How Personal Finance Can Help You Save Money

Money is tight these days. Whether you are struggling to make ends meet or you are just looking to save a little extra, personal finance can help. By learning how to budget, invest and save, you can make your money work harder for you.

Budgeting is the key to controlling your finances. By tracking your income and expenses, you can see where your money is going and make adjustments to ensure that you are spending within your means. A budget can also help you to identify areas where you may be able to save money, such as by eating out less or cutting back on unnecessary expenses.

Investing is another important aspect of personal finance. By investing your money, you can grow your wealth over time. There are many different ways to invest, so it is important to do some research to find an investment strategy that best suits your needs.

Saving is also essential for building your financial security. By putting away money each month, you can create a nest egg that can be used in case of an emergency or for future goals, such as retirement. A savings account can also help you to earn interest on your money, which can further grow your wealth.

Personal finance is all about taking control of your money and making it work for you. By budgeting, investing and saving, you can improve your financial well-being and secure your future.

Personal finance is all about making smart money choices in order to achieve your financial goals. It can help you save money by teaching you how to budget and manage your money wisely. By learning how to save money, you can put yourself in a better financial position and achieve your financial goals sooner.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to personal finance and saving money. First, you need to have a clear understanding of your financial situation. This means knowing what your income and expenses are, as well as your assets and liabilities. Once you have a good understanding of your financial situation, you can develop a budget.

A budget is a tool that can help you track your spending and ensure that you are living within your means. It is important to remember that a budget is not a diet; it is a guide to help you make informed choices about your spending. When you develop a budget, be sure to include a savings plan. This will help you set aside money each month to reach your financial goals.

In addition to developing a budget, there are other personal finance tips that can help you save money. One of the best ways to save money is to live below your means. This means spending less than you earn. Another way to save money is to make wise choices about your purchases. When you are able to save money on your everyday expenses, you will have more money available to save for your future goals.

Personal finance is all about making smart money choices. By learning how to save money, you can put yourself in a better financial position and achieve your financial goals sooner.

The Importance Of A Personal Finance Policy

It’s no secret that money is one of the leading causes of stress in our lives. And with good reason – our financial wellbeing is essential to our overall health and happiness. That’s why it’s so important to have a clear and concise personal finance policy.

A personal finance policy is a set of guidelines that you develop to help you make smart financial decisions. It should outline your goals, both short-term and long-term, and provide a framework for how you will achieve them.

Your personal finance policy should be tailored to your unique circumstances and should reflect your values and priorities. For example, if you place a high value on financial security, your policy might include a goal to build up an emergency fund equivalent to three months’ worth of expenses. Or, if you’re aiming to retire early, you might have a goal to max out your retirement savings accounts each year.

Developing a personal finance policy can help to reduce stress and anxiety around money matters. It can also help you to make better financial decisions, both in the short-term and the long-term. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available to help you develop a personal finance policy that works for you.

It’s no secret that money is one of the leading causes of stress in our lives. Managing our finances can be a difficult and time-consuming task, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why it’s so important to have a personal finance policy in place.

A personal finance policy is simply a set of guidelines that you follow in order to make financial decisions. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like, but the important thing is that it gives you a framework to work within.

Your personal finance policy should be tailored to your unique circumstances and goals. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for someone else may not be right for you.

Some things to consider when creating your personal finance policy:

-Your income and expenses

-Your short-term and long-term financial goals

-Your risk tolerance

-Your investment philosophy

Your personal finance policy will evolve over time as your circumstances and goals change. That’s perfectly normal, and it’s actually a good thing. As you gain more experience and knowledge, your policy should become more refined.

If you don’t have a personal finance policy in place, now is the time to create one. It will make managing your finances much easier, and it will help you stay on track to reach your financial goals.

How A Personal Finance Policy Can Help You Stay On Budget

It’s no secret that money is one of the leading causes of stress in our lives. Whether it’s worrying about how to make ends meet or trying to save for a big purchase, money can be a major source of anxiety.

One of the best ways to take control of your finances and reduce stress is to develop a personal finance policy. A personal finance policy is simply a set of guidelines that you develop to help you make financial decisions. It can cover everything from how much you save each month to how you handle debt.

Creating a personal finance policy can be a great way to stay on budget and make sure that your money is working for you. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Determine your financial goals

The first step in creating a personal finance policy is to determine your financial goals. What do you want to achieve with your money? Do you want to save for a down payment on a home? Pay off your credit card debt? Build up your emergency fund?

Once you know your goals, you can start to develop the guidelines that will help you reach them.

2. Automate your finances

One of the best ways to stick to a budget is to automate your finances. Set up automatic transfers to your savings account so that you’re automatically saving each month. Consider using a service like Mint or Personal Capital to track your spending and create a budget.

3. Live below your means

One of the most important aspects of a personal finance policy is learning to live below your means. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it. Start by evaluating your spending habits and see where you can cut back.

4. Invest in yourself

One of the best investments you can make is in yourself. Invest in your education and career so that you can earn more money and reach your financial goals even faster.

5. Make a plan

Last but not least, make sure you have a plan. A personal finance policy is not effective if you don’t have a plan for how you’re going to reach your goals. Make sure you know how much you need to save each month and have a timeline for reaching your goals.

Creating a personal finance policy can help you take control of your money and your life. By setting goals and making a plan, you can reduce stress and build a bright financial future.

Why You Should Have A Personal Finance Policy

When it comes to personal finance, there are all sorts of different philosophies out there. Some people swear by frugality, others advocate for aggressive debt repayment, and still others believe in investing as much money as possible.

But there’s one thing that all successful people with sound financial habits have in common: they all have a personal finance policy.

A personal finance policy is simply a set of guidelines that you follow in order to make financial decisions. It can be as simple as a mantra that you repeat to yourself whenever you’re tempted to make an impulse purchase, or as complex as a detailed set of rules that you follow in order to manage your money effectively.

There are many different benefits to having a personal finance policy. First of all, it can help to keep you disciplined when it comes to spending and saving. It can also help you to stay focused on your long-term financial goals, and to make better decisions with your money.

But perhaps the most important benefit of all is that a personal finance policy can help to take the emotion out of financial decision-making. We all know how easy it is to make impulsive, emotionally-driven decisions with our money. But when you have a personal finance policy in place, you can make financial decisions based on logic and reason, rather than on emotion.

If you’re not sure where to start in creating your own personal finance policy, there are a few key questions that you can ask yourself:

-How much debt do I want to be in?

-How much money do I want to save each month?

-What are my long-term financial goals?

-What are my values when it comes to money?

Answering these questions can help you to create a set of guidelines that you can follow in order to make sound financial decisions. Remember, your personal finance policy is for you and you alone. There is no right or wrong way to do it. The important thing is that it works for you and helps you to achieve your financial goals.

The Benefits Of Having A Personal Finance Policy

are numerous. It gives you a clear roadmap to follow in terms of your spending and saving, it can help you stay on track with your financial goals, and it can help you avoid financial pitfalls.

But what exactly is a personal finance policy? Simply put, it’s a set of guidelines that you develop to help you make financial decisions. These guidelines can be based on anything from your personal values to your long-term financial goals.

The key to developing a successful personal finance policy is to make sure that it’s tailored to your unique circumstances. What works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to find what works best for you.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips to help you develop your own personal finance policy:

1. Define your goals

The first step is to clearly define your financial goals. What do you want to achieve with your money? Do you want to save for a down payment on a house, or are you looking to retire early? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start to develop the guidelines that will help you get there.

2. Consider your values

Your personal finance policy should also be based on your personal values. What is important to you? Do you value financial security or freedom? Do you want to leave a legacy for your family or make a difference in the world? Your values will help you determine the guidelines that you set for yourself.

3. Set realistic guidelines

It’s important to set guidelines that you can realistically follow. If you set guidelines that are too restrictive, you’re likely to find yourself breaking them. On the other hand, if your guidelines are too lax, you may never reach your financial goals.

4. Review and revise

Your personal finance policy is not set in stone. As your circumstances change, you may need to revise your policy. Review your policy regularly to make sure that it’s still relevant and effective.

Developing a personal finance policy can seem like a daunting task, but it’s well worth the effort. By taking the time to develop a policy that works for you, you’ll be on your way to achieving your financial goals.

How To Create A Personal Finance Policy For Your Family

It’s no secret that money is one of the leading sources of stress in our lives. And when it comes to our finances, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to creating a budget and getting our finances in order. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to create a personal finance policy for your family.

A personal finance policy is simply a set of guidelines that you and your family agree to follow when it comes to your finances. By creating a personal finance policy, you can take the guesswork out of budgeting and financial decision-making, and help to ensure that your family’s finances are on track.

Here are a few things to consider when creating your personal finance policy:

1. Determine your family’s financial goals

The first step in creating a personal finance policy is to determine your family’s financial goals. What are you hoping to achieve with your finances? Do you want to get out of debt? Build up your savings? Invest for your future? By setting some financial goals, you’ll have a better idea of what your personal finance policy should include.

2. Set some ground rules

Once you know what your family’s financial goals are, you can start to set some ground rules for your personal finance policy. These rules will help to ensure that everyone in your family is on the same page when it comes to your finances.

Some examples of ground rules that you may want to set include:

– No one should spend more than X dollars without consulting with the rest of the family

– We will only use credit cards for emergencies

– We will save X percent of our income each month

3. Create a budget

A budget is an essential part of any personal finance policy. By creating a budget, you’ll be able to track your family’s income and expenses, and make sure that your spending aligns with your financial goals.

4. Have regular financial check-ins

Once you’ve created your personal finance policy, it’s important to have regular financial check-ins with your family. This will help to ensure that everyone is still on track with your policy, and that any changes that need to be made can be discussed and implemented.

Creating a personal finance policy for your family can help to take the stress out of budgeting and financial decision-making. By following the steps above, you can create a policy that will work for your family and help you to achieve your financial goals.

What Are The Different Types Of Personal Finance Policies?

There are four main types of personal finance policies: debt management, investment, saving, and spending. Each type of policy has its own set of rules and guidelines that dictate how you should handle your money.

Debt management policies focus on helping you pay off your debts and avoid taking on new debt. Investment policies focus on helping you grow your money by investing it in stocks, bonds, and other assets. Saving policies focus on helping you put away money for your future goals. Spending policies focus on helping you control your spending and stay within your budget.

Which type of policy is right for you will depend on your own financial situation and goals. If you’re trying to get out of debt, a debt management policy will be most helpful. If you’re trying to save for retirement, a saving policy will be most helpful. If you’re trying to grow your wealth, an investment policy will be most helpful. And if you’re trying to control your spending, a spending policy will be most helpful.

No matter which type of policy you choose, the most important thing is to stick to it. Personal finance is all about making smart choices with your money, and the best way to do that is to have a plan in place.

There are many types of personal finance policies, but the three most common are debt, savings, and investment. Each one has different benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand all three before making any decisions about your own personal finance.


Debt is often seen as a bad thing, but it can actually be a useful tool if used correctly. Debt can help you buy a home, start a business, or pay for an education. The key is to only borrow what you can afford to pay back, and to make sure that the interest rate on the debt is lower than the rate you could earn by investing the money.


Savings are important for two reasons: to have money set aside for emergencies, and to have money to invest. The key to saving money is to make it automatic – set up a direct deposit from your paycheck into a savings account, and make sure you don’t touch it unless it’s an emergency.


Investment is how you can grow your money over time. When you invest, you’re buying something – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate – that you expect will go up in value over time. You can also invest in things that will provide you with income, such as rental properties or dividend-paying stocks. The key with investment is to start early and to diversify your investments so that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Personal finance is a complex topic, but understanding the basics of debt, savings, and investment will help you make the best decisions for your own financial future.

These Couples Nailed Their Halloween Costumes & Their Relationship

Halloween is the perfect time to get creative with your partner and show off your relationship goals. Whether you go for matching costumes or complementary looks, dressing up together is a fun way to show that you’re a team.

We’ve rounded up some of the best couples costumes that are both creative and relationship goals-worthy. From iconic pop culture duos to adorable animals, these couples know how to make a statement.

1. Mario & Princess Peach

This classic video game duo is the perfect example of relationship goals. Mario is the perfect gentleman, always rescuing Princess Peach from Bowser. Their costumes are also perfect for a couples costume – just add a moustache and a pink dress and you’re all set!

2. Popeye & Olive Oyl

This comic strip couple has been around for centuries, but their relationship is still #goals. Popeye is always there to save Olive Oyl from harm, and their costumes are easy to recreate with some DIY elements.

3. The Incredibles

This superhero family is the epitome of relationship goals. Their costumes are also super easy to recreate – just find some stretchy fabric and you’re all set!

4. Catwoman & Batman

This crime-fighting duo is the perfect example of a power couple. Their costumes are also easy to DIY – just add a black cape and a mask and you’re all set!

5. Minnie Mouse & Mickey Mouse

This classic Disney couple is the epitome of relationship goals. Their costumes are also easy to recreate – just find some red and black fabric and you’re all set!

6. R2D2 & C3PO

These iconic Star Wars characters are the perfect example of a bromance. Their costumes are also super easy to recreate – just find some silver and white fabric and you’re all set!

7. Thelma & Louise

This iconic movie duo is the perfect example of female friendship goals. Their costumes are also easy to recreate – just find some denim and a white tank top and you’re all set!

8. Bonnie & Clyde

This infamous duo is the perfect example of bad relationship goals. Their costumes are also easy to recreate – just find some black and white fabric and you’re all set!

My Top 5 Favorite Financial Apps

There is an existing app designed to make almost every aspect of life easier: calorie-counting, exercise-tracking, navigating and traveling, recipe-learning, sales and shopping, language-learning, news-reading, and the list goes on. It’s all accessible with a touch and a swipe on your mobile device. But some of the most useful apps (to me) are apps that help me to better manage my money. Days are busy and I don’t always have time to stop what I am doing and think about tracking my spending, let alone budgeting for the future. Here are my top 5 favorite financial apps that simplify the money side of life!

1. LearnVest

This app helps you to create budgets and outline your financial goals, while keeping you on track to meet those goals. This app connects to your personal accounts – checking, savings, credit cards, and investments – to track your spending. This feature is designed to give you an instant picture of how you are spending your money, and whether you are spending too much in one area.

2. HelloWallet

This app takes a behavioral science approach to business to help you plan your financial future. The founder of the app molded behavioral psychology with technology to come up with an app that offers individualized personal finance recommendations based on your age, spending patterns, and income. It also brings to your attention financial gaps in your life, for example, inadequate emergency-savings plans.

3. OnBudget

This app includes a fee-free prepaid card, so that you cannot spend more than what you have in the budget. With the MasterCard prepaid debit card, this app is designed to help you organize your spending by using different “envelopes” for each spending category. The envelopes are used to track spending patterns, give you tips on saving, and to give you constructive advice on better decision-making.

4. Better Haves

Better Haves is a budgeting app designed for couples. This app allows you to easily manage a budgeting envelope, and allows you to track expenses individually and together. 

5. Checks   

This app monitors your bills, accounts, and credit cards and reminds you of payments you need to make. If you are prone to being late or missing payments, this app may help keep you on track! 

Career/Personality Tests: Find What You Want to Do

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We’ve been asked the same question since we started grade school. Back then, career dreams ran big: firefighter, doctor, movie star, sports hero, the President of the United States. 

However, now that you are actually in college preparing for what you want to do, or if you are looking for a new job and possibly a career change, the answer to that question may no longer feel so simple.

When making a career decision the two most important things to consider are making enough money and job satisfaction. The money part is a no-brainer: don’t work, don’t eat. But, job satisfaction should also be high on the list. It’s important to come home each day feeling like you’ve spent your time productively, and perhaps even made a difference to others. 

Start with a self assessment.

You inherently know your likes and dislikes and your personal strengths and weaknesses.  Perhaps you enjoy working at a computer. Maybe your best work is done at home on your own schedule.  Or possibly you enjoy being the boss, working in an office managing others.  Some people prefer a job where they are physically active.  Always be honest and realistic with yourself.  For example, if reading has always felt like drudgery, perhaps law school isn’t in your future.

Still in school? Ask a career counselor.

Career placement offices in high school, community college or university employ advisers who are specially trained to assist you in career planning.  Nothing takes the place of face-to-face, free assistance from a skilled counselor; they have many resources about specific careers and can also refer you to books and websites for additional guidance.  Your college’s website may even have useful career planning tools. 

Tests and checklists help match your personality, skills, training, interests, values, needs, and goals to a career that fits you.  Some assessment tools are done with the help of your school adviser. If you are no longer in school you can find plenty of others online, free or for a nominal fee. Consider contacting a career coach, a professional who can help you pinpoint what you want, achieve your goals and help you to stop wasting your time.

The Kuder assessment can be completed online.

Dr, Frederik Kuder developed a career planning system in 1938 which has evolved into an Internet-based tool that has undergone several revisions; it’s used worldwide today to help plan for career success.  Its three components take approximately twenty minutes each to complete.  Instantaneous, easy-to-read and interpret results are one of its many benefits.  The tests are appropriate for middle school aged students through adulthood.  The assessments may be done for free through your school’s career center or can be conveniently completed online for $19.95.

The Kuder Career Search with Person Match is an interest assessment which helps you establish your occupational self concept.  Its 180 questions guide you to satisfying occupational roles.  Each item has a verb and an object, such as take dance lessons, that you rank by preference.  Its interactive feature allows you to link to suggested occupations in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The Kuder Skills Assessment (KSA) has 160 items and helps assess your current skill level.  You decide what you’re good at.  Each item has five levels.  You identify abilities and weaknesses on this assessment tool.

The third part of the Kuder Career Planning System is its Work Values Inventory.  Making money, being creative or something in-between, this inventory provides five choices for each item to determine what work features you value.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can give you insights into your personality type.

Since the 1940s, the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) personality test has been used worldwide. It’s administered by trained counselors with ninety-three items offering a dichotomy of two responses. Are you an extrovert or introvert, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving? 

The results of the MBTI provide sixteen distinct personality types and offer career-related suggestions.  Some people have even interpreted the results of the MBTI to better understand interpersonal relationships within these different personalities.

College placement tests may guide you toward appropriate classes.

The COMPASS is a collection of computer-adaptive college placement assessments that help determine your skill level in several academic areas.  Administered by school counselors, it tests proficiency in math, reading, writing skills, and essay-writing.  Your college career center is likely to offer this, or some other standardized placement tests.

Many people change majors while in college.  The only real disadvantage to this is that you may need to take additional classes to earn your Bachelor’s Degree, costing more money and time.  Many adults change careers either by choice or as a function of company downsizing. Pink slips are never welcome. But the silver lining behind this perceived cloud is that a more suitable career may be in your future.  Use personality and assessment tests to assist your career planning.

How to Make Money Listening to People

There are millions of people in the world who need someone who can listen to them. This isn’t some sort of get-rich-quick, motivational speaker ploy. Before I tell you about this, just know that it’s not easy, but it can be rewarding. Know that you truly must be motivated to help those who need help. Know that it can change your life and how you look at the world, for good.

I’m talking about Psychosocial (or Psychiatric) Rehabilitation. This is a job very few people really can do well. Your primary task is to listen to people and help them achieve their goals, which seems like it should be easy. Yet working with people who have been diagnosed with mental health issues takes mental strength, patience, problem-solving skills, empathy, organizational skills, communication skills, and motivational skills. If you have even one of these skills, and want to help people, read on.

Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR)

First, a disclaimer: If you go into this field, it’s more than likely you will have clients who, at one point or another, are suicidal. Many of your clients will be young, and suicide disproportionately affects young people. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-24, and the second leading cause of death for people ages 25-34. Perhaps the reason for this is that mental health is fragile for the young, who are still working on finding their identity and making their way in the world.

That being the case, be prepared to take on young clients with parents that haven’t been able to figure out how to help their kids adapt to society. There is a sense in which the parents are also your clients.

The majority of your clients will need to learn coping skills. They don’t know what to do when they feel frustrated and angry, depressed, and anxious. They’ll need to learn social skills and how to identify healthy relationships. They’ll need to learn how to organize their lives, do homework, and get jobs. They’ll need to learn how to apply what their counselor is teaching them to their everyday lives.

Here’s the great thing about this: when I was a PSR specialist, I did stuff with clients like go to the rec center after school, play Dungeons and Dragons with a community group, go to the park, make art, play music, sit in the coffee shop, play cards, and chat about life. You’re not rehabilitating clients in a boring and stifling atmosphere, you’re doing it in the real world. There are some practicalities to consider:


To get a PSR job, it helps a great deal to have a BS in psychology, sociology, or social work. Psychology is the most common degree in the field. However, If you don’t have such a degree, it’s not necessarily a barrier to entry. I became a PSR specialist with an English degree.


You’re going to be doing a lot of driving. Find out ways to save money on your car. Keep track of mileage as if you’re self-employed, because plenty of agencies you’ll work for won’t reimburse you for gas. You can, however, write off fuel expenses on your taxes. You’ll have to prove your car insurance and registration are always up to date.


This job requires a lot of paperwork as you regularly update client treatment plans. And, in my state, every 90 days I had a to submit an application for more client hours to the insurance company.

Location and Certification

Each state differs when it comes to PSR. Some states require you to get a CPRP certification at some point in the process, either before you get the job, or after you’ve had it for a while. Look into your state’s policies on PSR.

Continuing Education

To continue working in the PSR field, you have to get continuing education units (CEUs). You can get these simply by reading qualifying materials online or by attending qualifying events your agency will tell you about.


Like the state-by-state variation for certification requirements, the rate of pay varies per agency. Check out the job listings to get a good idea.

No matter what the pay, psychosocial rehab is well worth it. You’ll work hand in hand with therapists to help people achieve their goals. Whether the goal is to make more friends, get a job, or cope with anger, you learn a great deal as you concentrate on other people’s problems and forget your own. In the end, your perspective on life grows deeper, broader, and more colorful, because you get to know some of the most interesting and genuine people on Earth.

5 Things You Should Never Do If You Want to Have a Successful Career

This post is from guest author Melissa Davidson. You can find her on Twitter @madtris

If you’re just going through the motions every day, but not fully present in your job, you’re not giving it your all. It’s time to take action.

Sometimes, taking action simply means giving up the things that no longer serve you. It’s not necessarily some major overhaul of your life.

Everyone has a different definition of success and what constitutes action. Here are five things to give up today if you want to have a successful career:

Treating Your Body Poorly

If your body really is your temple, you’re aware of what you eat and drink throughout the work day. You might notice if you eat something unhealthy, it makes you feel sluggish or sick to your stomach. Pay attention to your energy levels and only consume the foods that make you feel good.

After work, it’s common for colleagues to commiserate over drinks. While it may be fun to do Happy Hour, it’s not so fun to wake up with a hangover, or worse, getting socked with a costly DUI on the way home.

In addition to healthy eating and drinking, it’s just as important to get some exercise. Most of us sit at a computer all day and forget that going for a walk is part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Another way to stay fit and bond with coworkers is organizing company hikes or joining a softball league.

You’re never too busy to take care of yourself. Your health is essential for a happy life.

Dulling Your Own Light

Don’t make yourself so small that no one else sees you. Every single person has something valuable to offer the world, including in the workplace.

As author Marianne Williamson said, “You playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”

When we let our light shine, we are also giving other people permission to do the same. Wouldn’t it be cool if we all appreciated each other and let go of the fear that’s holding us back?

Refusing to Give it Your All

If you are showing up to work and only giving the bare minimum to your job and customers, it’s a poor reflection on you. Challenge yourself every day by going above and beyond of what’s expected of you. People will notice.

Part of challenging yourself includes learning new skills, staying on top of technology, and taking on new projects. The same old way of doing business doesn’t keep you challenged and makes you appear irrelevant or stubborn.

A stellar career doesn’t just happen. Be the best you and it will pay off down the road.

Failing to Look Ahead

No matter how stable your job is, you should keep your resume accurate and updated. You never know what the future holds. Setting goals and planning ahead can keep you excited about the future and prevent current job stagnation.

Keep your eye out for that “dream job,” check job openings, network and make a five-year plan. However, there’s also nothing wrong with living in the moment because you don’t want life to pass you by if you’re looking too far ahead. Think of it like the eclipse on Aug. 21. If you’re busy taking photos and have your nose buried in your phone because you want to preserve the moment, you’re missing out on the real live once-in-a-lifetime event.

Gossiping and Blaming

Nobody likes a gossip. It’s unprofessional and catty. Everyone probably says things about other people behind their backs at some point or talks about the company in a negative light, but if the habit continues, you could get fired. Stop the gossip mongering by not engaging or just walking away from the conversation. How self aware are you on this issue?

Blaming others is another common tactic at work to appear as the victim. These people blame everyone but themselves and fail to take accountability for their own actions. They may feel cornered when they are caught doing something they shouldn’t, or blame someone else for missing their deadline or blame the boss for having it out for them. These type of people don’t take control of their own situation and think everyone is out to get them.

Negative behaviors, such as blaming others and gossiping, don’t necessary mean you’re a bad person, but they will reflect poorly on you if you keep it up —  and may even cost you your job.

The secret to a successful career is all the little things that have a cumulative effect. Making a commitment to overcoming bad habit or weaknesses, setting goals, and improving yourself no matter what your position in the company is will lead you down the right path.

Millennials: Use Your Experience with Technology to Make Good Money

This post is from guest author Daphne Stanford. Daphne is a DJ for Radio Boise. She writes poetry, nonfiction, and lyric essays. Other ways she enjoys spending her time include hiking, piano, singing at inappropriate times, and good conversation with friends & family. Follow her on Twitter.

Millennials are transforming communication in the workplace by altering the nature of what is considered typical—typical office environment or remote working location—as well as altering the extent to which technology is becoming an integral part of a typical company’s workday. The flow of meetings, instant messaging, editing, and collaboration are becoming faster and more digitally connected in nature.

Read on to learn about a few ways you can utilize your experience with technology to advance your career—whether it be in the for-profit business world, government, or the nonprofit sector.

Technology Equals Opportunity

Due to the necessity that practically every industry these days—from manufacturing and retail to finance to nonprofit and government sectors—has an online presence, the ability to be well-versed with platforms such as WordPress, Slack, Skype, and Google Docs is essential. Moreover, the typical workplace is rapidly changing, and it’s due, in part, to millennials.

This oft-maligned generation’s fondness for technology and collaboration are fundamentally changing the way we communicate, in the workplace. Whether it be through team communication platforms like Slack or via video conferencing, the increasing speed and preference for convenience is spurring greater levels of motivation—as well as innovation. Tools like video conferencing are critical, allowing participants to feel more prepared and engaged than traditional phone conferencing.

Moreover, according to Elizabeth Dukes, millennials value technology over flexibility—often since smart offices naturally foster more flexible work environments. In fact, Dukes cites a study finding that 60 percent of millennials would feel more productive at home than in a traditional office setting. This enthusiasm for flexibility comes with a caveat, however: personal connections are also placed at a high premium by many younger employees.

Workplace Communication

A new study by business communications provider Fuze found that 69 percent of 15-18 year olds believe it’s important to meet people face to face if you work with them, suggesting that a sense of community and well-structured goals and guidelines are also crucial to motivating employees to work together as part of a successful team. Perhaps the influence of the instant communication, social media, and news-driven culture is part of the reason why it’s so crucial that employers provide consistency in communication and fairly regular check-ins via chats, conference calls, or meetings.

A recent Gallup study seems to back up this theory, finding that 44 percent of millennials who have regular meetings with supervisors feel engaged, and thus happier in the workplace, allowing them to concentrate on developing their roles at their current place of work, rather than looking for new positions with companies offering more advanced technology, in the workplace. This finding also finds, again, that millennials value a structured work environment with key objectives and goals explained clearly and directly—rather than the loose, unstructured environment perhaps more valued by Gen Xers and baby boomers.

If you’re eventually interested in an entrepreneurial or management position, practice your remote communication skills on a regular basis and implement them into your life philosophy, as well. Janet Friday, Director of Environmental Sustainability at Merck and Marylhurst University MBA graduate, argues for the benefit of remote work for both business and the environment: “Remote work offers several benefits—for both the business and for the environment… Because I am not commuting to an office on those days, I avoid having to drive my car (lower emissions) and I have more time to devote to my work activities.”

Continuing Education & Business Sectors

If you’re interested in management but also interested in a career in nonprofit administration, public policy, or government, you may want to look into Master’s level public administration or public policy programs. Increasingly, graduate level MPA programs are beginning to offer different attendance options ranging from part-time to full-time. For working professionals who don’t happen to live in the same area of the country, some have fully online options as well.

This kind of convenience is also highly appreciated by students living outside the college’s metro area who would prefer not to have to make the long commute to the city. By taking classes online, students are able to save both time and money. In addition, numerous programs—Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, for example—now offer dual-degree programs like MPA/MBA or JD/MPA programs that take three years, instead of four.

Furthermore, experience with private sector business can lead to roles in government, public policy administration, or nonprofit management. The possibilities are endless and many overlap in fields like healthcare, public communication, and public policy. You might specialize in environmental law and work as an administrator or grant writer for a nonprofit sustainability group, for example; or you might want to become an entrepreneur and focus on developing an app to address a gap in the healthcare app market.

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The future of work is connected, flexible, and operates at hyper-speed. How do you plan to take advantage of this brave new world? Share your thoughts about how you plan to contribute or utilize your knowledge to change the next generation in the comments section, below.

Realistic Ideas for New Year’s Resolutions

The time has come to plan this year’s “resolution,” a firm decision to do or not to do something. Seemingly, the majority of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions (which is about 40 percent) fail to stick to their firm decision. Research shows that of the tens of millions of Americans who plan to change something about themselves or their habits, most can’t do it.

Maybe it isn’t that the resolution-makers can’t do it.

Maybe it is the resolution-making itself that is the problem.

If that is the case, let’s change how we approach our goals so that we set ourselves up for success!  Failure starts with vague or weak goals, so follow these guidelines to help you stick to your goals: 

  • make it attainable, and make it simple
  • know that you will screw up and that it’s okay
  • be very motivated and committed
  • make your goals specific and challenging, rather than broad and easy
  • do it for you
  • use the buddy system
  • set small goals, instead of one big one
  • be your own biggest fan and challenge your own self-sabotaging thoughts

Ideas for Resolutions in 2015

If you need realistic ideas for resolutions, focus on your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual development. That way, you do it for yourself, to become your best self. 

1. Make an effort to learn about finances. Know how to manage your money responsibly so that you can set up a successful financial future. Start with small goals, like saving a percentage of your earnings every month. 10 percent of what you earn per month is a good goal to work up to! Learn about making a budget, investing, and spending wisely. Follow a financial blog, or website, like this one!! 

2. Do something good for your health. Even if you are health-consicous, there are always improvements to be made. Learn more about good health and nutrition. Incorporate better protein into your diet (like chicken, fish, turkey, and beans); aim for 30 minutes of physical activity for a day (like jumping rope, biking, walking, kickboxing, ANYTHING!); eat breakfast every morning; make water your main beverage; and get 7 – 8 hours of sleep at night. 

3. Develop a hobbyIt doesn’t have to be expensive! Find an activity that keeps you intrigued and focused. Choose from this lisof hobbies! 

4. Do something good for someone else. Whether it’s volunteering, donating, making time for an old friend, or just sharing your smile, spread goodness more often. Make it a goal:  one good thing for someone every day.

5. Read a good book, the newspaper, a brilliant article, or work on improving your vocabulary. Find a subject that intrigues you and focus on learning new information. Become knowledgeable about the environment, U.S. politics, foreign affairs, justice, health, etc. Set small goals along the way:  read 20 – 30 pages of a book per day, or find one new article every day. Here is a list of the “Best Books for Smart People.”

The Cost Efficient Way to Reach Your 2015 Fitness Goals

Insanity DVD 

If you have ever gone to the gym, you have undoubtedly noticed the sharp increase in attendance around the first of January. Then, as the months progress, the once avid gym-goers one-by-one dwindle away. This is no coincidence. Working out is hard work, and it is harder when you work hard without seeing results.

Without the right routine, results come very slowly, if at all. Many people end up discouraged, therefore, end up dumping their fitness goals. It is important to pick a fitness routine that will work with you to meet your goals. If your 2015 resolution includes boosting your physical condition, consider these helpful tips.

Tips for picking the right routine

1. Consider the cost. 

How much money do you want to throw down on your fitness?

Gym memberships can be costly, with some gyms charging membership fees upwards of $450 per year. That’s about $40 per month. Before purchasing a membership, decide whether the cost is worth it. If you can’t justify spending over $400 on a gym membership, consider another fitness investment. If you workout well in a group setting, consider enrolling in a fun fitness class. Other considerations are home workout programs, which can cost about $150, but will save you a gym membership and the hassle of going to and from the gym. Home programs have kicked up the intensity, and are more effective programs than in the past. 

Working out can be free! 

If you don’t have the extra cash to spend on getting into peak physical condition, use your creativity to create your own workouts! Go for a run, walk, bike ride, jump rope, or ANYTHING that gets you moving.

2. Consider the time.

How much time do you have to spend on your fitness….really. 

30 minutes a day is recommended, but if you’re planning on driving to and from the gym, a full workout can take a lot more time than you originally anticipated. Think of what time of day you will workout, and what will work best in your schedule. Treat your workout sessions like an appointment, so you are more likely to stick to them. Choosing a time of day that you are most likely to workout can help you to select the right routine. If you need to squeeze in quick sessions, a home program may work well for you. If you need time at night to decompress, you may want to head to the gym for a longer, getaway session. 

3. Consider the results.

Choose your workout program based on the results you want to see. Know that going to the gym without a proper plan may take you more time to reap the benefits. Choosing a high-intensity program may get you to your goals faster and more effectively. 

Recommended Home Workout Programs

Nowadays, more people are looking to get fit, and more people have less time to do so. With busy schedules, and go-go-go days, fitting in fitness can be tricky. Here are some of the best home workout programs for you to consider. I have tried Insanity, P90X and Turbo Fire, and can say that all three are GREAT for pushing yourself to the next level and getting in shape.

  1. Insanity
  2. P90X
  3. Focus T25
  4. Insanity:  The Asylum
  5. Turbo Fire
  6. Body Beast 

Most of all, getting results takes time and dedication. Stay motivated and be persistent! 

Stick to your goals! 

One Minute Money Show: #SpendingProblems

This month’s One Minute Money Show is all about how to get rid of spending problems once and for all! If you’ve ever gone on a crazy spending spree, and felt like you couldn’t hold on to your paycheck, this show is for you.

Show Notes

Step 1:  Recognize the problem.

You have to recognize the problem in order to fix it! If you spend more than you make, struggle to afford bills, and don’t have financial priorities, these are red flags.

Step 2: Figure out where your money is going.

If you’re not sure what your spending habits are, keep track. Keep receipts, check online banking statements, or carry a notebook for the next two – four weeks.

Then ask:  Do you spend more than you make? Does the majority of your paycheck go to non-essentials, i.e. dinners out, entertainment, subscriptions/memberships, junk foods, etc.? 

Over-spending on non-essentials may be hurting your financial health.

Step 3:  Make adjustments

The experts recommend the 50/20/30 breakdown.

Can you account for your spending in these three categories? I recommend writing this out to help visualize where all of your spending fits in. If your budget is in the positive, GREAT! If you need to make adjustments so that everything fits, try trimming some of the “extras.” Tip:  The best places to cut are in fixed costs or flexible spending. Cutting in the financial goals category will hurt you in the long run.

50% Fixed Costs – The expenses that don’t change much from month to month, like rent, mortgage, utilities, car payment, gym memberships, Netflix, other subscriptions.

20% Financial Goals – This part of your budget helps you secure a solid financial foundation, for example, paying down credit card debt, or other debt, saving for retirement and building an emergency fund.

30% Flexible Spending – These are day-to-day expenses that can vary from month to month, like eating out, groceries, shopping, hobbies, entertainment, or gas. You can add any miscellaneous expenses in this part of your budget, just be aware that it must account for only 30% of your budget.

Step 4:  Account for all spending in your budget

Make sure all of your spending is accounted for in your budget! Doing this will ensure that you don’t dip into other important parts of your budget.

Take care,

When Being ‘On Your Own’ Has an Entirely Different Meaning: Personal Finance Lessons Learned from My Foster Care Days

Turning 18 is hard enough as it is. Figuring out who you’ll be or what you’ll do after high school, and how you’ll pay for everything that comes along with whatever those dreams may be – the first car that will get you back and forth to work, the college or technical school that will help you land that first job, even the first apartment that you’ll eventually call home – is a huge challenge. No doubt about it, there’s a lot to navigate when you turn 18.

Like all young people, I faced these challenges. But my story is much different. At 18, I became one of 28,000+ young adults in America who aged out of foster care on their 18th birthday. The idea of being on my own wasn’t something I was necessarily ready for, but it was my reality. And yet, a lot of good has come out of my experience in the foster care system, especially in how I value money.

Throughout my childhood, money was a constant, negative issue. My father, who was my primary caregiver before I went into foster care, lived week-to-week, borrowing money regularly to cover our expenses. While I have no memories associated with saving money growing up, I have a vivid recollection of the tension caused when my father was unable to pay back his debts in a timely manner.

When I entered the foster care system, the issue of personal finance, and specifically saving, wasn’t a priority for me. Although my foster mom saved a portion of my weekly income from my after school job in her sock drawer each week, I never had a conversation with her or any other adult about how to manage my money.

At age 18, life really got real for me. My time in foster care came to an abrupt end — as it does for most young people when they turn 18 — and I had to learn how to fend for myself financially, which was challenging given my limited understanding of personal finance.

Thankfully, I was given the opportunity when I turned 18, through my foster care experience in Iowa, to enroll in Opportunity Passport™, a matched-savings program provided by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative to educate young people about how to manage their finances and to help them save for approved assets, like education expenses, housing costs, and medical care. Through my participation in Iowa’s Opportunity Passport™ program, I received the financial training that I so needed (and wanted), and was able to save enough money – through my own contributions and matched funds from the program – to buy a car and a laptop for school, and to pay for my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class, my Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license, and the fees at the medical college I attend. Not only did Opportunity Passport™ help me acquire the resources needed to achieve my educational goals, but, most importantly, I now feel equipped to manage my finances responsibly throughout the rest of my adult life.

Below are three key lessons every young person, regardless of their background or future goals, must learn as they start on the path toward adulthood.

Keep a Budget and Track Spending
Effective management of your finances must first start with understanding. It’s important to know how much money you make, when and how often you get paid, and what fixed expenses you have each month. An easy way to start a budget is to track all your income and spending for a month, organizing expenses by categories such as food, rent, transportation, etc. Not only will this help you understand how much income you need to keep living by the same standards, it will also shine a light on where you can – and should – cut unnecessary expenses.

My budget typically remains the same from one month to the next, and I work very hard to make sure that at the beginning of each month, I have enough money set aside to cover all my expenses for the upcoming month. That way, if anything comes up, at least I have a cushion to fall back on.

Plan Ahead – Even for the Unexpected
It’s inevitable. As soon as you settle into a routine of saving and spending, something will happen that throws your whole plan off course – often times, something big. Your car may need repairs. Your computer may crash. You may become ill and have medical expenses to cover. Whatever the circumstances may be, you never want to be caught off guard when an emergency comes up.

When you’re putting together a budget, it’s important to account not only for your expected expenses – things like rent, utilities, groceries, and the like – but also for things you may not anticipate ever actually having to pay for. A rule of thumb that I live by is to set aside all the money I know I need each month to pay my bills, and then set aside an extra percentage of my income to cover things that may not happen, but that I need to be able to pay for if the situation arises. Then I’ll use whatever is left to save for less immediate needs, such as a new apartment by myself, and to have a little fun.

If You Need to Borrow, Always Repay Your Debts on Time
Because of my father’s borrowing practices, I learned that, if you have to borrow money to cover unexpected expenses, you must absolutely repay your debts, and do so on time. A few years ago, I found myself unprepared for an expense and I wound up in a situation where I had to ask for money. Luckily, I was able to go to someone I trusted to ask for help and, because of the significant lesson I learned watching my father borrow and not repay, I was committed paying that person back in full and as quickly as possible. It was a big lesson for me to learn that sometimes, even with the best planning, you can’t be prepared for everything. What’s important is how you handle the situation when you do find yourself in a bind.

Always Do Your Research, and Never Be Afraid to Ask Questions
One thing it’s hard to remember when learning about money is that it’s okay to not know all the answers at first. As I can whole-heartedly attest, it’s not always easy to reach out for help. When I first began learning about saving money, and later when I started paying for school, I often felt intimidated when communicating about my financial situation because I didn’t know the right questions to ask. Over time, I learned that, no matter the question, there is always someone who knows more than me and who wants to help me work toward my financial goals. Instead of trying to figure everything out on my own, I learned that it’s okay to ask for help. Even if the first person to answer the phone can’t help me, communicating what my needs and questions are always leads me to someone who can help – someone who wants to help.

Top 5 Reasons for a Budget

If you don’t have a budget, why should you set one up? If you are generally aware of how you spend your money, what is the point of creating a restricting and time-consuming budget? 

The truth is, a budget doesn’t have to be restricting OR time-consuming. In fact, it can provide a framework for you to reach your financial goals, and give you the flexibility to enjoy life! 

Here are my Top 5 reasons for setting up a NON-restricting budget


A budget makes it easy to visualize your financial goals.

The budget is a tool that enables you to do the work each month, in order to reach the bigger picture – your goal. Whether your goal is buying home, a car, going on vacation, traveling, or paying off your student loans, your monthly budget is your way to get there!


A budget can help put boundaries on different parts of your spending, while allowing you some flexibility. A budget is NOT about depriving yourself, and you don’t have to count every single penny that you spend. Basically, the budget tells you how much of your pay can go toward bills and goals, and how much you can enjoy. 


Budgeting is simple! The “Fixed, Financial Goals, and Flex” guidelines help you to remember where your money needs to go. The categories are simple and straightforward.


It’s easy to see where you need to cut back. 


You feel in control of your financial life, and your financial future! 

For more details on how to create your budget, visit and watch the video that takes you through the simple, pain-free steps of budgeting. I hope that you are encouraged to try out a simple budget to help make your life easier!