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Tired of all the chatter from friends, family and media about the importance of good financial habits? Ready to get your financial house in order, but wish you knew more about how to develop a plan of your own?
You’re in luck! Developing a weekly money routine is easier than it may sound. Get started with these easy tips. (Bonus! You can implement them all today.)
1. Think “routine,” not “resolution.”
Healthy financial habits are not about drafting more resolutions as likely to fail as anything else you promise each New Year. Instead they’re about building just that — habits. Start by shifting your thinking from an immediate push for a quick fix to debt or other financial woes, and focus instead on creating routines that allow you to strengthen your financial position every time you take out your wallet. Slow change can be lasting change.
2. Learn The Secret.
Millions of people around the world are strong adherents to the Law of Attraction, which generally states that what you think about most is what you will attract. Instead of focusing on debt and the negative emotions that come with it — such as despair, hopelessness, frustration, impatience, or envy — focus with a positive attitude on your efforts to obtain, earn, or attract more money. Be proud of your efforts, and allow the process to keep you calm and centered as you work your way out of debt and into a better financial future.
3. Get real — with yourself.
How and why is money important to you? Is money, or lack thereof, keeping you in a job or living situation that you do not like or is not safe? Do you wish you had a romantic partner who earned more? While your first thought may be that you would party like a rockstar given the funding, for most folks, that simply is not part of the fantasy. Really think about what you want, and how much it costs. Do you want a private school education for your children? A safer neighborhood? The funds for a dog or other pets? Leisure to take two trips a year? Do you know how much each of these things costs? Do the research and write down your goal; make that goal as specific as possible.
4. Sketch it out.
Part of your candid assessment is how you spend. Do you buy coffee every morning at five bucks a pop? Do you get your nails done once a month? Do you tend to spend a lot of money when one of your friends has a birthday? Do you blow your budget in November and December on holiday temptations? Do you even have a budget?
There is no wrong answer here, but you can’t change where you’re going until you know clearly where you are. Break out a pocket calendar, and sketch out how you spend. This does not have to be specific, but you want to think in enough detail to be able to identify trends. Is there a particular sport that when in season finds you buying drinks in bars more often to watch it? Do you avoid the summer heat or winter cold, and end up splurging on movies and other indoor entertainment? Is happy hour regularly expected by your boss or co-workers?
5. Trim your own fat.
Your money is yours, your priorities are yours, and your lifestyle choices are yours. Take a look at your spending sketch and question yourself about why you spend the way that you do. Do you really enjoy those happy hours, or do you need to stand up to your cubicle mates and only go once a month? Does your family expect, need, or want piles of gifts each holiday season, or do you buy them to alleviate the guilt of not visiting enough during the rest of the year?
Sometimes, the answer is as simple as, “I like that activity, that is part of my lifestyle, and it makes me happy/relaxes me/I enjoy it.” Great! Mark those items as important. You will likely find that you can trim the fat from things that you feel obligated to do, without having to sacrifice what you truly enjoy and want to spend your hard-earned funds pursuing.
6. Measure your success.
Set a monetary goal for every week of the next three months, based on your calendar. Maybe it’s spending $10 less every time you go out; maybe it’s going out less; it could be finding the strength to avoid holiday sales; maybe it’s putting money aside from your paycheck immediately. Perhaps it’s all of those things, one for each week of the month. Be specific. Write each goal down. At the conclusion of each week, note your successes and areas that were more difficult. Be sure to note partial successes, too — if you saved $5 when your goal was $10, that’s still progress. At the conclusion of three months, evaluate your goals — are they consistently realistic? Can you be more ambitious?
7. Ask around, and share ideas.
Think you’re alone in your pursuit of wealth? Everyone is trying to accumulate more of the green stuff. Talk to your friends about your goals, and ask if they have any ideas for ways to save money. Pay particular attention to those who live in your area and have similar lifestyle patterns, because their tips and tricks are already proven.
Over time you will become more comfortable with your new weekly routine. Remember to revisit and update your goals frequently, and enjoy the abundance that comes your way.
Ready to learn more about financial goal setting? Check out these 13 Basic Rules to Grow your Wealth Effectively.
All you need is a bank account and a little extra willpower.
Chances are, we could all work on saving more money. And January is a great time to get started. More than 30% of people planned to make a financial New Year’s resolution last year, according to a survey by Fidelity Investments. Of those respondents, 48% said their main priority is to save more. Whether it’s paying off your mortgage, getting out of student loan debt, or working toward giving yourself a much-deserved vacation, we found a pretty darn manageable way to save a significant amount of dough this year. It’s called the 52-Week Money Challenge.
What is the 52 Week Money Challenge?
It basically tasks you with saving money incrementally. During week one, put $1 in an online savings account. Week two, sock away $2 and so on until week 52.
“Open up a totally different savings account for this goal,” says Berna Anat, who paid off $50,000 in student loan and credit card debt in January 2018. Now, she helps others achieve their financial goals on Instagram. “If you can, open it up in a different bank altogether. Whoever invented ‘out of sight, out of mind’ was on point here. The less likely you are to see this account on a regular basis, the less likely you’ll be tempted to dip in and spend it.”
Use this chart to see how your entire year will play out:
Another option is to do the challenge in reverse, so you start with $52 on week one, and go down to $51 in week two. By December 31, you should can add just $1 to your savings and reach the same total.
How much money will you have at the end of the 52-week challenge?
If you follow this program for one year, you’ll have $1,378 by the end of it. You don’t have to stop there, though. If you’re willing to save even more, consider upping the week-by-week increase.
Umm, why should I do this to myself?
Aside from becoming more economically responsible, it will probably give you a major ego boost to become so good at saving $$. Plus, you’ll earn bragging rights on social media.
How can I save THAT much money?
We could go on and on about the tiny adjustments that can lead to serious savings, but our go-tos involve falling in love with DIY and cooking at home. And let your friends know about your decision. Even though meeting up for dinner or drinks might be part of your typical social routine, Anat says bringing them in on your goal will give you more support and open up new conversations.
Another effective way to hack the system is to check off the dollar amounts in any order you want. If it’s more feasible to drop $52 before next December, do it. Keep yourself accountable by setting reminders in your calendar to deposit your savings at the same time each week. If your bank lets you nickname your account, follow Anat’s method of giving it a hilarious title, like the “Beyoncé World Tour Fund.”
And be sure to reward yourself throughout the year. “Set up celebration checkpoints along the way!” says Anat. “We often forget to make habits fun for ourselves. For example, if you make it to the 30th of the month and you’ve done all four deposits that month, treat yourself to something you love that doesn’t cost money — you get to binge-watch a YouTube series, or turn off your phone guilt-free for a night and take a loooong bath.”
Anat also recommends grabbing an accountability partner, or someone who can participate in the challenge with you. They’ll serve as your support system and sounding board whenever budgeting and saving gets tough.
Is this the same thing as the $5 challenge?
No. Another online challenge out there involves saving all the $5 bills you encounter. And that’s not a bad idea! So is the 52-week saving challenge from the blog Gathering Dreams, which will help you save $5,000 by the end of the year.
Not sure if you want to commit to a year-long program? For the month of January, Anat partnered with Evernote to host the #EverBetterChallenge. Her goal is to save $219 to kick off 2019. You can follow along as she shares tips and lessons on Instagram.
Modified date: June 2, 2021
When you arrive to work for your first day of a new job, the stack of onboarding paperwork can be a bit intimidating. As you sift through your paperwork, which might be completed online, one of the most important places to look first is your direct deposit payroll information.
While benefits like health insurance, life insurance, and other parts of your compensation package are just as important in the long-run, getting payroll setup first is a smart idea. That’s how you get paid, after all.
Here are the key steps to set up a direct deposit to a checking account for your new job.
Find your payroll direct deposit form
To set up direct deposit, it is important to first make sure that you have a bank account. Online financial apps like Chime can be set up quickly and without much effort. If you happen to open a Chime account, you may even be able to get your direct deposit two days early!
The next step in setting up your direct deposit is finding the place to enter your direct deposit details. In the many jobs I’ve had over the years, I’ve seen both paper and digital direct deposit forms. Larger companies tend to give you the ability to manage your direct deposit account yourself through the company’s HR website. Smaller ones might use paper forms.
In either case, you have to find that form. If you are not sure where to look, ask your manager, a veteran coworker on your team, or someone from human resources. They will be able to help you locate the form and get one step closer to getting paid!
Locate your account number and routing number
Your payroll forms are going to ask for details about your bank, which may include the bank’s name, address, and phone number. You’ll also be asked for your routing number and account number.
The 10-digit routing number tells the Federal Reserve’s payment clearing system which bank to route a payment to or from. The account number is your unique checking account number assigned by the bank.
Here’s where to find your account number and routing number for your checking account:
Finding your account number and routing number on a check
This example check shows the location of the routing and account number at the bottom of a check.
If you have a checkbook for your account, grab it and open up to the next blank check. Look at the bottom left for the routing number and account number.
Fun fact: The routing, account, and check number are printed in a special metallic ink that can be read by a Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) machine. Share this fun fact to impress friends or family at your next dinner party.
Finding your account number and routing number on your bank’s website
Some online-only checking accounts don’t have paper checkbooks anymore. If you don’t have a checkbook or don’t have it handy, you can still find your routing and account number on most bank websites. If not, call your bank’s customer service line during your lunch break to get your account details for direct deposit.
Generally, you can find routing and account details through the account details or customer service page on your bank’s website. Keep in mind that some large banks could have multiple routing numbers, so you will want to look carefully to make sure that you get the right one. It’s important that you get it right or someone else could get your paycheck!
Enter your account details and check them twice
Back in school when you had extra time at the end of a math quiz or test, it was probably a good idea to go back and check your work to make sure you didn’t make any careless mistakes (even though no one ever did it). That is an essential step when it comes to direct deposit forms. If you make a mistake, you might not receive your paycheck (this is way more important than that math test).
Double-check the routing number and account number twice to be safe. If you’re confident everything is correct, submit your form. As long as you do your job, you should get paid automatically by direct deposit every payday.
Online financial app Chime offers a unique direct deposit feature that could be enough of a reason for some people to switch banks. With Chime , you could get your direct deposit up to two days early depending on how your company enters its direct deposit information with the paying bank.
Chime’s checking account has no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, overdraft fees, or foreign transaction fees. It has 38,000 fee-free ATMs and takes about two minutes to sign up.
Chime Disclosure – Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
Bonus tip: split your direct deposit to boost your automatic savings
Did you know your employer might be able to split your direct deposit into two different accounts ? If your employer offers this option, you can automate your saving and investments without ever seeing the money in your checking account.
For example, you could contribute $20 per pay period to an emergency fund, $200 per paycheck to a Roth IRA, or 2% of your paycheck to your savings account for a down payment on a home or car.
There’s no limit to the ways you can funnel money into savings and investment goals beyond the limits of your employer’s payroll service. If you can split your paycheck into two or three accounts, it could be a great way to build a savings habit without even thinking about it.
Getting a new job is exciting, but you won’t want to forget about the paperwork! When filling it out, pay extra attention to your direct deposit form and ensure that you are filling it out correctly. If not, you could find yourself needing to cash a paper check come payday.
But if you want to further your financial goals, like investing and saving, you can split your direct deposit between different accounts!
Jobs At Squarespace
What do you do for a living? What are your passions? What are you best at? What makes you different? What do you want out of your career?
EXPLORE JOBS AT
Professionally speaking, who are you?
The answers to these questions make up your personal brand—or, in other words, the constant signal to colleagues, managers, and potential employers of what you’re all about. It’s shaped and strengthened by your choices and achievements and is shown off most powerfully in today’s world with your online presence: a personal website or portfolio, social media profiles, content you publish across the web, your email signature, and the voice you use online.
Of course, a bulletproof brand isn’t built in a day—it takes time and regular maintenance to make sure that your brand is in tip-top shape. If you’re not sure what your personal brand really is, start with this step-by-step workbook. Then, once you’ve got a pretty good idea, make these daily, weekly, and monthly tasks part of your routine to make sure you’re always showing off the best version of your professional self.
If you’re like almost every other man, woman, and child in the country, you already engage on social media throughout the day. So you can carve out at least five or so minutes—your morning commute or while you’re waiting in line for lunch are great opportunities—for some career-boosting activity.
Why? Consistent online activity keeps your channels fresh, so that whenever a prospective employer or industry peer gives your profiles a visit, they’ll see that you’re engaged. The more you proactively interact online, the more connections you’ll establish and the better known you’ll be in your field. Even just liking an interesting industry article on Facebook, congratulating someone on his promotion on LinkedIn, or jotting a quick reply to a relevant tweet keeps your hat in the ring. Keep a few social media apps on your smartphone’s home screen as a handy visual reminder.
You may not have time to write a blog post, design a graphic, or take a stunning photo every day, but you can play curator of your online space by plucking out high-quality content others are creating and adding your own thoughts. Stock your digital real estate—your Twitter feed, Facebook timeline, personal website, or other touchpoints you favor—with relevant articles, stunning imagery, great videos, or whatever type of content fits within your profession and industry.
Social media scheduling tools like Buffer let you stock up content to mete out at time intervals of your choice, so you don’t even have to do this daily if that doesn’t fit with your lifestyle. Instead, move it to your weekly roster and stock up on stuff that can trickle out each day of the week.
Need inspiration for what to share? Sites like Feedly and Flipboard help you discover hand-picked sources or stay on top of publications you know you love.
No matter what industry you’re in, expressing your viewpoint and ideas goes a long way in substantiating your personal brand. Whether you talk about projects you’re working on or offer opinions on the latest happenings in your industry, writing showcases your personality and your expertise, which builds up your status as a thought leader.
Maintain a blog on your personal website, publish posts to a collection on Medium, or—if you’re feeling really confident—reach out to publications in your industry about being a contributor. Use a habit-tracking app like Daily Goals or Commit to hold yourself accountable to posting at least once a week. And remember—these articles don’t have to be long, so long as they’re thoughtful.
If writing is really not your thing, think of other ways you can regularly share your ideas, engage your network, and build some thought leadership. Could you make sure to write some new code every week that gets published to GitHub? Send out a weekly newsletter to your network? Reach out to industry podcasts about being a guest?
P.S. When you do create this content—whatever it might look like!—it’s a great opportunity to bulk up your other social feeds by sharing it. If you use Squarespace to power your blog, you can sync your social media profiles to automatically publish your posts when they go live.
Admit it: You’ve Googled a colleague or two before. You’ve probably even Googled yourself before. But this shouldn’t just be something you do every once in a while when you’re curious—you should check your search results on the reg. Why? Because people will Google you when they want to learn more about you, and you want to make sure what they see is giving the right impression.
Get in the habit of searching your name online every month or so. (Pro tip: Make sure you log out of your browser or go incognito in Chrome so your search results aren’t affected by your search history.) If you see anything unflattering—didn’t notice your college buddy snapping photos at that house party last weekend?—try to ask the owner to take down the content stat. If that’s a no-go, posting your own new, flattering, SEO-friendly content (more on that here) will push down those negative search results over time.
Conduct an Audit
Things change. People change. If you think back on your last few months or years, there are probably a slew of subtle—and not so subtle—ways you’re different. Maybe you’ve started regularly using a new social media channel, like Periscope. Maybe you got a new professional headshot. Maybe you’ve pivoted toward a different concentration within your industry. Maybe your vocabulary has evolved slightly.
Set a calendar reminder to do a check-up on your personal brand every month to ensure it’s still an accurate reflection of what you’re doing and what you want. On your personal website, tweak your bio, upload fresh images, and add any new links to your work—all super easy to do even without any coding skills if you use a tool like Squarespace.
Browse through the last few pages of your social media profiles to make sure your voice reflects what you want to put out there right now and the content you’re sharing fits with what you’re currently focusing on. (Need help nailing down a specific tone and language? Check out this handy four-step guide to establishing a brand voice.) Are there any recent projects you should add to your LinkedIn profile? Any guest blog posts you’ve written that you should tweet?
Phew. Sound like a lot of work? Well, I won’t lie, it is. But ultimately, it’ll surely pay off—in the form of a widened professional network, respect in the eyes of your industry peers, and (hopefully) job offers that are perfectly in line with what you want to do and who you want to be known for.
Help support the planet with these expert-backed tips.
Packaging and containers make up about a third of the trash in US landfills (yes, you read that right), and most likely, there are some empties—bottles, jars, and tubes—tossed from your own beauty collection among that staggering mass. If you’re looking to do better by the planet, know that you don’t have to resort to completely overhauling your home of its not-so-green products. Instead, do so by making small and realistic tweaks to your routine.
Below are five tips to make your beauty regimen more eco-friendly, including easy swaps from Burt’s Bees, a brand that strives to responsibly source its ingredients and evaluate the environmental impact of its materials before using them in their products. These methods can guide you to create less waste and select greener product go-to’s. Read on for expert-backed ways to make a difference.
Take Stock of What You Already Own
If the idea of changing up your entire routine is daunting, know that you don’t have to overhaul everything at once. (After all, throwing everything out and buying new replacements only creates excess waste.) Start small and assess what you have in your routine.
Looking, specifically, for the products in your stash that are made with earth-conscious ingredients and sustainable packaging can help you identify which ones to restock on and which ones you might want to replace with greener versions once they’re empty.
An easy, more immediate replacement to keep in mind is the toothpaste you’re using. Burt’s Bees newly houses its toothpastes in HDPE, a plastic you don’t have to think twice about recycling—just toss it straight into your home’s plastic-designated blue bin.
Look Into Recycling Programs for Your Beauty Empties
Once you identify which of your products are recyclable (hint: look for recycling instructions or the universal “chasing arrow” symbols), look into how to properly dispose of them.
Recycling can sometimes seem complicated. (FYI, not all plastics are recyclable!) For items that are difficult to recycle, or you’re just not sure how to, there are programs set up to help. Burt’s Bees, for one, has an initiative to take some of its packaging (that isn’t as standard recycling-wise) off your hands to properly dispose of it. Just print a prepaid label from their website and ship your eligible empty products out.
Shop Sustainably Sourced Ingredients
What goes into a product is equally important as the packaging it’s made of. Opt for products that contain sustainably sourced ingredients (meaning, in this instance, it was procured in a way that sought to avoid harm the environment). “A lot of ingredients like shea butter and beeswax can be sustainably sourced,” cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos says.
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We all know by now that maintaining an active lifestyle should be one of our top priorities in life. Only by taking care of ourselves do we stand a chance of being the kind of person we strive to be on the job, at home with our loved ones, and in our communities. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Work, in particular, can get in the way of working out—in fact, there is a big paradox going on, and it becomes more obvious the more challenging (and exciting!) a job gets: On one hand, we struggle to find time to work out; on the other, we can’t afford to not exercise because it is integral to sustained success.
My co-author and I sought to get to the heart of this paradox—and figure out how to beat it—when we wrote Winning Without Losing: 66 Strategies for Building a Wildly Successful Business While Living a Happy and Balanced Life. We interviewed 25 high-powered workers from around the world who somehow manage to exemplify healthy work-life balance. Based on these interviews, we’ve put together six tips for how to fit exercise into your daily routine—no matter how busy you are with work.
How to Stay Fit Despite a Demanding Job
1. Work Out Efficiently
Pick a workout form that you can do almost anywhere, whether you’re traveling or getting home from the office late. Ideally, this will be a form of exercise that doesn’t require much preparation (maybe save the wind surfing for the weekend) and that accomplishes significant physical gains in a short period of time (sorry, golfers). High-intensity interval training, Tabata training, bodyweight exercises, and running are all great choices.
2. Cater to Your Own Likes and Dislikes
By now you might be thinking, “I hate running!” (or Tabata, or what have you)—and that’s okay. We each need to be realistic and to know ourselves. One person’s running is another person’s yoga, weight training, or dance. Flexing your self-discipline muscles is often necessary when it comes to exercise, but make it easier on yourself by choosing a form of exercise that fits your lifestyle, personality, and taste. Not sure what you love to do? Don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms of exercise until you find what works best for you.
3. Use Competitions as Motivation
When it comes to being successful at work, collaboration is key. But when we’re trying to motivate ourselves to exercise on a regular basis (and with enough intensity for it to really matter), competition has its merits. Today, it’s possible to find a competition suitable to your skill level in almost any sport. Whether you’re elite, beginner, or somewhere in between, there’s something for all of us. Sign up, set a goal, and notice what it does to you—odds are good it might be the push you need to keep yourself in the game.
4. Make a Schedule and Commit to It
One of the most cited reasons to skip a workout goes something like this: “I am just too busy at work today; I can’t make my yoga class.” I call BS! If you unexpectedly had to pick up your child from school and had no back-up plan, how would you deal with the situation? Cancel an internal meeting? Take some work home with you? Do some hard prioritizing? The truth is that when we really need to, we get out of the office at the time that is necessary. Make a schedule (write it down if it helps!), stick to it, and remind yourself that working out is a priority worth keeping.
5. Track Your Activity Levels
“If you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist”. It’s a slight exaggeration, yes, but this old saying really has some truth to it, especially when it comes to exercise. Make a note in your calendar every time you work out, and add up your workout sessions at the end of each week, month, and year so you can monitor your progress and identify areas for improvement. Measuring your activity levels (and ideally keeping notes on your progress) can help you to stay on track and realize when you’re slipping before you’ve completely lost the habit.
6. Choose Something Over Nothing
You don’t need an hour—or even 30 minutes—to get a complete, effective workout. And some exercises is virtually always better than none. Heck, even seven minutes can make a difference! We can always find a few free minutes in our day (yes, we can!). With an effective program, and done frequently enough, short and speedy workouts can do wonders to both the body and mind. Squeeze in fitness wherever you are and no matter how much time you have with bodyweight exercises or with the help of apps with pre-programmed short workouts—you can even do some exercises at your desk!
Before writing Winning Without Losing, my co-worker and I believed it was possible for even the busiest of us to keep in shape and prioritize health. Today, we know it is. The 25 role models we interviewed are an impressive bunch; they’re building multi-million dollar businesses and have been doing so for years. However they have still found ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. Take a cue from them, commit to making exercise a priority in your life, and never settle for less than feeling strong and fit.
This post was written by Martin Bjergegaard, co-founder of Rainmaking, a company that helps to launch and build start-ups, and pan-European accelerator startupbootcamp, in addition to a handful of international startups (the latest of which is Pinetribe). Together with Canadian entrepreneur and writer Jordan Milne, he is the author of the international best-selling book “Winning Without Losing: 66 Strategies for Building a Wildly Successful Business While Living a Happy and Balanced Life.” To learn more about Martin, visit his website or follow him on Twitter.
What are your tips for staying fit with a hectic job? Share in the comments below or get in touch with us on Twitter!
Modified date: November 5, 2020
This article is part of a series teaching essential personal finance concepts to teenagers. At Money Under 30, we believe that it’s never too early to become financially responsible; we hope this series will be a good place to start.
As much as being a teenager can be fun, there are those things called responsibilities that can make adolescence feel like a drag. But it doesn’t have to be. As a young and sometimes naive person, money can become as easy to spend as it is to make.
Just like your parents, you have to learn how to budget your money as you handle growing responsibilities such as bills and credit card payments.
Here are a few budget tips to help you successfully maximize the money you make.
Understand your income
Making money as a teenager is a great feeling, but you’ll learn soon enough that what you’re promised and what you actually earn are different things.
For example, when you get a paycheck, you need to know how much money you’ll get both before and after taxes—also known as separating gross income from net income. As a result, you will know how much money you really get from any wages you have earned.
Once you determine that, add up any income-makers which will not require tax deductions such as tips, gifts, bonuses, or allowances. On the safe side, in case these figures vary over time, add up the income you received over the last few months. Then divide that total by the number of months to determine your average income and then plan from there.
Project your expenses
Now comes the not-so-fun part—making a budget.
Like your income, layout whatever potential expenses you have coming your way for the month in question. Include car-related payments (gas, insurance payments, etc.), mobile phone costs, food and drink, grooming costs (haircuts, clothes, makeup, etc.), or any other living expenses.
Some of those expenses will differ over time. Having a separate budget for each month will help reduce the stress.
One of the easiest ways to manage your spending is by using an app. MoneyPatrol lets you link to your bank accounts to automate the process. Set up budgets for the categories that apply to your own spending and you’ll get ongoing insight into your financial habits.
Less is more: Spend wisely
You’re growing into a stage of your life where you will meet new friends, have eye-opening social experiences, and buy yourself things you’ve always wanted. But, while spending your own money for the things you dream of is a nice feeling, it can leave nightmarish effects on your financial future if mismanaged.
Credit cards can be a gift and a curse at the same time. A credit card is a ready-made solution to help you pay for something when you’re a little short on cash, but it also looks flashy. But know that you still have to pay them off, and if you aren’t making a quality salary, it can be a tough task.
If you don’t need to use a card when going out, leave it at home. Credit cards are more for emergency purposes or significant purchases, not necessarily for those designer shirts or dresses you’ve been eyeing through shop windows.
Having a card feels empowering, it can give you too much power, which can lead to you hanging your head in shame asking your parents for a bailout.
A better bet is a pre-paid debit card, which provides a good introduction to managing your money on your own without the attendant risks of a credit card. The Current Visa Debit Card is a good choice for teaching teens how to effectively manage and budget their cash, while retaining robust parental controls. Additionally, Current offers round-ups so teens can boost their savings and set spending – and saving! – targets with the help of an easy to use app.
Save for it if you really want it
As American financial broadcaster and expert, Dave Ramsey, has said, you’re pretty much an adult in training once you’ve passed puberty. During that training stage, you will learn how to become more self-reliant and be able to spend your money on what you need.
Establishing long-term savings goals helps you manage future expectations for those major life goals you wished for growing up. Whether it be your first car, a place of your own, or to start your own business, you need the vision to set those goals in motion.
No matter how old you are, there is no such thing as ‘too much work.’ If you have the right physical and mental capabilities, take on as many income-builders as possible so that saving becomes a more natural practice.
Picking up odd jobs along the way helps. Whether it’s mowing your neighbor’s lawn, babysitting, tutoring children, or even clearing snow from someone’s driveway, taking on small jobs will keep income flowing. If your neighbor or friends are too busy (or lazy) to do these menial tasks, they’ll look for help, and you can make some easy money.
Any part-time jobs also help. The more you keep yourself active, the more opportunity you’ll have to reach the earning potential you seek.
Take advice, lots of it
Look, you might have that bit of youthful pride that makes you think you know everything and question what adults tell you. “What do they know?” They’re flawed people too. Yes, they are, but they’ve been through the peaks and valleys of financial management and can help guide you.
Your parents are a good first source. They can advise you on how to make the most of any allowances or income you get, so you don’t have to beg them for cash at every turn.
On the other hand, reading helps a lot as well. Money columnist, Karen McGuire, wrote The Teen Money Manual as a resource to help teenagers learn about money before they really make it.
Learn about inflation
As previously mentioned, costs vary over time. What cost $100 a few months ago may cost $105 now due to inflation. Inflation is a steady increase of goods or services and gives a clearer indication of why you have to pay higher costs going forward.
An inflation calculator like the one provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics can help you pro-rate future costs of things that appreciate over time.
Divide and rule
Still not sure how much money you should set aside for expenses and personal financial goals? You don’t need to be a Mathematics major, but percentages surely help.
One method we at Money Under 30 recommend is a 50/20/30 split regarding your net income. The method goes as follows: You contribute 50% of your income to any fixed expenses, 20% towards savings, and the other 30% goes towards any form of leisure you wish to treat yourself to.
Sticking to set figures allows you to develop discipline with your money so you won’t hear your parents nagging you about why you spend so much.
Growing up is all about making tough decisions and the earlier you make them, the better your future will look. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but a stable financial outlook stems from good decision making.
Do you have money and not know what to do with it? Through saving, understanding your money and these other great tips, budgeting as a teenager will be much easier.
Having a good time post-pandemic is hard work, especially when you find that all your before-times skills of chatting and hanging out with friends feel a little rusty.
Vaccinated Americans have been promised a summer of abandon, a once-in-a-lifetime bacchanalian return to partying, hedonism, and tongue-kissing the first stranger in sight… or at least having the chance to see the lower half of their unmasked face.
Though the pandemic is far from over—India’s devastating second wave reached its peak this week—its hold on the this country’s attention span certainly seems to have wavered.
Whether its New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tearing into a Shake Shack hamburger on camera, promising free fries to those who get their shot, or Joe Biden ceremoniously addressing the press face uncovered, the intended message seems to be: You deserve fun. Go out and have fun.
Since I got my vaccine at a local CVS, while Gloria Esteban’s “Turn The Beat Around” played prophetically in the background, I have tried to have fun the old way: small parties, outdoor gatherings, meeting a friend for drinks just because it’s Tuesday. For the most part, my efforts have been incredible failures.
A few weeks ago my friends trudged through Prospect Park to set up a birthday picnic of Popeyes and wine in celebration of my birthday. I felt very loved, appreciated, and lucky. I also had no clue what to say to any of them. I let my chattier friends go on about an impending vacation while I stared at the grass.
When one of my best friends and I set up a night to catch up, I decorated the day in my calendar with sketches of hearts and lots of exclamation points. But when we sat down across from each other, I found myself suddenly shy. Thankfully, an adorable dog sitting with a couple dining one table over from us took interest in my friend’s hamburger. We spent an hour giving it scratches and cuddles, which distracted us from any real conversation.
The “post-quarantine” conversation, already parodied by Saturday Night Live, is a tortuous exercise. Nothing makes me recognize how completely empty my brain has become than struggling to figure up a response to, “So what have you been up to?”
At a recent backyard barbecue, I found myself wanting to stab a stranger with the grill tongs after he told me his pandemic was “Great!” He picked up journaling and even bought a house. “Aw,” I cooed and nodded in response. I don’t think I’ve ever ever hated anyone more.
Britt Mullin, a 29-year-old receptionist from St. Paul, Minnesota, already had “mild society anxiety” before the pandemic. A year of few interactions has exacerbated those feelings.
“Oh gosh I kind of forgot how to talk to my best friend for a bit!” Mullin, who uses they/them pronouns, told me. “We’d been chatting via text or Snapchat and my brain just kind of shut off and forgot how to have an in-person conversation for fun.”
During Mullin’s reunion with an old friend, the pair sat in a car and talked about some nearby construction projects. “It was so awkward,” they said.
But Mullin’s friend can relate. “We all have some post-pandemic anxiety, I think,” they said. “My family thinks my stories of my brain turning off and forgetting how to talk or be ‘normal’ are funny.”
Jessica Lam, a software engineer and startup tech executive describes herself as an “introvert.”
“I was fine for most of the pandemic, but after about a year, I really miss live music, parties, dancing, and being out,” she said.
Lam will finally attend her first post-vaccine party next Friday. She’s forgotten how to prepare: “I need to make sure I still fit in my clothes… and it’s been so long that I think all my makeup is expired and I’m not sure if I even remember how to use them.”
Allison Chawla, a psychotherapist and certified coach who works in Rhinebeck, NY, assured me that many of her clients feel a similar way. “It’s a huge issue,” Chawla said. “There’s that phrase: If you don’t use it, you lose it. The same goes with social interactions—we’ve forgotten how to do it.”
Socialization, Chawla said, is all about sharing things you have in common with others. “But we’ve all been mourning and hearing only about that pandemic or other tragedies,” she explained. “We have nothing else to talk about right now, and even trying to be nostalgic can be painful for some people. It’s uncomfortable to think about the pleasurable things.”
Rebecca Weingarten, a counselor, suggests that people still try to connect, even if just in small groups. “Assert yourself in a comfort zone, and don’t try to move out of it too much,” she said. “Slowly get used to getting back in the swing of things. If you go to one party, maybe plan to go to another in two weeks, three weeks, a month so you have a break. And when you get home from a gathering, do something you loved doing while you were in quarantine.”
Chawla also recommends baby steps. “Don’t throw yourself into a huge group, but find ways to submerge yourself in a sea of people so that it’s normal again,” she said. “Maybe just go shop for food when it’s a little bit busier in the grocery store, to get used to people.”
Jennifer Tomko, a psychotherapist and owner of Clarity Health Solutions in Jupiter, Florida, added that “there is a delicate balance between one’s comfort zone and avoidance.”
“That’s the biggest thing I would say—everyone’s rusty, but check yourself to make sure you’re not just trying to avoid the future,” she said. “Test yourself a bit. If you don’t want to go to a concert, go to the beach. Don’t expect the moon, but don’t use the pandemic to avoid your own anxiety.”
Spurred by Tomko’s tough love, the first really sunny day of the season, and the CDC’s announcement that vaccinated people can ditch their masks indoors, I tried again. I made plans with a friend of a friend—someone I’ve seen around and think is cool but don’t know very well.
We met at an astrology-themed bar. At first it had the air of a Tinder date—that awkward moment we recognized each other and fumbled into a half-hug. I think I might have nervously held up finger guns, a gesture I’ve never made in my life, when I said hi. I wished for death.
But then a funny thing happened. We were talking about quarantine hobbies, namely how we didn’t have any. I copped to completely abandoning my workout routine, she said she hadn’t felt nearly as creative as all her friends who learned how to throw pots or bought paint sets during the pandemic did.
“This is the first time I’m seeing someone since March 2020 who’s not my boyfriend or my best friend,” she said. I agreed. “It’s kind of fun,” she said.
Fun! We were having fun. Not the balls-out bender the people who use “Shot girl summer” in a sentence might be talking about, but fun nonetheless.
I didn’t look at my phone once. Suddenly, it was last call. We made plans to meet again soon—a promise it will feel good to keep.
Research of the Week
In the absence of weight loss, there is no difference in blood glucose whether you’re getting 10% or 30% of dietary energy from carbs. In the study, 10% meant 65 grams of carbs per day or more.
A survey of natural sounds, their benefits, and their distribution throughout National Parks.
A genetic variant common among Southeast Asians may explain their low rates of COVID.
New Primal Blueprint Podcasts
Episode 497: Dr. Dale Bredesen: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Dale Bredesen about his research into Alzheimer’s.
Health Coach Radio: Erin and Laura chat with Mike Pullano, Chief Experience Officer at ARX (Adaptive Resistance Exercise).
This is why you must remove yourself from the modern environment and construct an ancestral one around you.
Interesting Blog Posts
Man who plans on manufacturing worms as a human staple food won’t eat them himself.
Computers may be able to read images from brains within the decade.
Things I’m Up to and Interested In
Question I’m Asking
What are your health non-negotiables?
- Loaded cauliflower hummus.
- Great way to do filet mignon.
One year ago (May 29 – Jun 4)
Comment of the Week
“re: Sunday with Sisson – One remarkable thing about life is that it seemingly opposes the increase in entropy/disorder that physics would normally associate with increases in heat and the passage of time. By moving and learning our bodies and brains become more ordered, and the efficiency with which they convert heat into work improves. This doesn’t violate the second law of thermodynamics because the total entropy of the universe still increases. The increase in the entropy of the environment exceeds the reduction in entropy associated with a more ordered state of brain or muscle structure and function. When we move, the entropy of the environment surrounding the muscles and nerves increases, so that ordered structures such as fascial adhesions do not form.
But this only happens if multiple systems interact in a complex manner – the logic doesn’t hold up if a joint lacks cartilage or synovial fluid, or if our diet lacks magnesium or something. The conversion of heat (calories) into internal order has its limits as well, because too much movement degrades our bodies. Things like life and optimal performance are only possible for a finite range of movement intensity, specific patterns of movement, and the right balance of dozens of dietary inputs. Bed rest and chronic cardio are both sub-optimal; too much or too little movement in a joint is sub-optimal; too much or too little of an essential nutrient is sub-optimal.
I think consciousness has evolved to detect deviations from optimality in these complex internal states and simultaneously adjust many internal components using comparatively simple behaviors – just move in a way that doesn’t cause too much pain, and eat the foods which appetite dictates (but obviously modern food chemistry, desk jobs, etc., mess this up). We all get the sense that we crave particular foods if we lack a particular nutrient, and this subconsciously drives our eating behavior. Primal folks like to avoid processed foods because they contain many calories and few nutrients, causing us to crave more food to get the nutrients that we need, which results in overeating and weight gain. Scientifically this is speculation, but there is some New and Noteworthy science here. Not sure if I can post links, but a search for ‘Response of the microbiome-gut-brain axis in Drosophila to amino acid deficit’ should produce a new paper that demonstrates the causal connection between a specific nutrient deficiency and an appetite for a specific type of food. Sure it’s drosophila, but presumably the mechanism is similar in humans, and to my knowledge it’s the first such demonstration of the sort in any species. So yeah, you could consider movement the key to everything in life because without it you’d be dead, and stuff breaks if you turn it too hard, but like diet and social interaction, it’s just one key on the chain.”