…

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