Kristine, Author at Loanables - Page 2 of 2

About Kristine

Kristine is an entrepreneur and business consultant. She invented a handy little gadget called My Bag Belt and uses her creative thinking to help other small businesses through their unique marketing challenges.


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To Buy or Rent: Boat Edition

It’s summer in Austin, and that means only one thing: it’s hot, hotter & hottest. On more than one occasion I have thought about how nice it would be to own a boat. To get out on the water anytime I want. No need to plan, just be spontaneous. Enjoy the picturesque lake life featured by so many friends’ Insta pics. But not until this summer did I take the time to learn what it would really look like to own a boat, and now I’m thinking twice.

While researching for our summer boat giveaway, we asked a local boat owner about the expenses associated with purchasing and maintaining his awesome wakeboarding boat. Here is what we found:

  • A used wakeboard boat can cost anywhere from about $50k to $150k. A conservative average would be about $80k for a used boat that still has some get up and go.
  • Hopefully you already have a truck or the math will never make sense on this but you’ll definitely need to buy a trailer ($800-$2k) to haul the boat from place to place and get it in and out of the water.
  • Toys: What fun is a boat if you don’t have water equipment like a wakeboard, skis, tubes and the required life jackets? We’ll let you look up costs on the ones you would really use, but trust us, they can get pricey.
  • After a few years of pristine maintenance, you could hopefully sell the boat for a good price, maybe that low end of $50k.
  • A year’s worth of storage, maintenance, equipment insurance, dock fees and fuel runs about $14k.

For our purposes, let’s ignore the purchase and sale, you’re a better negotiator than me, right? So you’ll get a good deal on the buy and sell it for a pretty penny. Let’s just talk annual expenses. $14,000. Assume you LOVE boating and get out on the water every Saturday of the summer, as well as on Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. You’ll have 17 glorious days on the Lake. Divide that $14k in typical annual expenses by those 17 days and it will cost you $824 each time you use the boat. And remember, we didn’t include actually purchasing the boat, trailer, truck or toys. Yikes!

Make sure you leave 2-3 hours each day of use to prep and clean up after your fun. All equipment like wakeboards, skis, tubes and lifejackets need to be cleaned, maintained and repaired as they are used. Also, plan in a few hours per week throughout the summer to do your repair work like stitching seats and rebuilding the trailer, like Colton did last year.

 

Y’all, this is no longer sounding like much fun. I just want to cool off and have a good time on the water! I don’t want all this work, all these expenses! I just want to be flung off a tube at high speeds, practice my barefoot techniques and throw back a cold one with my friends. I think I’ll stop right here, log on to Loanables.com and request to rent from someone who already owns a boat! See you on the water!

To Buy or Rent: Summer Clothing Edition

Rent or Buy

As I’m shopping for summer wardrobe additions, I can’t help but wonder if I could save money by renting some of the items that I am considering. The more the rental movement grows, the more I am challenging the belief I’ve always had that owning is better. One thing I was surprised to see normalized in the last few years is clothing rentals. I grew up with the mindset that you make an investment in high quality items and you use them forever. This makes a lot of sense for items you will use over and over, for the next few years at least. However, as I really consider this further, I find it actually makes sense to spend less, and perhaps forego ownership all together, on certain items in my wardrobe. Items I only need for one special occasion or that will be such a standout they will be too noticeable to don a second time in the same crowd often do not have a lifetime value equal to the upfront cost. So as I’m considering updates to my wardrobe I’d like to share the items I chose to purchase and those I’ll rent for their specific use. Hopefully my thoughts will help you find ways to save money this summer too!

TO BUY

Printed Shorts

Shorts with a great print are a fabulous update to this summer’s wardrobe. They can be fun and flirty and if you choose one like the floral number below they can be worn a myriad of ways, all summer long. Pair with a contrasting pattern as shown with this floral short, or simplify with denim, black, white, pink, green or yellow shirt. The possibilities are endless!

A different take would be to go for a print on a classic denim short and wear with just about any solid color top you own. These could be a go-to for every day of the summer!

Espadrille

A must-have shoe update for summer is the espadrille. Choose a wedge, a flat with a simple pattern, or a flat with a cute image depending on your preference and keep the colors more neutral or coordinating with the majority of your summer clothes to make these a staple year after year.

 

 

TO RENT

Evening Clutch

How many times have you been in the handbag department stressing about the perfect clutch to go to that wedding or special event? I find myself needing a different one for every outfit because accessories can really make or break the look. But they can also cost a pretty penny! Consider renting this botanical clutch or this neutral metallic snakeskin option to save money since it will likely only get used once or twice.

 

 

Gala or Special Event Dress

Similar to the evening clutch, most gala or special event dresses are expensive and have really limited use. Remember how she promised you would be able to wear that bridesmaid’s dress again? Yeah right! Rent it for a fraction of the cost and avoid that pit in your stomach every time you see the $300 gown you’ve only managed to wear once. Some options include this perfectly pink cocktail dress, this black lace evening gown, and this lace maxi.

 

What else would you consider renting instead of purchasing this summer? I’m thinking a statement necklace for a girl’s night out…cowboy boots for that Texas hill country wedding…maybe even a few sarongs for the beach! If you’ve got something you’d be willing to rent, please list them on www.loanables.com.

5 Ways to Teach Kids Business Skills This Summer

Looking for some ways to teach your kids about business this summer? Here are our top 5 ideas along with the business concepts to teach!

1)    Lemonade Stand with a Twist: We will start with the obvious. Setting up a lemonade stand can be a great way for kids to learn the basics of business. But, consider how you can make yours more unique! What if you sold snow cones, cotton candy or popcorn? You might get more takers with bigger smiles on their faces! This can teach kids the importance of differentiating yourself from the competition, or providing a unique product. It may also require a little investment up front, like purchasing or renting the equipment, which further teaches kids that there are costs to getting started in business. These costs need to be considered in the pricing of the end product. Help them price competitively and appropriately to cover all costs and have some profit!

2)    Provide a Service: For older kids, a great way to teach business skills is to provide a service like pet sitting or lawn care services. Start by figuring out which service offering is best for your kiddo. Help them research responsibilities and reasonable price points for what they will offer. Then, have the budding entrepreneur create a flyer to post in the neighborhood. Or, utilize their tech skills by posting their services on NextDoor. Finally, help them learn how to respond and follow up with potential customers, keeping dates and instructions straight. Some kids may need some direct parental supervision as they get these businesses going! Since this doesn’t involve selling a product, use this to teach kids about the value of their time.

Grandparent Weekend3)    Rent out Things They Own: Let the kids take a look at their toy bins and play items in the garage. Find a few things they could live without for a day or a week in exchange for some cold, hard cash. Then, snap a pic and post them for rent on Loanables.com. Bikes & toys can be grouped into packages for grandparents to use when their families come to town. Use this opportunity to teach kids about return on investment (ROI). {You purchase something for x money, then rent it out y times for z money. What was your ROI?}

4)    Sell Items They’ve Made: Farmers Markets, Makers Markets and various vendor shows are popping up all over town. Or gather a group of people to start your own! Find a fun activity like making bath bombs or other handmade items and sell them in a booth. There is no better way to learn to sell than to be face to face with customer after customer in this type of environment. These projects can show kids how they have the skills to create something of value (that others will pay money for). They just need to tap into their own creativity!

 

5)    Send them to a Business Skills Camp: Moolah U is Austin’s Original Pop-Up Business Camp, providing a unique opportunity to learn about money. Campers bring their creative ideas to the group, which researches and determines what will be most profitable. Through experiential learning and as-needed guidance, teams create and market their products to patrons at local area restaurants. They make real money and learn responsibility and accountability in this hands-on business building experience! Check out camp locations and dates here.

UPDATE: Moolah U has offered a $25 discount for Loanablog readers! To save on your camp registration use code SHARE2017

The Best Decision I Made When Taking Kids to D.C.

Last week, my kids and I tagged along on my husband’s
business trip to Washington, D.C. We’ve never done that before, but I couldn’t
pass up the opportunity for a free hotel room while sight-seeing in our nation’s
capital! Before we went, I searched blogs & websites for ideas on how to
spend our time and asked my BFF’s (okay, Facebook) what would be at the top of
their list for 5 & 7 year-old kids. The consensus was clear: Air &
Space Museum, Natural History Museum and the National Zoo. And, of course, the monuments and memorials all along the National Mall was a must.
When I studied the map of our hotel location and the
National Mall, I realized we were going to do quite a bit of walking to
accomplish all of these stops. Anyone with young children knows the torturous whining and complaining that would certainly ensue on mile-long walks between
museums and monuments, so I went on the hunt for other means of transportation.
My kids had learned to ride bikes just in the last month, so naturally, I went
to Loanables.com to search for bikes to rent. And you know what I found? Bikes in Austin, bikes in Knoxville, TN, folding bikes in North Port, FL, bikes in Chicago, an awesome Tandem bike in Delaware, OH, bikes in California, but how many bikes in
Washington, D.C.? None! Not a single bike for rent in Washington, D.C. So, I was
forced to hit Google and found Bike & Roll D.C. which was located just
about half a mile off the National Mall and had bikes for kids & adults
that included helmets and locks. Perfect!
We arrived and were fitted for bikes & helmets, given instructions about where to lock them up and were sent on our way! We rode up and down the
National Mall, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol; back to the Museum of
Natural History and to the White House; to the Air & Space Museum and to
the Museum of American History. We rode and rode and rode and rode. And you
know what? Not a single complaint of being tired or hot or hungry. They LOVED
it! The time spent riding in between sights was equally as enjoyable as the sights themselves.
A beautiful, picturesque way to spend our time together.
Now, when we dropped the bikes off and had to hike almost 2
miles back to our hotel…those were the worst 2 miles of our entire trip. The
whining was incessant. We must have stopped 14 times to rest. And that would
have been the ENTIRE trip had we not rented those bikes. So, the best decision
I made while on this trip…renting bikes! I do wish I could have rented the
bikes and gear from an individual because the pricing from individuals on Loanables looks a lot better than what I paid. So if you know someone who lives in D.C. please ask them to list their stuff
on Loanables!

And the next time you travel, especially with kids, check
out what you can rent for fun & entertainment, as well as transportation to
enjoy the journey even more! 
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