Category Archive: General Tips
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Jobstreet, one of the biggest job portals in the country, has released an advisory regarding the rising incidence of job scams. I’m reprinting it in full to warn everyone to be careful when applying for jobs online. (more…)
I’m quite sure you have encountered rude sales people? And when I mean sales people, these include call center agents, account executives, agents, company representatives or even company owners.
You know the type. The cosmetics saleslady whose heart is really not into selling her wares and secretly waiting for her shift to be over. Or the account executive who obviously doesn’t like her work and treats her customers–clients, contest winners, potential business partners–shabbily and disrespectfully.
But as customers, do you have to take all these without complaint? So what do you when you encounter rude, disrespectful and incompetent sales people? (more…)
I’m a member of a few Multiply groups and everyday, I get email notices of blog entries. Aside from “For Sale” posts, I often see “Bogus Buyers/Sellers” posts.
As an online seller and buyer, I can relate to a lot online buyers who get scammed by sellers. We work hard to earn money and we end up losing it because of crooks who want to earn quick bucks.
But buyers are partly to blame. Buyers must exercise common sense and prudence when buying online. The old cliche still works. If it’s too good to be true, it must be.
But my beef is really those blog entries ranting against bogus buyers.
If it’s in eBay, fine. When you bid on an item on eBay, it is considered a contract and, just like in any contract, you must honor what’s stated there. Because eBay takes pride in its feedback mechanism, eBay requires that winning bidders pay the sellers. And eBay has a resolution center for sellers with buyers who didn’t pay for the items.
But whether you have a non-paying buyer in eBay, Multiply or any other online store, why rant publicly about them? Why bother posting all the private information of the buyer? Why raise hell against those who didn’t push through with the transaction? Why waste a lot of time and effort against that one person.
Sellers, when you rant about your customers, it tells the world what kind of seller you are. It says a lot of what kind of customer service you bring. And as a buyer myself, I wouldn’t buy anything from you. I wouldn’t even inquire lest I be accused of being a bogus buyer.
Here’s the thing. I find it disrespectful of sellers to post the names of their “bogus buyers.” Personally, if a buyer chooses not to buy your item, it’s her choice and all you should do is move on. Even if she promised to buy, it’s not a sale until you get the payment.
If the idea of a “bogus buyer” does exist (except in eBay), then I guess it would also be okay for brick-and-mortar store owners to also shout from the top of their lungs if someone enters their stores, try out their wares, and then leave.
Please, sellers, grow up! There are other buyers out there who may be interested in your items. If you rant against a “bogus buyer” for not buying your wares, maybe she was right for not paying you. With an attitude like that, who wants to be your customer?
Starting your savings is hard. Just like anything, the first step is always the hardest. But with a little discipline, creativity and work, you can start saving money. You don’t need to do all of those. Just a few will help you kick off your saving.
These tips and tricks, gathered from different resources, are the most common ways of saving money.
1. Pay off all your debts first before saving.
2. Keep track of your expenses.
3. Bring lunch to work.
4. Say ‘no’ to sodas. Drink water.
5. Use the ‘envelope’ method for your household expenses.
6. Leave your credit cards at home.
7. Set a fixed amount that you will save every month.
8. Minimize mall trips.
9. Read personal finance books, blogs and online boards.
10. Open a savings account that does not come with an ATM.
11. Cut back on eating out.
12. Stick to your grocery budget.
13. If you want to buy something, ask yourself if this is a ‘need’ or a ‘want.’
14. Take advantage of promos.
15. If you saw something you want to buy in a mall, wait for 30 minutes to see if the urge to buy disappears.
16. Don’t bring a lot of cash in your wallet.
17. Commute. Don’t take taxi rides.
18. Treat yourself to one major splurge every month.
19. Don’t eat at pricey restaurants.
20. Take advantage of the free stuff in your office like coffee, snacks, juice, etc.
21. Fly economy.
22. Save up for big expenses.
23. Keep your hairstyle short and simple.
24. Learn to pamper yourself at home.
25. Exercise at home. Don’t go to the gym.
26. Always do your shopping list and food menu.
27. Bring your leftover food at work.
28. Use your credit card only if you can pay the balance in full. Use it for the points only.
29. Plan vacations early.
30. Car pool.
31. Stay away from sales of items you don’t need.
32. Don’t follow fads.
33. Go into business to bring more money.
34. Do the grocery once or twice a month to save on gas and avoid impulse-buying.
35. Take care of your health.
36. Look for alternatives.
37. Coffee in convenience stores like 7-11 or Ministop is cheaper than from Starbucks.
38. Don’t bring your kid when doing the grocery.
39. Buy second-hand books.
40. When going to the mall, make sure you eat at home first and that you feel full.
A recent press release in Philippine Star bannered “Visa urges spending.” In the press release, Visa Country Manager for the Philippines Bob Jouber said that spending wisely means using plastic or electronic money rather than cash or checks.
Joubert also encouraged the public to spend their money not the bank’s money. “People now should use their money rather than the bank’s money through debit cards,” he said.
Now, there’s the catch! Visa is not saying that people should pay in cash but rather use debit cards. For those who are not familiar, a debit card is an alternative way of purchasing. The funds are withdrawn directly from your bank account. So if you have PhP1,000 in your account and you swipe your debit card to pay for that Starbucks coffee, the payment is deducted from that PhP1,000.
So why is Visa urging people to spend? In a nutshell, spending helps the economy grow. In a simplified explanation, if you spend and pay for, let’s say, a pair of shoes, the shoe manufacturer will be able to give salaries to its employees. The employees then would be able to buy food from the grocery. The grocery owner then would be able to pay his suppliers and so forth and so on. Spending money, especially in tough times, is a good thing because it keeps the money flowing from one person to another.
I do agree that people should still spend, even in tough economic times. I also agree that people should stop using their credit cards and pay in cash. But I don’t agree in using your debit card to purchase items.
Why not? Because paying in debit card gives you the impression that you’re using a credit card. It gives you that amazing feeling of being able to afford anything. If you don’t take control of yourself, you will be strongly tempted to just swipe, swipe and swipe that plastic. And then it would be too late to realize that all the money you have in your account is gone!
But when you pay in cash, having those pieces of paper in your hand gives you the impression that it can disappear anytime. You will dilly-dally and think hard before you part ways with your cash.
If you want to spend, go ahead and spend. But always make sure that you use cash for every purchase you make. If you need to swipe any plastic (be it debit or credit card), you can’t afford it.
In just a few weeks, thousands of Filipino students will graduate, marching to a new phase in their lives. But with so much bad news on employment, recession and the financial crunch, what can our graduates look forward to?
Ruth B emailed to ask advice for her as she is going to graduate soon.
I see that you took up a business related course and the corresponding master’s. I have taken up elementary education (specialization in Special Ed) and will be graduating this March or April. I was wondering what you would recommend a soon to be graduate does in these very scary times. I come from a family that has all the means to let me take my master’s degree now, and I think its something I’d like to do… My idea is to take my master’s now and get a part-time job would be smart.
I am a strong advocate of further studies, whether it’s pursuing a master’s degree, learning another language, or just attending seminars and workshops. Knowledge is not only good in your professional life but also gives you a sense of fulfillment that no money can buy.
For the about-to-graduate, here are some tips for you to kick-start your career:
1) Send out your resumes as early as possible.
Even if your graduation ceremony is still in the next few months, start sending out your resumes. Check the job vacancies in Jobstreet, JobsDB and BestJobs to see if there are opportunities waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to apply to these positions even if you still haven’t received your diploma. The important thing is that you start attending interviews, taking employment exams, etc.
2) Start an emergency fund.
When you have finally landed a job, make sure you start saving money for your emergency fund. In my previous post (read here), an emergency fund will keep you afloat if you lose your job, you get sick, in case there’s a real emergency. You should also save some money if you want to pursue graduate studies in a few years.
3) Do your job well.
It goes without saying but you’ll be surprised at how many fresh graduates take this for granted. The workplace is not a venue to socialize with newfound friends, a dating service, nor a place to party. When you’re in the workplace, do your job well by coming in on time, being productive, performing well. Make sure you leave a good impression to your bosses and officemates as this is a great opportunity to build your personal brand. The network you maintain in the first few years of your professional life can help you later on.
4) Pursue higher learning.
Whether it’s taking a master’s degree or something else, decide where you want to go in your career. If you’re passionate about teaching, it’s might be good if you take up a master’s degree in your area of specialization. You can also attend seminars or workshops. Be purposive that everything you do is aligned with your goals.
Good luck, 2009 graduates! May you all be productive members of the society.