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Dear Cassey: I want to avoid fitness misinformation, but I’m not sure how.

Dear Cassey,

How do I sort through fact and fiction in regard to health and nutrition? It’s so hard to tell what’s just clickbait and what is actually going to be an effective workout or helpful nutrition tips. Where do you get yours and what is a reliable source for this sticky subject? I don’t want to get caught listening to scary diet culture fads.

Thanks!

Curious but Cautious

stack of books on a desk with wooden background

Dear Curious but Cautious,

YES this is such a good question. The internet is such a blessing and a curse, right? On one hand, we have access to endless information. But on the other hand… we have access to endless information. It’s really hard sometimes to figure out what’s true vs. what is just clickbait like you said, or straight up fitness misinformation.

Sorting through can be exhausting, and I think that’s why so many people give up on healthy eating and exercise before they even get started! This was true for me for a loonnng time too. I lost count of how many diet and workout “tricks” I tried before I finally figured it out. Here’s what I’ve learned!

If it sounds like clickbait, it probably is.

‘Clickbait’ is just a catchy headline that draws you in to click on an article. It could be something like, “Did I Just Discover A New Weight Loss Miracle?” or “I Lost 20 Pounds Eating Pizza Every Day.”

These headlines are a little ridiculous, but they tempt you to read more. What I’ve learned is, if the headline is super clickbaity and dramatic, it’s probably not a great source of factual information.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Similar to the clickbait thing, but a little different. If someone posts about a workout that promises a 6-pack in 5 days, or a weight loss tea that claims it will help you lose 10 pounds in 10 days, it’s probably best to skip it.

First of all, there’s a lot more to visible abs than just doing ab workouts. And losing 10 pounds by drinking any tea probably means that you’re also going to A. starve yourself and/or B. spend a lot of time in the bathroom (yes, that’s how those teas “work”).

The point is, any person or product that promotes a quick fix probably isn’t worth your time. A true expert will promote slow, sustainable change. They will also encourage you to put in the work in ALL areas – diet, exercise, sleep, stress, etc.

Follow the pros

Fill your follow list with legit, credentialed experts. The certified personal trainers and fitness instructors, exercise physiologists, the registered dietitians. These professionals are trained to provide sound, science-backed advice. They will always cite their sources and/or consult with other professionals in their content and products.

If you see someone shelling advice or products that seems way off from what the pros are saying, its probably a sign that it’s not great advice.

Follow your gut

Even if something seems really legit at first, it won’t take you long to realize that maybe it’s not the path you want to go down. If you give some diet advice a try and a week in you’re feeling restricted, it’s probably not for you.

If you follow a page that shoves calorie counting and strict elimination diets with no flexibility or concern for your personal needs, it’s probably not for you.

If the product you’re thinking about trying makes intense and endless demands (i.e. replace your meals with this tea/shake/bar, forever), your gut feeling that it’s not worth the money is probably right.

Overall, truly sound diet and fitness advice will seem much milder than the advice that isn’t quite as factual. The root of all good advice will always be the sustainable change that is appropriate for you.

Remember there is no one-size fits all approach

There isn’t really one thing that will work for everyone! What I learned that made the biggest difference in my own journey was that it’s up to me to figure out what my body needs. No one on Instagram can tell me. Even if you work 1:1 with a professional, you still have to take the information they give you and apply it. You have to take an honest look at what you can do well and what you can sustain.

Hopefully, this advice helps you filter out all of the bad advice out there so you can crush whatever goals you’re working on! 

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

What Does Being ‘Good with Money’ Actually Look Like?

People tend to talk about being financially savvy in a black and white way. You’re either good with money or you’re not.

But as with most things related to your finances, it’s a little more complicated than that. You could be great at earning money and terrible at saving it – or vice versa. You could have an impressive net worth and a terrible credit score. You could be the world’s greatest budgeter and the world’s worst investor.

In other words, being “good with money” can mean a lot of things. Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to consider.

Metrics to Track

While there’s not a single figure that shows you’re good with money, there are some numbers you can track to see how you’re doing (Mint tracks these for you):

Net Worth

Your net worth is your total assets minus your liabilities. Assets include the money in your bank accounts, investment accounts, collectible items, home equity and more. Liabilities include what you owe, like your credit card balance, auto loans, student loans, mortgage balance and more.

To calculate your net worth, add up your assets and liabilities separately. Then, subtract the liabilities from the assets. Don’t be surprised if your net worth is negative. That means you owe more money than you currently have. Recent graduates and young adults often have a negative net worth, especially if they have a lot of student loans.

But as you get older, your net worth should increase as you pay down debt and start investing consistently. Try to track your net worth a couple times a year. You can create your own spreadsheet or use Mint’s net worth tracker.

“Over time you will see your assets really starting to grow,” said Ryan C. Phillips, CFA, CFP, and founder of GuidePoint Financial Planning. “The success from this can be really motivating and many times will lead individuals to save and invest even more.”

Credit Score

Your credit score shows how responsible you are as a borrower. Potential lenders, utility companies, cell phone providers, car insurance companies and landlords will look at your credit score before approving you.

A credit score doesn’t take your savings rate or investment success into account, so it’s not a holistic number. But it does show if you’re good at borrowing money and paying it back. Even if you plan to avoid taking out loans, you may still need a good credit score.

Meeting Your Personal Goals

Being good with money doesn’t mean reaching the same financial goals that everyone else aspires to. For example, many believe that owning a home is necessary for financial success, but if you move around frequently for work, buying a house each time may actually negatively impact your finances. In this example, renting may be a better use of your funds.

“Money is simply a tool that you can use to reach your personal goals and live a simpler, happier and less stressful life,” said financial planner Kyle Simmons of Simmons Investment Management LLC.

Make a list of your goals, like becoming self-employed, traveling abroad once a year or switching to part-time work. Then, figure out how your finances can help you achieve those goals.

Monitoring Your Expenses

Even if you don’t follow a strict budget, looking at your transactions at least every month is wise. You’ll only notice fraudulent purchases, mistakes and surprise expenses if you actually read through your statements regularly.

Ideally, you should know how much you spend on major categories like housing, transportation, groceries, insurance and entertainment. You should also be aware of how much you’re saving and if that savings rate corresponds to your goals.

How to Get Good With Money

Want to be better with finances? Here are a few places to start:

Start a budget

Creating and following a budget is one of the first steps to becoming better with your finances. By creating a budget, you can reduce your spending and increase your savings. You can start saving for long-term goals like retirement or short-term goals like starting your own business.

Use Mint to examine your current expenses and see where you can cut back to pay off debt and save more. Mint will notify you when you’re close to exceeding your budget and when you’re close to reaching your goals.

Don’t be afraid to invest

Paying off debt and saving money are fairly straightforward tasks for many consumers. If you want to pay off debt faster, just add more money to your monthly payment.

But investing is more complicated, so many consumers avoid tackling it. Unfortunately, if you don’t invest, you’ll likely never save enough to be able to completely retire. Learning how investing works and what options are available is a non-negotiable aspect of being good with money.

Be willing to learn

The world of personal finance is vast and ever-changing. Investing in cryptocurrency was unheard of for most people just a few years ago, and now it’s common practice. Before the 2018 tax law, homeowners often itemized their tax deductions. Now most consumers take the standard deduction.

Stay up to date with personal finance news by following personal finance influencers, perusing financial publications like Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and reading the latest money bestsellers.

If you want more personal advice, consider hiring a fee-only financial planner. You can find a trustworthy planner through the Garrett Planning Network, the XY Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

Becoming Good with Money Takes Time

Because most schools don’t teach personal finance and many parents don’t discuss money with their kids, it’s no wonder that most of us leave home without the financial skills needed to build a secure future. “I think too many people say that they are or aren’t good at money like it’s a natural skill, but it’s really something that can be worked on,” said financial planner Thomas Kopelman of AllStreet Wealth.

Becoming more educated about personal finance is like learning a new language. You wouldn’t shame yourself for not speaking French fluently after just a few classes, so don’t shame yourself for not knowing the difference between a personal loan and a payday loan when you’ve never been taught.

The post What Does Being ‘Good with Money’ Actually Look Like? appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Meet The First Ever POPFLEX Basics Collection!!!!

Hey guys!

When I designed Cottagecore, it was a step down from Tropicana in terms of boldness. It was a softer, more dreamy feel. For this new POPFLEX collection, I wanted to take it down another notch. I wanted to design a collection that would be timeless, with pieces you’re always reaching for in your closet.

What I wasn’t expecting was how challenging it would be for me to tone it down! Thankfully, I had your input on your favorite styles to guide me. And, you know I love a good challenge.

My vision for this collection was that section of your closet that you can always fall back on. The shirt that you feel lost without when it’s dirty. The leggings you always dig for. That cozy, neutral hoodie that you bring with you everywhere, just in case.

This collection is all about staples. The go-with-anything pieces that you don’t have to think twice about. The ones you hold onto until they literally fall apart.

Can you tell I’m excited?!!! Introducing…

The first EVER Basics Collection.

AHHHH!!!!

Everything you need in a good basic, you’ll find in this collection:

  Easy colors that go with every outfit, for every season

  Pieces that work on their own, or as layers

  Pockets in EVERYTHING

🖤  Your most loved styles

Okayyyyy enough talking. LET’S see the POPFLEX Basics Collection!!! 

cassey ho popflex active basics collection peek a boo short onesie
group shot modeling popflex basics collection hoodies, leggings, bike shorts, sports bra, short onesie

MEET THE ONESIES

Okay I had to start with these because I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THEM.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember me asking for your opinion on workout onesies more than once. I really wanted to design one because they are just so fun, but I wasn’t sure how the idea would actually turn out in real life.

You said you were here for it, and I am so glad you did because THEY ARE AMAZING. So amazing, that I made two!

The Peek-A-Boo Onesie

This one piece outfit is just as comfy as it is functional. It’s made with super soft double-brushed fabric that stretches and moves with you, while keeping you secure. It features a square neck, deep pockets, a low open back, and a peek-a-boo hole in the front. Plus, flattering details to cinch your waist and booty lifting seams.

The Peek-A-Boo Short Onesie

Just like the Peek-A-Boo onesie, but with shorts! I added a silicone grip strip to keep the shorts from riding up, because who has time for that?! Not us.

cassey ho posing in popflex basics collection peek a boo onesie
popflex basics peek a boo onesie and short
popflex basics collection peek a boo onesie low back cutout

There’s always room for new black tights

If you don’t have a drawer or section of your closet dedicated to black workout leggings, then you might be doing it wrong.

The Timeless Legging With Pockets are the ultimate activewear staple. They check all of the boxes: high-waisted, squat-proof, AND pockets.

model wearing black timeless tights by popflex active basics
popflex timeless tights in black with pockets

Your favorite Ultimate Hourglass Legging is BACK

Don’t worry, these aren’t going away any time soon! You love these. I love these. How could this staple NOT be in the staple collection?!

You know why these leggings are amazing:

The oh-so flattering V-cut waistband

The new seam-free front panel (byeeee camel toe)

Squat-proof, soft, and supportive ButterSoft Brushed fabric

POCKETS

popflex basics ultimate hourglass legging black captivate bra mocha
popflex ultimate hourglass legging v front mocha
popflex basics collection ultimate hourglass legging in black and mocha

Never letting go of bike shorts <3

They’re just too good.

You’ve seen these Supersculpt Shorts before. They have all of the necessary features like pockets and a high waist silhouette. In this collection, we added our new seam-free font panel and neutral colors – black and mocha.

popflex supersculpt short in mocha cassey ho
popflex supersculpt short black

Your favorite basic but not too basic sports bras

These are the sports bras you live in, whether you’re working out or not. I mean, I wear them as crop tops ALL THE TIME. They’re comfy and supportive. And now, they’re neutral and ready to pair with pretty much anything.

The Corset Bra – Black

I loooove the flattering square neckline and criss-cross back design on this one. Wearing it always makes me feel super strong, but feminine.

The Captivate Bra – Black and Mocha 

For lower-impact workouts, lounging, or running errands. This bra has a wider neckline and a sexy open back.

Pair either one with the Ultimate Hourglass Legging, Supersculpt Short, or Timeless Legging!

popflex basics corset bra in black wide straps criss cross back detail
popflex captivate bra and supersculpt short with pockets in mocha
cassey ho modeling popflex basics collection captivate bra and supersculpt short mocha

It’s not a Basics Collection without the comfiest tee EVER

Yuppp, the Explore Tee is BACK! The perfect layering piece, now in FOUR colors:

Heather grey

Black

White

Taupe

popflex basics collection group shot explore tee heather grey, black, white, and taupe
explore tee heather grey back cutout popflex basics

The return of the Cloud Hoodie

Your love for this hoodie was LOUD AND CLEAR. I’m just as obsessed and wear mine almost daily. It’s amazing and absolutely necessary in every wardrobe.

Sorry in advance, because now you have to decide between black, heather grey, sand, and cream. Or just grab them all?!

cassey ho wearing cloud hoodie cream and supersculpt short mocha popflex basics
popflex basics cloud hoodie heather grey back
popflex basics collection cloud hoodie group cream, heather grey, sand, black

Shop The Basics Collection

And your new favorite top layer – The Belle Sweater

This crew neck pullover is going to be one of your favorite pieces of the season. Whether you’re dressing it up or down, the Belle Sweater will keep you cozy and looking effortlessly chic.

Available in two colors – black and oat.

popflex belle sweater basics collection black and oat
popflex basics belle sweater oat

YAYYY that’s everything from the Basics Collection!! Which pieces are calling your name?! 

popflex basics collection group back view cloud hoodie onesie captivate bra supersculpt
cassey ho popflex active basics peek a boo onesie black with hat

Shop The Basics Collection

Getting My Finances Together: Where Do I Even Start?

If you’ve decided to take control of your finances, you might be wondering how to start and what are the first things that you’ll want to do. If this sounds like where you are in your life, first of all, congratulations! Deciding to take control of getting your finances is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make. Getting control of your finances is the first step towards achieving the financial life that you’ve always wanted.

Decide to start

Actually deciding to start is probably the most important step, so if you’re already there you are one step ahead of many others out there. An important next step can be to share your journey with others. You don’t have to tell the entire world all of the details about your financial situation, but there is value in not just keeping this all in your head. Remember that goals that aren’t written down are just wishes. So write your decision down and share it with a trusted friend or family member.

After you’ve decided to start getting your finances together, you will want to know exactly where you stand. One way to do that is to take a look at your credit report to know what information lenders are seeing about you. You can get your free credit score for free by using Mint, and you’re also eligible to get a free credit report once every twelve months from the three main credit issuers. Review your credit report carefully and make sure to challenge any mistakes or inaccuracies that are on your report.

Make a plan (and a budget)

Once you have written down your decision to start getting your finances together, it’s time to come up with a plan. Looking through your credit report can give you an idea of the existing debt and expenses that you have. Write down all of your monthly expenses and your monthly income.

Capturing your total income and expenses is the first step towards making a budget. Depending on your history with money, you may have a negative association with the word budget, but it’s important to remember that a budget is just a tool. A budget can help you to stop spending money on things that aren’t important to you, so that you still have money to spend on the items that are important to you.

Cut your expenses

Again, you’ll want to make sure that your budget is written down and tracked. If you try to keep it all in your head, you are only setting yourself up for failure. A tool like Mint can help with tracking your budget because it directly interfaces with your bank and credit card accounts. That way you can see all of your spending in one place, categorize it and see how you’re tracking against your budget.

Once you’ve been budgeting for a few months, you will start to see some trends of where you end up spending your money. Decide which items in your spending are aligning with your core values, and mercilessly cut the things that aren’t. Use any extra money each month to establish an emergency fund and get out of debt

Grow your income

Another thing to consider is that cutting your expenses is only one half of staying in your budget. While many budgeting guides talk about eliminating that daily coffee purchase or unused gym membership, that’s only one side of the story. There is only so much that you can cut out of your budget, while in theory at least, you have unlimited income potential. Start a side hustle or sell unused household items as a way to boost your income and get control of your finances.

It’s a marathon — not a sprint

Finally, remember that financial health is a marathon, not a sprint. Depending on where you are starting from, it’s likely that you will not completely eliminate your debt in one month or even one year. It will take time and so it’s important to remember that even at the start. And not all months will be the same — there will be days, weeks and months where you slip up and don’t make the optimal financial choices. This is another reason why writing down and tracking your progress can be useful. It gives you some history and context to know that if you have a bad financial day, you also have had many good days. Give yourself some grace and remember that tomorrow is another day. 

The Bottom Line

Deciding to get your finances together is one of the best financial decisions that you can make. Being on a sound financial foundation can help give you peace of mind and help you lead a stable life. Decide to start, write it down and share it with trusted friends and family. Gather your monthly income and expenses and start a budget.

Sharing your decision, journey and progress helps keep you accountable, even when the inevitable slip ups happen. When you do slip up and make a poor financial decision, the most important thing that you can do is acknowledge that it happened and resolve to do better tomorrow. One day at a time will guide you down the path towards financial freedom.

The post Getting My Finances Together: Where Do I Even Start? appeared first on MintLife Blog.

How to Translate Foot Traffic Into Digital Sales

How to Translate Foot Traffic to Digital Sales

As an entrepreneur, the move towards e-commerce and digital transformation shouldn’t pass you by. The good news is that as a brick-and-mortar business owner, you can promote your website to the foot traffic in and around your store to aid your online visibility and increase digital sales.

Perhaps your biggest advantage is you don’t need to spend quite so long building the relationships that turn people into buyers: you’ve already done that. 

Shoppers coming into your store know you, trust you, and are more likely to purchase from you. Also, the surrounding foot traffic is at least familiar with your business, even if they haven’t bought anything from you yet.

Now comes the question: How do you turn your foot traffic into more digital sales

Whether your website is fresh up or you’ve been running your website for some time, the techniques featured in this article are open to everyone.

First, let’s look at the two main different types of retail traffic along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Foot Traffic Vs. Online Traffic: What Are the Pros and Cons

When we talk about foot traffic, we mean the number of people coming into your store and those who walk nearby. It has always been an important measure of retail success, and naturally, the more foot traffic an area has, the more chances there are to make sales.

Each type of traffic has its pros and cons. 

With regular foot traffic, the advantages are it:

  • allows businesses to see and interact with customers personally
  • can generate word-of-mouth advertising and, in turn, repeat customers through recommendations
  • enables face-to-face sales, which many consumers are more comfortable with
  • allows customers to ask questions directly and get immediate answers

However, there are also disadvantages to foot traffic. The most significant disadvantage is the decline. According to RetailNext, recent Black Friday figures were down 48 percent, and this is a trend that’s likely to continue as more consumers turn to e-commerce.

There are other disadvantages too, such as:

  • It’s weather dependent. Fewer shoppers are out about when the weather’s bad or the heat’s too intense.
  • There are declining brick-and-mortar sales

Consumers who use e-commerce benefit from the convenience and special offers available online. However, the growth in online sales is good for website owners too. 

The main advantages of online traffic include:

  • There’s a constant flow of visitors to your store anytime, even when you’re sleeping.
  • It provides targeted reach.
  • There are little to no geographical limitations.
  • Tracking allows you to spot patterns and refine your marketing strategy.

Disadvantages of online traffic include:

  • It takes time to get established online.
  • There is over-reliance on technology.
  • Changing algorithms mean you can lose your position in search engines.
  • It costs money to keep getting fresh visitors to your store.

8 Ways to Convert Foot Traffic Into Digital Sales

No store owner can afford to ignore the potential of digital sales. E-commerce has dominated the retail sector for years now, and that’s not going to change, according to forecasts.

According to statistics, e-commerce sales are likely to reach 563.4 billion dollars by 2025, and your online business can benefit from this surge.

Foot traffic Statista forecast chart

1. Advertise Your Online Presence

You’ve got customers coming into your store every day. Make sure they know about your website and social media presence by advertising your digital channels around the store. 

Don’t go too crazy, though. 

There’s no need for giant banners with “find us online @” written on them. Instead, be a little more discreet. For instance, you could:

  • Add your website URL and social media pages to receipts.
  • Include business cards with a discount code when packing bags. 
  • Put your online details on any packaging.
  • Include small plaques on shelving around the store with your online information.
  • Advertise details on any outside signage and in your windows for passing foot traffic to see.

Also, if you have any special internet offers, promote them through in-store advertising and handing out promotional materials. Add an incentive to spur interest.

2. Advertise Online-Only Sales

Many people have two things in common: they love a bargain and have a fear of missing out (FOMO). According to the stats:

  • Sixty-nine percent of millennials have FOMO.
  • Wealthier households are more likely to experience FOMO.
  • Social media is a major contributor.

FOMO is a proven psychological tactic for driving sales. That’s why offering online-only items or special discounts can be an effective profit booster for your business, especially when you include a time limit on the offers.

E-commerce companies like Sleeknote use this approach, creating a sense of urgency to get consumers to sign up.

drive foot traffic sleek note

Another benefit of this approach is that buyers are only too keen to tell their friends and families about the great deal they got. This could mean even more visitors to your digital platforms.

When doing this kind of promotion, be sure to spread the word among your offline customers with leaflets or small cards and a promotion code so you can track your campaign’s success.

3. Offer Free Shipping Discount Codes

One deal-breaker for consumers is shipping costs. Eighty-two percent of shoppers hate them and prefer free shipping overpaid expedited options.

To overcome this obstacle, why not offer a free shipping discount code?

Once customers get to your website, sign up and register, it’s easier to engage them and build relationships by sending targeted offers. They also get to realize the benefits of online shopping.

If it makes sense, you could also offer free shipping on orders of a minimum value for future orders to further engage and encourage your customers to purchase.

4. Offer Incentives for Connecting on Social Media

Sometimes customers just need a nudge. They might have meant to check out your business on social media but just haven’t got around to it yet.

What can you do to get buyers to visit your social media platforms? You create incentives. They can be in the form of coupons, freebies, contests, and prizes.

You could also offer points or a percentage off if your customer shares your social media pages with others or gets a friend to sign up to your digital channels. 

5. Highlight Exclusive Online-Only Products

Let’s go back to FOMO just for a moment. 

Arguably, FOMO has done a lot to keep the retail industry alive, especially on major shopping occasions, like Black Friday.

costco foot traffic example

E-commerce store owners often use FOMO to secure more sales, and there are multiple other ways you can use it in your marketing campaigns.

By offering exclusive online-only products, you’re giving shoppers the reason they need to head to your website and sign up.

However, FOMO has a downside, too. 

It can lead to impulsive buying by consumers. That’s not what you or your business needs: you want customers that keep coming back for more. 

Also, it could be damaging to the overall customer experience, so use this strategy with care.

6. Cross-promote With Other Store Owners

If another local store has a product that complements yours, then you may find cross-promoting each other’s products/services is mutually beneficial.

For example, an organic store selling nutritious foods and natural skincare products could pair with a local beauty salon or a gym.      

You promote their online offerings and digital platforms in your store, and they do the same in their premises. 

Perhaps take this a step further and collaborate with other local store owners to create a co-branded coupon with local businesses’ online details.

This approach can reach a broader scope of foot traffic, potentially leading to more visitors to your website and increased digital sales.

7. Use In-store Events

In-store promotions have been around for years, and they’re a staple of retail marketing. The goal of in-store promotion is to:

  • increase customer traffic 
  • improve brand awareness
  • create awareness for new products
  • get people talking

By creating a buzz, an in-store promotion attracts foot traffic from regular customers and possibly from passersby. 

These events give consumers the chance to visit a store, check out products, and get to know you. They also give you the opportunity to promote your online channels and give out promotional materials directing people to your website. 

Additionally, in-store promotions help with word of mouth, build customer loyalty, and you also have some flexibility regarding the style of the event.

Depending on what you want to achieve, your promotion could be:

  • educational
  • luxurious
  • experimental 
  • holiday-themed

Alternatively, you could take the Ikea approach and create a bring a friend event. Ikea asked people to “like” their Facebook page if they wanted to access the special offers only available to attendees who brought a friend along.

You can use such events to promote your store in other ways too. For example, you could invite visitors to take pictures or videos and share them on your digital channels to promote your brand further online.

8. Hand Out Flyers

Go wider and make the most of the foot traffic outside of your door. Flyers are one of the oldest forms of advertising, and they still work.

Hand out flyers to passersby highlighting your special deals and internet-only products to passersby. However, be sure to check if it’s permissible locally before you do.

You can then use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself to potential customers and tell them about your business and the advantages of buying from you online.

You can also:

  • pin flyers to local community boards
  • advertise in your store windows 
  • keep a pile of flyers on your counter for shoppers to take
  • include flyers in your customer’s grocery bags

Finally, offer discounts to anyone that signs up and include a code for people to use so you can track success.

Frequently Asked Questions About Foot Traffic

How can I use my website for more foot traffic?

You can use your website to attract extra foot traffic for a further business boost. Consider inviting people to buy online and pick up in-store, providing in-store redeemable coupons, and offering in-store exchanges and returns.

What’s the best way to track the success of my campaigns?

You can add codes to any flyers, cards, or other promotional materials that you put out or ask customers how they found you when they registered online.

How can I improve my foot traffic offline?

By using signage, introducing a loyalty program, marketing, and social media. However, remember that these tactics take time, so they may not increase your foot traffic immediately.

How does foot traffic increase sales?

The more foot traffic you have, the greater the opportunity for engagement and sales, helping boost your revenues.

Foot Traffic Conclusion

As a store owner, you’re in the unique position to start sending customers directly to your website to increase your digital sales.

You don’t need to rely on them finding you by chance, and you don’t have to take so much time building trust because these buyers already know you.

That gives you a perfect chance to start actively promoting your website to the foot traffic in and around your store.

There are plenty of strategies you can use to do this. For example, offering incentives to get consumers to sign up to your social channels, holding in-store promotions to highlight online-only products and give demonstrations, and advertising your store on your packaging materials and receipts.

Are you a store owner? How do you get your foot traffic to find you online?

How to Do Quarterly Content Planning to 10x Content Output

How to Do Quarterly Content Planning to 10x Content Output

Content planning is easily the most unenjoyable part of the entire content production and marketing process—just ask any digital marketer.

Yet, it’s an essential component of content marketing that can’t be ignored if you want to 10x your content output.

Not only will organization help you stay on top of things, but content planning helps improve the overall quality of your content. You should regularly review your content plan and look for ways to maximize your productivity—even on a shoestring budget.

Remember, content plays a huge role in your business growth.

As a result, you must be deliberate and proactive about the type and quality of content you publish. Planning your content will help you provide real value to your audience, remain consistent in posting, and stay ahead of your workload for the month.

This will create more time to respond and engage with your target audience: the true goal of content marketing.

Review Last Quarter’s Content Metrics

A key part of creating a quarterly content plan is to review the previous quarter’s performance metrics for your social media, mailing list, and blog pages.

Check everything from traffic on your pages to direct social media engagement to click-throughs to your website. Analyzing your content this way will help you understand what kind of content your audience is looking for and what works best.

You’ll also be able to identify what hasn’t taken off and has been a waste of your marketing budget. This will help inform your content strategy moving forward.

To make this segment of your quarterly content planning more effective, design a way of keeping track of your content’s performance each quarter. You can use a spreadsheet or any other content-management tool that you find easiest.

Set Content Goals

Before you start planning the type of content you’ll publish, it’s essential that you first decide what you want to achieve with your content.

You should set goals for your content each and every quarter.

A few business goals you can achieve with your content include:

  • brand awareness
  • customer acquisition
  • sales
  • customer retention
  • engagement levels

When setting your quarterly content goals, it’s a good idea to use your previous quarter’s content performance as the benchmark for your next quarter’s content goals. It’s also an excellent idea to set SMART goals as this makes your goals easy to track and measure. For example, your goal could be a 20 percent increase in organic traffic in the next quarter.

Every content marketing campaign you run must be designed to accomplish specific goals that align with your future business plans.

Define Content Campaign Metrics

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your content is spraying and praying—publishing content and hoping it will perform. Content doesn’t perform by chance. You have to be strategic about every component of your campaign.

That’s why you must define the metrics you’ll use to gauge the performance of your campaign. Defining your content campaign metrics will help ensure that every piece of content and every campaign is data-driven, thereby increasing the chances of success.

How do you define your content campaign metrics?

Easy. Your metrics should be tied to the content goals you set for the quarter. A few examples of the metrics you can use to review the performance of your content include:

  • Page views: This shows the number of unique visitors seeing your content.
  • Time on-page: This is the amount of time visitors spend on a particular page. If your content is relevant and engaging, time spent on the page will be higher.
  • Bounce rate: This is the percentage of website visitors that leave without performing a relevant action.
  • Social media shares and engagement: This metric indicates how much people find your content useful.
  • SEO performance: Check factors like page ranking, backlinks acquired, and the keywords the page is ranking for as indicators of SEO performance.
  • Newsletter signups and engagement: How readers engage with your newsletter shows the relevance of your content.

Defining your content campaign metrics will give you the perfect way to measure the success of each piece of content and the campaign as a whole.

Evaluate Your Content’s Target Audience

One critical aspect of your content plan is understanding the audience you’re targeting. If your targeting is off, your campaign will flop.

To ensure you’re targeting the right audience, you need to conduct audience research and build personas representing your ideal customer.

A few things to note as you research your target audience include:

  • Demographics: These are the physical attributes that members of your target audience have in common. Examples include geographical location, gender, age, and marital status.
  • Psychographics: Psychographic data refers to the general psychological makeup of members of your target audience. Examples include interests, aspirations, opinions, and more.
  • Firmographics: This mainly applies to B2B brands as it refers to the descriptive attributes that make up a brand’s ideal customer profile (ICP). Examples include industry, location, company size, customer base, and technology stack.

Using the data you obtain, you can then build profiles of your perfect customer.

Audience research is an essential aspect of content planning

Doing this will help you design the right messaging and create personalized experiences for your audience.

Besides understanding your audience, you should also seek to understand which stage of the funnel they are in. This will help you know which stage of the funnel to put more effort into as you create content for the next quarter.

Decide What Types of Content to Create

Another important element for creating a quarterly content plan that will 10x your output is knowing what type of content to create.

Different content types include:

  • social media
  • webinars
  • how-to guides
  • blog posts
  • infographics
  • memes/GIFs
  • videos (live stream videos, YouTube videos, TikTok, Instagram reels, etc.)
  • podcasts
  • email newsletters and campaigns
  • user generated content (UGC)
  • long form pieces
  • white papers

As you well know, making decisions (even concerning the smallest details of your life) can be challenging. Thankfully, a few factors will help you decide on the content types to focus on in the next quarter. These include your:

  1. Target audience: Create the type of content they find valuable and engaging.
  2. Sales funnel: Make sure to create content that caters to each stage of your sales funnel.
  3. Competitors: Study your competitors and take note of the content types that are bringing them results. You can do this by checking out Ubersuggest, a free marketing tool.

You can also review your own content to check which types of content have worked well for you.

For now, here are some of the content types you can leverage in your content marketing campaigns:

1. Blog Posts

Easy to produce with the help of the right content writers, blog posts are among the most consumed types of content. They are also the easiest to rank in search engines as they provide many opportunities for SEO optimization.

2. e-books

E-books are a type of long-form content in PDF or HTML formats. They are a great way of showcasing your expertise, thereby helping you gain your audience’s trust. Plus, they are great for earning passive income.

3. White Papers

White papers are informational documents that go in-depth to highlight a specific topic and how your product or service can help solve said problem. Their most prominent use is to help establish you as a thought leader. They’re also great for lead generation.

4. Case Studies

Another excellent type of content you can use to gain your audience’s trust is a case study. Case studies highlight a common problem your audience faces and how one of your customers used your solution to solve that problem.

5. Video Content

Video content has grown in popularity over the past few years thanks to its highly interactive nature. It’s a great way to drive engagement and easily convey your message.

6. Infographics

Infographics are a superb visual way of presenting information in an easy-to-digest format. They’re also great for driving engagement and attracting backlinks.

Review Your Content Budget

Now that you know the types of content you’ll create, you can start reviewing your content budget. You’ll have to work out how much you’re prepared to spend on:

  • content strategy
  • content creation
  • content promotion

As content marketing plays a huge role in the success of your business, you should set aside a healthy portion of your marketing budget for it.

How much should you budget for your content marketing?

The answer is largely dependent on several factors—including the types of content you plan on creating, the volume of publishing, and the size of your business. However, research shows that most brands spend anywhere from $5,000 to over $50,000 on content marketing. Marketing budgets in general should be between 7-12 percent of your total revenue.

Review Content Production Workflow

With the budget sorted, you can now start getting the gears of your content creation in motion.

It’s time to review your content production workflow.

A content workflow is a series of tasks that you and your team must perform to ensure that each piece of content is perfectly crafted and created on time. It also highlights who creates which parts of your content, such as writing, recording, editing, and graphic design.

A well-designed content production workflow ensures that your content creation runs smoothly and efficiently. That’s why, as you do your quarterly content planning, you must review how well your content workflow worked. Ask yourself:

  • Did your content production run smoothly?
  • What parts of the workflow do you feel need improvement?

As you review your content production workflow, take note of the parts of the process that you can automate. For example, you could streamline aspects of the process by creating templates that ensure uniformity in the quality of the deliverables.

Create a Content Promotional Plan

Most people make a mistake when it comes to content marketing. They think the process stops after hitting the publish button. You need to realize that content marketing has two critical stages: content production and content promotion. Writing content is only half the battle.

You also need to promote it. After hitting the publish button, you must aggressively promote your content. This can be via alternative content marketing platforms—e.g., sharing your blog posts on social media, or sending your LinkedIn article to your mailing list.

A few tips to help you create an effective content promotion plan include:

  • Understanding the platforms your audience frequents: Do they prefer to consume content on social media, blog posts, or YouTube?
  • Outlining what types of campaigns you’ll run: Examples include SEO, paid social ads, google ads, and email marketing.
  • Defining your content promotion KPIs: Doing so will help you track the performance of your campaign.
  • Creating a content promotion calendar: A content promotion calendar shows you which content to promote, on which platform, and on what day.

Design your content promotion plan in such a way that the day you launch a piece of content, you’re already prepared to start promoting it. Content promotion and distribution must start immediately after you publish a piece of content.

Quarterly Content Plan Frequently Asked Questions

How can I increase my content production?

Content creation is a big challenge for many businesses. The best way to increase your content production is to plan ahead. That’s why you need to create a quarterly content production plan.

Are there any tools that can help increase content production?

There is a myriad of tools you can use to increase your content production. Examples include spreadsheets, Trello, Frase, Workflowy, Grammarly, and many more.

How often should I review my content production plan?

Reviewing your content production plan is an essential part of running a successful content marketing campaign. That’s why you must regularly review yours. For your quarterly content plan, a monthly review is best as it gives enough time to get enough data to help you have a clear picture of how your content is performing.

What should be included in my content production plan?

Your content production plan should include everything that can help you effectively produce quality content. This includes content research, workflows, creation, and promotion.

Quarterly Content Plan Conclusion

Content marketing plays a significant role in the success of marketing your business.

For your content marketing campaigns to succeed, you need to plan your content ahead of time. You need to create a quarterly content plan that will help you 10x your content output—both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Content planning has many advantages it brings to your content team and business overall. From speeding up the content creation process to improving content quality, you can engage your audience in new ways and maximize your marketing budget ROI.

Go ahead and use the tips outlined above to create your quarterly content plan.

What content planning tips have you found to be most helpful?

These Pinterest Image Sizes Get Businesses 80% More Traffic

These Pinterest Image Sizes Get Businesses 80% More Traffic

Pinterest is a great way to get your brand noticed online.

After all, the world’s 14th largest social network boasts around 454 million active monthly users.

Brands looking to boost performance on Pinterest should be keeping Pinterest image sizes in mind.

Certain image sizes are more likely to catch the eyes of Pinterest users, and it’s important to understand how size can impact Pinterest success.

The more attention you attract, the more potential web visitors you can convert.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best Pinterest image sizes for driving website traffic.

We’ll explore how different pins and sizing can impact traffic and how to use this information to boost your own Pinterest marketing.

What Are the Best Sizes for Pinterest Images for Your Business?

You can leverage many different kinds of pins on Pinterest, from static pins to video ads. Each type of pin has a recommended aspect ratio from Pinterest itself.

Generally, vertical pins should be 1000 x 1500 pixels, or a 2:3 aspect ratio. Pinterest does not recommend images smaller than 600 x 900 pixels.

Pinterest also has specific recommended sizes from their ads manager, so be sure to check those before running any Pinterest ads.

You’ll want to use the correct image sizing so your images fit well without getting cut off.

The image below represents pins that meet the 2:3 aspect ratio Pinterest recommends.

table of optional Pinterest image sizes

The best Pinterest image size for your business depends on several factors, including the type and messaging in your pin images.

That means you should always test and measure pin traffic and conversions to figure out what works best.

There are plenty of tools to help with this, including the Pinterest Business Analytics Dashboard, which has a custom pin size tool within it. 

There are currently eight sizes to choose from when creating pins:

Pinterest image size chart

Let’s explore how and why these Pinterest image sizes are used and how they work to drive traffic to your site.

Pinterest Images: Static Pins

Static pins are the most basic type of Pinterest image. They feature only one image and a few sentences that link your pin to your website.

While they may be simple, static pins are very SEO-friendly because they offer concise, relevant keywords that search engines pick up on.

They also provide clear calls to action and direct users to your website with a clickable link in the pin description. 

While you might think using multiple images in one pin would be more engaging for users, if the pinner doesn’t have time to read all of your content, they might keep scrolling.

For this reason, static pins can be a great way to get instant traffic from Pinterest directly to your site.

The best Pinterest image size for static pins is 2:3 or 1000 x 1500 pixels. Anything larger than this risks being cut off in user feeds. Static pins work best with PNG or JPEG files at a maximum of 10 MB.

To create a high-performing static pin, be sure to keep your image and text short.

Pinterest users are often scrolling through their feeds quickly, so it’s important to have a clear image with relevant text.

Pinterest image - static pin of home decor

Pinterest Images: Infographic Pins

Infographic pins are vertical Pinterest images that are uniquely visual and encourage users to click through on your content

Vertical pins perform best on Pinterest, which makes infographics a strong contender for driving traffic. 

Infographic pins are also easy to share across social media platforms, bringing in new audiences for your business.

That said, some users argue infographic pins can negatively impact your search rankings, as they become truncated in search.

How they perform for you will depend on individual factors, so there’s no harm in testing them to see how they perform for you.

The best size for a Pinterest image infographic is 1000 x 3000 with a Pinterest Pin ratio of 1:3. Infographic pins should be no larger than 600 x 2400 pixels.

Let’s look at the different types of infographic pins, and how to use them effectively.

First up are standard infographics which often feature text overlaid on top of a graphic or image. Although they may seem like an obvious choice, not all businesses have strong visual content that works well in this format. Business coaches, influencers, and wellness brands tend to see the most traffic with these pins.

Another option is to use a more complex and detailed image, such as one that features different colors or shapes alongside the text. For example, a retail store could create a gift guide as a long form infographic.

Finally, if you want the most pin-worthy content possible for infographics, try making them interactive. Interactive content is more eye-catching and can encourage users to share your pin, driving more traffic to your site.

Pinterest image - infographics

Pinterest Images: Square Pins

Square pins are great for sharing images from your Instagram feed.

The best Pinterest image size for square pins is a 1:1 aspect ratio or 1000 x 1000 pixels. The maximum image file size of a square pin should be 20 MB.

Square pins allow you to share compact images that are relevant to your brand aesthetic and easy to share.

Although some people claim square pins get less engagement, other users say their likes, impressions, and clicks have improved with square pins.

Studies have shown the average user spends less than five seconds on a Pinterest page, so it’s critical your images and pin descriptions are concise and effective.

A clear title makes it easier for users to understand what they’re clicking into or scrolling past.

Square pins are easy to view on most devices, which is why they’re a great fit for social media platforms like Pinterest.

Plus, square Pinterest images work well when you need users to click through or check out your website or blog content.

To see if square pins work for you, run some tests and judge the results for yourself!

Pinterest Images: Long Pins

Long pins are typically used for blog content or articles, where users can scroll to read the entire text.

Long pins are great when you need people to click through and engage with your website content.

Long pins should use a Pinterest Pin ratio of 1:2.1 or 1000 x 2100 pixels.

If your long pin exceeds this recommended size limit, it may be cut off in user feeds.

If your long pin cannot meet this length, don’t worry! You can help users stay engaged by centering any text before the truncated portion. Once they click the image, they’ll be able to see the rest of your content.

Long pins work best for businesses that have articles or blog posts to share. For example, if you own a hairdressing or beauty salon, you could pin an article about how to take care of your hair type.

Another great use for long pins is if you’re selling products online. You could share a link with several different images that sends users through to the product page.

This allows users to see different views or angles of the product, so they can make an informed decision about what to purchase.

Pinterest images - Long Pins

Pinterest Images: Carousel Pins

Carousel pins are a great way to show a lot of information in one pin.

For example, if you’re selling jewellery online and have several rings for sale from the same collection, carousel pins allow you to include up to five images per pin/item that users can scroll through.

The best Pinterest image size for carousel pins is 1000 x 2000 pixels and should be no more than three images in length. As well, carousel pins can be shown in either standard Pin Size (2:3) or Square Pins (1:1).

Carousel pins allow you to showcase multiple images with a short text description below each image. These are perfect for businesses that showcase events, recipes, tutorials or other content people want to scroll through.

These Pinterest image pins can help drive people directly to your online store, as they can see exactly what you’re selling and buying right from the pin. This is a great way to generate sales!

Outerwear brand REI found that carousel ads using Pinterest carousel pins increased their click-through-rate by 32 percent.

Pinterest images - Carousel Pins

5 Best Practices for Pinterest Images

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating your Pinterest images so you can drive as much traffic back to your site as possible.

1. Be Descriptive

Include descriptive text on the image itself, including hashtags and relevant keywords. This is one of the most powerful ways you can increase website traffic from each pin’s click-through rate, as it helps your Pinterest page connect to search results across the internet.

This will also ensure your pins are easy to find when people search on Pinterest.

2. Include the Right Links

Next, include a link in the pin’s image description so when someone clicks it they can be taken back to your site with ease. You can also use copy to encourage them to click through again by including more text about what they will see if they do.

3. Use High-Quality Images

If you’re linking to your store, be sure to use product pins with clear, high quality images. Link the pin to a specific product with an easy-to-understand description that encourages viewers to purchase there or visit your website for more information.

Ensure your logo is displayed on every pin you create, but make sure it’s visible. Pinterest recommends avoiding the lower right corner as that area gets covered up by product icons.

4. Include Alt Text on Pins

Be sure to add alt text to all your images. This will help improve the SEO of your website and let Pinterest know what each image is about.

You can also pin images directly from your website or blog by adding a “Pin it” button on the page. By doing this, you won’t have to upload and crop each image as they will be sized automatically for Pinterest image requirements. (This also allows users to pin your images, which expands your reach.)

5. Monitor Pin Performance

Lastly, monitor all of your pin impressions to see how you can improve your content. Different pins may bring in different results, so pay attention to what you pin to track how Pinterest impacts site traffic and conversions. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pinterest Images

What are the Pinterest post dimensions?

Different kinds of Pinterest images use different sizing, but Pinterest generally recommends a ​​2:3 aspect ratio, or 1000 x 1500 pixels limit.

What are the most popular pins on Pinterest?

The most popular pinned content on Pinterest is DIY and craft pins, entertainment, weddings, and holidays and events.

How do I drive traffic to my website on Pinterest?

There are many ways to drive traffic to your website from Pinterest which can include keyword targeting, proper Pinterest image sizing, applying for Rich Pins, and creating strong visual content.

Is Pinterest a good source of traffic?

Pinterest is one of the leading sources of traffic for bloggers, sometimes even beating out SEO.

Pinterest Image Size Conclusion

When well optimized, Pinterest images can grow your audience and increase web traffic to your site.

By using the right Pinterest image sizes, optimizing your content, and tracking performance with Pinterest Analytics, you can transform your Pinterest page into a high-performing marketing tool.

Don’t forget to strengthen your Pinterest image strategy with strong SEO and impressive web design, to encourage new visitors to convert. 

What Pinterest images work best for your brand?

Is Your Skincare Routine Worth the Price Tag?

If you like to take care of your skin, you’re probably already resigned to the fact that skincare products are not cheap. The worst part is, those tiny bottles of serum and moisturizer always seem to run out faster than you expect.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could pamper your skin without busting your budget? As it turns out, there’s a way you can do just that – and it’s the approach dermatologists have used for years.

We called up a dermatologist to get the scoop on what skincare products are actually worth spending money on – and which ones you can probably ditch altogether.

Simplify Your Routine

With the popularity of the 10-step Korean beauty trend, many consumers have spent more money by adding steps to their routine. But Dr. Neelam Khan, a board-certified dermatologist based in Washington, D.C., worries that a longer routine makes it harder for people to stay consistent.

Instead, she prefers a simple routine she learned in medical school. In the morning, you should:

  • Use a gentle cleanser
  • Apply a Vitamin C serum
  • Apply sunscreen and moisturizer

In the evening, you should:

  • Use a gentle cleanser and/or makeup remover
  • Apply a retinol or retinoid product
  • Apply a moisturizer

“The number one thing that matters the most is the consistency of the person using the product,” she said. “I don’t really care that much whether it’s something you get at CVS vs. Sephora.”

If a product irritates you, stop using it and try another. But in general, Khan says you can find items that work at a drugstore or grocery store. There are plenty of drugstore brands she recommends, including CeraVe and Neutrogena.

Visit a Dermatologist

There are some skincare issues you can solve on your own. For example, if you have dry, flaky skin in the winter, you can try switching to a stronger moisturizer and note the results.

But Khan says there are many problems that require professional assistance. In some cases, you may actually save money by seeing a dermatologist before trying a DIY solution. For example, there are different types of acne that an expensive over-the-counter cream may not solve.

The good news? Your insurance may cover all or some of a dermatologist’s visit, and may even pay for some of the prescriptions they recommend. For example, if you have acne, your insurance may cover a prescription-strength retinoid product that will also prevent wrinkles.

If you want to get your money’s worth, bring your skincare products to the appointment so the dermatologist can review them. That way, you’ll know if the products are right for your skin.

Avoid the Marketing Hype

If you read women’s magazines or follow beauty influencers on Instagram, you’ll likely see claims that a certain product worked wonders for a particular celebrity or individual. And while that may be true for the person in question, there’s no guarantee you’ll have the same success.

Many celebrities also forget to share their other beauty treatments, like fillers and Botox. These less affordable treatments are likely more responsible for their lack of wrinkles than a particular retinol brand.

Remember, if a magazine or influencer is promoting a product, they’re likely either getting paid to mention it or they’re receiving a portion from each sale. If you want to read honest reviews, look at sites like MakeUpAlley.com or the skincare forums on Reddit.

Spend Where It Matters

For Khan, getting a facial or buying a fun disposable facial mask is more about self-care than crafting the perfect skincare routine. For example, a hydrafacial may feel relaxing and exfoliating, but it’s not as important as buying and using the right retinol product every day. Plus, at the cost of $200 to $300 a pop, a hydrafacial often isn’t worth the money.

“No one-off treatment is really going to make that big of a difference compared to your daily at-home skincare regimen,” she said. “I’d rather people splurge on their daily routine.”

When it comes to dropping dollars on your skincare products, Khan said you should spend more on products that will sit on your skin for a long time.

“If you’re going to spend any money on your skincare regimen, the cleanser should be the cheapest thing you get,” she said. “Even the fanciest cleanser is only going to be on your skin for a minute. I’d rather someone spend their money on a leave-on product.”

How to Save Money on Skincare

Use Sunscreen

Dermatologists are capable of removing years of sun damage, but that takes a lot of time – and money. A less expensive solution is to use sunscreen every day, covering your face, neck and upper chest.

Another major problem that Khan sees is people forgetting to apply retinol to their necks and upper chest. If you only apply retinol to your face, you’ll eventually have a disparity between your face and the rest of your body. This can also take several treatments to correct.

Use your HSA or FSA

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA) is like a special savings account for health-related expenses. You can deduct the contributions on your taxes, which will save you money at the end of the year. If you already have an FSA or HSA, you probably know that you can pay for a doctor’s visit, bloodwork or imaging with those funds.

But you can also use money from your HSA or FSA to pay for a dermatologist visit and any related prescriptions. Many skincare products are also FSA and HSA-eligible, including sunscreen and acne treatment products. For example, if a doctor prescribes you a retinoid, you can use your FSA or HSA card to pay for it.

The post Is Your Skincare Routine Worth the Price Tag? appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Stay Motivated to Save Money With Mint’s Custom Wallpapers!

We all have reasons to save — whether it’s to work up to a big purchase, pay off our debts, or just to have a little extra buffer. 

It’s something we have to work at little by little, and there are a million different ways we can put away a few more dollars from every paycheck. Studies also show that implementing daily reminders have the potential to significantly boost the chances of you reaching your goals. 

What better way to get your daily reminder than from your phone lock screen? Here are some motivational wallpapers that can help you stay on track towards your savings goals. You can download them here.

If you have a hard time saying no to any and all dinner invites:

If you’ve got a trip on the horizon, but can’t see past next week:

If you’re the type that struggles to save because you spend the majority of your paycheck in the first week:

If you have some things you’re trying to save up for, but can never say no to a good sale: 

If you’re a sucker for late-night food deliveries: 

And finally, if you’re just having a hard time getting started on a big savings goal: 

Whatever it is you’re saving for, we can all benefit from a daily reminder to give us that boost of motivation to get there! We know achieving your goals doesn’t happen overnight and takes consistent, hard work one day at a time. 

Let us know your best advice on how to stay motivated to reach those savings goals!

The post Stay Motivated to Save Money With Mint’s Custom Wallpapers! appeared first on MintLife Blog.

5 Tricks To Save Hundreds of Dollars More Each Month

Saving money is something that everyone likes to do. The whole point of creating a budget is to not spend money on things that aren’t important to you so that you still have money for the things that are important to you. You might think to make drastic changes to your life to save money, but the best way to save is to make simple changes to everyday activities. You’re much more likely to stick to it that way. To go along with National Savings Day, here are a few tricks that you can look at to save hundreds of dollars more each month.

Look At Your Subscriptions

One thing you can do is take a look at all of your monthly subscriptions. Mint has a built-in tool to help you manage and keep track of your monthly subscriptions. These subscriptions can be useful, but only if you are using them each month. It’s far too easy to sign up and then “forget” about your gym memberships, box subscriptions, streaming services or meal plans. Then you keep getting charged each month for things you’re no longer using. Take a look at all of the monthly subscriptions that you are paying for and figure out which ones you want to keep using.

Some subscriptions that you deem as “essential” (cell phone, utilities, cable or Internet) might be worth looking at. Many utilities and other similar services will allow you to renegotiate your bills. Just by calling them up, you might find a better plan or offer that allows you to save each month.

Refinance Your Mortgage

Another option to save money is to refinance your mortgage if you’re a homeowner. Whether or not refinancing will do you any goodwill depend on your home and overall situation. Interest rates are near historic lows, so you might be able to save hundreds of dollars each month on one of your highest monthly expenses.

Pay Off Your Debts

If you have medical, credit card, student loan, auto or other forms of consumer debt, you might be able to save money by paying down and/or eliminating some. It’s a good idea to keep some of your savings in an emergency fund, but if you have more than that in a checking or savings account, you’ll likely get more bang for your buck by using that money to pay down or eliminate your debt.

There are several debt repayment strategies available, including things like the debt snowball or debt avalanche methods. If you don’t have the savings yet to start eliminating these debts, that’s a good place to start directing your monthly savings. As you start saving more and more, you can use that money to pay down your debt.

Make a Meal Plan

Besides housing, food is one of the highest monthly expenditures for most people. A good way for many households to save money each month is to look at food expenses. Generally, the most expensive to eat will be eating out at restaurants. The next highest expense will be food delivery or meal prep services, and the cheapest way will be to buy your food at a grocery store and make your own meals.

Oftentimes, eating out rather than cooking dinner easiest option after a long hard day at work. If this sounds like your situation, one solution might be to make a meal plan on a weekly or monthly basis. That takes all the guesswork out of “what should I make for dinner?” since it’s already been decided. It can also help simplify regular trips to the grocery store. 

Use Credit Card Rewards

Judicious usage of credit card rewards can be another great way to save money each month. As a caveat, if you have existing credit card debt or are struggling to pay your bills in full each month, it may make sense to focus on paying down your debt before considering credit card rewards. But if you’re already on solid financial footing, using credit card rewards can help earn extra cash back or travel rewards on purchases you’re already making.

The Bottom Line

Look to find small wins that are sustainable. Making these smaller changes on everyday expenses will add up over time and are easier to stick to over time. Take a look at some of these ideas and see if any of them make sense for you.

The post 5 Tricks To Save Hundreds of Dollars More Each Month appeared first on MintLife Blog.