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Money-Making Productivity Tips

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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Imagine the life you really want to be living. What does it include?

For many people, the answer includes traveling to new places, eating good food, visiting friends and family, and living in a comfortable environment. 

Well, all of those things require financial planning skills!

Jennifer Barrett, financial expert and author of the book Think Like a Breadwinner, joined me on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop. We talked about how to rethink your approach to finances in order to create the life you really want.

1. Look at the shorter-term.

Jennifer says that many of us think that all we need to think about is saving for retirement and having a rainy day fund. But that view is limiting — you’re leaving out all the things you want to do before retirement!

Jennifer suggests having short-term savings goals that line up with your life goals. Do you want to have children or start a small business? Well, both of those things require money. Jennifer says it’s a good idea to align your investment plan with the amount of money you’ll need for the milestones you want to achieve.

2. This doesn’t have to be hard.

For many people, especially women, the messaging we’ve been getting is that financial literacy is complicated. But Jennifer says that’s just not true!

When it comes to investing in the stock market, Jennifer suggests checking out the S&P 500 list of companies. Those investments will probably be safer for beginners. If you’re struggling to decide which stocks to buy, let your interests guide you!

Jennifer’s grandmother actually led the way for her on this one — she invested in companies whose products she used or was interested in!

You don’t have to move around your stocks, either. Jennifer says that leaving your investments to grow until you need them is probably your best bet. 

3. Set yourself up for success at work.

Jennifer has some productivity tips for work, too. You can try focusing on “promotable work” — the things you do that will help you get to the next stage in your career.

Spending your time and energy on what researcher John Williams calls “office housework” (like ordering food for meetings) is probably not the best use of your time. Those tasks often fall to women because they want to be helpful. But that means missing out on productivity and promotions. 

You don’t have to be rude or unhelpful — just balance your time and priorities so that you are not doing unseen labor.

Want more money-making tips? You can watch our full conversation here.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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5 Money-Saving Apps to Try

money-256319_640Making lists goes hand in hand with budgeting. Sometimes it’s not about how much you’re spending, but what you’re spending that money on. Lists help you keep track of that kind of detail.  Most people know how much they spend on groceries or gas a month, but how much do you spend at restaurants or on new clothes? Or how can you save a few dollars here or there to buy the stuff you really want?

Here are some of my favorite money-saving apps:

Mint.comThis website organizes all your accouts into one easy to view site. It has a savings tool, which allows you create a saving goal and lets you know if you’re on track to meet your goal. They also have a budgeting tool that tracks all your expenses and puts them into categories. It’s a free, easy to use service.

If you’re worried about security Mint has recently introduced a two-step verification process so your login is more secure. Read more

It’s Tax Time! Are You Ready?

Image via TaxGeeks

Image via TaxGeeks

It’s one of my least favorite subjects but I’m forcing myself to talk about it because it’s important. It’s tax season and the deadline is creeping up. I know that this is a stressful time for people, and a lot of people worry that they might be accused of having unfiled tax returns or owing back taxes.

Just do it — and get it over with! Then we can make lists of things to do with your refund!!
Here are a few ways to get your taxes in order this year:

Evernote: You know how I love it. I use it every year to organize all the expenses that I want to keep track of and everything is easy to find when it’s time. Then you can scan or email your finished return right into Evernote to keep track of for years to come. It’s really the easiest method. Read more

How Lists Can Help Organize Your Finances

You already know how I feel about lists and how much they can do for you. But here’s yet another example. Lists can help put more money in your pocket!

I’m the one who deals with the finances in our house– mostly because I’m a control freak. But I could always use a tip or two for being more organized with our money. So I asked Scott Gamm who is a total finance whiz kid…he’s also the founder of HelpSaveMyDollars.com. He’s been on national TV and has been published on many websites. And even better — he’s a list maker!

How Lists Can Help Organized Your Finances

by Scott Gamm

You probably make to-do lists at work, for the grocery store and when you have tons of errands to run. It’s not typical to make a financial to-do list, but it is one of the most important lists. Managing your money requires skill, care and time, all of which are no problem for a good accounting firm. There are many moving parts and components of your personal finances from credit cards to bank accounts to bills and mortgages. If you’re feeling overwhelmed when it comes to your finances, make a list! It’s a good idea to do some research when looking for an accounting firm.
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