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Target Goes Generic In Order to Attract Savers + How You Can Continue to Save on Everyday Purchases

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The fight for retails sales is getting fierce as consumers are starting to become more price conscious. Many drugstores and discount chains are creating generic branded items that are priced at a place where consumers are taking advantage of. Now Target plans to launch an ultra-low budget range of toiletries and consumer staples called Smartly, which will debut with a range of more than 70 products — including razors, toilet paper and dish soap. Target says Smartly will seek to compete with generic brands at drugstores and discount chains and is the latest step by the retailer to improve its price competitiveness, after it acknowledged last year it was losing ground to rivals such as Walmart and Amazon.

Because price is important, Target must take these necessary steps in order to stay competitive but what steps can you take to save more money in your bottom line? Here are a few ideas according to TheStreet.com:

1) Clip Coupons for Food

This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t actually clip coupons, or they see coupons but then use them to buy things they don’t really need. It’s best to clip coupons only for the things you need and to use them with in-store sales and actually track what you’re saving. Lisa Reynolds at Redplum.com says the average family can save up to $1,000 a year just by spending 20 minutes clipping coupons. Reynolds also offers this tip about coupon-clipping and meal planning: “If you find a fantastic coupon, don’t dismiss it simply because the item is not usually on your list,” she says. “Planning your meals at the same time as reviewing coupon offers and store circulars lets you take advantage of really great deals and try new recipes. Many savvy cooks create meal plans based on what the stores advertise that week.”

2) Buy Food in Season

When it comes to buying wholesome foods for your family, “Stock up on fruits and veggies in season,” says Melissa Garcia, a savings expert with couponqueen.com. “Cut them up and freeze them at their peak so you’re not forced to pay those off-season prices and you know the quality is good.”

Just because you’re trying to save doesn’t mean you cannot ever dine out – just do it less often and do it smarter, suggests Reynolds. “Countless chain establishments have proven the old adage of no free lunch or dinner wrong, especially if you have kids. Full-service chain restaurants continue to offer some pretty sweet deals in the form of kids-eat-free promotions,” Reynolds says. “You can also try cutting down on heading out to your favorite restaurant every week, or only try hitting up your local spots for which you only have a coupon for.” Paul Vazquez, a savings expert at keycode.com, advises people to pack their lunch rather than buying it daily. “With some planning, you can save big on daily lunches by planning the lunch week in advance,” Vazquez says

4) Shop for Clothes at Consignment Shops

You can find some nice clothes at consignments shops for kids and adults. “Oftentimes there are great, unique finds at your local consignment shop, including some of the top brands, at extremely affordable prices,” says Reynolds, who recommends using the site magicyellow.com to find a consignment shop near you.

5) Save on Gas

There are other ways to save on gas other than carpooling and putting your child on the bus or walking to school with them. This writer saves by using the gas stations that give discounts on certain days or that gives discounts for using a Wal-Mart gift or credit card. Of course, if you do use a credit card, make sure to pay it off as the bill arrives. Garcia, our expert at couponqueen.com also recommends downloading the Murphy Oil app, which will tell you the cheapest gas in your area.

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Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

The Daily Digm (News)

T-Mobile’s Dream of Telecommunications Domination Is Almost Complete + How to Create Mental Toughness While Pursuing Your Dreams

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T-Mobile received verbal approval from the Federal Communications Commission for its $26 billion deal to buy Sprint but still awaits the blessing of the Justice Department. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he’ll back the merger based on concessions by the third- and fourth-largest U.S. telecommunications companies, which include pledges to invest in new wireless broadband service in rural areas and to sell Sprint’s prepaid cellphone brand. While the FCC is expected to make a formal announcement within weeks, the Justice Dept. has yet to weigh out antitrust concerns.

Dream chasing isn’t for the faint at heart. It can take years before one sees the financial payoff of what was once an idea. T-Mobile is probably patient on the outside, but internal it is jumping for joy. It took them a few years to get to this point, but I’m sure they will be relieved at the fruits of their patients.

When building a business, your goal has to be more than money, or you will ultimately fail. Your drive has to be based on principle, change, and something greater than yourself. Here is how to stay mentally tough while pursuing your dreams.

Personal Development. The road to success is paved with character and growth. Personal development is one of the key drivers that sustain you on the path of your dreams. Trustworthiness, keeping your word, and dependability are imperative to any industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician or painter, lawyer or doctor, these traits and non-negotiable and forever transferable to success.

Take Breaks. To get there, you must rest one mile at a time. The grind is overrated. Reflecting on how far you’ve come energizes you for the road ahead. Burnout is a danger to your accomplishments and leads to a failure by default.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Steve Jobs popularized this quote from an ad in The Whole Earth Catalog. It read Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. We come to a point when we are happy with a level of progress and think we’ve learned everything. Accepting the truth that we never stop growing, and there is no limit to our success gives us the ability to keep going. To continue, you must never settle. You must always seek new ways of fixing things and solving problems. Discover new opportunities and be open to learning more.

Faith. Steve Jobs also mentioned faith throughout his journey. Believing so deeply in an idea that you make it come to life. Belief takes ideas and materializes them; and when you realize you can actually make something come to life, the sky becomes your launching pad, not the limit.

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The Daily Digm (News)

Retail Wars Are Getting Real Competitive + How to Stay Competitive in the Marketplace

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Walmart has announced plans to offer next-day delivery on about 220,000 of its “most frequently purchased” online items, after rival Amazon promised free one-day delivery for Prime members. The retail giant says the offering, which applies to orders over $35, will reach about 75% of the U.S. by the end of the year. The more limited inventory makes Walmart’s offer more of a competitor to Target’s Restock than Amazon, says TechCrunch. But retailers need to get a better handle on their inventory and demand for fast delivery before making such moves, execs and analysts told The Wall Street Journal.

Competition is fierce no matter what the genre is and as it relates to these entrepreneurial streets, you have to make sure that you are staying ahead of the competition so you won’t get Walmart’d by your Amazon… So what can you do? Luckily, Marketing Donut has come up with Ten ways to keep ahead of the competition:

  1. Know the competition. Find out who your competitors are, what they are offering, and what their unique selling point (USP) is. This will identify the areas you need to compete in, as well as giving you a platform for differentiating yourself.
  2. Know your customers. Customer expectations can change dramatically when economic conditions are unstable. Find out what matters to your customers now – is it lower prices, more flexible or premium service, the latest products? Revise your sales and marketing strategy accordingly.
  3. Differentiate. It’s essential to give your customers good reasons to come to you rather than a rival. Your USP should tap into what customers want, and it should be clear and obvious – no-one should have to ask what makes you different.
  4. Step up your marketing. Improve your market positioning statement. Make more effort to tell people who you are, what you sell, and why they should buy from you. It doesn’t have to be expensive; marketing can range from posters in your window and leaflet drops through to viral campaigns on social media.
  5. Update your image. Simple steps such as painting the front of your premises can make your business look more modern and inviting. But also look at business cards, social media presences, your website, branded packaging, clothing and so on. Does your image reflect your USP?
  6. Look after your existing customers. They will be your competitors’ target market. Provide better customer service by being more responsive to their needs and expectations. If feasible, consider offering low-cost extras such as improved credit terms, discounts or loyalty schemes – remember, it’s cheaper and easier to keep customers than to find new ones.
  7. Target new markets. Selling into a greater number of markets can increase your customer base and spread your risk. Consider whether you can sell online or overseas, for example. Are there groups you’ve never targeted before who might be interested in your offer? Remember the benefits of market segmentation and don’t waste time marketing to people who won’t be interested.
  8. Expand your offer. What related products or services might your customers be interested in? You might even consider diversifying into another area – many bars and restaurants have successfully offered business networking events, for example.
  9. Be the best employer. Skilled, motivated staff underpin vibrant, growing businesses. But attracting them means more than paying a competitive wage – people are often more impressed by a good working atmosphere and benefits such as flexible working and structured career development.
  10. Look to the future. Businesses that plan for growth are more successful than those that are happy to stay still. Keep up with developments in your sector, follow consumer trends, invest in new technology and – crucially – have a clear idea of where you want to be in one, three and five years’ time.
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The Daily Digm (News)

Negotiating Better Pay May Be Getting Easier + How to Easily Stay Ahead of the Game

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Salaries were once a taboo thing to discuss. Yet, with unemployment at a five-decade low and the gig economy requiring people to compare salaries, attitudes are shifting in the conversation, according to The New York Times. Keeping salary information secret favors managers who want to pay people less, say experts. More information about salaries may benefit workers, giving them wider room to negotiate better pay.

This is great news for those who in the past have been cheated out of a fair wage because they didn’t understand how to play the negotiation game. But it doesn’t only take negotiation to get top dollar; there are other tricks to the trade. Here are four ways anyone could use to get ahead of the career game:

  1. Know Your Strengths and Capitalize off of Them. Don’t try to be something you’re not or learn new tricks overnight. Stay in your lane and become stronger. The stronger you become, the more value you will have in the workforce.
  2. It’s Never Too Late to Intern or Volunteer. As adults, these can be such humbling terms, but it can still get your foot in the door. Just look at Chris Gardner. Not only did he become wealthy, but his rise to riches also led to a movie based starring Will Smith & Jayden Smith
  3. Building Your Connections. Who you know is just as if not more important than what you learn. Being authentically connected to others in your field of interest can open up a world of opportunities. One rule of thumb is never settled or compromise for relationships but do, however, seek to build solid ones.
  4. Create Your Own Platform. Don’t underestimate your ability to build an empire. Many successful entrepreneurs and professionals created their own jobs. Combine all of the above and consider investing them in your own enterprise.
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