I have read a lot about how Facebook Advertising could save you money especially for small businesses.I have a small business and I tried to start an Ads Campaign on Facebook.
The money I spent was far more than the sells I made.I was at a loss of 80%.
For sure I increased my likes and engagement with people on Facebook but this did not result in direct sells.
Archive for August, 2013
I have read a lot about how Facebook Advertising could save you money especially for small businesses.I have a small business and I tried to start an Ads Campaign on Facebook.
Many people including myself see a need to contribute to NGOs as a way of helping others.
However some of us do it blindly without asking ourselves how some of these NGOs are running and how donor money is spent.I have an NGO which is not far from where I live.I have been donating some money although it was not a lot of money I must admit.
Recently I found out that this NGO is misusing cars for personal use and the Director tends to only employ friends or relatives.
It was very convenient for me to donate to an NGO near me as I could also donate my old clothes.
I started asking my self whether we really find out about how an NGO is being running before we donate through it or we just pick one which is near us like me.
I really feel that I would rather make my donations through an NGO which is far from me but managing its organisation more effectively.
One week ago I wanted invited to a farewell party of a son of a friend of mine where we had to come with a contribution of $110 as the son was going to study at Oxford University.
I thought that this was absurd although I know that international students pay a lot of money nearly everywhere for the universities.
My friend should have saved the money or she could have found a way of raising that money in another way instead of forcing guests at the farewell party to come with $110.
I actually did not attend and I will visit my friend after sending off her son to tell her the my true opinion about this process.
Any suggestions of how she will have handled this issue or am I the one who is thinking wrongly.
These are the methods I use and they work for me.
1. Use old newspapers .It is amazing how it works.Spending zero money.
2.When the windows have marks,I buy lemon scented dish liquid.I add 3 drops to about a gallon of water.Then I use a rag or small towel to dip in the mixture and I clean my windows.I have spent minimum amount of money on lemon scented dish liquid to clean my windows.
I will welcome more tips.
I was struggling for a long time with debts and at the same time paying a lot on the maintenance of my house.My Kitchen sink was used to block many times and any time I called the plumber,the service fees was killing me.
One time my auntie told me to use any of these methods:
1.Put the One Shot and could be bought in any supermarket.
2.She told me to ask my husband if I can not undo the u-bend myself.However, she advised me to wear gloves and goggles.
4.She told me that I could also use caustic soda but I should wear long sleeves or rubber gloves.
5.Lastly she told me that I could pour a can of baking soda in plug hole and pour the white vinegar and when the foams start coming I should pour boiling water down the plug.
I have used One Shot and it works wonders for me.I have not tried other methods though.
The other day my friend came to visit me .She was in a jovial mood unlike how she was three months ago.
I asked her what the good news were .She told me that truth that she has been in a financial crisis since she was retrenched from her formal job but she was not ready to discuss about it by that time.
She told me she decided to take some decisions two months ago and this is what she has done:
1.She has rented her two rooms and she gets $1000
2.She works in restaurant near her home in the evening and she gets $300 a month.
3.She is very good in Mathematics for primary school level and on Saturday morning she tutors 4 children and she gets $400 a month.
4.On Sundays she helps an elderly neighbor and walks her dog for $500 a month.
She told me that this money had helped her a lot to get back to her feet.She even now earns more than she was earning before.I will not mention her name but she does not mind me sharing her story on this platform.
She is now very happy.
My son decided to cycle to work as he resides 20 kms from his work place.His first intention was to exercise as the gym fees near him was very expensive not realizing that he was going to save equivalent of $200 per month on gas or petrol.
In the end he saves on the gym fees and on petrol.
There is a time when my teeth got very brown as I was drinking a lot of coffee.
I visited a dentist and he gave me a quotation which blew my hair off.
I decided to go to a Natural Health Medicine Shop to ask how I could whiten my teeth naturally.I really did not have money not even a half of the quotation the dentist gave me.
I was lucky to ask a lady in this store who has actually tried these methods.I tried all of them once and I really got good results.
These are the tips:
1.She sold me activated charcoal in powder and told me to use it for brushing with my tooth brush.You can also get it in capsule form.It can also be bought online.
2.She also advised me to peel an orange and use the inside part to rub on my teeth.
3.She also advised me to use baking soda mixed with coconut oil.Some people, understand ,mixes baking soda with any toothpaste.
4.She also told me to eat apples more often.
5.I was always brushing my teeth twice a day and that was also her advice.
I applied all of them as they were cheap as compared to the dentist fees.My teeth became whiter and whiter.
I thought that in this economic crisis,this could be an experience to share.Some medical schemes do not pay for dental cosmetics.
Five years ago I realized that I spend a lot of money on juices as nearly everyone who comes to my house and the whole of my family like juices.
I started finding out ways to save on juices and this is what I do:
1. Buying juices from manufacturers as it is much cheaper than buying them from supermarkets.
2.Looking for supermarket weekly fliers for juice sales.
3.Buying bottles of juices which have to be diluted to supplement fresh juices.
4.Sometimes I make fresh juices at home.
5.Buying new brands of juices as they tend to be on sale as marketing strategy.
6.My twins like juice cubes. We put them on cube trays and freeze them .They put cubes in the glass and add some water.
The question of why we should save money was asked in a small community meeting which I attended last week. The chairperson of the session wanted to know our priority number one. As always I want to share my experiences with everyone.
These were the answers from different community members:
1.I save so that I have enough money for my retirement.
2.I save to enjoy holidays when I am still young.
3.I save to enjoy holidays in my old age.
4.I save so that I can save others who are needy.
5.I save to buy a very nice car in two years.
6.I save for emergencies.
7.I save so that even if my pay is late ,I do not borrow money.
8.I save for the rainy day.
9.I save to educate my children.
10.I save to finish paying my house off.
I found it very interesting as different people had different priories why they save
I have friends who spend thousands of dollars on their children birthdays.
I do not have that type of money and I am going to share with you how we enjoy my children birthdays on a minimum budget.
1.I sit with my twin boys and we discuss what we need for the party. From the beginning I tell them that my budget is very limited and we should only spend when we have to.
2.I do not use credit cards and I advise that it is not a good idea at all. I spend a little on my savings.
3.I make their birthday cakes at home plus cup cakes and biscuits.
4.I buy cheap paper cups and plates.
5.Children like their faces painted although it is wise to ask parents first in case of allergies. I have a 19 year old nephew and he does that task.
6.We normally have their party in a park as it is free.
7.I have a sister you is a primary teacher and she organizes different themes for the invited children. She is really very good. You can ask a friend or good neighbor to do it for you for free.
8.A friend helps me to design invitation cards and she also makes some banners for me. If you are good at it it is even better. She prints all from the computer.
9.Children might talk about many friends but I encourage my boys to limit the number as a small party is cheaper. Normally we list those who have invited them first but I am just cautious as friendship of children is very fragile sometimes.
Please if you have more tips, I will be happy to tell me.
Most of us who have bank accounts have experienced paying for bank fees and many people do not take it as expenditure even in their monthly budgets.
Amount of bank fees depend on different banks. Hence it is important to shop around before you open an account in any country. I experienced this and I realized that bank fees vary a lot although there are also some other factors to consider when one is selecting a bank to open an account.
I am going to mention some common ways in most countries and with different banks which would reduce bank charges. I had to sit with one financial adviser to outline for me some of these tips and I have decided to share them with everyone.
1.Use ATM that is withdrawing from the machine using the same bank otherwise the fees will be very high if you withdraw from ATM of another bank.
2.Do electronic transfers
3.Deposit money by ATM
4.Some banks wave bank fees for people above 55 or 60 if one has certain amount of money on their savings or investment account. Please find out from your bank.
5.Debt orders are cheaper than stop orders as banks get more involved with stop orders than debit orders. With debit order the contract is between you and the beneficiary and with stop orders, the contract is with you and the bank.
6.Use debit card to buy things if you have run out of cash. Do not go to withdraw from ATM.
7.Go to your bank and ask customer service official or the bank manager to advice you according to your type of account how to reduce your bank fees. Please know that it is a great expenditure on your monthly budget
I will welcome any other tips I have not mentioned.
I was determined to visit Uganda and see gorilla Monkeys.
I saved for two years and I made a trip to Uganda.
Uganda is a beautiful country with friendly people.
Gorilla trekking was interesting and it took us 5 km to see some of them.I went with my husband.
We also visited Kibale National Park where we could see some more species.Actually Kibale National Park has 13 species in total which include chimpanzee,red colobus monkey,black and white colobus,red tailed monkey,bush baby and potto,blue monkey and grey cheeked mangabey.
Our expenditure on our savings was worth it.
My twin boys are now eight years. When they were five years, I made four boxes for them .The two were for spending money and the other two were for saving.
I needed them to understand the value of money and the importance of saving so that they do not end up in debts as I once ended up with debts.
I would tell them to take their plates or cups in the kitchen after eating and to clean up the table. I would give then $2 a week so that they spend $1.50 and save 50 cents.
When they turned 6 years, I set some more chores for them. They could help with house cleaning with meat eight years now, they also help granny to clean her room.
I now give them $2.50 per week. They spend $1.50; they save 50 cents and donate 50 cents in church.
By simple arithmetic, each one has got now $ 780 in savings in three years. That is the power of saving.
When they need something, we discuss how much they will contribute on it and how much I will add on. These are the advantages I have realized:
1.They now know that you earn money and you are not just given money. Some parents give money to children if they get good grades and that is very fine. I cannot use that method as my boys are twins in the same grade and one is very good in his studies and one is a bit poor. It will cause dangerous competition.
2.It has made them to develop some life skills.
3.It has taught them to manage and buy from their money
4.They know that we have to donate money to Church.
5.They have learned to make decisions with their own money.
6.Since they are helping granny to clean her room, they have become even closer to their granny.
7.It has made me to be open to them about the importance of saving. Please note that they are still being guided by me to make sure that they save that money.
8.It has made me realize that one is very good with wanting to save his money and the other one has to be guided more as he is a spender.
The disadvantage is that they need far more guidance in spending so that they do not end up just buying junk food including a lot of sweets.
Most people enjoy their glass of wine at home or when they are out for a meal.
However ,you could like to enjoy your glass when you have not spent a lot.
These are some of the tips to reduce your cost on wines:
1.When you are two or more,and you are in a restaurant,buying a bottle is much cheaper than glasses. Restaurants make a lot of profit on wine ordered by glass.It is also good to note that many restaurants allow customers to take left overs in the bottle.
2.Buy wine online but compare prices.This will give you a chance to buy wines in other countries.Select stores where shipping is free.
3.If there is a type of wine you like as a family,why not even buy a case.It will be much cheaper.
4.Go for wine tests on wine farms and buy the best you have liked in bulk from them.It is much cheaper.
5.Look for deals or sales especially on new wines.You might be surprised that you might even enjoy new ones on market than the old ones.Supermarkets and stores always have sales on particular wines.
5. House wines always tend to be cheaper everywhere.
6.Buy wine crack so that you could stock your wines as you go buying those on sale.
There were six months in my life when I survived with very little money but this was the time when I started looking healthier .This is what happened:
1.I planted my own vegetables and herbs and I did not have money to eat meat every day. I was only eating meat once in two weeks. Red meat was more expensive. I could buy chicken. I automatically started losing weight.
2.I started drinking tap water more and I stopped buying wine and freezer drinks as I did not have money. I even started to look younger.
3.I did not have money for gas or petrol for my small car. Hence I could walk to town for my little shopping and I could just walk to visit my few friends in the neighborhood.
4.I did not have money to go to restaurants so I cooked my food at home which was always rich of vegetables. I used to entertain myself by going for picnics where I could even do some walks and I used to pack my vegetable sandwiches.
5.I joined a public library around me to borrow some books, access free internet and borrow some music CDs .This helped to have more walks to town and even meet new people.
6.I started doing repairs for all the things which were torn and this helped my mind to be occupied and also it helped me to improve my sowing skills.
7.I started messaging my friends on my mobile phone instead of phoning them. This helped me to avoid gossips which could sometimes stress me. I was stress free.
8.I started being more active by painting my house, doing gardening, maintaining my yard or compound. This helped me to do more exercises and I even became healthier.
9.I started gaining more confidence in myself as I did not have to compete with anyone. This also helped me to be stress free.
10.This is a period when I realized who my true friends are. I ended up being happier as I was surrounding myself with true friends.
Even when my finances improved I still do most of those things. Money is not everything. You even enjoy the money when you are healthy.
Your love and affection to someone is not reflected on the amount of money you spend on the gift of someone .This is true in all situations e.g. birthdays ,weddings ,wedding anniversaries and so on.
Hence we should always feel free to budget the amount of money we can afford to buy our beloved ones gifts.
These are some of the tips of how to save money on wedding gifts:
1.Budget and save for the wedding gift within two to four months and do not strain your budget to please someone.
2.You can decide on a group gift with common friends or relatives. This also works out cheaper. You can also afford an expensive gift on the wedding registry.
3.There are wedding registries with inexpensive items but you might be the unlucky one to be invited at a wedding with expensive items on the registry. This happened to me once and I could not afford any of those items. I just decided to buy a gift card in one of the shops which were part of the wedding registry. This was a wedding of my friend. You cannot image how the couple was very grateful as they realized that they could buy a table cloth from my gift card. They were not thinking of very expensive things.
4.Think of making something with the skills you have. People appreciate
handmade things. I was given a handmade fruit basket on my wedding and I appreciated it a lot. There are people who are good at knitted table cloths.
5.Think of small gifts which can last long e.g. wine glasses ,candle sticks ,shopping totes ,serving bowls ,kitchen towels ,Music CDs if you know the type of music they like .There is always a need for kitchen items so think around that idea too..
6.You are invited to a wedding shower, bachelor’s party and wedding, buy very small gifts for each occasion. Otherwise you do not have to go to all of them .You can go to all of them but offer your services for what you are good at e.g. catering, organizing the venue, cleaning up etc--.It will be appreciated.
7.There was a time when I was invited to a wedding shower of my friend. We had gone for camping before she got married. We took many pictures. I decided to compile some pictures for her in one of my old albums. She was really appreciative. On the wedding I bought her a cheap gift from the wedding registry .I have a friend of mine who gave me a wedding card she had designed from dry leaves and she put it in grass designed fruit basket. It was great.
8.If you have a relative or friend who is wedding and he or she is very far or abroad, why not load a phone card and talk for about twenty minutes and congratulate him or her. That person will appreciate it a lot.
9.Send a gift even if you might not manage to make it because of transport costs.
10.Offer any service to the wedding arrangement e.g. photographing if you are good at it, flower arrangements or anything which will cut the wedding cost of your friend or relative.
Two years ago I made a trip with my husband to Europe.It was quite expensive but we had saved for it for about ten years.
When we were left with one day,we realized that we did not have a digital camera which could be very handy when taking many pictures.
I ran to town and one of the studios sold me a Sony cyber-short DSC-W620 at $80.
These are some of the photos although we are not good at photographing at all.We have photos for our memories taken by a cheap camera and we saved instead of going for very expensive cameras.
Golf is one of the most expensive games to play. However, you can find ways of minimizing the costs while still enjoying the game.
These are some of the ways my husband has used and they have made him reduce his costs by $350 a year.
1. He is a member of a country club and he pays a flat rate which is much cheaper than before when he was just visiting clubs to play.
2. He found out shops which are normally on sale during winter which sell golf gear. Find out in your country the time when these sports shops which sell golf gear go on sell.
3. He buys cheap golf balls or he goes for second hand.
4. He takes walks and do not go for jolly rides and that is enough exercise. He does not have to pay for gyms.
5. He takes his own snacks and drinks instead of buying them at the country club restaurant.
6. He enjoys the game because he does not have stress of playing a very expensive game hence it keeps him healthy and even save more on medical expenses.
In this economical crisis, most people are looking for more economical cars to save money on gas or petrol. Hybrid and electric cars are the most economic .However; they are still very expensive buying them in some countries like South Africa.
In USA, these are some of the economical cars:
1.Toyota Prius c -7.2cents per mile
2.Ford Fusion Hybrid-7.6 cents per mile
3.Ford C-MAX Hybrid-7.6 cents per mile
4.Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid-8 cents per mile
5.Lincoln MKZ Hybrid-8 cents per mile
In Europe some of the economical cars are:
1. smart fortwo coupe 0.8 cdi pure softip DPD- 3.4litres per Km
2. Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi Econetic DPF-3.7 liters per Km
3. Seat 1 biza 1.4 TDI Ecomotive DPF -3.7 liters per km
4.VW Polo 1.6 TDI Blue Motion-3.7 liters per km
5. Toyota Prius 1.8 Hybrid-3.9 liters per Km
In South Africa,some of the economical cars are:
1. Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDC i Ambiente-5 liters per 100Km
2. Peugeot 107 -5 liters per 100km
3. Toyota Yaris Hybrid-3.8 liters per 100km
4. Volkswagen Golf Blue Motion-3.2 liters of diesel per 100km
5. Toyota Aygo-4.6 liters per 100km
In India,some of the economical cars are:
1. Tata Indica Vista-19.5 kmpl
2. Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 2012 lx1 CNG-19.6 kmpl
3. Hyundai Sautro 2012 GL plus-20.2 kmpl
4. Tata Nano 2013 LX-20.85kmpl
5. Tata Nano 2013 STD-20.85kmpl.
Save money on Electricity from Solar Power
In most African developing countries, electricity is very expensive to maintain and it is also very expensive for the public sector to connect it in rural areas. Hence most households especially in Africa use candles for lighting and children read on these candles.
Most of these countries have sunlight almost around the year and sunlight is free. Hence solar power is the answer. Solar panels convert the sun radiation directly into electricity with no pollution or damage to the environment. The panels can generate enough power to run stoves, pump water ,light clinics and power televisions
The cost to install for a typical house ranges between $500 to $1000 in most African countries.
Since the maintenance cost is very low, businesses can also be boosted in rural areas e.g. grinding mills.
Mobile phones are now used widely in both developed and under developed countries for their convenience.
However they can be very expensive. I have found that some of these tips have helped me to reduce costs on my mobile phone.
1. Take advantage of time when calls are free according to your service provider
2. Always check your balance and start reducing calls if you are approaching your monthly phone budget. In most times we spend air time laughing or spending five minutes on a point which could have taken one minute.
3. Prepaid is better as you can control it.
4. Use sms bundles
5. Use same service provider as your friends and family. Many service providers offer talk free minutes if you are phoning the same service provider number.
6. Use sms more that phoning as it is cheaper.
7. If you are travelling abroad, do not use roaming as it is very expensive. It is much cheaper to buy SIM card in the country you are visiting unless you do not plan to phone or be phoned. Many people prefer their quite holiday or use internet telephone services e.g. Skype or even e mail system.
8. International calling cards are also cheaper to use if you have friends and families abroad or if you are on holiday or business abroad.
Nearly 60 to 70 % of households are having credit cards in most developed countries and merging economies like Brazil or South Africa.Credit cards are very attractive to use as you do not have to go to banks physically for personal loans and they are accepted nearly everywhere including out side our countries.
This advantage goes with disadvantages as we tend to misuse credit cards and we end up accumulating many debts.
There are many ways you can manage your credit cards and these are some of them I have identified:
1.Keep a list of all the credit cards you have and keep their telephone numbers in your pocket in case you need to contact them immediately.Credit cards can be stolen or lost.
2.Monitor your statements as credit cards can be scammed
3.Do not accept credit cards if you do not need them.Some banks beg you to have their credit cards.It is very easy to be tempted to use them when you do not have to.
4.Determine your ratio of debts to be 1:10 of your debts and income
5.Buy on your credit card when you can pay within one month to avoid paying interest rates
6.There are credit cards with offers.Take those offers
7.Manage your credit portfolio
8.Note that the interest rates on credit cards are much higher than on savings accounts.Hence avoid or limit use of your credit cards.
9.Credit cards can be very handy when buying tickets for abroad travelling as you get insurance when you pay with credit cards but be sure of what the insurance covers and make sure that you have deposited your travel costs savings on the credit card before you use it.
In many countries the unemployment rate is very high for both the young and those who are in formal retirement but they could need some part time job for extra income.
These are some ways of getting some income or getting extra income. It is always best to combine about three or four of these ways in order to get some reasonable income.
1.Open a twitter account and start making money by allowing advertisers to send ads to them. You still control your account and the money you charge and number of ads you want them to get.
2.Set up Amazon book store and be an affiliate by getting commissions of whatever you sell.
3.Start blogging and the advertisers will pay you for the space of advertising on your blog.
4.Be hired for services with your skills e.g. carpentry, designing web sites and blogs ,translation services ,elderly care ,nanny ,tutoring students in your community ,writing articles ,plumbing ,home cleaning.
5.Write what you are good at or enjoy in an eBook even if it is a children’s eBook and sell it.
6.Be part of medical experiments e.g. on behavior or being part of a scientific research.
7.Sign up for paying surveys but first investigate the genuine ones according to where you reside. The pay is not great but every coin matters .You can also get coupons.
8.Do affiliate marketing with Amazon or eBay .Choose your niche and market their products .For each product which is sold through your marketing, you are paid a commission.
9.Own an online store and sell various things and you may not stock the products. Find out the stores according to where you reside.
10.Photography is another way to make extra income for those who are good at it. This can be done online as people ever need unique photos or you could be hired on occasions in your community e.g. weddings.
Do not go for Get Rich Quick Scams. Be aware of HYIPS as 98 percent of them are scams.
One cannot stress the importance of having a holiday especially out of your normal environment and preferably in another country. An advantage of going to another country is learning new things, getting new friends, learning new cultures and relaxing more as you will be very far from everyone.
The biggest challenge is the high cost of overseas trips. Since this article will give you some tips to keep your costs low.
1.Make a budget which should include your transport costs ,accommodation ,catering ,shopping etc-
2.Book your flights as early as possible. The flights are cheaper if you book them early than when you book them late.
3.If you are going to fly internally in your country and in the country you are visiting, book the budget airlines as they are cheaper .However, check in online as they charge high costs when you check in physically.
4.Book for self catering accommodation as they are much cheaper.
5.Make your own travel size toiletries. Get small bottles and fill them with the creams you normally use. This is much cheaper and your creams you normally use might not be in small quantities.
6.If you plan to shop, pack few items so that you leave space. Over weight is very expensive.
7.Be aware of car hire pricey excess insurance.
8.Use credit card to pay for your ticket for extra protection.
9.Compare shops before shopping and avoid impulse shopping
10.Turn off mobile 3G and data roaming as it can be very expensive. It is much cheaper to buy SIM Card in the country you are visiting.
It is not advisable to be thinking of getting loans every time .However, in the light of the present economic crisis, many people have ended up needing to take loans in order to meet their obligations.
With the era of internet, loans can also be processed online rather than going to banks or other financial institutions. If you have good credit score, it is always better to start with your bank.
There are some advantages and disadvantages of online loans.
1.You do not have to travel to go to banks or any financial institution.
2.You do not have to wait in queues at banks or any financial institution
3.You do not feel embarrassed when it is declined like a client who is sitting in front of a Bank Customer service Provider.
4.You get the approval immediately
1.The online loans are normally for a short period.
2.You normally have to pay a fee if you do not pay on time.
3.You cannot negotiate or be given any options for softer loans. Many people have been informed about accounts, saving or investment accounts and loan types they were not aware about by sitting with a Customer service Bank official
4.Most of the online cash loans have high interest rates.
All that said, we should always aim at saving than accumulating loans.