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10 Financial Lifehacks to Bear in Mind This Fall

10 Financial Lifehacks to Bear in Mind This Fall

For some people, fall is just another time of year. For others, it is a time to prepare for holiday season spending. But no matter which group you belong to, you will want to meet this season in better financial condition. This list of financial tips will help you make your money go further.

1. Pay Debts Down with Zero Interest Credit Cards

If you have a credit card with a large balance and the zero interest period is coming to an end, you may want to open a new card and transfer the balance of the old card to the new one. This way the balance will fall within the new zero interest period (sometimes up to 18 months). There will be a charge of about 3%. But if your debt is large enough, it will pay off.

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2. Ensure Your Savings Account Is Up to Date

Seasons change, and financial situations change. Your old savings account may be obsolete by today’s standards. Check here to see if you are getting the most out of your money.

3. Pay Your Insurance Policy a Year Ahead

If you have an insurance policy you are willing to keep for at least a year, consider paying for it in an annual lump sum. This way you will not have to worry about monthly payments, and you will save considerable amounts of money.

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4. Save on Airfares by Browsing Anonymously

A lot of airfare comparison sites keep track of their visitors to see if they visit them repeatedly. If you do so, it tells the site that you are actively looking for something and are ready to pay more. So they raise their prices on you. Hiding yourself may be achieved by simply cleaning up your cache or entering incognito mode in your browser.

5. Learn About Debt Consolidation Loan Coverage

If you have a lot of loans to pay off, consider consolidating them. Take out one loan to deal with all the rest. It will simplify your financial situation and help you get a lower interest rate. However, if you are worried that you may get into even more trouble, consult an expert, or at least read about debt consolidation loan coverage to find out more about companies in this line of business.

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6. Check Out the Extras In Your Health Insurance Policy

Health insurance policies may cover much more than meets the eye. It may be anything from gym membership and birth control, to eye surgery and acupuncture. Some of these things may be extravagant or useless for your situation, but a careful glance at your insurance policy is always a good idea.

7. Time Your Car Purchase

If you are going to buy a new car, consider contacting a car dealer late in the month. They usually have quotas to meet and may give you a bargain to get their bonuses.

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8. Consult Coupon Sites Before Shopping

Look through this list of popular coupon sites when you are going to make a purchase. In addition to providing discounts for all kinds of businesses and products, it is much easier than collecting classic paper coupons.

9. Use Cash Over Credit or Debit Cards

Credit and Debit cards make money seem less real and thus easier to spend. No matter what you tell yourself, studies show that people are more reluctant to spend actual bills than abstract sums from their credit or debit cards.

10. Put off Impulsive Purchases

If you feel an impulse to buy something, put it off for a set period of time (a day, a week, a month). If that period expires and you still want to buy it, go ahead; but experience shows that in most cases the urge will disappear along the way. Some of these tips don’t look like much, but they say that devil is in the details. What looks insignificant adds up. Pay attention to these little things, and the results will surprise you.

Featured photo credit: Finance/Tax credit via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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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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