Archive for July, 2012

10 Ways to Save Money Right Now

Personal finance

Are you ready to save some of the money that you’re making? We all know that making money is challenging. What’s even more difficult is learning how to save a piece of this income. This is why you come here.

Last week we looked at how to make more money. You figured out how to increase your income and have more money coming into your pocket. Now it’s time to save a bit more of this money that you have coming in.

Let’s look at 10 ways you can save money right now:

1. Cut a subscription.

Once every little while I check out my monthly bills to see what I can cut. I usually find at least one subscription that I can live without. I then cut the subscription and check to see if I notice any difference in the quality of my life.

2. Reduce a subsctiption.

If you don’t want to cut something, you can simply reduce it. I do this with my subscriptions all of the time. I will look at them and see what I can cut. Last month I shaved a few bucks off my cell phone bill by reducing something that I really didn’t need.

3. Hit up the grocery store.

Instead of going after fast good you can hit up the grocery store to see what they have to offer. At the grocery store you can save some serious coin in the long run on food.

4. Drink water.

Screw the expensive fluids and soft drinks. Stick to water and stay hydrated. You might also save some money in the process.

5. Plan ahead.

The reason that we spend money is because we don’t plan in advance. This happens to me all of the time. I go on instinct and spend more money than anticipated. The alternative is to plan ahead and think of ways to save money,

6. Delay a purchase.

If you feel the urge to grab something right now you can save money by simply delaying this purchase. Do you have to buy that flat screen right now? Can you wait? If you delay a purchase you can find yourself with more savings than expected.

7. Ask for a discount.

If you don’t ask the answer is always no. I made it a habit to always ask for a discount. You have absolutely nothing to lose. Ask for a discount and see what happens. If you get turned down, no big deal. If you get accepted, you win. Give it a try.

8. Ask your friends for help.

Your friends can always give you a hand because combined you guys have more resources than just one person alone. If you ask your friends you can get plenty of savings done.

9. Ride a bike.

Instead of driving or paying for public transportation you can squeeze some exercise in by riding your bike to school or work. You’ll save a ton of money and work on your fitness. Why not?

10. Keep it simple.

Once again, you don’t have to do anything complicated. You can keep it simple and cut back on your expenses when you can.

That’s how you can save some money right now my friend. How much more money will you have in your pocket?

Tracking Sales Performance Using Excel Functions

Excel function tutorials

Every day, I receive comments and questions and many of them seem to concern one common problem. Companies or managers that have a sales force must track how their sales staff is doing. How much are they selling, how much commission are they making, what are they selling, etc. I’ve been answering several of those but given the still very strong demand, I thought I would start building a more complex spreadsheet that will help any of you that are managing such spreadsheets.

Of course, there are as many different types of spreadsheets as there are companies and very few would be able to simply take this spreadsheet and “run with it”. That is not the goal either. Rather, I hope to provide good examples of a structure or functions that can be used to easily manage a sales team. Keep in mind that depending on the complexity of your data and of the requests, the size of the actual database and many other factors, the required spreadsheet could end up looking vastly different. In fact, it could be using simple excel functions, macros or pivot tables.

I will start off with a rather simple spreadsheet, one where we have one tab that includes all of the sales data and one where we can get different types of data. I will be adding 1-2 functions every time, please be sure to let me know the types of things you’d like to see. For now, here is the data that I will be using:

The first query is quite simply to get the sum of sales and commissions for both sales guys. I will do so using the sumif function:


The result is:

You can download the spreadsheet here!

10 Ways You Can Make More Money Right Now

Business & entrepreneurship

Are you looking to make more money? Ah never mind. I realize that’s a silly question. Of course you want more money.

Making more money is one of my favorite topics. You can only save so much money when you have a low income. The trick is to increase your income on the side without adding stress to your life.

Let’s look at how you can make more money now (1o different ways to be specific):

1. Sell bottled water.

As silly as this sounds, you can make some decent money selling water on the corner of the road during an event or just on a hot day. A case of water (24 bottles) can easily go $3 at the grocery store. You can turn around and sell each bottle for $1. Not a bad profit margin.

2. Re-sell stuff on Craigslist.

You probably have so much junk around your place that you can turn around and sell. What are you waiting? Get ride of that crap, free up space, and make some money.

3. Babysit.

As long as there are children in this world there will always be demand for babysitters. Do you like kids? Do you like to watch kids? Do you like to make money? This could be the right side gig for you then.

4. Teach something.

Are you remotely good at anything? Can you even speak English? My suggestion is to you find something that you’re good at and then teach it to others. You can offer your services online or you can learn how to start freelancing right now.

5. Try Fiverr.

Go on and play around for a few minutes. You’ll see that every possible gig is offered. Find something that you can do easily for $5 and start doing it. You can literally do anything on this planet on that site.

6. Buy event tickets.

You can buy event tickets for hot acts (sporting or music) and then re-sell them as the date gets closer and fans are scrambling for tickets. I’ve done this with many WWE events. Being the first one on or joining the companies newsletter will usually get you first dibs at ticket sales.

7. Watch pets for people.

As long as people have pets they will need someone to watch those pets in the event that they go away. My girlfriend did this last year for a friend and watched their cat for them for a few weeks while they traveled.

8. Clean houses.

Do you like to clean? Can you tidy up a place? If so then you can clean houses for money. There will always be a demand for those looking to pay someone to come over one morning and clean their place up.

9. Become a personal trainer.

Becoming a personal trainer is relatively easy. I earned my license in this field with a weekend/correspondence course that I enjoyed. Once you get licensed, you need to earn your CPR/First Aid certification and then you’re ready to get started.

10. Find a part-time gig.

If all fails you can always looking for a part-time gig to make more money. Even working a few extra hours a week can help you add more money to your bank account.

I bet you never thought of these 10 ways to make more money now before. Will you give any of them a shot? You have nothing to lose.

Microsoft Excel 2013 – A Step In The Right Direction

Excel spreadsheets (.xls)

This blog is dedicated to using excel, improving your productivity through the use of functions, macros, charts, etc. While I personally do use both Excel 2003 and Excel 2007, I did not consider the differences between the 2 to be major. So I was very curious to see what Microsoft would announce on Monday when it previewed its Office 13 suite, due to launch later this week.

I will of course be buying it when it does launch but I thought it might be interesting to already start taking a look at the differences and what you can expect and not expect.

New Features:

Let’s be clear. There is nothing groundbreaking about what’s being released. I don’t think anyone expected such features either. Excel is by far the top spreadsheet software and there are no obvious things missing. As is the case with the rest of Office, social will become a bigger part. What will have a bigger impact though is the integration of Excel 13 with Microsoft’s cloud capabilities and its Skydrive service. I don’t think all features available with Google Docs (especially the bility to have multiple users working on a spreadsheet at the same time) will be available but it seems like saving in the clouds, retrieving and using from any location, will be possible which is clearly great news. Another nice option will be the ability to easily share a spreadsheet, a tab or specific parts of an excel document.

Specific New Functions

Obviously we don’t have the complete list but here are some of the new ones that we know about:

Ghost Protocol: Like me, you’ve probably had to deal more than once with data that came from some other document or from the web that was in a difficult format to work with. Sure, sometimes using “text to columns” would work. Not always though. Other functions helped but in the end it always seemed to be a painful exercise. Ghost protocl will be able to recognize patterns and separate columns accordingly which will clearly be very useful.

Quick Analysis: Building charts, pivot tables or other presentation methods is always tricky and takes longer than it should. In Excel 13, simply selecting the data will be enough for excel to present you with a list of possible ways to display the data which should be smart. The formatting including “conditional formatting” will also be much improved.

I guess the main way that Excel is improved is in how its able to interpret data automatically. It will certainly be interesting to see how this and cloud features end up working.

Do you plan on upgrading? I will certainly be writing a lot more about this along with more about the newer functions in the upcoming excel version.

In the meantime, you can try the new version here:)

Experiment With Attending a New Conference

Personal finance

Have you ever attended a conference before?

I used to always hear about conferences and professional events. I knew that they were a wise move to make. I knew that it made sense to attend these sorts of events. I just never did it. I never went. I made up excuses. The truth was that I was afraid of stepping outside of my comfort zone. We all get held back by the thought of being uncomfortable and stuck in an unfamiliar situation.

Then I finally started to attend events alone. I went on trips, to book signings, networking events, and conferences. I met tons of cool people, learned more than I ever could on my own, and have tremendously enjoyed the experience.

What’s holding you back from attending a conference? Why not experiment by attending one?

I wanted to look at what goes into attending conference.

Preparing for a conference, what do I do?

At this point you have to perform a few simple actions:

  • Find an event that you want to attend and enrol.
  • Figure out what you goals are. Do you want to meet certain people? Do you want to just learn more about the field?
  • Check out the list of attendees and get to know a little about them.
  • Bring outfits for different occasions.
  • Get ready for an interesting experience.

Now you’re ready to attend the conference.

What are some general tips for when you’re at the conference or event?

  1. Remember that everyone else is nervous. There’s no shame in being nervous. Every single person there will be a bit hesitant about the whole experience.
  2. Try to meet everyone. There’s lots of folks that will surprise you. My goal at conferences is to try to meet everyone in attendance. You’ll never know what hidden gems you can pick up.
  3. Don’t judge. You don’t want to offend anyone by being judgmental. I try not to pass judgment on old friends or new friends. Nobody likes that.
  4. Learn from everyone in attendance. Every single person has something to offer you and vice versa. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. This is a learning experience.

By the end of all of this you’re going to be sad to go home. You must say goodbye to all of your new friends. One event is over and the next one i just around the corner.

What happens after the conference?

Now it’s time for you to go home. What do you do?

I’ve been told that you must followup or die. This means that you should try to keep tabs on everyone that you meet. The goal when you get home should be to try to stay in touch with everyone that you’ve met. These can be life long long friends if you just stay in touch.

That’s how you can have a blast at a networking event or conference in the near future. What’s holding you back?