All posts tagged money management

Three Tips For A Profitable Business

Three Tips For A Profitable Business
Three Tips For A Profitable Business

Three Tips For A Profitable BusinessAfter making back your initial investment in your direct sales business, your goal is to make it consistently profitable. Since there is so much more to direct selling than just pushing a product or service, it’s imperative that you have an understanding of the bigger picture. Here are three ways you can start and continue making your business a profitable one.

  1. Keep improving. If you aren’t moving forward, then you are stagnant. Improve yourself by continuing your education through professional development. Attend your upline’s local and regional workshops as well as your company’s annual national conference. Take free or low-cost business courses and webinars and listen in on conference calls given by your company or other experts in the direct sales industry. Subscribe to blogs relevant to your business. There is a wealth of information available to you to help you improve your business, so take advantage of it and aim to implement a few new improvements per month. This constant quest for advancement will give you the momentum you need to achieve long-term success.
  2. Find other streams of income that enhance your business. It’s no secret that your time is at a premium, whether your direct sales business is your full-time job or a part-time gig. If you need to supplement your income, try to find a way to do something that will help your business. For example, a direct seller of all-natural pet food and treats brings in a bit of extra money walking neighborhood dogs a few times a week. It’s a great way for her to meet potential customers, learn about the needs of pet owners, and spread word of her business.
  3. Spend less and save more. You should already have a set budget written down or typed out somewhere. Go through it regularly to see where you could cut your spending and put that money aside for a rainy day. Perhaps hold off on purchasing new inventory until it becomes clear which products are the most popular from the latest catalog. If you find yourself getting hit with fees for accepting credit cards, offer customers incentives to pay cash or check. Even the smallest things can add up to a substantial amount saved.

Which of these suggestions do you find most helpful? Is there anything you would add to our list? Please share your ideas below!

How to Build Your Business on the Cheap

How to Build Your Business on the Cheap

How to Build Your Business on the Cheap from the http://dsefnew.wpengine.comOne of the many advantages of a direct sales business is that for the most part, the initial investment is minimal, especially when compared to a traditional startup. Whether your startup cost is $100 or $1,000 though, it is important to keep costs down when you are just starting out or looking to grow your business. The good news is that it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money up front in order to build successfully. Here are some tips for building your direct sales business on the cheap.

  • Don’t pay for marketing. There has never been an easier time to market your business for free. Start with your social media presence. Most social networks allow you to create a page for your business. Take advantage of this option, and engage your contacts by regularly posting content that sparks an online dialogue. Check here for some effective ideas to get started on the most popular social networks. Aside from marketing online, however, you can easily market your business in more traditional ways. Always keep yourself looking professional when you’re out and about town, and arm yourself with business cards and some catalogs. Consider wearing a button advertising your business or if applicable, a noticeable product itself. People may ask you about your business, resulting in instant bookings or at least requests for follow-ups. Finally, don’t forget to post information about your business in community bulletin boards and similar places. Many businesses will also allow you to leave a catalog in their waiting rooms or reception areas as well.
  • Use the power of word of mouth. Get used to talking about your business in ways that are relevant to the conversation. Relay anecdotes, discuss how or why you got started, and what you’ve accomplished so far. Encourage other satisfied customers to do the same, as people take great stock in user reviews, both written and oral.
  • Before you spend money on something, ask yourself if the return is worth the expense. You’ll of course have to spend money on certain things, but make sure the return will be worth it. Although it may be tempting to buy a ton of promotional merchandise with your company’s logo and your contact information on it right away, it isn’t necessary to get a good start. Those types of purchases are best saved for when you’ve already started making a profit. Always think of your potential expenses as a possible risk. Think seriously about whether or not spending the money is worth the risk, and as your business grows, your needs and “risk factors” will change. Adjust accordingly.
  • Spend the least possible money to get your products/services to the market. When you do pay for getting your products to your market, do some research and comparison shopping to make sure you aren’t overpaying. For example, a friend has booked a home party for your direct sales jewelry business and is expecting a large amount of guests. If you are just starting out and don’t have a large inventory of samples, you might be worried that the guests won’t order as much as they would if they were able to try on the pieces. Instead of hurrying to order more from your company, ask your upline if you can borrow a few pieces for this one party since there will be so many people there. By getting creative and using resources available to you, it is possible to find ways to spend as little money as possible to get the results you want. 

Building your direct sales business on the cheap is an effective way to maximize your investment and set yourself up for long-term success. What other suggestions do you have for building your business in an affordable way? Please share your ideas below!

Free eBook: 15 Days to Greater Success

Free eBook: 15 Days to Greater Success

What are your goals? Do you have a plan to put your goals into action?

Having a plan is very important when working towards your goals, but you need something else as well: momentum. While you may be able to get started, when there’s hard work to be done in reaching for what you want, your ability to build the momentum that keeps you moving forward is just as important as your plan.

15 days to greater success coverThat’s why we’re excited to share with you this free eBook we’ve developed called 15 Days to Greater Success. It helps you take your goals and break them down into 15-day journeys designed to help you build the momentum you need to succeed. For some goals, 15 days may be all you need. For larger goals, you can break them down into 15-day segments that lead you along the path to success. By following the plan laid out in this book, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals and enjoying the success you’re working for.

And best of all? It’s our FREE gift to you!

To get your free copy of the eBook, click here: 15 Days to Greater Success. You can download it from our Facebook Page. And while you’re there, you can download our other free eBooks too: Business Owner’s Road Map to Success, Creating Your Success Mindset, and Reflections on Success. They’re all designed to give you an edge in your business, and help you focus on the daily practices that lead to your goals.

Please share this link with the business owners you know:

How to build the momentum to reach your goals? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

3 Things You Must Do Now to Prepare for Fall Business

3 Things You Must Do Now to Prepare for Fall Business

beprepareSmart business owners are always thinking ahead. It’s not enough to be satisfied with where you currently are, and the business that you currently have. If you want your business to continue at the same or better levels of productivity, you need to prepare in advance. This is how you keep your momentum going, and help your business continue to thrive.

Here are three things you should do right now to prepare your business for growth next season:

  1. Stock up: Now is the time to make sure you have on hand the products and samples you will need for the next season. So find out or plan what you will be offering for your holiday selling season, and make sure you’ve got the samples and products on hand that you need to show your customers. Remember, you are most likely to sell what you show, so be sure you have plenty to show so you’re prepared to meet the needs of your customers.
  2. Make calls and appointments to schedule fall business: Even though you may still be in summer mode, now is the time to scheduling your fall sales appointments. That way, when everyone gets back from vacation, you’ve got a full calendar and are ready to hit the ground running. So reach out to both previous customers and current prospects, and get as many dates on your calendar as possible. Use your new fall product line as a reason that people will want to make sure to get their first choice of date.
  3. Plan 2-3 marketing campaigns: Most people in sales get pretty busy during the fall selling season, with the holidays approaching. So use this time to plan two or three marketing campaigns you can implement to grow your business even bigger. You may decide to hold a contest or event, or host a boutique. Whatever you decide to do to promote your business to a wider audience, get the details squared away now, and create as many materials for the campaign as possible now when you have time to focus. This way, you’ll be better able to focus on serving customers as business picks up.

Don’t run a business built on reaction. Rather, plan for fall business so that your business grows by design in the direction you desire.

What are you doing now to plan for your fall selling season? Would love to read your comments below.

DSEF & BBB: Trick Your Brain Into Saving Money

DSEF & BBB: Trick Your Brain Into Saving Money

Close-up of human hand inserting two euro coin into piggy bankBy Kelsey Owen

Looking to save a little money? You may want to try “tricking your brain.” According to a new report from Chase Blueprint, a specific section of the human brain lights up when we face a choice, such as, say, spending money on something that we know we shouldn’t. The report goes on to say that, “Only 25% of us are born with the ‘good’ variant of that gene. Some people are simply better than others at self-control, and neuroscientific studies have shed light on why this is the case.”

While science (read: SCIENCE!) shows that our brains are more likely to choose the self-indulging choice, there are ways to “trick our brains” into being smarter about money. Not convinced? Lifehacker has put together a few scientifically proven strategies to be a better financial version of yourself than you ever thought possible.

Adopt a new mantra. For this exercise, you’ll be using the help of a fancy scientific term known as a “heuristic,” which is essentially a rule of thumb that you live by to make decision-making easier. You probably already have many money heuristics that you abide by every day—whether you’re conscious of them or not. If you have bad money habits that you’d like to improve—from getting zinged by bank fees to overspending on gifts—come up with a specific heuristic to help you combat each one. Psychologists have found that we tend to feel poorly about ourselves for breaking the rule, even if we created it. Weird, but helpful.

Make saving a no-brainer. In an experiment called Save More Tomorrow, employees were asked to save more for retirement by signing up for a 401(k), then voluntarily increasing contributions by a set amount every few months. The results? Over the course of 28 months, the average participant’s savings rate jumped from 3.5% to 11.6%. By having the money come directly out of their paychecks, before it hit their bank accounts, the participants never missed the money. Essentially, they bypassed the portion of their brains that loves temptation and activated the slow-thinking region that promotes self-control.

You, too, can apply this bit of trickery to any savings goal. Simply pick a start date, set calendar alerts for set times when you want to up your contributions, and then sit back and watch your balance grow. Certain banks and brokerages will even automate the process for you by letting you program a percentage amount by which you can increase your contributions over time.

Pick a plan and stick to it.  Have debt to pay off? There’s a way to outsmart your brain here too. Researchers chalk the success up to three factors: choosing a particular plan, committing to the idea of allocating a certain amount to repayment each month and engaging peer support (read: those telephone or email reminders from friends). Once again, effort trumped any underlying genetics.

Spend on your best self. To make your money behave the way you want it to, you need to first decide who you are and then make your budget obey that identity.  It can be hard to just “save” blindly or “not spend so much” when you don’t have a larger goal driving you. But if you’re someone who believes that providing for your children is important, you’ll be a lot more likely to make financial decisions align with your principles. Humans have a desire to see themselves in a certain light, and we’ll reject anything that conflicts with that reality. It’s a phenomenon known as identity reinforcement theory. In other words, you can override bad money behavior by adopting good habits that reflect the person you really want to be.

To read the full article, visit


DSEF and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) foster honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit for more information.

DSEF & BBB: Online Shopping Taxes to Be Implemented

DSEF & BBB: Online Shopping Taxes to Be Implemented

ecommerce3-150x150By Nicole Bradley

According to The Wall Street Journal, online purchases will soon be subject to taxes. The Senate has passed a bill putting an end to tax-free online shopping; however, the final vote is set to occur on May 6. This bill, titled the Marketplace Fairness Act, enforces states to require online sellers all over the country to collect sales tax on any online purchase made by their residents. In the past, online retailers have greatly benefited from not having to charge shoppers with sales tax. With this luxury coming to an end, Web stores are now part of corporate support helping to aid the passage of the new bill.

Chief Executive of eBay, John Donahoe, explains that this bill will damage smaller retailers in that it will treat them the same way larger merchants are treated; however, these larger merchants have greater tax-collection capabilities.

Is this fair? What do you think?

For more information visit,

DSEF and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) foster honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit for more information.

DSEF & BBB: 7 Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen

DSEF & BBB: 7 Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen

Identity-Theft-150x150By Katie Burgoyne

Many people associate “Identity Theft” with a major security breach on their credit or debit card which results in the loss of thousands of dollars. Dramatics aside, identity theft is a very serious crime that happens more often than you would like to believe. Besides banking fraud, your identity can be compromised in a slew of other ways.

The first step towards protecting yourself is identifying where you are at risk.  An article by refers to some common channels through which fraud can occur:

  • Insurance – Someone uses your Social Security number to obtain the insurance they need, such as home, automotive, etc.
  • Medical – Someone uses your health insurance to get treatment, costing you money while placing incorrect and potentially harmful information in your medical records.
  • Criminal – A person gets arrested and is able to believably claim that they’re you. Then they jump bail, and the cops are hunting for you.
  • Driver’s License – Someone steals your license and makes a duplicate with their image.
  • Social Security – This gives thieves open control of your life, including buying houses in your name and then defaulting on the loans.
  • Synthetic – A person uses information from numerous victims, creating a new bogus identity; this makes it extremely difficult to figure out what’s going on and how many victims are involved.
  • Child – Most children have Social Security numbers, but we seldom check to see if they have a credit file. That means criminals can use their identity for years and never be caught.

To read the full article, visit

DSEF and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) foster honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers—instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

About the Better Business Bureaus
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit for more information.

Becoming a Money Wise Woman

Becoming a Money Wise Woman

We have only to examine a few statistics to understand why it’s important to become educated on financial issues and begin planning our futures now. Between raising children and taking care of parents, women are losing an average of 14.7 years from the workplace. A woman who is out of the work force for one year must work five years to recover lost income, pension coverage and promotional opportunities.  In spite of our best intentions, between the 43% divorce rate and the fact that women tend to live seven to ten years longer than men, the reality is that if we aren’t already, most of us are going to be the sole person responsible for our financial security at some points in our lives.

Marcia Brixey

Women are by nature, caretakers. We take care of our children, husbands, partners, grandchildren and parents. We take care of everyone, but ourselves. But, ladies we need to be proactive and make an investment in ourselves. The investment we make now will determine our quality of life both financially and personally in the years ahead.

I wrote this in my first Kitsap Sun article – Becoming a Money Wise Woman in January 2003. Although 10 years later the statistics are still much the same, Money Wise Women has provided thousands of women with the tools and education to live financially healthy. More than 6,600 women have attended 70 Money Wise Women Conferences in Washington, California, Idaho and Oregon since November 2002.

Several years ago Money Wise Women joined forces with the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) to educate and empower women on their financial and business goals through the Money Wise Women Teleseminar Series. The free teleseminars (thanks to DSEF’s sponsorship) cover a variety of topics relating to finance and business. Topics include investing, credit reports, credit card debt, goal setting, time management and much more.

Each monthly listeners have the opportunity to listen live to my interview with powerful women who are experts in their field. We tape the teleseminar allowing women to listen and learn at their leisure in the comfort of their own home. Upcoming Money Wise Women Teleseminars include:

  • Treating Your Business Like a Professional with Deb Bixler
    May 7, 2013
  • A Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement with Jan Cullinane
    June 11, 2013
  • Calling All Super Complainers with Michele Corey
    July 9, 2013
  • A Man is Not a Financial Plan with Candace Bahr and Ginita Wall
    August 13, 2013
  • Business in the You Economy with Tara Gentile
    October 8, 2013
  • Communicating with Many Generations with Jennifer Fong
    November 12, 2013

If you’re ready to get financially healthy and/or take your business to the next level visit Money Wise Women Teleseminar website – to listen to past teleseminars and sign up for upcoming teleseminars.

“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.” Goethe

About Marcia Brixey 

During her 26 years working for the Social Security Administration Marcia Brixey met thousands of women who experienced financial difficulties resulting from a personal crisis – husband’s death, divorce, illness or loss of a job. In August 2002 she founded Money Wise Women Educational Services to ensure every woman is financially articulate, confident, secure and independent. Today she hosts and speaks at Money Wi$e Women Conferences throughout the Western United States. Marcia also hosts the popular Money Wi$e Women Teleseminar Series. She is the author of The Money Therapist: A Woman’s Guide to Creating a Healthy Financial Life (Seal Press). Ms. Brixey regularly blogs for Money Wise Women and

Ms. Brixey’s been the featured speaker at numerous conferences including the Women’s Money Conference in Reno and Las Vegas; Central California Women’s Conference in Fresno, CA; Prudential Financial Stepping Out Conference in Santa Clara, CA and Chicago IL; Choice Hotels Convention in Orlando, FL; Oklahoma Society of CPAs Invest in Herself: Journey to Financial Freedom Conference in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK; Washington State Employed Women in Vancouver, WA; Today’s Woman Expo in Boise, ID; Invest in Yourself Strategies for Women Conference in Costa Mesa, CA; and Northwest Women’s Show, Seattle WA and Portland OR. She’s also spoken at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI.

Marcia is a former columnist for The Kitsap Sun newspaper, which serves the Kitsap Peninsula in Western Washington. She has been a guest on Northwest Afternoon (Seattle, KOMO TV), View from the Bay (San Francisco, ABC affiliate), Good Day Sacramento, About the Money (Seattle, PBS affiliate) and Sonoran Living Live (Phoenix, ABC15 TV). Marcia’s been interviewed on numerous radio shows and featured on CBS Report of the Week with Brian Banmiller. Marcia’s print media appearances include Quick and Simple, Redbook, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, Ladies Home Journal, Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle Woman Magazine, and US News and World Report. She is a member of the My Own Business Institute Advisory Panel. Ms. Brixey received the 2006 YWCA Woman of Achievement award in Kitsap County.

Marcia was inspired to take early retirement from her public relations job with the Social Security Administration in August 2002 after reading the quote “Our purpose in life is to find our gift, perfect it and give it back to others”. Ms. Brixey’s experience with the Social Security Administration includes District Manager, Supervisor, and Public Relations Specialist. She graduated from California State University, East Bay with a B.S. degree in Business Administration.


Eight Ways to be a Great Leader

Eight Ways to be a Great Leader

Four business executives having meeting in boardroomEffective leadership is not an easy skill to master. It usually takes years and years of experience, trial and error, and self-reflection. However, the more others respect you as a leader, the more successful your business will be. Here are a few tips on how to become the kind of leader you’ve always wanted to be.

1      Keep your word. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. If you say you’re going to do something, be sure to follow through in a reasonable amount of time. You may have unanticipated circumstances arise, but a constant pattern of not doing what you said you would do will quickly cause others to lose their trust and respect. Giving someone your word should really mean something, so be sure to follow through.

2      Be inclusive, welcoming, and make others feel safe. There is nothing worse than an intimidating leader who only seems to associate with a select few. Include everyone from entry-level employees to team leaders and executives within a work environment that rewards hard work and fosters a collaborative feeling. If others are afraid of you, their work will suffer.

3      Encourage creative thinking. You want your employees to think outside the box, so the best way to get them to do this is to model it on a regular basis. When assigning a project, give a clear idea of what you want the outcome to be, and reinforce your desire for higher level thinking and creative ideas. Don’t let others be afraid to take risks.

4      Allow people to share ideas and concerns. You most likely will not agree with many of the ideas and concerns that are brought to your attention, but it is of utmost importance that those who work under you feel free to express them. A business is not a dictatorship, and you want your employees to know that their ideas have value. Give others a voice within your business. You never know what you could be overlooking.

5      Support others and help them grow. When someone makes a mistake or doesn’t seem to be up to par with their colleagues, don’t use it as a chance to knock them down. Give them the opportunity to improve by providing practical suggestions, frequent support, and positive reinforcement when possible. The same applies to those who are consistent achievers; make sure they know you appreciate their hard work and that they have your full support.

6      Keep things running smoothly. Efficiency is the key to a successful operation, so although you may have assigned others to only focus on certain areas of the business, it is your job to ensure that everyone is working together, communicating with each other, and contributing equally to the business as a whole.

7      Maintain an exciting and fun atmosphere. Don’t let the day-to-day goings-on take over the feel of your workplace. Incorporate excitement and fun by planning team-building activities, allowing others to express themselves in a way that is professional and light-hearted at the same time, and even tapping into your spontaneous side. One office manager picks a random day of each month to reward one member of her administrative staff with an employee of the month type of award that includes a silly trinket, a funny song to celebrate, and his or her favorite lunch. Make your business a place that people look forward to working each day.

8      Hold others accountable for their actions. Bending the rules for some and not for others is a slippery slope. If your employees begin to feel that there are different rules for different people, morale will go down and productivity will suffer. When a person messes up, acknowledge it and act on it appropriately. The same goes for people who do something exceptionally well. Be sure to acknowledge it and encourage them to keep up the good work.

You can become a great leader who is well-respected by making sure you level the playing field and encourage creativity and hard work. What are some other qualities you feel make an effective leader? Please share your ideas below!

10 Tips for Reducing Financial Stress

10 Tips for Reducing Financial Stress

10 Tips for Reducing Financial Stress from http://dsef.orgFinancial stress is never a comfortable feeling. Worrying about how a bill will be paid or if you’ll have enough money at the end of the month can cause pressure in relationships and take the fun out of what you do each day. Fortunately, there are some specific things you can do to reduce financial stress and enjoy life more. Here are some tips:

  1. Get Educated on Finance – Far too many people have not received a proper financial education, and are unacquainted with how to properly manage their finances. This causes stress, because we often fear what we do not understand. Fortunately, it really isn’t complicated, and there are many good resources out there, including books, conferences, websites and more, that you can use to learn about topics such as how to create a household budget, get out of debt, and live free of financial stress. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is one good site to check out:, as is the Women’s Money organization: 
  2. Keep a Spending Journal – Often we spend money throughout the week without really having a clear picture of where it goes. So record every single purchase in a small notebook you keep with you, or on your smartphone (there are a number of apps out there for this purpose.) Take a look at what you’ve spent your money on, and decide what you can cut out. You may find you can significantly reduce your expenses just by keeping track of what you spend.
  3. Get a Clear Picture of Your Current Finances – Knowing what you spend while out and about is only part of the picture. Sit down and write out what you earn each month, as well as all the places your money goes. Write down your payments for rent and utilities, debt and interest, activities for your children, donations, etc. Be sure you know where every cent is coming in and where it’s going out. Once it’s all written down, you will know exactly how much you earn and how much you’re spending. Are you spending more than you earn? Then you have two choices: Reduce what you spend, or make more money. It’s really that simple.
  4. Create a Budget (and Stick to It!) – Now that you know what the current state of your finances is, you’re ready to create a budget. We talked about creating a budget for your small business last week. You also need a household budget. Include your income, along with your expected expenses. Aim to spend no more than 90% of your income on a regular basis, so you can begin to accumulate some savings. This free Money 101 online course from CNN Money has information on creating a household budget, along with many other tips to using and growing your money wisely.
  5. Pay Off Debt – It’s important to pay off debt to reduce your financial stress. After all, every interest payment means the thing you initially bought is costing you more and more money. Was that thing really worth it? So for example, if you have credit card debt, call your creditors and see if they are willing to reduce interest rates. If you’ve got good credit, they may be willing to work with you. Then focus on one card at a time, and pay more than the minimum each month. Set yourself a time limit, and work to eliminate that debt as quickly as you can, so you can keep more of the money you earn and stop spending money on interest instead of things that your family can use and enjoy.
  6. Reduce What You Spend – In addition to getting rid of debt, look for ways you can spend less. Some of this is simply related to making daily choices based on your spending journal. But you may also be able to reduce payments on things you use. Call your television, phone and utility companies and see if they have a lower rate you qualify for. Maybe you can reduce your television package or switch to another provider offering a better deal. Also consider changing some of the things you’ve taken for granted. For example, if you’ve always sent your kids to a certain camp for the summer, look around and see if there might be a less expensive…but still fun!…option. You might even take a week or two off from camp and create your own home “camp” that helps you build family memories your kids will never forget.
  7. Create an Emergency Fund – Many families fall into financial stress due to unexpected expenses. One of the best ways to combat this is by having an emergency fund. If you’re focusing on spending only 90% or less of your income, take the other 10% and put it into an emergency fund that you set aside for unexpected expenses. Keep it in a savings account which you can access when the funds are needed. But remind yourself that this savings is ONLY for emergencies. Resist the urge to dip in for a vacation or other luxury. If you want to go on vacation or redo your kitchen, add a separate budget line item to your household budget, keep a separate savings account, and put money away for what you want there.
  8. Add Extra Income – Sometimes you’ll look at your budget, reduce what you spend, and still find that you aren’t making enough. At that point, it’s a good idea to find a way to add extra income to your budget. You could start a home-based business or get a second job. Take a good look at your schedule and carve out the times you could spend on another job. A new stream of income can be a great way to reduce stress, pay off debt, and reach your financial goals. And it can also be a way to add something you love to your life. Don’t just settle! Since you’re cutting into your free time to do this, look for an income opportunity that will be something you enjoy. For example, if you love cooking, you might look for a direct sales company opportunity that allows you to do cooking shows.
  9. Sell Things You Don’t Need or Use Anymore – In addition to working an additional job, you may find that there are things you have around your home that you don’t need or use anymore. Considering selling these things through consignment or online. While this won’t bring long-term income, it can be a way to pay off some immediate debt or start an emergency fund. Plus, reducing the clutter in your home can be a stress reducer!
  10. Realize There is More to Life than Finances – Taking control of your finances is exceptionally important. Every family should keep track of what they are earning and spending, and pass this knowledge on to the next generation. But keep in mind, too, that there is more to life than finances. Take time to be with your loved ones and appreciate the moments that pass far too quickly, but add joy to life. Don’t let finances keep you from embracing the wonderful gifts you have in your life, because they are things that money can’t buy.

How do you reduce financial stress? What tips would you give? We’d love to read them in the comments.
Nevada Women's Money Conference Flyer from

As part of National Financial Literacy Month, we at DSEF are proud to sponsor the Nevada Women’s Money Conference. This important event helps women learn the skills they need to create a secure financial future for themselves and their families. While Reno is sold out, there is still room in the Las Vegas session on April 27, 2013. Best of all, we’re providing full scholarships to the conference for women in DSA member companies! For more information, visit this page: And please, pass this along to the women you love in Nevada. This is an amazing opportunity that can make a HUGE difference in a woman’s life! Thanks for helping us spread the word!