Financial


You may or may not know that I’ve been on the job market for awhile now.  So when I see a blog offering advice about the job search I stop and read it.  One of the blogs I read, Free Money Finance recently posted How Not to Get a Job.

In the post it links to two article from Anne Fisher hosted by CNNMoney.com.  The first is 10 dumbest resume blunders and the second is 10 dumbest interview moves

Some of the 20 things she mentions are funny like:

  • The job hunter delivered his entire cover letter in the form of a rap song.
  • The job hunter brought his mother to the interview and let her do all the talking
  • A job candidate attached a letter from her mother.
  • A job candidate used pale blue paper with teddy bears printed around the border.
  • A job candidate explained a three-month gap in employment by saying that he was getting over the death of his cat.
  • A job candidate specified that his availability to work Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays is limited because the weekends are “drinking time.”
  • A job candidate stated that he works well in the nude.

But some of the comments left are even funnier.  People who showed up in their sweatpants or misspelled words like proofreading!

Now for a selfish plug. You can see my resume here (pdf).

 

 

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If you could save the world while saving money, getting fit, simplifying your life, and becoming happier would you do it?

Leo over at Zen Habits gave the prescription to complete that with 5 simple (ish) steps.  This was his Blog Action Day post.

His 5 steps/ways to save the world are:

  1. Get outdoors more,
  2. Commute by bike/walk to work,
  3. Do a clean-up,
  4. Use less energy at home, and
  5. Buy less, or buy used.

After each step he comments how it will do everything he promised.  I like this particular one because I can appreciate the “running around the house” line.

4. Use less energy at home. There are a ton of ways to do this: use compact florescent lightbulbs, set your thermostat lower (for heating) or higher (for cooling), insulate, use less hot water, dry clothes using a clothesline, turn things off when they’re not in use, get energy efficient appliances, etc.

  • How this helps the environment: Using less energy means you contribute less to global warming.
  • How this saves money: Using less energy means your power bill is lower. And that can be a substantial savings.
  • How this gets you fitter: It doesn’t … unless you’re running around the house more because you turned off all the heating. :)
  • How this simplifies your life: Using less energy is much simpler in the long run.
  • How this makes you happier: I think this is one of those times when just playing your part to reduce global warming and doing the right thing makes you happier.

 

I was recently encouraged by this article to write about the blogs I read and share why I read them, with you my readers. So here it goes!

Most retailers, businesses, and organizations have websites where you can find out more about a product or service and usually even purchase that service.  They also tend to have some type of special deals to entice you to use their service over another or to shop with them.  With a plethora of deals, sales, coupons available it seems possible that for any given purchase you might be able to save money, if you only knew about it! 

That is where a site like The Bargainist comes in handy. The site lists all types of great deals, sales, and coupons, with a searchable index, archives, and tips! When possible they link to more information about the product, provide expiration dates, and other information as needed.

In the past two hours they have posted:

There are many similar sites, but The Bargainist is the first one I subscribed too and so far I haven’t desired to subscribe to others!

 

 

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Can you afford a $1,000 dinner? I definitely can’t but evidently some people in Chicago are willing to take the risk to avoid paying for their share of dinner.

Here’s the deal: Go out to dinner with your friends, at the beginning of the meal everyone places a credit card in a bowl.  As the evening goes on a card is removed every now and then.  The  last remaining card gets the entire bill! WOW what a great deal!

I’m not really sure what to say about that, except maybe its a little bit crazy.  I don’t think I’ve really ever been to a restaurant where you could easily rack up a $1,000 bill, but then I don’t drink either.

Maybe I’ll take some friends to Rax and we can try this game out!

Read more about this crazy idea at the Chicago Tribune.

HT: Make Love, Not Debt

 

Today I took an important step to stop the junk mail that invades our home.  I may regret not getting 1,000’s of credit offers in the mail, but I think the mailman might enjoy a slightly lighter mailbag now!

Several recent credit offers had information about opting out of receiving credit offers. I took that step today.

The notice read:

Prescreen & Opt-Out Notice: This “prescreened” offer of credit is based on information in your credit report indicating that you meet certain criteria. This offer is not guaranteed if you do not meet our criteria.  If you do not want to receive prescreen offers of credit from this and other companies, you can call 1-888-567-8688 or write to the following consumer reporting agencies. [It listed all three agencies and their addresses.]

I called the number and gave them all the information, I don’t think the voice recognition software understood my address.  You can also check out the Prescreen website.  I did a permanent opt-out which has to be verified by mail but a temporary (3 year) opt-out can be done without further verification. If for some reason want to opt-back-in for more junk mail that is an option!

Have you done this? What are your results?

 

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We all want to save money, even if we are living comfortably, why not save a few dollars here and there! I’ve been using these resources for awhile now and enjoy them both. They are both pretty unassuming but can help meet your needs time and again.

Freecycle

Freecycle is a Yahoo! Groups based e-mail service that helps you recycle items for free around your metropolitan area. By joining you recieve e-mails throughout the day from people offering used items and others asking for used items. Everything has to be offered for free and you generally pick up the item at a designated spot. There are over 4,000 networks and 3.5 million users! Even Chillicothe Ohio has a Freecycle group!

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free.

I’ve gotten a grill, magazine stand, microwave, flower pots, and a table from various people throughout Anderson. I’ve also given away mirrors, computer parts, and flower pots. I will admit it can be annoying because of the sheer quantity of e-mails that you’ll get and the fact that so many people are sitting at their e-mail that they can respond within minutes to a posting. I got lucky! Pretty much everything imaginable has been posted!


Angel Food Ministry
Angel Food Ministry is a newer resource that we have started using. You get a large quantity of good and healthy food for $25. Using a similar premise to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), except that you get to pick and choose which months you want to purchase food based on the current menu. They claim the food is not out-dated or day old products. There have been products in packaging from Ore Ida and Banquet so you know some of it is good quality. The food overall has been good thus far.

There are little things that can make it inconvienent such as limited times to drop off your money and then a one day pick-up for your food. Most of it is freezer based. It is a Christian ministry that is housed in churches around the country which is very neat. Did I mention they take Food Stamps? We have enjoyed it!

Here is a sample of their menu (from June):

(1) 2 lb. Salisbury Steak Dinner
(1) 2 lb. St. Louis Ribs
(1) 2 lb. Chicken Tenders
(1) 18 oz. Stuffed Manicotti
(8) 4 oz. Country Fried Beef Steaks
(1) 2 lb. Chicken Breast Fillets
(1) 6.5 oz. Lasagna Hamburger Dinner
(1) 7.5 oz. Ranch & Bacon Pasta Salad
(1) 16 oz. Pinto Beans
(1) 16 oz. Sliced Frozen Carrots
(1) 16 oz. Corn
(1) 24 oz. Steak-Cut French Fries
(1) 8 oz. Corn Muffin Mix
(1) 1 lb. White Rice
(1) 14 oz. Peanut Butter
(1) 10 ct. Waffles
(1) Each Dessert Item

ALL THIS FOR THE LOW COST OF JUST $25.00*
* taxes may apply in some states


** One or more specials available only with the purchase of a regular unit. **

JUNE SPECIAL #1

5.5 lb. Grill Box – $18.00
(4- 8 oz. New York Strips, 1-1 lb. Italian Sausage, 4-6 oz. Pork Chops, 1-1 lb. Chicken Breast Fillet)

JUNE SPECIAL #2

5.5 lb. BBQ Box – $18.00
(4-6 oz. Baseball-cut Sirloin Steaks, 4-4 oz. Bacon Wrapped Sirloin Fillets, 4-4 oz Steakburgers, 2 lb. Beef Back Ribs)

JUNE SPECIAL #3

10 lb. Chicken Combo – $17.00
(2 lbs. Wings, 2 lbs. Breaded Tenders, 2 lbs. Breaded Nuggets, 2 lbs. IQF Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast, 2 lbs. Breaded Frying Chicken)

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Today we recieved in the mail our new credit cards from Citibank. They had discontinued the credit card we were currently using and so issued us new ones from a different product line (see side note below). When I called to activate the cards I spoke to Adam (definintly foreign). He asked how my day was, I replied and asked how his was. He paused and said, “good, thank you for asking” in a very suprised voice. I think he was shocked and his little script wasn’t prepared for that remark! At the end of the call he said “have a good day” and I replied “you too” and again he seemed a little suprised.

Why are we rude to call-centers? Maybe because we can’t understand their accented English, at least they are working! I hate to see jobs we can do here go overseas, but why not let our brothers and sisters enjoy the benefits of gainful employment??

SIDE NOTE

When we first got notice that Citi was changing our cards from a Visa to an American Express we didn’t like that idea and so applied for a Citi Visa. We subsequently got rejected by them. However when I called customer service to talk about changing of the cards, they said I did have the option of going to a Citi Master Card, so that’s what we did. The funny or ironic, or weird part is that the Master Card is the same exact card as the Visa for which we got rejected!

Oh well… maybe that wasn’t such a great story! Anyways…

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