True story: sometimes the work days fly by so fast that we forget what month it is. To solve the dilemma, invest in a desk calendar. But not just any desk calendar. Go for an eye-catching one that will brighten up your workspace while helping you keep tabs on every day of the week, whether it's with a feminine floral design or vintage nostalgia.
- Get organized at work with these cute desk accessories
- Keep up with everything on a DIY erase board
- How to maximize your storage, room by room
- 10 totally free ways to relax
- How to handle gifts you don't want
- Turn any old t-shirt into a cute reusable bag
- How to use Christmas decor all year round
- 5 clever ways to deal with spare change
- Keep track of time with a stylish desk calendar
Want an expert opinion? This year, we were fortunate enough to talk to everyone from Suze Orman and Martha Beck to relationship coaches and procrastination scholars. Here are the most important lessons we learned from experts in 2013.Decorate a small apartment on the cheap: Making cramped quarters seem larger than life is easier than you might think. Just ask Janet Lee, a serial small-space nester, and she'll give you plenty of solutions, like layering and displaying collections. "It seems counterintuitive, but in a small space, collections make a strong, unified style statement that won't look like clutter," she says. Who would have thought?
Declutter: Did you know there are four different types of clutterers? According to expert organizer Peter Walsh, the secret to getting over the messiness is figuring out which kind you are (some will surprise you) and then taking steps to get organized. For example, a sentimental clutterer — we all know what that looks like — needs a shift in mindset, he says.
Be happy: There's only one rule to becoming happier, according to life coach Martha Beck, and it has to do with your inner guidance. "Notice what makes you really happy and what doesn't. You would be amazed to know how blind we go to our own joy or discomfort as we learn to follow cultural norms," she says. If that's still not enough, there are plenty of other tips for getting happy.
Achieve big: The secret to success? From dealing with the truth to taking risks, Dr. Phil spills his rules for getting ahead. Aside from having a passion, one major reason to make a move, says Dr. Phil, is that "winners do things that losers don't want to do."
If you still haven't figured out your New Year's Eve plans, then chances are a lot of your friends haven't either, so consider throwing your own soiree. It's not too late to plan an unforgettable party without spending too much. Here's how:
- Food and drinks: You probably have at least some drinks and treats leftover from the holidays, so offer to serve it up for your guests. Pull from what's in your cabinets, and tell friends to bring whatever's missing, like mixers or their favorite alcohol. Depending on who's invited, don't be shy about asking people bring their own excess party food.
- Decor: Christmas lights and candles are really all you need for mood-setting decor. But you can also put out mismatched holiday napkins and find ways to upcycle your Christmas decor — using gift wrap to line drink trays, for example.
- Entertainment: Fireworks, a ball drop, end-of-the-year playlists? There's an app for all of that. Give guests a true (simulated) New Year's Eve experience by going digital. Most apps to help ring in 2013 are free or only cost a few dollars.
- Photo fun: Sure, photo booths are popular again, but you can create your own makeshift one by simply setting out a large frame (use one that you already have, or pick one up from the thrift store) and providing props straight from your closet.
- Dress: Save yourself and your guests money on clothes by calling for casualwear when announcing the party. Make known that no one will be judged for showing up in jeans and a t-shirt or even pajamas, if so inclined.
Family and medical leave: This law requires some employers with 50 or more employees to give 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected sick leave for reasons like having a serious illness, caring for a sick family member, or becoming a new parent. You'll be guaranteed the same or an equivalent position when you return to work, and health insurance coverage (with monthly payments) will continue as usual.
COBRA: Although you might lose your health benefits through incidences such as being laid off or quitting, seeing a reduction in your work hours or transitioning to jobs because of death, divorce and other life events, you can still choose to participate in group health benefits (if you qualify) for a limited period of time.
Minimum wage: Basically, this provision is under the Fair Labor Standards Act and it prevents employers from hiring people for less than the minimum wage. Most states have enacted minimum wage laws except Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. However, there is a federal minimum wage law of $7.25 per hour. Be aware of the fact that there are also a couple of exceptions to this law.
No one likes a Debbie Downer, but these are trying times, and you need a financial backup plan. Whether you feel a strong sense of job security or have a million bucks in the bank, it's crucial that you embrace the motto of the Boy Scouts ("Be Prepared!") so you don't end up in a serious financial and personal conundrum should you draw a short stick. The calendar changes so quickly it's easy to forget your nest egg and backup scheme amid the momentum, but follow these basic steps and suggestions to keep yourself on track.
- Facebook interns get better perks than most of us — LearnVest
- "Binders of women" and other sexist remarks of 2012 — The Jane Dough
- Beware banks closing early on New Year's Eve — My Bank Tracker
- 31 surprising uses for baking soda — All You
- The "perfect" woman circa 1912 will surprise you — HuffPost Women
- Five things one woman wasted money on this year — The Billfold
- 10 worst financial habits to break — Bankrate
- 8 "life hacks" you needn't bother with — Wise Bread
- Go for it! Shopping for a home in the New Year — Credit Sesame
- Roll your clothes: "When packing, roll your clothes instead of folding to create more space."
- Layer it: "Layer and wear your heavier pieces on the plane to also avoid an overflowing bag."
- Pick wisely: "When deciding what to take, remember that three-piece suit that you can wear in a number of ways. A little black dress can also work from the office, to meetings, to evening dinner with clients."
- Accessorize: "Use your accessories, such as shoes, jewelry, and even scarves, to change your look from day to night."
- Choose the right fabrics: "Avoid fabrics that wrinkle easily, such as linens, and opt for poly-cotton blends."
- A little spritz: "As soon as you arrive, unpack your bag and use wrinkle releaser to keep your clothes intact."
Contrary to conspiracy theorists' fears, the world did not end on Dec. 20 as predicted by the Mayan calendar. But that won't stop companies from capitalizing on the apocalypse! Our partners at LearnVest break down the disaster economy.
Watch out! There's a giant asteroid coming your way!
Just kidding. Maybe.
According to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, [Dec. 20, 2012, was] supposedly the end of the world. But even if you believe that you'll live to toast a new year, you may be eyeing another apocalyptic scenario on the horizon:
- Economic collapse
- Environmental disaster brought on by global warming (you know, freak snowstorms, hurricanes, and flooding)
- Third World War and/or nuclear holocaust
- Rogue meteor
- The Rapture
- Zombie apocalypse
- We are definitely missing something here . . .
Welcome to the apocalypse economy, which can equip you with everything that you could possibly need to survive in the event that any of the above scenarios happen.
And as with any growing trend, there are entrepreneurs ready to help. What used to be canned food and the occasional Cold War disaster bunker has grown into a multimillion-dollar-a-year disaster economy that can supply you with a year’s worth of organic, freeze-dried food in your luxury bunker.
Seem far-fetched? Not to the people selling and buying these products.
The disaster market is hard to define, since many products needed for emergencies are normal things like flashlights and duct tape. But the owner of the Ready Store, which sells everything from backpacks stuffed with emergency supplies to portable toilets, estimates that this consumer market makes around $500 million annually.
That said, there are essentially two different types of disaster economies: the End-of-the-World sort and the Natural Disaster sort. Let us explain. Head to LearnVest for the full scoop on Apocalypse Inc.
Check out more from LearnVest:
10 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do by 30
The Power of Purposeful Thinking: How I Thought My Way Out of $60,000 in Debt
Become the Ultimate Wine Connoisseur in 4 Easy Steps
Widowed at 26: How Life Insurance Became My Lifeboat