Thursday, July 28, 2022

Save Money Doing Yucky but Necessary Things Like Car Repair

Courtesy of Creative Commons

You've been doing your best to keep up with the economy and its fluctuations. Maybe you've mastered being frugal or cutting back on things like clothes no longer feels like going cold turkey. Whatever the case, there's something out there waiting to catch you slipping. It's nothing you did deliberately but possibly a stereotype or something you witnessed growing up.

So what did you do? Waited to check your oil, vents, or that strange sound coming from a place that attracts dirt and oil.

Say Goodbye to Shady Mechanics

The predator is the serviceperson you may have to pay an insane amount of money for something that could've been prevented. Service tradespersons rely on (nope...LOVE) the individual who's one or more of the following:

  • Too busy to look under the hood 
  • Unfamiliar with (or intimidated by) basic machinery
  • Too cute to be bothered
  • Unknowing when it comes to prices for basic services
  • Having money to throw away

While none of these are crimes or you may have enough to pay and go about your business, having knowledge saves. In these times, no one deserves to get gauged into the poorhouse. You can do small things around the home or with your car in as little as a half-hour.

And this isn't to say that having knowledge may protect you entirely from these predators, but for us women, it's a start. You must ensure that your car and home are safe and free from possible damage. Even if you don't have a mechanical bone in your body, knowing how things work will make a shady mechanic or other tradesperson think twice about getting over on you.

Car Care Resources for Women

Here are a few resources that can help out but if you have an older vehicle, it may be better to take an in-person class or workshop, if possible:

Mechanic Shop Femme hosts a number of virtual workshops that cover buying, insurance, and tires. While there are a number of price points, some only ask for a donation. You can also reach out to Chaya with questions.

Girls Auto Clinic offers a number of workshops and easy-to-read guides that will help you sort out things when buying or making minor repairs. Sign up to receive more information or learn about a new career as a shecanic.

Essential Car Care - this book goes back to 2013 but I'd imagine the information is just as relevant as it was nearly a decade ago (with the exception of later electric/hybrid models).

You can also check out your local colleges for short-term noncredit classes that may be taken in the evening or on the weekend. Sites like Eventbrite also have virtual and live listings for these types of events. If you have time this weekend (July 30), AAA is hosting The Girl's Garage series online

Friday, July 1, 2022

Three Books Small or Aspiring Women Business Owners Should Check Out

It's the beginning of a new fiscal year and you may be looking at making a change or two. Maybe the conventional methods aren't panning out or you find yourself overextended. If you're like I was years ago, which is successful yet flying by the seat of your pants, it's time to find your narrative.  In other words, don't let the clients control you.

Yes, we grew up believing that the customer is always right and that if you work hard, the rewards will follow. This was during the time of brick and mortar businesses being the majority and mail order, outside of the Party Plan business model, was simply taking a chance for the seller and buyer. While e-commerce is an excellent way to earn a living, it takes a little bit of street smarts to survive.

Anywho, here are three books that either defy or simplify the solopreneurship process. In other words, playing by your own rules can pay off in the long run. At the same time, these can be useful in defining the structure needed in a particular area of your business.

My All-Time Favorite!

Yeah, those AT&T commercials may have been super-annoying at one point but Barbara Corcoran lays it down in Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business. Part autobiography. Part enterprise manual for women. If you're not a reader, the alternating (personal/professional) chapters may take getting used to but it begins to come together at the midway point. Instead of focusing on degrees and other BS credentials, Corcoran narrows in on using our natural gifts to prosper. Oh yeah, also common sense. Outside of her accomplishments, how she got over on then-real estate mogul Donald Trump is priceless.

Great for girls and women of any age!

She's So Boss: The Girl Entrpreneurs Guide to Imagining, Creating and Kicking Ass by Stacy Kravetz may sound a little juvenile (or trendy) but there's a lot of good information to be found. While some chapters focus on teen/young adult female entrepreneurs, there's a lot for us older gals as well. Loaded with resources and spoken in plain language and highlights business owners of many backgrounds. One thing that impressed me was this book (unlike many other popular titles) teach business owners how to use social media marketing responsibly. Anyone who's taken a basic business class knows that the super-aggressive tactics the "experts" push is just BS.