You've heard me bitch a lot about the most overused, meaningless marketing message of all time: “Save Time & Money”. I go on and on about that damn phrase. How to Save Money: Great Tips to Get You Started . crock pot for some inexpensive meal options that not only save money, but time, too. So don't just spend less, put the money you save into a savings account to plan time is on their side, the youngest workers are in the best position to save for.
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The solution to these problems is not to let disputes arise in the first place, by putting your application processing and payment approval systems in better order. That means faster, more efficient processes see step 3 below , as well as using new technology in areas such as application for payment see step 5. Construction companies able to move past disputes over payment will build much stronger relationships with key stakeholders at every link on the value chain. That should deliver consistent dividends, both in terms of winning new work and in making future projects more profitable.
Organisational bureaucracy can add huge amounts of cost and delay to projects, with people and process getting in the way of delivery and control. Working towards a leaner organisation, with a clear prioritisation of operational resources is an important step towards improving margins and profitability.
Even where growth has been organic, the project-based nature of construction work can sometimes be difficult to build structures around. Talent, too, can be a headache for construction companies, with many firms reporting that they find it difficult to recruit people with the skills and experience required. This may encourage some organisations to operate with more people than they really need, even during less busy periods.
They need to find new ways of working. That means evaluating the current state of play within the company, identifying bottlenecks and productivity blackspots, and then re-engineering the organisation to overcome these difficulties.
The final piece of the jigsaw is likely to be better use of technology. Automation and IT-driven process transformation can deliver substantial efficiencies.
Some of these tasks will be more difficult than others. Cost and delay are the inevitable results. This rose to a third in the largest companies, suggesting these businesses are particularly prone to potentially expensive transparency issues. Improved transparency when it comes to internal processes will deliver benefits too, as will more open relationships with suppliers and subcontractors. Well-managed construction companies have performance indicators and dashboards in place so they can quickly take action where pinch points are developing.
They also build strong communication channels with key stakeholders to ensure a constant flow of relevant information between all relevant parties. In doing so, the construction industry is slowly playing catch up with other sectors, where productivity levels have raced ahead in recent times. For example, productivity in manufacturing has doubled over the past two decades according to McKinsey — partly due to its adoption of such techniques — but has stagnated in construction.
New technologies can help deliver all of the four imperatives above, so investing in such tools is going to be an important part of how you garner all the benefits potentially on offer. The issue of visibility is a good example of what might be possible. Project management information systems include applications designed to help improve project scheduling, monitoring and controls.
The aim is to enable project managers to communicate key information to other functions within the business with ease, so it can be acted upon rapidly — and so resources can be co-ordinated efficiently between projects. With project planning in particular, construction companies are increasingly investing in planning software that automates every stage of the process, reducing idle time on site and thereby improving productivity.
By cutting disparate paper-based documents out of the system, standardising documentation formats and using an online consistent platform through which all parties have visibility and transparency, such tools provide substantial benefits and cost savings.
The aim should be to use such platforms to speed up the decision-making process, with applications and payments handled quickly and simply, building trust between all the parties in the chain. New technology and streamlined applications for payment makes collaboration in construction a reality. Too many construction companies suffer from low margins.
They need new strategies to improve profitability. We work with our stakeholders to constantly update and maintain this database to ensure that the information is relevant and helpful for those looking to source premium quality companies in the UK construction market.
UK Construction Online's Stakeholder package quickly connects your company to our vast audience of over , visitors a month. A stakeholder is a Mircosite that has the power to highlight a product or service, launch a promotion, or promote brand awareness to the construction industry in a way that full websites or more traditional marketing cannot. All stakeholders have the ability to have their latest press releases and case studies promoted across the UK Construction Online platform.
UK Construction Online is updated daily, with the latest news across all sectors within the construction industry and all stakeholders are promoted on both social media and to a mailing list of over , subscribers. UK Construction Media enquiries promarkmedia. Improve planning Not enough construction companies take a strategic approach to planning. Stop arguing and start collaborating Disputes over payments are a major cause of delay in the construction sector, with several studies suggesting the industry is particularly prone to late payments.
As is the case with the cloud-based systems, you use a master password to access the file. For more advice on protecting yourself against data breaches, see our Guide to Preventing and Overcoming 5 Types of Identity Theft. Among the mountains of paper in your home office are a number of documents that you should save forever: Hold on to home-purchase documents and records of improvements for as long as you own the property.
The same goes for the titles to your vehicles. In addition, the IRS generally has three years from the tax-filing deadline to audit your return, so keep your return and supporting documents for at least that long. Monthly bank statements can also go into the shredder unless you need them for tax purposes.
Hold on to statements that show the cost basis for an investment you still own. See Our Ask Kim Column: You can also harness technology to reduce paperwork. Back up the files with an external hard drive or flash drive. Why waste time paying your bills when your bank or credit union probably offers an electronic bill-payment program, most likely at no charge? Or arrange for recurring payments to be made automatically every month before the due date.
Although auto-pay can be a godsend for busy people, there are downsides, too. Changing banks can be a hassle because you must unwind all of your auto-payment plans before closing your old account most banks and credit unions provide switch kits that help you with this process. One way to avoid that problem is to put your savings on autopilot, too.
Have your paycheck deposited electronically in your bank account and, if your employer permits it, consider having a portion of your check deposited in a savings account set up for emergencies. Over the course of your working life, you may have accumulated a raft of k plans from former employers and individual retirement accounts at various financial-services firms.
For IRAs, consolidating with one firm will help you avoid low-balance fees that could eat into your returns. You can combine the same types of IRAs such as traditional IRAs in a single account, which makes it easier to keep track of your portfolio. Increasing the size of your account could also make you eligible for perks, such as a discount on tax software or a free portfolio review by a financial planner. Changing and updating beneficiaries is also easier when all of your IRAs are in the same place.
And when you retire, taking withdrawals from your IRAs will be easier if you have all of your accounts with the same firm. Some large-company k plans offer institutional-class mutual funds with lower fees than retail funds offered by IRAs. Many also offer stable-value funds, which are attractive low-risk alternatives to money market funds and are only available in employer-sponsored retirement plans. Most large companies allow plan-to-plan rollovers. You can see what you have at a glance, compare your asset allocation to your target mix of investments, and reduce the amount of paperwork you have to contend with at tax time.
Rowe Price and Vanguard, have brokerage arms, so you can transfer both individual securities and mutual funds to them. Big brokerage firms, such as Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade, let you buy and sell funds as easily as stocks.
That cuts down on shocks that can lead to poor, emotionally driven decisions, says Ben Carlson, author of the book A Wealth of Common Sense: Among other things, the tool tells you the degree to which your investments overlap and what percentage of your assets are in broad investment categories, such as big U.
They come in three main flavors: Lifestyle funds assemble a mix of investments geared to your tolerance for risk. Asset allocations in both balanced and lifestyle funds tend to remain fairly constant over time. The asset allocation in target-date funds , by contrast, changes as the fund ages.
The idea is to pick a fund, such as Fidelity Freedom , whose target date matches your particular goal—usually retirement, but the funds may also be used to save for college or other purposes. A fund with a target year far into the future typically has a high percentage of stocks. Over time, the fund gradually trims its allotment to stocks and adds more bonds and cash.
Note, however, that this so-called glide path can vary dramatically from one fund sponsor to another.
9 Easy Moves to Save You Time and Money
Saving money so often comes with a different kind of price: your time. But with these strategies, culled from the U.S. News Frugal Shopper blog. If your expenses are so high that you can't save that much, it might be time to cut back. To do so, identify nonessentials that you can spend less on, such as. Sometimes spending a bit extra can actually save you money in the long-run. Here are 10 times that paying extra will help you save.