Archive | April, 2014

Why It’s Okay To Be Excited About the Awesome Stuff You’re Doing

23 Apr

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I’m not going to lie…

My life is pretty awesome right now.

Last night, I took my very last exam EVER!!!

And then I cried like a baby because I got super sentimental thinking about how my school-life is completely OVER.

I now feel very old.

Ancient, really.

But I’m also really happy because I can be a somewhat normal and functioning member of society again.

I can sleep and I can read and I can sleep some more.

Again, my life is awesome…and I’m pretty sure yours is too.

So I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about success and whether or not it’s like super braggy/bragish to tell people about the really cool stuff going on in our lives.

And here’s the conclusion I’ve come to…

People love to complain. People spend hours and hours and hours talking to everyone they know about just how awful things are.

Go to a bad restaraunt? Obviously, you’re going to complain about it to anyone who’ll listen.

Have a bad day? You’re going to complain regardless of whether or not anyone will listen.

And this, apparently, is acceptable.

So if we can accept the complaints and the negativity, then I see absolutely nothing wrong with sharing things that are awesome!

It’s definitely far more productive.

Now, you don’t need to be obnoxious. You don’t have to be like, “Oh, look at me…I’m better than you…you suck.”

That’s never cool.

But if you’ve worked hard and you’re on your way to living your dream and reaching your goals, heck…be proud of it!

Own it.

You’re allowed to be excited! You’re allowed to be proud of yourself!

Because if you don’t belive in your value and your success…

No one. Else. Will.

When it comes to your career, don’t be afraid to tell people about your accomplishments.

Especially us twentysomethings…we get it…we don’t have years and years of experience under our belts.

So for that specific reason, we have to make sure that the things we ARE doing…that we ARE accomplishing, we’re showcasing.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

And the peoploe who do have a problem with it?? Well, it’s probably because they don’t really have all that much going on anyway.

So don’t worry about them.

To all of you out there chasing your dreams, keep on going.

Don’t be shy to share your goals and your success. Who knows…maybe you’ll find that people are a lot more interested in helping you than you ever thought possible.

But how can they help you if no one knows what you’re chasing after?

Don’t be shy…if you’re working on something awesome, let me know!

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Budgeting Tips For Your 20s

15 Apr

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If you know me, then you know that I’m like absolutely beyond obsessed with saving money.

I mean, I can’t even go grocery shopping with my man-friend anymore because he’s the “just get what you need, I don’t care how much it costs” type…and I’m more like, “hey, I’m going to be here a while trying to figure out which pack of paper plates gives us the best value.”

LOL just writing that makes me feel ridiculous.

But that’s fine…because I’ve got more $$$ in my wallet. Success!

So today, my friend Ryan is talking about budgeting and I absolutely love it because, well…I’m a nerd like that. Enjoy!

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Retirement seems like something so far off into the future that young people rarely even think about it. However, it’s something that people in their twenties should really prepare for financially–aside from medical emergencies, the possibility of starting a family, and/or buying a home for the first time. To save money and achieve any—or all—of these financial goals, here are a few  tips on budgeting for the smart twenty-something.

1. Learn to Differentiate Between “Wants” and  “Needs”

Budgeting requires learning to differentiate between wants and needs. The line that separates a need from a want can be blurrysometimes,but  you’re the only one who can make these decisions. Food, housing, and warmth, of course, fall under the needs category. Things like a fast broadband connection could be be considered a need too, especially if you work from home. But if you just use it for entertainment, then it’s probably a want, given that less expensive options are usually available.

Once you’ve created a list of things you’d want to spend on and need to spend on, then you can start creating a budget based on your income and how much those wants and needs cost. Prioritize your needs over your wants when you make your budget for those items, and don’t forget to set aside a portion of your money for your savings fund.

2. Use a Personal Finance App

Creating a budget isn’t even half the battle. The greatest challenge when it comes to managing your finances is actually sticking to one. There are lots of apps for your smartphone that can help you monitor your expenses so you can stay on top of your money. A quick search on your phone’s app store for personal finance apps will bring up a selection of budget trackers—many of which are free to download or usually pretty cheap. Apps like Mint help you monitor your checking and savings accounts and even help you keep an eye on your expenses which makes it easy to see if you’re still well within your budget at any given time. Other free apps include Toshl Finance and SavedPlus.

3. Review Your Expenses

What’s even cooler is that the personal finance apps mentioned above can often provide you with expense reports so it’ll be easy for you to check which areas you need to improve on.

If your expense report tells you you’ve achieved your budget goals, then congratulations! But don’t stop there! Periodically review your expenses and look at categories you spend the most on. You could be surprised at how much you’re spending on things that don’t seem very expensive but add up over time like impulse purchases and snacks at gas stations whenever you gas up. Reviewing your expenses also helps you find out whether your budget plan is still feasible. Prices of utilities and even your rent can change, so this can help you determine whether or not you need to adjust your budget to meet your current needs.

These are just a few budgeting tips that will hopefully help you out a bit. The earlier you learn to improve your budgeting skills, the better off you’ll be in the future when your financial goals change.

Ryan Del Villar is a Content Strategist for MoneyHero. Ryan is also a freelance writer at Helm Word, an Online Reputation Management company.

So tell me… what do YOU do to keep your finances in order?

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Why We Ought to Take Blogs A Little More Seriously

7 Apr

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For some reason that I’ll never understand, a lot of people in the wonderful world of academia tend to hate bloggers.

Maybe not hate-hate, but they certainly don’t take blogs seriously.

Because apparently, if you’re not published in some fancy-pants journal, your work isn’t  important.

Makes sense, right?!

Well, no. No it doesn’t.

So in response to all the blogger-haters out there, here are a couple reasons why blogs are awesome and should be given all the credit they deserve.

1. They Allow for Thinking at All Levels

No, you don’t need to have a PhD to have a thought process. Brains, people! Everyone has one! So to believe that only those who somehow publish their thoughts in a journal or a book are entitled to USE their brains, is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The awesome thing about blogs is that so many people with different perspectives get to provide insight on various issues. I mean, even kids (so long as they know how to type) can give their two cents on any given topic. And we ought to listen to what they have to say. Because blogging allows for us to learn from ANYONE, really.

You don’t need to be rich to blog. You don’t have to be the CEO of a company. You don’t have to have 53,000 Twitter followers. And you don’t have to have 5 diplomas hanging on your wall. If you have thoughts, you’re able to put them out there. And I think that this diversity in ideas and in thought patterns is absolutely invaluable.

2. They Create the Opportunity for Oh-So-Important Dialogue

You know that wonderful little box at the end of most blogs that lets you comment on what you’ve read? Well, it’s kind of the bomb. Because comment boxes allow us to engage in dialogue.

Communication… Something that a lot of people these days are forgetting how to participate in.

While I’m not knocking journals and books, I think that blogs do provide additional value in that they allow for readers to reflect on things that they’ve read, and then engage in that dialogue immediately. Sometimes readers disagree with what they’ve read. Sometimes readers love it! Sometimes readers decide to share their own experiences, and like #1, this allows for various shared perspectives.

So yes, I’m definitely a fan of the comment box!

3. They Provide Real-Time Analyses of Situations

This one’s easy. Things are always happening. There are issues and problems and conferences that people are attending and new thoughts that are being introduced every. single. minute. of every day.

And while yes, it’s great if you can talk about these things in a fancy-pants journal, here’s the problem…

Journals and books take SO LONG to publish.

With blogs, you don’t have to wait.

You can experience/witness something and open your laptop, write, and publish. All of this in less than 15 mins. Heck- you can even do it from your phone these days! You don’t even need a computer.

And in this society that we live in…where we want updates and information 24/7…blogs definitely help us stay up-to-date on recent happenings.

4. Easy, Simple, and FREE Disbursement of Knowledge!

Maybe you catch up on all your favorite blogs first thing in the morning. Maybe you do it on your lunch break. Regardless, throughout the day, you’re bound to come across a post that you absolutely love…something you know is worth sharing.

Now with a book or a journal, you can see something you like and you can recommend that your friends check it out, but it requires time and money and energy…which let’s face it… few people have these days.

But blogs are amazing because you can share thoughts and ideas in like 2.5 seconds! You see something you want to share? AWESOME! Grab the link. Copy. Paste. Post on Facebook. Post on Twitter. Send link via text, etc. Some blogs have made it so easy that you just need to click a button.

So yea, I don’t know about you, but I’m all about free knowledge. And if it’s simple and easy to access, even better.

5. Connections All Over the World

When I’m chatting with someone from New Zealand, that’s pretty freaking awesome! I mean, I don’t travel often (since I’m poor), yet it’s such a great experience to be able to connect with people from all over the world. Not only is it super-cool, but connecting with industry professionals who happen to live on different continents is also a great opportunity to expand your network. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll find yourself in New Zealand, unemployed, and the many connections you’ve  made over the years will provide you with opportunities that may otherwise not have been possible.

So, that’s it! Let’s stop hating blogs. Let’s stop hating bloggers. Because we all have something to contribute. And we don’t lose anything by gaining additional perspectives.

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