honesty http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/91/all en-US 5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-497222532.jpg" alt="Couple having money conversations together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that the secret to a healthy relationship maybe hiding in your wallet? No, money can't buy you love, but talking about the dollars you have may make a lot of, well, sense. In a recent study, researchers discovered that <a href="http://krepublishers.com/02-Journals/JSS/JSS-46-0-000-16-Web/JSS-46-3-000-16-Abst-PDF/JSS-46-3-271-16-1655-Grobbelaar-C/JSS-46-3-271-16-1655-Grobbelaar-C-Tx%5B9%5D.pmd.pdf" target="_blank">lack of communication about money</a> leads younger couples to both arguments and added stress.</p> <p>Here are some financial discussions worth having, especially if you share the bulk of your expenses. Heck, they may even bring you closer together!</p> <h2>1. Where Is Our Money Going?</h2> <p>Have you sat down with your partner to really dig into your bank accounts lately? It may be a good idea, especially if you hope to spend many Valentine's Days together. A national survey conducted by Money Magazine revealed that 70% of couples <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/marriage-finances_n_5441012.html" target="_blank">fight about money matters</a> more than they do about chores, sex, snoring, and togetherness.</p> <p>What's high on their hot points? Frivolous spending.</p> <p>Take some time &mdash; over candlelight and wine, perhaps &mdash; to delve into your check registers and online accounts. Do you see any patterns? Were you both aware that all that money was going toward the groceries each week? Or what about those online magazine subscriptions? Unused gym memberships? You may be able to quickly spot some areas that need work before they turn into shouting matches.</p> <h2>2. How Do We Each Deal With Money?</h2> <p>Once you know what you're spending your money on, you can move on to what makes your partner tick &mdash; financially speaking. Is he a big spender? Is she a penny-pincher? Does he thrive on a cash system? Is she a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card rewards ninja</a>? Often, these habits are set in family history, internal motivations, or simple habit.</p> <p>In my marriage, I am the one who loves drafting up budgets, doing taxes, and planning for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=internal" target="_blank">paying off debt faster</a>. My husband? He gets super stressed doing any of this stuff, even if it's just keeping track of the cable bill. We used to bicker about dividing everything &quot;fairly&quot; between us. In the end, and through many discussions, we decided that my strength with money matters made me a more natural choice for these duties.</p> <p>What we share is that we are both really bad with credit cards. So, we do cash for more of our variable expenses. The message here is to find your similarities and differences. Discover what makes one person thrive or the other person freak out. Avoid condemning certain behaviors or weak points. Instead, celebrate your differences, split up duties according to your strengths, and find common ground.</p> <h2>3. Should We Bank Together &mdash; Or Not?</h2> <p>A 2014 survey uncovered that 70% of Millennial couples <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/td-bank-survey-finds-many-couples-maintain-separate-bank-accounts-251917121.html" target="_blank">maintain separate bank accounts</a> until marriage. Not only that, another study uncovered that <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2011/01/13/is-your-partner-cheating-on-you-financially-31-admit-money-deception-infidelity-red-flags-money-lies/#35b7d3dc37bf" target="_blank">15% of partners</a> who do share accounts actually maintain a secret, uh, mistress account. If you share a lot of expenses, like the usual bills and household stuff, you may want to do a pooled account so all your money is in one handy place. But that probably also means coming clean about anything you may have been hiding.</p> <p>Some couples may actually benefit from or just enjoy the freedom of having separate accounts. And that's fine, too. Benefits here include not having to ask to spend money or having some privacy if you want to buy gifts for the other person. That said, don't financially cheat.</p> <p>If you wish to have separate accounts, be open and honest about it. If you want to pool everything into one bank account, go for that. You can also do a combination of approaches. For example, if you make $60,000 a year and your partner makes $40,000, you may keep separate accounts. You, then, may choose to pay 60% of your shared expenses while your partner pays 40%.</p> <p>The key to whatever you choose is communication, which is the cornerstone to many other aspects of your relationship.</p> <h2>4. How Can We Save for Something Big?</h2> <p>If you find money talks hard, maybe sweetening the deal a bit could help. Saving up for a mutual goal, like a vacation, can get you to join forces for good. Travel not your thing? Sit down with your partner and write out a list of five or 10 things you'd like to save for within a defined period of time, like a year, five years, etc. Bonus points if you've written down a few of the same goals.</p> <p>From there, work together to see how you can turn them from dreams into realities. This activity can be quite romantic and exciting, depending on how you define your wants. For example, my husband and I have a shared dream of creating a first-floor laundry room in the next two years. Nothing gets me more in the mood than pinning design ideas. Swoon!</p> <h2>5. What Do We Want Our Future to Look Like?</h2> <p>One of the more common savings goals is retirement. A survey conducted by Fidelity discovered that many couples <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/individual-investing/fidelity-couples-study" target="_blank">nearing retirement age</a> weren't necessarily on the same page with their plans. A third of the respondents explained that they didn't know or couldn't agree on where they wanted to retire. And up to two-thirds didn't know at what age they wanted to retire.</p> <p>How you spend retirement has a lot to do with how you currently spend and save your money. So, yeah. Your retirement is definitely worth chatting about. After all, it's your future together. While you most definitely need to talk about the dollars and cents, you also need to focus on the lifestyle you want to lead in those later years.</p> <p>Consider writing out what you want your ideal retirement to look like. Maybe you'd like a second home near the grandchildren or to downsize and move abroad. You may even want to revisit this conversation regularly to make sure you're on the same page. Try updating your plan once a year. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retirement-planning-steps-late-starters-must-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make</a>)</p> <h2>Tips for Talking About Money</h2> <p>If you still don't think money talk is sexy, you may just be worried about how to start the conversation. And, really, it can be hard. Take a deep breath and try these tips. Your relationship and financial situation will be much more stable for your efforts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-painless-ways-to-manage-money-with-your-partner?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Painless Ways to Manage Money With Your Partner</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Set up a regular time to chat about money. You may want to do it every week or month, but find a schedule that works for the both of you.</li> <li>Agree that sometimes you may disagree, and that's okay. Savings goals and spending habits are unique to each individual. Just like you may not be able to change personality traits about your partner, you may also not be able to change what motivates his or her spending style.</li> <li>Employ healthy discussion techniques into your talks. Stay away from blame and shame. Instead, start your thoughts with &quot;I feel&quot; or &quot;I need&quot; to work toward mutual understanding.</li> <li>If you cannot easily make a decision on something, work together to brainstorm solutions.</li> <li>If meeting over the dinner table is too stressful, try taking your financial talk on a walk. The fresh air and exercise will do you both some good.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">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-3"> <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/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</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/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</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/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</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/how-much-personal-finance-info-should-you-share">How Much Personal Finance Info Should You Share?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle couples discussions honesty marriage meetings money talks relationships Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1889317 at http://www.wisebread.com This Simple Mistake on a Credit Application May Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-mistake-on-a-credit-application-may-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-simple-mistake-on-a-credit-application-may-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_17698096.jpg" alt="Woman making simple mistake on credit application" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Besides your credit score, your income may play an important factor in whether you get approved for a credit card, and the amount of credit you will be approved for. But for those with freelance jobs or other variable sources of cash, determining an exact income to report can be difficult.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-application-tips-for-the-best-chance-of-approval?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">7 Tips for Filling Out Credit Card Applications for the Best Chance of Approval</a></p> <p>Obviously, you want to be as accurate as possible, but you also want to report the highest amount of income applicable so that you can qualify for your card. Your income is how credit card companies can determine if you are able to pay back your debt. Even if you do not plan on accumulating credit card debt, credit card companies still look at you as a debt risk. If you only say that you make $20,000 a year, then why would a credit card company want to take a chance on you with a $12,000 credit line?</p> <h2>Types of Income You Can Report on a Credit Card Application</h2> <p>Applicants over the age of 21 can list a wide range of types of income that they have reasonable expectation of access to. Here are some of the following types of income considered:</p> <h3>Personal Income</h3> <p>Put simply, this is your gross income figure. If you are a freelancer or self-employed, base this number off your total income the year before or your average monthly income multiplied by 12. For example, if you regularly make $2,500 to 3,000 per month, then reporting an income of $33,000 should be fairly accurate.</p> <h3>Spousal Income</h3> <p>As of 2013, you can count income from your spouse or partner on your application.</p> <h3>Allowances and Gifts</h3> <p>Do you regularly get a few hundred dollars for your birthday from family members and friends? You can add it to your income list.</p> <h3>Scholarships and Grants</h3> <p>This is a benefit for college students who have received scholarships and grants for the school year. If you are not accepted for a credit card, call the reconsideration line and talk about your scholarships and other redeeming qualities (i.e. leadership programs you run at school, GPA, and other accomplishments that can boost your credit worthiness).</p> <h3>Trust Fund Distributions</h3> <p>If you're fortunate enough to have a trust fund, report the average amount you expect to receive in a typical year.</p> <h3>Retirement Fund Distributions</h3> <p>Retired? Great! Don't forget to list distributions from 401Ks, IRAs, or other retirement funds.</p> <h3>Social Security Income</h3> <p>Ditto for Social Security income. List your yearly benefit amount as income.</p> <p>For borrowers between 18 and 21, only independent income can be reported. This includes personal income (including any regular allowances from relatives) and scholarships and grants. Borrowers between 18 and 21 might have better luck being added as an authorized user on a parent's account. This can help build up credit history without having to turn to high interest fee cards.</p> <h2>Types of Income You Should Not Report</h2> <p>Note that student loans do not count as income. Once you graduate, student loans become debt you must repay, and it is best not to pile on credit card debt on top of that.</p> <p>Your mortgage or equity in your home should also not be considered income.</p> <h2>Consequences of Lying About Income on Credit Card Applications</h2> <p>While you might want to gain access to a credit card, it is never a good idea to lie about your actual income. Stretching the truth on your application and getting approved can mean that you are more likely to get into debt without the income to get you out.</p> <p>On a more serious note, lying on credit card applications is considered credit card fraud, which is punishable by up to $1 million in fines and up to 30 years of prison. While these punishments are on the extreme side, individuals caught falsifying income to gain loans or credit cards have been hit with hefty fines.</p> <p>In 2012, 52-year-old New York resident David P. Gaylord faced charges for reporting an inflated income of $90,000 to $122,000 on three credit card applications in 2006. However, the IRS reported his income as $12,488 that year. Gaylord was sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $46,914.73 in restitution.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-reasons-your-credit-card-application-was-denied-and-what-you-can-do-about-it?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Why Your Credit Card Application Was Denied and What to Do About It</a></p> <p>If you are still unsure about how to fill out your application, consider calling the credit card company to talk with a person who can guide you through the application process.</p> <p><em>Do you have multiple sources of non-wage income? How do you report it on credit apps or elsewhere?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-mistake-on-a-credit-application-may-cost-you">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/4-reasons-credit-is-safer-than-debit">4 Reasons Credit Is Safer Than Debit</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/is-credit-monitoring-ever-worth-it">Is Credit Monitoring Ever Worth It?</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/prepaid-cards-about-to-get-safer-and-better">Prepaid Cards About to Get Safer and Better</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/stupid-credit-card-tricks-how-your-credit-card-company-lies-to-you">Stupid Credit Card Tricks: How Your Credit Card Company Lies to You</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/how-to-balance-saving-for-retirement-emergency-fund-and-paying-off-debt">How to Balance Saving for Retirement, Emergency Fund, and Paying Off Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards allowances applications credit approval fraud honesty income reporting retirement scholarships trust funds Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1783711 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Zen Concepts That'll Improve Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_praying_zen_000043216640.jpg" alt="Woman using zen concepts to improve finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Zen and personal finance &mdash; sounds a little &quot;woo woo,&quot; right? Except that there are actually several Zen concepts that can help you gain a different perspective on your money and improve your finances. Give it a try! Here are four ways that going Zen can help you handle your money better.</p> <h2>1. Fight Craving With Self-Awareness</h2> <p>Central to Zen is the idea that craving things causes us to experience bitterness, pain, and unease, and that the remedy for this lies in self-awareness. Basically, we see things (or people, or vacations, etc.) that we want. If we don't have them, we are unhappy. To get rid of this unhappiness, we need to understand our cravings better, rather than give into them without analysis.</p> <p>This can be as simple as asking, &quot;Why do I want this right now?&quot; Make sure to always weigh a &quot;want&quot; versus a &quot;need.&quot; Sometimes, we crave something so badly that we feel like we need it &mdash; but in reality, we don't.</p> <h2>2. Understand That Fear Gets Us Into Trouble</h2> <p>Zen says that a lot of people find fear or uneasiness at the bottom of their wants. They crave things because they feel like having them will resolve some anxiety. For instance, one person might want a larger retirement fund, and find at the bottom of that craving is the fear of being poor and elderly.</p> <p>Finding this fear allows us to make conscious, intentional choices about how to address it. Maybe we do need to save more, not to provide ourselves with full security, but because it's a smart thing to do. In that case, we can slow down, make a plan, and stick to it, rather than blindly throwing money at our anxieties. Discovering our fears also allows us to address them in other ways, be that talking about them to a friend or finding a therapist</p> <h2>3. Stay Present in the Present</h2> <p>When it comes to money, the very best place to focus is on the present, which is central to Zen philosophy. If, for instance, the market drops suddenly, staying present might help you decide to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-investors-should-know-about-the-october-effect">hold an investment</a> and ride out the swings, rather than sell too low and frantically buy whatever seems like it might be doing well. If you lose your job, staying present can help you deal with the stressful feelings in a healthy, productive way, rather than drowning in depression, trying to fill the void by buying things, or making hasty decisions about future employment.</p> <h2>4. Tell the Truth About Your Money</h2> <p><em>Shizen</em> is a Japanese Zen concept of presenting yourself to the world as your true self, without pretense or lies. This means ignoring the desire to try and live wealthier than your means, and only buying things you can actually afford. It requires us to be honest with ourselves about how much money we really have. This is a truth we must face in order to live well.</p> <p>Making a budget can be the first step to finding the truth of your finances. Many of us don't even know how much money we have or where it's going. When you write down your income and outflow, you'll have a much better picture of your situation. This will allow you to make realistic, honest decisions about how you spend.</p> <p><em>Do you practice any Zen concepts that influence your finances? How does that work for you?</em></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/4-zen-concepts-thatll-improve-your-finances">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/heres-how-a-spending-ban-can-help-and-hurt-you">Here&#039;s How a Spending Ban Can Help (and Hurt) You</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-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</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/why-you-need-to-make-financial-habits-not-goals">Why You Need to Make Financial Habits, Not Goals</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-mental-habits-that-make-the-rich-richer">5 Mental Habits That Make the Rich Richer</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/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance fear honesty inner peace meditation saving money zen Tue, 17 Nov 2015 18:15:36 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1613348 at http://www.wisebread.com Five Free Ways to Improve Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/five-free-gifts-of-freedom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/five-free-gifts-of-freedom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/freedom.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="374" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes the most effective ways to improve your quality of life don't involve coupons or tax incentives; frequently, the ways in which we enrich our sense of&nbsp;well&nbsp;being&nbsp;simply have to do with the way that we interact with other people (or don't interact with other people). Allowing yourself to have honest, forthright discussions, learning to accept responsibility for mistakes - these things are hard to do, but they are crucial to forming mature relationships with our families, friends, and peers.</p> <p>Here are five free gifts that I have given myself, even if they weren't always easy to give or accept at first, and some thoughts on how you can give yourself and others these (low-cost!) gifts, too.&nbsp;If these situations don't&nbsp;apply to you, please feel free to add your suggestions for free ways to improve one's quality of life in the comments.</p> <p><strong>1. Eliminate unnecessary drama</strong></p> <p>Because I had a happy childhood and have a close, loving family, I was frequently a magnet for people with unstable lives. Most of my friends were pretty balanced, but I would occasionally happen upon a dynamic, funny, frighteningly intelligent friend who would swoop into my life with much ado and drama. These girls were fun to be around, when they were feeling well. Some of these friends were likely experiencing emotional and mental problems bordering on bi-polar disorder - frequent, energetic highs followed by crushing lows. The highs were exhausting. The lows, in which I would find myself cradling a sobbing girlfriend who was experiencing a mental breakdown over something relatively trivial, like misplacing a set of keys, were more than I could handle. Beyond emotional support, I found myself financially giving all that I could to friends who would simply take and take. One of my dearest friends in college was a pathological liar whose tales were so extreme as to be almost believable. It was only when I looked back at her string of deceitful stories that I realized I had been utterly taken in by a complete con artist.</p> <p>It's one thing to love someone who has mental issues, but it's another to love someone with emotional or mental problems who thrives on the problems that their drama create for others. <strong>Friendships, like most relationships, are a give and take</strong>, and there will be times when you may be required to give much more than you take. But if you find yourself in a friendship with someone who only takes from you and offers nothing in return, you may want to consider giving yourself the gift of freedom from that friend.</p> <p>Notice I've classified this as unnecessary drama - there is some drama that is inescapable, some relationships that may always be tortured. I&nbsp;don't advocate abandoning someone who is in desperate need of help and willing to work to change their situation. There are some people we cannot turn away, no matter how difficult the relationship is; that is why I avoid adding any more drama to my life by never befriending people who require as much nurturing as an infant. <strong>Life is hard enough without drama queens and kings adding to the conflict</strong>.</p> <p>In my case, although I certainly felt bad doing so, I cut off two friends who I loved very much, but whose near-constant need for attention and support was a terrible weight on my shoulders. I've never regretted that decision.</p> <p><strong>2. Achieve a tiny bit of financial freedom</strong></p> <p>OK, I&nbsp;HAD to mention something financial, right?&nbsp;Being financially free may mean something different for everyone. For some people, being financially free means not having to pay bills. For others, it's having enough financial security to not have to go to the same dull office job every single day. It may be getting out from underneath a mortgage, or finding a way to pay for school without taking out too many loans.</p> <p>The best way to decide how you define financial freedom is to look at your financial situation and see what bothers you the most about it. What burdens do you need lifted? If collection agencies are calling you day in and day out, that is likely weighing on your mind quite a bit. Maybe your credit card debt has gotten out of control or you're perpetually late on your rent. Even if you manage to scrape by, these concerns, wondering constantly if your credit card is about to max out, or if you can afford your doctor's co-pay, can be a near-constant mental burden.</p> <p>Me, I don't mind paying bills or having a mortgage; I'm not really bothered that much that I pay interest on credit cards. What I hate, what really really eats at me, is living paycheck to paycheck, and it wasn't until I managed to build up a buffer of a couple thousand dollars in my checking account that I was finally able to breathe easy. It wasn't simple (obviously, money matters are never simple, or we wouldn't have a successful web site with all you readers, would we?), but the rewards that I have reaped from having that extra money was much greater than the effort put into creating the buffer.</p> <p>Even if your finances are a complete disaster, getting one aspect under control can help you breathe easier as you search for a way to fix the rest. In fact, Suze Orman has said that if there was one thing that anyone can do within an hour to improve their finances, it would merely be taking a good, honest look at their financial situation. This might be as small a thing as signing up for Mint.com and seeing all of your debts and assets in one place. It can be sobering, but it can be a relief to know exactly where you stand. <strong>The only thing worse than knowing how bad things are is not knowing</strong>.</p> <p><strong>3. Get out of an abusive relationship</strong></p> <p>Abuse comes in so many forms that sometimes, it can be hard to recognize. Take it from me: even intelligent, confident people can easily find themselves experiencing mental, emotional, sexual, and physical abuse at the hands of someone trusted. <strong>It doesn't take long before your self-esteem can be utterly destroyed</strong>, to say nothing of your mental and physical health.</p> <p>Recent media exposure of the Chris Brown/Rihanna abuse story has shone a temporary light on the fact that even wealthy, talented women can be horribly abused and apparently see no reason to break the cycle. I would never suggest that removing oneself from an abusive situation is easy, because it is frequently one of the most difficult decisions a person can make, and can often involve financial issues that are hard to solve. It is, however, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.</p> <p><strong>4. Apologize to someone (take the fall)</strong></p> <p>Take a page from My Name is Earl and make a point to right any wrongs that are right-able. If you've hurt someone's feelings, and you know it, swallow your pride and tell them, on the phone, in person, or in writing, that you are sorry. No half-assed apologies, either. One of those politician-style &quot;I'm sorry that people took my joke the wrong way&quot; kind of apologies; you have to actually take the blame to make an apology worthwhile.</p> <p>I hate the feeling of having someone angry at me. It bugs me so much that I will go to great lengths to avoid it. I once allowed someone to cause a rift between myself and a roommate; it bothered me so much that, eight months later, I had to call up the roommate and apologize for my behavior.</p> <p>A few years ago, I recall seeing an episode of a daytime talk show (Oprah? Sally Jessie?) in which a group of people had organized specifically to apologize to people who had been hurt by someone, often very deeply. The thing was, they weren't apologizing to specifically to someone that THEY had hurt. Rather, they were seeking out people who had been the victims of crimes or abuse, and had apologized on behalf of the perpetrator (the perps themselves were frequently dead or never got caught by law enforcement). While it might seem strange to apologize to someone for a crime you didn't commit, the experience seemed to be very cathartic for everyone involved, with some of the victims saying that they felt like they could begin their healing process, and let go of the some of the pain of their experience, because someone had accepted responsibility, even if only by proxy, for their suffering. In addition, <strong>apologizing for a hurt that you have can help ease your mind</strong>.</p> <p>Along those lines, you might also find it helpful to...</p> <p><strong>5. Forgive someone (even without an apology) who has hurt you</strong></p> <p>It can be incredibly difficult for some people to let go of grudges. I should know - I'm still pissed off at someone from middle school who laughed at me when I fell down a flight of stairs outside of the gymnasium. I hold grudges like no one else, and even once fantasized about opening a firm that specialized in revenge. However, holding a grudge really only hurts the holder. Josie Hopkins has no recollection of laughing at me and so my eternal dislike of her is hardly going to affect her in any way. <strong>I'M</strong> the one who occasionally mentally relives the humiliation of looking up from my scraped palms to see a gaggle of obnoxious 7th graders pointing and laughing. If I forgive her for being a clueless tweenager, I can move on from remembering just how much it sucked to be 11 years old and exceptionally klutzy.</p> <p>I'm not a religious person, and I don't endorse any dogma or belief system. I do, however, remember another televised instance of forgiveness that really stands out in my mind, and it involved a very deeply religious couple whose child had been killed by a drunk driver. They were interviewed by a news station a mere 24 hours after the death of their beautiful daughter, and although they were clearly grief stricken, they also displayed a remarkable amount of composure. When the interviewer asked about potential punishment for the driver, they looked straight into the camera and said &quot;We have absolutely forgiven him. Our daughter has gone home to a better place, and our hearts will never mend without our commitment to forgiveness. We bear him no ill will.&quot;</p> <p>I can't say for certain that this couple never changed their minds about their stance on the drunk driver's sentencing, but their remarks struck a powerful note with me, because they had so much confidence, so much love, and so much certainty in the face of nearly unbearable tragedy. Whenever I end up angry and vengeful over something minor and insignificant, like losing an empty parking spot, I try to recall this couple and their brave ability to let go of anger and embrace healing and renewal in a situation that could arguable warrant hatred and anger.</p> <p>Forgiving doesn't necessarily mean forgetting, and it doesn't always mean that you must accept a hurtful person back into your life (you don't even have to tell the person that you forgive them). Forgiving someone allows YOU to move on.&nbsp;<strong>Forgiveness is one of the most powerful tools in your emotional arsenal</strong>, and if you can unleash it, you may be surprised to learn how much you can grow and how much freedom it gives you.</p> <p><em>What about you? What kind of changes have you made in your life that have helped you to achieve freedom of some kind? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-free-gifts-of-freedom">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-3"> <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/letting-go-8-steps-to-forgiveness">Letting Go: 8 Steps to Forgiveness</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/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances">Are You Letting FOMO Ruin Your Finances?</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-morning-mantras-that-ll-help-keep-your-finances-on-track">8 Morning Mantras That’ll Help Keep Your Finances on Track</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-ways-getting-married-is-good-for-your-finances">9 Ways Getting Married Is Good for Your Finances</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/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks abuse apologize finances forgiveness honesty self esteem Sat, 28 Mar 2009 16:52:10 +0000 Andrea Karim 2983 at http://www.wisebread.com Is honesty always the best policy? http://www.wisebread.com/is-honesty-always-the-best-policy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-honesty-always-the-best-policy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/728071557_958f390c5d_m.jpg" alt="Is honesty always the best policy?" title="Honesty!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I just got a new job! I'm really excited--by January, I should be in a position where my skills and abilities are utilized much more than they are right now. I've been biding my time, waiting for Jack Sparrow's proverbial opportune moment, and it finally came. I jumped on it, and I'm not looking back!</p> <p>However, figuring out how to handle this situation was hard. I work at a university, and the new position is in a different department at the same school. I've enjoyed working where I am, but the more time I've spent here, the more I've felt underutilized and, more and more, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-hate-my-job" title="&quot;I Hate My Job&quot; Guide">unhappy</a>. So, when I got a call from a former professor asking me if I was interested in applying for a position in her department, I was excited.</p> <p>But what do I tell my boss? And my co-workers? And the people I know from work but don't work with directly? And the people I know who work in the department I'm moving to? And the people who have been waiting for a perfect position to open for me because they want me to work for them? When the process started, I felt like I walked around for a day or so, my mind buzzing with, &quot;What in the world do I say?&quot;</p> <p>In the end, I chose a particular combination of transparency and discretion. I was open with my boss--he deserved to know, and he has been honorable and trustworthy enough in our interactions that it was safe. I knew he wasn't going to fire me for applying. I told a couple of my co-workers--one who needed to know before we moved on with a project, and one who I trust to keep his mouth shut. I didn't tell everyone else in my department until I knew I would be leaving because it wasn't necessary, I didn't feel like I needed to, and it didn't seem appropriate in our corporate culture. I told my friends from the department I was moving to, including another person interested in hiring me, though that was more a function of our personal relationships (friendships outside of work) than in a work context.</p> <p>Why do I share all of this? Because it struck me today that I successfully navigated an often difficult issue, one that required disernment regarding our corporate culture, which individuals were trustworthy, and the different contexts in which I know my colleagues. Getting a new position isn't the only time these skils are necessary--they also come in handy when you're negotiating a raise, have made a big mistake, when you're having problems with a colleague, and a myriad of other situations. Here are three questions that helped me make some of these decisions.</p> <p><strong>1. How would you feel if you were in the position of the other person?</strong></p> <p>I decided not to tell my co-workers until I knew for sure about the job because I realized that I would feel awkward if they told me the same thing. I decided to tell my boss because I realized that I would want to know if I were in his position in this particular department.</p> <p><strong>2. Does your workplace have any spoken or unspoken rules about these things? </strong></p> <p>The rules, both spoken and unspoken, in my workplace are that we're pretty open about these things. To have not told anyone would have been seen and felt as sneaky or &quot;under the table&quot;.</p> <p><strong>3. What do you want to do?</strong></p> <p>Seriously, what do you want? Does it matter to you that they might see you in a certain way, or that you might lose your job, or that someone might be extra-critical of you? Do you value your ironclad integrity more than anything else that might happen? These matter, sometimes more than anything else.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Good luck with the corporate navigational skills!</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/is-honesty-always-the-best-policy">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/5-new-ways-to-hack-your-boss-without-a-machete">5 Ways to Make Your Boss Love You</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/how-to-inspire-corporate-confidence">How to inspire corporate confidence</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/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</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-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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-ways-a-side-hustle-can-advance-your-career">8 Ways a Side Hustle Can Advance Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building corporate culture corporate transparency honesty integrity transparent Tue, 11 Sep 2007 20:12:52 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1068 at http://www.wisebread.com Frugal... or just plain wrong? http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-or-just-plain-wrong <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/stealing.jpg" alt=" " width="300" height="225" /></p> <p>You know what I love? Getting something for nothing. Oh, it&#39;s rare. It&#39;s also sort of greedy and raises all kinds of ethical questions. How far would YOU go to save, or make, a dollar or two?</p> <p>Here are some examples of &#39;something for nothing&#39; that fall into a morally gray area. I&#39;m not endorsing, advocating, recommending, encouraging, or promoting any of these, but I&#39;m curious as to how our readers feel about them. Like taking an extra piece of candy from the porch bowl in Halloween, everyone probably has a different perception of what constitutes right or wrong.</p> <p>Where would you draw the line on these examples? Would you...</p> <p><strong>1. Sneak into a movie?</strong> I&#39;ve done this before, but it&#39;s been a while. Like the first time I skipped class, I remember it being a very thrilling experience. But is it ethical? If the movie that you sneak into has been in the theater for a while, and barely anyone is going to see it, would that be better than sneaking into a movie that might sell out (and thus, robbing someone of their paid seat)? What if you went to see one movie, and bought a huge tub of popcorn and a large drink and candy (that&#39;s, like, $30 right there). Does the theater OWE you a decent movie at that point? What about sneaking your own candy and pop into a movie theater?</p> <p><strong>2. Download music online? For free?</strong> Is it stealing? Are artists suffering? The big production companies want you to believe that when you download a song from a peer-to-peer site, you are wrenching a sandwich directly out of Sheryl Crow&#39;s hand, but is it really such a big deal? Or is it the principle of the matter?</p> <p><strong>3. Freeload of your neighbor&#39;s TV channels?</strong> <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2167389/">It can be done</a>, and is done. But is it wrong?</p> <p><strong>4. Siphon your neighbor&#39;s wireless internet?</strong> Hey, if your neighbor can&#39;t be bothered to put rudimentary security into place, such as WEP or network passwords, they&#39;re just begging to have their bandwidth used, right? Right? </p> <p><strong>5. Keep the incorrect change?</strong> You gave the cashier a ten, and she gives you change for a twenty. Do you say anything? Or take the money and run?</p> <p><strong>6. Underpay if you are undercharged?</strong> You buy something at a store or <a href="http://www.queercents.com/2007/04/18/wwyd-errors-on-the-dining-bill/">at a restaurant</a>, and realize that you were charged for something much, much cheaper. Do you go back and try to sort out the mess? What if you&#39;ve already gone home before you realize that a mistake was made? Do you go back and try to correct it, or is it too much of a hassle?</p> <p><strong>7. Take the money that your bank accidentally deposited in your account?</strong> Do you withdraw it and buy some kick-ass jeans? Is it worth the risk? The bank might eventually figure out what they did wrong. But you&#39;ve always been a good customer, so are you entitled to benefit from someone else&#39;s mistake?</p> <p><strong>8. Scalp tickets?</strong> Sure, you were planning on going to the (insert hip band name here) concert, but turns out it&#39;s the same weekend as your cousin&#39;s wedding, and you are technically in the wedding party, so it&#39;s bub-bye to those hard-won tickets. Shouldn&#39;t you stand to profit just a little from them? Especially seeing as how SO many people want to go see the (hip band name) concert, and are WILLING to pay you much more than you paid for them - hey, that extra $100 can go towards the wedding present! Or is that wrong?</p> <p><strong>9. Accept freebies for listening to a timeshare spiel?</strong> <a href="http://www.queercents.com/2007/05/02/wwyd-accept-free-trip-without-any-intent-to-buy/">This one was covered well at Queercents</a>. Is it OK to accept an all-expenses paid trip in exchange for listening to a sales pitch for something that you have no intention of purchasing?</p> <p><strong>10. Expense a non-business dinner?</strong> You just got back from a business trip and want to take your significant other out for a nice dinner. Since your better half dropped you off AND picked you up at the aiport (thus saving the cost of a cab or long-term parking), should your business foot the bill for your dinner out? You just got back. AND on the trip, you only ate at Subway. So, they can put out for two steaks, can&#39;t they? They&#39;re a big corporation?</p> <p><strong>11. Treat the medicine cabinet at work as your own free pharmacy?</strong> Hey, those pills will expire if someone doesn&#39;t use them, and Advil is kind of pricey. Plus, if work wasn&#39;t causing your ulcers, you wouldn&#39;t need to use all of those sample antacid packs, right? No?</p> <p><strong>12. Fudge coupon codes?</strong> There are many, many coupon codes that are easy to fake. Like those codes that you get when you complete a customer satisfaction survey. Or those codes that come in <a href="/suze-orman-book-td-ameritrade-100">Suze Orman&#39;s books</a>. If you can fake it and get away with a <a href="/buy-a-drink-get-a-free-whopper-every-single-day">free burger every day</a>, should you?</p> <p><strong>13. Go grocery sampling?</strong> My dad can happily feed himself for free just walking around Costco, tasting the various creations that are hawked by kindly hair-netted grandmothers. He never buys any food, because that&#39;s Mom&#39;s realm. Is Dad out of line? What about the people that sample non-sample food, like trail mix at Safeway?</p> <p><strong>14. Cut-n-buy?</strong> I really like fennel. And carrots. But when it comes to buying these things by the pound, I fantasize about cutting off the tops of these damn things, because I can&#39;t eat the tops, and they cost me extra. Is it OK to yank the greens off the tops of the carrots or hack the fennel down to the edible part before weighing and paying?</p> <p><strong>15. Take home office supplies?</strong> It sounds clichéd, but who hasn&#39;t taken a mechanical pencil from the supply closet? Or some Post-its when they run low? </p> <p><strong>16. Read all your magazines at Barnes and Noble?</strong> I used to do this as a poor student - oh, how I longed for a subscription to French Vogue, but the price was just ridiculous. But, for the price of a latte, I could spend a Sunday afternoon flipping through pages of couture. </p> <p><strong>17. Sell your neighbor&#39;s garbage?</strong> No, I&#39;m not talking about celebrity personal belongings auctioned off on eBay, but this happens a LOT where I live. We have one guy in particular who spends a lot of time sifting through our trash and taking what he thinks he can sell. My garbage can, with it&#39;s doggie poop bags, is probably disappointing, but the huge apartment bin across the alley is a veritable treasure trove of resellable goods. On one hand, he&#39;s reusing stuff that might otherwise go into a landfill. On the other hand, he&#39;s digging through my damn garbage can.</p> <p><strong>18. Pick your neighbor&#39;s fruit? </strong>That almost sounds dirty, doesn&#39;t it? I used to live next to someone who had a tree growing part way into an alley. The tree produced really nice fruit every spring, and the neighbor never picked it, just letting everything go to waste. I would walk by and occasionally take an apricot or two. It never occured to me to ask until someone pointed out to me that what I was doing could be considered stealing. I became slightly paranoid, and never plucked an apricot again. But was it such a big deal?</p> <p><strong>19. Be a cheap-ass at Starbucks?</strong> Order an espresso shot. Go to the condiments counter, fill the rest of your cup with milk, and take it home and nuke it. </p> <p><strong>20. Lie about your income to get cheap medical services?</strong> Planned Parenthood is remarkably lax in their rules for assessing a person&#39;s payment options on a sliding scale. Tell them that you&#39;re only making 12K a year, and your reproductive needs are taken care of for much less than it would cost anywhere else. What if you don&#39;t have insurance? What if you make a donation to Planned Parenthood years later to compensate? </p> <p><em>(Photo by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/aforero/"><em>Alejandro Forero Cuervo</em></a><em>.)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-or-just-plain-wrong">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-3"> <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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</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/how-good-writing-skills-saves-and-earns-money">How good writing skills save and earn money</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/five-calls-you-can-make-now-to-save-hundreds-to-thousands-of-dollars">Five calls you can make now to save hundreds to thousands of dollars</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/keith-knight-of-the-k-chronicles-keepin-kool-on-the-cheap">Keith Knight of the K Chronicles - Keepin&#039; Kool on the Cheap</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living ethics frugal honesty lying money movies saving Wed, 06 Jun 2007 17:14:59 +0000 Andrea Karim 703 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Make Your Boss Love You http://www.wisebread.com/5-new-ways-to-hack-your-boss-without-a-machete <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-new-ways-to-hack-your-boss-without-a-machete" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/handshake-186959787.jpg" alt="handshake" title="handshake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I started my first &quot;real job,&quot; I didn't realize how many situations I'd find myself in that were utterly different from most of what I'd encountered before. On top of learning the tasks specific to the job, I had to navigate office politics, figure out what it meant to be &quot;professional,&quot; and make decisions about these things on the fly with only my intuition to guide me. I made a few mistakes while I figured it out, but eventually I learned to survie, thrive, and make my boss love me. While I'm still no expert, what I offer here are solutions to common problems that have worked for me.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Note: These suggestions will be particularly relevant to entry-level positions, but could be useful at other times, as well.</p> <h2>Make Your Boss&nbsp;Love You When&nbsp;You've Finished a Project<strong><br /> </strong></h2> <p>Let him know you're thinking about the future. Either ask him, &quot;So, what's next?&quot; or let him know you'll be needing some time to get things together before he approaches you with the next project. Something like, &quot;I'm getting ready for the next project. Could we talk about it in an hour/this afternoon/tomorrow/next week after I tie up some loose ends? I've been focusing on getting this done but want to make sure I haven't let anything fall through the cracks.&quot; Both approaches let him know that you're focused on what is best for the company, and the second also makes you look responsible while also taking a short break.</p> <h2>Make Your Boss&nbsp;Love You&nbsp;When&nbsp;She's Pointing Out Little Mistakes<strong><br /> </strong></h2> <p>Remember that pointing out your small mistakes is part of her job, and it may be as distasteful to her as it is to you. If the criticism is particularly difficult for you to hear, remember to breathe before you say anything. A deep breath or so, when done surrepitiously, can give you the strength to respond calmly. Then, if it's appropriate, defend yourself. If her criticism is just, nod as she speaks. Tell her, &quot;Thank you for showing me how you would prefer this to be done/how this should be done/whatever.&quot; If she persists, or is talking to you about something for the Nth time, say, &quot;This seems to be something that you want me to work on/I should work on. Are there any resources available to help me improve?&quot; Whether you need to be on time, make the webpage load faster, or something else, it's hard for a boss to fault an employee who wants to change. If she points you in a direction, follow through!</p> <h2>Make Your Boss Love You&nbsp;When&nbsp;You're Swamped and He Wants You to&nbsp;Do More<strong><br /> </strong></h2> <p>Be honest about what you can do. Most supervisors appreciate hearing when their people are overworked and stressed. If he likes up front, honest people, say, &quot;You know, I'd be happy to take that on, but realistically I won't be able to get to it until I finish with X, Y, and Z. Will that work for you?&quot; He may take it to someone else, or he may give it to you, but either way he knows what he's looking at. If he's going to lay it on you no matter what you say, try, &quot;I'll take that on. Right now, I'm working on P, D, and Q. Where does this fall in priority relative to those?&quot; With this, he knows where he stands and what you have on your plate, and he can determine when you get to it.</p> <h2>Make Your Boss Love You&nbsp;When&nbsp;You've Made a Big Mistake<strong><br /> </strong></h2> <p>If you can't fix it before she would find out, be the first to let her know. Swallow the butterflies and make your weak knees walk to her office (or write that email). Most of the time she's going to find out anyway, so you're only prolonging the agony and creating a ton of anxiety for yourself if you don't tell her. Your poise and honesty will also make an impression, even if she's upset and there are consequences. At the very least, she'll have a positive sense of your integrity for any future recommendations. And you might save your job.</p> <h2>Make Your Boss Love You When&nbsp;You're Interviewing for a New Job<strong><br /> </strong></h2> <p>In a few companies, interviewing for a new job is considered tantamount to treason. If you work for one of those companies, keep your search under the table, but don't lie if you're asked directly. You might be asked to leave, but they won't be able to fault your integrity in a recommendation. But if you work for most companies (or, at least, most of the ones I've experienced/heard about), just be honest. If you're valuable where you are, you would be surprised how many times your boss will do all she can to get you a counter-offer. If she can't or if she has some other motivation to not re-hire you, she will appreciate not being blind-sided when you turn in your notice.</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/5-new-ways-to-hack-your-boss-without-a-machete">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-3"> <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/is-honesty-always-the-best-policy">Is honesty always the best policy?</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-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</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/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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/8-ways-a-side-hustle-can-advance-your-career">8 Ways a Side Hustle Can Advance Your Career</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/6-ways-to-deal-when-youre-way-behind-at-work">6 Ways to Deal When You&#039;re Way Behind at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building be honest hack your boss honesty integrity machete Thu, 17 May 2007 19:04:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 654 at http://www.wisebread.com Honesty: Truly, the Best Policy http://www.wisebread.com/honesty-truly-the-best-policy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/honesty-truly-the-best-policy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000061331164_Large.jpg" alt="woman lost in thought" title="woman lost in thought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wow...I've been out for a while. I guess that's what trying to fly to Denver and back will do to a girl. I haven't wasted my time, though. I have some reflections to share.</p> <p>I lie to myself a lot. I don't do it on purpose, but I end up doing it nonetheless. I tell myself that everything is fine when it is not. I tell myself that I'll figure out a way to work things out when reality is that the situation just sucks. Mostly, I try to protect myself from the frustration and pain of life, because I don't want to have to feel it. If I feel it, I have to deal with it, and I either don't want to deal with it, or I fear that it will destroy me. Thus, my active sense of self-preservation keeps me dishonest.</p> <p>Financially, what I have come to call &quot;self-honesty&quot; is important. If a person can't make ends meet, or has wracked up so much debt there's no way they can make monthly payments, or needs to find a way to borrow money for a medical procedure, the first step to finding a solution is for them to be honest with themselves. In solving the problem &quot;I can't pay the bills this month&quot; takes a huge step beyond &quot;Well, maybe if I don't eat for three weeks...&quot; As the leader of the AA group that met at the school I used to work at would say, &quot;You can't solve a problem you just KNOW you don't have!&quot;</p> <p>Here are the seven steps to financial self-honesty.</p> <h2>1. Work With Specific Numbers</h2> <p>This keeps you honest because you have a quantifiable way to measure your success. Either you spend less than $25 a week on eating out, or you don't. There aren't a lot of ways around it.</p> <h2>2. Talk to Other People</h2> <p>Other people are a great resource for financial accountability. If I tell my friend that I'm not going to buy any tech gadgets because my honeymoon's coming up and I want to save for it, she will be sure to notice the printer/scanner/fax combo and ask me about it.</p> <h2>3. Really Balance Your Checkbook</h2> <p>It's easy to let the bank do all the work, to write down their numbers when you get the statement at the end of the month and call it good. If, however, you go through and crunch the numbers yourself, you have the undeniable data in front of you for how much you spent on everything, from the cinnamon rolls for the office party to the seven &quot;special&quot; dinners you had with your significant other.</p> <h2>4. Look at Your Paychecks</h2> <p>Direct deposit means that many of us never actually see the piece of paper with the numbers on it that indicate how much we get paid. It's easy to stick those envelopes in the &quot;tax&quot; pile and forget about them. Seeing it all in black and white, though, makes it easier to know how much you really have.</p> <h2>5. Make Predictions and See How Well You Do</h2> <p>At the beginning of a month, write down how much you think you'll spend on differen things: food, meals out, techno toys, etc. Keep your receipts, and add up your totals at the end of the month. If you're close, you tend to be honest with yourself about what you need and want. If you're way off, it's possible you were conveniently &quot;forgetting&quot; how much you spend in a particular category when you were making your predictions.</p> <h2>6. Evaluate How Much You Save</h2> <p>I'm a careful saver, and yet I find that I often think I have more money in my savings account than I really do. I forget about the $100 deposit I put on my bridesmaid's activities and the end tables I had to buy because they matched my coffee table. When I intentionally look up my savings account once a week, I tend to remember more accurately.</p> <h2>7. Write It Down</h2> <p>Maybe you noticed that several of these suggestions involve actually taking out a pen and writing numbers down. This is because writing helps us remember. It helps some more than others, but it helps us all at least a little. When we write down how much we spend, or want to spend, or how much we make in a month, it is harder for us to deceive ourselves because the real numbers are more ingrained in our minds.</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/honesty-truly-the-best-policy">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/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</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/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</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-12-month-get-richer-plan">The 12-Month Get-Richer Plan</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/plan-for-your-wants">Plan for your wants</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/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have">5 Money Conversations Every Couple Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting financial honesty honesty savings Thu, 28 Dec 2006 01:55:19 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 72 at http://www.wisebread.com