Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sometimes You Need To Power Through a Tough Month

Between the stress of being over extending this month and the inspiration of a 20-something blogger by the name of Saving For A House Of My Own, I have been brainstorming ways to increase my income.

I did get my interest rate lowered on one of my credit cards and I made a payment on another today. That makes me feel a bit better, but I'm still short by about $100 for the month. So, my first step was to take back the pop cans from work and home. I drink most of the pop at work, so no one has any issue with me taking them back. Today's bounty was $3.65. Next, I started collecting those items that need to go on ebay. I put two items up today and have a few more to go tomorrow. I've also been checking out Craigslist to see if there are any market research projects that are looking for participants. I will be participating in a taste test next week which will bring in $20.

Where do you look if you need to make extra cash? Do you rely on the cushions of the couch? Do you partner with area businesses that may need a helping hand occassionally? Post a comment and share your ideas.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Resolution Update for January

- Cutting back on the amount of money going out The second half of the month was easier than the first. I was on vacation for the first half of the month, but since I was visiting family I wasn't paying for meals out. The problem was the exchange rate is $2.00 to the pound.
- Eliminate NSF fees. This is just a stupid fee after all. So far, no NSF fee.
- Cut back ATM Withdrawal fees to a maximum $5/month for emergencies only. Better planning and sticking to my budget should eliminate the need to use other bank's ATMs. The only problem I see is while traveling. Because of the trip I did use the ATMs, but I only had $3.50 at home.
- Cut back on meals out. Another area where better planning will help. I need to work on that menu planning thing. Well, I need a lot of work on this. Jet lag stopped me from shopping for groceries and I didn't have anything in the fridge because of the trip.
- Pay off Visa #2. This will take a bit of work since my budget is pretty tight right now, but if I make sure that the snowflake money goes to it instead of getting used before it makes it to the bank. This will save about $1,000 in interest fees in the next year. I only put the normal amount towards the card, but I'm working on creating snowflakes.
- Contact credit card companies about lowering interest rates. Okay, I'm going to do this tomorrow. I promise!
- Increase Savings- Continue putting $25 per paycheck to IRA January I put $100 towards my IRA because I wanted to take advantage of the market crash. I got 10 more shares of Intel. Yeah!
- Build Emergency Savings to $1,000 I'm working on it, but I may have to use some of it this month.
- Create savings for new tires for the car Nope. This one was a dud.
- Increase Income I've been working on market research opportunities and I have a taste test coming up for $20.
- Look for other employment opportunities with additional compensation Nope
- Invest more time in compensation for hobbies (photography, knitting...) Third Nope
- Look for other income possibilities I am looking, but I did add the Google Adsense to the blog.

It's Back!!! - The Reduce a Bill Challenge is back at Working For Financial Freedom

If you haven't been reading my blog for very long, you may not be aware of the "Reduce A Bill Challenge." Working For Financial Freedom started this Challenge in the fall as a way to motivate and get inspiration from others. To participate go to the "Reduce A Bill Challenge" page and post your goal. Then, make sure you check in during the month and track your progress.

This month I am committing to two challenges. The first is to increase my income by $100. The second is to take my lunch to work at least three days per week. I will keep posts on my progress in this blog as well as at Working For Financial Freedom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Job Interviews - The First Impression

Last night I went to the mall with a friend to find an interview suit. She has always impressed me with her ability to find a bargain, use coupons, and know how to double up on sale prices. As the person responsible for interviewing for my company, Nicole asked me to help her find the right suit for an upcoming interview. She is interviewing for a position with a government agency so she needs something that is on the conservative side, but she also needs to make an impression.

Rules for both Men and Women:
When purchasing business clothes, its smarter to invest a bit more money in something that is better quality and in classic pieces. Trendy pieces should be bought on sale.

Blue, black, and grey are the basic colors to start with and build from.

Don't be afraid to add an accent pop of color like red, yellow, or purple. For women accents can come in the form of blouses and shirts, scarves, and jewelry. Men should look for shirts, ties, and hankies for the jacket pocket. Socks and hosiery should not be an accent color for men or women. It's this pop of color that will help people remember you and help you stand out from others.

Shoes should be well kept and polished.

Above all you should be comfortable in your interview clothes. You should be able to move. They shouldn't be tight or bunch anywhere. Check shirts for puckering in the chest area. Undergarments should not be visible. Make sure everything is neatly pressed.

After you've put together an outfit, check your hands. Hands are a telltale sign of how a person takes care of themself outside of the conference room. Make sure your nails are filed and cuticles are neat. Make sure there is not dirt hiding under the nails. Manicures are great for both men and women. Women should pass on polish in bright colors and choose something a bit more neutral. At the least consider a clear coat. Men should finish with a nail buff.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekly Review

This week's picks are a mixture of Learning the Basics, Remembering the Path, and Goals for the Future.

The Simple Dollar - Six Steps For a Beginning Stock Investor While most people are panicking in the stock market, the bargains are all over for the smart, long term investor.

Wise Bread - Eating Cheap While Abroad by Thursday Bram I must be on a roll because everywhere I look, I'm finding posts on travelling inexpensively.

I've Paid For This Twice Already - Developing a Snowflaking Mentality Taking smaller bites out of debt make debt repayment easier to stomach. This post helps to refocus after a season of spending.

Map Girl's Financial Challenge - Laser Eye Surgery In Detail Okay, I confess I have my appointment scheduled for the next month. I've been wanting to do this for the last few years and have set up my FSA to cover the expense.

Saving For A Home Of My Own - What Would You Do With Google Adsense If you haven't noticed, I've added Google's Adsense to my blog. I'd love to have your thoughts on the subject. In the meantime, Saving For A Home Of My Own is asking the question, "what would you do with an extra $100?"