Job guides and websites will often publish lists of what employers are looking for in the workers they hire. But let’s turn that around: What are employees looking for in an employer?
Some would say that it doesn’t matter, that workers are stuck taking whatever their bosses hand out. But in reality, you probably have more power than you think.
Just about everyone wants a fatter paycheck, of course. But there are plenty of other valuable things that a good employer can offer. So, the next time you hunt for a job, keep an eye out for these 14 things employees want from their employers.
One scary part of retirement is knowing you could have 30 more years in front of you but only a limited amount of cash available to pay for them. How do you make sure your retirement account doesn’t run dry before you say your final goodbye?
Well, there are no guarantees, but following are numerous smart strategies you can use to stretch your money — however little or much you have — over the decades to come.
In an age of digital media, bookstores might appear to be headed for the same fate as the dodo. But millions of us still love to browse for actual books as well as e-books.
If you’re a book lover, Barnes & Noble probably holds a special place in your heart. And the nation’s largest retail bookseller offers several ways to trim the expense of your favorite books and other merchandise.
Following are seven ways to cut the cost of purchases at Barnes & Noble.
In theory, creating an emergency fund is another money move you should have made earlier in life. If you don’t have one, putting money aside for a rainy day is another big priority.
If you already have such a fund, it might be time to add to it. Your emergency fund should have enough money to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses. Add up all your current monthly expenses and see if your fund falls short on covering them.
3. Rebalance the budget
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Revisit your budget at least once a year or every time you have a major life change. If it’s been a while since you crunched the numbers, sit down and do a thorough review.
Does your budget support your current life goals? If not, revise it.
4. Track your spending for a month
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Track your spending for an entire month. Keep tabs on every penny. That sounds like a lot of work, but if you use your debit card or a credit card for virtually everything, it’s not so bad.
We tend to idealize where our money goes. (“Oh, I never eat out!”) But once you start tracking, there’s no denying that you hit the drive-thru once a week or go on a spending spree at the mall once a month.
Compare your actual spending with your budgeted amounts. Depending on where the numbers land, you’re going to either need to rework the budget or rethink your spending.
5. Pay off your debt
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Of course, we all wish we had never gone into debt in the first place. But there’s no use in rehashing past mistakes: Now is the time to take action and correct them.
Can a little $5 fee mutate into a $600 monster? Yes, it happened to me — and it could be happening to you.
Some of us need our 220 channels of entertainment bliss, and that’s OK. But if you want to get away from the TV noise, have a little more time or, like me, want some extra cash, then take a good look at your cable bill.
When I studied my bill, I realized that the basic cable subscription that Comcast sold me for $5 a month was costing me $25 a month — $607 over the course of a two-year contract.
Although I’m going to talk about Comcast’s Xfinity service, you can take the same steps I did regardless of what pay-TV service you use.
How my $5 cable fee ballooned to $600
I’m not a big fan of cable programming, but I need high-speed internet for work. When Xfinity offered to add basic cable to my two-year internet contract for $5 a month, though, I didn’t refuse.
What’s $5, a coffee? A cheap hamburger? You might as well add it, right? Well, that $5 ended up costing me hundreds of dollars.
Technically, the addition of basic cable cost $120 over two years. But by subscribing to cable, I was roped into also paying $12.50 a month in broadcast TV and regional sports fees and an extra $7.81 a month in taxes and surcharges.
So subscribing to basic cable for $5 ended up increasing my bill by a total of $25.31 every month. And over the course of two years, a subscription that I thought would have cost $120 ballooned to $607.44 after adding the extra charges.
What happened when I quit cable
In July 2018, the two-year sign-up special ended and the internet /TV bundle that previously costed $94 increased to $110, increasing the extra taxes and surcharges with it. My statement totaled roughly $141. So one year’s worth of this bundle would have cost $1,692.
Here’s the kicker: Xfinity was offering my same internet speed at a lower price to new customers. That’s right — they jacked my bill up while charging new customers less money for the same service.
So after talking with an Xfinity representative, I cut my package down strictly to internet with the new lower price. That brought the total on my statement to about $80. That’s an estimated savings of $732 over one year.
The bottom line
If you’re trying to find some extra cash, look at your cable bill like I did. With the money I saved, my wife and I went to Greece instead of watching it on the Travel Channel.
If you are fresh out of high school or college, you have an amazing opportunity.
People in their 20s can build a solid financial foundation that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
Perhaps you plan to live lean and save a pile of cash. Or, if you’ve gotten off to a bad start and made a few money mistakes, take heart: You’ve got plenty of time to reverse those errors and get back on your feet.
To make the most of your fresh start in life, here are 10 money moves you need to put into action:
1. Start a retirement account
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I know, retirement isn’t even a blip on your radar screen. But it will never be easier to start saving than right now.
By putting money in an account in your 20s, you maximize the near-magical phenomenon of compound interest. As Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson says, it’s far better to start saving small amounts early than to be forced to save a lot late.
Your employer may offer you a 401(k), which is the easiest way to save. The money comes right out of your paycheck, so you’ll never miss it. Plus, many employers will match your contribution up to a certain percentage.
You don’t have to map out your entire life. Heck, you don’t even have to stick with any plans you create. You’re free to change them at any time.
However, having an idea of where you want to go in life will make it easier to make smart financial decisions. Then, you won’t end up at 40, eyeing your friend’s summer home and feeling sorry for yourself that you can’t buy one, too.
4. Consider paying cash for most things
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Personally, I think being able to pay cash for nearly everything is life-changing. Those of you who have been up to your eyeballs in debt — and had the embarrassing experience of your credit card being declined — know what I’m talking about.
Tell yourself you’ll be the type of person who always pays cash. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever take out a loan, and it doesn’t mean you won’t ever get a rewards credit card that you pay off each month. It does mean you might think a little longer and harder about going into debt, and only do so if there are no other options.
In a perfect world, you’d start your adult life with zero debt. But reality is probably different for you. There are student loans to pay, and you may have been suckered into opening a credit card or financing a car somewhere along the way.
Don’t use the excuse that past mistakes give you license to make future mistakes. They also don’t mean you have to resign yourself to living a life burdened by debt.
It’s amazing how many bad ideas actually turn into business brands.
These are the company or product names that make you wonder: What were they thinking? Were they clueless? Did the marketing director not have access to an internet search engine, or at least a dictionary?
Just for the fun of it, we pulled together this roster of the worst company names — maybe someone’s late-night ideas that don’t really hold up to the light of day.
Our criteria for this completely subjective list include:
Incredibly poor taste
Groan-worthy or nausea-inducing puns
And now, in no particular order — but starting with a name that tops the category of “incredibly poor taste”…
Whether remodeling will be a wise investment depends largely on what you renovate and to what extent.
Smaller projects pay back better, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report. For example, replacing your front door at a cost of about $1,800 can yield an average return of 74.9% when you sell the home. Major makeovers recoup considerably less.
The report looks at national average costs for 22 projects, including how well they recoup value at resale. Some are “upscale” jobs; others are “midrange” in cost. None totally recover their cost.
Money is just one way to measure an outcome, of course. Many upgrades pay off in satisfaction and enjoyment.
Here, from bad to worst, are projects that are particularly poor choices for payback, based on Remodeling Magazine’s report.