One of the most stressful situations is waiting for a job to make a decision about hiring you. You want to know if you have the job. You don’t want to be a pest. You also know how this job could change your life.
You go over in your mind all the things you did and said in the interview and rewrite them knowing you could have done better or wondering how you could have done better. The stress can make us do crazy things. So take a deep breath and calm down. Here are a few things to avoid while waiting.
Call Multiple Times
Calling once is understandable. You want to know if you got the job or missed the call. Just don’t cal twice a day everyday. Calling once shows initiative. Calling more than twice shows desperation. At the very least you are annoying your new employer. The worst thing that can happen is they were thinking of hiring you, but changed their mind.
Try To Add More Stuff
Unless your potential employer asks for another qualification, don’t go back to add information to buff your profile. This shows that during an important situation (like the job interview) you forgot something or came unprepared. That’s not the image you want to send to you future boss. Instead prepare before the interview and remain cal during the interview. In the case where they ask for a certain piece of paperwork, get it to them as quickly as possible.
Don’t Go Crazy
It’s really easy to lose your mind worrying about if you have the job you applied for or not. Rather than going crazy make sure you have your phone on hand and fully charged. Make sure you have the minutes to receive a call and the ringer turned up. Past that there isn’t much you can do, so try to do something relaxing such as watch a television show or work on the garden.
Not too long ago, I was discussing TV shows with an acquaintance. At some point in the conversation, she mentioned her cable bill seemed kind of “high.”
“What, like a hundred bucks a month?” I inquired.
She thought for a moment and then dug around her desk. She handed over the current month’s bill and my jaw quite literally dropped when I saw it. Two hundred and five dollars.
“But what exactly are you paying for? Do you even watch all these channels?”
“Oh, no,” she said. “Mostly just whatever’s on ABC or Fox and stuff. But, I mean, it’s cable. How do you watch TV without cable?”
A couple of decades ago, that was a good question. Modern technology has raced ahead, however, and there are plenty of options for watching TV shows that don’t involve shelling out money to a cable company! Certainly, if you are okay with paying $200 or more a month for TV, I suppose you can keep on trucking, but for those of us who are looking to save on TV, there are options.
The most common option is using on-demand streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. These companies contract with the license holders of TV shows, past and current, and upload them to their websites. You pay $7-10 a month for access to those websites, and you can watch whatever they have uploaded, at your leisure, an unlimited amount of times. They may not have every single show you’d like to watch, and many currently airing shows only upload the past 5-10 episodes, so you might not be able to binge watch an entire series. However, paying $120 per year is far cheaper than paying that same amount—or more!—per month.
Before all broadcasting went digital, many people used “bunny ear” antennas to get basic cable channels on their TV for free. Those old bunny ears won’t work anymore, but the good news is that digital antennas are absolutely a thing. You can pick one up for about $40, plug it into your TV, and bam, you have all your local stations and the big broadcast stations like ABC, CBS, PBS, etc. $40 can be a bit much for some people as an upfront cost, but then again, you have no recurring monthly costs after that, and you can watch most current shows as they air.
How else do you save money on cable?
Debit and Credit cards are kind of amazing. You dump of bunch of tomatoes or whatever on a conveyor belt, a cashier shoves them in a bag for you, and you swipe your little piece of plastic through a machine, and bam. Your tomatoes are paid for, even though neither of you ever saw actual money used in the transaction.
The problem with this is that when you don’t see the money, it’s hard to realize you are spending it. Years ago when people used checks to pay for everything, you weren’t exchanging physical money, but you still had to write out a number on a check, pass it to the cashier, and then write down what you spent in your checkbook. Physically writing “$40.00” on a check and then “-$40.00” in your checkbook kind of made the loss of that $40 tangible. But with debit and credit cards, you glance at the number that is your total on a small screen for a moment, swipe the card, and that’s that. It can be hard to feel attached to that $40 when you don’t really get to visualize it. Many people end up spending more than they intend because of this.
Enter the envelope system of budgeting. It’s a type of budgeting recommended for people who need to feel attached to that money in order to rein in their spending. Say that after paying bills, rent, etc, you have $500 for the rest of that month. Figure out what you need that money for—say, $300 for groceries, $100 for new clothing or shoes, $100 for eating out/other incidentals. Withdraw $500 in sweet, sweet cash from an ATM. Bust out a few business-sized envelopes. Label each one “Groceries,” “Clothes,” etc, and put the amount you’ve budgeted into each one. Do not tell anyone you have $500 in cash lying around your home, but bring the appropriate envelope along when you go shopping. Perhaps you’ve mentally budgeted $80 for shoes. But at the store you see a pair marked down from $200 to only $120, and that’s more than you wanted to spend, but it’s such a good deal! With a debit card, it’s easy to mentally discount the extra $40 you didn’t budget and just buy them anyway, but with the envelope system, you have $100 in cash and that’s all. You cannot spend $120 on shoes! The envelope system doesn’t work for everyone, but it is a good option for many, many people who need to visualize what they spend.
Utility bills—they’re something we all have to pay, and I bet you probably just click “online payments” on your computer screen and off goes your digital payment into cyberspace. Certainly that’s what I do when the bill comes in the mail!
How many times have you really looked at your bill, though, and wondered if you are paying more than the average for your area? Utility usage definitely depends on the size of your family and home—two people in a one bedroom apartment are not going to pay as much as a 7-person family in a large suburban house—but if you’re looking to save a little money, try a few things to lower your utility bill. Even if you’re only saving a few dollars a month, those bucks will add up over time!
Turn off your electronics: Many electronics have an extremely low-energy “sleep” mode where the appliance doesn’t fully turn off, but remains in a standby state until you turn it back on. But you know what saves even more power? Just turning your electronics off! Flip off the surge protector too, when you go to sleep—that draws power as well, even if everything plugged into it is turned off.
Replace lightbulbs with CFL bulbs: Most cities have sent out public notices about or even subsidized replacing standard bulbs with the weirdly spiral-shaped CFL bulbs. But if you haven’t replaced yours yet, please do! They really do save quite a bit of energy—and money. Ask your public utilities manager if they give out any for free or at a discount.
Let dishes air dry instead of running the “heated dry” cycle on the dishwasher: Many people line dry their clothes to save energy by not using a dryer. But most dishwashers also have a “dry” cycle that use heat to dry dishes. And of course, using heat is using energy which is spending money, so crack open that dishwasher once the dishes are washed and let them air dry. Or, if you’ve got time, wipe them down with a dishtowel.
What other ways do you save energy around your home?
One of the biggest problems that comes with money is stress. We stress about what to spend it on and where to spend it. We stress over how much things are worth. We stress about spending habits and our budget. Then we turn around and worry about what would happen if we didn’t have money. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few things we can do to reduce the stress and worry that comes with money.
There are really important things that need to be paid and other things that can be worked around. Rent needs to be paid immediately at the time it is due. A routine dental appointment could be put off until the next payday. Make sure that the things at the top of your priority list are those things that you can’t live without. Everything else will fall in place or out of your life for a while.
Pay It Now
One of the biggest budget killers is procrastination. We lack the desire to lose money, even to our bills. As a result we put off paying larger bills. While the desire to save money is good most of the time, it can only be done after the bills are up to date. Mark what bills are due and when on a calendar. Then pay them early or at least on time. Then they won’t forgotten or be paid late.
One of the biggest problems with a joint account is both people spending the same money. It is far better to spend a few moments each week going over upcoming expenses, than upset over who spent what. Don’t just discuss bills. Also discus plans to spend on clothes, lunches, or presents. When an unexpected expense comes along take a second to text or call your partner about it. At least that way you both know where you are financially.
There are many good reasons that people spend money. There are a lot of bad reasons we spend money as well. We know that it’s a bad idea, but we do it anyway. Why would we do that?
To Feel Better About Life
When the going gets tough, sometimes the tough get shopping. We know that we don’t have a whole lot of money. We know it’s a bad idea to drain our bank accounts. We do it anyway because circumstances in our life are not fun and we deserve a little fun. We are tired of living on a tight budget and, in spite of what we can’t afford, we are going to get something of higher quality.
Wanting better stuff is not a crime and is actually one of the reasons that we try to save money and live on a budget. The problem is usually instead of getting an upgrade on an item we try to get the best and most expensive product. It’s far better to slowly progress with what you can afford than jump to spending much more than you can afford.
To Blow Off Steam
Shopping, is a stress relief to many people. We can go wander around a mall for a few hours and forget the unpleasant things that may be happening in our lives. This could include our financial situation and leads us back to spending money to feel better about life. It may not have been our intent when we started window shopping, but it happens.
Find other ways to blow off steam. Don’t just do what everybody else is doing (like yoga) either, if it doesn’t work for you. Find out what does and run with it. It’s true that many of the best things in life are free. Look to free classes or activities to find your non spending stress relief.
To Keep Up With The Jones
We feel we need higher quality items in our lives because our peers have them. We feel that because we don’t have all the bells and whistles in decor, car, or home we are somehow failing in life. No one wants to feel like a failure, so we spend money we don’t have and do our best to make the payments over time.
While the public firmly says that these items don’t equal success, it’s hard to overcome the accepted mentality that they are. Shifting our points of view to see success is equally difficult, but can be done. Start small. Instead of buying something new we should learn to repair or refurbish what we have already. Then we put the quality in our care for an item rather than its age.
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