4 Ways to Stay Organized in a Disorganized World

man_with_clipboard

“I’m working full-time at my job and part-time on my fortune.” – Jim Rohn about working two jobs.

We both have two full-time jobs and our own business, which equates to us both having two full-time jobs. We do our full-time jobs during traditional daytime hours and manage our business early in the morning, at night and on weekends. I like to say our lives are spent in cubicles and kitchens.

This requires solid organizational skills. Even when we’re not working on our own business, our business is still working. It requires constant nurturing and attention, at all hours of the day.

Below are four of the habits and tools we use to stay organized.

1. List Apps

There are many apps out there that can help people get organized. One of my all-time favorite apps is AnyList. (There is a free version or yearly subscriptions for $7.99 for individuals or $11.99 for families.) For people that like lists and get satisfaction from crossing off items on them, AnyList could be a helpful tool for you. We’ve synced our AnyList apps so we stay on top of tasks together even when we’re apart.

We have several running lists that we manage to stay organized. Two such lists are “David’s To Dos” and “John’s To Dos.” As things need completion, we add them to our lists. If I think of something David needs to do, I add it to his To Do list and vice versa. Another such list is our “Ideas” list. Invariably, ideas for our business pop in our heads at inconvenient times. If we don’t write down our ideas, we’ll never remember them when it’s time to take action. This is why Benjamin Franklin took a notepad with him everywhere he went. We share the same “Ideas” list and both add to and cross off or delete items as needed.

Our work from AnyList that can’t be done in one sitting moves to another app we use called Trello, which has both a web-based and app platform. (Trello has three price tiers: free, $8.33 per month, and $20.83 per month.) We create a card for a particular project and use Trello to keep track of To Dos, next steps, key contacts and deadlines. We can each access the same Trello account and tag each other, as necessary, as we each have our specialties and interests.

2. Minimal Decision Making

This tool is important but, to be fair, it’s hard to adopt. Most lists about the common habits of successful people mention that they avoid making small decisions. Decisions such as what to do, what to eat and what to wear, as simple as they are, add up and steal energy from more important decisions.

Making numerous unimportant decisions causes decision-making fatigue. Avoiding small decisions is why successful people, such as Mark Zuckerberg, wear the same clothes most days. Wearing new clothes every day is a modern luxury that steals useful decision-making energy.

We exercise the same schedule for each hour that we spend on our personal business. We have two breakfast options and eat the same breakfast the same day each week. The same goes for lunch. We cook one large dinner once a week. That’s dinner all week except for the one day, the same day each week, that we stop at either one of two quick-casual restaurants for takeout. We do the same exercises on the same day at the same time each week.

All this lets us better spend energy on more important decisions.

3. Say No

As a business grows and becomes successful, it gets more offers and requests of all types. When we started out, we were eager to accept most anything. As we’ve grown, some offers and requests have become less advantageous or not in-line with our business goals. This requires us to be more discerning about what we do and don’t do.

Saying no is liberating. It’s easy to get caught up in everyone else’s dreams and expectations, which can mean hurting our own. This is true in business and life.

4. Avoid the Small Stuff

Two functions for our business that can easily become wastes of time are email and social media. It’s the 21st century and most of our business is online. It’s nearly impossible to run any business today, especially one like ours, without email or social media.

However, every email doesn’t require a response or even a reading. We quickly discern what emails are important and what emails are not. Removing the unimportant emails from our plate saves time.

The same goes for social media. We use social media to grow our business and stay connected with our followers. This often includes using both our professional and personal social media platforms. It’s all too easy, though, to find that we’ve been done with business and spent the last 30 minutes mindlessly scrolling through less valuable content.

These are some of the more helpful tools we use to stay organized in what could be very disorganized lives. Whether you’re managing your own business, someone else’s business or your life, all these tools can be helpful. Do what works for you.

[Editor’s Note: You can monitor your financial goals, like building a good credit score, each month on Credit.com.]

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: Kaikoro

The post 4 Ways to Stay Organized in a Disorganized World appeared first on Credit.com.

4 Ways to Stay Organized in a Disorganized World

man_with_clipboard

“I’m working full-time at my job and part-time on my fortune.” – Jim Rohn about working two jobs.

We both have two full-time jobs and our own business, which equates to us both having two full-time jobs. We do our full-time jobs during traditional daytime hours and manage our business early in the morning, at night and on weekends. I like to say our lives are spent in cubicles and kitchens.

This requires solid organizational skills. Even when we’re not working on our own business, our business is still working. It requires constant nurturing and attention, at all hours of the day.

Below are four of the habits and tools we use to stay organized.

1. List Apps

There are many apps out there that can help people get organized. One of my all-time favorite apps is AnyList. (There is a free version or yearly subscriptions for $7.99 for individuals or $11.99 for families.) For people that like lists and get satisfaction from crossing off items on them, AnyList could be a helpful tool for you. We’ve synced our AnyList apps so we stay on top of tasks together even when we’re apart.

We have several running lists that we manage to stay organized. Two such lists are “David’s To Dos” and “John’s To Dos.” As things need completion, we add them to our lists. If I think of something David needs to do, I add it to his To Do list and vice versa. Another such list is our “Ideas” list. Invariably, ideas for our business pop in our heads at inconvenient times. If we don’t write down our ideas, we’ll never remember them when it’s time to take action. This is why Benjamin Franklin took a notepad with him everywhere he went. We share the same “Ideas” list and both add to and cross off or delete items as needed.

Our work from AnyList that can’t be done in one sitting moves to another app we use called Trello, which has both a web-based and app platform. (Trello has three price tiers: free, $8.33 per month, and $20.83 per month.) We create a card for a particular project and use Trello to keep track of To Dos, next steps, key contacts and deadlines. We can each access the same Trello account and tag each other, as necessary, as we each have our specialties and interests.

2. Minimal Decision Making

This tool is important but, to be fair, it’s hard to adopt. Most lists about the common habits of successful people mention that they avoid making small decisions. Decisions such as what to do, what to eat and what to wear, as simple as they are, add up and steal energy from more important decisions.

Making numerous unimportant decisions causes decision-making fatigue. Avoiding small decisions is why successful people, such as Mark Zuckerberg, wear the same clothes most days. Wearing new clothes every day is a modern luxury that steals useful decision-making energy.

We exercise the same schedule for each hour that we spend on our personal business. We have two breakfast options and eat the same breakfast the same day each week. The same goes for lunch. We cook one large dinner once a week. That’s dinner all week except for the one day, the same day each week, that we stop at either one of two quick-casual restaurants for takeout. We do the same exercises on the same day at the same time each week.

All this lets us better spend energy on more important decisions.

3. Say No

As a business grows and becomes successful, it gets more offers and requests of all types. When we started out, we were eager to accept most anything. As we’ve grown, some offers and requests have become less advantageous or not in-line with our business goals. This requires us to be more discerning about what we do and don’t do.

Saying no is liberating. It’s easy to get caught up in everyone else’s dreams and expectations, which can mean hurting our own. This is true in business and life.

4. Avoid the Small Stuff

Two functions for our business that can easily become wastes of time are email and social media. It’s the 21st century and most of our business is online. It’s nearly impossible to run any business today, especially one like ours, without email or social media.

However, every email doesn’t require a response or even a reading. We quickly discern what emails are important and what emails are not. Removing the unimportant emails from our plate saves time.

The same goes for social media. We use social media to grow our business and stay connected with our followers. This often includes using both our professional and personal social media platforms. It’s all too easy, though, to find that we’ve been done with business and spent the last 30 minutes mindlessly scrolling through less valuable content.

These are some of the more helpful tools we use to stay organized in what could be very disorganized lives. Whether you’re managing your own business, someone else’s business or your life, all these tools can be helpful. Do what works for you.

[Editor’s Note: You can monitor your financial goals, like building a good credit score, each month on Credit.com.]

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: Kaikoro

The post 4 Ways to Stay Organized in a Disorganized World appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Money Changes For 2016 That You Should Know About

Finances

We’re into the swing of things with 2016. Even if you’ve already stumbled on your New Year’s resolution to get your financial house in order – we have five money changes for this year that might be of importance to you.

Change 1: The Obamacare fine went up

What it means for you: Individuals who can afford health care and decline to get some pay what’s referred to as “the individual shared responsibility payment” — in other words people who don’t have health care will pay a fine or penalty for they year they weren’t covered when they file their federal tax return at the end of that year. For 2016, you’ll pay whichever number is higher — either 2.5% of your household income or $695 per adult. There are maximums associated with these fees, as well. Click here for more information. Remember, open enrollment for 2016 plans ends on January 31, so get a plan today to avoid paying the penalty.

Change 2: Interest rates were raised

What it means for you: The Federal Reserve increased interest rates at the end of December for the first time in almost a decade. While small in number (the new rate sits at 0.25%, up from at or near zero), consumers will most likely see small hikes in credit card rates, and homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages could see increases with the next change, as well.

Change 3: Income earnings for Roth IRA contributions rose

What it means for you: In this particular case, a rise is actually a good thing. In 2016, individuals contributing to a Roth can now earn up to $132,000 before the income phase out, while married couples filing jointly can earn up to $194,000 before phasing out. These limits are each $1,000 higher than they were in 2015.

Change 4: Standard deductions and personal exemptions are both rising … slightly

What it means for you: Heads of household can now claim $50 more in standard deductions (up to $9,300) and $50 more in personal exemptions (up to $4,050) in 2016. Hey, every little bit helps when it comes to taxes, right?

Change 5: Contribution limits for family health savings accounts are increasing

What it means for you: If your family is in a high-deductible healthcare plan, a health savings account allows you set aside some pre-tax cash to cover healthcare costs. The good news is that this year families can save an additional $100 — up to $6,750 — in these types of plans.

The post 5 Money Changes For 2016 That You Should Know About appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

6 New Year’s Resolutions that Won’t Hurt Your Finances

piggybank

The New Year is around the corner! Dust off those champagne glasses, bring out your funny hats, and start writing your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t be afraid to pursue those goals and resolutions that you want to tackle in the coming year for fear that they’ll cost too much. You can cross items off your bucket list, go on an adventure, and tackle personal goals all while staying within the bounds of your budget.

Here are six New Year’s resolutions that won’t hurt your finances, and some of these resolutions will even improve your financial situation.

1. Get in Shape

Don’t feel cliché about wanting to get in shape in the New Year. January 1 is as great a time as any. Just don’t feel compelled to pay for pricey gym memberships. You don’t need them. The pavement outside is free if you first invest in a good pair of walking or running shoes. Calisthenics are free and don’t take much more space than the area of your living room carpet. YouTube has millions of free workout videos that you can follow along to, just perch your computer at eye level where you have space in your home to work out.

If you have a friend who wants to get in shape too, ask them to be your running buddy or accountability partner. If you’re feeling confident, you might even be able to make some money off of your weight loss by enlisting in a DietBet challenge. You’ll lose weight, transform your body, and earn some money in the process.

2. Eat right

If your goal is to eat right, go into the New Year knowing that you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money, as well as doing great things for your health. Don’t fall for the common misconception that healthy food costs more. Eating right goes hand in hand with saving money.

Buying ingredients to cook healthy meals at home and cooking from scratch will save you a lot of money over the course of the year. Go to your local farmer’s market right at closing time when you’ll be able to get produce at a discounted rate. Also, if you need chopped vegetables for dishes, sometimes the frozen version is cheaper than the fresh version, so remember always to compare the price per unit when you do your food shopping at the grocery store. Healthy eating apps are also a great way to help you stay on track and eat right.

3. Get organized

Don’t pay thousands of dollars for custom organizational compartments and closet organizers. You don’t need them to become more organized in the New Year. Start with the storage spaces that you do have and thin out your belongings. Clear out your closet by getting rid of any clothes you haven’t worn in a year, and clear your bookshelves by donating any books you never plan to read again.

After you’ve gone through, tried to minimalize as much as possible, and kept only the things you find valuable, beautiful, or useful, and then you can start thinking about building organizational aids. Don’t go running off to Ikea just yet, though, you can build some amazingly sturdy furniture with free pallets.

4. Be more charitable

You don’t have to be as rich as Bill Gates to be more charitable. Start by donating all those things in your closet that you no longer use. The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Samaritan House, and children’s hospital thrift stores all accept used clothes and household goods. If you like making a habit of donating a portion of every paycheck to a 501 (c) tax exempt organization, remember to keep good records. That way you can claim your charitable contributions as a write-off at tax time in the following year.

[How to make charitable contributions that count and are tax deductible]

5. Visit somewhere new

Visiting somewhere that you have never been before is always a fun resolution. Don’t feel compelled to pay $3000 for a round trip to Australia to check this goal of your New Year’s list. How many times have you passed by that interesting exit on the highway or bypassed the museum you’ve always wanted to go to. Take a free weekend and visit the local towns and tourist attractions you never seem to get around to visiting.

If you do want to travel out of state to visit somewhere new, save a percentage of each paycheck throughout the year, and use that money to take a trip to celebrate the next New Year.

[How I saved enough to travel for 3 months]

6. Do something daring

Adventures and daring experiences aren’t in far off places. After all, everywhere is someone’s back yard. Look around yours and see what daring experiences you could sign up for. You could hike to the top of the nearest mountain or rent a kayak for the day and take a white water rapids tour of your local river. Find a base jumping company in your state or find the nearest bungee jumping opportunity.

Most of these activities don’t cost more than you can budget for in your monthly entertainment budget. So instead of wasting money on eating out, going to the movies, and spending money on drinks, set the whole of your entertainment budget aside to plan your next adventure and experience something crazy, daring, and new.

Don’t let money hold you back

Look at the past year and see what went wrong that you hope to fix in the coming year. Did you eat out too much? Save money on your food budget and get healthy at the same time by cooking and eating at home. Did you feel boring and stuck in one place? Get out into your city and explore all of the free sights and attractions. If you’re willing to think outside the box, you’ll be able to accomplish any of the New Year’s resolutions on your list without hurting your finances.

The post 6 New Year’s Resolutions that Won’t Hurt Your Finances appeared first on MagnifyMoney.