Monday Bits & Pieces: Record-keeping tool, niche thinking, and more

Good morning – hopefully you had an excellent weekend.  With nothing big to talk about today, let’s scrounge together some interesting tid bits:
  • Looking for a simple online tool to help you keep track of your time and cash flow?  1 Day Later seems to be a useful tool.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks promising.
  • I did some more niche thinking.  We know that, in general, it’s easier to appeal to a narrower niche, mainly because you’re competing against less people.  It’s easy to think of the broader niches, but I have a pretty difficult time coming up with anything narrow.  We know that a target niche is really nothing more than a target group with a specific interest, or a group of people for whom have a particular “problem” that we’re trying to solve.
    • For example, take a dog calendar – this would appeal to dog lovers.  This is a pretty broad market though, with tons of competition.
    • What if we cross it with another broad market, say, car lovers?  Now, we’re selling calendars of dogs with fancy cars that only car lovers would appreciate.  We’ve taken two very broad niches and combined them to appeal to a narrower market (car aficionados who are also dog lovers).  Maybe this particular idea isn’t a great one, but hopefully you follow my general point.  It’s something I’ll try to think more about and see if it leads anywhere.
  • Finally, I will leave you with a Wall Street Journal article titled,“If You Need to Work Better, Maybe Try Working Less.” It’s an interesting article, well suited for me and probably many of you.  Here are a couple of highlights from the article:
    • A survey of 605 U.S. workers last spring by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 70% of employees work beyond scheduled time and on weekends; more than half blame ‘self-imposed pressure.'”
    • “After five months of predictable time off, internal surveys showed consultants were more satisfied with their jobs and work-life balance, and more likely to stay with the firm, compared with consultants who weren’t part of the experiment.”

Let’s hope this week goes by quickly.  Tax season is here, and my free time is in the rear-view mirror.
30-Day Challenge Update – Day 20 (2/14):

Groceries                           $   7.86
Day 20 Total                      $   7.86

30-Day Challenge Expense Total: $386.36

“Allowed” Expenses Remaining $113.64

Average Daily Expense to Date:  $19.32 (Target Average: $16.67/day) 

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