How Virtual Assistants Can Save You Time and Money

A lot of businesses run mostly online these days.  Businesses can be fully functional on a completely virtual basis because all marketing, promoting, information sharing, sales, communications and personal assistance can be done over the internet.  But all of these small tasks can end up consuming a lot of your time and you still have other parts of your business to attend to such as the product- manufacturing, packaging, delivering, tracking and your business paperwork not to mention salaries, bills, equipment, equipment repairs and staff issues.  And that is just the tip of your business.  You also have to constantly analyze the financial health of your company and you constantly have to work out new marketing strategies and try to invent new ways to expand your business.  A virtual assistant might be just what you need to help take off the load, save you time, money and even make your business much more profitable. What exactly is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant is someone that provides services to a company from a remote destination.  These virtual assistants can be hired on freelance basis or permanently.  Virtual assistants are quite diverse but mostly provide administrative, creative, design, technical or data work for you but they can handle any job that can be done or sent over the internet. Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant There are lots of benefits to virtual assistants.  You often get higher skilled individuals at a much more affordable rate since most virtual assistants work from their home.  Virtual assistants can save you a lot of time because they can handle a lot of tedious work on your behalf and if you find a skilled virtual assistant you can even enjoy a much more profitable business thanks to the input you receive. Where to find cheap virtual assistants? Miles Beckler is a terrific writer that has a website; MilesBeckler.com where you can find the best information for the best online marketing strategies.  He recently wrote a great article on where to find the best Cheap VA for your company.  The article is free to anyone who wants to read it and the advice he gives in his article is great for directing you to the best agency for scouting VA and tips for finding the best and most suitable candidates for your company. Can you work with an international VA? One of the big benefits of hiring a VA is the fact that you don’t have to hire locally or even in your own country for that matter. You can scout for international virtual assistants and improve the likelihood of finding the best talent and you can find better talent a lot more affordably since the money currency difference between first and third world countries makes it possible for people to work for far less. Virtual assistant VS physical employee Yes, there are some benefits to hiring a permanent employee such as the ability to delegate other small tasks to these permanent employees but with virtual assistants you can get much higher skill levels at

That’s why it’s so tough to save money!

Budgeting is tough, particularly when you're trying to actually set some money aside for the future. Like losing weight or battling any addiction, saving money resides in the realm of behaviour that sometimes seems immune to rational solutions, says one ex-banker turned blogger. But it's often tough to get out of the gate without some help. My guess is that the best person to help you figure out how to save money is somebody who has suffered from living beyond their means in the past, and who has developed effective strategies for overcoming this problem, he says. But if that person isn't readily available to you, you still need to figure out what's holding you back. That means tricking that rational mind and helping it get with the programme, he suggests, including developing a better sense of just what's going on upstairs. Here are a few things to consider: 1. The Hawthorne effect: Just as scientists acknowledge that observing something inevitably alters it, the longer and more closely you begin to observe your spending patterns, the more likely you are to shift them in a more positive direction. That skew that frustrates scientists will nudge you to better choices. 2. Radical transparency: Everybody like a pat on the back but not when it comes to dealing with money troubles. Don't flash the cash and pretend that everything is ok. If you can steer your mind away from keeping your spending patterns secret, you may be able to tap into positive peer pressure from partners or friends. This could boost your determination when it comes to making difficult money-saving decisions. 3. Out of sight, out of mind: If you don’t have money in your hand, or don't spend a lot of time checking your bank balance, it’s much easier to forget that you ever had the money in the first place. Which, naturally, means you’re more likely to save rather than spend. Each of these techniques operates on the subconscious in a way that doesn’t make perfect sense. But because that’s often where the problem lies in saving money so perhaps the solution resides there as well. Do you find it tough to save? How have you managed to break those poor spending

RRSP season is nothing to sneeze at

Enough about flu season – it’s time to stop sniffling and start seriously thinking about RRSP season. The deadline date for making contributions to the Registered Retirement Savings Plan for the 2012 taxation year is just around the corner on March 1. An RRSP is a plan that helps you save for retirement while offering you some other great tax benefits. For instance, deductible RRSP contributions can reduce the amount you owe on your income tax or even give you a bigger refund (depending on your income). And, as long as the funds remain in the plan they are exempt from tax as it grows. You don’t have to make one annual lump sum to contribute to an RRSP either. RRSPs can be made easier to carry through monthly payments that suit your budget needs. However, if you are considering making a lump sum contribution before the March 1 deadline but don’t have the on-hand cash, another option is to talk to your financial advisor about an RRSP loan. There is a maximum amount you can contribute to an RRSP based on your income and how much you previously contributed. You can contribute 18 per cent of your previous year’s income, up to a maximum of $23,820 in 2013. But keep in mind, if you didn’t contribute the maximum in previous years your deduction limit will be higher. Also, if you contribute to a workplace pension plan your deduction limit will be lower.You can set up a RRSP through your financial institution such as a bank, credit union, trust company or insurance company. You may also want to consider setting up a spousal or common-law partner RRSP. The bonus to this plan is that if the higher-income spouse or common-law partner contributes to the RRSP for the lower- income spouse/common-law partner then the contributor gets the short-term benefit of the tax deduction while the spouse or common-law partner receives the income and reports it on his or her income tax return. While we’re on the topic of income tax, the deadline for personal income tax is April 30, 2013 while those who are self-employed have until June 15 unless there is a balance owed and then the deadline is April 30, 2013. As with everything in life, make sure you do your research and find out more about Registered Retirement Savings Plans and the benefits. Click on the Canada Revenue Agency link for some helpful information on RRSPs. Will you be considering contributing to an RRSP this

How are you going to save in 2013?

If you’re like me it isn’t always easy trying to save money. It seems whenever I put a little money away into a savings account or a secret stash at home some unexpected expense always seems to arise. Car repairs, home repairs and uncovered medical expenses can pop up at any time. Begrudgingly, I am forced to dig into what little savings I have or choose to add onto my already pumped up credit cards. But I am optimistic. According to a new report from BMO Bank of Montreal, Canadians are planning to save on average about $9,859 this year. That’s an increase of $600 over the previous year. And how do they intend to save? Well, the majority are using a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), 63 per cent; chequing account, 57 per cent; Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), 49 per cent; high-interest savings account, 29 per cent; and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), 25 per cent. Ernie Johannson, Senior Vice President, Personal Banking, BMO, says it’s encouraging to see Canadians increasing their savings this year. While it's important to pay down debt - particularly high-interest debt - it's essential that households build themselves a financial cushion as well, whether it be for retirement or other goals. And just what are Canadians saving for? Well, the report, conducted by Pollara, indicates the majority are saving for vacations and for purchasing luxury items, entertainment and hobbies. Retirement and emergency savings tied for second spot. Other top things Canadians are saving for include home renovations (29 per cent); new vehicle (20 per cent); education (19 per cent); and a new home (15 per cent). The report also found that men plan on saving a little bit more than their counterparts by hoping to stash away $11,631 compared to the ladies with $8,091. And by province it appears that Albertans plan on saving the most with $18,035; followed by British Columbia, $11,109; Ontario, $10,465; Manitoba and Saskatchewan, $9702; Atlantic provinces, $6,698; and Quebec, $5,477. It’s always nice to be able to put a little away for a rainy day however, the study found that only half of Canadians polled feel they are saving enough to meet their goals. Some of the barriers to increased savings include high expenses (71 per cent); low income (65 per cent); and debt repayment (52 per cent). Now I can relate to that! Check out the full report here.Will you be saving money this