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Ways to Save Money with Low Waste Living

Ways to Save Money with Low Waste Living

Not only are there major health and environmental benefits to living a more low-waste lifestyle, but there are monetary benefits to take advantage of as well.

Taking care of our planet is important for many reasons. For example, air pollution has been linked to increases in cases of asthma. Even prenatal exposure to air pollution can increase the child’s risk of developing childhood wheezing and asthma.

Likewise, the benefits of recycling and lowering our wastes are great. It can help our environment, our health, conserve our natural resources, and provide more economic security.

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But one major benefit to recycling and living a more low waste lifestyle is that it’s also a way to save money in the long run. Instead of buying single-use items once or twice a month, replace these costs with higher quality products that can last you a number of years. And if you need help paying for these higher qualify single-purchase items, you can always take out a Check City Personal Loan to get you started on your low waste journey.

There are everyday expenses that you can reduce or eliminate entirely just by using a few low-waste living tips.

What is Recycling?

In 2017, the US generated over 260 million tons of waste. We recycled about 67 million tons and composted about 27 million tons.

In waste management, there are 2 types of waste disposal—the conventional method, recycling, and composting.

Recycling is a method of waste disposal that takes waste and makes it into other things. Instead of throwing things away, they are used to create new products. Recycling allows materials to continue to have use rather than piling up in landfills.

What is Composting?

Composting is the process used to turn organic waste, like food scraps, into usable compost, which can then be used as fertilizer. Composting gathers organic waste together and lets it decompose until it creates a soil conditioner (fertilizer) that is very rich in nutrients. You can then use this for soil as fertilizer to help plants grow better.

Composting is a great thing to do at home for your garden, flower bed, or herb garden. It is just another way you can help your household become more self-sufficient and help your plants and flowers grow more abundantly.

What is Greenwashing?

If you want to do your part to help the environment and your local community thrive then you’ll want to be aware of greenwashing.

Greenwashing is an advertising method meant to make products look organic or ecofriendly when in reality they aren’t. If a product or company’s ecofriendly claims are really true then they’ll usually tell you all about it—providing evidence, certificates, and details.

If their claims are vague or unspecific, then most likely they are greenwashing their product in the hopes it will help it sell better. When making purchases do your research and don’t be duped by false or shady advertising.

What is Low Waste Living?

Being environmentally minded comes in all kinds of ranges. You can strive to live the zero waste lifestyle or you can simply try and live a more low waste lifestyle. Either way can save you hundreds of dollars every year.

Low Waste Living is when you attempt to make less waste, be more self-sufficient, and buy products that are quality and long lasting rather than single use products you’ll have to buy over and over again.

All the Ways to Save Money Living Low Waste

You might think of low waste living as something crazy and intense people do or something you need to be really committed to in order to pull off. But there are actually plenty of really simple ways to make less waste and save yourself a ton of money along the way.

There are lots of frequent, recurring costs you could replace for a single purchase to you’re your monthly spending and use that money elsewhere. You just have to know what can be replaced.

1. Plastic Water Bottles

Save $100.00

Filtered water is just better, and many of us don’t live in areas with great tap water. But we need to drink lots of water every day and the cost of water bottles can really get out of hand. Instead you can buy a water filter pitcher, a really nice water filtration dispenser, or a really nice stainless steel faucet water filter so you don’t have to spend so much money on water bottles ever again.

2. Shop in Bulk

Save up to 83%

You can save a lot of money when you buy in bulk. Find the local stores near you that sell in bulk like Sam’s Club, Costco, and whole food stores where you can get basic foods from barrels.

The key with buying in bulk is that you save big on the price per unit and you buy amounts that can stock up your home and last a lot longer, which saves you gas money and time spent at the store. Some experts estimate that you can save up to 83% on your grocery bill by buying in bulk.

3. Make Homemade Cleaning Products

Save $600

We want to keep our homes clean and sanitized but the products we need to do so can get really expensive. Instead, you can just make your own homemade cleaning products with these simple homemade cleaning product recipes. You can also buy your favorite squirt bottles to reuse over and over again as well.

4. Reusable Grocery Bags

Save 10 cents per bag

Plastic bags are still free at most grocery stores but this might not always be the case. Many states have already begun banning single-use plastic bags at grocery and retail stores or created minimum 10 cent charges if you want to use plastic bags.

Save yourself the hassle by getting your own awesome reusable grocery shopping bags now that you can keep in your car and use at the grocery store instead of plastic bags.

You can also buy some tote bags to use when you make retail purchases at other stores, so that you can avoid the hassle of plastic bags there as well.

Getting your own shopping bags is also helpful because they won’t rip at the bottom and spill your items everywhere, they won’t squish your items together in small plastic bags, and they can even keep your food cold on the trip home. You can even get specific produce bags with some online shopping.

5. Reusable Straws

Using reusable straws instead of single-use plastic straws can be one of the easiest, and funnest ways to go green. Reusable straws come in all kinds of shapes and colors, and can even come in compact containers that fit on your keychain.

6. Bring Your Own Water Bottle

Water bottles also come in all kinds of creative shapes, sizes, and colors. They can also come with unique functionalities. Instead of using the flimsy paper and plastic cups at restaurants you can use your own bottle instead! This will also keep your drink cold or hot longer and be more comfortable to hold in your hand or travel with you when you leave.

7. Install a Bidet

Save up to $120

The average American spends up to $120 each year on toilet paper alone. While you can’t really get rid of this cost, you can reduce the need by installing a bidet in your bathroom. You’ll save on toilet paper and actually be a cleaner and more hygienic person as well.

8. Start a Compost Bin

A compost bin can be a great way to put all your organic waste to better use. Your compost bin just needs 3 ingredients to function:

  1. Browns: like dead leaves, branches, twigs
  2. Greens: like grass, vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, coffee grounds
  3. Water

When you make your own compost you won’t need to spend money on chemical fertilizers and your garden will grow fuller and healthier. So a compost bin can save you money on gardening supplies and on groceries depending on what you decide to grow!

9. Plant a Garden

Save up to $600

Planting your own garden can both save and make you money. By planting your own herbs, vegetables, legumes, and even fruits you can save up to $600 on food costs each year. You could also make extra money each year by selling the produce from your garden at your local farmers market, or to your friends and neighbors.

10. Raise Chickens

Save up to $400

You can take your little farm one step further by getting a few farm animals of your own. Chickens are a good example for beginners and they can save you on the cost of eggs each year. You could even make money selling chicks to other households that would like to start raising their own chickens as well.

11. Make Your Own Clothes

Save up to $1,800

New clothes can be so expensive and with the rise of fast fashion many clothing brands don’t even provide quality clothes anymore. But you can take your wardrobe into your own hands by learning how to sew your own clothes!

12. Replace Paper Towels with Dish Rags

Save over $200

Paper towels can be nice and convenient but they might also be taking up more of your budget than you realize. Instead of spending extra money each month on the convenience of paper towels, buy a couple of kitchen towels for cleaning and wiping your hands.

13. Replace Paper Napkins with Cloth Napkins

Save over $200

You can also replace the paper napkins in your house with cloth napkins instead! Now your set table will look nicer and your family and guests will feel pampered and fancy when they come over for dinner.

14. Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues

Save up to $100

For instance, a pack of 4 flat box Kleenex costs about $6 while a pack of 6 basic handkerchiefs can cost $5.00 and last you for years to come. Meanwhile, tissue boxes only last a little while before you need to purchase them all over again.

So instead of buying box after box of tissues every year, just get yourself some nice handkerchiefs instead!

Replacing frequent costs with a single purchase is always the better choice. And handkerchiefs are going to be nicer on your nose, not chaff and dry out your nose the way paper tissues do. They’re also more useful because you can use them as a cloth too! If you need to wipe away some perspiration or wipe your hands throughout the day or anything.

15. Make Foods from Scratch

Save up to $4,109

Learn to make homemade things from scratch instead of instant and boxed foods. For example, two homemade pizza can cost as little as $3.25, while 2 pizzas from a pizza place can easily cost you over $20.

You can also learn to do your own canning and make preservatives. There are many things you can make yourself for less than half the cost it takes to buy it from the store. Here’s a short list of some other things you could learn to make from scratch instead of buying it in stores:

  • chicken or vegetable stock
  • peanut butter
  • macaroni and cheese
  • granola
  • baby food
  • spaghetti sauce
  • lunch meat
  • pizza
  • bread
16. Eat More Like a Vegetarian/Vegan

Save up to $700

You don’t have to commit to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle to take advantage of vegetarian and vegan meals. These meals can be tasty, full of nutrients, and cheaper than recipes that use lots of meats and dairy products.

17. Recycle

Make some spare change!

Get recycling bins for your home and start recycling! You can actually make money recycling certain items at your local recycling facility.

18. Don’t Waste Freezer Foods

You can create a lot of waste and waste a lot of food by not utilizing your freezer enough. Make foods last longer by storing them correctly in the freezer. You can even create a food expiration calendar for your fridge to help you keep track when you need to eat certain foods.

food storage expiration date calendars

There are also a surprising number of things you can make with overripe foods, like banana bread. So always check before you toss things whether you can give it a second life somehow.

19. Buy Used Instead of New

Not only does buying used items help recycle things and maintain the environment, but buying used can also save you a lot of money as well! If you need new furniture, you can find great deals on beautiful pieces at antique shops and on the Facebook Marketplace.

20. Support Local Farmers

By shopping at the local farmer’s market for food items instead of big chain grocery stores, you can support your local farmers, reduce consumption, and save money on cheaper and fresher produce.

21. Don’t Waste on Basic Bills

Save up to $2,060

Overdoing it on utilities can put a strain on the environment and your wallet. So take measures to reduce the use of your utilities like heating, cooling, electricity, and water.

For example, you could save your AC by opening windows to keep things cool instead. You could also make some homemade dry shampoo so you don’t have to wash your hair so frequently and conserve water that way. This will also help your shampoo last longer for when you do wash your hair. You could also put less use on your drier by hanging things up to dry instead.

22. Find a Local Tailor

Sometimes we get rid of clothes when they could be fixed! Find a local tailor and have them fix up your old clothes, pants, shoes, or even hats so you don’t have to replace them as often. You’ll also be supporting local businesses which is always a good thing.

23. Replace Plastic Loofahs

Save up to $120

Instead of rebuying plastic loofas over and over again throughout the course of your life find a more permanent solution. You can find bath brushes in all kinds of shapes and brush types and they’ll actually help exfoliate and clean you better than a loofah anyway.

24. Rechargeable Batteries

Save up to $20

Not many things still use batteries but our need for batteries is far from over. But instead of rebuying batteries every time they die, just buy a pack of rechargeable batteries that you can use for life! That way you won’t be throwing away harmful batteries all the time, and you won’t have to buy them all the time either.

25. Make Reusable Gift Bags

Save up to $240

We spend so much on wrapping paper each year for birthdays and holidays. It’s fun to give gifts and being able to open the gift is one of the best parts! But you can keep the surprise while getting rid of wrapping paper costs by crafting together some reusable gift bags or clothes of your own.

26. Ditch Sponges for Brushes

Save up to $40

Sponges are important for helping you wash dishes, but they can get gross and need replacing really fast. Ditch the cost of sponges all together by buying dish brushes instead.

27. Use Public Transit, Walk, or Bike

Save up to $2,000

The average American spends over $2,000 a year on gas. That’s a lot of money that could be going to other parts of your budget. By taking the bus, using a bike, or walking you can greatly reduce this cost and reduce your emissions.

How To Live a Low Waste Lifestyle

The above list doesn’t list all the things you can do to cut down on waste and costs, but just with the tips above you can potentially save up to $13,000 a year by becoming more self-sufficient and replacing single-use purchases with single-purchase items you only have to buy once.

What will you do with all this extra money? You could put it all into a savings account, a checking account, use it to help reach your savings goals, or pay off credit cards, or start an emergency fund. Start saving money today and make your future brighter and more waste free.

These are a lot of really helpful ideas, but most of them boil down to a few key tactics to living a more low waste lifestyle.

  1. Make things from scratch
  2. Be self-sufficient
  3. Support local businesses
  4. Choose quality over anything else

Now all you have to do is create your own master plan of attack for living the low-waste way and watch how much your budget grows with all those savings!


How Much Do Surgeons Make?

how much do surgeons make

A full-time employee in America makes an average of $3,744 a month, while the average surgeon makes around $21,259 a month!

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Becoming a surgeon might be a difficult endeavor, but it proves worth it in the end. Surgeons have one of the highest paying jobs making $17,515‬ more a month than the average American.

What Do Surgeons Do?

A surgeon is a physician who uses their expertise to primarily perform surgeries. They are specialized doctors who focus their education and medical practices on performing surgeries. They operate on lots of ailments from broken bones, removing cancerous tumors, and hip replacements. Ultimately, a surgeon is someone who fixes, replaces, or removes both internal and external parts of the body.

Surgeons can either become a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). An MD lets them practice conventional (allopathic) medicine. A DO lets them practice osteopathic (more holistic) medicine.

Surgeons can also specialize in certain kinds of surgeries. For example, orthopedic surgery involves the musculoskeletal system, neurological surgery involves the brain and nervous system, cardiovascular surgery has to do with the cardiovascular system, and plastic or reconstructive surgery often involves fixing cosmetic or functional issues.

How to Become a Surgeon

Medical professions have some of the longest processes for becoming doctors and surgeons. But these professions also come with the biggest payouts in the end. Literally!

1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

+4 years

The first thing you’ll need to do on your journey to become a surgeon is to get a bachelor’s degree. This involves a four year degree from an accredited post-secondary university.

You’ll want to use these 4 years to major and minor in subjects that will help you pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and help give you a knowledge base for medical school. Some good subjects to study include, science, biology, health science, chemistry, physics, and kinesiology.

Another thing you’ll need to do during these 4 years is fulfill pre-med course requirements and healthcare experiences. You’ll need to have both of these things for your application to medical school. Talk to your school and make sure you know what courses are required for you to take and look into doing internships, job shadowing, and volunteer experience at your local health facilities.

2. Pass the MCAT

In your senior year of college

Now it is time to take and pass the Medical College Admission Test, most commonly referred to as the MCAT. You’ll take this test in your senior year at college.

It takes some people a few tries to pass the MCAT. You can take the MCAT 3 times in a year, 4 times in 2 years, and 7 times all together. There are also plenty of helpful resources out there to help you practice for this exam.

3. Enroll in Medical School

+4 years

Once you pass the MCAT you can enroll in medical school! In medical school you will complete a Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. As stated above, an MD lets you practice allopathic medicine while a DO lets you do osteopathic medicine.

In medical school you will learn all things related to medicinal practices. You’ll learn subjects like biochemistry, physiology, human anatomy, pharmacology, pathophysiology, microbiology, and preventative medicine.

In your last 2 years at medical school you’ll start doing clinical rotations with the supervision of experienced doctors. This will help ease you in to getting real first-hand, medical experience.

4. Complete a Surgical Residency

+5 years

After you finish medical school it will be time to complete a surgical residency. This where you can start to specialize in a certain area of surgery like orthopedic, neurological, cardiovascular, thoracic, obstetrical, pediatric, or reconstructive surgery. You will do all this while still under the guidance of other experienced surgeons. A surgical residency usually lasts about 5 years.

5. Get Licensed

Now that you have finished your surgical residency you can get licensed and board certified. The requirements for a surgical license will depend on the requirements and process of the state where you want to practice. But usually, to get your surgical license you will need the following:

  1. Graduate medical school
  2. Complete your residency
  3. Pass an examination

There are 2 types of examinations you will need to pass to get your surgical license, depending on whether you got an MD or a DO.

  • MD exam: U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE)
  • DO exam: Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam (COMLEX)

It’s also recommended you get board certified with the American Board of Surgery (ABS).

How Long Does It Take to Become a Surgeon?

After getting a bachelor’s degree, going through medical school, and completing your residency, it can take you up to 13 years to become a surgeon.

Different Types of Surgeons

How Much Do Orthopedic Surgeons Make?

An orthopedic surgeon performs surgeries on bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. As an orthopedic surgeon, you can be a general surgeon or you can specialize in a specific niche like hips and knees. According to Salary.com orthopedic surgeons can expect to make a median yearly salary of $484,210.

How Much Do Plastic Surgeons Make?

Plastic surgeons work with everything involved in the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the body. Often this field of surgery is separated into two categories, namely, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. Plastic surgeons might do anything from performing nose jobs to helping burn victims. They make an average $220,473 a year.

How Much Do Pediatric Surgeons Make?

Pediatric surgeons specialize in surgery for fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and even young adults. These young ages come with their own challenges and expertise. A pediatric surgeon can make around $446,154 a year.

How Much Do Trauma Surgeons Make?

Trauma surgeons use operations and non-operative methods to handle traumatic injuries. This includes emergency surgeries on patients in critical conditions, like those who’ve just been in a severe car crash. Trauma surgeons make an estimate median salary of $402,462 a year.

How Much Do Oral Surgeons Make?

Oral surgeons can also be called maxillofacial surgeons. They specialize in surgeries that involve the face, mouth, and jaw. They are often closely related to dentistry as well. They make about $284,089 a year.

How Much Do Surgeons Make?

If you’re going to go through 13 years of schooling with several difficult exams and residencies, then it needs to be worth it. You’re going to go through long periods of intense schooling and residency work.

According to the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) over 86% of graduates have tuition debt. In 2016 it was estimated that the average medical school student had $190,000 in student debt. But this doesn’t mean you should dismiss the idea of becoming a surgeon. Student debt can be a worthwhile investment into your future. All you have to do is determine the return on investment (ROI).

Financial constraints can be a real hassle, but Check City can help you with the day-to-day financial struggles with an easy to get Check City Payday Loan!

How Much Do Surgeons Make a Year?

how much do surgeons make a year

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics surgeons in the lowest 10% percentile can make an annual wage of $94,960, while surgeons in the highest 90% percentile make around $208,000 a year. This means that in general, surgeons make a mean annual wage of $255,110 a year.

According to PayScale surgeons in the lower 10% make $87,000, the average surgeon makes $221,093, and the highest 90% make $511,000 a year.

How Much Do Surgeons Make in a Month?

Considering the numbers given to us by the BLS, surgeons can expect to make a mean monthly income of $21,259. But according to the average annual salaries from PayScale, surgeons make an average $18,424 a month. This is still far greater than the average monthly income of most full-time Americans.

According to the highest estimated numbers surgeons can even make up to $42,583 a month.

How Much Do Surgeons Make in a Week?

One of the most practical ways to see and understand a potential salary is to break it down into weekly pay. According to the average annual salaries, surgeons can make $5,314 or $4,606 a week and $10,645 a week at most.

The BLS states that most surgeons make about $122.65 an hour and PayScale isn’t far from this number with an average $103.50 an hour. So according to mean hourly wages, if they work 40 hours a week surgeons can expect to make roughly $4,906 a week.

Pay by Location

How much a surgeon gets paid can depend on many factors, like what state you live in, which city in that state you live in, or what kind of facility you work in.

For example, here’s how much a surgeon can expect to make depending on the medical facility that hires them:

Offices of Physicians $265,920
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $225,700
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $175,410
Outpatient Care Centers $277,670
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals $235,770

From this table you can see how different types of facilities and fields of expertise can impact annual salaries. Different states can also offer higher or lower pay.

Top Paying States for Surgeons:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Utah
  4. South Dakota
  5. South Carolina
Pay by Experience Level

pay by experience level

A surgeon’s pay can also depend on their experience level. This can include how many years they’ve been working or the kinds of skills they develop.

So a surgeon who is beginning their career with 1 to 4 years of experience makes an estimated $101,736 a year, 5 to 9 years makes $150,000, 10 to 19 years makes $275,000, and 20 or more years make $395,000.

For example, having emergency or trauma skills can boost your salary by 122%! A general surgeon makes an average of $221,093 a year while a surgeon with emergency and trauma expertise can make up to $491,318 a year. That’s over twice the salary!

If surgery isn’t for you there are still many potential jobs out there in the medical field. If you’re looking for a little less schooling you could become a nurse! Or if you want better hours and less intensity you could become a dentist.


Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Surgeons.”

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make?

how much do computer programmers make

Computer programmers make about $5,221 a month while the average full-time worker makes around $3,744 a month.

In America right now, computer programmers tend to make about $1,477 more than the national average and that’s only considering the median salary figures for computer programmers. GlassDoor says that computer programmers can make up to $9,166 a month!

What Do Computer Programmers Do?

Computer programmers can work in a wide variety of fields. But mainly, computer programmers create and troubleshoot code, computer software, and computer programs.

Computer programming itself is all about writing instructions for computers so that programs and software work the way they are supposed to. Computer programmers often use their skills to help programs be more user-friendly for customers or other company employees.

Computer programmers complete their jobs by learning and using computer languages like Java, C++, C#, and Python, just to name a few out of many. Aside from computer languages, computer programmers also want to stay up to date in the world of technology throughout their careers.

The Best Coding Languages to Learn

coding languages

If you want to become a computer programmer you’ll want to start getting familiar with computer languages. There are many many computer programming languages, but some are more popular than others.

The 5 Most Popular Computer Languages:

  1. Java
  2. C
  3. C++
  4. Python
  5. C#

The languages you learn as a computer programmer can also be important to your future salary.

Java

Java is a useful language to know because it can be used on any platform, regardless of whether it’s Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, mobile, or desktop. It’s a very commonly used language that can be used for web development and creating apps. Java is considered to be an intermediate level coding language since you will need to learn some specific vocabulary.

Computer programmers who know Java make an average of $94,000 a year.

C

C is a very old computer language. It is actually the root language behind other coding languages like C#, C++, and Java. Because of this, many people recommend learning C first in order to get a good foundation in computer languages. C language is a high-performance language at the intermediate to advance level. You need to have some knowledge of computers before you start working in this language.

Computer programmers who know C make an average of $91,000 a year.

C++

C++ is a language branched off from C language. But while C language is intermediate to advance, C++ is only beginner to intermediate, making it a bit easier of a language to learn if you’re just starting out. Many have also been migrating from C to C++ because it is more intuitive in how it’s used.

Computer programmers who know C++ make an average of $91,000 a year.

Python

Python is a very common language and it is growing in popularity. Of all the languages mentioned here, Python is probably the easiest to learn. It is a beginner level of difficulty so if you’ve never learned a language before, Python might be the best language to start with.

Computer programmers who know Python make an average of $92,000 a year.

C#

C# was created by Microsoft and is similar to the C++ language. It’s a language that is most compatible with Windows, Android, and iOS and uses the concept of object-oriented programming.

Computer programmers who know C# make an average of $91,000 a year.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Coding

About 3 months

How long it takes you to learn a coding language will largely depend on the route you take to learn the language. Many programs and courses can teach a coding language in 3 months.

But you can also take college courses as a computer science major, and learn several important coding languages in 4 years. Either way, learning a single coding language is going to take you a matter of months to fully learn.

How Do You Become a Computer Programmer?

Another perk of computer programming is that the process to become one is rather uncomplicated.

First, get a bachelor’s degree

The most common bachelor’s degrees for computer programmers are computer science, information technology (IT), or mathematics.

Next, specialize in one or 2 computer languages

Becoming certified in these computer languages will be especially helpful in your career as a computer programmer. Besides your school, there are many places you can go to take courses, training, and testing for certifications. And if you need help paying for the courses you need, you could take out a Check City Personal Loan.

You may need to learn many coding languages throughout your career as a computer programmer, but starting by specializing in one or two is a great way to get your foot in the door. Specialized knowledge in one or two of them might also help make learning other languages easier later on.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make?

computer programmer salary

Knowing your earning potential can help you know what offers to expect and accept when searching for a job. It can also help you make decisions about which career path to choose.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make a Year?

According to PayScale computer programmers make around $40,000 to $98,000 per year. Their average yearly salary is around $62,663.

But other places have some things to say about the earnings of computer programmers too. Like the GlassDoor, that says computer programmers’ salaries range between $58,000 to $110,000 a year, with a base average pay of $76,526 a year.

Meanwhile, the salary range for computer programmers according to PayScale is $40,000 to $98,000 a year, with an average yearly salary of $62,663.

With $44,928‬ a year as the average salary for full-time workers in America, computer programmers do rather well for themselves.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make in a Month?

Computer programmers can make an average of $5,221 per month, according to the average annual salaries mentioned above. But they also have the potential to make up to $9,166 a month.

How Much Do Computer Programmers Make in a Week?

As a computer programmer, if you are being paid hourly instead of a yearly salary, you can expect to make around $21.99 an hour and $879 a week. But according to ZipRecruiter computer programmers can make up to $47 an hour!

Pay by Location

pay by location

Sometimes where you work can impact what kind of pay you can expect. For example, New York makes 25% above the average pay, Los Angeles California makes 2% below, and Houston Texas makes 7% below.

Some of the best paying cities are Seattle Washington ($129,290), Charlottesville Virginia ($112,240), Vallejo California ($112,000), Olympia Washington ($107,890), and Hartford Connecticut ($106,250).

Some of the best paying states are Washington ($126,920), District of Columbia ($105,200), California ($97,470), Arizona ($95,900), and Massachusetts ($95,380).

Pay by Experience Level

pay by experience

Your experience level can also determine how much you get paid each year. Most jobs will pay you more, the more experience you have. Programmers who have only been working for a year or less can make an average of $51,344 a year, with 1 to 4 years of experience they can make $56,731, 5 to 9 years of experience can make around $69,571 a year, 10 to 19 years of experience can make around $77,466, and finally, with 20 or more years of experience, you can make around $84,664 a year.

Related Jobs

related jobs

If computer programming isn’t quite what you were looking for, there are other jobs related to computer programming that might better pique your interest. Some jobs related to computer programming are software developers, database administrators, computer systems administrators, computer and information systems managers, or computer and information research scientists.

Software developers make an average $105,590 a year, make $90,070, make $82,050, computer and information systems managers make $142,530, and computer and information research scientists make $118,370 a year.

There are many jobs to choose from out there and it can be hard to make a decision. But with the right help, you can figure out what you want to do in life with ease.


Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Computer and Information Technology/Software Developers,” “Computer and Information Technology/Network and Computer Systems Administrators,” “Computer and Information Technology/Database Administrators,” “Computer and Information Technology/Computer and Information Research Scientists.”

How to Start a Book Club

book club

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”

—George R. R. Martin

There are a lot of reasons to create a club. Maybe you just want to socialize more and make new friends. Or maybe you have some reading goals to reach this year. The reason for creating your book club will determine the club’s purpose which then might determine how it’s run.

Step 1: Decide the Purpose of Your Book Club and its Name

For instance, if you are making a book club for purely social reasons, then you might decide on fun books and a meeting place that facilitates chatting and hanging out. But if the purpose of the club is more academic, then you’ll choose heavier books and put more time and effort into creating a group discussion plan.

It is also helpful to put a name to your book club so that you can easily refer to the club using a name. It doesn’t have to be anything too clever. You could simply call it Jane’s Book Club if your name is Jane. Or you could have a brainstorming session with the group and then vote on the most popular name idea.

Step 2: Decide Who You’re Inviting

The ideal number of members in a book club ranges between 8 and 16 members. You want enough people to create interesting group discussions, but not so many people that the group gets out of hand.

If you are unsure about who to invite, then you can simply invite 2 to 3 people and have them each invite their own 2 to 3 people. That way you’ll have a diverse group.

You can also post flyers around your community with the details of your first meeting if you want to gather a completely new group. This can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Then you can hold your meetings in public places where everyone can easily meet together regardless of their schedules.

Step 3: Decide on a Meeting Place

When scheduling your book club meet-ups you’ll need to decide on where and when. There are several options available to you for where you and your fellow group members could meet. Where and when you decide will mostly depend on the availability and preferences of your group members.

You could meet online
  • Google Hangouts
  • Facebook Video Calls
  • Skype
  • Online forums
  • Group Messenger
You could meet in person
  • a coffee shop
  • a restaurant where you can eat together and discuss
  • someone’s house
  • the local library

Step 4: Create a Reading List

One of the hard parts of creating a book club is getting everyone to agree on what books to read. It helps if you decide on how reading lists will be determined as soon as possible.

Maybe you, as the leader of the book club, will make all reading list decisions. Or maybe everyone will vote on which books to read at the first meeting. You could also take turns in the group for who gets to pick the next book.

Download a Free PDF Printable for a Yearly Reading List

Your book club might also have a specific purpose, like to read all the books by Dave Ramsey. If that’s the case then your book club’s reading list is already decided!

You could also just read a book about a book club! The Jane Austen Book Club is a New York Times Bestseller written by Karen Joy Fowler and has since become a major motion picture.

Step 5: Make the Schedule

Once you have a reading list it’s time to schedule out your reading assignments and group discussions. Generally, scheduling to read a chapter a week isn’t too difficult of a reading assignment, but this might depend on the book you’re all reading.

Take into account how quickly you want to go through each book, the number of pages in each chapter, and how often you want your group to meet.

It might also help to create a calendar for your group so that everyone is on the same page. You can create a group calendar on google calendars, or you can print one to pass out to everyone.

Download a Free PDF Printable of a Book Club Calendar Template

Step 6: Decide How Everyone is Getting their Books

Will everyone just buy them or will you all use kindle unlimited or used copies? Depending on your group size there may be enough copies at the local library, but this isn’t likely. Most book clubs let everyone be in charge of getting their own books.

You could also do a traveling book idea where you share one copy of the book. Then you can alternate on who buys the book and who the book ends up with at the end. This would be a more inexpensive way to run a book club, but your group discussions would be farther apart.

If you decide to go in together on book costs, you can use a Check City Prepaid Debit Card to consolidate your group’s funds on one card to buy the books. You can also use prepaid debit cards to help your group pay for things like refreshments.

Step 7: Format the Discussions

Whether you’re meeting online or in person, you’ll need to format your group discussions. If you come to group discussions unprepared, or without someone to help lead the discussion, you might end up with lots of awkward silences.

To avoid long silences in your group discussion, come with a list of interesting questions about the section you all just read. You can also send a question or two from this list to everyone before you meet, and have everyone prepare their own answers beforehand. That way everyone has already thought of some things to say.

Another part of formatting the discussions that you don’t want to forget is to create discussion rules or guidelines. If disagreements arise you want to have clear outlines in place dictating what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior in group discussions. These outlines can help keep discussions civil and productive.

Resources for Book Clubs

Need some extra help getting started? You can find all kinds of resources online to help create your book club. Here are just a few book club resources you can use:

Book Club Apps
Book Club Websites
  • BookClubz.com is an online platform that allows you to create and organize your book club.
  • Reddit has subreddits for almost any book, full of great discussion topics you can use in your own group.
  • TapaTalk allows you to create an online community forum.
  • Wikipedia has a long list of book genres that can help you brainstorm reading list ideas.
  • Bookstr can help you find book lists and news all about books.

Book Clubs You Can Join

Scholastic Book Club

Scholastic book clubs can be created by teachers or parents for their kids! They’re easy to set up. You can even follow their how-to videos to help get you started.

All you have to do is create an account, let your kids choose their books, and the Book Box arrives in class! Scholastic books will even help teachers build a classroom library. Scholastic Books is a corporation all about helping kids get excited about reading.

Reese Witherspoon Book Club

Reese Witherspoon has her own book club that you can also join. You can connect to her book club in a number of ways, through Facebook, Instagram, GoodReads, or even Audible.

Reese’s Book Club reads a new book each month, hand-picked by Reese Witherspoon herself. She picks books with great female protagonists, that a gigantic following of people can read together and talk about!

Oprah’s Book Club

Oprah’s book club is one of the biggest, most long-standing book clubs to date. Oprah started her book club in 1996 as part of the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Oprah’s Book Club eventually launched what she called, Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 that now uses social media and e-readers to keep the famous book club going. She also handpicks a new book each month for her book club followers to read.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of starting a book club then just join a book club that already exists! You might even find a preexisting book club in your local neighborhood.

 

You have so much to gain from creating a book club. You can make new friends, schedule in some much needed socializing, and read some great literature. Book clubs are also a really easy club to put together but will offer you and your fellow members years of fun to come.


Keto Recipes: An Easy Guide for Beginners

Keto Recipes: An Easy Guide for Beginners

The keto diet is becoming ever more popular and it’s easy to see why. Many ordinary people are seeing great results with this high fat and low carb diet.

The National Center for Biotechnology found that out by doing a study to test the effectiveness of the diet over a period of 24 weeks. After their study was over they found that the keto diet can significantly decrease both weight and body mass index.

How Does the Keto Diet Work?

The word “keto” in keto diet, comes from the word “ketogenic.” The diet involves low carbs, proteins, and lots of fats. By eating this way, your body goes into what’s called ketosis, which makes your body switch to burning fats for energy instead of carbohydrates.

The keto diet was originally intended for children with epilepsy. It has also been suggested by doctors for obese patients or patients with type 2 diabetes or who are prediabetic for type 2 diabetes.

People have also found that the keto diet can help with heart disease, cancer, and even acne!

But it’s a pretty strict diet, so finding keto-friendly recipes can be difficult. Luckily, we’re here to help, and we’ll even show you how keto foods can help you save money as well.

Keto Diet Steps

The keto diet is all about no carbs and lots of fats and proteins. But for some, it can be a really different way to eat compared to how they normally eat.

keto diet health

First, learn what you can and can’t have on the keto diet

Here are a few foods you can’t have while on the keto diet:

  • Grains like bread
  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes
  • Sugary fruits like bananas or mangos
  • Sugar
  • Baked goods

And here are a few foods you can have while on the keto diet:

  • Meats
  • Low carb veggies
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Berries
Second, fill up your pantry with the foods you can have

By grocery shopping for what you can eat, and getting rid of the foods you can’t eat, you’ll make eating right a lot easier on yourself. When unhealthy foods are out of sight they are more easily out of mind as well. And if you need help stocking that pantry, you can always take out a small Check City Installment Loan to cover some of your food costs.

Third, build up an arsenal of keto recipes you love

Make your own cookbook full of your favorite keto recipes. Starting a healthier diet can be a fun way to experiment with new recipes that are also better for you.

Download a Free PDF Printable for a Keto Recipe Card.

Fourth, track your progress

Another way to help you stay on the keto diet is to track your progress. If you are able to see the difference eating healthier can make on your body and mind then you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

Download a Free PDF Printable for a Keto Progress Worksheet.

Fifth, create contingency plans

You also want to create a plan for what you’ll do when obstacles arise. One challenge might be when your friends want to go out to eat. Look up the keto-friendly options available at your local restaurants so you know where you can eat.

You might also need to make a contingency plan for when you go to family gatherings. Try talking to your loved ones about your new diet and see if they can provide keto-friendly food options for you. Otherwise, you can always plan on bringing your own food.

Just follow these simple steps to make living the keto diet super easy.

Keto Diet Recipes

If you’re just starting the keto diet, then you might feel lost about some things like what is a chaffle? and what do I make myself for dinner now? Don’t worry though, there are plenty of easy keto recipe ideas to choose from on the internet right now.

Here are some of the most popular keto recipes to get you started:

How the Keto Diet Can Save You Money

Living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t need to be difficult. Especially once you realize the health and financial benefits a healthy diet can provide! Eating healthier can also save you money in the long term!

Here are a few ways eating keto can help you gain money as you lose pounds:

  • You have to stick to your grocery list, so you’re less likely to buy lots of extra goodies.
  • You’ll end up eating out less and cooking at home more.
  • You’ll have more leftovers to provide even more meals throughout the week.
  • You’ll stop buying expensive snacks and junk foods.
  • Healthy produce is less expensive in the long term.
  • You can pack your lunches for work and school instead of eating out every day.
  • Becoming healthier means less medical bills.

If you allow it, living a healthier lifestyle can help you and your wallet feel great. As you work toward physical stability, you can also work toward financial stability! Learning to use the keto diet to maintain better physical and financial health is just one diet example that can benefit your life in more ways than one.


How Much Do Dentists Make?

dentist salary

When picking a profession many people wonder about annual salary, because earning potential might impact which career path you choose.

By knowing how much you can earn in each field, you can better know what jobs best fit your desired lifestyle and have the ability to support yourself and your loved ones. Meanwhile, if you’re in between jobs and need some financial help, feel free to check out Check City’s Payday Loans to help get you through the job hunt.

The Different Kinds of Dental Professions

Dentistry is a great profession to go into if you want great hours along with great pay. There are also many different kinds of dentists so you have many choices within the field of dentistry as well.

All dentists need to have a professional degree, which usually involves going to dental school, though some dental professions require even more schooling. As we go down this list of dentist professions, their amount of required education increases.

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants are like the RNs of the dentistry world. They help out the dentist, perform routine cleanings, take x-rays, keep records, and schedule appointments.

General Dentist

A general dentist is the person you see for your regular annual dental checkup. They primarily focus on preventative care by teaching you how to take good care of your teeth so problems don’t occur in the first place. They’ll perform cleanings, X-rays, fillings, and other basic dental care.

Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist is just like a general dentist except they specialize in treating children. Children come with their own kind of teeth and their own struggles when it comes to doctors, so pediatric dentists are helpful in that they focus on managing children, teaching them in ways they’ll understand, making the experience at the dentist less scary, and caring for their young mouths as they grow from baby teeth to adult teeth.

Orthodontist

If you have braces then you know that orthodontists are the ones you go to for this kind of care. But they don’t just handle braces. They also handle a lot of other issues connected to a misaligned mouth or jaw.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the surgeons of the mouth. They focus less on teeth and more on the tissues around the mouth—like gums, cheeks, lips, palates, tongue, and other facial tissues. These are obviously going to be more invasive treatments, so oral and maxillofacial surgeons continue school for a while after completing dental school. Though they focus more on the tissues related to the mouth they do also deal with tooth extractions.

Periodontist

Periodontists are all about your gums. They specialize in taking care of gum-specific problems and treatments. Some examples of the issues that can occur with gums are inflammation, pain, and gum diseases. If you have an issue with your gums specifically, then you might need to see a periodontist.

Prosthodontist

Prosthodontists are the people you go to when you need a tooth replacement. They take care of what’s called oral prosthetics, like false teeth. They are also the doctors you see in advertisements about getting extreme smile makeovers.

Endodontist

Endodontists specialize on the inside of teeth. The inside of your tooth is actually full of soft, sensitive tissue and can suffer its own kinds of damages and ailments that need to be treated by a professional. These are also the dentists that perform root canals.

How Much Do Dentists Make a Year?

infographic dentist salary

In 2018, dentists made an overall median salary of $156,240 per year and $75.12 per hour.

The lowest earning 10% of dentists earned less than $72,840 a year and the highest 10% earned more than $208,000 a year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) general dentists make an average of $151,850 a year. According to PayScale, pediatric dentists make an average $178,141 a year, orthodontists make $181,705, oral and maxillofacial surgeons make $243,806, periodontists make $173,939,
prosthodontists make $169,853, endodontists make $201,080, and dental assistants make $34,095.

How Much Do Dentists Make a Month?

monthly income

In 2018, dentists made an average of $13,020 per month

Sometimes it helps to break down yearly salaries into monthly income, especially if you’re currently living month to month. According to the same figures above, general dentists make an average of $12,654 every month, pediatric dentists make $14,845, orthodontist make $15,142, oral and maxillofacial surgeons make $20,317, periodontists make $14,494, prosthodontists make $14,154, endodontists make $16,756, and dental assistants make $2,841 a month.

The BLS found in their most recent population survey that the average full-time worker makes about $3,744 per month or $936 per week. Meanwhile, the average dentist is making around $13,020 per month, putting dentists’ salaries far above the national average.

Dentist Earnings by Location

how much dentists make by location

Some of the highest employment rates for dentists come from California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois.

The pay that dentists can expect can also vary depending on state. Some of the top paying states for dentists are Delaware, Alaska, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.

Dentists do best in less dense areas because they are more likely to have less competition and therefore more pay and flexibility.

How much do dentists make in California?

California is actually the state with the highest employment level in the U.S. California also ranks in the top 5 for states with the highest number of jobs and locations for dentists. The mean annual wage for dentists working in California is $151,490 per year and $72.83 per hour. Overall, California is a great place to be for a dentist.

How much do dentists make in Texas?

Texas is also a high ranking state in terms of employment level and availability. They offer a mean wage of $185,680 per year and $89.27 per hour, so New York actually beats California when it comes to salary.

How much do dentists make in New York?

New York is also a top contender for the state with the highest dentist employment levels. They feature an annual mean wage of $164,520 and $79.10 per hour. Overall, Texas might beat both California and New York where annual salary is concerned, but you have to consider where you’d like to settle down as well.

How to Become a Dentist

Now that you’ve seen the many benefits of becoming a dentist, you might wonder where to start on your journey to becoming one!

Step 1: Get a bachelor’s degree

It’s most helpful for you to major in a pre-dentistry major if your school provides something like that, or in a science major in order to have the upper hand later in dental school.

Step 2: Take the Dental Admission Test

In a way, dentists have to take their own version of the MCAT, just like aspiring doctors do. It’s called the Dental Acceptance Test and it is administered by the American Dental Association. The test takes 5 hours, and the current average score is 19 out of 30 points.

Step 3: Get a doctorate

Make sure that whatever doctorate you go for will be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. This way you won’t have any problems getting your license to practice dentistry afterward.

Step 4: Get licensed

To get your dental license you have to take another test. The National Board Dental Examinations are administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examination

 

The perks to being a dentist are endless. Along with a great salary and job outlook, you can transform the lives of your patience and alleviate their fears along with their pains.


Sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Dentists.”

The Master Guide to Winter Workouts

winter workouts

Staying active in winter may seem impossible, but with some key tips and tricks you can get back on track and enjoy your healthiest and happiest winter yet.

Explore this Article

Winter is one of the hardest times to work out. Winter has some major eating holidays, it’s cold outside, it’s dark outside, the days are shorter, and you feel sleepy and full of food all the time! But all of this is why it is so important to stay active in winter and avoid being too stagnant during this season.

Tips for Staying Active in Winter

exercise tips

Staying active when it’s cold and dark outside is difficult, and understandably so. Around 17.3 million adults in the U.S. alone suffer from depression and 10% to 20% of those cases are affected by the seasons—like winter. The cold, dark days of winter can really deter us from staying positive and active. But with a few key tips, you can make your life a little easier and help make working out in winter a little easier too.

1. Make Future Plans

By making future plans for the spring and summer you can find your winter workout motivation! Summer plans will give you something to work toward during the winter. This can be anything from a beach vacation to signing up for a marathon.

2. Set Up an At-Home Workout Space

Having a designated space in your home to work out can really help make exercising during the winter easier. You don’t even have to dedicate a whole room to your at-home gym space. Just set up some at-home weights and a yoga mat in an assigned bin near your TV so you can do a short daily workout video and have everything you need right there.

3. Invest in Indoor Equipment

Sometimes the biggest obstacle to working out in winter is getting yourself out the door to go to the gym. Solve this problem by investing in some indoor gym equipment for your own home. Then you don’t have to spend additional time traveling to the gym in order to work out each day. You can even take out a payday loan to help buy the indoor workout equipment you need.

4. Get a Gym Membership

Another way to get yourself going to the gym is to sign up for a gym membership. Ideally, you should choose a gym that is close to home or close to your work. This way your gym will be on the way so you can easily plan a stop to the gym on your daily schedule. You can even keep a locker at your gym so you’ll have all your shoes and workout clothes already there.

5. Find a Workout Buddy

Support is an important part of achieving any goal. A workout friend can help keep you accountable, motivated, and positive as you work toward your physical health goals.

Examples of Indoor Winter Workouts

at home workouts

Just because the outdoors are full of ice and snow, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay plenty active from the warmth and comfort of the indoors.

1. Sign Up for Indoor Sports

There are plenty of indoor sports teams you can join. You can even start your own team with friends! Sports don’t have to be professional or competitive, they can also just be for fun, socializing, and staying in shape. You can also do other indoor sports alone like swimming at the local indoor pool or rock climbing.

2. Use Workout Videos

Workout videos can be a fantastic way to get moving from the convenience of your living room. You can even find free workout videos on YouTube like Fitness Blender. There are plenty of expertly designed workout videos and subscriptions you can purchase as well, like Daily Burn.

3. Do Yoga Circuits

Yoga isn’t just for stretching, it has many great health benefits as a daily workout. Yoga with Adriene are free yoga workout videos you can find on YouTube to get you started.

4. Go Dancing

Sign up for a dance class and learn some cool skills while you workout! You can even find ways to teach yourself how to dance by watching videos or playing games like Just Dance!

5. Do Some Deep Cleaning

Yes, you heard right. You can get your house in order while you sweat by doing some intense spring cleaning early. Make cleaning into more of a workout by doing creative things like core twists while you mop the floor or lifting heavy baskets like they are weights.

6. Create Your Own Workout

Instead of using workout videos you can create your own workout routine with all your favorite moves. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Crunches
  • Plank
  • Mountain climbers
  • High knees
  • High kicks
  • Sidekicks
  • Pushups
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Jump rope
  • Jumping jacks
  • Stairs
  • Weights

Examples of Outdoor Winter Workouts

outdoor workouts

If you are going to exercise outside in winter then there are a few things you need to do to stay safe and be prepared.

  • Do extra-long warmups
  • Wear layers
  • Protect your extremities
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Wear Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare off the snow
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear the right shoes and be careful of slipping on ice
1. Go Skiing

Skiing isn’t just fun it’s also a workout! It’s a sport you can do in winter that will give you a full-body workout.

2. Ski Uphill

Skiing uphill is also known as skinning or alpine touring. It involves placing a “skin” to the base of skis so you don’t slide backward and can in essence ski uphill. Snow adds some extra resistance to this uphill exercise making it a doozy of a workout.

3. Go Snowboarding

Another great winter sport to do is snowboarding. It can keep you occupied for hours, you can socialize with friends, and get an intense core workout in!

4. Trail Running

Trail running isn’t only for warmer months. You can still jog your favorite trails in winter, just make sure you layer up accordingly and beware of ice!

5. Hiking

Activities like hiking can be really fun to do in winter because it’s cold out and the sun isn’t as intense. Winter hikes can actually be more pleasant because you won’t be fighting the sun or the heat.

6. Sledding

Sledding isn’t just for children! It can be good for adults too. Not only that but you can have fun with the kids in your life all while getting an awesome workout into your day.

7. Ice Skating

Ice skating is a great activity because you can easily do it with friends or on your own. While ice skating you work unique muscles in your legs and abdomen. You can even take an ice skating class and learn some impressive new moves to show your friends.

8. Shovel Snow

This might seem like a chore but it doesn’t have to just be a chore. You can change your perspective on shoveling snow and include it in your workout regime.

9. Play in the Snow

There is a lot of fun to be had out in the snow. You can have a snowball fight, build a snowman, create an igloo, or pull each other around in sleds.

10. Snow Shoeing

Snow adds weight resistance that you can use to your advantage. Going on a walk in the snow can burn even more calories than if you were walking without snow.


Staying active is important for an endless amount of reasons. Physical fitness isn’t just important to your physical health but to your mental and emotional wellbeing as well. Don’t let your physical health plans fall by the wayside this winter by using these tips to finally win at winter workouts.


How to Make and Keep New Year Resolutions this Year

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new year wishes

The New Year is a significant time for a lot of people. A whole new year is beginning with a whole new you waiting ahead!

The new year is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts for us all. Many of us will attempt to make new year resolutions to better ourselves and our lives this coming year. We see the new year holiday as an opportunity to celebrate the past year and look hopefully toward the year to come. New Years Eve may be one of the most hopeful nights of the year as we start over with the dawn of a whole new beginning.

New Year Resolution Ideas

Have you decided what your new year resolutions are going to be? If not, here are some common new year resolution ideas that you could choose from.

  1. Work on physical health
  2. Work on mental health
  3. Get more organized
  4. Save money
  5. Get out of debt
  6. Quit bad habits
  7. Stick to a budget
  8. Travel
  9. Read more
  10. Find a better job

new year goals

1. Work on physical health
Every body needs to learn good, healthy habits to keep their bodies fit and strong. This goal works for everyone since we can all do a little more to take care of our physical health, whether that means eating better, working out more, or both.

2. Work on mental health
This goal also works for everyone since we can all always do a little more to take care of our mental and emotional wellbeing. Self-care is important and can make accomplishing other goals a lot easier. Mental wellness goals can be anything from resolving to visit a therapist to doing morning yoga for a happier morning routine.

3. Get more organized
Organizing and decluttering your life is another goal that can make keeping other goals easier. Maybe you want to focus on planning more productive days. Or maybe your office space, bedroom, or garage could use a major cleaning and organizing overhaul. This can be a great goal to make as a family to rearrange and reorganize your home and your lives together.

keep new year resolutions guide

4. Save money
We’d all like to save more money, but making this an actual new year resolution might be the focus you need to really make it happen. You can save money in many ways: 1) reduce spending by getting rid of some monthly payments, 2) get a better paying job or a second job, or 3) learn to stick to a budget that allows you to save more money.

5. Get out of debt
Debt can bog down all aspects of our lives. It can keep us from getting the things we need and moving forward with important life steps. Resolve to get rid of debts this year and make an airtight financial plan for how you’ll do it. Maybe this year you can decide to go without certain things so you can afford the bigger payments to bring down your debts faster.

6. Quit bad habits
Bad habits come in all shapes and sizes. You might want to quit smoking this year, or maybe you just want to quit eating junk food. One key trick to quitting bad habits is figuring out how to replace bad habits with better habits to fill the void the bad habit was filling.

7. Stick to a budget
Creating a budget and sticking to it can be a really difficult goal to accomplish. To finally learn to stick to your budget, try focusing on one aspect of your budget at a time in order to more slowly learn how to live according to that budget. This way you’ll take things slower and not fail due to being overwhelmed.

8. Travel more
Traveling can be a great way to expand your views, learn about the world, and learn about yourself. Make sure that in your goal planning you remember to account for time and costs. You might need to use PTO days at work and plan accordingly. There will also be travel costs like gas, tickets, hotels, or whatever else you’ll need to make your traveling plans actually happen. You can also make use of a Check City Installment Loan in your travel budget to help with costs. Plan to prepare before you plan to travel.

9. Read more
Reading is an important hobby we often forget about in our busy lives. To remind yourself to read this coming year create your own reading list. Keep in mind your own reading pace and schedule out your planned reading for the year on a calendar. You can even form a book club and read together with friends.

10. Find a better job
Money might not buy happiness but a good job can make all the difference in your personal and financial life. Finding a better job might be an important goal this year if you’re struggling to not live paycheck to paycheck. It might also be an important goal if the environment at your current job is less than ideal, or if your commute is too long.

How to Set Goals

set goals
Making goals for yourself this new year is a worthy endeavor, but many of us start to fail in our goals around February and give up by March. Why is this? Generally, we fail in our goals because we lack the proper motivation and planning to keep our goals.

1. Don’t set too many goals
One of the main things that keep people from accomplishing their goals is setting too many goals at one time. Instead, stick to only one or two major goals for the year. You may have up to 50 goals you’d really like to accomplish this coming year, but if you want to be successful at keeping your goals, you’ll need to prioritize and focus on the most important ones first.

2. Make a step-by-step plan for your goals
Once you have your resolution in mind, break the goal up into manageable steps. For example, you may want to save up to buy a new car, but you know you can’t just put thousands of dollars aside. However, you do know you can put aside $10 this month, and $20 the next month. Make big goals more manageable by organizing them into small, easy to accomplish steps.

3. Expect and accept setbacks
When trying to accomplish great things you are going to experience setbacks. Don’t let them destroy all your efforts by recognizing that failure is a normal part of any process. But failure doesn’t have to mean absolute failure. You can fall off the horse and get right back on, and at the end of the day, it’s this kind of effort and resolve that gives you the most out of your goals.

How to Stay Motivated

new year resolutions
One way to keep yourself feeling excited about your goals is to make use of new year quotes. You can print out motivational quotes and hang them around your house or bedroom as a reminder of your goals. It’s also a great idea to have a motto of the year that you look to each morning to stay focused, positive, and motivated. Here are just a few of the many quotes you could use as your quote of the year:

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

—C. S. Lewis

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”

—Karen Kaiser Clark

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.”

—Germany Kent

“Life’s not about expecting, hoping and wishing, it’s about doing, being and becoming.”

—Mike Dooley

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
—E.E. Cummings

You can also help yourself stay motivated and achieve your goals by helping others stay motivated and keep their goals. On new years we like to make resolutions for ourselves and give out new year wishes for others. Support your friends and family in their goals by reaching out to them in your new year wishes this year and offer your help and encouragement in their own endeavors.

The Ultimate Black Friday Strategy Guide

In this article you’ll find an in-depth strategy guide for how to tackle your Black Friday shopping this year. Not only that but we’ve provided a guide at the bottom of this article that links to all the Black Friday ads you want (from Target ads to GameStop ads) and their store hours on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday.

The Most Useful Black Friday Shopping Tips

black friday shopping

Tip 1: Hire a Babysitter

Bringing small children along with you to shop on Black Friday isn’t a great idea. Generally they’ll be too young to enjoy the crowds and long waits in line. In fact, they’ll probably hate it and keep you from being out as long as you could be without them. They’ll just get tired, hungry, and bored so keeping the kids safe at home with a spouse or babysitter is better.

Tip 2: Make a Budget

The very first thing you’ll want to do when planning your Black Friday strategy is figure out your budget. This is important so that you stay in control of your finances and not blow all your money on Black Friday. A budget will let you know how much you’re allowed to spend.

Tip 3: Check Out the Ads

Do some pre-shopping preparation by researching what you want to buy now. You can check out the prices of things you want by looking through Black Friday ads beforehand. Make a list of the things you want from each catalogue. Include in your list the price of each item, where they can be purchased, and whether they can be purchased online. This will give you a kind of master shopping list so you can see all of your options.

Tip 4: Prioritize Your Shopping List

Don’t buy everything on your master shopping list. Instead, number the items on your list from most to least important. That way you can match your final shopping list to the budget you made in the first step. Planning your Black Friday shopping trip to this extent can also help you not impulse buy the whole store.

Tip 5: Make Black Friday Shopping a Bonding Experience

There’s no reason shopping on Black Friday can’t be a fun bonding experience with you and your fellow shopping lovers. Make an event out of it by preparing together and using all that line waiting to talk with and bond with your shopping buddies. You can also make the experience a fun time to bond by going out to eat a victory meal once all your shopping is done!

Tip 6: Plan Your Shopping Trips

Actually schedule and plan your shopping trip. Make a shared schedule with everyone you’re shopping with and mark down what order you plan on visiting each store. That way you won’t be left debating where you should go first when you get in the car to start your Black Friday trip. Instead you’ll already have it all figured out.

Tip 7: Skip the Doorbusters

Instead of going Black Friday shopping when everyone else is out flooding the roads and the stores, feel free to go shopping way earlier or way later than everyone else! If you go after the bustle you may not find as many things still in stock, but your overall shopping experience will be much calmer.

black friday shopping tips

Tip 8: Don’t Forget to Shop Online

Don’t forget that you can shop online too. In fact, you can find a lot of Black Friday deals that are exclusive to the stores website now, meaning you have to purchase some things online to get the Black Friday deal. There’s also the matter of stores and roads becoming extremely overcrowded every Black Frida, so if you can find what you want online instead, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and help keep the stores and roads less congested.

Tip 9: Don’t Miss the Deals Around Black Friday

A lot of stores now have Black Friday deals that happen before and after the actual day. In some cases you might even be able to skip shopping on Friday to go to those sales instead. When planning you trip and checking out the deals around Black Friday, don’t miss the sales going on before and after Black Friday too.

Tip 10: Don’t Use a Cart

Don’t use a cart if you can. It’ll just take up space in the already crowded aisles and keep you from being speedy as you maneuver through the store. That being said, if you’re buying something heavy or big, don’t hurt yourself by trying to carry it.

Tip 11: Dress for the Occasion

Make sure you dress right for Black Friday shopping. It is going to be cold outside, but warm inside the busy stores. You are also going to be on your feet a lot and possibly need to carry a lot of shopping bags around. Keep all of these factors in mind when you choose your Black Friday battle outfit. Wear shoes that have thick insoles (like your running shoes) so your feet will have adequate support for standing in line for a long time. Wear warm, long sleeve clothes for if you need to wait outside before stores open, but don’t wear anything too bulky or too warm since you’ll also be waiting in long lines inside hot, overpopulated stores as well. Wearing long sleeves with a vest or medium sized jacket should give you the right blend. Try to not carry a purse while Black Friday shopping since you want to travel light. Instead carry a small, pocket-friendly wallet, or a smaller purse so you can travel light.

Tip 12: Check the Deals are Worth It

Make sure the prices are actually a worthwhile deal before you go through all the trouble to get them. Sometimes similar deals come up later in the year when shopping isn’t so crazy. It’s also a good idea to know the original price of the item so you can see if you’re actually saving all that much.

Tip 13: Bring Your Own Shopping Bags

By bringing your own shopping bags you can help out the environment a little, and also make your life easier. With your own shopping bags you can carry around the items you want to purchase more easily while you finish shopping and wait in those long lines. But carrying a bag will leave you with a lot more mobility in the store then a cart will.

Tip 14: Form Teams

Make teams so that you can divide and conquer your Black Friday shopping goals. You can send your teams to different stores so you can all finish the shopping a lot faster than if you all had to go to each store together.

Tip 15: Do in Store Pick Up

Take advantage of the in store pick up feature when you can. Even on Black Friday some store will still let you buy online and pick up in the store. Then you can possibly avoid some lines!

Tip 16: Be Mindful of Your Funds

Make sure you keep track of your funds and how much you’re spending at each store. For instance, if you’re paying in cash, keep in mind how much cash you have so you don’t suddenly find yourself short once you finally make it to the cashier. If you’re paying with a card then make sure you know how much is on it so you don’t end up with any overdraft fees.

Tip 17: Bring Snacks!

Bring a snack! Keep yourself energized and fueled so that your Black Friday shopping experience can be a positive one. Having snacks can help your team stay positive too.

The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday Ads

black friday store hours

Check out the Best Buy Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: opens at 5:00pm

Friday 29: closes at 1:00am. The doors open again at 8:00am.

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): opens at 5:00pm until 1:00am the next morning

Check out the Target Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: opens at 5:00pm

Friday 29: closes at 1:00am. The doors open again at 7:00am.

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): open from 5:00pm until 1:00am the next morning.

Check out the Walmart Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: opens at 6:00pm

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): opens at 6:00pm

Check out the Amazon Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: all day online

Friday 29: all day online

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): all day online

Check out the Kohls Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: open from 5:00pm to 12:00am (midnight)

Friday 29: open from 8:00am to 12:00am (midnight)

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): open from 5:00pm to 12:00am (midnight)

Check out the Home Depot Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Friday 29: opens at 6:00am

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): closed all day

Check out the Costco Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Friday 29: opens at 9:00am

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): closed all day

Check out the GameStop Black Friday Ad

Best Buy Black Friday Store Hours:

Thursday 28: open from 3:00pm to 10:00pm

Friday 29: Opens at 7:00am

Best Buy Thanksgiving Store Hours:

Thanksgiving Day (Thursday 28): open from 3:00pm to 10:00pm

 
Black Friday is a fun and exciting time. There are so many important deals that you can take advantage of, and with a personal loan you can make sure you have enough funds to get all the Black Friday discounts you need. But while you do your shopping this year remember that it’s still the season of giving and gratitude, so be kind to your fellow shoppers.


READ MORE

Use these tips to get even more deals this Black Friday, “Find the Best Black Friday Sales with These 5 Tips.”

Read about what to do AFTER Black Friday shopping, “The Aftermath of Black Friday.”


How to Vote

how to vote

Voting doesn’t have to be a confusing hassle. If you have questions about how to vote in the upcoming election just take a look at the links below and find the quick answers you’re looking for:

Voting can seem complicated, especially if you just turned 18 and have never done it before. But it’s actually pretty simple! The upcoming election is also coming up faster than you might think. This coming February 3rd will be the first caucuses in Iowa, beginning the many caucuses, primaries, and conventions you’ll want to be a part of in order to participate in choosing the presidential candidates in the final election.

You need to prepare for the coming election now so that you’re prepared to vote in the primaries, and so you’re registered to vote in general. This way you aren’t taken by surprise when the final election rolls around and suddenly you have all these logistics to figure out. When it comes to voting, you also want to participate as early as possible so you can be informed and make your own educated choice.

Things to Know

There are a few general basics you’ll want to know about in order to understand elections and how they work.

Who can vote?

vote

In order to vote you must be at least 18 years old, be a citizen of the United States, and be registered to vote. But if you’d like to double check the specific voting requirements of your state you can visit Vote.org.

What are the different kinds of elections?

You probably already know about the presidential election, but did you know there are many more elections you can be a part of?

Federal Elections: these elections include anyone in the federal government. This would include the president, members of congress, senators, and members of the house of representatives.

State Elections: this includes voting for state legislatures, governors, the attorney general, secretary of state, state supreme court, and any other members of the state judiciary. State elections are also the time where you might vote on state policies.

Local Elections: this is where you vote on county and city government officials, like sheriffs, the mayor, and school board members.

The convention

One of the first things that happens during election season are conventions for each party. These conventions are generally held nationally. It is where political parties all gather together to browse the nominees for the coming presidential election.

The caucus

If you are registered to vote with a certain political party then you can go to that parties caucus. It is a meeting where people of a specific political party gather together. This can be where members of the party will register their preferences for who should be that party’s candidate. They also gather to discuss political policies pertinent to that group.

The primaries

The primary elections are often simply referred to as the primaries. They are the preliminary voting that takes place to decide who the final candidates for the final election will be. Many people try out to be presidential candidates, so this process helps voters choose the specific candidate they would like to represent their party in the final election. This narrows down the field so that when it comes time to vote for the actual president, there aren’t 30 or more people you have to know about and choose from on the voting ballot.

What is the electoral college?

We actually use the electoral college to determine the presidential winner in the end. Each state has a number of electors who cast these electoral votes. These electors consider the votes of the people from their states and use that information to cast their electoral vote. It’s these votes that determine who wins the presidency.

What’s the election schedule?

There are many events to be aware of during election season that take place the year before and after election year. Here is a general outline of all the most important election events you are going to want to be aware of.

The year BEFORE election year
Spring Candidates start announcing their intentions to run for president
Summer Primaries, caucus, and debates begin to take place
The year OF the election
July to September Political parties choose their candidates
September to October Presidential debates
November Election Day
December Electoral College votes
The year AFTER election year
January Congress counts the electoral votes
January 20th Inauguration Day

If you’d like to learn more about the basics of the presidential election, you can explore USA.gov to learn all about the voting and election process. This website even has educational videos and infographics to help you visually understand the process as well.

How Do I Vote?

register to vote

One of the biggest questions people have when it comes to elections is how to vote. Thankfully this process really isn’t too complicated either. Basically you’ll want to register to vote, participate in primary elections, stay informed, and vote at your polling place on election day.

First: how to register to vote

The very first thing you’ll want to do is get registered to vote. You register to vote in your state of residency so that when you do vote, you’ll be a part of your state’s voting pool. Registering to vote is incredibly easy to do. You can do it in person or online.

Where can I register to vote in person?

  • The DMV
  • Armed forces recruitment center
  • State and county public assistance offices

You can also quickly register online at Vote.gov. You can also check your registration status on this website to check if you’re already registered to vote.

You can also register by mail, if you are out of the country or out of your home state. All you have to do is fill out the National Mail Voter Registration Form found on USA.gov and then mail it to the address listed for you state.

Second: how to participate in the primaries

The candidates that will represent each party in the final vote needs to be chosen. Before election day arrives there will be primaries, caucuses, and political conventions to help narrow down the candidates. Different parties and states will do these preliminary voting events in varying ways.

If you want to vote in the primaries to help pick the final presidential candidates, then read, “When are the 2020 presidential election primaries?” to see when your state will hold their primaries. Then all you have to do is go to the primaries and participate in the preliminary voting so you can be a part of picking the final candidates.

During this time candidates will be narrowed down to the final few. They will also announce who their vice president would be, and then they go across the country campaigning, talking about their views and plans, and debating with other candidates until election day arrives. You can also help out your candidate of choice by volunteering or fundraising for their campaign!

Third: how to vote on election day

By participating in election events now, you can do your own research and watch debates to learn about the different presidential options, what they are all about, and what their presidential plans are. Then all that is left to do is go to your local, designated polling station on election day and cast your vote.

Election Day is always on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. This upcoming election day will be on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

The only way you can cast your ballot is in person, or by mail. There is no way to vote online, so when election day comes you’ll need to be prepared to physically go to the polls, or be prepared ahead of time to mail in your ballot.

To find your polling place type in your address at VotingInfoProject.org to see where you’re designated polling station is.

If you are going to be absent from your registered state, or need to vote by mail for any other reason, then you’ll need to use the website for you state to find out how they want you to cast your absentee ballot.

What do I need to bring to vote?

polling station

The only thing you may need to bring with you to the polls is a form of identification. Whether ID is required for you to vote or note will depend on your state. You can check your state’s requirements for what to bring with you to the polling station by visiting NCSL.org.

How to Vote Early

There are many things that can make voting on election day difficult. But don’t let finances be one of them. If you need some financial help to get to the polls just take out an easy to use personal loan from Check City.

Whatever your reason, if you need to vote earlier than election day, it will depend on your state and whether they allow early voting. States usually have specified early voting dates.

Generally you don’t have to give them an excuse as to why you need to vote early, but this also might depend on your state.

The best way to see what you’ll need to do to vote early in your state is to find your state’s official website. You can do this by choosing your state at USA.gov and they’ll bring up your state’s official website. This site will then have your state’s specific information about early voting.

How to Vote in Midterm Elections

Midterm elections, or congressional elections, occur every 2 years. They happen in between presidential elections. They include voting for members of congress, the house of representatives, and the senate. These elections don’t use the electoral college but instead use the popular vote. The last midterm elections occurred November 6, 2018. If you want to participate in the next congressional elections just visit USA.gov for more information on when they are and how to vote in them.

How to Vote in Local Elections

The presidential election isn’t the only election you should be involved in, there are local elections going on all around too. These elections are equally important as the people put into office and the policies that get decided are all things that will affect your immediate community. Don’t just deal with whatever happens, be a part of shaping your community.

You can either use USA.gov or USVoteFoundation.org to see what local and state elections are coming up in your area.

 
Voting is an important part of being an active member of society. Your voice matters and voting is one way to make your voice heard. Don’t let misconceptions about voting keep you from getting to the polls and doing your part to help our society and grow.

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