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Learn These 10 Easy Skills Now And You Can Save A Lot of Money

Learn These 10 Easy Skills Now And You Can Save A Lot of Money

Saving money is a skill all on its own. Since the recession hit, people have come up with some creative ways to save money and have even developed skills to help to do. Here are some easy skills you can use to save you more money.

1. Learn the art of couponing

Couponing is the act of searching and seizing coupons to save you money on groceries. It seems like you’d just pick up the daily newspaper and find some good deals. The truth is you can find coupons everywhere. Inside of stores, in newspapers, and even on the internet you can find coupons and great deals on every day items. If you want to learn how to do extreme couponing, here is a great website to get your started!

2. Learn the art of cooking

Cooking is a great way to save money. When you go out to a fast food restaurant you spend anywhere from $5 to $8 on a meal per person. Using that same money you can create multiple meals. For $8 you can get a half a pound of your favorite protein, sauce, and noodles and make spaghetti which you can then enjoy over the course of three or so meals as leftovers. Eating in means saving money. If you need some help learning how to cook, YouTube has thousands of videos that will teach you how to cook practically anything. Check the video above for a really good introduction to basic cooking.

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3. Learn how to sew

Just because your favorite shirt has a hole doesn’t mean you have to throw it away and buy another one. You could always grab some thread and sew it up. It seems a little frugal but most holes are in the armpits of shirts or the crotch area of pants. These are areas that people often do not see or look at so practically no one will know there is a hole there that’s been sewn up. Sewing kits are cheap but the skill can be hard to master. The video above is a great tutorial on learning to sew by hand. If you use a sewing machine, here’s a great video for beginners.

4. Do some of your own housework

Contractors can be expensive and there are a lot of household tasks that may not require one. If you learn how to unclog your drains then you can save hundreds of dollars on a plumber. You can also do things like patch holes in drywall, reseal windows, mow your own lawn, and other small things around the house. If you pay someone $20 every two weeks to mow your lawn, you end up saving around $200 per year. That’s enough to buy a lawn mower and gas to run it. The YouTube channel expertvillage has a host of DIY home improvement videos that’ll teach all sorts of amazing skills.

5. Learn how to write

Proper writing techniques won’t save you money but it may help you make money. Writing is still a major form of communication and the people who can write the best have an advantage. You may even be able to land a blogging job with an awesome advice blog and make a couple of extra bucks teaching people skills they can learn to save themselves money. You can also do things like creating your own resume or write your own cover letter without paying someone else to do the job for you. Here is an amazing website that puts writing into perspective and will help you write better content.

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6. Learn how to haggle and negotiate

easy skills

    A lot of people poke fun at those who haggle or negotiate prices but they don’t tell you is that those people get nicer things for less money and have more money left over. This skill can come in handy when you go to garage sales or flea markets. It can also come in handy when you buy things on eBay or Craigslist. You may be getting a seriously good deal on that couch for $50 at the garage sale but you could walk away with the couch and some smaller items for the same price. New York Magazine has a great article to help you learn how to haggle with class.

    7. Learn how to budget

    This is one of the hardest skills for adults to learn but it’s also one of the most valuable. A lot of people operate on the premise that they get a paycheck and thus always have money to spend. That isn’t true at all. Many people underestimate how much their bills, gas, and food will cost. Then that $25 lunch you went to is the last $25 you had in your account. You can save a lot of money by budgeting because it teaches you self control and you won’t spend so much on stuff you don’t need. Here is a great guide to basic budgeting.

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    8. Learn how to sell

    Learning how to market your own items and yourself can make you money. For instance, I have a wood and glass coffee table to my immediate right. Right now I could get $20 out of it. With a little elbow grease I can clean it up and easily sell it for $40 when it’s all cleaned up. That’s extra bucks. You will spend your life selling things. Whether it’s in garage sales or selling yourself to your future job with your resume and cover letter, you should learn how to sell. Here is an article from Business Insider that help teaches you the basics of selling.

    9. Learn to fix your broken things

    This one is absolutely essential because this is where the biggest expenditures come from. Getting your oil changed doesn’t cost much but you can still do it cheaper yourself. If your hard drive dies in your laptop, you can replace it for the cost of a new hard drive instead of buying a brand new computer. I once took apart an Xbox 360 and dusted the inside of it to fix an overheating problem that was caused by clogged fan vents. Repair services and replacement can cost you thousands of dollars depending on the item. Proper maintenance and doing simple repairs can save you a boat load of money. This is a harder one to link up because there is no universal tutorial for fixing everything. Your best best is to search YouTube and Google for how to fix the broken item.

    10. Streamline your entertainment

    This is an amazing skill to learn. By streamlining your entertainment costs you can cut down immensely on your entertainment bills. Look for cheaper cable deals from other providers or begin looking into cutting the cable. At my last apartment, our cable and internet ran us about $120 per month. Now we have faster internet for $70 along with Netflix and Hulu for about $15 per month. It’s not huge savings but every penny counts. Books are always free at your local library. You can get a newspaper subscription for very cheap these days. You can also go for walks, visit nearby parks, or get a board game. It sounds a little lame but board games have a nearly infinite return on investment as long as you take care of all the pieces. It’s a hard skill to quantify or learn but it’s a valuable one.

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    There is no one method that will save you hundreds of dollars per month. You may see some places claim that it’s possible but it really isn’t. With skills such as these, you can save yourself quite a bit of money every month. It essentially boils down to depending on others less, depend on yourself more, and keep an eye out for good deals. Best of luck!

    Featured photo credit: Cloud Front via dmpmnxvfdwr3.cloudfront.net

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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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