The Envelope Budgeting System and Why it Works

Most people these days understand the importance of creating a budget. A budget can help you track your spending, manage your expenses, and save money for the things you want and need.

Creating a budget can be a fairly simple prospect. Sticking to that budget, however, is a whole other story. It’s for this reason that the envelope budgeting system is such an effective tool, especially for those who struggle to adhere to the budgets they draw up.

How it Works

As the name suggests, the envelope budgeting system involves putting actual hard cold cash in different envelopes, each with a specific designation. Under this system, you’ll have one envelope earmarked for your rent or mortgage payment, another for food, a third for your cable bill, and so forth. Instead of paying your bills from a single bank account, you’ll take the money you need out of the appropriate envelope as often as needed over the course of a given month.

Let’s say you typically need $400 per month to pay for groceries. Instead of charging food on your credit card, you’d fill your grocery envelope with $400 in cash at the start of the month and physically dip in every time you go to the store.

The Downside

Technologically speaking, the envelope budgeting system is a major step backwards. After all, who wants to sit there counting out cash when bills can be paid online or via apps and debit cards? Additionally, using cash for all of your purchases means potentially losing out on the chance to build credit, not to mention the cash-back incentives most credit cards offer.

But Here’s Why it Works

Though the envelope budgeting system might seem a bit dated, it can be really effective in helping you avoid overspending. Remember that $400 grocery budget? Let’s say you plow through it more quickly than expected and find yourself with just $80 left when you still have half a month’s groceries to buy. Once you see that short supply of cash, you’ll be more inclined to shop wisely during your last few grocery runs.

The envelope budgeting system can also be extremely helpful when it comes to keeping tabs on your spending. Let’s say you withdraw $100 in cash from an ATM and use it to pay for things like coffee and restaurant meals. That money might be gone before you know it. On the other hand, if you put money into specific envelopes, you’ll know exactly where it’s going. And, because you can see your supply of cash physically diminishing in front of your eyes, you’ll be less likely to overspend on frivolous things.

The Bottom Line

While the envelope budgeting system does have a few disadvantages, it can be a great form of self-discipline when it comes to spending and saving money. If you’ve struggled to stick to a budget in the past, you may want to give the envelope system a try. Besides, there’s nothing like the feeling of peering into those envelopes at month’s end and seeing a few extra dollars lying around.

 

How Businesses are Using Webinars to Scale Effectively and Convert Leads at High Rates

If you’ve never heard of a webinar before, the concept is simple. It’s a seminar held over the web. By means of a service like GoToMeeting or even a free alternative like Google Hangouts, you host a training session to convert your audience into paying customers.

Webinars have quickly become one of the hottest marketing techniques, and it’s because they’re one of the most efficient ways of converting leads today. The successful Greek journalist and entrepreneur Taki conducts webinars that convert at a rate of 21 percent. Part of the reason webinars are such a pwerful marketing tool is because they’re a visual medium that allow you to demonstrate very clearly how your product or service can benefit the audience. It’s almost like doing a one-on-one presentation with a potential client, except better because you can potentially be “one-on-one” with thousands of viewers—and you never have to leave the comfort of your home or office!

To get the most out of webinars, there are some proven steps you should follow.

Finding the Right Topic

First off, it’s important you select a topic that’s relevant to your audience (your subscribers). Since they’re subscribed to you, you already know they’re interested in your service. But to nail down a specific topic that addresses their needs, it’s best to reach out directly for an opinion. Brainstorm, then send out an email to your subscribers gauging their interest by having them sign up well in advance.

If you get favorable response numbers, you know you have a good topic on your hands, one that will lead to sales.

Also, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a product or service you offer. You can find a presenter whose services will help out your audience. You charge affiliate commissions on all sales resulting from the webinar.

Create Killer Landing Pages

One of the most important steps is to create persuasive landing pages that people can’t resist opting into. Include captivating descriptions about the host and presenter, describe the kinds of results your audience will get out of the webinar, and include customer testimonials from past webinars. Then, make sure to include a very noticeable call-to-action (sign-up for the webinar) button.

In addition, you should devote a lot of attention to your “offer” landing pages . These are the pages where your audience will be able to buy your products or services.

Practice Beforehand

You don’t want mistakes when you’re in front of thousands of people. Create beautiful slides with Powerpoint or Keynote and rehearse your remarks, your transitions, and your pitches.

Send Reminder Emails

Your sales funnel depends on getting maximum attendance. Send reminders before the date and even the same day. Make sure to give people a “last chance” to sign up for the webinar!

Make Your Pitch

Remember, the whole point of the webinar is to make sales. Make several pitches throughout (do it without being overbearing), emphasizing the results people will get. Create exclusive offers, such as a discount that will only last ten minutes following the close of the webinar.

Send a Follow-Up

After the webinar, remind people of your product by sending them a follow-up email. Include a summary of your presentation, copies of slides, and all the links mentioned during the webinar.

Conclusion

Webinars are working wonders for the big players online marketing. Lewis Howers has built his entire seven-figure business with webinars and KissMetrics is making $13,000 in sales per webinar. Even small brick and mortar businesses and leverage webinars to maximize conversion and boost profits.