best http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/163/all en-US Best Money Tips: The Best Time to Buy a Car http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-best-time-to-buy-a-car-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-best-time-to-buy-a-car-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-buying-car-99704034-small.jpg" alt="couple buying car" title="couple buying car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on the best time to buy a car, online jobs for college students, and Warren Buffet's tips for investing.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Time-Buy-Car-34024797">The Best Time to Buy a Car</a> &mdash; Did you know the best day of the week to buy a car is Sunday? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/online-jobs-college-students/">6 Online Jobs for College Students</a> &mdash; For college students looking to make some extra money, Swagbucks and writing blogs are a couple good online options. [Chrisitan PF]</p> <p><a href="http://thecollegeinvestor.com/3395/warren-buffetts-top-5-tips-investing/">Warren Buffet's Top 5 Tips for Investing</a> &mdash; Learn a lesson from Warren Buffet and remember that cash is king. [The College Investor]</p> <p><a href="http://theconsciousspender.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/summer-is-fun-when-money-is-involved/">Summer Is Fun When Money Is Involved</a> &mdash; When shopping for a summer pool party, take the opportunity to teach your kids a financial lesson by showing them the art of meal planning. [The Conscious Spender]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrush.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-focus-and-beat-procrastination/">6 Ways to Improve Your Focus (and Beat Procrastination)</a> &mdash; If you want to improve your focus, turn off your technology and set a mini-goal. [Money Crush]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapsters.org/coffee-shop-workspace-etiquette-101/">Coffee Shop Workspace Etiquette</a> &mdash; When turning a coffee shop into your workspace, be sure to buy at least one thing for every three hours you spend working there. [Cheapsters]</p> <p><a href="http://luke1428.com/all-work-and-no-play-combating-the-dangers-of-workaholism/">All Work and No Play: Combating the Dangers of Workaholism</a> &mdash; To combat the dangers of workaholism, take the time to relax and reflect. [Luke 1428]</p> <p><a href="http://www.monicaonmoney.com/the-surprising-habit-thats-making-you-poor/">The Surprising Habit That's Making You Poor</a> &mdash; Did you know that social media usage can wreak havoc on your finances? [Monica On Money]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/how-to-hire-handyman/">How to Hire a Good Handyman</a> &mdash; Sites like Angie's List can help you make sure you hire a good handyman. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-creative-ways-to-capture-vacation-memories">5 Creative Ways to Capture Vacation Memories</a> &mdash; Creating a photo wall is just one way to capture vacation memories. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-best-time-to-buy-a-car-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/did-your-car-break-down-check-for-recalled-parts-and-fix-it-for-free">Did your car break down? Check for recalled parts and fix it for free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-bank-of-gasoline-0">The Bank of Gasoline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dead-car-battery-give-it-a-glass-of-red-wine">Dead car battery? Give it a glass of red wine.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-you-can-afford-more-house-in-the-exurbs-think-again">Think you can afford more house in the exurbs? Think again.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation best best money tips car purchase time Wed, 13 Aug 2014 19:01:47 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1183627 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: What to Buy in December http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-what-to-buy-in-december <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-what-to-buy-in-december" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-175715390.jpg" alt="woman shopping" title="woman shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on the best and worst things to buy in December, winter car maintenance tips, and tools to find promo codes.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2013/12/02/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-december-2/">The Best and Worst Things to Buy in December</a> &mdash; Avoid buying jewelry in December but go ahead and purchase tools or hardware. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/slideshow/cars/T009-S001-winter-car-maintenance-tips/index.html">Winter Car Maintenance Tips</a> &mdash; This winter, make sure your car's battery is fully juiced and check the tire pressure. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.doughroller.net/tech/how-to-find-promo-codes-for-just-about-anything/">6 Tools to Find Promo Codes for Just About Anything</a> &mdash; Retail Me Not and Savings.com are two great places to find promo codes! [The Dough Roller]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/work-home-5-free-ways-beat-stir-crazy.html">Work From Home? 5 Free Ways to Beat the Stir Crazy</a> &mdash; Going for a walk can help you beat the stir crazy of working from home. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/10-weird-ways-to-make-christmas-cash/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePennyHoarder+%28The+Penny+Hoarder%29">10 Weird Ways to Make Christmas Cash</a> &mdash; Did you know you can make extra cash by finding gigs on Craigslist or taking your old clothes to Plato's Closet? [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/ten-personal-finance-questions-that-are-always-worth-asking-yourself/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thesimpledollar+%28The+Simple+Dollar%29">Ten Personal Finance Questions That Are Always Worth Asking Yourself</a> &mdash; It is a good idea to ask yourself if you have enough of an emergency fund. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Eco-Friendly-Gift-Wrap-Ideas-32638276">19 Ideas For Greening Your Gift Wrap</a> &mdash; Consider greening your gift wrap by using an old map to wrap gifts! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.organicauthority.com/11-best-free-workout-videos-on-youtube/">11 Best Free Workout Videos on YouTube</a> &mdash; Blogilates and Fitness Blender are just a couple places to get free workout videos. [Organic Authority]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/what-happens-if-you-only-make-part-of-your-mortgage-payment/">What Happens If You Only Make Part of Your Mortgage Payment?</a> &mdash; If you only make part of your mortgage payment, your lender won't recognize you made a payment and will return your payment to you. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-ways-to-teach-kids-the-meaning-of-the-holidays">6 Ways to Teach Kids the Meaning of the Holidays</a>&nbsp;&mdash; To teach your kids the meaning of the holidays, pick out gifts for the less fortunate with them. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-what-to-buy-in-december">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/now-is-the-time-to-buy-skis-winter-coats-candy">Now is The Time to Buy: Skis, Winter Coats, Candy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resisting-the-impulse-beauty-buy">Resisting the impulse beauty buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-money-trail">The Money Trail</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-was-your-best-purchase-in-the-past-year">What was your best purchase in the past year?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts">8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best best money tips December purchase worst Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:00:09 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1099177 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Best (and Worst) Things to Buy in October http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid-367866-small.jpg" alt="boy on pumpkin" title="boy on pumpkin" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on the best and worst things to buy in October, productivity tips from a star-up founder, and negotiating on vacation.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.jeanchatzky.com/smart-spending/frugal-friday-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october/">Frugal Friday: Best (And Worst) Things To Buy In October</a> &mdash; October is a great time to buy school supplies, but steer clear of gift cards. [Jean Chatzky Making Money Make Sense]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Productivity-Hacks-25388239">12 Productivity Tips From a Start-Up Founder</a> &mdash; Stay productive by listing your tasks on a whiteboard and prioritizing. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/negotiate-vacation/">How to Negotiate on Vacation</a> &mdash; To avoid getting ripped off when you are on vacation, stay away from tourist traps. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2013/10/is-working-from-home-cheaper.html">Is Working from Home Cheaper?</a> &mdash; Working from home saves you money on gas, but it increases your office expenses. [Making Sense of Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com/2013/10/09/top-10-items-to-review-during-open-enrollment-season-at-work-this-year/">Top 10 Items To Review During Open Enrollment Season At Work This Year</a> &mdash; During open enrollment season, understand your life insurance needs and review your beneficiaries. [Your Smart Money Moves]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/10/how-to-make-more-money.html">How to Make More Money</a> &mdash; Make more money by taking advantage of rewards credit cards and high interest checking accounts. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyplansos.com/trickle-down-effect-for-your-savings-buckets/">Trickle-down Effect For Your Savings Buckets</a> &mdash; When it comes to savings, consider starting with a small emergency fund at your local bank, then work towards building a fund for larger emergencies in a money-market account. [MoneyPlan SOS]</p> <p><a href="http://www.empowereddollar.com/start-a-conversation/lifes-too-short-for-crappy-stuff/">Life&#39;s Too Short for Crappy Stuff</a> &mdash; Life is too short for debt and not making the most of what you&#39;ve got. [The Empowered Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dollarversity.com/ways-to-invest-in-foreign-currencies/">Ways To Invest In Foreign Currencies</a> &mdash; The easiest way to invest in foreign currency is to open a bank account in the currency and make currency purchases into that account. [Dollarversity]</p> <p><a href="http://www.ohsopinteresting.com/how-to-repin-on-pinterest-strategically/">How to Repin on Pinterest Strategically</a> &mdash; Before you repin something on Pinterest, ask yourself whether or not your follower will find the pin valuable. [Oh So Pinteresting]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-in-october">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-money-trail">The Money Trail</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts">8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-that-cost-more-in-2016">9 Things That Cost More in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-lip-glosses">The 5 Best Lip Glosses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best best money tips October worst Fri, 11 Oct 2013 10:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1008393 at http://www.wisebread.com Reverse engineer the best time of your life http://www.wisebread.com/reverse-engineer-the-best-time-of-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/reverse-engineer-the-best-time-of-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hiker-silhouette.jpg" alt="hiker silhouette" title="Hiker Silhouette" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="373" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everybody has a &quot;best time&quot; of their life. Maybe it was the summer you spent hiking the Appalachian trail, or a semester abroad during college, or the second half of the first year at a new job (after you'd mastered the work and before it became routine). But why should the &quot;best time&quot; of your life be some time in the past? With some clear thinking and some effort, you can recapture what was great then for today.</p> <p>Reverse engineering means figuring out a design from a working example. (As opposed to regular engineering, where you start with theories and principles of what ought to work and then create a design from scratch.) If you're trying to build some something new or better, then regular engineering is probably the way to go. But if you've got a working example that's exactly what you want more of, then reverse engineering is often cheaper and often produces a better result. And what is more precisely &quot;what you want more of&quot; than the best time of your life?</p> <h2>The best of times</h2> <p>What makes one time better than another? It's different for everyone, of course--otherwise your high-school guidance counselor would have given you a pamphlet with all the answers. Certain threads show up repeatedly, though, so we've got a pretty good idea of the sorts of things that matter. The key is to figure out the right mix--and any elements that are unique to you.</p> <p>Note that it's okay to have more than one &quot;best time.&quot; In fact, the mark of complete success will be when a question about the best time in your life prompts you to say, &quot;How can I pick a best time, when all the times were so very good?&quot;</p> <p>The place to start is with some deep thinking about those &quot;best times.&quot; What was so great about them?</p> <p>Were you <strong>doing important work?</strong></p> <p>At a superficial level, many people remember a lazy summer or an island vacation as the best time of their life: They had minimal responsibilities. This is great for a few weeks, but it doesn't wear well. Much better is to do <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-work-worth-doing">work that matters</a>. And yet, there is also much to be said for <strong>responsibilities that don't weight too heavily</strong> on you. In this as in many things, it's important to strike a balance--and my advice is to look at your own experience for clues to the right balance for you.</p> <p>Were you <strong>part of a team?</strong></p> <p>Often the best times of your life will be times when you were doing something as part of a common endeavor. Sometimes you will be part of a team working together on a common project. Other times you might be part of a community of people working individually on related projects. One of the best times of my life was the six weeks I spent at the <a href="http://www.philipbrewer.net/Journal/clarion_journal.php">Clarion science fiction and fantasy writers workshop</a>. We were all working on our own stories, but also working together to learn how to write great fiction.</p> <p>Were you <strong>optimally challenged?</strong></p> <p>Whether at work or at play, people thrive when confronted with tasks that are difficult enough to be challenging, but not so difficult as to be frustrating--or, at least, not constantly frustrating. Here again, what's optimal is different for everyone, both in terms of the level of difficulty (which should match your ability) and in the degree of frustration. Some people thrive in an environment where their successes are preceded by months of failure, while others prefer to achieve some level of success every day.</p> <p>Were you <strong>self-directed?</strong></p> <p>Another reason that vacations tend to be remembered fondly (besides the minimal responsibility) is the maximum freedom: They could set their own agenda--or have no agenda at all. Closely related to this is being in control, at least of the things that matter most to you. Of course, having someone who's both wise and clever be in charge has upsides of its own. There's a whole spectrum on the continuum from being micro-managed to being footloose and fancy free. The best times of your life were probably spent when you were in about the right place on that continuum.</p> <p>Were you <strong>respected by your peers?</strong></p> <p>There aren't many things more important than having your peers think well of you. Parents and teachers sometimes say &quot;It doesn't matter what other people think,&quot; but that's a lie (even though self-respect is even more fundamental). Of course, you have to be careful when happenstance throws you in with a bunch of creeps, slackers, or losers. Choose your own peers; don't let circumstances choose them for you.</p> <p>There are lots of other factors to think about. You were probably <strong>doing new things</strong> that interested you. You were probably <strong>learning new things</strong> and <strong>developing new skills</strong>. Perhaps you were <strong>interacting with people</strong> who were different from you. Perhaps you were <strong>advancing a cause</strong> that you believed in. Perhaps the challenges you faced were divided between <strong>physical and mental</strong> in a way that kept you both fit and alert. No doubt there are many factors I haven't thought of--including a few that are unique to you.</p> <p>Think about what it was that made the best times of your life so great. If you're a list-making sort, make a list.</p> <h2>Times versus moments</h2> <p>Some of the best times of our lives are not so much periods as they are moments. Those can rarely be recaptured. You only get one first kiss; the birth of your first child happens once at most.</p> <p>Sometimes a great moment can color the times around it. If you sank a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the championship game, that will likely make that whole season seem especially good in memory.</p> <p>Even in the moments, though, there are the clues as to what makes one time better than other--and that's what we're looking for. What it is about some particular moment that makes it great? Often it will be the sort of thing mentioned above: You overcame a challenge, your contributions to a group effort were recognized, you took a stand and turned out to be right.</p> <h2>Make these times like the best times</h2> <p>When you're just making a naked comparison between, let's say, the months you spent backpacking in Europe and your current life working in a cubicle (or the year you spent sailing around the world the world and your current life as a stay-at-home mom) it seems pretty tough to make these times more like those times. That's why we looked at the characteristics that went into making those times great. What you want to do now is introduce those characteristics into your life today.</p> <p>At the most basic level, this is easy: Do more of those things that you used to do then. (Make time by doing less of what you're doing now.) If your &quot;best times&quot; were, as many people's are, when you were a student or just out of school, you probably had less money then than you do now, so doing more of that stuff won't strain your finances.</p> <p>Of course, the specific things may be hard to manage--there are things you can do when you're living in a garret on the Left Bank that just aren't practical if you're living in a suburban split-level. But the specifics aren't so important as the characteristics. And you wouldn't want to repeat the specifics anyway--you've already done that.</p> <p>At the next level, start making more fundamental changes to your life. If the work you do isn't important, look for new work. Look around your current workplace for work that's worth doing and see if you can't arrange to do more of it. If there's no important work going on there, look around for places where there is. In any case, look for important work that you can do regardless of your job--volunteer work, artistic work, household work, etc.</p> <p>Some of these changes may take a long time, but this is one of the cases where even small incremental changes are worth making. If what sucks about your life now compared to when it was great is that you're not in control of how you spend your time, take control of one hour a week--anybody who's not a prisoner can do that.</p> <p>If your problem is that your work is not respected by your peers, start by looking at where the problem is. If it's in the quality of your work, then you can work on improving your skills. On the other hand, if it's because your so-called peers are a bunch of sneering jerks, look for new peers.</p> <p>Over time, you can make quite big changes--new job, new career, new home, new school, new course of study, new skills, new friends, new colleagues. If the ones you have now don't remind you of the ones you had during the best times of your life, start making changes. Start making <strong>these</strong> times more like <strong>those</strong> times.</p> <h2>Two kinds of balance</h2> <p>A lot of the best of times is a matter of balance. You want the right amount of responsibility, not too much. You want enough collaboration for the team to succeed, but enough solitude as well. You want to strike a balance between thinking and doing.</p> <p>Besides that, though, often the best times in your life are best because they're a change that gives you much more of what was lacking in your life. A vacation is great because it gives you leisure that was lacking. Your first job is great because it gives you money that was lacking.</p> <p>Sometimes you can find a perfect balance--just the right amount of leisure in your everyday life such that you never feel a need for a vacation. Other times, though, a series of changes is better than trying to find a single perfect spot. Serious runners don't try to find the one perfect workout and then do it every day. Instead, they mix it up. One day a week they do a long run. Three or four days later they do a fast run. In between they schedule short and medium runs or rest days, to give them time to recover. In some aspects, maybe the best of times will always be like this--only best for a while, after which you need to move on to something different. That's okay.</p> <p>Trying to engineer your life would be tough, which is why I recommend reverse engineering. Working from first principles about what makes a great life would be possible, but seems problematic in many ways. Fortunately, everybody has a time in their life that was the best so far. Use that as a model. You don't need to be a slave to it--if the best time of you life so far was high school you can probably do a lot better now--but it can show you one example of how to put things together to make a great life.</p> <p>Reverse engineer your way to saying that &quot;right now&quot; is the best time of your life.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reverse-engineer-the-best-time-of-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-travel-accommodations">Save Money on Travel Accommodations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful and Frugal Personalized Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-all-the-documentary-movies-you-can-handle-free-online-and-yes-its-legal">Watch All The Documentary Movies You Can Handle, Free Online - And Yes, It&#039;s Legal.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Lifestyle Art and Leisure best best of engineer engineering life reverse engineer Fri, 01 May 2009 09:33:35 +0000 Philip Brewer 3107 at http://www.wisebread.com The story of a guy with Downs Syndrome, some grocery bags and an idea straight from the heart. http://www.wisebread.com/the-story-of-a-guy-with-downs-syndrome-some-grocery-bags-and-an-idea-straight-from-the-heart <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-story-of-a-guy-with-downs-syndrome-some-grocery-bags-and-an-idea-straight-from-the-heart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2209507345_a67c9fdeb3.jpg" alt="Bags" title="Bags" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Something I have often heard from teachers, mentors and my own parents is the following phrase: &ldquo;Be the best at what you do, whatever you do.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s a lesson I have tried to live up to most of my life. But the following story, well, it really illustrates the point.</p> <p>Most of us try and be good at what we do. In our daily jobs, we try and be a great employee. In family life, we try and be a good husband, wife, father or mother. But how many of us strive to be the best that we do, regardless of the task?</p> <p>That brings us to Joe (not his real name), a man who was born with Down Syndrome and has more reason than most to feel sorry for himself. Of course, Joe isn&rsquo;t like that. His condition makes most jobs out of his reach, but that didn&rsquo;t stop him from getting a position at the local grocery store as a bagger.</p> <p>A bagger is not a particularly glamorous job. It&rsquo;s dull, repetitive work and the pay isn&rsquo;t exactly wonderful. Joe didn&rsquo;t see it that way. He wanted to be the best bagger in the store, if not, the city. So, he had an idea.</p> <p>He went home and, with the help of his father, typed up inspirational sayings and quotes. Then, he cut them out and took them to work. Every time he put groceries in a bag, he would add one of the little inspirational quotes. It made Joe happy to spread a little joy, and the customers loved it, too.</p> <p>In fact, they really loved it. So much so that pretty soon, people were lining up to get their groceries bagged by Joe. It didn&rsquo;t matter if another checkout was open, people would stand in line to meet Joe and get one of his inspirational sayings with their weekly shop.</p> <p>From a mundane job, Joe created something extraordinary. He got tips, too, which was not the goal but certainly helped him out. He did something remarkable and genuine, and everyone around him felt inspired. That is the embodiment of being the best at what you do.</p> <p>Take that story to heart and let it sink in. What could you do better in your daily routine? It doesn&rsquo;t need to take a lot of time or money, but just a little thought. Put your ideas to work and who knows what the outcome may be. It could turn an ordinary business into an overnight success. It could turn an average day at work into something exciting. &ldquo;Be the best at what you do, whatever you do&rdquo; are words to live by.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-story-of-a-guy-with-downs-syndrome-some-grocery-bags-and-an-idea-straight-from-the-heart">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emergency-food-supplies-for-the-lazy-skinflint">Emergency food supplies for the lazy skinflint</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-it-okay-to-share-your-social-security-number">When Is It Okay to Share Your Social Security Number?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-americans-were-better-at-in-the-1950s-than-today">8 Things Americans Were Better at in the 1950s Than Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-yoga-can-teach-you-about-money">5 Things Yoga Can Teach You About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks best better Downs Syndrome groceries inspiring store Mon, 11 Feb 2008 20:51:36 +0000 Paul Michael 1781 at http://www.wisebread.com How to hire employees http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-employees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-hire-employees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/teamwork.jpg" alt="Two dogs running out of the surf carrying the same stick" title="Teamwork" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="174" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I worked one place that was much, much better than anyplace else I ever worked. The guy who ran it told me that the secret was in how to hire people. Most managers do it the wrong way: they hire people who can do the work. So, what&#39;s the right way? Hire people that you want to work with.</p> <p>With an exception here and there, &quot;people that you want to work with&quot; tends to be transitive--people that you want to work with also want to work with you and with each other. If you do it well, you produce a community of people who wake up every morning thinking, &quot;Wow! I get to go to work today! I get to go work with all my cool coworkers!&quot;</p> <p>It&#39;s possible to do this wrong. &quot;People you want to work with&quot; is not the same set as &quot;People you&#39;d like to hang out with.&quot; If you start hiring people in the latter category, you&#39;re going to end up with a bunch of people who want to hang out together, and that&#39;s not a good way to get work done.</p> <p>Much more common than that, though is the error of hiring &quot;people who can do the work.&quot; Hiring managers are prone to this, because they&#39;re worried about their projects being successful. In fact, though, that strategy just leads them astray. </p> <p>Of course you should hire someone who can do the work--who wants to work with someone who can&#39;t do their job? But if you frame the problem in those terms, you&#39;re too likely to make your decision on who you think could do the work <strong>best</strong>. But given the choice between two people who can do the work, you&#39;re way ahead of the game if you hire the one you&#39;d like to work with over the one who might be able to do the work better.</p> <p>The fact is, any bright person who has a demonstrated capability with a related skill set is likely to be able to learn to do any specific task in his or her area. And one who looks forward to coming into work every day will be highly motivated to do so.</p> <p>I think this is a general rule--I think it applies even to very highly skilled, highly specialized jobs like surgeon or baseball pitcher. The surgeons that other surgeons like to scrub up and cut with are probably the ones you want cutting you. The pitchers who gets the whole team to pull together are probably a better choice than ones that can get a few more strikeouts.</p> <p>What if you&#39;re not a hiring manager? Is there an important lesson here for you? Probably not, if you&#39;re just at the point of trying to get a job offer. Most hiring managers are looking for whoever can do the job &quot;best&quot; (whatever they think that means). Convincing them that you&#39;re the sort of person they&#39;d like to work with isn&#39;t going to hurt, but it will probably only make a difference when everything else seems pretty much equal. On the other hand, if you&#39;re trying to decide whether to take an offer, I&#39;d put a considerable amount of weight on the answer to the question, &quot;Do I want to work with these guys?&quot; That&#39;s probably even more important than whether or not you want to do the particular job you&#39;re being hired for.</p> <p>You probably can&#39;t find the person who&#39;s &quot;the best&quot; at some task anyway, and if you could, you couldn&#39;t afford them. But if you hire people you want to work with, they&#39;ll probably do a fine job--and make all your other employees more productive in the bargain.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-employees">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-stop-asking-hr-for">6 Things You Need to Stop Asking HR For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You&#039;re a Slacker</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ace-your-next-performance-review-with-these-7-tricks">Ace Your Next Performance Review With These 7 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income best employee hire management teamwork work Wed, 30 Jan 2008 09:11:02 +0000 Philip Brewer 1699 at http://www.wisebread.com The Money Trail http://www.wisebread.com/the-money-trail <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-money-trail" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000061626616_Large.jpg" alt="counting money" title="counting money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A lot has changed both personally and financially for me this year. So much, in fact, that I've been reviewing the decisions I made in light of their financial and personal impact, and evaluating. I thought I'd share the best and the worst with you.</p> <h2>Worst Decisions of 2006</h2> <h3>Not Having a Specific Budget</h3> <p>I don't spend more than I have, and that has always worked for me. Though it still worked this year, I have no idea where large chunks of my money went. If I had a budget, and recorded how closely I followed it, I would have this record and I would know how much I spent where, and where I need to cut back.</p> <h3>Buying on a Whim</h3> <p>I don't do this very often, but I do it enough that it makes a dent in my budget. So many times, I remember having a $20 in my wallet and open it to find a $5 and change. I don't remember where the money went, but it is gone. If I thought about my purchases more, I would know where my money went, and I would be able to remember when it wasn't on the top of my head.</p> <h3>Wasting Time</h3> <p>My time isn't always money, but I'm learning that, if I want to live the kind of life I've always thought I would, I need to value my time more. This doesn't mean that I don't need to rest, but it means I need to be intentional. If I have intentional times of work and play and rest, I will be more productive, both financially and personally, than I am now, and I will be happier because I won't feel like I spend so much time just putzing around.</p> <h2>Best Decisions of 2006</h2> <h3>Consolidating My Student Loans</h3> <p>I'm saving so much. Recently, I received information from Sallie May on my payments if I hadn't consolidated, and they're off the charts. Plus, in consolidating with Sallie Mae, I got all the benefits I could--lower interest rates (because I locked them in last spring), and a 6-month grace period. I could make the payments without consolidation, but it wouldn't have been a smart choice.</p> <h3>Blowing My Savings on a Trip to England</h3> <p>Talk about counter-intutive, I know. But, I value travel. Highly. And so it is worth it to me, on a personal level, to have struggled financially last spring for the trip I took over Christmas last year. The experience of spending Christmas with my family in England, and getting to visit a friend over there for New Year's, was simply worth the money for me. Also, I wouldn't have been looking for a job when I was looking, and so wouldn't have found the job I'm happy in now if I hadn't done that.</p> <h3>Starting a High-Yield Savings Account</h3> <p>Since I'm planning a wedding, I've needed my money to be relatively fluid, but leaving it in a regular savings account seemed unwise. At ING, my interest rate has only gone up since I started the account this summer, and my money is available when I need it. ING actually turned out to be a better investment than some of the mutual funds I had. Though their interest rate is a little lower than some, I chose ING because I heard great reports of their customer service. At this point, I have nothing to complain about.</p> <h2>Conclusions</h2> <p>Overally, I'm satisfied with my performance in areas that touch on my finances this year. There are places where I could improve, but I was able to balance my money versus what it can get me better this year than I have before. I was willing to take the trip and not worry about the money, because I valued the experience more than the security. I was also able to find a solution to the problems that caused, and am now saving for the future.</p> <p>Let me know if you find any of these helpful, or what your best and worst financial decisions were this year!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-money-trail">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-oprah-winfrey">The 3 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Oprah Winfrey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-audiobooks-about-money-you-need-to-hear">5 Audiobooks About Money You Need to Hear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dissecting-gift-guilt-when-does-receiving-a-gift-make-you-feel-bad">Dissecting &quot;Gift Guilt&quot; - When Does Receiving a Gift Make You Feel Bad?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read">The 8 Classic Personal Finance Books You Must Read</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 2006 best financial decisions money worst Tue, 19 Dec 2006 16:52:10 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 91 at http://www.wisebread.com