Budget vs. Sales & Ways to SAVE $$$

For the Month of March –

March looks to be a very challenging month on sales needed to cover current bills and payMarch Calendar 2016 on balances owed for items that need catching up or paying off! Tax time is not my favorite time of year. You are trying to recover from the holidays and WHAM! Here’s your tax bill! But like the old saying goes

I sat down last night, got out all of my bills and the white board calendar that has February data recorded.

Here are the steps I used to get my sales goals set for the month of March:

  1. Update the calendar with March dates on the proper days of the week.
  2.  Transfer all recurring bill titles to the proper day of the new month.
  3. Add new amounts due (house bills change slightly from mth to mth).
  4. Update the list of balances owed from previous months (unpaid/old bills) in a neutral zone (mine is on the left margin but not in my actual calendar so it won’t clutter the actual day spaces).
  5. On the right side of my calendar in another blank neutral area I have space for weekly totals. In this area I add the total amount of bills needing to be paid for that week and the total dollar amount of the sales goal needed to cover those bills. (I always pad it a little for anything that may come up unexpectedly!)
  6. I break down my large items into weekly payment amounts ($1000 Rent divided by 4 weeks = $250 per week). I found this works better than trying to come up with $1000 plus all other bills coming due on that week. Much safer to stretch it out in payment increments in the previous weeks before it come due! I have 3 that I add to every Monday of every week that add up to $755 per week so when those bills come due at the end of the month the funds will be there to pay them (I HOPE ANYWAY!!!)
  7. At the very bottom of my board/calendar I write in big bold print “TOTAL BILLS $–” and “INCOME GOAL $–“

I always use colored dry erase markers to show:

  • GREEN for $$$ Income – Earned or Projected/Needed
  • RED for $ bills – Circle the day for any possible lates/cutoffs
  • BLUE/BLACK for general info/lists – labeling dates, lists, special dates to remember that are not bills or income such as bdays or Flea Market Days 🙂

Figuring Sales Goals for each Week of Bills

In my experience if you actually list 3 times the amount of bills then within the month you will see that income for those bills. (Bills to pay $1000 = $3000 You need to list) It is much safer to say 4.0-5.0 times but when you have higher numbers in bills than normal trying to catch up it may make you set goals that are not realistic at this time. DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SETUP FOR FAILURE! Always try to be as realistic as possible on your goals. As you get better at processing new listings and finding better deals on inventory you will have better margins and be able to reach higher goals but do not put the horse in front of the cart!

Using this calendar tracking method is to put your mind at ease because you will be able to see at a glance each week where you stand with your bills vs. income. It also is a tool to build your work break down schedule (WBS) so you can plan how many hours/days you need to work and if you need to think about getting a friend/family member to help you. This is to help you stay motivated and aggressively increase your income potential! It also works like a report card. If you can’t cover your bills do something different! Add a garage sale 1-2 times per week. Sell on another platform that specializes in your product choices. Sell at a flea market. Start a service if you have a specific skill to utilize. If you don’t know one pick one and learn it.

Do not let your bills get too far behind because it is extremely difficult to watch your credit score take a nose dive and then there is all the lovely bill collectors that will kiss you good morning every day and tuck you in every night! Every time the phone rings it is a black cloud following you around.

When you do have a really good week/month and have a little extra money don’t blow it! You may have a not so good week/month coming up. If you feel the need to shop then buy necessities, like food for example, pantry food items and freezer meats, vegetables, etc. Always be preparing for a bad month. I can tell you first hand it is not fun to almost run out of food for your family. When you say “it’s okay, I’ll eat later” or “I’ve already eaten, go ahead and finish it if you are still hungry” to your kids, they will catch on pretty quick that you are lying to them and just don’t have enough. It is a very humbling feeling when your child says to you “no mom, I want you to have it because you need to eat too.” You are not the only one who will feel it when the money runs out. Our kids may be learning life long lessons on how to make it in hard times but let’s be real… we would rather them not because of a change we chose to make in our career path.

Try to minimize your bills as much as possible!

Most of your money goes into your business to begin with so it is important to open up those funds as much as possible. Minimizing your bills is a combination of changing your every day living habits and the process of unloading unnecessary amenities that you can choose to live without. You can change where you shop, recycle more, eat leftovers, shop for sale items and try the alternate brands that are cheaper (I personally did not want to do this but 4 out of 5 times it has been just as good or better!), review your insurance policies, not eat out as much. Eating out can eat your profits quick! I can be feeling really good about my weekend sales and after about 3 times of eating out the next week guess what… it’s gone! Track it and see just how much you spend on fast food and restaurants. You will figure out it’s not so bad going back to grocery shopping and cooking!

Here is a list of things we have done to minimize your bills:

  1. Cut off the cable TV – we don’t need it, seriously! We really don’t have to have 250-500 channels to flip through to watch our favorite shows. We have internet so we can use services like Netflix and Youtube to watch just about anything we want. There are other services available too, like Amazon Prime TV (they offer a 30 day Free Trial!), that can add to your family entertainment choices. We have done this now for approximately 2.5 years and I promise none of us have ever said the words “there’s nothing on TV to watch”!!! lol We also plug our laptops up to our TVs with a HDMI cord so we can still have our big screen. I don’t because I’m generally working but I have a phone case that has a stand on it and I perch it on the arm of the couch and I’m able to watch my favorite shows while I work. I love it. I miss some things about having cable TV but not enough to justify the $250 per month it cost to have it.
  2. That vehicle you have sitting out there in the yard or in the garage, you know the one that you still pay insurance on but never drive because it’s old, maybe broke down but you’re going to fix it up some day… unload it or at a minimum take it off your insurance! I paid full coverage insurance on 2 cars that literally sat there because I didn’t drive them anymore after getting the newest one. One was a 1998 Toyota Celica GT with a sunroof and I never wanted to sell it in this lifetime. I loved my car! I wanted to fix it from the inside out, get a cool paint job and keep it forever but guess what… that car paid $1900 on bills in December and my insurance went down $100 per month.
  3. I no longer pay $100-300 to get my hair done.
  4. I don’t get my nails done so that saves $40-$60 per month.
  5. I grocery shop at the Dollar Stores for everything that is cheaper to buy there. They have milk, eggs, frozen goods, bread, cereal, soups, coffee… a lot of items that we use on a regular basis! Most of my meats and all of my produce still come from the grocery store but this will save you money.
  6. When your kids need clothes wait for a sale. Stores are always having this sale or that sale… it will come, be patient! This one can save you $100’s of dollars buying for school clothes early too! Start in May or June putting money back so you will have it when the great sales start popping up! Here is an upcoming sale you may want to check out!
  7. Buy new holiday items the day after the holiday for the next year at extreme discounts. You will be so happy to pull the new items out of storage next year and it won’t cut into your gift spending money!
  8. GARAGE SALES!!! If you need any kind of household product, furniture, lawn mower, clothes, shoes… you can find it at the garage sales. Have some fun and go to big subdivisions in other towns. Make a day of it with your friend or family. Be impulsive and ask them which direction do you want me to drive because it will be more exciting to randomly pick a direction and just go. Garage sales are everywhere on the last days of the week and you will be amazed at how much fun it can be for the whole family.
  9. Flea Markets have vendors that sell name brand clothes, personal hygiene items such as Caress body wash, Pantene shampoo and lots and lots of others for $1-$3.00! I’m done paying $6-9 for the same items just to buy them at a department store. I buy 5 at a time and that allows me plenty of time to make it back to the flea market to get more for when I run out.
  10. TURN OFF THOSE LIGHTS IN ROOMS NOT BEING USED! LOL Yep, I’m there! I have replaced almost all of our light bulbs with halogen bulbs. I love the fluorescence and don’t even mind them staying on because they use almost no electricity! Those lightbulbwonderful bathroom lights that have 10-15 bulbs in them… not for me. Hate them. I used to unscrew all the bulbs but a couple of them (got on my husbands nerves too, he hated me doing that! lol) but it’s a waste of energy. Period. Count how many lights are on in your house right now. How many are actually being used? I have night lights on all over my house but I’m careful to use low wattage bulbs. They have monitors you can get really cheap that you actually plug your lamp, stereo, TV, etc. into and it will tell you daily how much watt electricity that item uses! Here is the link to one type but there are many to choose from if interested. I think it would be fun to do and a good lesson for our kids! Nothing like actually having proof on a daily basis how much it costs and be able to shoe them! LOL 😉 Check it out! Electric Usage Monitors
  11. RECYCLE – RECYCLE- RECYCLE! Did you know that a lot of the clothes we wear are actually made from recycled plastics? I’ve learned a lot about materials and clothes in the past few years selling them on ebay. This one shocked me though. What?!? I’m wearing plastic material? Freakky!!! But it is done all the time. You don’t make a lot of money recycling aluminum cans. Most don’t do it because it’s not worth the money but it’s not about the money. If you try to buy items that have materials that are able to be turned over to a recycle facility then you can lay your head down at night and know you’re helping to make the world a better place for your kids, and their kids, and their kids. Every person counts. Every time you do one thing towards helping the environment…. it counts. Also pay attention to the chemicals you use on a daily basis. It will shock you to learn more about what you surround yourself and your family with every day.

Peace Out! Peace Out

If anyone every wants to ask a question there is an area at the bottom to comment and a link to email me if you prefer that method of communication.

Have a great day 🙂

Judy

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