Enhancing Communication in the Workplace

More and more SMEs and large enterprises are turning to private branch exchange (PBX) systems as an economical and efficient way of managing internal telecommunications. Venture capital firm The Insight Partners projects that the global cloud PBX market will be worth nearly $19 billion by 2027. A PBX phone system helps users to communicate using different channels such as VoIP and analog.

Small businesses can get by with one or two telephone lines. However, as the company grows, its communication needs will increase in both cost and complexity. Openvox PBX helps you simplify your corporate communications and has features absent in traditional telephony.

1. Centralized communications

Here’s a fun fact: When you’re calling another phone number, even if it’s the office beside you, the call is being handled by the phone service provider’s exchange. Calls that are routed through an external exchange might incur a charge, even if it’s local. With a PBX system, all internal calls are handled within the company.

Now imagine a company with a lot of offices and branches. Corporate telecommunications for SMEs are usually too complicated and costly for a regular phone company to handle. A PBX system allows for a private exchange at a fraction of the cost.

A PBX system also allows a single receptionist to handle company-wide external communications from a single number. If your company has a lot of departments and offices with different phone numbers, you can list just one phone number in a business card, directory, or advertisement. While you can do this without a PBX, only one person can use the system at a time. A PBX allows multiple calls to coincide.

2. Automated calling

You can eliminate the receptionist if you have a PBX. You can set up the system in a way that callers will hear an automated system instead, with voice instructions for how to transfer to a particular department or office. That way, multiple numbers can be handled at the same time.

3. Improved routing

Let’s say you’re stuck in an important meeting at the office when a client calls your number. Usually, the caller would just hang up when they realize no one is going to answer. With a PBX, you can set the phone so that the system will forward your calls to another unit if no one answers it within a certain amount of time. You can even use it to forward a call to voicemail.

This helps you design a routing system in case key people in your office are unavailable to answer the call. For instance, if one account manager is unavailable, their call will be forwarded to another member of the accounts team. This ensures that no critical call is left unanswered.

4. Minimize costs

With regular telephony, you’ll only know how many outgoing calls your office makes until the bill arrives. This can lead to out-of-control expenses for international and national calls. A PBX system allows for logging of all calls, both incoming and outgoing. This feature lets you see which numbers are making and receiving more calls, enabling you to optimize the system.

“This could’ve just been an email”: How companies utilize podcasts as means of internal communication

If you are an employer or a company leader, I’m pretty sure that not a day goes by where you don’t find yourself having a conversation with a coworker or team member about the challenges they face at work, especially when it comes to actively engaging other coworkers or teammates. 

 

Often times, trying to get a group in a room to actively talk about work challenges, or discuss ideas is already a hard task – here is where the phrase “This could’ve just been an email” would usually pop up, whether you hear them verbalize it or not.

 

And so, tactics used in engaging with employees have to continuously evolve, for efficiency purposes – that no time may be wasted, both for getting a task done as well as idea-sharing.

 

Through the years, the innovation for employee engagement has already gone from emails to video conferences, and now – internal company podcasts, specially created for employees.

 

But what is an internal podcast? It is a podcast that is mostly, but not always, distributed privately – produced by a company, for its employees. This type of podcast is aimed to create innovation when it comes to internal communication and employee engagement, to build a bridge for the communication gap between regular employees and leaders.

 

But why podcasts?

Podcasts may be rarely mentioned as a tool for internal communication. We may often find ourselves agreeing that information with visual representation may be better in general. However, it is also known that the lack of visual distractions helps in focusing someone’s full attention to what is being said.

 

So, what makes podcasts a great tool to finally utilize for internal communication? Well, here are a few reasons:

 

  • Convenience 

Listening to a podcast is very different from reading a newsletter or blog post. Unlike these, a podcast does not require a person’s complete attention – which is perfect for multi-tasking. Not only do you get to receive information while doing a task, but it also helps in reaching those employees who are too disinterested in reading written communication.

 

Aside from this, a company with remote workers would be able to reach these employees, lessening the feeling of isolation for them.

 

  • Simplicity

Creating a podcast is really quite simple to do. It also doesn’t require too much time or resources to make an episode. All you need is basic knowledge in audio editing, and audio editing software – where there are a lot of free ones available online, a decent microphone, and of course a topic that would not only pique interest but also open a venue for further discussion and engagements.

 

  • Cultural Impact

Having an internal podcast for your company helps in developing or building company culture. Among other things, you can use the podcast as a venue to share values and stories. This can also be used in celebrating the wins that would define the company. 

 

  • Development Impact

Using an internal podcast as a means of communication can also help develop each employee in learning. Episodes that tackle company and department businesses can help employees build new skills, discover new creative ideas, or even earn new strategies for a more efficient workflow.

 

  • Onboarding and Retention

Using the podcast to give new employees advice or information they need to start their career in your company will help them become a successful employee and a valuable asset. Also, having shows or episodes where important topics are discussed helps you become a good employer choice, as this would make your employees feel that you value the matters that are important to them – which is one of the best retention strategies.

 

So, if your company is looking for some new innovation for employee engagement, you may want to consider putting up an internal company podcast.

 

NOT SELFISH: Incorporating Self-Care as Part of Your Schedule

As humans, we were all raised to become social – a part of a community, meaning, most of us may also have been raised to put other people’s needs before our own. In our childhood, the story of the rainbow fish, and the giving tree, had been read to us over and over that we have actually become them at some point in our lives. And if we’re all going, to be honest, we have hit rock bottom countless times because we got drained out of energy, life, and resources, amongst other things.

 

Maybe at some point in this rock bottom, you had experienced being called selfish, or that you were greedy, just because you were unable to help. If you are currently in this position, the best thing you can do is take a breather and have at least a day off from other people.

 

I know, you’re probably thinking that it’s only going to make the situation worse. It’s not. Because as soon as you’ve recovered from all this stress that’s been building up due to your selflessness, you’ll be able to help other people better. Here are a few reasons why a day off for self-care is necessary:

 

1. You are also important

As other people may be important to you, you should also remember that you are important to other people, too. Remind yourself that you are also a son/daughter, a brother/sister, a friend, a partner/spouse and you need just as much care as anybody else, and that these people who surround you, also want you to be well and happy. Look at it like this: if everyone keeps putting others needs before their own, no one would truly get what they deserve, as we are the only ones who fully understand what we ourselves really need.

 

2. Self-care boosts morale

If your everyday schedule consists of doing favors for other people, you’ll end up being overworked and overwhelmed, and feeling stressed. Remind yourself that it’s okay to say no when the things being asked of you is unnecessary and non-beneficial to your life. 

 

Pushing yourself to do things for other people, and denying yourself rest, is the fastest way to feeling drained and unhappy.

 

Take time off, doing things you love, to give yourself some time to relax. This will bring back the balance in your brain chemistry and lift your spirits.



3. Alone time is beneficial to your well being

Alone time doesn’t necessarily need to mean not doing anything. You can use this time to meditate or look at your life from a different angle, as an outsider or observer. See if you’re making good choices for yourself. Imagine yourself as a friend, giving advice to another friend: what tips would you have given in certain aspects of the current events in your life? How would it be beneficial?

 

And if there are things you can’t seem to cope with well, you keep this serenity prayer in mind, by Niebuhr, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage, to change the things that I can, and wisdom, to know the difference.”

 

4. Resting is crucial for your overall health

When you give yourself time to rest, you offer your body time to regenerate and stay healthy. You give your body time to regenerate the good hormones that also make your mental health, proper and balanced. So remember that it’s okay to say no sometimes, and especially if you need rest.

 

Self-care is not selfish. Self-care actually keeps your life balanced and allows you to do more things for both yourself and other people. We can only give as much as we have, and the best way to keep giving is to make sure, we also have enough for ourselves.

 

The Often Overlooked Aspects of Branding

The way your company is perceived plays an extremely important role in how successful it is. That’s why you need to do everything you can to build a strong brand that appeals to your target market. With that in mind, here are a few aspects of branding that are often overlooked by business…

The design of your office space

Most brands spend a lot of time designing their logos and ensuring that their social media presence looks right for their target market, but they neglect to do the same with their offices. However, if yours is the kind of company that is likely to have clients visiting, or if you plan to post photos of your office on social media, how your workspace looks really does matter. If for example, you’re a super-modern brand but your office is old fashioned, tired and dull, it isn’t going to show your brand in the kind of light you would prefer. Whereas, if you were to fill it with lots of bright modern furniture, abstract art, and comfy couches, it would show you as being the vibrant, modern company that you want people to think you are. So, if you haven’t already, spend some time customizing your office space to make it more on brand.

Turn your employees into ambassadors

One aspect of branding that a lot of businesses miss is the part their staff has to play in their image. If your employees are enthusiastic and engaged about your company, it will reflect well on you. That’s why it’s worth putting together a decent employee benefits package, hiring vibrant people who are passionate about the job, and why you should reward your staff for any referrals that come your way – something that will encourage them to big your business up. Think about it, customers are more likely to buy from a company with happy, bubbly staff than they are from a company with downtrodden depressed employees, right?

Pimp your packaging

Something small that can make a significant difference in how your brand is viewed is the state of your packaging materials. If you use plain brown paper and bog-standard shipping labels, when you could be using polka dot packaging with bespoke shipping labels, you are missing a trick. Your packages will look dull when they could look exciting and that could be the difference between getting repeat business and not. It might not seem like it would tip the scales either way, but in a very competitive market, it’s the little things like this that make all the difference.

Your customers

As a business, your existing customers are one of the best assets you have and you can use them to improve your brand image. How? By encouraging them to write reviews, post about your own social media and…well just sing your praises from the rooftop. In order to do this effectively, you first need to do everything you can to ensure that they have a good experience when shopping with you. You then need to prompt them to act. You can do this by offering them money off their next purchase for leaving a review or by running contests for anyone who gives a testimonial, for example, and since social proof is such an important factor of brand success, I suggest you start doing this soon.

Become an expert

If you want people to take your brand seriously, one really effective thing you can do is to set yourself up as an expert within your niche. How do you do this? The easiest way is to start writing guest blog posts for other high-status blogs and websites in your niche. You can also make videos for Youtube and other media, and even try to get interviews on the TV and radio. The more often that people see your name and the name of your business alongside useful content in your niche, the more they will begin to trust your brand.

Do good

Getting your business to help out with blood drives, charity fundraisers and community projects is often overlooked, but it’s a great way to not only spin your brand in a positive light, but also to improve your own life, the lives of your staff and the lives of a myriad of other people too. It will help with staff bonding and give you all more meaning in your work.

You may not be able to implement all of these ideas, but even just incorporating a couple of them in your branding strategy is sure to pay off.

10 Ways To Set Up Your Online Business For Success

When you want to start a business online, it’s safe to say that you’re always going to want to be sure that you can find success. It’s never going to be something that you do assuming it’s going to fail. But at the same time, it can be hard to be successful in business. You may find that you don’t always know exactly what you need to do in order to find the success you need and it can be intimidating. So, it can be really helpful for you to put plans in place from the start and ensure that you feel a lot more prepared. Because when you’re thinking over all of the different things that might crop up or that you need to do, you’ll find that it’s so much easier for you to find success. And that’s what you’ll really want to do and work on before you dive into creating the business.

 

Now, this may be something that you know you need to do, but you just have no idea where to start. And that’s very much a normal thing for you to be thinking. Because when you haven’t started a business before, how do you even know where to begin? Well, that’s where this blog post comes in. If you love the idea of finding success a lot faster, rather than just bumbling along and seeing how it goes, this is going to be perfect for you. So, let’s take a look at how you can set your online business for success.

 

Set Goals

 

To begin with, you need goals. Without goals, you don’t really have any sense of direction at all. But when it comes to making your business a success, you need to know what you’re aiming for. So this is always the first thing for you to do.

 

Create An Action Plan

 

When you’ve got your goals all ironed out, you’ll then want to make sure that you create a concrete action plan. Having goals is great because they will often guide you in the right direction, but they won’t get the work done for you. And so, instead of setting goals and then just stopping and going at the work without any intention, you need a plan. Writing an action plan can help you to know what points you need to work through in order to get closer to your goals. So, this will always be an important step for you.

 

Understand Your Audience

 

So now that you know what you want, you’ll want to make sure that you know what your customer wants too. Because you’ll find that without understanding our audience and serving them, you will find it hard to make anything you create a success.

 

Be Clear On Your Intentions

 

From here, you’ll then want to make sure that you get a lot clearer on your intentions. Because you know that you have customers to serve and you need to make sure that whatever you create does that. Clearing up what you’re trying to do after this step can help.

 

Get Your Website Together

 

Now, it’s also time to work on your website. Because when you’re looking to set up an online business, your website matters. For this, you’ll want to make things like the card sorting, design, and content a priority. When it comes to making this happen, sure you can work on it on your own to begin with. But, if you do have some budget, this can be a fantastic area for you to invest in.

 

Decide On Social Media

 

And when that’s done, it’s time to think about your social media platforms. It’s fun to be on social media because you can connect directly to your audience. But, at the same time, you may find that you need to be able to choose one to begin with, build it up, and then go from there.

 

Start Your Email List Early

 

If you know anything about online business at all, then you’ll know that having an email list is important. And sometimes, this may be something that you feel like you should do when you are already successful – but it’s not. You definitely want to start your email list building as early as you can. Because it’s often the case that the earliest subscribers will be your most loyal fans!

 

Be Authentic

 

The next thing that will be really super important for you, is understanding that you need to be authentic. Because in business, authenticity really is the key. If you’re the same as another company, why would customers choose you? But if you’re authentic and you’re just yourself from the start, it’s going to be much easier for you to build the traction you want. Although it seems like you may need to do stuff to be successful – but if you do just one thing, being authentic will be so important.

 

Be Consistent

 

As a step on from that, you may find that one of the best things that can do to build your business successfully is to be consistent. If you’re only just putting in a little bit of work here and there, then it’s going to take you a long time to build things up. However, if you’re consistently working on what you need to do – even if it is an hour a day, then you’ll start to see that traction is building.

 

Solve A Problem

 

This is something that you probably already know, but if you know that you want to make your company a success, then you need to make sure that you’re problem solving. Whether you have an online product or service, your audience will love to buy from you if you are meeting their needs. So what problems does your business solve? How do you help others? Make sure that you’re serving your audience as much as you can – even for free to begin with, and go from there.

 

 

Positioning Your Business For Future Success

Your business might be doing pretty well right now, but it’s not as if ‘right now’ is going to be around all that long. The future is coming whether you like it or not, and when it does, you’ll want to ensure that your company has a good shot at staying successful. The good news about this is that you don’t necessarily need to just wait and see what happens: you can actively position your company so that it can successfully navigate whatever comes its way in the future. We take a look at a few ways to do this below.

 

Hiring for the Future

 

You might have an excellent team of staff currently, but who knows if the gang is going to stay together in the future? Everything could happen, and it’s also worthwhile to understand that your best players could move on at any given moment. As such, it’s a good idea to have an ongoing hiring process, one that’s always working to identify new potential employees. It’ll help to ensure that you’re never caught off guard, desperately trying to replace a departed member of staff.

 

Where’s the Industry Going?

 

Things change pretty quickly in the business world. Whatever industry you’re in, there will surely have been big changes over the past five years and more. And as such, you can be reasonably sure that things will look a little different a few years down the line, too. The good news is that it’s not as if you have to wait for the changes to arrive before you do anything. It’s normally possible to see what’s going to happen, just by reading trade magazines and attending trade shows. The future is very rarely a surprise!

 

Handling Future Threats

 

There are always threats to businesses, and one that is growing increasingly common is cybercrime. This has been one of the fastest growing crimes in recent years, and will likely become even more prevalent as we continue to digitize the world. To ensure that your business isn’t derailed by criminals, look at working with a company such as Plexus IT, who can help to safeguard your data and digital systems from attackers. In many cases, positioning your company to handle the problems of the future is just as important as taking positive steps.

 

Investing In Your Company

 

When things are going well, you should set aside some of your revenue to develop your company further. The impacts may not be felt immediately, but they will have an effect further in the future. If you’re taking the time to develop training courses, create a productive working environment, and invest in new technologies, then you’ll reduce the risk of being left behind.

 

Continued Innovation 

 

Finally, remember to keep on developing your products and services. This will show that you’re a company of the future as well as the present. What you currently offer may not be in demand in the future, so it’s always worthwhile looking at ways to improve and develop.

 

Going Back to School: Why It’s Never Too Late to Study

There are many reasons one put their education on hold. There could be a major life event, or the money allocated for it had to be spent elsewhere. It’s often a hard decision to make, and it could be a regret that they’ll carry throughout their adult lives.

Fortunately, going back to school and continuing your education is now easier than ever, thanks to new technology and other alternative ways of learning and teaching. If you’re still skeptical that it could work for you, check some of the reasons why it’s never too late to go back to school and learn.

It’s a Big Step to Fulfilling Your Dream

Oftentimes, we put our dreams on hold because life happens. We’re forced to go with what’s practical, putting food on the table, paying rent, and utilities, among others. That’s just life, sometimes, things don’t go our way.

Once you’ve gone over these hurdles and can find a bit of stability in life, however, don’t think that it’s too late togo back and pursue your dreams. Be it becoming a doctor, a lawyer, a chef, or anything it is you want before, you can achieve that with education. Pick up where you left off, or get a refresher to shake off the rust; just don’t stop pursuing what you want in life.

There are More Ways to Learn Now

A decade ago, the concept of distance learning was just gaining traction, so it’s not easy to find alternatives to classroom education. Nowadays, you can get take classes, supplementary lessons, and ultimately earn a degree through online learning.

There are many schools with online courses in the Philippines, so you can study for a degree without even leaving your home if you wish. There are even more short courses offered nowadays, so if you wish to learn a new skill, you can just spend a couple of hours every day watching video instruction for that. You can learn anything under the sun online, from cooking to coding, to building a house or fixing your car. Just be selective of where you get these lessons or classes from.

Learn at Your Leisure

Before, learners are left with no other choice but to stick with specific schedules for courses that they want. If you’re having traditional classroom education, you have no choice but to stick with your chosen schedule and risk forfeiting whatever you’ve spent when you’re not able to keep up.

Now, you have an array of choices not only for subjects you wish to learn but also with the schedule and even the instructor. If you’re relying on online courses, you can select what you think fits your work or home activities, so you don’t need to change anything in your everyday life. If you think you can only manage two hours of class every day, then so be it. But in case you want to have supplementary classes on weekends, that’s also possible.

If you want to go back to school even after taking a break for quite some time, go ahead. Don’t let your age hinder you from fulfilling your dreams. There are now many ways to get an education you want, and you can even learn at your leisure.

Adulting 101: Top Financial Moves for You

 

Remember the time when you were younger, when you wanted to buy that gaming console but you don’t have the money for it? Now that you’re working and you have the means to buy anything you want, should you? Is it okay to spend your hard-earned money on anything you want, anytime you want it, just because it’s yours to spend? The answer’s quite obvious: no, you shouldn’t. Even when you finally have purchasing power, you should still watch when you spend or invest your money. Don’t know where to start? Check out this list to find out what financial moves you should make now that you’re earning.

 

Save Depending on Your Long-term Plan

Saving is the obvious answer to your question about what you should do with your money. But it’s a very broad answer that you need to narrow down first in order to have a solid course of action. Are you planning to retire early, or are you looking to work on a normal timeline, up to your late 50’s/early 60’s? If you plan to retire early, you need to save-and eventually, invest-aggressively. If possible, save everything in excess of your daily living allowance (food, commute, rent, and other necessities). You don’t have to worry about budgeting for parties and other recreational activities because you shouldn’t be doing much of that since your main goal is to save up. Again, you’re planning for an early retirement, so you’ll be doing all that partying/travelling/living life to the fullest AFTER you’ve retired.

 

Now, if you have no problem with the regular working timeline and retirement age at 60, you should still need to save a portion of your salary. Only this time, you’ll be saving for your future family. You also don’t have to deprive yourself of material wants and needs. Travel and experience the world as you like, because you’ll still be retiring at 60, so you might want to enjoy most of your younger years.

 

Take Out Your First Loan

You might think this is counter intuitive to the topic because one, you don’t want any long-term debt, and two, you don’t need the money just yet. But taking out your first loan, whether you need it or not, can be helpful for you in the long run. You see, credit data providers in the Philippines use this information if you plan to take out a bigger loan in the future. For example, you’ve taken small salary loans when you can, and you pay them on time, always, you’ll have a better credit score and a better chance to get approved for a bigger loan. Also, taking out your first loan gives you a windfall that you can use for many things, like starting a business or a side hustle to earn more and save more. Speaking of side hustle

 

Invest or Start a Business on the Side

The best time to invest or start your own business is when you still have a day job. This way, you’ll have legitimate ways to fund your business, without borrowing money from your family or for taking out any more loans. A portion of the money you save every month can be allocated to your stock portfolio, or as funds for a small business that your family or friend runs. If you’re willing to take a bigger risk, you can also start your own business. You’ll provide goods and services, while you’re still employed.

 

These are some of the basic financial moves you can make as a working adult to ensure your future financial stability. While it may seem daunting and overwhelming, at times, it is very possible to achieve financial freedom, one step at a time.

 

 

Quiet Entrepreneur: Loud Brand

When many people envision entrepreneurs the imagine brash, commanding and (in some cases) even intimidating presences. They imagine shameless self-promoters and career boasters. But the truth is that many entrepreneurs are quiet, unassuming and introverted people just like you. They are confident in their knowledge and skills, but can get very uncomfortable with the idea of promoting themselves. Still, just because you’re a quiet entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you can’t (or shouldn’t) have a loud brand.

 

Indeed, in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace where consumers know that they can afford to be fickle, quiet entrepreneurs need to learn to shout in all the right ways to make their voices heard as their competitors all vie for the attention of their customers. 

 

Here are some ways in which you can make your brand’s voice heard…

 

A multi-pronged approach to SEO

 

Visibility is essential, especially if you want to make contact with consumers at those intent-rich micro moments when consumers typically reach for a mobile device. You’ll need a multi-pronged approach to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) that addresses all of the following;

 

  • On-page SEO, keyword use and readability and UX factors which influence SEO
  • Off-page SEO including building links from trusted high domain authority sources
  • Technical SEO auditing and fixing issues which may go unnoticed by an untrained eye but will be red flags for search engine crawlers. 

 

A digital marketing agency can help to elevate your brand’s visibility with a raft of on and off page strategies which are matched to your business’ specific needs and goals. 

 

Building brand value through thought leadership

 

You might not like to brag about your experience, expertise, insights and reflections on your industry. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have tangible value for people in your core market. Creating valuable thought leadership copy such as blog posts, videos, tutorials, “How To” guides, white papers and ebooks are all great ways to showcase your expertise and build value in your brand by building trust in you. 

 

If you can spare the time to venture out from behind your laptop you’ll find a wealth of other opportunities to deliver thought leadership like public speaking at industry events, running workshops for other business’ employees, or appearing on podcasts and radio shows. If you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone and engage with both people in your target audience and non-competing businesses, you can find that it builds tremendous value in your personal brand. If you’re not sure where to start, there are agencies which can also help with facilitating this.  

 

Looking for opportunities to collaborate with other brands

 

Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum, which is why competitor analysis should be an ongoing part of your business’ operations. Nonetheless, it’s not just competing brands that you should keep an eye on. There may be other businesses out there which can provide interesting opportunities for co-branding and collaboration. Co-branding is advantageous for businesses in a number of ways, especially relatively new businesses which are still establishing themselves. 

 

First of all, they get to piggyback on one another’s brand recognition and introduce themselves to a whole new target audience. People who trust your brand will likely also trust any brands with which you ally yourself, and vice versa. 

 

What’s more, co-branding can introduce you to interesting people who are just as passionate and motivated as you are. People with whom you experiment with different ideas, take risks and think outside the box. This in turn can lead to the creation of some interesting and innovative new products and services that can elevate the appeal of both brands. Not to mention affording you new contacts and potentially even new friendships. 

 

Following through on the promises you make

 

Finally, nothing speaks ,more loudly or eloquently than ensuring that your operations follow through with the promises inherent in your brand and your marketing. Otherwise your marketing will come across as so much bluster and consumers will disregard you as another blow-hard who fails to deliver where it matters most. Ensuring outstanding customer service, reliable and innovative products and content that brings value to the consumer are all essential considerations when it comes to following through with your branding. 

 

Your brand isn’t just a logo. It’s in everything you do. It’s how you train your employees, how you decorate your premises, the UX of your website and the quality control you exert over your products. 

 

Your brand is awesome, and its voice is well worth listening to. The strategies above can ensure that your voice is heard. 



Family Financial Planning–Keep These Tips in Mind

Creating the right financial plan and sticking to it is key to avoiding some of the money mistakes that often arise in families. Financial planning experts believe that with these tips, you can be smart about your money and get what you want from it.

Dealing with family financial challenges

If you’re facing economic difficulties as a couple, remember you’re not alone. Most couples go through the same situation. The most important thing to do amidst a severe financial crisis is to devise a plan to come out of it. Studies have shown that finances are among the major causes of family disputes, and it gets more serious with children in the picture. Issues such as spending, saving, investing, sharing bills, and many more are at the center of money challenges.

All the same, as noted earlier, what you do to come out of the situation is the most important part. Therefore, the following tips could help you get out of the predicament and to avoid falling into the same trap again.

Have mutual finance goals

One of the most important decisions you can make as a family is to develop financial goals that both you agree with. Both of you must agree on what you want to do with money, who will do what, and how you plan to save and invest. This could go a long way to avoid avenues for disagreements. Concisely, ensure that you develop and accomplish your family goals jointly right from the beginning.

Know your starting point

A journey of a thousand miles, they say, starts with a single step. And so, effective financial planning begins with knowing your net worth-what you have at hand, both in terms of assets and liabilities. Every single line in your balance sheet tells a story. Your list of debts can be a great eye-opener, so don’t be ashamed of your past actions. Learn from your mistakes (failed ventures, unnecessary loans, etc.) and move forward without pointing fingers, rotating in guilt, and playing avoidance.

Buy enough insurance-early

Two mistakes often happen with life insurance. First, people fail to buy it-either because it doesn’t seem to be urgent if they’re in good health or because it generates conversation on issues they would rather avoid. Besides, many people let fear control their decision when they purchase life insurance.

In the Philippines, it’s advisable to engage a reliable expert in insuranceto help you understand more about specific packages. All the same, [life insurance] is about handling economic loss and not an emotional one.

Maintain absolute honesty in family finances

As a couple, you should be completely honest with each other. Most family disputes arise when one partner feels shortchanged. Therefore, transparency is very important from the onset. Be open about what you earn to erase any doubt about what you can afford to contribute toward family goals. Be open about your credit history, the loans you have, credit cards, and anything that touches your financial life.

Importantly, wrap it up with a budget, which is a guideline to help you go about how you use the money. Once made, stick to the budget to avoid impulse spending. A great lesson is to live within your means.