Career and Income http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4/all en-US Best Money Tips: 60 Ways to Make Money Without a Job http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-60-ways-to-make-money-without-a-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-60-ways-to-make-money-without-a-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-artist-drawing-Dollarphotoclub_74087845.jpg" alt="artist drawing" title="artist drawing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found terrific articles on ways to make money without a job, tips to clean holiday party stains, and lazy ways to save money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/making-money-without-a-job/">60 Awesome Ways to Make Money Without a Job</a> &mdash; It's easy to design and sell T-shirts on sites like Threadless and DesignByHumans. [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Get-Out-Holiday-Stains-36131334">How to Clean 8 of the Worst Holiday Party Stains</a> &mdash; Got a grease stain? Sprinkle the area with salt, which absorbs oil, to start the cleaning process. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2014/12/10/6-lazy-ways-to-save-money/">6 Lazy Ways to Save Money</a> &mdash; Don&rsquo;t even look at deals or coupons &mdash; at least until after you've made a shopping list. [Cult of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2014/12/10/sneaky-way-stick-christmas-budget.html">A Sneaky Way to Stick to Your Christmas Budget</a> &mdash; Buy a predetermined amount of gift cards, and use only those to pay for your holiday shopping. [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/quit-job-youre-unhappy-work.html">Should You Quit Your Job If You&rsquo;re Unhappy at Work?</a> &mdash; Before you take any action, figure out why you're unhappy at work. This will help you plan for the future. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/12/10/how-to-take-your-first-steps-investing/">How to Take Your First Steps Investing</a> &mdash; Make sure to pay yourself first, even before you pay for things like rent or the cell phone bill. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://gradmoneymatters.com/money-making-ideas/what-benefits-should-you-try-asking-for-these-days.html">What Benefits Should You Try Asking for These Days?</a> &mdash; A good work-life balance is beneficial to both you and your employer; go ahead and ask for vacation time or a flexible work schedule&hellip; or both! [Grad Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.credit.com/2014/12/how-to-budget-when-you-dont-have-steady-income-103458/">How to Budget When You Don't Have a Steady Income</a> &mdash; Start by making a list of everything you HAVE to pay for, then make a list of the things you WANT to pay for. [Credit.com]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.phroogal.com/4-holiday-financing-options-avoid/">4 Holiday Financing Options You Should Avoid</a> &mdash; BOGO sales are great &mdash; if you actually need both items. If not, skip the deal&hellip; or buy one and gift the other. [Phroogal Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-holiday-traditions-kids-will-love">5 Holiday Traditions Kids Will Love</a> &mdash; Throw on your jammies and take a drive around town to check out the holiday lights and decorations! [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-60-ways-to-make-money-without-a-job" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: 60 Ways to Make Money Without a Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-60-ways-to-make-money-without-a-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-making-activities-you-can-do-today">5 Money Making Activities You Can Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-truths-from-a-mystery-shopper-you-must-read-before-you-get-started">8 Truths From a Mystery Shopper You Must Read Before You Get Started</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers">The 9 Secrets of Highly Successful Craigslist Sellers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Extra Income best money tips make money Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:00:06 +0000 Amy Lu 1267588 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stressed-officer-worker-Dollarphotoclub_57123877.jpg" alt="stressed worker" title="stressed worker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A startling number of Americans are unhappy in the workplace. Studies show that nearly three-quarters of corporate employees would realistically <a href="http://blog.timesunion.com/careers/career-trends-you-might-find-interesting/2867/?ref=seealso">consider finding a new job today</a> and more than half say they chose the wrong career to begin with. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-5-step-plan-to-quitting-your-job?ref=seealso">The 5-Step Plan to Quitting Your Job</a>)</p> <p>So how do you know when it's time to call it quits? Look for these eight sure-fire signs you should be moving on &mdash; and up &mdash; to better places.</p> <h2>1. You Don't See Eye to Eye With Your Boss</h2> <p>If the person who's supposed to be raising you up is bringing you down, it might be time to skedaddle. Studies show that <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10869-011-9253-2">bad bosses affect how your whole family relates to one another</a>, your physical health, and your morale while in the office. They also raise your risk for heart disease. No job is worth putting up with woes like that.</p> <h2>2. Your Commute Is Killing You</h2> <p>Americans spend more time commuting (100+ hours per year) than they do vacationing (80 hours), an unwelcome reality that triggers <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2011/05/your_commute_is_killing_you.html">neck pain, obesity, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia</a>, according to research out of Sweden. So if the twice daily traffic jam is driving you mad &mdash; and tampering with your health and love life &mdash; then it's probably time to move closer to the office or launch a job search closer to your neighborhood.</p> <h2>3. Your Skills Aren't Being Tapped</h2> <p>If you're being underutilized, sooner or later you're going drift into a sea of boredom and indifference. That's not good for business, and it's not good for your professional growth, happiness, or self-esteem either. Here are the tell-tale signs: You've been skipped over for assignments that perfectly fit your skill set, you've been passed over for a promotion on more than one occasion, and your workload has been reduced or simplified.</p> <h2>4. You Want to Be Your Own Boss</h2> <p>A Business Insider survey found that <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2013/03/11/im-outta-here-why-2-million-americans-quit-every-month-and-5-steps-to-turn-the-epidemic-around/">22% of executives want to call it quits</a> and launch their own companies. Why? Because they want to do things their way. Among Generation X workers, the biggest reason for pursuing a solo enterprise is a deep distrust of corporations. All told, <a href="http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/63-percent-of-20-somethings-want-to-own-a-business.html">63% of adults under 30 either own their own business or want to someday</a>, according to a University of Phoenix survey. Among those who are not already entrepreneurs, 55% hoped to be in the future.</p> <h2>5. Your Company Is on the Fritz</h2> <p>There's no need to go down with a sinking ship. If your company is on its way out, it might be wise to make your exit &mdash; sooner rather than later.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Believe in Your Work</h2> <p>If you're not proud of the work you're doing, it's probably time to make some adjustments so that you are. And if your work or your company's ideals are at all in conflict with your beliefs, be they religious, social, or otherwise, your time would be well spent to figure out how to reconcile that &mdash; which could mean finding a new job. You'll never reach your potential if you're doing something you don't stand behind 100%.</p> <h2>7. The Office Culture Is Toxic</h2> <p>If you've ever said, &quot;My job is killing me!&quot; &mdash; you could be right. Research shows that <a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/10/study-your-hostile-workplace-may-be-killing-you/">people who work in hostile environments are more likely to die sooner</a> than those who work in atmospheres that are more favorable. Death aside, toxic work environments are known to provoke aches, stress, and signs of depression. While more favorable than death, these are symptoms no one should have to suffer.</p> <h2>8. Your Work-Life Balance Is Out of Whack</h2> <p>Work has a way of getting in the way of what, for many of us, matters most: family time. These numbers offer a glimpse at the epidemic: 55% of all employees say they don't have enough time for themselves, 67% of employed parents say they don't have enough time with their kids, and 63% of married employees say they don't have enough time with their spouse, according to <a href="http://www.familiesandwork.org/context-matters-insights-about-older-workers-from-the-national-study-of-the-changing-workforce/">Families and Work Institute's National Study of the Changing Workforce</a>. Striking the right balance is typically touch-and-go, but if you're severely under-serving yourself or your loved ones, it may be time to find a new job that offers more flexibility.</p> <p><em>Have you ever quit a job? Why? Please tell us about how you stopped taking it anymore in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance">6 Ways to Ask Your Boss for Better Work-Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-what-to-do-before-plunging-into-the-job-search">Laid Off? What To Do Before Plunging Into The Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income fired jobs layoff quitting stress work-life balance Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1266969 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons You Should Call in Sick Today http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-call-in-sick-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-you-should-call-in-sick-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sick-woman-phone-call-525952857-small.jpg" alt="sick woman phone" title="sick woman phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Downtime is a prerequisite of productivity. Research shows that we actually need rest to not only perform at our peak, but to perform well, period. A 2010 LexisNexis survey of 1,700 white collar workers from the U.S., China, South Africa, the U.K., and Australia revealed that employees spend more than half their workdays receiving and managing information. What's more, half of those surveyed workers confessed that they were <a href="http://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/about-us/media/press-release.page?id=128751276114739">reaching a breaking point</a> after which they would not be able to accommodate the deluge of data. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress?ref=seealso">20 Free or Really Cheap Ways to Reduce Stress</a>)</p> <p>&quot;<a href="http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/?_r=0">Idleness is not just a vacation</a>, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,&quot; essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times. &quot;The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration &mdash; it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.&quot;</p> <p>So read on for our roundup of the best, most legitimate reasons you should call in sick today.</p> <h2>1. You Need to Memorize a Lot of New Information</h2> <p>Remember how those vocabulary words would click better the morning after a long study session? That's because <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/">memory depends on sleep</a>. When our brains take pause from learning something new, all that recently accumulated data gets etched into the tissue of our minds so that it's at the ready for real-world application. It stands to reason that a day of rest might be just what you need to solidify all that new information.</p> <h2>2. You Long to Be Anywhere But the Office</h2> <p>Taking <a href="https://hbr.org/2009/10/making-time-off-predictable-and-required/ar/pr">a deliberate periodic rest</a> has been found to make workers more satisfied with their jobs and more likely to envision a long-term future at the company that currently employs them. Even a single day off during the regular five-day work week has been shown to make workers not only more productive, but also more prideful in their work. &quot;A short vacation is like a cool shower on an oppressively muggy summer day &mdash; <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/">a refreshing yet fleeting escape</a>,&quot; writes Scientific American writer Ferris Jabr.</p> <h2>3. Your Creative Spark Needs Rekindling</h2> <p>When we're overworked, our creative energy tends to be the first thing to go. To get it back, we need rest and time away from our work. &quot;In the breaks, that's where <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3029294/work-smart/why-you-need-to-stop-bragging-about-how-busy-you-are">the 'aha moment'</a> comes,&quot; said Brigid Schulte, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Overwhelmed-Work-Love-Play-When/dp/149153057X">Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time</a>.</p> <h2>4. You've Been Yelling At Your Spouse and Kids</h2> <p>We all have work frustrations, but not all of us feel comfortable expressing them in the office. So in turn we cope with them at home. If you've been treating your family unfairly due to work-related angst and stress, it's probably time for a time-out.</p> <h2>5. You Haven't Been Sleeping Well</h2> <p>Studies show that if insomnia, apnea, and other kinds of sleep disturbances were eliminated, the total cost of worker sick days could be cut by 28%. &quot;It is well known that chronic sleep deficiency causes several daytime impairments,&quot; said Borge Sivertsen, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. &quot;Our ability to sustain attention and maintain peak cognitive performance is significantly reduced if we are sleep deprived over longer periods.&quot; So <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/09/12/sleeping-seven-to-eight-hours-night-linked-to-taking-fewer-sick-days/">if you wake up in the morning still feeling bleary-eyed</a>, Siversten said the remedy is most likely more sleep.</p> <h2>6. You're Stressed Out</h2> <p><a href="http://www.leadershipethicsonline.com/2010/12/25/stress-effects-on-executive-performance-mental-health/">Long-term stress and anxiety actually changes our brain chemistry</a>, making us over-sensitive and even paranoid. If you're beginning to experience these symptoms, experts say it's best to pull yourself out of that stressful environment and give your brain a chance to shock itself back to normal.</p> <h2>7. You're Dealing With a Personal Crisis</h2> <p>When we're dealing with emotional trauma from things like depression, the death of a friend or family member, or divorce, it's nearly impossible that our job performance won't suffer. That's because we perform better and are more likely to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/opinion/sunday/do-happier-people-work-harder.html">come up with the next big idea</a> when we're emotionally sound and happy. The only way to overcome a personal crisis, and thereby get your job performance back on track, is by taking the time to deal with it head-on.</p> <h2>8. Your Child Is Home Sick From School</h2> <p>Most employers have a policy about staying home from work when your child is sick and unable to attend childcare or school. That's because one of the most important parts of parenting is being there when your child is ill and needs you most. Don't forget to <a href="http://work.chron.com/deal-boss-child-sick-2032.html">alert your boss early if your child has a serious illness</a> and you think you may need more than one day away from the office.</p> <h2>9. You're Burnt Out</h2> <p>The only way to pull yourself back up after you've worked yourself into the ground is to take a little breather. Man is not machine, and if you keep pushing yourself to act like the Energizer Bunny, it's only a matter of time before you're bound to crash and burn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover?ref=seealso">4 Signs You're Burned Out</a>)</p> <h2>10. You're Actually Sick</h2> <p>Coughing at your cubicle all day is downright discourteous, especially toward the other bodies in the room that are trying to stay healthy. And research shows it doesn't pay off in the performance review department, either. A British study found that <a href="http://www.theworkfoundation.com/Assets/Docs/AXA%20event/FINAL%20Why%20do%20employees%20come%20to%20work%20when%20ill.pdf">45% of employees attend work while sick</a> at least once during an average four-week period. And those who most frequently attend work despite illness score lower on performance reviews than their colleagues who are more apt to call in sick, according to the study.</p> <p><em>When do you call in sick?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-call-in-sick-today" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Reasons You Should Call in Sick Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-call-in-sick-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-a-financial-5-year-plan">How to Create a Financial 5 Year Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-reasons-to-quit-your-job">The 6 Best Reasons to Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job">How to Get Work Experience Without Having a Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language">You Are What You Do: 16 Ways to Improve Your Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-money-really-buy-happiness">Does Money Really Buy Happiness?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income Personal Development calling in sick me days personal time sick sick days Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:00:13 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1264765 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Ask Your Boss for Better Work-Life Balance http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boss-employee-meeting-140300670-small.jpg" alt="boss employee meeting" title="boss employee meeting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Work. Life. Balance. Three words that &mdash; in combination &mdash; have the power to transform your entire way of looking at the world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-personal-time-from-work-and-be-happier?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Protect Your Personal Time From Work</a>)</p> <p>But how exactly do you achieve this seemingly elusive goal? Well, I've been on a journey over the last decade to figure it out. Here are some tips that have helped me, and they have the power to transform your situation as well.</p> <h2>1. Step Back</h2> <p>It's incredibly easy to get tangled up in the day-to-day responsibilities and deadlines. Eventually, we lose sight of what our priorities are, whether at work or at home, and life becomes this exercise in keeping our heads above water. First, take a step back and think about what it is you want from your personal and professional sides. Be specific. Write it down. Revise. Rewrite the list again. Then make a game plan.</p> <h2>2. Check Yourself</h2> <p>Before you approach your boss with any ideas or make major changes yourself, look at your time management to see where it could be improved. Many of us let work creep into our personal time when it doesn't need to. Or we over-commit to things outside of work that chip away at whatever time we have left. To start, track your time for a few days (on an Excel spreadsheet, a <a href="https://www.toggl.com">time management app</a>, or just paper). Consider it an audit.</p> <p>Once you see where your energy is going, write out a list of all your day's activities. Give weight to musts (work, obviously &mdash; but also the things you need in your life to be happy and healthy). Eliminate the extraneous wherever possible. In the past, I even found it helpful to write down time-suckers that fell outside my job description to show my boss. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-time-management-problem-most-of-us-have-and-how-to-fix-it?ref=seealso">The Time Management Problem Most of Us Have</a>)</p> <h2>3. Request a Meeting</h2> <p>See if your boss will meet with you for even 15 minutes to discuss your work-life balance. I like sending an email request with a brief description so it's on the calendar. Now, I've had a variety of bosses in the past ranging from awesome to not-so approachable, so I understand it can feel intimidating. Just remember: This is your life we're talking about. Fortunately, your workplace has already invested a lot of time and money in you &mdash; so you need not fret that bringing up concerns will get you canned. Quite the opposite, actually. There are some tremendous advantages for keeping employees happy, including better retention rates and even <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2014/01/19/happy-employees-hefty-profits/">higher profits</a>.</p> <h2>4. Prepare Yourself</h2> <p>Be organized in your approach. Talk about what you see as perceived time-wasters in your position. Offer some opportunities you have mapped for change. Basically, don't show up at the meeting expecting your boss to wave a magic wand. You need to offer both practical and creative solutions to your problems. And the help you suggest can range from personal improvement (taking continuing ed classes) to manpower stuff to better software that might automate some of your work. Sure, these ideas may get shot down, but you'll get points for trying, especially if you do your research.</p> <p>For example, after a full-time receptionist had retired (and wasn't replaced due to a dismal budget) in the office where I served as an executive assistant, I used to get bogged down serving as a backup for phones. I had many other, more pressing tasks to complete for my boss. When he discovered how much time I spent on the lines, he moved a receptionist from another department to our office part-time to shift the workload at my suggestion. Lesson here: Your boss may not even realize what you do all day and may completely agree that your time is being spent on the wrong focus.</p> <h2>5. Flex It Up</h2> <p>Check in with your HR department to see what types of flexibility programs your employer offers. Sometimes you can move around your work hours to accommodate other parts of your day (coming in early or late, depending). Other times, you can work more hours some days and, therefore, fewer overall days of the week. A few of my friends have even organized a work-from-home schedule for certain days. Most offices offer some type of flex program, so it's just figuring out what might work for you and your boss. Obviously, all jobs have different responsibilities so not all flex arrangements work in all cases.</p> <h2>6. Take Your Time</h2> <p>I know this one can seem easier said than done, but when you get time off &mdash; take it! If you have holiday breaks, don't check email or even bring your laptop home. Make a habit of totally disconnecting on the weekends. If your job requires you to have a level of connectivity during time off, set a realistic window (and communicate your plan to your boss). Otherwise, set your automated out-of-office and rest and relax. I worked in an office once where everyone constantly checked their emails while on vacation. So, I simply asked my boss one day if that was required of me, and she said absolutely not and encouraged me to enjoy my time away. Problem solved. If your job routinely urges you to keep tabs on work on your personal dime, it might be time to polish your resume.</p> <p><em>How have you carved out better work-life balance? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Ask Your Boss for Better Work-Life Balance" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-higher-pay-at-your-next-new-job">How to Negotiate Higher Pay at Your Next New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-perks-you-should-be-demanding-from-your-employer">6 Perks You Should Be Demanding From Your Employer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance">The Secret to Time Management and Work-Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-good-writing-skills-saves-and-earns-money">How good writing skills save and earn money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income flex time free time negotiation work-life balance Mon, 08 Dec 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1264793 at http://www.wisebread.com Got a New Job? Here's Your Financial To-Do List http://www.wisebread.com/got-a-new-job-heres-your-financial-to-do-list <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/got-a-new-job-heres-your-financial-to-do-list" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-working-office-469651683-small.jpg" alt="woman working office" title="woman working office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you're changing jobs. Congratulations on making the next big step up the career ladder! But besides taking on new job duties, there are also some important financial decisions and major money moves to make. Some you'll need to handle before leaving your former employer, others you must manage as soon as you join your new one. But once you tackle them, you'll be in a more secure position financially &mdash; and to pay more attention to winning over your new boss and co-workers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-hidden-costs-of-a-new-job?ref=seealso">12 Hidden Costs of a New Job</a>)</p> <p>Here's an easy to-do list to follow once you decide to make your career move.</p> <h2>Before You Leave Your Old Job</h2> <p>Aside from the niceties of leaving on a positive note, make sure you get your financial ducks all in a row before you go, too.</p> <h3>Schedule a Meeting With HR</h3> <p>After your Human Resources representative asks the exit questions, it's time to ask about your financial considerations. Calculate the unused vacation, sick pay, and other compensation that may be due to you. If you're vested in stock options, ask how much time you have to exercise them. Find out when your final paycheck will arrive, and what it will contain. And save all documents related to leaving your former employer, just in case loose ends are left untied after you leave.</p> <h3>Figure Out Your Health Insurance</h3> <p>If you lack health insurance at your new job (or it doesn't kick in right away), determine when your former employer's insurance coverage will expire. If there's a gap of time when you'll be uninsured, explore health options such as COBRA or plans on your state's Affordable Care Act health exchange, to see which one offers the best coverage and price for your needs. <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/cobra-coverage">Healthcare.gov</a> offers a good primer on these two choices.</p> <h3>Roll-Over Your 401(k) Into an IRA</h3> <p>When changing jobs, it's tempting to cash out your employer-sponsored retirement plan, but don't! Yes, it seems like a financial windfall, but if you cash out before age 59-&frac12;, you pay income taxes and early withdrawal penalties, and any benefits of letting that money compound tax-deferred will vanish.</p> <p>Another option is to leave your money where it is, but you won't be able to contribute any more to the plan. Also, many former employees like to look ahead, not behind, so leaving your 401(k) as is could affect your future balance, because you may be less likely to pay attention to it, and you have less control over how it's managed.</p> <p>The surest way to avoid any financial drawbacks is to roll over your funds into an individual retirement account. In a direct IRA rollover, your 401(k) funds are sent straight into an IRA without you touching the funds. Then you have a bigger sandbox of investments to play in.</p> <h3>Are You Making a Move Geographically?</h3> <p>If you moved for your new job, your moving expenses may be tax-deductible. That doesn't mean moving across town, though &mdash; the distance between your former residence and your new job must be at least 50 miles farther than your old job was (so if your old commute was five miles, your new commute must be at least 55 miles from your former place of residence). If you meet that test, you can deduct a lot of moving expenses that you paid for, such as hiring movers and renting a van. If you are driving in your own car, you can deduct gas, parking fees, tolls, and lodging en route. You can even include the cost of renting a storage unit for up to 30 days if you're not immediately able to move into your new place. The IRS lets you claim the deduction in the year you move, so if you're kicking off the New Year by starting a new job in a new place, unfortunately you can't claim it until you file taxes in 2016.</p> <h2>Starting Your New Job</h2> <p>Start your new job off right by making sure you understand all of your compensation and benefits &mdash; in detail.</p> <h3>Review Your New Company's Benefits</h3> <p>According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 30% of your total compensation is made up of employee benefits, so sign up for as many offerings as you can. Besides health insurance and the retirement plan, there are plenty of other benefits &mdash; from gym membership discounts and paid education to childcare and commuter savings &mdash; that add up to a lot of financial value. So go through the big package HR gives you on day one and read details of your benefits &mdash; including their respective sign-up dates.</p> <h3>Find Out When Your Benefits Start</h3> <p>Some companies don't start new employees in health care plans right away. Find out when your new plan begins, and if there's a waiting period, look into short-term coverage options. It's also good to know when you'll start accruing sick time and vacation days.</p> <h3>Decide Between an HSA and a FSA</h3> <p>Based on what kind of health plan you sign up for, health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are both great ways to sock away pre-tax dollars for future medical costs.</p> <ul> <li>To be eligible for an HSA, you must be in a high-deductible plan, meaning a minimum deductible of $1,250 for just you, or $2,500 for a family. If you meet that criteria, you can funnel a designated amount of every paycheck into it &mdash; up to $3,300 a year if it's just you, or $6,550 for your family. An added plus: The funds roll over year-to-year, so you never lose the money. Even if you don't typically have high medical expenses, you can use an HSA as a way to build up savings and reduce taxable income &mdash; think of it as a medical IRA during your time on the job.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>An FSA is your option if you pay a higher premium and lower deductible. It works the same as an HSA, but you can only contribute $2,500 a year, and the funds don't roll over if you don't use them. To make it work best for you, have a good estimate of what that year's out-of-pocket health care expenses will be and just contribute no more than that amount.</li> </ul> <p>Both an FSA and HSA will pay off when it comes to your taxes. Just remember that money in both ultimately must be used for medical expenses &mdash; you suffer a 20% tax penalty if you spend them on expenses the IRS doesn't consider as health-related.</p> <h3>Don't Forget Other Types of Insurance</h3> <p>You may think, &quot;Oh, I don't need those right now,&quot; but disability and life insurance are not just fringe benefits. If disease or injury disables you early in your working life, your lost wages can be massive, and Social Security disability may not cover all expenses. That's why disability insurance is worth having.</p> <p>Employers typically offer an affordable group plan, but benefits could vary greatly &mdash; they may only cover 60% of your full paycheck, and the maximum time frame could be as little two years &mdash; so read the fine print. If you don't like what you're offered, shop around for individual coverage, or supplemental coverage that can bridge the financial gap.</p> <p>Basic employer-provided life insurance is low-cost or free, and that might be sufficient if you're single, child-free, or have a spouse who isn't dependent on your income to cover household expenses. But if your untimely death would be a burden to your family, that policy's face value may not be high enough. Employer-sponsored life insurance coverage typically equals one to two times your annual salary, but experts recommend getting coverage worth at least five times your salary. Most group plans will let you buy a certain amount of additional coverage, four to six times the annual salary, but for someone with a spouse, kids and a sizable mortgage, even that might not be enough.</p> <p>Like with disability insurance, you can purchase more coverage through your company, buy supplemental life insurance on the open market, or both. But first you should determine how much life insurance you really need. Find an experienced insurance broker that will do a needs analysis with you, then you can decide whether you should purchase beyond what your company is offering.</p> <h3>Re-Evaluate Your Tax Withholding</h3> <p>If you've regularly received a hefty IRS check after doing taxes, don't pat yourself on the back: It's not a gift from the government; it's your own money being sent back to you that the Treasury Department kept for most of the year as an interest-free loan. Change all that when HR gives you IRS Form W-4 form to fill out. The amount of income tax withheld from your paychecks by your employer depends on how you filled it out.</p> <p>Ideally, your withholding should equal the exact amount of your tax liability, or only a very small tax refund. But pay too little and you'll owe interest and penalties.</p> <p>Whether you're starting a new job, or already well into it, it's important to redo your Form W-4 if there is a major life change that will affect the amount of tax you'll owe for the year. Besides starting a new job with a higher salary, examples include marrying or divorcing, getting a second job, losing a job, buying a new home, and having or adopting a baby. To determine the right withholding level, use the <a href="http://apps.irs.gov/app/withholdingcalculator">IRS's easy calculator</a>.</p> <h3>Decide on Your 401(k) Deductions</h3> <p>If your company doesn't automatically enroll you in its 401(k) plan, do so right away. Then figure out how much you're allowed to save each year. Starting in 2015, the limit goes up to $18,000 ($24,000 if you're 50 or older), but some employee plans may restrict you to a lesser amount. Ideally, you will save as much as you can &mdash; the $18,000 maximum or your employers' maximum &mdash; but if you don't think you can swing that, financial planners typically recommend you save at least 10% of your annual salary.</p> <p>Next find out if your employer offers matching contributions, i.e., free money. A typical match is 50 cents for every dollar you contribute, up to 6% of your salary. Try to contribute at least enough to get the full match. And be sure to ask about the vesting schedule, the amount of time you must work there before you can leave with 100% of your matching contributions.</p> <h3>Look at Your 401(k) Asset Allocation</h3> <p>A new job may mean a higher pay grade, so take another look at how you're investing for the long haul. When deciding where to invest your 401(k) funds, figure out what asset allocation works right for you now &mdash; what's the mix of stocks, bonds and cash that's a good fit for your age, income level and risk tolerance? If you have 20-plus years till retirement, you can afford to have a higher percentage of stocks in your portfolio than if you were two years away from retiring.</p> <p>Now you're ready to review the mutual fund offerings in your 401(k) plan. Besides looking for funds boasting good returns, low fees and solid management, look for a diverse mix of funds. Don't over-invest in just the technology sector, or put all your funds into growth stocks. And don't overload on your employer's stock, either. Spread your bets so that you lower your investment risk.</p> <p>Even if you're not wowed by the funds offered in your 401(k), still consider putting money in it: The tax break and free money you're getting from your employer are bonuses you won't get elsewhere.</p> <h3>Ask for Direct Deposit</h3> <p>If your employer offers direct deposit for your paychecks checks, accept heartily. Many banks offer free or lower-cost checking if you direct-deposit into their account, saving you a few fees. Direct deposit also makes paying bills online a whole lot easier, because you'll know just when your earnings will arrive in your account. Then you can schedule automatic bill payments for added convenience, and ensure your bills are never late.</p> <h3>Track Expenses for the First Few Months</h3> <p>Check your outside-of-work expenses for a few months. You may be surprised how a new job can affect your spending. If you've earned a salary increase, you may forget that amount is a gross figure &mdash; not your net pay. And when you feel flush, you may be inclined to start spending your gross pay when pulling out your debit card, without considering what your take-home pay will be in the next paycheck. By tracking your expenses, you can see if they've gone up alongside your wage increase. If the ratio is high, then aim to cut back on the spending, ideally getting back to the level you were at before you started the bank new job.</p> <h3>Buttress Your Emergency Fund and Get Educated</h3> <p>While you should congratulate yourself on landing the new job, don't assume a &quot;happily ever after&quot; ending for it. That's why an emergency fund is key for life's unexpected surprises like losing that job, receiving a whopping hospital bill, a major home or car repair bill. Relying on credit cards will simply compound the problem. If you've got a salary increase, use some of that to start your emergency fund. Financial planners agree that you should keep around six months' (some even recommend a year) worth of living expenses put in an easy-to-access account. If you lose that job, it may take a few months to find another good one.</p> <p>If your employer offers education benefits or specialized training for your occupation, take it. Use that, plus any new skills gained or big achievements made on the job, to keep your resume sharp and up to date. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average American changes jobs an average of nine times before the ripe old age of 34. With a big emergency fund, and a sharp resume, you won't need to fear the future, because there won't be time for the dust to settle.</p> <p><em>What steps do you take when starting a new job?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-a-new-job-heres-your-financial-to-do-list" class="sharethis-link" title="Got a New Job? Here&#039;s Your Financial To-Do List" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vanessa-richardson">Vanessa Richardson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-a-new-job-heres-your-financial-to-do-list">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-hidden-costs-of-a-new-job">12 Hidden Costs of a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-companies-have-the-craziest-employee-perks">These 7 Companies Have the Craziest Employee Perks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-29-companies-with-the-best-maternity-benefits">The 29 Companies With the Best Maternity Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-perks-you-should-be-demanding-from-your-employer">6 Perks You Should Be Demanding From Your Employer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income 401(k) benefits compensation new job taxes Fri, 05 Dec 2014 14:00:05 +0000 Vanessa Richardson 1264073 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Choose These 10 Cities If You Want to Retire Comfortably http://www.wisebread.com/dont-choose-these-10-cities-if-you-want-to-retire-comfortably <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-choose-these-10-cities-if-you-want-to-retire-comfortably" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/washington%20dc.jpg" alt="washington dc" title="washington dc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Retirement is a time to enjoy hobbies, move a little slower in daily life, travel, and after decades of hard work, just rest. All of which is tough if you pick the wrong retirement city. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-things-you-should-consider-when-picking-where-you-retire?ref=seealso">10 Unexpected Things You Should Consider When Picking Where You Retire</a>)</p> <p>When looking at locations, you'll generally want to weigh six categories: cost of living, housing costs, taxes, the health care system, activities for seniors, and, yes, the weather. And with those in mind, you'll likely want to steer clear of these 10 cities that fall short in one or two or more of those categories.</p> <h2>1. San Francisco, CA</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/golden%20gate%20bridge.jpg" /></p> <p>The weather is very mild &mdash; it doesn't get hot in the summer and winters are usually rainy. However, the cost of housing in this area is so high that most retirees are not going to be able to find it within their budget. Retirement income is taxed heavily in the state of California, unlike many other states. The cost of living is also very high. In fact, Kiplinger ranked <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T006-S001-worst-states-for-retirement/index.html">California as the worst state to retire</a>.</p> <h2>2. Honolulu, HI</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/honolulu.jpg" /></p> <p>While the location is beautiful and the weather gorgeous year round, Honolulu will require you to have quite a large nest egg. According to a recent <a href="http://wallethub.com/edu/best-places-to-retire/6165/">study done by WalletHub</a>, cost of living in the city are among the highest in the country. It's also very expensive to travel to and from Hawaii, making family gatherings more difficult.</p> <h2>3. Oklahoma City, OK</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/oklahoma%20city.jpg" /></p> <p>Healthcare is a concern for all seniors, and it will be a real concern if you retire to Oklahoma, which ranks among one of <a href="http://nhqrnet.ahrq.gov/inhqrdr/Oklahoma/snapshot/summary/All_Measures/All_Topics">the worst in the country for health care</a> (trailed only by West Virginia). Crime is also a problem here, with the city <a href="http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2013/2014_CityCrimeRankingsbyPopulation.pdf">ranking 7th in the nation</a> for crime among large cities.</p> <h2>4. Louisville, KY</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/louisville.jpg" /></p> <p>The low cost of living, modest housing costs, and picturesque mountains may make it appear to be a good choice for retirement, but Louisville has been named as the &quot;<a href="http://www.aafa.org/pdfs/FINAL_public_LIST_Spring_2014.pdf">worst place for allergy sufferers to live</a>,&quot; making it an easy destination to avoid by retirees with respiratory or other health issues.</p> <h2>5. Bridgeport, CT</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bridgeport.jpg" /></p> <p>High taxes are a major concern for retirees, and some states tax retirement income much more than other states. (Florida's low rate is what makes it one of the most desirable states for retirees, for example.) But Connecticut is one of those states that taxes both Social Security and pension income. Bridgeport, more specifically, has expensive housing costs and even more expensive health care costs. Assisted living facilities in this area of the country can charge over over $400 a day &mdash; <a href="https://www.genworth.com/cost-of-care/landing.html">almost twice the national average</a> for long-term care, which will deplete your nest egg very quickly should you require assistance at some point.</p> <h2>6. New York, NY</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/new%20york%20city.jpg" /></p> <p>The Big Apple requires a big budget, as real estate is pricey and hard to afford on a fixed income. By taking your current retirement budget and adjusting it to the high cost of living for any of the more popular parts of NYC <a href="http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/">via this calculator</a>, you can see that the real estate isn't the only thing that will cost you. Even retirees who own their own homes will feel the pinch of higher utility bills and transportation fees.</p> <h2>7. Chicago, IL</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/chicago.jpg" /></p> <p>Illinois as a whole gets a low approval rating from its own residents, with one in four saying <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/168653/montanans-alaskans-say-states-among-top-places-live.aspx">the state is the worst place to live</a>. Why? It could possibly be because of the high income tax hikes and lower bond rates, both signs of a troubled economy. Add in the fact that many Chicago residents have decided to leave the city altogether, making Chi-town the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mli45lmhg/4-chicago-ill/">6th most-abandoned large city</a> in the U.S. and it's a less appealing option to live out the rest of your years.</p> <h2>8. Philadelphia, PA</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/philadelphia.jpg" /></p> <p>While it's not as expensive to live in as New York City, there are some issues that may keep the 65 and older crowd away from the city of brotherly love. A higher-than-average sales tax and poor air quality may be of concern to retirees. Throw in the <a href="http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2013/2014_CityCrimeRankingsbyPopulation.pdf">high rate of crime</a> (it ranks 5th nationwide), and you have a few good reasons to shop around for your retirement abode.</p> <h2>9. Washington, D.C.</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/washington%20dc.jpg" /></p> <p>In addition to brutally cold winters, economics continues to be a problem for our nation's capital, with the numbers of those under the <a href="http://www.dcfpi.org/poverty-rates-remain-high-for-some-groups-of-dc-residents">poverty line increasing</a> &mdash; despite a rise in median income. With seniors living on a fixed income, the high cost of real estate can also cause concern.</p> <h2>10. Providence, RI</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/providence.jpg" /></p> <p>Across numerous rating scales out there, Providence almost always appears at the top of the worst lists. This is due to a high cost of living, high tax rates, and one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation (currently at a rate of 10% for the city and <a href="http://www.providencejournal.com/business/content/20141124-r.i.-unemployment-rate-again-3rd-worst-in-nation.ece">3rd highest</a> for the entire state.) If you are hoping to supplement your income or kill some boredom during your retired years, finding a part-time job in Providence may be impossible.</p> <p><em>Where are you planning to retire?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-choose-these-10-cities-if-you-want-to-retire-comfortably" class="sharethis-link" title="Don&#039;t Choose These 10 Cities If You Want to Retire Comfortably" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-choose-these-10-cities-if-you-want-to-retire-comfortably">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-work-less-live-more">Book review: Work Less, Live More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-five-types-of-people-who-never-retire-are-you-one-of-them">The Five Types of People Who Never Retire (Are You One of Them?)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-despair-over-small-retirement-savings">Don&#039;t Despair Over Small Retirement Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-should-a-ceo-make">How much money should a CEO make?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income Retirement cost of living places to retire retire retirement cities where to live Thu, 04 Dec 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1263679 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Reasons You Deserve to Get Fired http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fired-businesswoman-78749363-small.jpg" alt="fired businesswoman" title="fired businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The recession might be over, but that doesn't mean any of us can afford to be passive about holding onto our jobs. If you think you may soon be having an uncomfortable conversation with HR, it's time to find out why. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-tips-for-the-recently-fired-and-some-for-the-rest-of-us-too?ref=seealso">Job Hunting Tips for the Recently Fired</a>)</p> <p>Here are 12 reasons you're getting fired.</p> <h2>1. Social Media SNAFU</h2> <p>Venting about your employer, boss, or co-workers on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media site can get you fired. Avoid other career-killing <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/206359/6_Facebook_Twitter_Mistakes_That_Can_Get_You_Fired.html">social media mistakes</a> and remember &mdash; six degrees of separation is about one and a half degrees online.</p> <h2>2. Refusing to Play the Game</h2> <p>I don't know what the game is where you work, but I know there is one &mdash; and I bet there are a lot of folks playing their hearts out. The game usually involves demonstrating your passion for the work, coming in early and staying late, and working to impress the right people without falling all over yourself. Call me cynical and old-fashioned, but if you haven't learned how to play the game, you haven't really learned how to stay employed.</p> <h2>3. Not Giving Your All</h2> <p>Those cheesy motivational posters are wrong; it's impossible to give 110%. But consistently settling for 70% is a bad strategy if want to duck and weave past a pink slip. Doing a bit more than required, volunteering for a committee or two, and diplomatically making recommendations for process improvements adds value to what you do and can help secure your employment long-term</p> <h2>4. Clicking on Caps Lock</h2> <p>TYPING IN ALL CAPS READS LIKE YOU'RE SHOUTING and shows a fundamental lack of professional etiquette and insight. It may be trivial, but people get fired for trivial things every day. Cut it out.</p> <h2>5. Skipping the Finer Points of Good Etiquette</h2> <p>Good business etiquette is both valuable and rare, especially if your job involves direct work with clients or partners. Not grasping the finer points of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reclaiming-etiquette-dining-basics-for-young-professionals">dining</a>, interview, or meeting etiquette can jeopardize business relationships, flag you as inexperienced, and kill a career.</p> <h2>6. Making Yourself Non-Essential</h2> <p>If you're not actively looking for new ways to add value to the company you work for, you may be inadvertently planting the seeds for your own dismissal when there's a hiccup in the market. Besides being first-rate at your job, look for those tasks that no one else wants to do and position yourself as the go-to person for each.</p> <h2>7. Mixing Your Personal and Professional Life</h2> <p>When it comes to job security, it's good policy to save the drama for your mama. Allowing personal issues to consistently affect your work erodes your professional image and can make letting you go as easy as switching off a bad reality show.</p> <h2>8. Getting Embroiled in Office Politics</h2> <p>Some work environments can be as political as a swing state in late October. Diving in headfirst and picking sides gives you a 50% of being right and a 100% chance of showing how easily distracted you are. Learn how to <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Beat-Office-Politics-1108688">beat office politics</a> and still get ahead.</p> <h2>9. Snoozing or Boozing</h2> <p>No surprises here. Sneaking a nap or a nip at work is usually an epically bad idea. And with office holiday parties coming up, sticking to a moderate personal drink limit will help you avoid those regretful lampshade-on-the-head moments that leave you red-faced Monday morning.</p> <h2>10. Stealing</h2> <p>Hey, Sticky Fingers, it may feel like a fringe benefit, but few companies see it that way. If you're tempted to pocket random goodies from your employer, it may be a sign that you feel stuck or that you're not being fairly compensated. Be proactive about both issues or move on.</p> <h2>11. Sleeping In</h2> <p>Who hasn't woken up feeling like a sack of wet concrete? These are the moments when we suddenly tap deep reserves of creativity to craft the most elaborate excuses for being late or taking a half-day. But as our inner storytellers dream, our careers can get creamed. Wake up, slam a double espresso, and defend your professional turf.</p> <h2>12. Playing Hooky</h2> <p>It might not have been a big deal in sixth grade, but playing hooky in your professional life can have lasting consequences. Don't assume (cough, cough) taking sick days when you're feeling great, ducking out early, or adding 15 minutes to your lunch hour is going unnoticed.</p> <p>If you're guilty of multiple axe-worthy offenses, it might be time to hope for the best and prepare for the worst by keeping an eye out for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">signs you're about to get fired</a>. If you make the cut, wipe the sweat from your brow and let 2015 be the year you turn over a new leaf. Like much of life, our professional lives can be reinvented with focus, discipline, and the right motivation.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been fired? Did the experience change how you approached your next job? Share your favorite stories below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Reasons You Deserve to Get Fired" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-laid-off-a-step-by-step-guide">How to Get Laid Off: A Step-By-Step Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-a-new-job-3-rules-to-live-by">Starting a New Job: 3 Rules to Live By</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-fired-ask-one-question-to-get-free-money">Getting Fired? Ask One Question to Get Free Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career Building fired job hunt job loss new job pink slip Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 1262734 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Perks You Should Be Demanding From Your Employer http://www.wisebread.com/6-perks-you-should-be-demanding-from-your-employer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-perks-you-should-be-demanding-from-your-employer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-bowling-163145115-small.jpg" alt="friends bowling" title="friends bowling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It isn't just Silicon Valley that's offering employees fantastic benefits like gratis gourmet meals and scuba diving lessons. The &quot;perks arms race&quot; that's given rise to Facebook's latest offering of <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/perk-facebook-apple-now-pay-women-freeze-eggs-n225011">$20,000 reimbursement checks to female employees who want to freeze their eggs</a> is trickling down to other industries and pockets of the country. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-29-companies-with-the-best-maternity-benefits?ref=seealso">The 29 Companies With the Best Maternity Benefits</a>)</p> <p>And while the perks for blue collar workers aren't exactly sensational compared to Google's on-site bowling alley and massage parlors, they're certainly a whole lot jazzier than dental coverage and a 401(k).</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of some of the bonus perks enjoyed by workers of all stripes across the country. And if you're currently on the outside looking in on the fancy fringe benefits craze, maybe it's time you started demanding some extra gravy. After all, if the part-time grocery clerk is getting her tuition bill footed by her employer, why shouldn't you?</p> <h2>1. Beer Cart Fridays</h2> <p>It's Friday afternoon and there are just two hours and a small stack of paperwork standing between you and the weekend. But when you're on hour 38 of the work week, a couple more hours of paperwork can seem never-ending. Lucky for employees of Advanced Medical, a small healthcare staffing company in Port Orange, Florida, there's such a thing as &quot;Beer Cart Fridays&quot; to help them through.</p> <p>Jennifer Fuicelli, the company's chief executive, told a local news reporter that while she knows alcohol in the workplace is taboo, she wanted to create an &quot;unorthodox corporate culture&quot; where employees are rewarded for their hard work at the end of the week by having the option to <a href="http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20130307/BUSINESS/303079996/1040?Title=Local-employer-offers-staff-unusual-perk-free-beer">crack open a cold one</a> on the company's tab during work hours. &quot;We put our corporate culture before profits, and when you do that, profits will follow,&quot; she says, adding, &quot;We have a very low turnover, and a very high retention rate.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Acupuncture, Estate Planning&hellip; and Texas Hold 'Em</h2> <p>Employees of DPR Construction get chiropractic and acupuncture insurance along with their medical, dental, and vision coverage. They also get a legal benefit plan, which can be used for estate and life planning, consumer protection, and family law. Now for the fun stuff: Employees can also drink wine in all 16 of the California-based company's offices &mdash; except for its Austin, Texas location, which has a saloon and hosts <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2012/06/28/gJQAzzfjGW_story.html">Texas Hold 'Em tournaments</a>.</p> <h2>3. Gift Baskets and Bowling Nights</h2> <p>J. M. Smucker, the Ohio-based company that makes fruit jams and jellies, sends a gift basket to the home doorstep of all new hires. How's that for a warm welcome? The company, which has a roster of 4,500 employees, also organizes <a href="http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2010/snapshots/47.html">regular bowling nights</a> in an effort to foster fun and socialization among coworkers.</p> <h2>4. Adoption Assistance and Educational Scholarships</h2> <p>Wegmans workers receive <a href="http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?langId=-1&amp;storeId=10052&amp;catalogId=10002&amp;categoryId=284278">free adoption assistance</a> as one of the perks of employment with the Rochester, New York based grocery store chain. The company also has a thriving scholarship program, with 26,500 full and part-time employees having been awarded $85 million in funding for higher education programs since 1984. &quot;We believe we can achieve our goals only if we fulfill the needs of our people,&quot; says the company's site.</p> <h2>5. Free Coffee and Foreign Language Clubs</h2> <p>Starbucks baristas benefit from a free pound of coffee to brew at home each week as well as access to more than 50 programs geared at helping employees <a href="http://media.starbucks.com.edgesuite.net/dotcom/media/pdf/Partner_Connections_Club_Descriptions.pdf">strike the perfect work-life balance</a>. Foreign language clubs, recreational sports leagues, groups that provide resources for people interested in sustainable living are just the tip of the iceberg of offerings.</p> <h2>6. A Full-Service Concierge</h2> <p>The company that manufactures Glade, Ziploc, and Windex offers its employees a <a href="http://www.scjohnson.com/en/Careers/culture/benefits.aspx?ref=seealso">full-service concierge</a> that'll shop around for the best auto insurance quote, pick up the groceries, and stand in line for concert tickets. It's like having a willing and able assistant to complete all of life's tiresome errands and chores in your stead. The goal, company officials say, is to provide employees with a healthy work-life balance.</p> <p><em>Does your employer offer any unexpected perks? What should we be demanding?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-perks-you-should-be-demanding-from-your-employer" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Perks You Should Be Demanding From Your Employer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-perks-you-should-be-demanding-from-your-employer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance">6 Ways to Ask Your Boss for Better Work-Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-hidden-costs-of-a-new-job">12 Hidden Costs of a New Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-should-quit-your-job">8 Signs You Should Quit Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-29-companies-with-the-best-maternity-benefits">The 29 Companies With the Best Maternity Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-a-new-job-heres-your-financial-to-do-list">Got a New Job? Here&#039;s Your Financial To-Do List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income benefits perks total compensation work-life balance Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:00:12 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1260489 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Hidden Costs of a New Job http://www.wisebread.com/12-hidden-costs-of-a-new-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-hidden-costs-of-a-new-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-night-driving-462208251-small.jpg" alt="businessman night driving" title="businessman night driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you just got a new job offer? Congratulations! But before you accept it, here are some hidden costs you might not have considered. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-to-make-when-you-get-a-new-job?ref=seealso">7 Money Moves to Make When You Get a New Job</a>)</p> <h2>1. Uncompensated Training</h2> <p>This happens frequently in tech jobs, but also in healthcare and a few other fields &mdash; you get hired with the understanding that, within a set period of time, you will complete a set of training courses or exams. In most cases, your employer will be paying for these courses, but you might want to check to see if you are going to be compensated for the time spent on the education, especially if the training course takes place outside of work hours.</p> <h2>2. Relocation Costs</h2> <p>It used to be standard for companies to pay for a new hire to relocate, but no longer.</p> <p>How much relocation will cost you depends a great deal on your living situation and your personal life. If you are single and living in a month-to-month leased apartment, moving across the country might be a bit less daunting. If you are moving back to your hometown, or relocating to a city where you already have quite a few social or familial connections, this can ease the burden as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-save-on-a-move?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Save on a Move</a>)</p> <p>However, if you own a home (that you have to sell) and have to move a spouse, kids, pets, and furniture more than a couple of dozen miles, then relocation can run you tens of thousands of dollars.</p> <p>Related to relocation are any cost-of-living increases that come from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-the-cost-of-living-when-moving-the-cost-of-living-myth">moving from a less expensive area</a> to a more expensive one. If you are moving to a pricier locale, make certain that either the salary or the opportunity is worth the added cost of housing, groceries, and child care.</p> <h2>3. Longer Commute</h2> <p>Easily the most common cost associated with a new job is a new commute. If you've recently upgraded to a job with a shorter (or non-existent commute), then you are awesome and an example to us all.</p> <p>If, however, you recently moved to the outskirts of town, only to find that all the jobs you qualify for are relocating to the center of the city, well, you are looking at some increases in costs.</p> <h3>Fuel, Wear and Tear, Parking</h3> <p>These might seem like obvious costs to calculate, but in addition to mileage, you need to consider how many hours you will spend on the road. Is your route to work a daily traffic jam, or are you lucking into a reverse commute? Consider not just distance, but time spent in the car.</p> <p>If you are driving to work, is parking provided or do you have to pay for it?</p> <h3>Increased Fares</h3> <p>If you are lucky enough to live in an area that has reliable public transportation, but now have a longer commute, you might be surprised at how much more a round trip train ride can cost.</p> <h3>Extended Child Care or Pet Care</h3> <p>Do you have kids in daycare or pets that need to be let out of the house? Is a longer commute going to extend the number of hours you have to spend away from them? Consider these costs when looking at the big picture.</p> <h3>Take Out</h3> <p>Some people are really good at planning meals and having them ready to eat by the time dinner rolls around, but if you just spent two hours in the car driving home from work, you might be too tired to cook. Take-out pizza, anyone?</p> <h2>4. Health Insurance Changes</h2> <p>Yay, your new employer offers health insurance, right? Is it an HMO or a PPO? Are the premiums or deductibles higher than what you are currently paying? Is your current medical provider covered?</p> <h2>5. Reduced Benefits</h2> <p>Does your new employer offer the same kind of vacation package that your old one did? Does your new employer offer other benefits, like a 401(k) with matching? If you already had perks like these, make sure that your new employer has a similar benefits package (or at the very least, that the job itself is worth a cut in benefits). If you want to determine solid numbers to represent your total compensation package, you can use the <a href="http://www.calcxml.com/calculators/total-compensation">CalcXML Total Compensation calculator</a> to determine the difference between your current job and a prospective new one.</p> <h2>6. Increased Travel Requirements</h2> <p>If you work in a field that requires extensive travel, you already know the drill of expensing travel costs and getting your per diem. But increased travel, even when reimbursed in a timely manner, can come with other hidden costs. Do you need a house sitter or pet sitter?</p> <h2>7. Outside-of-Work Networking</h2> <p>Some jobs or industries require plenty of off-the-clock networking. Attending social events that aren't reimbursed can eat into your paycheck, but avoiding the kinds of networking events that your coworkers (or competitors) attend can also damage your career.</p> <h2>8. New Wardrobe</h2> <p>If you are changing careers or physical locations, it could be that your business casual wardrobe no longer cuts it. For instance, if you are moving from a tech job in a San Francisco start-up to a tech job with an investment bank in New York City, you may be expected, if not required, to wear much more formal work clothing. Outside of the office environment, some workplaces require you to wear clothing that they don't pay for. (For instance, my first job ever was at a Denny's that required me to purchase two neckties, at $30 a pop, out of my first paycheck.)</p> <p>Get an early handle on the expected daily attire for a new job, and budget accordingly.</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken a new job, only to be shocked by a hidden cost associated with the new job? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-hidden-costs-of-a-new-job" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Hidden Costs of a New Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-hidden-costs-of-a-new-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-a-new-job-heres-your-financial-to-do-list">Got a New Job? Here&#039;s Your Financial To-Do List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-29-companies-with-the-best-maternity-benefits">The 29 Companies With the Best Maternity Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-good-reasons-to-become-a-contractor">8 Good Reasons to Become a Contractor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-steps-to-discovering-your-true-salary-potential">6 Simple Steps to Discovering Your True Salary Potential</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-higher-pay-at-your-next-new-job">How to Negotiate Higher Pay at Your Next New Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income benefits commuting hidden costs new job salary Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:00:11 +0000 Andrea Karim 1260450 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-renting-home-178110017-small.jpg" alt="man renting home" title="man renting home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an early adopter of the micro-subletting culture &mdash; the founders of Airbnb invited me to join the service as it was just starting up back in 2008 &mdash; I fancy myself somewhat of an expert in successfully turning a home into a rental property. Six years in, I've not only made one home a major profit center by sharing my rooms with travelers, but now two &mdash; the latter of which is a direct result of the success of the first. My husband and I were able to purchase a second property with the income we've earned from renting our primary residence.</p> <p>Based on my own experience, here are nine essential line items you should check off if you plan to make a go of the incredible money-making and life-enhancing opportunity of turning your home into a rental property.</p> <h2>1. Research Your Market</h2> <p>My primary residence is in Manhattan, and the never-ending influx of tourists is what gave me the idea to market my guest bedroom as a hotel alternative many years ago. I didn't have to do much research to realize that there was a built-in business in my area for what I wanted to do, but as you can imagine that doesn't apply to all areas.</p> <p>Most areas, in fact, don't have the attractiveness to tourists that New York City does. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't become a homegrown entrepreneur in the comfort of your own living room. Because of the popularity of Airbnb, Roomorama, HomeAway, and other short-term rental sites, an increasing number of rooms are now available to budget travelers nearly everywhere. Thus, your first step in turning your home into a rental property is digging into these sites to see who in your area is listing their property, how full their calendars are with bookings, and to generally peruse their listings to see how they're managing their own burgeoning businesses. You'll get a good sense of what you can expect in terms of traffic to your listing and potential bookings.</p> <p>On another note, if there are currently no listings in your area, don't get discouraged. That could mean that you're getting in on the ground level of an untapped market &mdash; and you'll never know its potential if you don't test the waters.</p> <h2>2. Talk to Friends/Neighbors Who Are Renting Their Property</h2> <p>I didn't have any idea what I was doing when I first started renting my property &mdash; this was a brand new venture for me &mdash; so my first year or so was completely trial and error. You have an advantage, however, because micro-subletting has and continues to increase in popularity, so you're bound to know at least one person who's tried their hand at it. You don't have to stick to micro-subletters though; reach out to anyone who's in the rental-income game and ask to pick their brain about the ins and outs, highs and lows of their business. You'll gain valuable knowledge that can positively influence your own new endeavor, and you may even be able to avoid some roadblocks along the way by learning from their mistakes.</p> <h2>3. Transform Your Property Into a Visually Stunning Destination</h2> <p>One of the biggest factors in a potential guest's decision on whether to stay at your property will be how it looks. It's a decision-making process as old as time &mdash; we pick out food, cars, and romantic partners based on their physical attractiveness &mdash; so it only makes sense that that theory applies to where people want to lie their heads at night. Especially in a stranger's home. Considering this superficial factor then, it's important that your rental listing images stand out from the crowd. Photos should show a space that is inviting, comfortable, and clean &mdash; all critical components to ensuring that your room or home is near the top of the list when potential guests are choosing where to stay.</p> <p>If you use Airbnb, consider using its free photography to enhance your listing, which, I can tell you from experience, will truly take yours to the next level &mdash; considering that your home is already someplace that looks visitor-friendly, of course.</p> <h2>4. Eliminate the Clutter</h2> <p>If your home isn't immediately traveler-friendly, that's okay; you can change that. The first plan of attack in this instance is to do a deep clean (which, by the way, is beneficial in more ways than just preparing it to be a rental property &mdash; there's money to be made in selling your clutter!) to get rid of anything that's unnecessary, safely store away items of sentiment or extreme value, and otherwise organize your belongings in an aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive fashion. Having a well-kept and well-organized home will be easier on you when it comes time to clean between tenants, and the results will show in photos and the reviews your guests will leave you.</p> <h2>5. Load Up on Value-Centric Amenities</h2> <p>Another critical part of making your listing a major contender among potential guests' choices is the amenities you offer. It's all wrapped into the per-night fee that I'm charging, of course, but to them it looks like they're getting something extra for free &mdash; and often that means that they're choosing my place over someone else's. While I don't recommend that you run your business like a hotel &mdash; a more personal touch is always required in this person-to-person rental situation &mdash; I do suggest that you take your cue on what you're offering guests as a value proposition from hotels. In my guest bedrooms, I include fresh linens and towels, high-def flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and coffee makers, and I provide the guests will free cereal, fruit, coffee, and tea. These are little things that go a long way in a guest's decision on where to stay, especially if they're budget minded.</p> <h2>6. Explore New Options to Market Your Property Online</h2> <p>I've already alluded to this aspect of successfully turning your home into a rental property, but in case you've missed it, listing your property online is the best way to drive a lot of traffic to your property. <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a>, <a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>, and <a href="http://www.homeaway.com/">HomeAway</a> are the major players in this game, but there are other sites on which you can list to really corner the market.</p> <p>If you want to go all out, look into similar sites like <a href="http://www.vrbo.com/">VRBO</a>, <a href="http://www.misterbnb.com/">Misterbnb</a>, <a href="http://www.furnishedquarters.com/">Furnished Quarters</a>, and <a href="http://www.sublet.com/">Sublet.com</a>.</p> <p>For the most part, your listings will market themselves on these sites, but you need to stay on top of your inquiries, keep your listings up to date, and promote them on social media and offline to maximize their efficacy.</p> <h2>7. Undercut the Competition</h2> <p>I didn't go to business school, but I've learned a thing or two about good business by being an accidental entrepreneur: If you want to make money, you have to offer the best product at the most reasonable price. That business model has never failed. That's how I've run my rental-property business since the beginning, and that's one of the main reasons why I'm booked nearly 365 days a year. My strategy is to research the comparable listings in my area on the sites on which I'm listed and set my price for my more attractive listing below their nightly fee. As a result, my calendar is consistently full while theirs has gaping holes.</p> <p>I wonder if that qualifies for an honorary business degree? I should call my alma mater.</p> <h2>8. Streamline Your Organization</h2> <p>When your bookings start to pile up, it's easy to get overwhelmed &mdash; which is why you need to set up organizational procedures to ensure that your business is streamlined and runs efficiently. Keeping your calendar up-to-date is number one on this checklist &mdash; you don't want to overbook guests who will have no place to go if you can't accommodate them because of your error. Organizing your cleaning protocol so you can breeze through the house and prepare for new guests quickly is a close second to an organized calendar. You should not be lax about either one of these organizational aspects for many reasons, the most important of which is that you owe it to your <em>paying</em> guests to be professional and prepared at all times.</p> <h2>9. Stay Up-to-Date With Rental Trends</h2> <p>In order for any business to succeed for the long term, it must evolve and keep up with industry and social trends &mdash; and your small rental-property business is no different. Because micro-subletting is a relatively new concept, local laws are changing rapidly to ensure that taxes are being paid and safety measures are put in place. Cities like San Francisco have made micro-subletting legal while New York City is still entrenched in litigation to determine how best to manage the growing trend. Newsletters and other correspondences from the services on which you list are great resources as is talking to your fellow rental-property entrepreneurs about their experiences. I also can personally recommend the <a href="http://www.internationalrealestatelistings.com/podcast/">Overseas Property Insider Podcast</a> from my buddy Taylor White, which offers insider information into the vacation rental industry on a regular basis.</p> <p><em>Do you have a rental income property? Do you have tips to share with us on how others can turn their homes into profit centers? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps" class="sharethis-link" title="Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/istopover-earn-extra-income-or-travel-on-the-cheap-and-a-special-promotion-for-wise-bread-readers">iStopOver: Earn Extra Income or Travel on the Cheap, and a Special Promotion for Wise Bread Readers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mistake-could-delay-your-retirement-by-10-years">This One Mistake Could Delay Your Retirement by 10 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing AirBnb microsubletting rental income sublet Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1260447 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Unexpected Jobs With Insane Travel http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-travel-121200843-small.jpg" alt="businessman travel" title="businessman travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most of us, travel is something we do when we're going on vacation or visiting friends and relatives. But other people, they get to travel all the time; once a month, or maybe even once or twice a week. Not only that, but it's all paid for. These are the people who have chosen careers that require travel as part of the job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler?ref=seealso">15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler</a>)</p> <p>And some of these are jobs you wouldn't expect to come with great travel benefits. If you're thinking of switching careers, here are the top 10 jobs you should look into if you want to see more of the world.</p> <h2>1. Auditor</h2> <p>You would not think a job in the financial sector would involve so much traveling, but auditors are out there as much as international jet setters and professional athletes.</p> <p>An auditor's job is to make sure than any given organization is utilizing its resources efficiently, whilst complying with all financial laws and rules. Every public company must, by law, undergo an annual audit. And these public companies are everywhere. As an auditor, you will travel to these companies, spending several weeks combing through the files and procedures. That's several weeks at a time that you get to spend in a city or town that is not where you call home (though beware, they're not always exactly glamorous locations).</p> <h2>2. English Teacher</h2> <p>The people most in need of help with English skills are those not living in English-speaking cities and countries. So an English teacher, or ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor, must be prepared to travel all over the world helping people to speak the language. Many ESL teachers not only get free travel benefits, but free accommodation and even free meals. There are even opportunities to work on military bases, if that's something that interests you. When you're not teaching English, you're taking in the local sights and sounds on someone else's dime.</p> <h2>3. Au Pair</h2> <p>Au pairs are usually hired by wealthy couples that both work full time, and require help with their children. The job can take you all over the world, working in France one year, and Australia the next. Room and board is usually given to you as part of the job, along with a salary and other benefits. The downside is that most of your time will be taken up by caring for another family, but if you're young and single and want to see the world at little cost to you, this is a great place to start.</p> <h2>4. Unit Photographer</h2> <p>If you are very good with a camera, the world is your oyster. Sure, the world's best photographers are in demand everywhere, but you don't have to be Annie Leibovitz or David Bailey to travel the world in style. One of the best areas to go into is entertainment photography. Movies and TV shows are filmed on location all over the world, and as a unit photographer you will be required to take still shots of the action as it's being filmed. The benefits, other than free travel and accommodation, are obvious. You get to be on the sets of some of the biggest shows and films in production, seeing them long before they come out in theaters. Your food will be supplied on set every day. You'll also get to hang with the cast and crew. This is a great job that most people don't even know exists.</p> <h2>5. Hotel Inspector</h2> <p>Wherever there are hotels, there are hotel inspectors. And there are hotels all over the world. Hotel inspectors are required to stay in places that run from Five Stars all the way down to Zero Stars (the ones that look more at home in horror movies than travel brochures). However, for the most part the hotel inspector will spend most of his or her days on the road, going from hotel to hotel, and rating the food, accommodations, customer service, and cleanliness of each hotel. This will involve flying to some parts of the country, and everything on the trip is paid for.</p> <p>You also have to be a master of disguise. As one hotel inspector noted, &quot;A hotel can scramble to clean up its act in seconds if it knows an inspector is checking in, and it's always a battle to make sure no one is on to me. That's why we disguise ourselves. I used to grow a beard every other year. One inspector I know dyes her hair. Another uses fake glasses. To keep my cover, I'll pay with credit cards that I've taken out in made-up names&hellip;&quot;</p> <h2>6. Writer</h2> <p>Obviously travel writers get the most gigs, but you can find a variety of writing jobs that come with a heavy dose of free travel. If you're a food writer, you'll have to go to the many different places around the world that serve the latest foods (which you will also be reimbursed for). If you follow sports teams, you will be on the road as they go to their various engagements. If you cover entertainment, you'll be in New York one day, and Hollywood the next. Yes, it's not an easy career to break into, but once you get a gig at a major publication, you can expect a lot of your time to be away from the office. Writers have to experience life, not read about it on the Internet.</p> <h2>7. Advertising and PR Executive</h2> <p>Advertising and PR may not be what is was in the eighties, but it's still a glamorous profession in many ways. As an account executive or PR employee, you will often have to travel around the country, or the world, to meet with clients and liaise with local press outlets and print shops. Once again, any travel you go on will be covered in full by the company, and that includes food, hotel bills, and anything else you need to live your life while on location.</p> <h2>8. Athletic Scout</h2> <p>As a scout in the sports industry, you need to find the best talent all around the country. Whether it's baseball, basketball, football, hockey, or soccer, you must be out there all the time making sure you get to the best talent before anyone else does. Some scouts work exclusively for one team, others freelance for several. As you go from college to college, and city to city, all of your travel and accommodation is paid for by the professional teams you're scouting for; and these teams are not exactly hurting for money. True, you'll have to sit through a lot of games, but if you do this for a living you'll love the sport anyway. Getting paid to travel the country watching sports? That sounds good to most people.</p> <h2>9. Roadie</h2> <p>Every music gig you've ever been was made possible by the crew of roadies working tirelessly behind the scenes. The roadie, or technical support staff, is responsible for helping the bands set up for a gig, and tear down after it. It's by no means an easy job. There is a lot of lifting and carrying involved, and there is often a need for musical ability or knowledge, especially if you're going to be tuning instruments for the band members. But the perks&hellip; oh, the perks.</p> <p>For a start, you're going to be traveling with some big names in rock, pop, metal, and every other genre that does nationwide (and even worldwide) tours. You will be on the road constantly, traveling from town to town, city to city, and country to country. You get to eat and drink well, and rub shoulders with the rich and famous. And you don't even need formal qualifications or training.</p> <h2>10. Field Service Technician</h2> <p>Due to the nature of the job, the FST has to go to the equipment, not the other way around. It could be elevator repair, heavy-duty equipment maintenance, or even train engine repairs and rebuilds. As a FST, you go where the work is, and you get paid to travel, stay in hotels, and get your per diem for meals and other expenses. Many companies offer on-the-job training too, so you can become qualified as you travel.</p> <p><em>Have you held any of these or other jobs with a lot of travel? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Unexpected Jobs With Insane Travel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-e-books-to-help-you-make-money-travel-and-change-your-life">Three E-Books to Help You Make Money, Travel, and Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income Travel career perks travel wanderlust Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 1255271 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Rich Walking Dogs in 9 Easy Steps http://www.wisebread.com/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-husky-dog-507032611-small.jpg" alt="man with dog" title="man with dog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pressed for cash? Have feet? Then you, my ambulatory friend, should read about how to set up a thriving dog-walking business in nine simple steps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-these-15-creative-side-gigs?ref=seealso">Earn Extra Income With These 15 Creative Side Gigs</a>)</p> <h2>1. Take a Training Class and Get Certified</h2> <p>It's always a good idea &mdash; if you don't know what you're doing &mdash; to start with the basics, and in the case of dog walking that's taking a training class that offers certain certifications. I know what you're thinking &mdash; &quot;but, Mikey, I walk my dog all the time. I know what I'm doing.&quot; Good try, but the reality is your dog is not every dog, and you need to be prepared for emergency situations so you don't accidentally kill somebody's pet. That's a bad day at work, dude.</p> <p>When you've decided to get serious, check out <a href="http://dogtec.org/dogwalkingacademy.php">Dogtec's Dog Walking Academy</a>, an intensive four-day workshop leading to professional dog-walking certification. Dates and locations vary, but the academy is held all over the United States</p> <h2>2. Brand Your Business</h2> <p>Like the title above says, this post is about how to get rich walking dogs &mdash; not how to make chump change. Which means that if you want to turn this new endeavor into a bonafide business, you need to brand it. Choose a clever, perhaps even cute name for your dog-walking business; legally register it; and hire someone to create a logo and website for you, if you don't know how to do it yourself.</p> <p>These steps &mdash; which should be followed in that order, by the way; you don't want to create a logo for a business name that's already taken &mdash; will help you get started and begin to establish a presence in your market.</p> <h2>3. Design a Flyer Advertising Your Services</h2> <p>When you're up and running, you'll need to market your services. You'll do this online, of course (which I'll discuss in the next steps), but traditional, paper advertising is also a valuable way to get the word out. Entrepreneur Kyle Boureston started a dog-walking business in posh Orange County, CA, and he says the flyer is the foundation of starting your business. Here are his personal tips:</p> <h3>1. Tell Them About You</h3> <p>Most dog owners love their pet almost as much as they love their own family. Since you take their dog on an unsupervised walk around the neighborhood, there's a good amount of trust involved. Owners will want to know a little bit about you before they give away their dog. Be sure to include:</p> <ul> <li>Your name<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your history with pets<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What street you live on &mdash; you don't need to give an exact address but saying that you live on a street that they're familiar with will make them a lot more comfortable.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A little about you. For example, &quot;I love running, cooking, and Sunday football.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>2. Include a Photo of You and a Happy Dog</h3> <p>This is the most important part of your flyer. In the ideal photo, you would:</p> <ul> <li>Be crouched next to an obediently seated dog. This shows that you have experience with dogs and would keep the dog safe when you walk together.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have a big smile on your face. A picture is worth a thousand words, so smile. This is one of the easiest ways you can look friendly, normal, and, most importantly, not sketchy or creepy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have your hand placed gently on the dogs back. Like I said above, dog owners truly love their pets. They want their dog to be with someone who also loves dogs, and this simple hand placement will subconsciously tell the owner that their pet is in good, loving hands.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Distribute Your Ads in Your Neighborhood</h2> <p>Old-fashioned hoofin' it around town is the best way to distribute your professional flyers by placing them in the mailboxes of people in the vicinity you want to serve. Put on a good pair of shoes and carve out a few hours to do the legwork it will require to let your neighbors know you're in business. It's not only good exercise in anticipation of your first four-legged client, but you never know who you'll meet along the way by being out there in person as the face of your new business.</p> <h2>5. List Your Service on Craigslist and Similar Sites</h2> <p>In addition to traditional advertising, you also should advertise on sites like Craigslist and similar portals that are popular with people hiring folks to do non-traditional jobs. I also would recommend joining <a href="https://nextdoor.com/">Nextdoor</a>, a website that specifically caters to your neighborhood; it's a great way to get to know your neighbors and promote your service. Use social media to build brand awareness by posting blogs, using Facebook and Twitter to make business shout-outs, and definitely engage Instagram so you can post all the aww-worthy photos of the dogs with which you'll spend the day.</p> <h2>6. Sign Up for Doggie-Specific Websites</h2> <p>Just like there are sites solely dedicated to connecting parents with responsible, vetted care providers who will watch their kids, there also are sites that will connect you to pet owners looking for a walker or sitter.<a href="http://www.care.com/pet-care-p1087-q25299341.html"> Care.com has a pet component to it</a>, but there are also dog-specific sites like <a href="http://friend.dogvacay.com/x/Pn0cSD">DogVacay</a> and <a href="http://refer.rover.com/v2/share/6080167420330944787">Rover</a> that you can use as resources. I'm personally listed on the latter two sites, by the way. I just discovered them a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be a cool way to have a play date with my own dog, Jaxon, while making a little extra money.</p> <h2>7. Take Excellent Care of the Your Clients' Pets</h2> <p>Any new business can pick up clients in the beginning, but the real test is keeping them. How do you do that? By being the best darn dog walker this side of wherever you live.</p> <p>As a small business owner myself, I know the importance of executing my job at the highest-level possible along with impeccable customer service. Think about it &mdash; how many times have you personally boycotted a business because someone at the establishment was rude to you? Sucks, doesn't it? Don't be that person. As a dog walker, you have a huge responsibility to take care of your clients' best friends, go above and beyond the call of duty (or is that doody?), and return their pets safe and happy. That's your JOB. If you're not doing that, why are you in business? The answer to that question is this: You won't be for long.</p> <h2>8. Send Updates to Your Clients on a Regular Basis</h2> <p>Because you're taking care of something so precious to your clients, it's a good idea to send them updates on how their dog is doing in your care. While you're sending pics or video that will bring smiles to their faces, it'll also remind them that you're an active walker who's taking great care of their pet &mdash; and it shows.</p> <h2>9. Ask for Referrals From Your Clients</h2> <p>You can't get rich with an venture if you don't continue to drive business. In this industry, because it's very localized, it's important to make connections by networking and also asking for referrals from clients with whom you have a great rapport. They may have a friend or colleague in need of your services, and if you're the kind of dog walker I've detailed in this post, your clients will be more than happy to spread the word about you. Proceed with caution, however. You really need to gauge the situation well and know how to read people. If you're not particularly close with your client, it may not be the best idea to ask for a referral outright; perhaps leaving a few business cards is better method in that case. Don't hound anybody either. You should ask your clients to refer you one time and one time only. If they want to spread the word they will; if they don't, they don't. Nothing you can do about that &mdash; that's business.</p> <p><em>Did you build a successful dog-walking business? Do you have any tips for us? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps" class="sharethis-link" title="Get Rich Walking Dogs in 9 Easy Steps" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bodily-fluids-you-can-exchange-for-cash">5 Bodily Fluids You Can Exchange for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-money-online-that-arent-scams">13 Ways to Make Money Online That Aren&#039;t Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-earn-more-money-heres-how">You CAN Earn More Money — Here&#039;s How</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Extra Income dog-sitting dog-walking dogs extra income pets side hustle Tue, 18 Nov 2014 18:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1255270 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Craziest Career Shift Success Stories http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-craziest-career-shift-success-stories <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-craziest-career-shift-success-stories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cupcake-shop-owner-iStock_000023426489Small.jpg" alt="cupcake shop owner" title="cupcake shop owner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704206804575468162805877990">average American changes jobs</a> &mdash; if not careers &mdash; multiple times in his or her lifetime.</p> <p>Many of these career shifts, however, occur at the start of a person's working years, when they're zig-zagging from childcare to catering gigs in order to pay off car payments and college loans. But what about mid- and late-career changes &mdash; the kind where a person who's already established and well-respected in one field decides to swap that well-earned sense of security for a completely different path? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-discover-your-dream-career">5 Ways to Find Your Dream Career</a>)</p> <p>Giving up a spot at the top of the ladder in one industry for one at the bottom rung in another can be unsettling and hard-fought, but the rewards &mdash; landing an energizing, successful gig that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning &mdash; are well worth the risk of falling flat on your face.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the most inspiring career shift stories from people who risked it all in the name of pursuing their true calling. If you've been looking for the inspiration to change your career path, this is it.</p> <h2>1. Trading Finance for Rum</h2> <p>After establishing a successful career at a hedge fund, Bridged Firtle decided to leave it all behind and start her own craft rum distillery, <a href="http://tnenyc.com/">The Noble Experiment</a>. The career swap required a lot of sacrifices &mdash; including giving up her posh TriBeCa loft to move back in with her parents &mdash; but Firtle tells The Muse it was well worth it to <a href="https://www.themuse.com/advice/a-truly-noble-experiment-leaving-finance-to-open-a-rum-distillery">create something she's passionate about</a>.</p> <p>&quot;I always wanted to own my own business, but I thought it would be in finance because that's what I jumped into in school,&quot; Firtle says. &quot;I was evaluating my next move in finance to get myself to the place where I could open my own financial institution, and I was really hoping to get into venture capital just because new business excited me. And then I realized that I didn't want to be on the outside looking in anymore &mdash; I really wanted to get my hands dirty and own my own business.&quot;</p> <p>Firtle says the most difficult part of her transition to small business owner from her cushy hedge fund job was taking on the pressure of being responsible not only for her own finances, but also for those of her business and investors. But she says she has no regrets.</p> <p>&quot;Doing it all yourself is the most empowering feeling,&quot; she says. &quot;I was completely inspired to do this. That feeling was like nothing's going to stop me. If you have that feeling &mdash; if you have that passion for something &mdash; you will succeed.&quot;</p> <h2>2. From Corporate Finance to Cupcakes</h2> <p>Pam Nelson had a forward-moving career in finance for two decades. Then she was laid off during the Great Recession. Jobless and uncertain of her next move, Nelson decided to go all in when her friend suggested they open a cupcake shop together. She figured she'd try it out for six months or a year, then hop back into finance when the market recovered. But that was six years ago. Today she's still helping run Butter Lane Cupcakes, which has two storefronts in New York City.</p> <p>&quot;We decided from the very beginning that we only wanted to make chocolate, vanilla, and banana cupcakes,&quot; Nelson tells The Muse. &quot;All of the variation comes from our icing, which is much easier to work with. <a href="https://www.themuse.com/advice/one-sweet-business-a-qa-with-butter-lane-cupcakes-founder-pam-nelson">Keeping it simple really helped us as newbies</a>.&quot;</p> <p>Nelson says running the business end of her own sweets shop is the most satisfying job she's ever had. But it's also the most intense. Even when she's not working, Nelson says there's rarely a moment she's not thinking about her work. After all, there's no one to pass the buck to if things go sour.</p> <p>&quot;It's great to have a paycheck coming in &mdash; and I've worked in the corporate world and I loved my job &mdash; but at some point there's some sort of powerlessness in not knowing who your next boss is going to be, or not having control over what your next project is going to be,&quot; Nelson says. &quot;In small business, the good news is that it's all yours. You control your destiny and get to make the decisions. Of course, the hard part is that it's all yours. It's on you to make the rent and to make payroll, and if sales aren't where they should be, it's your job to scramble.&quot;</p> <h2>3. A Lawyer With a Green Thumb</h2> <p>Angela Newman felt unfulfilled as a property and planning lawyer. The long hours cut into her family time and the work itself wasn't satisfying. She felt drained. Stuck. And she wanted better for her professional life. So she left the Bar for her dream job as a self-employed garden designer.</p> <p>&quot;I wanted to find <a href="http://www.careershifters.org/success-stories/from-barrister-to-garden-designer">a career with more personal satisfaction, creativity, and which involved working with nature</a>, and one that would be flexible, enjoyable and manageable with a family,&quot; she tells Career Shifters.</p> <p>Newman says the hardest part of giving up her law career was realizing that she had worked so hard for so many years to achieve a certain level of success in a field that was never going to make her happy. The easy part was identifying and pursuing her passion. Her advice for others contemplating a similar career switch is to ignore the naysayers &mdash; and don't ever lose faith in yourself and your ability to succeed wearing brand new shoes.</p> <p>&quot;Do not be put off by what you perceive to be the stigma of 'giving up' what you are doing,&quot; she says. &quot;I think this can be a common problem where people are in professional jobs that they don't like. My experience is that people very much respect and admire my decision to take a leap into the unknown.&quot;</p> <h2>4. From Engineer to Stand-Up Comedian</h2> <p>Dan Nainan was a senior engineer for Intel Corporation, a job that led him to take a comedy class as a means of overcoming his fear of public speaking. <a href="http://www.danielnainan.com/index.php/about">Turns out he had an undiscovered knack for being the funny guy</a>. His slapstick impressions of American presidents during his &quot;final exam&quot; performance at a San Francisco comedy club wowed his co-workers so much that they decided to invite him to perform at a team dinner for 200 Intel employees at a tradeshow in Las Vegas. Nainan scored more corporate comedy gigs from there, eventually performing for 2,500 salespeople from around the world at Intel's annual sales conference. After two years of stand-up for in-house events, Nainan quit the company for a new career in comedy. He has since performed for President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Steve Wozniak, and Yoko Ono.</p> <h2>5. The Ex-Corporate Communications Exec Who Travels the World by Caravan</h2> <p>&quot;I wanted a life in which I felt alive every day, contributing something meaningful to the world,&quot; says Diana Vermeij, a former corporate branding officer who left her cubicle behind to travel the world in a VW van that is her home and headquarters for her new career as a lifestyle design coach. Fittingly, it's a self-styled job that allows her to help others build a life that draws on their passions and provides them with a greater sense of purpose.</p> <p>&quot;Life really is too short to do work that doesn't matter to you,&quot; Vermeij tells Career Shifters. &quot;I felt unfulfilled, unable to use many of my talents in my job. I wasn't doing what I loved most. I'd started to value (in my opinion) the wrong things (money, status, 'stuff') and I was feeling empty because of it.&quot;</p> <p>It was a big shift. Vermeij was making good money working 70 hours a week in the chemical industry. But she says it was worth giving up that financial freedom and security in the pursuit of what shes says really matters &mdash; fulfillment and happiness.</p> <p>&quot;I had very much identified my 'self' with the work I did,&quot; Vermeij says. &quot;When someone asked me 'Who are you?', I would say my name and start telling them about my work. <a href="http://www.careershifters.org/success-stories/from-corporate-communications-to-travelling-portfolio-careerist">I had to rediscover what I liked to do</a>, what I got excited about, what my talents were and how I wanted to contribute to the world. I had to learn to quiet the negative, down-talking thoughts in my head.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you made an incredible career change? Please tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-craziest-career-shift-success-stories" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Craziest Career Shift Success Stories" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-craziest-career-shift-success-stories">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion">Find Your Passion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-dream-job">What Is Your Dream Job?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-find-your-passion">5 Simple Ways to Find Your Passion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laid-off-what-to-do-before-plunging-into-the-job-search">Laid Off? What To Do Before Plunging Into The Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dream-career-a-reality-for-less-than-100">Make Your Dream Career a Reality for Less Than $100</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income career change dream career dream job job change new career Mon, 10 Nov 2014 10:00:12 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1251656 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Discover Your Dream Career http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-discover-your-dream-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-discover-your-dream-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office-worker-thinking-516681649-small.jpg" alt="office worker thinking" title="office worker thinking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're flailing, facing layoffs, or otherwise feeling unfulfilled at work, it might be time to reconsider your calling. Job researchers report that <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704206804575468162805877990">the average American changes jobs seven times</a> in his or her lifetime, most often in pursuit of better job satisfaction or financial stability. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today?ref=seealso">25 Career Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>But it's not always easy to know what direction to take. That's because we're prone to define who we are by what we do to make a living. So when there's opportunity to trade our profession for something completely new, it often feels like we're faced with the unsettling task of altering the basic building blocks of who we are as human beings. But it can be done, and <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/03/03/how-loving-your-job-helps-you-succeed">the payoff can be spectacular</a>.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the best ways to go about recreating your career and finding your true calling. (You can thank us when you're blissfully employed in your brand new niche).</p> <h2>1. Be a Skill-Shifter</h2> <p>Reflect on all of your skills &mdash; not just the ones you acquired in the workforce &mdash; and think about all the creative ways you can apply them to new careers or business ventures. What skills have you picked up from volunteering, coaching soccer, raising your children, paying off your credit card debt, or gardening in the backyard? How might those techniques serve you in the working world?</p> <p>&quot;<a href="http://blog.ctnews.com/connecticutpostings/2010/10/16/recreate-your-career-take-or-leave-a-tip/">Don't limit your job search or career possibilities</a> to the exact field you have been in or with the same field on your educational degree,&quot; advises Dr. Stuart Sidle, an industrial organizational psychologist. The idea is to identify your most outside-the-box strengths and passions, and then play to them.</p> <h2>2. Unearth a Childhood Dream</h2> <p>Many people think childhood dreams are just dreams. Yet one in four working Americans are employed in the job or career field they dreamed about as kids, according to a survey by LinkedIn. People who work in a field they once dreamed about tend to be successful because <a href="http://press.linkedin.com/News-Releases/150/Cool-Careers-LinkedIn-Research-Reveals-Data-About-the-Top-Childhood-Dream-Jobs">their job is on the same playing field as their passions</a>. When you do something you're passionate about, you're bound to do it well.</p> <p>&quot;The dream jobs we aspire to as children are a window into our passions and talents,&quot; says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn's career expert. &quot;Identifying and understanding those passions are key to improving our performance and enjoyment&hellip;&quot;</p> <h2>3. Try It Out</h2> <p>A restaurant chef might seem like the ultimate occupation, but how often does the average chef have the opportunity to experiment with flavors and create new dishes for the dinner menu? There's only one way to find out: Network with people in your desired field, find opportunities to shadow people working in your desired role, and ask a lot of questions. When possible, try out the work for yourself on a limited, exploratory basis to see if it's really for you.</p> <p>&quot;Making a major career change is not simply about picking up new technical skills and repackaging one's image and resume,&quot; writes Herminia Ibarra in her book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591394139/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1591394139&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MUC7F2E4CCXNBERS">Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career</a>. &quot;It is also about finding people we want to emulate and places where we want to belong.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Future-Proof Yourself</h2> <p>It's not a bad idea to <a href="http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm">go where the growth is</a>. So you might want to jot down these fastest-growing occupations:</p> <ul> <li>industrial-organizational psychologist</li> <li>personal care aide</li> <li>home health aide</li> <li>mechanical insulation worker</li> <li>interpreters and translators</li> <li>diagnostic medical sonographers</li> <li>brickmasons</li> </ul> <p>These fields of the future are less likely to be affected by a shrinking economy or other setbacks. And they're more likely to provide workers with opportunities for growth and promotion. They may not be the sexiest of jobs, but there's certainly something to be said for stability.</p> <h2>5. Be Honest &mdash; Are You Up to the Challenge?</h2> <p>&quot;Much more than transferring to a similar job in a new company or industry, or moving laterally into a different work function within a field we already know well, a true change of direction is always terrifying,&quot; writes Ibarra in her book.</p> <p>That's why Dr. Stuart Sidle, an industrial organizational psychologist, recommends asking yourself these questions before <a href="http://blog.ctnews.com/connecticutpostings/2010/10/16/recreate-your-career-take-or-leave-a-tip/">embarking on any major career shift</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Do you have the passion to do the hard work that goes along with succeeding in the field?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Is your choice practical?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are you taking a path because you believe it is a great option for you, or are you simply avoiding something, such as discomfort or fear?</li> </ul> <p>If your honest answer to any of these key considerations is &quot;No,&quot; you might want to consider making a trip back to the drawing board.</p> <p><em>Have you relaunched a career? How'd you do? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-discover-your-dream-career" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Discover Your Dream Career" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-discover-your-dream-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-you-deserve-to-get-fired">12 Reasons You Deserve to Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-a-new-job-3-rules-to-live-by">Starting a New Job: 3 Rules to Live By</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-improve-your-performance-at-work">12 Ways to Improve Your Performance at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career Building career choice new career new job Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1245696 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/employee-fired-iStock_000007255442Small.jpg" alt="employee fired" title="employee fired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was laid off from my job recently, I had to quickly learn how to survive. I must do everything I can to save money while I search for work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-5-things-you-must-do-after-getting-laid-off?ref=seealso">The First 5 Things You Must Do After Getting Laid Off</a>)</p> <p>If you are in a similar position, you probably feel as if you are scraping by and that saving money is nearly impossible. But it isn't hopeless. Here are 10 ways you can save money and make some extra cash while you search for a full-time job.</p> <h2>1. Take Advantage of Local Resources</h2> <p>Even if you are not receiving unemployment, there are organizations that can help you with getting your basic needs met, including food and housing. The United Way and The Alliance for Information and Referral Services (AIRS) have created an easy way to find these resources in your area. You can dial 211 in most areas, or go to the <a href="http://211us.org/">2-1-1 website</a> to learn more about what resources might be available to you. By taking advantage of social services, you can save a lot of money on the essentials.</p> <h2>2. Use Alternate Transportation</h2> <p>We all know that gas can be a major expense, especially if you rely solely on your car for transportation. Try not to drive unless it's absolutely necessary. Public transportation is much cheaper than driving, and buying monthly passes is often a better deal than a one-time fare. Check with your local unemployment office to see if your state offers free or discounted passes for public transportation in your area for unemployed people and low-income families.</p> <p>You might also find local programs that offer cheap, alternate modes of transportation. For instance, here in Burlington, Vermont, you can purchase a bike for as low as $30 through the non-profit program, <a href="http://www.localmotion.org/programs/bikerecycle/">Bike Recycle Vermont</a>. Or you can get discounted tune-ups and bike accessories through the program. If walking, biking, or public transportation are not an option, some gas stations may offer discounts on groceries at local grocery stores when you spend a certain amount on gas, so you can at least save on food if you must drive.</p> <h2>3. Quit Unhealthy and Expensive Habits</h2> <p>A friend of mine also recently lost her job, and then she started smoking as a way to cope with the loss. Aside from the obvious health risks, smoking is an incredibly expensive habit. She often pays as much as $10 to $12 a pack! Alcohol is another nonessential that can take a huge chunk of your budget and a toll on your health. Keep in mind that recreational drugs and alcohol are also depressants that will make you feel worse about your situation. Even if you don't drink or smoke, there are probably other unnecessary purchases that you could cut out for the time being.</p> <h2>4. Eat Your Meals at Home</h2> <p>In addition to cutting out items that are not part of your basic diet, there are plenty of ways to save on the groceries you do need. First, avoid going out to dinner or grabbing fast food for your meals. Fast food joints might be cheap, but in the long run, eating out all the time can be more expensive than making food at home. Don't forget that soup kitchens offer free hot meals once a day, and you can find the locations through your local food shelf. Many food shelf organizations also offer recipes if you are picking up groceries, or you don't feel like you know how to cook very well. Also check with the unemployment office to see if you qualify for food stamps.</p> <h2>5. Find Ways to Save on Groceries</h2> <p>Resisting the urge to dine out and taking advantage of the food shelf are only part of saving on the overall cost of food. There are plenty of ways to save money when you go to the grocery store. Buy in bulk whenever possible, and take advantage of discounted items and coupons. One caveat: never purchase a sale item unless it is something that you buy regularly. You may end up spending more overall. Most co-ops offer a basic discount for members, and a larger discount if you volunteer a certain number of hours per week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-feed-yourself-for-50-a-week-or-less?ref=seealso">How to Feed Yourself on $50 a Week or Less</a>)</p> <p>Joining a local <a href="http://www.localharvest.org/csa/">CSA</a> can save a lot of money on produce, and some CSAs offer other staples, such as eggs, meat, and dairy. Ask a friend to join with you and split the cost and the food if you can't afford the membership. The CSA weekly pickups usually include too much food for one person to eat in a week anyway.</p> <h2>6. Create a Realistic Spending Plan</h2> <p>Everyone hates to budget, but it is an absolute necessity if you want to manage your spending. Because the word &quot;budget&quot; implies that you are limiting yourself, one trick is to call it a &quot;spending plan.&quot; Even though it is more difficult to create a spending plan if you don't have a regular income, it is much easier to save when you know how much you are spending. You can easily find templates for a basic spending plan online, and <a href="http://www.saveandinvest.org/militarycenter/militaryfinancialtoolkits/makingendsmeet/P124805">SaveAndInvest.org</a> has some great advice on how to get started when creating a spending plan.</p> <p>The key is to be realistic about how much you spend each month and ensure that you are covering every category. This includes purchases you may not have thought about, such as entertainment (you have to treat yourself every once in a while), cat food, emergency fund, etc. Once you do find a job again, stick to your spending plan, and put some money into a savings account each month for an emergency fund. Then if you do lose another job, you won't be as stressed about finances.</p> <h2>7. Join a Support Group</h2> <p><a href="http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/">Debtors Anonymous</a> is a great resource for people who have lost a job. Being unemployed for a long period of time can easily lead to crippling debt. The group meetings are based on the same 12 steps as AA and other 12-step programs. You may find that you already have issues with debting, and the group provides support when trying to break old habits, such as overspending or maxing out credit cards. <a href="http://www.underearnersanonymous.org/">Underearners Anonymous</a> is a similar program, and often people find that they consistently accept jobs under their skill level and salary needs, which can easily lead to debting. These groups may not meet as often in your area as other 12-step groups, but if you go to the website to search for a local group, you should be able to find phone meetings as well.</p> <h2>8. Negotiate Reduced Rent or Mortgage Payments</h2> <p>Before I started receiving unemployment (keep in mind there is a waiting period, so apply as soon as you get laid off), I was unable to pay my rent in full at the beginning of the month. I decided to talk to my landlord about splitting my rent in two payments. She was very understanding and said she would be willing to work with me as long as I communicated my needs to her. You'll find that as long as you are honest about your situation, most people are willing to work with you, especially if you have been a good tenant and always pay your rent on time. If you own a house, talk with a loan officer about refinancing. You may be able to get a lower interest rate and lower your mortgage payments.</p> <p>If you have student loans, you can get them deferred while you are out of work, or at least put them in temporary forbearance. For credit cards, make sure you are at least paying the minimum each month. It can be tempting to want to continue paying off debt with your normal payments, but you will risk getting further into debt if you can't realistically make those payments.</p> <h2>9. Don't Be Afraid to Accept Money</h2> <p>One of the key rules of Debtors Anonymous is not to start a new debt, which includes loans from friends and family. However, if a friend or family member offers you a monetary gift, it is okay to accept it, as long as you have a good relationship with that person. By the same token, avoid using loans to pay off other loans, even if the new loan has a lower interest rate. It may save a little money in the short term, but it can create debting habits that are hard to break.</p> <h2>10. Earn Extra Cash</h2> <p>This last tip has kept my head above water for the past few months. Even before I lost my job, I was a regular house and pet sitter for friends. While we had bartered for this service in the past, I had to ask them to start paying me after I lost my job. Again, people are very understanding if you are upfront with them.</p> <p>Find out what the going rate is in your area, and don't be afraid to ask for what you need. I've also been paid for doing yardwork, cleaning houses, babysitting, freelance writing, editing, and helping friends with websites. There are plenty of opportunities to make a some fast cash while you are out of work. Use social media and online forums to offer your services. Be clear about how much you want to get paid but also try to be a little flexible if the pay is still reasonable for the amount of work you are doing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-these-15-creative-side-gigs?ref=seealso">Earn Extra Income With These 15 Creative Side Gigs</a>)</p> <p>While I wish I had read <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You're Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a> before I lost my job, I have found ways to make ends meet and minimize the stress so far. Just keep in mind that you are not alone, and there are plenty of resources and support groups to help you out during this difficult time.</p> <p><em>Have you ever endured a long period of unemployment? How did you reduce your spending?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Save Money When You Are Unemployed" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-when-you-are-unemployed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-dumb-little-budgeting-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Dumb Little Budgeting Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-every-penny-count-with-a-zero-based-budget">Making Every Penny Count With A Zero-Based Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-creative-ways-to-avoid-spending-money">13 Creative Ways to Avoid Spending Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-make-yourself-hate-spending-money">10 Smart Ways to Make Yourself Hate Spending Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Career and Income Budgeting saving spending unemployment Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Ashley Watson 1245575 at http://www.wisebread.com