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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

There are certain things that we have to pay other individuals to perform for us. From the dentist to certain construction tasks, it would be less stressful and wiser to consult an expert. However, for certain tasks, like an article of clothing that is damaged or dog grooming that we can perform ourselves and save a ton of money in the process. This not only makes you a wiser individual economically, it allows you to also be more self-sufficient in a time of rising costs and the environmental impact certain acts have. Today, we will talk about 10 easy to learn skills that you need to acquire today to save you money in the future.

1. Website Design

This is by far my most favourite tip to give. Not only because I’m currently working on advancing my programming knowledge, but also because it has both money saving and money making qualities. Squarespace is a website design website I make use of and a separate website for my domain costs. Even with a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, I use Squarespace because I simply love their templates I can tinker with. With Squarespace alone I am paying $120 a year, that’s $10 a month. For those who can program their own website, they are able to make it uniquely their own and can even offer their skills to other people as a way of making money. Code Academy is a great place to start and you’ll need to work toward learning HTML/CSS and Javascript.

2. Cooking

preparing food

    Some reports attest that the average American eats out twice a week, spending on average $10 each visit. Totalling close to $1000 a year when you add in taxes, and almost an additional 50% of that when you factor in taxes. In summary, that is what equates to a round-trip international plane ticket, going down your gullet. While I am not recommending you to stop eating out all together, I still spend the average a year on eating out, if not more, I do recommend you take up the skill of cooking if you are looking to save money. With the numerous recipe applications, articles, and websites out there, cooking is more accessible and easier than you think. With the money you’ll be saving, cooking your own meals every now and then will grow on you.

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    3. Dog Grooming

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      There are certain upkeep costs that require the intervention of a vet when it comes to pets. However, there are many individuals who pay for dog grooming to ensure that nails are kept trimmed or even polished! With some services costing between $20 and $50 a visit, you are simply throwing money into the litter pan with dog grooming costs. Instead, learn to do some of these things yourself. From giving your dog a luxurious bath to keeping up their mane, you will be saving between $300 and $600 a year. Plus, it’ll allow you to connect with Fido.

      4. Clothing Repair

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        Oh no, there’s a rip in your pants. What are you likely to do? Chances are high that you’ll either throw the pants out or do the “frugal” option of taking them to the tailor. But when you think about it, is having someone else repair your pants really frugal when you have two working hands of your own. No it is not, and there are various resources online and show you how to make small repairs to clothing mishaps, preventing you from having to make a trip to your tailor or the local shopping mall. With the average tailor visit costing between $10 and $30, you’ll save $120 to $360 a year repairing on our own.

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        5. Cutting Hair

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          Salon costs are heavily weighed especially on gender. Granted, a woman may request a couple of more additions to their hair bill, including some styling here and there, but for the most part, women pay more in any situation. Depending on the size and location of the city you live in, especially as reported in this Huffington Post article from May of last year, you can find yourself spending between $900 and $3000 on average for maintaining that gorgeous mane of yours. That’s outrageous, and you may want to look into how to give or allow a family member to give you a small trim between less frequent visits. The other hair cost, hair products, can also be reduced as well. Guys, I’m looking out for you all as well (how to trim your own beard and how to cut your own hair).

          6. Walking

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            Taking your car everywhere, even when you have no where to go and just want to go for a ride on a nice Saturday afternoon can cost you in the long run in wasted gas. Instead, look into walking to more places if you live in a neighbourhood that would make this possible. Even if you don’t, if you are on break at work, walk around the city instead of driving to your lunchtime errands. If you do live in a walkable neighbourhood, consider forgoing your car all together. Learning how to tackle your city like a true city person will allow you to let go one of the biggest expenses of all. Forgoing your car results in saving almost $3000 a year.

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            7. Preparing Taxes

            Preparing your own taxes can be so stressful that individuals are willing to shell out on average $261 a year to have someone else do it. While in complicating situations, for example the case of freelancers, it is wise to consult a bit of help. However, if you are a run of the mill taxed American, you will probably find that preparing your own taxes is wiser for you in the end.

            8. Negotiating

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              There are certain countries where a majority of your purchases are set in stone, in other countries negotiating is the way to go. However, in the United States, many of the services that we feel are set in stone can actually be negotiated upon. Chances are, in our society, you’ll find things marked with a price tag, but you can definitely find ways to negotiate in the form of discounts. You aren’t haggling or being a penny pincher by asking if places have discounts for students or other groups you are qualified under. If you have enough proof, your chances of getting some unadvertised percentage off can save you a ton in the long run. All you have to do is learn the art of speaking up.

              9. Car Maintenance

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                As mentioned before, walking can be a great way to save almost $3000 if you forgo your car all together. However, if you are like most Americans and can’t let the keys go, there are ways to save on things like car maintenance. Certain things, like changing a tire or keeping up with your car’s oil are simple and quick tasks you can perform yourself with the right tools and know-how. Maintaining your car yourself, without the need to go to a dealership aside from larger issues and inspections will save you hundreds in the end of the year.

                10. Stay-cationing

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                  Paying hundreds of dollars for transportation, hundreds more for lodging, and eating out are all the components of an expensive but great vacation. However, very few people fail to look at what is to offer in their own backyards (~50 mi). Living in Northern Virginia alone, if I want city fun I can go to Washington D.C, if I want nature, i can go to the numerous national parks, including Great Falls, to take in the scenery. Make use of websites like Yelp or your city or state’s official website. They can offer insight into various activities available to you to enjoy.

                  Grand Total of Savings: ~$3500 – $6000 a year.

                  With the tips outlined in this article, you can find yourself saving a ton of money that can be applied toward a certain item or trip you have been only wishing to partake in for the longest. Let us know in the comments below what you’d spend your personal grand total of savings on.

                  Featured photo credit: 120 Hours via 120hours.com

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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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