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6 Habits Which Are Costing You Money

6 Habits Which Are Costing You Money

If you are living in Manchester, and on your way back from office, eats a pizza at Wilmslow Road, you are surely spending a good amount of money on something which you should clearly avoid- for your health reasons.

Few of us do such things repeatedly- unconsciously spending money on small things. Money which could have been saved is spent on buying an extra cig or for that matter Latte coffee.

Is it wrong? Well! It depends

It depends on how you value things- for you, latte may be important because it gives you a caffeine boost you need just before you start your day

Or for someone like me who drinks 5 to 6 glasses of water immediately on waking up- just to get the same boost without caffeine. (if you drink coffee just to get a boost, try drinking a full bottle of water first thing in the morning and you will be more alert! Just try it) it may not matter much…

If you want to save money by avoiding some small expenses, here is the small list of mini habits which are costing you at least you hundreds of dollars a month:

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1. Buying pizza on your way home

I know, you guessed it right! I was going to discuss this first because most of us feel too tired after day’s work. Single, young professionals, looking to make their mark and get quick promotions, work too hard often.

By 5 pm when you leave the office for home, all the motivation and willpower is almost at zero level and you don’t feel like cooking.

If you live in a large city, peak evening hours means a lot of rush in the metro and more stress to deal with.

More stress- less willpower and you know what, on your way back, you just pull out your wallet and buy a pizza.

A pizza costs you on average $5 to $10 and if you buy at most 2 pizzas per week, you are already spending 40 per week on something you can easily cook at home or buy a really nice dinner at fraction of the cost.

2. Putting your money in banks which don’t offer interest on current accounts

I’m nott going to inform you about a secret current account offering you 5% rate but what I’m going to tell you is that you can squeeze out some extra cash if you place your money in accounts which offer you some interest.

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You may be thinking, how this one is a habit? Right?

Because you are too loyal to your Bank- you have a long history with them or probably it was the first Bank which agreed to open your bank account (My first Bank gave me an appointment to meet the Bank guy for opening my account after 6 weeks from the date I requested to open my account).

So yes over the period of time, using your Bank may be your habit because you simply don’t want other Banks.

But if it is costing you money, it’s time to rethink.

3. Buying for current Christmas season only

Buying on Boxing Day sale is a habit- a cultural phenomenon as people spend millions every year on that sale.

We buy Gifts, cakes, wine, cards, gift wrappings, and decorations just before the Christmas. However, most of the things are bought for that particular event i.e. bought in quantities which are consumed on that Christmas.

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If you can just stock up gifts (non-perishable items) for next year, you can save at least amount equal to the inflation.

If you are not a fashion crazy person, you can easily save a lot by buying next year’s items such as shoes, bags, and clothing on this Boxing Day Sales.

4. Supporting your teenage children

This one could be really emotional. If you have teenage children and you are still supporting them with pocket money and is paying for their other stuff, you should rethink because you are losing the opportunity to save.

5. Not preparing and following a budget

No one can deny the importance of having expense budget and following it. I guarantee you that if you just start tracking every single penny you spend; you are surely going to save a lot. Start developing this habit and build it as a life-long habit.

For me tracking expense is a habit because it requires repetition and if you keep on repeating this task, it will become a second nature to you record and track your expenses. Gradually you will realize where your money is going and what you can do it save it.

6. Stop paying with credit cards

In next few years, most of the developed countries will be check-free with banks only issuing money against plastic or online.

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But believe me, the joy of paying in cash is more than paying through the card.

When you pay through cash, subconsciously you are exercising control over yourself. Except your direct debits, the habit of paying cash can help you reduce your expenses. Many people spend more and get their balances transferred to balance transfer credit cards which can reduce your cost for some time but ultimately you have to pay.

Above are some simple facts which can cost you a lot of money in long run. Just be more observant of what you are spending on and you can easily save a lot. Spending without a purpose is always going to hurt your wallet so be careful.

Featured photo credit: Stylist via stylist.co.uk

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Published on November 8, 2018

How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

After a few months of hard work and dozens of phone calls later, you finally land a job opportunity.

But then, you’re asked about your salary requirements and your mind goes blank. So, you offer a lower salary believing this will increase your odds at getting hired.

Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach.

Your salary requirements can make or break your odds at getting hired. But only if you’re not prepared.

Ask for a salary too high with no room for negotiation and your potential employer will not be able to afford you. Aim too low and employers will perceive as you offering low value. The trick is to aim as high as possible while keeping both parties feel happy.

Of course, you can’t command a high price without bringing value.

The good news is that learning how to be a high-value employee is possible. You have to work on the right tasks to grow in the right areas. Here are a few tactics to negotiate your salary requirements with confidence.

1. Hack time to accomplish more than most

Do you want to get paid well for your hard work? Of course you do. I hate to break it to you, but so do most people.

With so much competition, this won’t be an easy task to achieve. That’s why you need to become a pro at time management.

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Do you know how much free time you have? Not the free time during your lunch break or after you’ve finished working at your day job. Rather, the free time when you’re looking at your phone or watching your favorite TV show.

Data from 2017 shows that Americans spend roughly 3 hours watching TV. This is time poorly spent if you’re not happy with your current lifestyle. Instead, focus on working on your goals whenever you have free time.

For example, if your commute to/from work is 1 hour, listen to an educational Podcast. If your lunch break is 30 minutes, read for 10 to 15 minutes. And if you have a busy life with only 30–60 minutes to spare after work, use this time to work on your personal goals.

Create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. Start waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier to have more time to work on your most important tasks. Use tools like ATracker to break down which activities you’re spending the most time in.

It won’t be easy to analyze your entire day, so set boundaries. For example, if you have 4 hours of free time each day, spend at least 2 of these hours working on important tasks.

2. Set your own boundaries

Having a successful career isn’t always about the money. According to Gallup, about 70% of employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

Earning more money isn’t a bad thing, but choosing a higher salary over the traits that are the most important to you is. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your family, reject job offers requiring a lot of travel.

Here are some important traits to consider:

  • Work and life balance – The last thing you’d want is a job that forces you to work 60+ hours each week. Unless this is the type of environment you’d want. Understand how your potential employer emphasizes work/life balance.
  • Self-development opportunities – Having the option to grow within your company is important. Once you learn how to do your tasks well, you’ll start becoming less engaged. Choose a company that encourages employee growth.
  • Company culture – The stereotypical cubicle job where one feels miserable doesn’t have to be your fate. Not all companies are equal in culture. Take, for example, Google, who invests heavily in keeping their employees happy.[2]

These are some of the most important traits to look for in a company, but there are others. Make it your mission to rank which traits are important to you. This way you’ll stop applying to the wrong companies and stay focused on what matters to you more.

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3. Continuously invest in yourself

Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Cliche I know, but true nonetheless.

You’ll grow as a person and gain confidence with the value you’ll be able to bring to others. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can read books to expand your knowledge in different fields.

Don’t get stuck into the habit of reading without a purpose. Instead, choose books that will help you expand in a field you’re looking to grow. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to reading books in one subject–create a healthy balance.

Podcasts are also a great medium to learn new subjects from experts in different fields. The best part is they’re free and you can consume them on your commute to/from work.

Paid education makes sense if you have little to no debt. If you decide to go back to school, be sure to apply for scholarships and grants to have the least amount of debt. Regardless of which route you take to make it a habit to grow every day.

It won’t be easy, but this will work to your advantage. Most people won’t spend most of their free time investing in themselves. This will allow you to grow faster than most, and stand out from your competition.

4. Document the value you bring

Resumes are a common way companies filter employees through the hiring process. Here’s the big secret: It’s not the only way you can showcase your skills.

To request for a higher salary than most, you have to do what most are unwilling to do. Since you’re already investing in yourself, make it a habit to showcase your skills online.

A great way to do this is to create your own website. Pick your first and last name as your domain name. If this domain is already taken, get creative and choose one that makes sense.

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Here are some ideas:

  • joesmith.com
  • joeasmith.com
  • joesmithprojects.com

Nowadays, building a website is easy. Once you have your website setup, begin producing content. For example, if you a developer you can post the applications you’re building.

During your interviews, you’ll have an online reference to showcase your accomplishments. You can use your accomplishments to justify your salary requirements. Since most people don’t do this, you’ll have a higher chance of employers accepting your offer

5. Hide your salary requirements

Avoid giving you salary requirements early in the interview process.

But if you get asked early, deflect this question in a non-defensive manner. Explain to the employer that you’d like to understand your role better first. They’ll most likely agree with you; but if they don’t, give them a range.

The truth is great employers are more concerned about your skills and the value you bring to the company. They understand that a great employee is an investment, able to earn them more than their salary.

Remember that a job interview isn’t only for the employer, it’s also for you. If the employer is more interested in your salary requirements, this may not be a good sign. Use this question to gauge if the company you’re interviewing is worth working for.

6. Do just enough research

Research average salary compensation in your industry, then wing it.

Use tools like Glassdoor to research the average salary compensation for your industry. Then leverage LinkedIn’s company data that’s provided with its Pro membership. You can view a company’s employee growth and the total number of job openings.

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Use this information to make informed decisions when deciding on your salary requirements. But don’t limit yourself to the average salary range. Companies will usually pay you more for the value you have.

Big companies will often pay more than smaller ones.[3] Whatever your desired salary amount is, always ask for a higher amount. Employers will often reject your initial offer. In fact, offer a salary range that’ll give you and your employer enough room to negotiate.

7. Get compensated by your value

Asking for the salary you deserve is an art. On one end, you have to constantly invest in yourself to offer massive value. But this isn’t enough. You also have to become a great negotiator.

Imagine requesting a high salary and because you bring a lot of value, employers are willing to pay you this. Wouldn’t this be amazing?

Most settle for average because they’re not confident with what they have to offer. Most don’t invest in themselves because they’re not dedicated enough. But not you.

You know you deserve to get paid well, and you’re willing to put in the work. Yet, you won’t sacrifice your most important values over a higher salary.

The bottom line

You’ve got what it takes to succeed in your career. Invest in yourself, learn how to negotiate, and do research. The next time you’re asked about your salary requirements, you won’t fumble.

You’ll showcase your skills with confidence and get the salary you deserve. What’s holding you back now?

Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

Reference

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