Most people complain that they don't have enough room in their house for all their fill-in-the-blank: artwork, magazines, furniture, books, or various junk. Beyond making use of consignment shops and Salvation Army, here are five quick decorative solutions to help you create more space and order in your house.
Whether you believe in fate or not, sometimes saying a few words to the stranger beside you can put you in touch with just the right people you need to boost your career. The next time you find yourself in one of these five locations, work up the courage to spark a conversation with the person beside you.
- Public transportation can be grimy and crowded, but perhaps the unsavory conditions will instigate a conversation with the person next to you.
- Weddings bring people and extended family together. Your sister's, brother-in-law's, cousin's, or wife's cousin (from the other side of the family) might be the ideal "seventh" degree of separation that you needed to make friends with.
- Restaurant bars are quieter, intimate, and certainly more civil than a Friday night out on the town. While you are waiting for a table, casually converse with the person beside you.
- Long lines at lunch bring the downtown businessmen and women together. Potentially rub elbows with the right person from the right firm.
- Long-distance running and cycling groups are a healthy and active way for you to meet a whole new group of people who share your hobbies but come from different professional backgrounds.
'Tis the season to dust off those favorite holiday movies. The following five classics have major savvy lessons to teach about handling personal finance, listening to your mentors, engaging in office affairs, and more. Implement these lessons, and have a very merry, savvy holiday!
I remember receiving my first paycheck postcollege – along with my first checking account fee. While you're a student, many banks will prompt you to sign up with a free checking account, but things change when you graduate. I was startled and annoyed at this fee, but little did I know the few years preceding college, I would rack up several others. Here are five important things you should be aware of when banking in your 20s.
- Know the fees associated with your account. Ask what types of fees to expect and how you can avoid them. They creep up, and your bank might not prepare you for new fees either. For instance, large banks like Bank of America are instating monthly fees for debit card usage. While charges are between $3-$5, it's still a pretty significant fee for debit card users.
- Your purchasing habits are stored. In the ever-connected modern day world, purchases made by debit and credit cards are stored and analyzed. This might not mean a whole lot to you in terms of your debit card usage, but companies could use the data to determine your interest rates for credit cards. Keep that in mind if you tend to make not-so responsible choices like purchasing huge items spontaneously or blowing your paycheck in a 24-hour period. Otherwise, opt to make more cash purchases.
When you are new to the workforce, you will quickly learn that entry-level positions do require you to prove your worth and dedication to the company. Aka, working a lot of overtime. You want to be sure that you are taking care of yourself and your life outside of work, so that you remain energized, happy, and motivated. Implement our savvy tips so that you can feel your best self in and outside of the office.
- Stay focused while at work. Use the Pomodoro Technique to time your productivity. It's so easy to migrate away from your work to check your email or browse the web, which just drains you of your energy and time. If you concentrate only on one task for 25 minutes, you're more likely to complete your work in an eight-hour day rather than take it home with you.
- Complete a daily achievement and something pleasurable. Jim Bird, the publisher of WorkLifeBalance.com recommends that every day you should be saying, "I just want to achieve something today and I want to enjoy something today. And if I do both of those things today, I'm going to have a pretty good day. And if I do both of those things every day for the rest of my life, I'm going to have a pretty good life."
Before you agree to help your friends with their job search and applications, it's important to know your boundaries. You don't want to set yourself up for a huge commitment (you are not a professional career counselor), but you do want to be a supportive and helpful friend. Too much dependence on you could make you resentful, and too much criticism could upset your jobless friend. Avoid nasty situations from arising by following these tips.
- Give advice based on your skills – Perhaps you are a great communicator and networker but terrible at grammar. Only help your friend in areas where you feel strong and confident. Otherwise, you may make a glaring oversight that could compromise their application process.
- Respond promptly – You have a busy schedule too, but it's important that if you agree to help them, respond to their emails or phone calls in a timely manner. Otherwise, you are wasting their time by your flakiness, which could cause them to lose the opportunity.
- Make small edits to cover letters and resumés – Do check for grammatical errors and clarity, but don't tear apart their work and make elaborate changes. After all, their work must showcase and maintain their voice.
- Offer a list of informative websites – If you don't want to spend a lot of time going over all the gritty formalities of the job application process, recommend a few websites that cover the basics of how to build a resumé and prepare for the interview.
Unforeseen events occur when you are least expecting them, such as when my toilet cracked into two pieces while I was away at work. Water gushed all over my closet and into my downstairs neighbor's unit, and we both ended up with some ruined expensive items. While my landlord paid for the toilet to be replaced and my neighbor's ceiling to be fixed, she urged us to buy renters insurance so that next time an accident occurred, our belongings would be covered. Renters insurance protects you from horrible surprises, from fires to robberies. Consider these basic things before you decide to purchase renters insurance. Read up on renters insurance policies.
The sweltering Summer heat can make it difficult to concentrate on work. If you're itching to get out of your cubicle to lounge by the poolside, we've got these suggestions for you to stay productive at work while making the most of Summer.
- Decorate your desk: Personalize your desk with a Summer theme. Keep a potted plant or fresh flowers at your desk. Frame a few of your favorite Summer memories to perk up your mood.
- Listen to a Summer-themed playlist: Create your own upbeat playlist, or check out Pandora Summer playlists. I'm loving Pandora's "Summer Hits From the 90s" that includes hits from Tag Team, Blues Traveler, and Vertical Horizon. There's nothing like nostalgic tunes from the Summers of your youth to bring back happy memories.
Everyone has a bad financial habit. We live in a country that spends billions on advertising to make us want to make purchases; However, if you are looking to make change and break your bad financial habits use these tips. Remember: even though the habits are hard to break and require conscientious effort, there is payoff. Note the emphasis on the word payoff.
- Pay bills when you receive them. Think of all the stress and anxiety (not to mention late fees) that you experience when you put off paying your bills. When you receive the email notification or open the bill in the mail, take care of it. It will only take five minutes, and you won't be swamped with bills at the last minute.
- Use cash and not your card. You need to save up for a trip or need to pay off a credit card, but you have a hard time controlling the amount of swipe purchases you are making. Minimize this urge by using your ATM card once a week to withdraw the amount of money you have allotted yourself for the week. Keep your cards at home, and even stow your credit cards in a hard to reach place in your closet to keep you from using them.
Do you feel like you've gone on a shopping spree every time you go to the dry cleaners? While it's nice to have shirts and pants hung so crisp, fresh, and clean, dry cleaning service all costs a pretty penny. If you are looking to save some bucks each month on your laundry, consider implementing these tips on how to save on dry cleaning.
- Scope the land – Rather than go to the closest dry cleaners out of convenience, do a little research on surrounding stores. Perhaps only a block away, you'll find a better deal that also offers a frequent cleaner punch card.
- Limit the clothes you take – You can hand wash most cashmere, wool, satin, silk, and cotton clothes. However, always take suede, velvet, fur, and leather to the professionals.
If you find yourself struggling to stay focused at work, and as a result, your workday seeps later and later into the evening, these tips might help you complete more during your 9-5 stretch. Beyond tackling your to-do list, we've included steps that can help you better manage your office time.
- Plan your day on a curve – Start off easy, complete your hardest projects between 10 a.m.–2 p.m., and finish your day with housekeeping tasks.
- Address projects first and email later – We all spend hundreds of hours a year reading our email. Every time you choose to read a new message rather than continue what you are doing, you prolong the total time it takes to finish an assignment. Try to ignore your inbox while you are mid-project and instead, check it afterward or limit this distraction to every 20 minutes.
- Stay organized – I know I'm guilty of shying away from a chore to organize my desk. Keep your space clean and clutter free, so you can focus your attention on your work rather than feeling anxious about the mess around you.
According to a survey by TheKnot.com, the average American wedding costs $27,021 (excluding the honeymoon). Let's face it: that number is mere pennies compared to celebrity weddings. We love gushing over our favorite celebrities' elaborate fairy-tale affairs. We can hardly wait to see the upcoming weddings of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson, and Britney Spears and Jason Trawick. In the meantime, click through to see these 10 remarkably expensive celebrity weddings.
Tune in or tune out, we all have activities we like to do during the morning commute. That 30 minutes to an hour every day gives you time to catch up on your news or get in a little extra snooze. If your favorite activity is nontraditional, like knitting a scarf or catching up on a romance novel on your Kindle, dish in the comments below. Let's hope that what you do on the way to work depends on how you commute, whether it's by train, bus, or car!
While we'd like to blame the economy, Generation Y — often called the Boomerang Generation of Americans born in the '80s and '90s — have earned that snide title for their inability to land jobs after college and for commonly moving back in with the folks several years after graduation. In an effort to move away from this common trend, here's a list of goals and a realistic time line to help you move toward an independent, adult life.
Last Year of School and Graduation
While some college students apply for jobs or graduate programs during their last semester of school, you might feel overloaded if you start the search while you have a full schedule of classes, an internship, and even a part-time job. Rather than trying to juggle all of those tasks at once, focus on completing your degree. Do make use of your college career services, so you have websites and resources at hand when you are ready to seriously start the hunt.
If you have savings or financial support from your parents, go to Europe or take that dream vacation you've always wanted. It's important to take a break after graduation to decompress before jumping into a job search or a new job. Even if it's just a road trip with your friends, take the opportunity to celebrate your graduation.
When you left for college, did your parents, mentors, and even your college RA warn you against signing up for a credit card while at school? Since the invention of the debit card, it seems like a lot of young adults stay away from applying for a credit card to ward off unnecessary debt. However, as you grow older, you must build good credit so your landlords, car dealerships, and banks have a better idea of your financial track record and how responsible you are at paying your bills on time. Take this quiz to see if you are ready to handle the responsibilities of having a credit card.
For us modern women, it's hard to believe that only a few decades ago, women struggled for equality in the workplace, and it was common for women to marry young and become stay-at-home mothers. However, in today's society, women are often placing their careers first and finding it hard to find lasting relationships. If you think your career is what makes you a catch, think again! We recently spoke to April Beyer about her career as an expert relationship coach and matchmaker. She offers us this savvy relationship advice for career-oriented women, so we can avoid the many pitfalls that are keeping modern women from having successful relationships.
SavvySugar: Could you tell me some of the key mistakes savvy, business women are making in relationships? Do you consider splitting the bill or being financially independent things that are unattractive to men?
April Beyer: I think we have to look at not just splitting the bill or the term "independent." I think we have to look at the "why." Why are you splitting the bill? Are you doing it because you are fearful that there might be strings attached? Are you doing it because you want to stand toe-to-toe to assert your independence? Are you doing it so that he knows that you aren't there for free meals? None of these are a good idea to reach for the check. You should only reach for the check because you want to treat someone, and it feels good to do so. So when women call me and ask if it's OK to do this, I say, "I don't know. Why are you doing it?"
While we hope your conditions never become as dire as those in The Hunger Games's District 12, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from Katniss. Her savvy skills and strong resourcefulness keep her family and herself alive even in the absolute worst of times. These 12 tips will keep your head in the game, save you money, and help you make the most of what you already have.
- Swap knowledge for knowledge: Katniss and Gale share each other's secrets and expertise. She explains, "He taught me snares and fishing. I showed him what plants to eat." You have skills that are worth sharing with someone else. Find someone who knows something you want to learn, like computer coding or baking and conduct a swap, offering them something that they would want to learn like your organizational skills.
- Turn your hobby into a moneymaker: Katniss hunts, trades, and sells her game for cash and other necessities. From writing how-to guides to making crafts, your hobby can help you bring in more cash flow.
- Pay back favors: On a desperate rainy day, Peeta saves Katniss and her family's lives by throwing her a few loaves of barely burnt bread. She never forgets that and vows to protect Peeta's life. If someone you know gives you a free handout, find a way to repay the favor.
- Share life's riches: At the beginning of the book, Gale gives Katniss a delicious warm roll. She splits it between them and shares the basil-wrapped goat cheese that her sister gave her. It's often more rewarding to share your bounty rather than hoard it for yourself.
- Remember philanthropy: Peeta and Katniss tithe Rue's family in District 11 one month of their "salary" each year in honor of her death. When you do find yourself financially comfortable, donate to a charity or cause you believe in. Otherwise, donate your time!
- Care for your belongings: Because new clothing is scarce, Katniss's family members properly wash and store their clothing, especially fancier dresses. Learn to take care of your clothes and practice mending holes and repairing seams. Hang your clothing up after you wear them to minimize your laundry. This will help cut down your laundry costs and will keep the clothes in better condition.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, April Beyer, expert relationship coach and matchmaker, gives SavvySugar an insider's look into her unique career. Helping men and women find lasting relationships for almost 14 years, she is the founder and president of Beyer & Company, a matchmaking and relationship consulting firm. She's frequently interviewed and has been seen on Dr. Phil, 20/20, and Good Morning America. Beyond her weekly clients, April writes on her blog, conducts seminars, and is working on a book to help women prepare for love and romance. April tells us what it's like to assist other people on their journey to finding love and happiness.
SavvySugar: Can you tell me about your career path and how your business has grown throughout the years?
April Beyer: I started out in the high-end matchmaking industry nearly 14 years ago. I had worked with a matchmaking company and was there for about six or seven years. I was responsible for many marriages there. In 2003, I decided to venture out on my own and start a relationship coaching and consulting business. Now, I still have my matchmaking company. I work with a handful of highly successful marriage-minded men. I am also a coach and a writer.
Now my passion is to help women better understand themselves first so then they can naturally attract the man of their dreams. I am a little bit more of a holistic dating and relationship coach, but I think of myself more as is a communication and authenticity coach. For me, it's not about teaching people dating skills, it is teaching them relationship skills.
Dating a co-worker can be a thrilling and wonderful thing — that is until the relationship falters. Here are seven pros and cons of dating (and breaking up with) a co-worker so you know what to expect before you decide to get involved.
Pro: Forbidden love can be hot and passionate.
Con: You might have to keep your relationship a secret from co-workers. If the office does find out, it can quickly turn into a awkward situation, and if you do eventually break up, it can become even more unpleasant and humiliating.
Pro: You have an insider's understanding of their work ethic and how they communicate with others. You can talk openly and honestly about current projects or co-workers.
Con: You might not agree with their business decisions or attitude towards co-workers.
Pro: You have the rare opportunity to see each other when you are the most energetic, motivated, and sharp.
Con: If you get in a fight or break up, you'll have to conceal your personal feelings toward one another at the office.
As savvy, young business women, we're constantly on the go, but sometimes too much hard work can lead to signs of burning out. These telltale signs are your body's way of trying to get you to slow down and pay attention. It's a new month, so do yourself and your workplace a favor by taking heed to avoid a total meltdown. These five solutions will have you back on your feet and feeling back to normal in no time.