Tag Archives: Money Savers

Alternative Medicine: Pain

These alternative medication options were talked about on the Dr. Oz show I watched on March 22, 2012.

Before including any kind of alternative medicine, you should definitely talk to your doctor first.

If you have one of those prescription pushing physicians, do some research and find one who listens and knows and cares about you as an entire person and not just a list of symptoms. – (That part is my advice.)

Pain

Apparently a natural extract called California Poppy is supposed to be able to help alleviate serious pain. It is also supposed to be non-addictive.

The way they described it, made it sound like something that you would take instead of a prescription painkiller. This could be one of those huge money savers for someone with chronic pain.

Dosage:
3/4 of the teaspoon of this extract before bedtime.

Warning:
The audience was warned not to take this while operating heavy machinery. :-)

I have no personal experience with this one.

Other alternative medicines mentioned:

Shopping Cart Solutions for Online Business

Free and Low Cost Online Shopping Cart Services

Q: Who are these services actually solutions for?
A: Brand new online businesses or very small businesses (solo-entrepreneurs) that make fewer but larger transactions.

Free Online Shopping Cart Services

I have worked with those “free” or should I say the services that initially charge no monthly fees like the beloved (<-I'm sort of rolling my eyes as I'm typing that) PayPal or Google Checkout. The catch is that their processing fees are really quite outrageous!

  • Pros
  • Low Initial Investment
  • A Bit Lower Transaction Rates for Larger Transactions
  • They can process credit cards without your having to sign a contract with a cc processor.
  • Doesn’t require an extremely high technical skill set, but a fair amount of HTML and the ability to add a little JavaScript code to your website or blog site is required
  • Cons
  • Outrageously High Per-Transaction Fees

Once your company gets established you should begin looking up your own checkout solutions.

More Costly, Yet Quite Commonly Used Shopping Cart Services

Lots of small and startup businesses use shopping cart services like 1ShoppingCart.com or eCommerce solutions like the ones available from Yahoo! Small Business for there online order needs.

  • Pros
  • Doesn’t require an extremely high technical skill set, but a fair amount of HTML and the ability to add a little JavaScript code to your website or blog site is required
  • Cons
  • Very Limited Customization
  • Requirements
  • You must additionally purchase your own credit card processing service.

Money Saver?
If you already have a self-hosted website, it might be a waste to spend $30+ dollars a month on highly proprietary solutions with such limited customizations like the ones these companies offer.

Free Self-hosted Shopping Cart Solutions

Q: Who are these services actually solutions for?
A: Small to Large Corporate Size Businesses

Two that I have worked with are Zen Cart and OpenCart <- this new one that I have found very robust as well.

  • Pros
  • Nearly Endless Customization Abilities <3 <- Developers love this pro.
  • Possibly Low Initial Investment – if you are developing your own website that is…
  • They can process credit cards without your having to sign a contract with a cc processor.
  • Cons
  • You must additionally purchase your own credit card processing service. (Shop around for this, I think even places like Sam’s Club and Costco have very very low cost merchant services for cc processing.)
  • These services require advanced experience with HTML, PHP, and managing MySQL databases. (Pretty much anyone who works professionally developing WordPress can use these right out of the box so to speak.)
  • Requirements
  • Like all opensource systems, you must be ready and able to keep your systems up to date
  • More Self-hosted Security like SSL certificates for transactions made directly on your website.
  • You must additionally purchase your own credit card processing service and possibly purchase additional extensions to connect with your cc processor. This is a one time probably around $25 to $50 fee verses monthly fees for 1shoppingcart

If I have forgotten anything, or mixed up any points here do let me know and I’ll give you a shout out. <3

Audiobooks

Fall in love with books again…

My mind is constantly going and my predisposition to continually seek a challenge is also the bane of my existence when it’s time for spring cleaning.

Ugh… cleaning.

Last week I really started to do some deep cleaning, go through clothes that don’t fit the kids any more, throw out socks that lost their match months ago, and started deciding which things we sell or donate to someone who will be able to use them. The trouble for me is that as I’m cleaning my mind wanders and the next thing I know:

  • I’m planning out my week of work
  • my weekend of busyness
  • reminding myself to even dust the ceiling fans before I vacuum
  • I start thinking about what sounds good for dinner (preferably that’s easy to make and clean up)
  • and I can also pretty much guarantee that my train of thought will be halted at least 4 to 8 times per hour sudden interruptions like – “So can I mom? mom? mom?” or “Mom would not like it if she saw you doing that!”

I don’t know about you but after a few of hours of this and I’m tired, bored, or at least fighting off a headache from so much input that I’m getting from myself and my environment.

But this time is different, because I’ve already gotten a lot of it done!

Last week a friend of mine was talking about one of the books she is reading, but she said she is reading it via audiobook.

Brilliant! I thought to myself. I’d wanted to read one of those books too so I got the fourth twilight book “Breaking Dawn” on audiobook and I tell you what, it’s been entertaining me while I’m doing my early spring cleaning.

What a perfect way to keep my mind from trying to solve all of the problems in the world when cleaning for longer periods of time or even just having my hands free to take out the trash and my hands and eyes free to match the ungodly number of socks in the dreaded “sock basket”

I don’t know why, but before that moment I’d always thought of audiobooks as an aid to learn a foreign language or listen to a lecture – something probably boring. Never had I considered it’s entertainment value.

And best of all…are you ready for it? My ears are plugged so the kids actually have to get my attention before they ask or tell anything. :) It’s a win win for me.

Save Money on Your Audiobooks

I went ahead and posted the amazon link here to the book I “read”, but they can get expensive. If you won’t read it over and over, you can borrow some of these types of audiobooks at the library.

I got mine with 2 free credits @ audible.com which is kind of expensive if you ask me because you don’t actually get disks or anything just the audio files. They have a huge collection of them available though.

Dollar Store Anti-Aging Secrets

I was just watching Dr. Oz and they had a little segment about anti-aging stuff you can get at the dollar store. Who knew? So, I took some notes and now I am passing this along.

Aging Zone #1 is the Epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin)

Pumpkin Pie Filling and Exfoliating Mitts – This fights a dull appearance of your skin or blotchy complexion.

  1. Rub the pumpkin filling into your skin with the exfoliating mittens and the pumpkin apparently has an alpha-hydroxy acid that smooths the skin. The kind they used on the show was organic.
  2. Leave it on your face for a few minutes.
  3. Then scrub it off.

Even Livestrong.com has a post about How to Make Your Own Alpha Hydroxy Mask; one of the ingredients is pumpkin pie filling! :) Maybe there really is something to it!

Aging Zone #2 is the Dermis (the layer of the skin that looks saggy and wrinkly)

Face Lotion with Ascorbic Acid and Vitamin C – Read those ingredients and make sure you find both of them in your lotion. This helps because the collagen is falling apart in the dermis. Anti-oxidants and Vitamin C on your skin is a great way to firm and tone them back up.

Apply once a day every morning. The vitamin C will kick in and start revitalizing that collagen.

Aging Zone #3 is the Fat (and you want to keep fat in some places… like your lips.)

Lip Plumpers look for them with Tribehenine

Aging Zone #4 is the Muscles (that cause smile lines)

Ginsing Tea Bags over crows feet etc.

Apparently, certain muscles cause creases in your skin. If you can relax the muscles around your eyes, then you relax the creases as well.

Want to see the the video? Here is Dr. Oz’s segment called: Dollar Store Anti-Aging Secrets.

Disorganization-How Much Is It Costing You?

Everyone at one time or another gets a little bit disorganized.  It happens to the best of us and there is nothing to be ashamed of.  But, there are several hidden costs that either we don’t think about or don’t even know about that are simply bleeding us dry financially.

For instance, all the small late fees you pay when you miss the due date on your phone, credit card or utility bill.  Those are just a few that you may notice, but what about the ways you don’t notice by being disorganized?

Take for instance your groceries.  If you generate a physical list (being organized), you most likely will have to only make trip.  But, if you go to the store with only a mental list (being disorganized) you are more likely to forget something, thus have to make an extra trip.  Gas is not cheap these days and having to make extra trips to the store will generate more costs, thereby draining your monetary funds.  What about during the dreaded tax season?  If you don’t have an organized filing system in place throughout the year for all of your receipts, you could potentially be missing out on some great tax credits for your business.  OUCH!

Do you realize that office distractions add up to an average of 2.1 hours per day for each employee?  If you have paperwork piled all over your desk, are consistently late for meetings or actually miss them all together because you can’t find the documents you need or you don’t have a calendar handy showing your appointments, this is a sure sign of disorganization.  But don’t give up hope! This is an area that can be worked on.  You don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity for advancement in your current job or on securing that new client!  Take charge of your situation and turn things around.  It can be done!

Lastly, take a look at your appearance.  Yes, you make work from home, but do you really need to look like it?  You know the scenario…ratty hair, wrinkled pajamas, slippers.  That’s fine on the days you aren’t feeling well and don’t plan on leaving the house.  However, I would suggest getting dressed anyway.  It’s nice to know that we don’t always have to look our best when working from home, but we shouldn’t necessarily take it to the extreme.  Whether you believe it or not, this is also a sign of disorganization.  You never know who will come knocking at your door (UPS guy) or what last-minute errand or appointment you will need to make.  If you are disheveled, when you meet others, just know that will be your first impression.  Is that really how you want people to perceive you?  So, get up out of your comfy pj’s, slip on a pair of jeans, a nice shirt and comb your hair.  I guarantee you’ll feel better about yourself and that confidence will exude outwardly.

For more inspiration on ways to get more organized, check out Get More Organized Now.  This site has all the tips and tricks you will ever need to help you get organized in your personal life as well as your business life.  It’s been a life saver for me.  :)

We Must Stop Selling Ourselves Short

break the bankI cannot agree more with Kena’s post last week: “Will Work For Free? Seriously…Is It Written Across My Forehead?” I have also dealt with surprisingly high numbers of requests for free business and web development consulting. Anyone who has worked with us knows that we are fair about our rates and work hard for what we do. And I am sure that we are not the only ones.

Bartering can be a really great option for people starting out, but it does not pay the bill$. So many of us offer free advice and tools for other businesses on our blogs. We share DIY information and resources on our blogs, on our Facebook Pages and even Twitter. These are enormous contributions to others who are starting out, so we should not feel obligated to donate more of our time towards the greater good of others. Should we?

We must also be careful about how we agree to be paid as well. I have had some very unusual offers about compensation for my work. I had one fairly large company recently that wanted me to build an entire e-commerce site for them and get 5% of the sales of the site. Things like this sound really great if a site is already up and getting traffic, but this one wasn’t.

I would have been responsible for providing free SEO (so that the site could be found and sell some of their goods so I would get paid), web design, development, e-commerce accounts setup, graphics research and customization, and so much more to bring it all together. There are hundreds of tasks to be done for setting up a site like this. Many companies are out there investing thousands of dollars on services like these and they weren’t willing to even offer a down payment!

Needless to say, after doing the math and considering the hours of work involved I said no thank you. It’s like Kena said, it’s not like I don’t want to help people. Anyone who knows me knows that I am willing to point you in the right direction, however, now I am getting more and more people who are coming to me for direction and that is cutting into my billable hours. I am going to have to start charging business planning and analysis fees to make ends meet.

Now that half of the year is already over, we need to revisit our financial goals for the year and make sure that we are not losing focus on doing what is right for ourselves and our businesses.

Say it with me: “I’m worth every penny!”