The Life of the Business

by Elizabeth Sherman 15. May 2013

Business Insurance

A few years ago the air conditioner in my car started making very ominous groaning sounds which I was a little slow to hear on account of the fact I cannot drive without the radio blasting at ear splitting decibels. By the time the groaning turned to sickening grinding and hot air began spewing out of the vents, I knew things were beyond hope. Not having air conditioning in August was bad enough, but the thought of taking my car to the dealer and paying to replace the entire system made me break out into a real sweat. I began asking around at work to see if anyone knew of a local mechanic who would look at the situation and not charge me 3 months’ worth of mortgage payments. A coworker gave me the name of a mechanic who diagnosed the problem (I did not need to replace the whole system!!) and only fixed what was wrong. I was able to escape the whole episode for the cost of my normal monthly cable bill – quite a relief.

From that day forward, I have taken my car to the same mechanic. His shop is not conveniently located near my house or my office; as a matter of fact I have to rent a car every time I go in for service. However, Rick knows my name; knows my car; doesn’t fix what’s not broken and never goes by the standard hourly charge. I trust him and have referred many friends to him.

The economy has taken a toll on his business but his doors remain open. But every once in a while, I wonder what will happen to the business if something were to happen to him. Does he have a plan to cover the expenses of the business should he be injured (on the job or off)? What if he dies unexpectedly? Will his family have enough money to survive without his income? Is there someone to take over business?

While all of these questions should be asked, they are frequently not addressed. Whether it’s because the topic is too morbid or no one ever thinks something bad is going to happen, planning for the continuation of a business is not glamorous, but it is necessary. If you get injured on the job, how are you going to make sure the day-to-day expenses of running your business are covered? How is your company going to survive if the person who brings in the most business suddenly dies? What happens to the business if you, as the owner, suddenly die?

It's for these situations that life insurance products such as Business Overhead Insurance, Key Man Life Insurance, and Buy Sell Agreements were invented. All of these products provide protection for the business itself and the family members left behind should something happen to the heart and soul of the business – YOU!

Waiting until something happens is too late. Take a look at your business now and see what plan you have in place for the future.

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Spring Clean Your Finances in 6 Days - Part 3

by Stacy Tharp 13. May 2013

Coins in Dustpan

So you've made it to part 3 of the Spring Clean Your Finances Challenge! (Or if you are new to the challenge, go to Part 1 and Part 2.) We're on the final stretch and the finish line is in sight! Here we go...

Day 5: Revisit Your Budget

If you had a successful day 4, day 5 is going to be a good one for you! You’ve saved yourself some money; now let’s see how that extra cash can best be used. Hopefully you already have a budget of some sort in place and track where your money is going. If not, you can set this up quickly and easily using a personal finance manager such as Mariner360.

Now that that’s settled, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions. How closely are you able to stick to your budget? If you often go over the amount of money you have allocated for personal spending, take a look at the things that you’ve purchased over the past few weeks. Could you cut back on your Starbucks trips by making coffee at home? How often to do you eat meals out? If you feel that you are fairly responsible with your money but have trouble staying below your limit, go ahead and give yourself a little bit more with the money you’ve saved from day 4.

If you have a lot of debt, use this money to help pay it off, or if your emergency savings account isn’t fully funded with 3-6 months of income, add more there.

Day 6: Check Your Credit Reports

You can do this for free once a year thanks to the good ol’ Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), so take advantage! Go to and request your free copies – yes, copIES. FACTA entitles you to an annual free copy of your credit report from all three of the major credit bureaus – Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. You never know which credit bureau creditors are going to use, so it’s important that all three are accurate.

Checking your credit reports regularly is an important (and easy) measure to take in order to detect identity theft early on. The earlier you find any fraudulent activity, the easier it is to remedy. If you find any fraudulent activity on any of your credit reports, report your findings immediately. If everything looks accurate, Day 6 is complete!

All Done!

Voila! Your 6 Day Spring Clean Your Finances Challenge is complete! Your reward? Now that you have completed all of those pesky tasks that have been hanging in the back of your mind, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of this beautiful spring weather worry-free!

Celebrate Mom without Your Wallet

by Stacy Tharp 9. May 2013

Mother's Day

After all she’s done for you, having just one day devoted to your mother just doesn’t seem like enough. That’s why you may feel inclined to shower her with expensive gifts and outings. But think about it – would your mother really want you taking out a second mortgage on your home for just one day? Didn’t she teach you better than that? Here are some ideas on how you can make your mother feel like the special woman that she is without going broke this Sunday.

Make Her a Meal

Stay away from the crowded restaurants and instead stay home and cook your mother her favorite meal! You will be able to enjoy a nice quiet conversation over delicious food made with your secret ingredient – love. Best of all, you won’t be rushed out to make way for another group as soon as you finish eating. Depending on what you make, you may spend a little bit more on this meal than the average meal you cook, but it should still be much cheaper than eating out!

Go on a Day Trip

Drive to the beach for the day and relax, or visit DC where you can take advantage of the free Smithsonian museums. Spending a day together is more meaningful and less costly than material gifts.

Give Her a Homemade Gift

There's nothing more thoughtful than a homemade gift. Now if you are thinking that you aren't creative and crafty enough to produce something nice, check out our Homemade Mother's Day Gift Ideas board on Pinterest. The simplicity of some of these ideas may surprise you!

Do Her Chores

Don't let your mom lift a finger on Mother’s Day! Clean her entire house, wash her car, run her errands, etc. If your mother is always on top of things and needs nothing done immediately, create some “vouchers” for her to use in the future for various tasks.

Write Her a Letter 

This is an especially good option for those who do not live close to their mothers. So when I say “write,” I mean with a pen, not a keyboard. And when I say “letter,” I mean on a physical piece of paper or greeting card, not a computer or phone. Write something thoughtful and detailed – something that could only come from you. Then put it in the mail (as in post office service, not internet). Physical letters are much more sentimental then electronic messages.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure your mother knows how much you appreciate her and everything she’s done for you!

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Tricks to Throwing a Budget-Friendly Barbeque

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