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27
Jul

Budget Summer Travel tips

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luggage-1149289_1280The summer is my favorite time to travel. I love the hot weather. In general, it seems that cities are more vibrant and energetic during the summer. As I saw this previous weekend at the airport, I’m not the only one that enjoys traveling during the summer. The airport was filled with hundreds of folks. It makes me wonder if they paid an arm and a leg to travel or did they get a deal. Hopefully, the latter happened. In today’s post, I want to discuss a few budget summer travel tips.

Save money

The first tip can be applied for any time you want to travel. It doesn’t just have to be for summer. How can you expect to do anything without saving money beforehand? The more expensive the destination, the earlier you should start saving. For my most recent trip, I started saving in late May because I knew that I wasn’t going to need that much money. For other trips, I save a couple of hundred bucks each month.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead can save you so much during summer travel. It allows you to save on flights and lodging because the earlier that you plan ad finalize things, the sooner you can book them and therefore save more money. Planning ahead allows you to have a better selection of flights and hotel rooms to choose from. A good rule of thumb is to book flights at least six weeks in advance. There are several travel websites that you can compare prices on. Some of my favorites are Priceline and Kayak.

Decide a date

As you know, summer is very busy for travel. The kids are out of school as well as the teachers. Since everyone is out on vacation, there is a better time to travel as a family. The summer travel season basically starts in late May and lasts until mid-September. Any time during that period is usually good to travel minus three dates. The dates that I would consider avoiding travel is Memorial Day Weekend, The Fourth of July, and Labor Day Weekend. During major holidays airlines usually, charge more for flights. Hotels have been known to raise their nightly rates too during that time.

Pack light

Packing light is the next tip. Most airlines charge for checked luggage. If your luggage weighs more than a certain amount, they will charge you more to put it on the plane. Fortunately, there are airlines like Southwest that will let you check two bags for free. If you pack extremely light, you can put your items in your carry-on luggage. Most airlines allow their customers to carry on one bag for free. The carry-on bag has to be a certain size. If the bag is bigger, the airlines will make you check it in.

Drive

The final summer travel tip is to drive. If you don’t have a problem driving to your destinations, this is an option that you should consider. Compared to a few years ago, gas prices are much lower. There are some places in the country where regular unleaded gas is less than $2 per gallon. If your car gets good mileage, it makes sense to drive some places instead of flying.

How are you saving money on summer travel?

25
Jul

How to Network Effectively

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NetworkingNetworking is one of the most important things that you can do. It can literally change your life. These days it’s more about who you know than what you know. People are willing to share opportunities with people they know than with complete strangers. Let that sink in for a minute. You have a better chance of finding an opportunity through networking than by randomly trying to find it by yourself. You may be wondering how to get started when you’re networking. It’s not as difficult as you think it is. Below are a few tips that will help you network better.

Arrive on Time

If you’re going to a networking event, it is better to arrive on time instead of showing up late. Some people like to be fashionably late all the time. They like to be seen. When attending a networking event, there is no reason to do that. Getting to a networking event early gives you a chance to scope out the scene and meet other attendees that arrive early.

Ask for an Introduction

If you are at an event with someone that you know or recently met, you can have them introduce you to someone that you really want to meet. That will help you with your nerves, especially if you are shy. By being introduced to someone, it gives you a slightly higher chance of being remembered.

Ask Easy Questions

When meeting someone for the first time, it’s good to ask easy questions. Networking is about building relationships. In the beginning, there is no reason to ask long or hard questions. Keep it simple. Once you have their business card or phone number. You can then ask other questions.

Listen

A lot of people are natural talkers. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s just the way they are. When networking you have to shift some of the focus from talking to listening. You want to make sure that you are paying attention to what the person is saying. By doing that, you may be able to give them suggestions that could help them with something. Who knows what that connection could lead to? Trust me, the more you listen, the better your networking conversations will go.

Follow-up

The final tip that I have for today is to follow up. It is very crucial to follow up with the new people that you met. For individuals whose conversations I really enjoyed, I get their business card and send them an e-mail. From there we usually connect on LinkedIn and in some occasions Facebook.

Networking is very important. I’ve gotten a couple of part-time jobs through networking I’ve also received a few clients by doing that too. Networking is not easy for everyone. Some people are naturally shy, or they are just quiet. Getting out of your comfort zone and networking could change your life forever. There is no reason that you should hesitate when it comes to networking anymore. Start today!

Do you enjoy networking?

20
Jul

Making Money While Unemployed

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DSC05168-BIn the past month, I’ve talked about different ways that people can make money if they are unemployed such as selling shoes on eBay and selling things on Craigslist. Those aren’t the only ways to make money while you’re unemployed. Today, I want to go over six different ways you can make money. They can be done by anyone.

Donate Plasma

The first way that you can make money while you’re unemployed is by donating plasma. I had a few friends do this when we were in college. I never did it, though. Looking back I should have donated. They were making between $70 -$80 each week. That can help you out a little if you’re unemployed.

Clean Houses

If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, you can clean houses. There will always be people out there that don’t like to clean. Use their laziness to your advantage and create a small cleaning service. Depending on the services you offer, you could make between $20 -$30 an hour. Advertise your business online and through word of mouth.

Craigslist

Craigslist is known for its buy and sell forums. Did you know that they also have a gigs section? That area features small and odd jobs that someone is hiring or. Some gigs that I’ve seen posted on there in the past are people looking for movers, people looking for models and actors and individuals looking for a copywriter. There is opportunity to be found in the Craigslist gigs section.

Babysit

Babysitting is the next thing on the list. People are always looking for a babysitter, so why not be that person. Start off by watching your younger family members or your friend’s kids. Then you can ask them if they know anybody that is looking for a sitter.

Canvasser

A few years ago I was a canvasser for a few months. We went around different areas of the city and talked to residents about the candidate we were promoting for. For the most part, the job was easy. I didn’t deal with many crazy people or anything. I did have to watch out for stray dogs a couple of times. Besides that happening the job was very cool. As a canvasser, you can expect to make anywhere from $8 – $15 per hour. Since it’s an election year, I’m sure that you can find some canvasser jobs out there.

Freelancer

The last way to make money while you’re unemployed is to become a freelancer. A freelancer can do different things. They could write for companies, or design images or logos for people. If you’re good at what you do, the possibilities could be endless. There are websites like Upwork or Fiverr out there for you to find work.

In summary, the ways that I discussed on how to make money when you’re unemployed are to donate plasma, clean houses, check Craigslist, babysit, become a canvasser and freelance. Those are suggestions that anyone can do. They will be able to put some money into your pocket until you find another full-time job.

18
Jul

Getting Organized for a Job Search

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job-search-276893_1280If you’ve been unemployed for a while, enough is enough. It’s time to get back on track. It’s time to find a new job. You are ready to start back working, but you’ve been a little down ever since you lost your previous job. Today is the day that changes. In this post, I will share with you a few tips that will get you organized for your upcoming job search.

Resume

The first thing that needs to be done is to make sure that your resume is up to date. You want to make sure that it has all of your recent job information and skills on there. You also need to make sure that you have a couple of different versions of your resume. Every job that you apply for will not be the same. You should have different resumes that emphasize your skills that are reluctant to that job. The more jobs you are looking for, the more resumes that you may need to create. A unique resume will get you hired sooner than later.

Cover Letter

You will also want to make sure your cover letter is tailored for every position that you apply for. It may seem like a lot of work, but it is worth doing it. A generic cover letter will not get you hired. Your cover letter should have detailed information on why you think you are qualified for the job that you are applying for.

Companies

Create a list of companies that you want to work for. The list should be based on the type of work you want to do, the salary, the distance from your home, etc. Once you have that list created, make sure that you apply correctly. If there is an application and quiz that accompanies it, make sure that you completely fill them out. Applications that aren’t filled out all the way are usually thrown out.

References

You need to make sure that your references are up to date. The worst thing that you can do is apply for a job and get to the final stage of the process and lose out of the opportunity because you didn’t have the correct phone number for your references. That would suck big time. Besides making sure that their info is up to date, also make sure that you ask people if they be your reference before you just blindly add them.  Doing that gives them a heads up. They will be prepared when your potential employer calls them.

Those were just a few tips on getting organized for a job search. The tips are all pretty easy, but that may take a little time getting them done correctly. It is worth the time, though. If you are unemployed, I know that you are eager to start back working. These tips should help you get your new job faster. Go out there and make happen today.

What are some ways that you have gotten organized for a job search?