It's easy to let the holiday spirit carry you into 2014 without paying attention to much else. Before you rush into the next year, be sure to do these seven things in December.
Usually it's tough to bounce back after a long weekend, but today is not your average Monday — it's Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year. For those of you who steered clear of Black Friday, now is your chance to scoop up some gifts at a discount, without leaving your desk.
The brains behind Cyber Monday are no dummies and know that you'll be sitting in front of your computer all day, but you need to make sure shopping doesn't get in the way of completing your work. Here's a plan for balancing your Monday priorities.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as of Sept. 1, 2011, the reporting period runs seven and a half years (seven years plus 180 days) from the date of delinquency. This section from the FCRA states the seven-year time frame starts 180 days from the first missed payment:
The 7-year period . . . shall begin, with respect to any delinquent account that is placed for collection (internally or by referral to a third party, whichever is earlier), charged to profit and loss, or subjected to any similar action upon the expiration of the 180-day period beginning on the date of the commencement of the delinquency which immediately proceeded the collection activity, charged to profit and loss, or similar action.
For many companies, holiday season is synonymous with performance-review season. And chances are, that process will include a self-evaluation. Filling out self-evaluations can be tricky (are you talking up your accomplishments enough? Will your boss agree with your assessment of your performance?), but they don’t have to be painful. Read on for five tips to help you shine on your self-evaluation.
- Be realistic: Try to evaluate yourself as objectively as possible, and think about your performance in the context of your job description. Remember that simply fulfilling the requirements of your position doesn’t necessarily mean you’re blowing your boss’s expectations out of the water. At the same time, be sure to give yourself credit where credit is due; performance reviews aren’t the time for false modesty.
- Be specific: Sweeping statements about your job performance won’t get you very far in a self-evaluation. For every accomplishment or strength you mention, have a specific example to back it up.
- Be honest: As tempting as it may be to overstate your accomplishments or take more credit for a project than you really earned, doing so will only come back to bite you. Be truthful about both your strengths and your weaknesses when evaluating yourself.
- Be clear: Most self-evals will ask about your goals for the coming year; figure out what those goals are and state them clearly. If you’re interested in taking on more responsibility, describe exactly what you have in mind. If you want to grow within the company, be clear about how you see that happening.
- Be constructive: If you’ve had an issue with your manager or your workload, it’s OK to mention it here, as long as you do it the right way. Phrase your concerns as diplomatically as you can, and offer up a potential solution if possible — don’t just turn it into a complaint fest.
A lot of people have never dealt with a layoff tend to feel panicked entering new territory. Read on to see seven steps that will help you gain control after losing your job.
That regretful feeling we know as buyer's remorse has a way of getting into the heads of most shoppers I know. And it doesn't seem to distinguish between well-off pocketbooks versus struggling ones. Remember in Clueless when Dion asked Cher, "Dude, what's wrong? Are you suffering from buyer's remorse or something?" Cher responds, "God, no! Nothing like that." Because buyer's remorse is, like, a totally serious thing.
There are really only two options to get rid of remorse: either return the item or simply learn to accept your purchase. If you choose the latter, put the item to use immediately, because once you've gotten something out of your purchase, you'll start feeling less like you want to kick yourself. Whichever direction you choose, make your decision quickly. What's the point in stressing about an article of clothing or a pair of shoes? We have so many other things weighing on us at all times, and buyer's remorse should be the last thing giving us premature wrinkles.
A quick Google search of the term generates hundreds of results, but most were aimed at stores and services with tips on how to prevent buyers from returning goods. All of them were dishing the same advice: provide your customer with reassurance and confirmation that they're making the right choice. One familiar tactic involves a follow-up contact that makes you feel appreciated, so your positive feelings are directed toward your purchase and the provider of your new item.
Do you have any unique tricks for overcoming purchases lacking conviction and filled with regret?
The question "What are your salary requirements?" can strike fear into the eager hearts of job seekers. Here, a POPSUGAR Smart Living reader asks for advice on how to respond:
When you are applying for a job and an interviewer asks for your salary requirements, how should you respond, especially if you do not have a current salary? I just graduated from law school and I am looking for my first job as a lawyer and have no idea how to respond to this.
The experience of going on a road trip is often just as exciting as the final destination. Lucky for us, the long holiday weekend ahead invites the opportunity to hit the road and head someplace fun. Before you put your car into drive, check out my money saving tips for your road trip.
Coming back to work after a fun, restful weekend is never easy, but it doesn't have to be quite so hard. Check out these five ways to turn your least favorite day of the week into one worth looking forward to.
- Set manageable goals: Rather than staring at your massive to-do list and feeling overwhelmed, set lots of little goals for yourself throughout the day. It’ll make it easier to stay focused and on track, and you can give yourself kudos each time you reach a goal.
- Reward yourself: Each time you do reach one of your set goals for the day, give yourself a reward! It can be as small as a walk to the kitchen to raid the candy dish, or as big as a 30-minute break to enjoy some fro yo in the sun. Providing your own incentives throughout the day can be a strong defense against a case of the Mondays.
It's one thing when you don't receive a reply from an employer after sending your resume and cover letter, but things get more personal when you don't hear back after a job interview. Waiting for a response is stressful and it's easy to let your mind run wild when coming up with reasons the employer hasn't called. Was it your hair? Should you have answered a certain question differently? Put the kabosh on your what-if thought process; usually an employer hasn't called back due to one of these eight reasons.
When your income and expenses are nearly the same, it's time to create a budget. Want to purchase something that you couldn't afford unless you charged it on a credit card? Budgeting would be the answer. Money is a personal thing, so there's not a one-budget-fits-all solution for those looking to make a plan. Discover four options for budgeting your bucks and be on your way to taking better control of your money.
It has always been a possibility that potential employers may check your credit history to make hiring decisions, but employment credit checks are now becoming the norm. One way to boost your credit score is to ensure there are no errors on your credit report. Improve your score and your chances of getting that job by getting any mistakes removed ASAP.
You've thought long and hard about whether taking your new husband's name is the right thing for you. Once the decision has been made in favor of a new last name, it's time to take the necessary steps to make the swap. Follow my tips to make sure you don't miss any of the important pieces to changing your name — you'll avoid annoying complications later on.
It's easy to let your head go to the clouds weeks before a planned vacation. By all means, get fired up, but make sure your excitement won't leave you with fires to put out when you return from your trip. Whether you're jetting off to your honeymoon or just taking a much-deserved break, let go without worry when you follow my pre-vacation checklist.
With upcoming Summer vacations, wedding season, and a potential looming tax bill around the corner, this can be a time when couples start using their credit cards more than they should. Avoid couple conflict and too much debt by finding a balance between all parties — you, your honey, and your money — and be on your way to a life with less overall stress.
After sorting through piles of resumes that all look similar, hiring managers hold rounds and rounds of interviews. Get through the first round of interviews and make a lasting impression with these basic fallback tips.
- Step Up Your Job Search — Fortune suggests the following tips for job searching in a weak market: request more face-to-face meetings; step up your job-search activity; try to be as flexible as you can; consider relocating; scour the hidden job market; spend very little of your time on Internet job boards and help-wanted ads; take advantage of social networking sites.
- Put Yourself in the Interviewer's Shoes — Put yourself in the interviewer's shoes. When she's looking at your resume, what questions will she likely develop? Come up with specific experiences that go with each question and work out the best answer when you practice aloud. Then, ask a friend to play interviewer and think of her own questions.
- Get Dressed Thoughtfully — Your attire should be interview-appropriate, which generally means at least one step up from the company's dress code.
- Impressions Start While You're Waiting — Sitting and waiting gives an interviewee plenty of opportunity to showcase nerves — the leg shaking, nail biting, hair twirling, foot tapping, etc. You want to present yourself as a confident candidate, not an anxious mess, so be mindful of your mannerisms in the waiting room for a strong start.
For the rest of the tips, read more
To choose organic, or not to choose organic: that is the question. Whether it is nobler to choose better quality and suffer the outrageous fortune at the cash register or buy conventional items that are lighter on the wallet. Luckily, we have done the dirty work for you by comparing the prices of 10 common groceries. You might be surprised how comparable some of the prices are. If you choose the completely conventional route, all of these groceries add up to $34.22 a week. Likewise, if you opt for 100 percent organic fare, you will pay $53.41 a week. That's a $19.19 difference, which may seem pretty steep.
You'll notice we have checked off our Savvy Picks. You might be wondering why we're opting for the more expensive organic animal products. If you haven't seen Food Inc., you should definitely educate yourself on the conventional animal farming practices in the USA. Think: cramped animals in unsanitary conditions that are fed hormones, steroids, and antibiotics to synthetically accelerate their growth and prevent illness. In our opinion, sometimes the quality of organic food trumps the price of its conventional counterpart, and our Savvy Picks reflect which foods we think are worth going organic.
Ultimately, only you can decide what feels best for you and your budget. It might make sense for you to buy cheaper coffee and cereal to save up for organic milk. Or, maybe you're paying off a credit card, and every cent you save counts. Now's the time to calculate all of your options, so you can stick to your budget while shopping.
There are plenty of options for hiding your valuables at home, but the beach is a bigger challenge. This Fourth of July weekend will rally crowds eager to soak up the Summer heat, so keep your belongings safe by only bringing the items you truly need and creatively keeping them out of sight.
My fiancé and I can't seem to agree on how we want to serve dinner at our wedding. I'm leaning toward a traditional plated sit down dinner, but he's pushing for family style. What are the pros and cons to each, cost- and experience-wise, that we should be considering?
My bachelorette party is fast approaching and it's already giving me a bit of anxiety. While I'm super excited to live it up with my closest friends, I'm not looking forward to the potential hassle paying the bills brings. Ten girls will be attending my last hurrah as a single lady and I'd like to make the weekend as care-free as possible. Do you have any suggestions as to how we can painlessly pay for everything?
Trying to Make It Easy Emily
To see what a savvy bride has to say about this, keep reading after the jump.