Monthly Archives: July 2021

Get Organized: How to Plan, Budget, and Schedule Your Gifts

Winging it is appropriate in some instances like spontaneously deciding where to go for dinner, taking a scenic route rather than the normal path, or starting a new Netflix binge on a series you’ve heard nothing about. 

But, my friends, when it comes to gift-giving, you’ll always be better off by putting some thought into it. Whether the lucky recipients are friends, family, employees, or customers, you should know how to plan, budget, and schedule your gifts.  

You’re on your own with this one. Go figure it out. 

Oh, we kid, we kid. Of course we’re going to provide some guidance below!

Start With a List

It’s fun checking items off a list, and how you create that–note pad, spreadsheet–is up to you. Start by committing people’s names to paper or Excel. These are the must-gift folks, as in, if you forget them, you’ll look bad. 

For each one, decide the occasions during the year to gift them and how much you are willing to spend per gift. Oh, and ensure that it is within your means. Sounds elementary, but if you’re a business owner, and you improvise your spend, that can hurt your budget in other areas of the company. There’s a fine line between being too frugal and too extravagant. 

Set Your Annual Gift Budget

Speaking of budget, just how much should you spend annually? This certainly depends on your personal and/or company financial situation. To give you an idea, in 2020, the average American spent $998 on gifts during the holiday season. So, play with that spreadsheet to make the total work for you. 

Monthly Gift Spending

Stay with me here. Divide your gift budget by 12 to determine the average of your monthly gift spend. I know this is stating the obvious, but 1) it keeps you on track and 2) you’d be surprised how many people ignore this and go over budget. 

If you really want to be disciplined, each time you receive your paycheck, set the monthly sum aside for gifts, and don’t spend it on anything else. 

When it comes to your clients, the best practice is to allocate a gift fund for the year, and while you’re at it, budget for prospects, too, because sending them a gift is a gesture of goodwill and may lead to future business

Choice of Gifts

As we’ve previously written, giving gifts makes you happier, and there are many to choose from, including ( 🚨 SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT 🚨) gift baskets loaded with chocolates, candies, wine, nuts, coffee, tea, and other goodies. These gifts are perfect for a wide range of occasions since everyone loves indulging in these irresistible treats. But knowing your audience is key, and if it’s a gift card that makes them happy, then go for it. 

You don’t have to be a mathematician to set an annual gift-giving budget. Know what you can afford, who you want to surprise, and the rest is gravy.

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5 Health Benefits of Coffee

And we’re back with another edition of The Health Benefits Of [fill-in-the-blank]. 

So far, we’ve served up blog posts on the health benefits of red wine, dark chocolate, nuts, and now, perhaps the biggest showstopper of them all: 5 Health Benefits of Coffee.  

You’re either vibrating with excitement from this announcement, the caffeine, or both. 

The point is that coffee can be good for you, and you can lose any shame about having to rely on it to get through the day. 

Here’s what we’ve brewed for you. 

1. Coffee Can Give You Higher Energy & Intelligence

Who doesn’t want to feel smarter and more alert? 

Now, it’s common knowledge that caffeine is a stimulant, but understanding the science behind feeling more energized is pretty cool. As you sip coffee, your bloodstream snatches up the caffeine and funnels it to your brain, blocking adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that causes drowsiness. The door then opens for other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which give you that pep in your step. 

What happens when you experience increases in memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times, and general mental function? You become more intelligent. According to Healthline, multiple controlled studies bear this out. 

2. Coffee Is Nutrient-Rich

You can get your nutrient fix from a single cup of coffee. It’s like Vitamin Bingo: coffee beans contain vitamins B2, B3, B5, potassium, and manganese. No need to feel bashful about your fifth cup of coffee of the day when you’re packing these in. 

By the way, if your eyes saw “magnesium” while reading “manganese”, you’re not alone. The former supports muscle and nerve function and energy production, while the latter plays an important role in bone formation and reducing inflammation. 

Thanks for the confusion, Periodic Table. 

3. Coffee Lowers Risk Of Diseases

Something that smells and tastes good and protects you from disease is a win-win-win. This information comes from none other than John Hopkins Medicine

Heart Failure – For starters, consuming coffee can ward off heart failure in people with hearts that have trouble pumping enough blood to the body.

Parkinson’s Disease – Nutrient-rich caffeine can lower your chances of developing Parkinson’s and ease the symptoms of those suffering from the disease. 

Colorectal Cancer – According to a Johns Hopkins Medicine study, one in 23 women develop colon cancer, but drinkers of regular or decaf coffee were 26 percent less likely to get colorectal cancer.

Cirrhosis – People who drink four or more cups of coffee a day can lower their risk of developing cirrhosis by up to 80 percent. 

4. Coffee Can Increase Your Lifespan 

Lowered risk of disease typically means you live longer. Healthline cites two comprehensive studies finding that consuming coffee was associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of death in men and a 26 percent decreased risk of death in women over 18 – 24 years. 

5. Chock Full of Antioxidants

Lest you thought our friends, the Antioxidants wouldn’t make an appearance in this blog post, you were mistaken. You can impress folks at your next coffee meeting or cocktail party (hello, Irish coffee!) by informing them that the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet is…coffee. In fact, many of us get more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables combined. 

Well, it turns out that you can have your coffee and drink it, too. If you weren’t sipping a cup while reading this, go ahead and fire up your Keurig, prepare your French press, or hit a Starbucks, Dunkin’, or wherever you enjoy your coffee. You’ve earned it. 

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