Save Money, Use Mint

With the new year still fresh, many people are still adamant about sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions. According to the site Statistic Brain, 45 percent of Americans typically make New Year’s Resolutions. In 2014, the second most popular resolution was to get organized, while the third most common resolution was to save more and spend less. I think the two go hand-in-hand.

As a business major emphasizing in finance, I pride myself on being fiscally responsible (although some people prefer to call me “frugal”). But, as a poor college student, managing money can be stressful, and who needs extra stress these days?

As I admitted earlier, I am addicted to my smartphone and I know I am not alone in this sentiment. How does this relate to managing money? There’s an app for that!

If you’ve never heard of the app Mint and are struggling to manage your finances, go check it out (and download it!). If you don’t have a smartphone, the same services are available at mint.com.

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Mint.com is a free service that allows you to connect all of your bank accounts in one place. It monitors  your transactions from all of your connected accounts, and it allows you to create a budget for yourself. The budgets created are divided into categories, such as “food and dining,” “gas and travel,” and “entertainment.” Your transactions will be categorized, and the app will send you reminders when you’ve gone over budget in a given category. Additionally, the app sends its users a weekly financial summary.

It’s a safe and secure system that will help you manage your finances and achieve your financial goals. It’s simple to use, meaning anyone who has access to the site will be able to make use of the service.

If you, like many, are hoping to get organized and save more this year, check out Mint and allow technology to become your financial advocate!

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Pinterest: More Than Just Crafts, Clothing & Cake

I guess you could say I love Pinterest. I’m not afraid to admit that I have nearly 20,000 pins on my Pinterest page. Should I be embarrassed? I cannot be tamed.

I love that the site connects me to an infinite amount of other sites around the Web. It’s a virtual bulletin board that allows me to pretend I have the most beautiful clothes, that I eat the most gourmet foods and that I travel to the most exotic places. I love that it puts me in touch with others around the web who share my interests. As of today, I, a random young woman on the Internet, have over 2,300 followers on Pinterest. 2,300!

Now, imagine how a company could leverage itself on Pinterest to connect with the 70 million worldwide Pinterest users – the possibilities are endless!

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What can companies do to promote themselves on Pinterest, you ask? There are 5 easy ways a company can master the art of Pinterest.

#1 – Make your website “Pin”-friendly. 

By having the Pinterest widget on your company’s website, consumers can easily post content from your site directly onto their Pin boards. The content is then shown on their friends’ Pinterest feeds and immediately your website is given more exposure.

#2 – Organize your content.

Make sure that your Pin boards have specific themes. For example, I, as a self-proclaimed foodie, have boards for specific types of food (e.g., Dip It Low for all your dipping needs, as well as All Things Cake Batter for, well, all things cake batter). A clothing boutique, on the other hand, would likely want separate boards for the shoes, tops and accessories they sell. By organizing your content, your Pinterest is easier for consumers to navigate.

#3 – Brand your Pins.

By adding a small company logo to the photos that your company pins, you increase brand awareness by consumers, who then share these logos with their friends every time they repin your content. While adding a logo to the photos takes a bit of extra time, the brand exposure you receive by taking this step are far-reaching.

#4 – Include shopper-friendly information.

Pinterest users want to be able to look at a pin and immediately know about the product or service being presented to them. Therefore, it is essential that companies include detailed descriptions of their pins, so that consumers don’t have to go too far to find product information or price.

#5 – Engage the community.

It is essential that companies be active on all of the social media they are a part of. Whether it be Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook, companies need to ensure that they are spending time on their social media platforms each day. To be involved on Pinterest, companies can repin relevant content from other users, reply to consumer comments and answer consumer questions. Some companies, such as AMC Theatres have used Pinterest to host contests and giveaways – just check out their pin board AMC Giveaways!

Nowadays, companies must have a social media presence, and it is vital that they have a presence on the same platforms that consumers use. With Pinterest rapidly growing in popularity, companies can use these helpful hints to kickstart their use of Pinterest. For more inspiration, check out some companies who are utilizing Pinterest to enhance their brand!