The Importance of Budgeting – Planning Your Financial Present and Future

Budgeting is about planning your financial present and future. It is one of the most important steps to take on your financial journey and is an integral part of financial planning.

Planning entails setting some goals to aim for in the future. Whether your goal is to save more or pay off debt, or perhaps both, you need to understand your spending habits.

In order to understand your spending habits take one of the following steps:

Research past bank statements and receipts. While this is time-consuming it is eye-opening…or
Record all of your spending over the next month or so in a small notebook. This means recording everything from bills to cash spending. Once again a surprise is likely to be in store.
Set your budget and include savings (for the future) or to pay-off debt goals (the present). A budget is not merely a spreadsheet that tracks how much you spend for the month and it is not just balancing tool. While both of these are both important, neither fits the meaning of living within a budget — your spending habits will control that.

Your present expenses are those that are needed for day-to-day living. These include essential expenses such as accommodation costs of rent or mortgage. It includes payment of debt and your utility costs as well as food and groceries. Some expenses are fixed in that they do not change each month while others vary from month to month. Having your present spending requirements fit within your income will mean living without getting yourself into uncontrolled debt. A budget is essential to know that you are living within your means.

Once you have determined how much money you have after paying all your essential monthly expenses, set aside a portion to save for your future expenses. You have no doubt heard the adage ‘pay yourself first’. The idea is to put 10% of all income into long-term investment for your future — this is considered the ideal percentage. Pay yourself as part of your essential spending and make it a habit.

Expenses for your future involve putting money aside for your goals: buying a house, saving for children’s education, holidays and retirement to name a few. Each goal will have an amount to save for in your budget. Open a savings account specifically for your goals and transfer a set amount to that account every time you get paid. Making it automatic makes it a habit and tends not to be missed after a while…and it will gradually build up a sizable sum. When you are ready to spend on your goal you will already have the money set aside.

The importance of budgeting is living within the limits of your income and sticking to spending goals. This can be very rewarding, emotionally and financially. Planning your financial present and future depends on a good budget.

Make a Splash with the Right Presentation and Meeting Supplies

It has never been more important for business owners to make a great impression and project the utmost professionalism when they detail what their firms have to offer. Using the right presentation supplies is an essential part of doing business, and a winning presentation is one of the most effective of all business tools.

Whether that presentation takes place at the local trade show or in the office, it is essential for businesses of all sizes to invest in top quality presentation supplies and meeting supplies. High quality presentation supplies and meeting supplies will help business owners project the professional image that gets results, while poor quality supplies can lead to failed presentations and even lost business.

It is important for those business owners to carefully choose the presentation and meeting supplies that best meet their needs. The business owner or office manager will need to look carefully at the type of room where the presentations will be held, including the size of the projection screen, the type of projector that will be used and the lighting options that will be available. The task of matching presentation and meeting supplies to the room available will be easier if that room is in the office, but it is important for remote locations as well.

The type of lighting available in the room is an important consideration when shopping for the right presentation and meeting supplies, and it is important to consider this factor carefully before getting started. Adding a dimmer option to the lighting in the conference rooms and presentation centers can greatly increase the flexibility and efficiency of any training session, and dimming the lighting can help make the presentation projector provide a higher quality image as well. It is a good idea for business owners to test their presentation under many different types of lighting, including full sunlight, in order to choose the presentation supplies and meeting supplies that will provide the best impression for visitors, guests and clients.

It is also essential for those business owners to ensure that the meeting supplies chosen have a professional look. The meeting supplies that are chosen should give visitors and meeting attendees a good first impression, and high quality supplies will help to ensure that a professional image is maintained throughout that winning presentation.

5 Terrific Tips to Boost Your Presentation Skills

1. Prepare Your Material

One of the keys to a successful presentation is “knowing your stuff.” Regardless of what you will be talking about, you need to be as informed and knowledgeable as you can possibly be. Do an in-depth study of the materials you will be presenting or discussing.

Know it all-inside and out. Be prepared to answer any questions about the material that might arise. Then create an outline or bullet points to work from for your actual presentation. Don’t read from a speech word for word; that sounds unnatural and forced.

2. Prepare Yourself

Once you know your material, it’s time to get yourself ready for the big presentation. You want to dress for success and wear comfortable shoes, be well groomed, and portray confidence when you speak in public. But it also important to prepare yourself mentally. Take deep breaths and do other physical exercises to help you get ready and avoid the jitters. Eat or drink something prior to the big moment. Go to the bathroom. Check your hair. Do whatever you need to get psyched up for what you are about to do.

Most importantly, imagine everything going right, visualize your success, and remember you are there to help other people in some way via the information you are presenting, so you are there to provide a valuable service.

3. Hold Their Attention

Know your audience. If possible, find out as much about the demographics (age, background, sex, etc.) of the group you will speak to, so you can customize your presentation to better meet their needs. Then take it a step further. Learn the stages listeners go through during a presentation so you can use techniques that will hold your audience’s attention-from the beginning to the end.

Tell stories, use analogies, include metaphors and similes, share handouts, incorporate multi-media such as visuals or music, and infuse your presentation with humor. Utilize whatever is at your disposal to keep them engaged.

4. Choose Power Words For Impact

Your choice of words can often make an incredible difference in your presentation. Depending on the topic, certain words hold an almost magical power-creating dynamic impact for the audience. Some words call listeners to action. Others help them visualize their potential. Choose certain specific words that hold power for your particular audience, write them on your outline in bold letters, and deliberately use them as appropriate during your presentation, especially at the beginning and the end-in your opening and closing. Whenever possible, tie the beginning and the end of your presentation together to provide a feeling of closure and indicate that your presentation is complete.

5. Maximize Your Effect

There are various techniques you can learn and use to maximize your personal effect on your audience. From how you dress to the gestures you use (or don’t use) and the inflections in your voice, your body language creates an impression that can either support or negate your message and enhance or detract from your presentation. You want to make deliberate choices about the body language you use and the other non-verbal clues and cues you give your audience.

One of the best ways to do this is to experiment by giving your presentation (to yourself) in front of a mirror and trying different motions, gestures, expressions, and voice inflections to develop the impression you want to leave. You may also wish to practice in front of a “test” audience of people you trust and ask for their feedback.