You don’t need overtime to work a lot. You can do a lot in just a few hours – and the same handful of hours can leave you completely exhausted. I don’t work a lot of hours, but I love to think I am very productive. When I work, I try to avoid procrastination as much as possible. So, at the end of the day, I have precious hours of me-time to spend. For a long time, all I did was binge-watch my favorite series on Netflix, but later I realized that they were hours I wasted. I often did nothing but browse Facebook for hours, while Partick Jane or Agent Seely Booth solved their cases on screen (I’m a huge fan of police procedural shows). Hours wasted. Things had to change – and they did. Meaning that I changed. I changed the things I did in my free time, and the results soon started to show.
Graduation time is right around the corner, and after years of hard work it’s time to celebrate with your special graduate! If you are hosting a graduation party you’re aware of how quickly celebration costs can rise. However, it’s possible to host a fun graduation party without breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas to keep your graduation party costs down.
Rather than hosting a celebration at a restaurant, consider having the party at your home. If your own home isn’t a good spot for a party ask friends or family that have a larger home or backyard. If you need to have your party off-site look into renting a park with a pavilion and barbeque grills or ask a local church if they rent space. Often time churches have extremely reasonable rental rates.
Ditch traditional decorations and instead display school photos from over the years along with art and other school projects. In addition to paying homage to the graduate, the old pictures will strike up many conversations among the guests. If traditional graduation party decorations are a must for you, check out dollar and discounts stores as they often have a variety of inexpensive decorations.
So, you want to work from home, set your own schedule, and make unlimited income? Well, according to many direct sales companies, all of that and more is possible simply from starting a career in direct sales.
Direct sales is the sale of a product or service in a person-to-person atmosphere marketed through independent sales representatives, consults, or distributors. Products range from cosmetics to candles to cookware. There is definitely money and interest in direct sales as it is a $30 billion industry employing 16.8 million people.
There are several hundred direct sales companies which offer thousands of products. Below I’ve listed some of the more popular categories.
Summer will be here before we know it. If you’re anything like me you may have already started dreaming about, or even planning a summer getaway. But, do you know how you are going to fund your summertime fun? Here are four simple ways to save money on your summer vacation.
It’s early enough in the year that you still have a little bit of time to get some vacation savings flowing. If you’re able to, set up a portion of your paycheck to be automatically deposited into your savings account. Paying yourself first (and automatically) will get your vacation savings off to an easy start. Before you know it you’ll have a chunk of change set aside for your vacation.
Additionally, look for other sources of saving. Consider socking away your tax refund, reimbursements, or rebates you get from now until your vacation. Small amounts can add up over time.
Financial goals typically mean sacrifice. So, if you really want to make your summer vacation plans come to fruition, you may need cut back your spending now. By making small changes in your current household budget you’ll easily be able to save extra money to put toward your vacation. Cut back on dining out, going out, and making unnecessary purchases. If you don’t already, create a budget to keep your spending on track. You can contribute your excess funds to your vacation.
It’s officially spring, and for many that means dusting off cobwebs, cleaning out garages, and de-cluttering closets. Another springtime activity you should consider is spring cleaning for your finances. Take advantage of your new found energy and motivation, and get your finances in order!
Organizing your finances is the key to staying on track with your financial goals. Start by developing a system for expenses and bills. You can track this information with paper and pen, by using a simple Excel spreadsheet, or by taking advantage of a free online budget service or personal finance app such as Mint or BudgetTracker. As you develop your budget look at your spending habits. See if there are any areas where you can reduce or eliminate expenses. For example, you could cut back on the number of times you order take out in a month or cancel a service you don’t often use such as a gym membership. While you’re at it, you should take the time to organize your banking. Sign up for electronic statements and automatic bill pay. Toss or shred old statements to help make room in your files.
Review and Set Goals
We spend a lot of time in the personal finance blogosphere discussing finances, taking out a home equity line of credit, and making short and long term financial goals. All this talk about money has got me thinking. How much do we really know about money? Actual money that is. For example, did you know that the collective debt in the United States is 10 times larger than all the U.S. money in circulation, which is 1.2 trillion! Amazing right? Check out these other fascinating facts about money.
Pennies are different in more ways than one
Although many are in favor of getting rid of the penny, there are more pennies produced than any other coin denomination. The U.S. Mint produces more than 13 billion pennies each year. Since it’s inception, there have been eleven different penny designs. The penny with the portrait of Lincoln faces to the right, while all other portraits fact to the left. There is no specific reason for this, it was simply the choice of the coin designer. Pennies are composed of mostly zinc, although each contains a small percentage of copper, too.
The reason behind the ridges
(Update 2/27/15): Congratulations to all the drivers who were able to take advantage of Lyft’s $1,000 double sided referral bonus over the past couple days. The deal is now dead but there are a few select cities still paying $1,000 to new drivers (but you have to complete 30 rides by 3/8).
Lyft just announced their biggest sign-up bonus ever for new drivers: $1,000. Yes, you read that right people. And the best thing is there aren’t many strings attached either.
Drivers in the following cities are eligible for the $1,000 bonus:
- Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Denver, Seattle, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose, Miami, Nashville, San Francisco, Los Angeles
This offer is available to brand new Lyft drivers who apply and give their first ride by 3/5! So if you are someone who is a brand new driver you can sign up right now and you’ll get $1,000 after you give your first ride – it’s as simple as that.
Many of us have started off the year with the intention to save more money. There are thousands of ways to save money, and while some may be smaller scale than others, it’s good to save any amount as it adds up over time.
You hear about common methods to save money all the time. These methods include using coupons, eating out less, canceling unnecessary services like cable, and purchasing pre-owned items (automobiles, clothing, etc.). Lately I’ve discovered some strange, and downright weird ways to save money, and thought I’d share them with you today.
Many people choose to bring their lunch from home. It’s a smart idea, and doing so can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year. However, some people take this practice to tan extreme by packing the same super frugal lunch every single day. Among the most super frugal lunches I’ve heard about are rice and beans, cheese sandwiches, and cup of noodles. I used to work with a guy who brought his own small grill to work and cooked hot dogs every single day for his lunch. I think for him it was more about his love of hot dogs rather than frugality, but I’m sure he was saving plenty of money anyway!
The cost of personal products such as shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer can really add up over time. Some choose to save money on their personal care items by using far less product. Rather than shampooing their hair every day, these frugal enthusiasts are choosing to wash their hair two or three days a week instead. Those who practice this new care regime claim they are saving up to one hundred dollars or more per year.
I’ll admit, I have a hard time using a ziploc bag one time, and then tossing it in the trash. It’s common to reuse certain items such as plastic bags, plastic food containers, and even lightly soiled paper towels, however some really stretch their dollars to the max by reusing more unconventional items. Have you ever considered re-using tinfoil, paper plates, or even dental floss?
Plenty of people stock up on condiment packets for at home use. In fact some people even claim they never have to purchase condiments because they have such a large stash. While I’m still on the fence about whether taking more condiment packets than you need is frugal, or just plain cheap, not needing to buy condiments can cut down your grocery bill a few hundred dollars each year.
If we’re talking about extreme frugality, I need to bring up dumpster diving. If you’re willing to sort through other people’s garbage you may be rewarded with treasure. You can find just about anything in a dumpster, clothing, dishes, and cosmetics just to name a few. If you don’t want to climb into a dumpster to source free goods, you can just scan your neighborhood on trash day.
I know several parents who rejoice when potty training takes off, and the need to buy diapers comes to an end. So, it makes sense that there are some frugal parents who begin potty training early in order to get a jump on those savings. However, this is where it gets weird. Some pet owners are potty training their cats in order to save on cat litter costs. Rather than using a litter box, the cat is trained to do their business right into the toilet. While the cost of litter is likely much less than diapers, it’s still a cost saving measure some are deploying.
What weird things do you do to save money?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you’re like me, you’ll be doing most of your Black Friday shopping from the comfort of your own home this weekend. I just wanted to take a moment though and say thanks to everyone who has supported 4HWD over the years.
As a token of my thanks, I wanted to share this latest offer from Personal Capital with you. As you may know, they are one of the only partners that I really push on this site since they are a completely free service that helps you manage your money and investments.
Today, they are giving out a free $20 Amazon Gift Card to the first 1,000 new sign-ups! The promotion is expected to run until Saturday or Sunday so if you needed a little extra motivation to try out Personal Capital, this is it!
Sign up here and claim your $20 Amazon Gift Card along with their free investment tracking and money management service.