Job hunting can be stressful. It’s a time when first impressions are everything. Here are a few tips to ensure you make a good impression and both you and your employer get that harmonious balance.
Dress For The Occation
Dressing correctly for a job interview is important, but your first impression is your first step to success. Dressing well helps you to create a good first impression and tells the others that you are serious about finding work. Dressing up for an interview also lets your potential employer know that you pay attention to detail and care about your image. If you care about your image you also may show concern when it comes to the company image. Dressing for a job interview may not always mean a suit or skirt, but when in doubt those should be your go-to outfits. It’s important to also make sure that you personal grooming is well in hand. Make sure your nails are trimmed, hair is neat, and your breath is unoffensive.
When you go into an interview use proper grammar. Try to avoid using slang. While certain career fields have a certain personality to go with it, most do not. Many employers are looking for people who are articulate and educated. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to show the capacity to be professional. Also be respectful and polite. This doesn’t mean you must agree with everything your potential boss is saying. It just means that you can calmly and effectively convey your own opinion.
The above mentioned tips don’t mean that you need to be a robot. Smile and be pleasant. If this is a customer service job, show them a sample of your skills.
Bring Your Tools
Bring a clipboard. Bring your own pens. Make sure you have everything you need to fill out an application when you go into an establishment. Most companies have put their application process online, but a few still haven’t. Going into an interview prepared to take notes shows your sincerity towards landing the job. Or you may get the job on the spot and need to fill out paperwork.
Bring your resume and copies of your important records. Even if your resume has been created to get you a job in a different industry it will give your potential employer an idea of what you could contribute to his or her industry.
Know What You Want
Before going into an interview know what you want in return for your labor. Know what amount of money you are looking for. What type of benefits are important to you? Is there a potential for promotion and growth in this job? There will be a point in the interview when you will be asked if you have any questions. Be sure that these questions have been answered. It shows your ambition and that you intend to stay in this job should you get it. It also shows your employer that you don’t just value a job, you value yourself.
We all have done this. We are at a store and see a product. We think to ourselves that this purchase will save us effort or money and we buy it. Then we take it home and discover the use of our purchase is less than ideal. Here are a few I will confess to.
Three In One Shower Products
These products are supposed to be body wash, shampoo, and conditioner all rolled into one. For me, they don’t work. Some of them have left my hair feeling like straw. Others have made me feel like I hadn’t even washed my hair at all. In the end I ended up with a peeling scalp and split ends. It wasn’t great.
Floor Cleaning Footware
I have hard surface floors throughout my apartment and I thought these slippers would save me time cleaning and save me money buying brooms and dust pans. They were difficult to clean, didn’t pick much up off the floor, and were not worth the money that I had spent on them.
Generic Brand Soy Milk
Many people in our home are lactose intolerant. I will admit some store brands of soy milk we have found have been acceptable. There is one, however, that was horrible. I couldn’t get my children, husband, or myself to drink it. There were even large chunks of soy still floating it it. In the end we just had to get rid of it.
Dollar Store Ice Cream
I admit I should have known better, but a part of me just believed this was worth a try. I won’t go into huge detail about what went wrong with this product purchase. What I will say is that it the cost of the product didn’t make up for the consequences of eating this product.
What “thrifty” purchases have you regretted?
I like to shop. It makes me feel better on bad days. I also like to make sure that I am financially secure. Those may sound like opposite goals, but it ‘s surprisingly easy to get those two to work together.
Go To The Grocery Store Instead of Eating Out
Often when I am stressed I want fast food. I want it because it’s convenient, it tastes good, and I don’t really have to think past it. I have often found, however, cooking creativity helps me get rid of stress. I know it’s not good for me and often feel guilty because I just spent the money of two days worth of groceries for one meal. So now I make my own fast food. It’s healthier for both my body and my budget. The food lasts longer and I feel smart about my splurge instead of guilty.
Shop For Bargains
When I am feeling really stressed out I like to go in search of bargains. I like to shop, but I make my goal finding prices that wow and amaze people. One of my happiest memories is of a dress I found at my local thrift store. It fit great and looked great. It only cost twenty five cents. I don’t just go by thrift stores. I also go by dollar stores, library sales, and garage sales. In one case I spent fifteen dollars to outfit my entire kitchen. Best of all, this type of shopping leaves my budget room for me to splurge a little in the end.
One of the best ways I have found to splurge is to have a cash limit. I make sure the amount that I have chosen to blow doesn’t hurt my budget. I pull the exact amount out of my checking account. Then I go splurge within that price range. This also helps me make wise purchase choices even while splurging. I make sure I get the most out of my fun money.
How do you splurge without breaking your budget?
An home for some of us often means that we will have to compromise something in order to get the price we are looking for. Safety shouldn’t be one of those things compromised. Here are a few tips to consider while neighborhood hunting.
Check the Internet and Police Records
Criminal statistics for a neighborhood are open to the public and free to view. Take advantage of these opportunities. Find out what type of crime happens in the neighborhood your looking at living in. Check for sex offenders. Save yourself the grief of someone else telling you these things after you have moved in.
Drive By At Night
Driving by in the twilight hours is a really good way to determine if an apartment complex is safe. Notice who is outside? Is it children playing while their parents watch? Is it a retired couple sitting on the porch? Or is no one outside? What are your instincts telling you? Chances are in the daylight you will feel comfortable in most neighborhoods. When it’s getting dark will tell you if you are still going to be comfortable there when the office closes.
Look For Decorations
A home that has decorations outside is less concerned with vandalism and theft. Sure it may still happen from time to time, but that isn’t the constant mindset of the residents already living there. Look for lawn ornaments, little container gardens, and patio furniture. The apartments may be a little older, but you can tell how comfortable others feel there by what they choose to display.
It’s not enough to feel safe due to a low crime rate and nice neighbors. The apartment needs to be a safe environment as well. Check to see if windows leak air, look for breaks in the glass, and see if the doors hang right. Check to see when the apartments or house was made and if any questionable materials were used. Is there an insect infestation? Is there a mold problem? It is far better to check these things when investigating moving in rather than be stuck in a lease or mortgage with them.
A while back I gave you 10 amazing uses for baking soda. Now let’s hit that other cheap liquid that’s in everyone’s house. I bet a lot of these uses you’ve never even heard of. Hydrogen Peroxide is cheap. So if something is cheap, it’s good to find multiple purposes for it.
1. It whitens your whites and makes your colors brighter. I had no idea about this. Just use it like bleach in the bleach spot in your wash and watch it go! It’s a great alternative to color safe bleach which can be expensive.
2. Clean your countertops with it. Put some into a spray bottle and spray it on your counters. When you see it bubbling, that means there was junk on there that you want gone!
3. Whiten grout. Tile grout gets gross sometimes. Pour some hydrogen peroxide on it and watch it clean.
4. Cleans veggies and fruits. Mixing water and hydrogen peroxide makes an awesome veggie and fruit wash. Just add about 1/4 of a cup to a sink of water and let them soak, then rinse.
5. Lighten hair. Use a 50/50 mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide that you can spray on your hair after your shower. Your hair will gradually lighten.
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My son is going to be three in April, so of course like a good mommy, I am planning. There is a place in our town much like a Chuck e Cheese. My son LOVES this place and they have awesome little themed party rooms, plus pizza and they will even provide your very own Cold Stone cake. Sounds really awesome doesn’t it? But it’s expensive! The price is $14 per child or adult for food, games and admittance to the fun zone. When you add together 20-25 adults and children, that’s quite a bill for a party for a three-year-old.
So now, I am on a mission to save money for this party any way I can. Here are some tips to save money for your little one’s birthday party.
1. Skip the fancy venue. This especially can apply if your children are really young. We had both of our children’s first birthdays at home. They weren’t going to remember it anyway and we saved a ton. If you are going to spend a lot on a nice location it would probably be best if they could remember it.
2. Save money at the fancy venue. If you really want to do something outside the home, call around and find places you can bring your own food in. We found out just by calling, although it’s not on the website, that our local Chuck e Cheese style place will allow groups to use their main eating area for parties on a first come first serve basis. We can even bring our own cake in. We don’t have to use their party rooms. Although they didn’t say this on the website, it was worth calling to check. Call around your local places and see if you can get a similar deal. Also check local parks for their party areas. Sometimes they can even be free, but you still have to reserve the space.
3. Make your own cake. The mark up on cakes is RIDICULOUS. If you have even the slightest ability to cook, you can make your own cake. If you absolutely can’t make cake or want some sort of fancy design ask your friends. Someone you know would probably help you out.
4. Shop at the dollar store for goodie bag treats. Every birthday party my kids have ever been to, their goodie bag contents have always ended up thrown around the house and finally into the garbage. You can get great little toys that kids will love just as much as expensive ones from the dollar store.
5. Don’t send out paper invitations. Facebook is an awesome place to make events and invite people to your birthday party. Skipping the paper invites can easily save you $30! You can even make a electronic invite for free with places like Evite.
6. Buy party supplies on clearance. Most party stores have a clearance section that you should check out. We bought all of my daughters first birthday supplies on clearance for half-off the original.
What are some ways you’ve saved money on birthday parties? Share them with us!
Sometimes being thrifty can be tricky to figure out. There are some deals that are straight forward and fantastic: the freebies! However, not all “sale prices” and “deals” are deals at all.
Price per Unit vs. “low” price. Sometimes what appears to be a low price is actually a higher price per unit. So, a smaller jar of peanut butter actually cost more per ounce than does the larger jar. So, when calculating prices, be sure to break it down per unit. Take note, however, that the larger box or container is not necessarily a better deal. You just have to check. For example, I often see this problem with diaper deals. The best deals I’ve gotten on diapers have been smaller packages that have been deeply discounted or marked for clearance (along with a coupon, of course). I’ve gotten enough of those deals that I intentionally did not use a $10 off two large boxes of diapers because the cost per diaper even with the coupon was still much more expensive than I would buy and have bought. One caveat: sometimes, cash flow is limited. So, you simply have to buy the best deal you are able to buy with the amount of cash you have regardless of price per unit. That’s just keepin’ it real!
Is It Really On Sale? Become familiar enough (or just do the research) with prices of things you purchase regularly that you recognize a true sale price when you see it. Sometimes when one specialty store has one particular organic cereal we used to buy on sale, their “sale” price is still more expensive than the regular price at one of our local grocery stores. However, when that same store has had store coupons for that brand and I have had manufacturer coupons, I have scored some amazing deals. Without that trifecta, if you will, it simply is not any form of sale or price cut for me and my family.
It takes just a little bit of work, but it’s worth it. What else do you do to make sure you are getting the best prices on what you buy?