Find us on Google+ My Sensible Cent: October 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


For the last 48 hours or so, the east coast of USA has been hit by Hurricane Sandy. Life have been lost, homes, bridges and a lot of other infrastructure damaged. The damage estimates currently stands at $3 billion with no end of the hurricane in site. While all this is happening, some marketing executives at American Apparel saw this as a business opportunity. The retailer sent out an email blast Monday night, offering 20% off to customers for the next 36 hours “in case you’re bored during the storm.” It features a map highlighting the Northeastern United States, where Sandy — now categorized as a post-tropical cyclone — is hitting the hardest. The sale is only available in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland, according to the email. This received a lot of negative response on the social media platforms. One recipient of the email tweeted “Hey @americanapparel people have died and others are in need. Shut up about your #Sandy sale.”
This just underlines the company’s insensitivity to the situation. It will cost them a huge chunk of online retail shoppers unless they embark on a massive damage control campaign. By the time I wrote this, they still hadn’t responded to any tweets or issued a public statement about the matter. Marketing can be a double-edged sword and the cut is more severe when you are doing it online. What are some of your memorable online marketing gaffes that you have seen companies make over the years?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Do Not Mix Money and Friendship!!!!!

I used to laugh at this advice. I always thought my friendships were too strong to be affected by money…
not so. Here are three ways to ruin your friendships by throwing money in the mix.

1) Lending friends money
A few years ago, one of my good friends asked me to lend him $ 8,000. He said he’d pay me back in a few weeks.  We’d been friends for so long and I hated seeing him in that situation, so I gladly lent him the money. I never saw the money again. Despite the fact that I didn’t harass him about the loan, he felt awful and couldn’t face me because he couldn’t pay me back… and then he disappeared.

I haven’t heard from him in years. I lost the money AND the friendship.

I’ve never lent friends money since. It’s just not worth losing a friendship over a loan. These days when a friends asks to borrow money, I tell them how much I can give them not lend them. If I can’t afford to give anything, I don’t. This has kept many of my friendships in tact and some have even paid that money back even though I never expected them to.

Give what you can afford and never expect to see it back. This is the only way to mix friends and money.

2) Going into business together
Being best friends is one thing, but being able to work together is something completely different. You have to be like-minded to be successful as business partners, which is why finding a good business partner is such a hard thing to do.

Think back to school projects you’ve had to work on with classmates. Didn’t you want to strangle that one girl/guy who never really pulled her weight?

The same goes for business – one may end up feeling like they’ve put in more work than the other, so they expect to get more of the profit. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way unless you’ve discussed it in advance. Even then, it can be awkward.

You can always sever relationships with business partners, you can’t do that with friends without severing your friendship as well.

3)  Co-signing loans for friends
Two years ago, a friend asked me to co-sign a SACCO loan for her. With an unpaid loan myself, I wasn’t in any position to co-sign a loan for anyone. Another friend co-signed her loan and their 12-year friendship ended 6 months later when she defaulted on the loan and the co-signer got stuck with it.

Needless to say, it’s awkward being the friend in the middle.

We love our friends, they’re our coffee buddies, wine buddies, crying buddies and party buddies… but friends and money simply do not mix. It almost always ends up badly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Attaining Financial Security Before Age 35

Beginning to consider financial security when you’re younger than 35 isn’t at the top of listing of things you can do for most people. In the end you will find a number of other expenses to occupy you. For example families, purchasing a home, happening holidays, which will make it tough to consider and plan for future years. As numerous people younger than 35 understand financial insecurity is definitely an extreme supply of anxiety and stress. What this means is working towards financially security should be a greater priority. Here are a few tips to help without leading to lots of self-sacrifice.

1. Acknowledge Your Abilities and Experience-The task that you simply presently have or career you’re going after is going to be key point inside your financial security. Make time to learn new abilities and check out something totally new even when this means going outdoors your safe place. The knowledge you will get can be quite valuable and place you in a much better position for advancement. You will need to make certain you’re in a position where one can make the most of these possibilities because they become available.

2. Set Temporary Goals-These goals don’t have to be anything complex, but they must be achievable and they’ll build your long-term goals more achievable ultimately. These might be something simple like saving 15% of your salary religiously. Make certain you place a period frame of these goals as it’ll make you more devoted to achieving it. Make sure to continue making new temporary goals each time you use one individuals temporary goals. This can help help you stay on the right track to where you will need to be around you long-term goals.

3. Pay Yourself First-
Make time to begin saving occasionally it won’t be a scramble later on. This is very simple, like joining your company sacco. Having to pay yourself first will help enable you to get in to the practice of saving, and when you begin to determine how rapidly funds grow it may be quite exciting.

4. Live In Your Means-This ought to be good sense but for several people this really is easier in theory. Oftentimes it’s related to attempting to live a particular lifestyle. For instance if you achieve an increase inside your job instead of purchasing a new TV set, place the extra cash towards having to pay lower your financial troubles or maybe your savings. This can make sure that you will invariably have supplemental income and won’t enable you to get into trouble afterwards.

5. Take Risks-
This does not imply that you should not weigh your choices when taking a chance, since you should. Taking calculated risks though might have significant advantage further in the future. Yes they could be an error and can cost you a little financially, however are mistakes that you’ll study from. Additionally you are youthful enough you have time for you to recover financially quite easily.

6. Make certain you’re financially literate-
You have to become knowledgeable about financial and investment choices. Teaching yourself will help you are making up to date choices if this involves your hard gained money. Earning money may be the easy part, finding out how to allow it to be grow may take a while to understand and really should be considered a long term process.

7. Have fun-You’re youthful at this time, so make certain that you simply have fun. Make certain you are attempting to attain an account balance of your time spent with family, buddies and work. This will be significant in assisting you accomplish financially security since it will help you choose the most important thing and help you place goals on your own. No one should seem like they need to work constantly nevertheless, you can’t spend every day around the beach either.

Adopted from Career Point Kenya

Monday, October 1, 2012

Investment Options in Real Estate

The real estate investments opens a lot of avenues for prospecting investors. Real estate, as you many millionaires will attest, is the one sure way of building a massive fortune quickly. However, since it is an investment, real estate can at times be a very risky business venture. Therefore, you need to be cautious with your money. It is always advisable to do adequate research and understand any form investment before you bring in your money. Real estate has different manners of investing each having different amount of risk so you can choose one which fits your risk endurance and bring in your money in a way likely to diversify your portfolio and secure your financial future.
Commercial Real Estate is probably the best place to begin as it appears to be more secure than the other forms of real estate investments. The main drawback of commercial real estate is the huge capital required. Very few investors would want to venture in this type of investment until they have built a sizable portfolio and have enough money to risk. Commercial real estate is stable because most tenants (businesses) would want to lease, from you, on a long-term basis. This means that, once you get a client, they will stay there for quite a long period ensuring steady income. As you are aware business do not like changing locations as this may negatively impact on them.
House Flipping is fast growing into a popular form of investment among the real estate market and many individuals have also realized that this is a quick way to spend or  make some great money. Here, the risk are high, but the rewards are equally high when a flip goes well.
Pre-Construction real estate is even riskier than the house flipping business in many instances, chiefly as it has become very popular in recent years. The trick with this kind of real estate investment is finding the right property in the right market. You stand a chance of making a fortune if you can acquire a property in a town just about to face serious shortage of housing or is in the initial stages of housing shortage. The main problem with this investment option is that it is quite speculative and very competitive.
Rent or lease to own purchases can often bring comparatively better profits. Many real estate investors prefer this option to straight up renting for many reasons. First, if you are planning to own a home you are more likely to take  better care of it than when you are  just renting. This means that if you decide to move, you won’t need extensive repairs  before you can move to the next client. You may charge slightly more than rent applying a certain amount of the monthly rent to the purchase price or down payment of the home, and you can actually be helping a family that might have hit a trouble spot along the way to achieve the American dream of home ownership.
Investing in real estate is a great way to build a fortunes enroute to financial freedom. However, you will need to decide where you want to begin your journey into this lucrative field. Bear in mind that once you have begun investing in real estate it is advisable to utilize more than one investment option for the sake of portfolio diversification and risk minimization since real estate market is very volatile.