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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.”

Job Interviews Tips for 2020

job interview

Job interviews can be a stressful part of the job hunting process. But with some tips, you can easily ace your next interview and land your dream job!

Do you have a weakness for job interviews? Succeeding in job interviews is a crucial part of the job consideration process. How you do in the interview can be the deciding factor in whether you get hired or not. That’s why we put together this master guide with all the job interview tips you need.

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When searching for a new job, part of the process often includes an interview. Employers conduct job interviews so they can get to know you and ask important questions. They want to gain a better impression of who you are than they can from just your resume. This will then better help them decide who to hire.

Job Interview Preparation

There are things you need to do before, during, and after an interview in order to ace it. First, we’ll go over what you need to do before you even get to the interview. These tips will help you feel confident and prepared for job interviews when they come.

Research the Business

Before you go into an interview, you should sit down and do some research on the company or business you are interviewing with. Find their website, visit their store, read reviews, and read articles about them to become more familiar with the company.

You want to research the business because then you’ll have a clearer understanding of what they do and what might be expected of you at this new job.

Download a Free Resume Template.

You can even research the company before you send in your resume. Then you can tailor your resume and cover letter to that particular business. For example, you might see on their website that community service is important to the members of this company. Then you can be sure to list your volunteer experience first on your resume.

Review the Job Description Again

Read and review the job description so that you really understand all the information the employer has already provided about the job. That way you won’t ask questions in the interview that you should already know the answer to. It will make you look bad if you don’t know something that was clearly stated in the job posting.

Pay particular attention to the skills and requirements they list in the job posting. This will give you important insights into what they want to know about you in the interview. For example, if photoshop is a required skill, then be prepared to talk about the ways you’ve successfully used photoshop to complete jobs and tasks in the past.

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Don’t pick the clothes you are going to wear on the day of the interview. This will make it take longer for you to get ready and leaves you vulnerable to wardrobe malfunctions and catastrophes. Instead, pick your clothes a few days before, try them on to see how they look, and make sure they’re clean, ironed, and neat.

A lot of people also wonder what to wear to a job interview. But picking job interview outfits doesn’t have to be complicated. It is usually better to be overdressed than underdressed. So no matter what the job might be, it’s always a good idea to dress Business Professional.

Business Professional includes things like skirts, suits, suit jackets, blazers, button-down shirts, collared shirts, and dress shoes.

It’s also important that you manage your grooming before a job interview as well. To give your best first impression you want to be clean, look clean, and smell clean. Also, be careful not to wear too much perfume or cologne. The purpose of proper grooming is to look like you know how to manage and take care of yourself.

Plan your Trip

Plan your transportation ahead of time for the day of the interview. Know how you are getting there and when you need to leave. Be 15 minutes early to make sure you aren’t late and to show how punctual you are.

You’ll also want to make transportation preparations to make sure you have enough gas in the tank or suddenly realize you didn’t ask for the address. You should also ask for a phone number to contact in case you have trouble finding your way. Some people even like to make the trip to the interview the day before just to make sure they won’t get lost on the day of the interview.

Don’t Forget to Eat!

Eat an hour or so before you go to the interview. You don’t want to suddenly have a rumbling stomach during the interview or trembling fingers because you didn’t eat yet that day.

When you’re nervous, it can be easy to lose your appetite and forget to eat. So don’t forget to put feeding yourself on your preparation list for the job interview.

Bring a Notepad and Pen

Bring your own notepad and pen so you can take notes if you need to during the interview. You can also use the notepad to keep a list of questions you want to ask so you don’t forget them.

Having a notepad with you can also help you look more professional and ready to be productive.

Job Interview Tips

There are things to do and not do, during the interview as well. A lot of these job interview tips revolve around the art of public speaking. In a job interview, you have to make conversation in front of a stranger, or even several strangers sometimes. You want to learn some public speaking skills so you can present yourself well and give a good first impression.

Avoid Fidgeting

Don’t fidget in your chair too much. When you’re nervous it can be easy to tap your foot incessantly without even noticing you’re doing it. But your interviewer notices.

Learn to talk with both feet firmly planted on the ground and your hands in your lap. Do a test run of public speaking for the interview with a friend to get someone to notice your nervous ticks for you so you can work on them.

Avoid Filler Words

Don’t use filler words. This can be a very difficult habit to get rid of, but with some practice, you can do it. Practice talking through your interview with a friend who has a counter and can count all the times you say your favorite filler words.

Do several practice runs until that number goes down or even reaches zero. Once you force yourself through practice to get rid of filler words in your speech, you’ll find it a lot easier to avoid them.

Make Eye Contact

Make eye contact with the person conducting the interview. Making eye contact shows open, friendly, and confident body language. It can also help you seem less nervous than you are if that’s something you struggle with.

But it’s also ok to look to the right or left of someone or up at a spot on the wall or ceiling as you explain an answer if this helps you focus on your answer and not feel nervous.

Keep Body Language Open and Friendly

Use open body language and avoid using closed body language without realizing it. Open body language will help you come across as confident and friendly, a perfect candidate for the open position.

Closed body language includes things like crossing your arms or legs, avoiding eye contact, or slouching your shoulders.

Open body language includes things like shaking hands, making eye contact, keeping both feet on the ground, not crossing your arms, and having good back posture.

When you practice for the job interview with a friend, also practice having good posture, looking your interviewer in the eye, and using open, confident, and friendly body language.

Don’t Criticize Others

Don’t criticize or complain during the interview. This will make you seem tacky, immature, unprofessional, or even rude. It’s particularly a bad idea to complain about your previous boss in an interview. This will not earn you points in their eyes or flatter your potential future boss.

Instead, this kind of talk will make them think you’ll talk bad about your new boss or the company behind their backs and no employer wants that for their business.

The person conducting the interview might ask you some questions about your old employment like, “what were some things you didn’t like about your previous job?” or “why did you leave your previous job?”

Answer these questions without making things too personal. They don’t want to know that you found your old boss annoying or that this one coworker talked about their cat too much. They want to know more about what you do and don’t want in a job to see if this job is a good fit for you.

Job Interview Questions

We’re going to go over the most common job interview questions and how best to answer them. The biggest thing you’ll want to prepare is your answers to interview questions. That’s why we’re including this list of job interview questions and sample answers. The best way to practice answering job interview questions is to practice answering them with someone. Even if that someone is yourself in a mirror.

Socializing with other ppl in your field is also a great way to network with important people and learn how to talk about yourself within your field.

Common Interview Questions

The best way to answer interview questions successfully is to have a story in mind for each possible question. Have job interview related stories prepared that could illustrate something useful to a potential employer.

Download a Free PDF Printable of a Job Interview Questions Practice Sheet.

Have examples of when you did hard things, handled conflict, overcame things, had success, when you failed and got back up, when you were a leader, or when you contributed as part of a team.

Tell me about yourself.

This question leaves interviewees everywhere at a loss for words. It’s hard to talk about yourself, and we don’t do it very often, but you’ll want to learn how to talk about yourself in relation to your field.

What an interviewer wants to know by asking this question are things related to the job. If you’re applying for a science job they don’t necessarily want to know how you like soccer.

When an interviewer says, “tell me about yourself” they want to hear a brief overview of your career so far.

What are your weaknesses and strengths?

When an interviewer asks about your strengths and weaknesses they are trying to determine how you perform your job. If you have a weakness within your area of expertise they want to hear about the efforts you’re taking to overcome that weakness.

If you have a particular strength within your field they want to know how you got there and what you learned from developing that strength. They want to see how you function as a person and a potential employee.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

This question might come with an arbitrary amount of years tacked onto it like, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” but the intentions behind the question are the same. The employer wants to know what your long term goals are and whether those goals will be best served at this job. They want to know what you can gain from this job and what this job can do for your 5-year plan.

Actually sit down and make a current 5-year plan for yourself. It’s ok if your 5-year plan changes each year, it’s just good to have ambitions, an eye on the future, and responsibility for yourself and your future. This is your opportunity to show them you are a goal-oriented person and know how to make plans to reach those goals.

Why should we hire you?

What an employer wants to know here are specific ways you might contribute to this job and help make things better. You can show them how you’ll do this by giving examples of the contributions you’ve made in previous jobs.

For example, maybe you love organizing and helped optimize a filing system at your previous job. You could tell this story to illustrate how your eye for details and organization would make you an asset at this new job as well.

Why do you want to work here?

This question is closely tied to the “where do you see yourself in the future?” question. They want to know how this job fits into your life and your goals. They want to know why you are excited about this job and all you could contribute to making this position better than when you found it.

They want to hear about which parts of this job you feel the most passionate about and why it’s important to you. Maybe you want to work at this job because the position offers opportunities you’ve been looking for, or fits perfectly into your schedule, or allows you to pursue a passion you’ve always had.

At the end of the day, employers want employees who actually want the jobs they give them and who will be happy in this job position.

What questions do you have for me?

At the end of a job interview, they will often ask if you have any questions for them. This is your opportunity to 1) ask about important information that wasn’t available to you before now and 2) ask questions to help you determine whether this work environment is a good fit for you.

You can also ask some of these questions before your interview, like how much the position pays or what are the scheduled hours. Also, don’t be afraid to go in with a small list of questions so you don’t forget them during the interview.

Examples of questions to ask in a job interview:

  • Can this job be done remotely?
  • What does a normal day at this job look like?
  • What are the pay, benefits, hours like?
  • How would you describe the perfect employee?
  • What’s something you don’t like in an employee?
  • How would you describe the workplace environment here?
  • How soon can I expect to hear back about a decision?
Job Specific Interview Questions

Questions might also be based on what job you’re applying for. For instance, if you’re going to work with people a lot, or customers, they might want to know how you handle tough situations with people, or whether you prefer working with others or alone.

They might have a test at the interview depending on the job position. For example, editors might be asked to take an editing test. Make sure you know about any job-specific things to expect in your interview.

Phone Interviews

Phone interviews are often used when schedules and locations just don’t meet up. You might get a phone interview if you are applying for a job out of state or in a faraway town.

There are also some specific ways to prepare for phone interviews that you don’t have to worry about in a normal interview.

Get Rid of Distractions and Noises

Let everyone in the house with you know you’re doing an interview so they know not to disturb you. If you have roommates they can be quiet or make sure they’re out of the house during your interview. If you have kids, you could drop them off at the babysitter’s house for the interview or have a spouse play with them outside while you focus all your attention on the call.

Basically, you don’t want noises in the background of your call. This can distract both you and the interviewer, making it more difficult to perform the interview over the phone.

Dress Up Anyway

Even though you aren’t going anywhere and no one is seeing you, you can still get dressed in business attire. When you’re on the phone it can be easy to forget the professional tone you need for this conversation. But if you’re dressed for an interview then it will be easy for you to remember what you’re doing and take on the professional behavior and tone you need.

Check for Technical Difficulties

Make sure you have good service where you take the call. You want to make sure you won’t lose the call and that you’ll be able to hear them well. If your phone’s speakers aren’t great then you might want to have them fixed before the interview. You could also connect your phone to a speaker to better control volume and hear them better.

Video Interviews

Video interviews are another way employers might conduct their interviews. This might just be an easier way for them to get through their interviews. Video interviews allow you to have the full interview experience without anyone having to travel.

Dress Professionally

Dress and groom yourself the same way you would if you were going to the interview. Because it’s a video interview and not a phone interview, they’ll still be able to see you, so you’re going to want to dress in business attire.

Check for Technical Difficulties

Check your video chatting capabilities with a friend to make sure you aren’t going to run into technical difficulties. A video interview would be ruined if suddenly your camera or video capabilities aren’t working. So do a test run first. Check the video quality, the sound quality, and the connection.

Tidy Up

Choose where you’re going to sit for the video interview. Then clean up the space around your designated spot. You don’t want the background behind you to distract the interviewers. Showing yourself in a clean environment will also help you make a good first impression and show you have your life together at home.

Get Rid of Distractions, Noise, and Interruptions

During phone interviews, you need to get rid of loud noise distractions, but for a video interview, you need to get rid of noise and visual distractions. Talk to whoever else might be in the house with you at the time so they know not to walk into the video as well as make too much noise.

Follow Up Job Interview Email

After the interview is over you’ll want to send a follow-up email. The interviewer took time out of their own day to talk to you and give you an extra chance at the job. They thought you were a good enough candidate to actually meet with them before they make a final decision.

So don’t forget to send a thank you email to them for taking the time to meet you and considering you for the job. You can also offer to answer any other questions if they need to contact you again.

Job Interview Follow Up Email Template:

 

Recipients Name,

Thank them for their time and consideration.

Remind them of why you would be good for this position and why you are interested in this job.

Mention how you look forward to hearing from them and let them know how to contact you if they have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Your Name

 

And now you wait. It might be appropriate to send another follow-up email if you don’t hear back from them after a week. There’s also a chance you’ll receive a follow up job interview and need to go through a second interview process. A follow up job interview happens when an employer has reduced a larger pool of candidates and getting a follow up job interview means that you made the final cut! Now you just have to ace your follow up interview and await their final decision.

You might also need some financial help to get you between jobs. That’s where the Check City Personal Loan comes in.

Useful Job Resources

You can also check out this helpful resource for job interviews at RobertHalf.com.

You can start finding jobs by using sites like, Indeed or ZipRecruiter.

If you’re looking for job interviews you might also need to know How to Make a Resume. If you need a resume you might also need to know How to Write a Cover Letter to go with your resume.

Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, you might also need to know How to Make a Portfolio, whether it’s a hard copy portfolio, or a website portfolio.


2020 Review: The Best Store Credit Cards

store credit cards review

Which credit card is best? With endless options, it can be hard to choose.

That’s why we’ve compiled a complete list of all the best department store credit cards so you can easily compare different credit card perks in one place! Here you can look at credit cards for bad credit, and some of the easiest department store credit card to get.

Our Store Credit Card Guide:

Credit cards can offer a lot of benefits. You can use them to better budget yourself, when you need extra funds to pay for something, or to accumulate cashback, points, and rewards.

If you need to pay for a larger purchase in installments, you can also take out a Check City Installment Loan and avoid any hassle with multiple credit cards.

Best Buy Credit Card

Get 5% back in rewards for Best Buy purchases and 6% back if you are an Elite Plus Cardmember. Gest the Best Buy Visa Card and also earn 3% back on gas, 2% back on dining and groceries, and 1% back on everything else.

Recommended Credit Score:

Average to Excellent (630 to 850)

Fees:

Annual fee of $0 to $59 depending on your level of creditworthiness

Cash advance fee of $10 or 5% depending on which is greater

Interest Rate:

at least $1

PROS CONS
flexible financing only on purchases of $199+
get 10% back in rewards on your first day of purchases application needs approval
offer both credit and visa cards credit card is for Best Buy purchases only
there are annual fees
there are cash advance fees

The Best Buy Cards are issued by Citibank. If you get the Best Buy Visa Card then you can also enjoy benefits like 3% back on gas, 2% back on dining and groceries, and 1% back on everything else. But the Best Buy Credit Card doesn’t have this option. It is only used for Best Buy purchases online and in stores.

Walmart Credit Card

Get 5% back at Walmart.com, the Walmart app, grocery pickup, and delivery. Get 2% back in Walmart stores, Walmart fuel stations, restaurants, and travel expenses. Get 1% back everywhere else.

Recommended Credit Score:

Fair to Excellent (630 to 850)

Fees:

$0 annual fee

$0 fraud liability

3% balance transfer fee

3% or $10 cash advance fee, whichever is greater.

Interest Rates:

variable rate of 17.99%, 23.24% or 26.99% depending on the level of your creditworthiness.

PROS CONS
mobile friendly app only 2% back in stores
card lock available can only use Walmart fuel stations for the 2% back
get security alerts on your phone credit approval required
you are not liable for fraudulent purchases balance transfer fees

Walmart has 2 kinds of cards—the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard and the Walmart Rewards Card. Your credit score has to meet minimum credit approval requirements with Capital One before they will approve you for the Walmart Credit Card.

Credit Card for Children’s Place

Get 30% off your first purchase, 25% off on your children’s birthdays, 20% off just for getting the card, and get 2 points for every $1 you spend and 100 points for every $5 you spend.

Recommended Credit Score:

Fair to Excellent (640 to 850)

Fees:

Shipping fees

Interest Rates:

27.24% APR

PROS CONS
can be used at the Children’s Place or Gymboree can’t be used outside the store
earn 100 points for every $5 you spend subject to credit approval
get birthday rewards can only register 4 of your children’s birthdays

The Children’s Place Credit Card is issued by Comenity Capital Bank. They specialize in branded credit cards. You can get lots of discounts by using a credit card from Children’s Place, but you can’t use it outside the store and there isn’t a lot of available information about the potential fees and interest rates.

Home Depot Credit Card

Get $25 off purchases of $25 to $299, $50 off purchases of $300 to $999, and $100 off purchases of $1,000 or higher.

Recommended Credit Score:

Fair to Excellent (640 to 850)

Fees:

$0 annual fees

Interest Rates:

7.99% fixed APR for Project Loans

17.99% to 26.99% APR depending on your level of creditworthiness for the Consumer Card

PROS CONS
get up to $100 off your Home Depot purchases Home Depot Purchases only
financing terms of 6 to 84 months available only get other savings at participating fuel stations with the commercial cards
can borrow up to $55,000 for a Project Loan
no interest for the first 60 days after a purchase

Home depot has 4 major credit cards—the Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, the Home Depot Home Improver Card (the Project Loan Card), the Home Depot Commercial Revolving Charge, and the Home Depot Commercial Account. You can use the Consumer Card and the Project Loan for your own personal use and you can use the Commercial Cards for your business.

Lowe’s Credit Card

Get $5 off every day on all your Lowe’s purchases. You can also get 6 months of special financing, 84 months of fixed monthly payments, and credit cards for your business.

Recommended Credit Score:

Fair to Excellent (640 to 850)

Fees:

$0 annual fees

Interest Rates:

7.99% APR on the Lowe’s Advantage Card

26.99% APR with a minimum interest charge of $2 on the Lowe’s Business Cards

PROS CONS
get 5% off on everything Lowe’s Purchases only
special 6 month financing terms available minimum purchase of $299
84 month terms available minimum purchase of $2,000

Lowe’s has one card for personal use called the Lowe’s Advantage Card. With it you can take part in exclusive events and discounts for cardholders and get 5% off on all your Lowe’s purchases. You can also use their 6 to 84 month financing on larger personal purchases.

Lowe’s also has 4 cards for your business—the Lowe’s Business Credit Cards and the Lowe’s Preload Card. These can also get your business 5% off every day, and get you discounts on deliveries and larger lines of credit.

Kohls Credit Card

Get $35 off your first Kohls purchase after getting the Kohls Credit Card. You can also enjoy extra savings, Kohls cash, anniversary offers, mobile payments, and Most Valued Customer benefits after spending $600 at Kohls in one year.

Recommended Credit Score:

Good to Excellent (680 to 850)

Fees:

$0 annual fees

Late fees up to $38

Interest Rates:

26.49% APR

PROS CONS
get exclusive offers throughout the year balance transfers aren’t allowed
get 15%, 20%, and 30% off coupons throughout the year savings aren’t consistent
special anniversary offer each year APR is a variable rate

The Kohls Charge Card is issued by Capital One. You can only use the Kohls Credit Card in their stores, but they do come with monthly discounts, and the ability to make returns without receipts. You can even become a Most Valued Customer (MVC) by spending $600 at Kohls in a single year. Then even more benefits will open up to you.

Get $20 off your first store purchase, get 5 points for every $1 you spend on their brands, get 1 point for every $1 you spend everywhere else, and get a $5 reward for every 500 points.

Recommended Credit Score:

Fair to Excellent (600 to 850)

Fees:

$0 annual fees

$0 fraud liability

Interest Rates:

26.99% APR

PROS CONS
fraud prevention chip
extra 20% off
free shipping
free basic alterations on Banana Republic clothes
same benefits apply at all Gap stores
can be used anywhere that accepts Visa

The Old Navy Credit Card is a part of the Gap Brand. This means that Old Navy Credit Cards, Gap credit cards, Banana Republic Credit Cards, and Athleta Credit Cards all come with the same benefits and can be used interchangeably amongst these 4 stores.

The Gap brand credit cards are all issued by Visa, which means that they can all be used anywhere that accepts Visa cards, not just inside their stores. So you can use them for all your shopping, get 1 whole point for every $1 dollar you spend, and watch your clothes start paying for themselves.

TJ Maxx Credit Card

Get $10 off when you sign up for a TJ Maxx Rewards Card. Earn 5% back in the TJ Maxx family of stores, get 5 points for every $1 you spend in stores and 1 point for every $1 you spend anywhere else.

Recommended Credit Score:

Fair to Excellent (620 to 850)

Fees:

$0 annual fees

Interest Rates:

27.24% APR

PROS CONS
same benefits apply at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, Sierra Trading Post and Homesense can only redeem rewards in the TJ Maxx family of stores
earn 5% back in rewards when you shop in the family
get invites for exclusive offers
can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard

The TJ Maxx Rewards Credit Card is a part of a larger family of stores. You can also get these same discounts and points at Marshalls, Home Goods, Sierra Trading Post, and HomeSense.

The TJ Maxx Card is issued by Synchrony Bank and Mastercard. It can be used outside this family of stores so you can get 1 whole point for every $1 dollar you spend outside their stores. Rewards can only be redeemed inside their stores.

Amazon Credit Card

Get 5% back on all your Amazon purchases, get 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and get 1% back on everything else. The Amazon Credit Card also offers 6, 12, 24 month financing terms and 0% APR.

Recommended Credit Score:

Fair to Excellent (640 to 850)

Fees:

$0 annual fees

Annual Prime Membership fee

$0 fraud liability

Interest Rates:

0% APR

PROS CONS
use financing terms to make purchases in installments you need an Amazon Prime membership
0% APR
you are protected against unauthorized purchases
can use anywhere that Visa is accepted

The Amazon.com Store Card can offer you financing, zero fees and interest rates, limited time offers, protection against fraud and money back on all your Amazon purchases. It can also get you a percentage back on all your other purchases.

Costco Credit Card

Get 4% back on gas, 3% back on restaurants and travel, 2% back on Costco purchases, and 1% back on everything else.

Recommended Credit Score:

Very Good to Excellent (750 to 850)

Fees:

Yearly Costco Membership fees

$0 foreign transaction fees

Interest Rates:

16.74% APR variable

PROS CONS
earn back the most on gas and travel if you don’t travel a lot
can use anywhere that Visa is accepted you need a Costco membership
you can use this card in other countries if you don’t visit other countries

Your Costco Anywhere Card also doubles as your Costco membership ID. It can also get you an extended warranty on your purchases. Costco also offers cards for your business needs.

Target REDcard

Save 5% on all your Target purchases, enjoy free 2-day shipping, an extra 30 days on returns, and special gifts and offers throughout the year.

Recommended Credit Score:

Fair to Excellent (640 to 850)

Fees:

$0 annual fee

$40 cash withdrawal fee on the Target Debit Card

Interest Rates:

25.15% APR variable

PROS CONS
link Target Debit Card to existing checking account $40 cash withdrawal fee
10% discount coupon on your card’s anniversary can only be used at Target

Target has both a Target REDcard Credit Card and Target Debit Card. The Target Credit Card, however, can only be used at Target, so you can’t get points or cashback on other purchases.

How to Pick a Credit Card:

The key to picking out a credit card is knowing which one will most benefit you specifically.

First, think about where you shop the most. You’ll get the most benefit from that card because their best perks are usually for in-store or online purchases. If you don’t know where you shop the most then go to your bank account statements and look at your transaction history.


(Shopping Guide) Valentine’s Day

valentine's day shopping

Valentine’s Day occurs every year on February 14th.

Valentine’s day has been around for a very long time, though how it all got started is less known. Regardless of how Valentine’s day all began, it’s a holiday full of love and appreciation for those who are most important to us.

Explore this Article

Valentine’s Day History

The origins of Valentine’s Day are shrouded in long forgotten legends and stories. It either began as the anniversary of Saint Valentine’s death or as a Christian adaption of an old Pagan holiday.

Saint Valentine was a priest during the era of Rome. It is said that the Roman emperor banned marriage for young men because he needed soldiers. But Saint Valentine continued to perform weddings in secret for young lovers. When his defiance was found out, he was killed.

Other legends say he was killed because he was helping Christian refugees escape Roman imprisonment. While imprisoned it’s said he fell in love and sent love letters from prison signed, “from your Valentine.” Now we use the name “Valentine” to refer to someone we care about or love dearly.

But Valentine’s Day could also have Pagan origins from the festival of Lupercalia. This Pagan festival was celebrated on February 15th. It was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, and Romulus and Remus. As they did with many pagan holidays, the Catholic church made their own holiday during the Pagan festival of Lupercalia.

Whatever the true story is, the idea of valentine’s day is that it’s a day of romance, confessions, and affirmations.

valentines day gift

There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a holiday that can be whatever you want it to be!

You can celebrate Valentine’s Day by practicing some self-love, buying yourself something you want, having a relaxing day at home, or going out with friends. It can also be spent with a special someone on a nice Valentine’s Day date, or with friends and family that you care about.

However you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, there might be Valentine’s Day gifts you’d like to buy to show your love and appreciation for those you care about. And if you really want to go all out this year, but need some financial help to do so, you can take out a Check City Personal Loan.

Below we’ll go over the most popular Valentine’s Day flowers and gift ideas for everyone!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her

Whether you need a special gift for your mother, your wife, or your girlfriend, these gift ideas are sure to wow the special woman in your life.

  • Jewelry
  • Clothes
  • Organizers
  • Makeup
  • Vanity mirror
  • Tech she wants
  • Beauty products
  • Spa gift basket
  • Personalized or custom made gifts

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him

When buying a gift for a special someone in your life, the point is to show how much you cherish them. Sometimes this will mean getting them something they’ve been wanting, rather than something strictly romantic.

  • Massage gun or foam roller
  • Clothes
  • Custom made or custom engraved gifts
  • Beauty product gift baskets for men
  • Video games
  • Tech he wants

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Kids

Nieces, nephews, cousins, and your own children are also great Valentine’s Day gift recipients. They’ll love getting little gifts to remind them how special they are.

  • Games
  • Toys
  • Fun shirts
  • Books
  • Craft kits
  • Stuffed animals
  • Candy

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Coworkers

Coworkers can be some of the most appreciative Valentine’s Day recipients. Many of them probably won’t expect anything from you, so getting a valentine’s gift from a fellow coworker can be a fun surprise to brighten up their workday.

  • Engraved wallet
  • Mugs
  • Socks
  • Calendar
  • Desk toys, decor, or plants
  • Games
  • Designer office supplies

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Friends

Your friends deserve some extra appreciation on Valentine’s Day as well. They’ve been there for you through thick and thin and Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to thank them with a gift.

  • Games
  • Food
  • Puzzles
  • Gift box
  • Gift cards for restaurants
  • Custom friendship memorabilia

Gift Ideas for Galentine’s Day

As the world evolves we realize things like, having a boyfriend or a husband doesn’t determine a woman’s self-worth. That’s why Galentine’s Day was created, to remind women everywhere that self-love is just as important as romantic love.

For similar reasons, a day like Guyentine’s Day could be created! To let men everywhere know that their own self-love is just as important as the love they receive from others.

  • Funny shirts or socks
  • Book
  • Mug
  • Journal
  • Self-care gift basket
  • Trip to a salon
  • Lady’s night out
  • Guy’s night out

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Pets

As a society, our relationship with our pets is changing. We see them more as family members now and want to treat them as such. For this reason, Valentine’s Day is also a great day to buy something special for the furry friend in your life!

  • Fun clothes
  • Car seat
  • Blanket
  • New toy
  • New treat
  • Ball that rolls itself
  • Nanny cam for pets

Shop at Walmart by Clicking Here

At Walmart, you can get all kinds of Valentine’s Day goodies. They have chocolates, candies, stuffed animals, flowers, and even jewelry!

Shop at Target by Clicking Here

Target has stuff to help make your Valentine’s Day party a blast! You can find fun Valentine’s Day cards for the kids to pass out in class, exchange candies, and cute Valentine’s Day mailboxes to keep everything in!

Shop at Anthropologie by Clicking Here

Anthropologie is a popular place to get your Valentine something really nice. They have fragrant candles, beautiful dresses with Valentine’s Day colors, red jeweled earrings, and more!

Shop at Nordstrom Rack by Clicking Here

Nordstrom Rack is a great place to find quality items for your sweetheart at reasonable prices. You can get matching Valentine’s Day mugs, Valentino perfume, and deluxe candy boxes to make your lover swoon.

Shop on Amazon by Clicking Here

Right now you can watch Amazon Live, sponsored by Hallmark to see first hand the kind of great items you can get for your loved one on Valentine’s Day. Some of the most popular items include a Dash mini heart-shaped waffle maker, a Hamilton Beach digital air fryer oven, and a Wilton chocolate fountain.

Shop at Hallmark by Clicking Here

Hallmark has been a staple brand for cards and gifts for a long time. At Hallmark, you can find thoughtful gifts for under $10, $20, or $30.

Valentine’s Day Flowers and Their Meanings

valentines day flowers

Here we’ll go over a complete guide to Valentine’s Day flowers, so you can figure out the perfect flower arrangement full of thoughtfulness and meaning.

Rose

Roses are by far, one of the most romantic flowers to receive on Valentine’s Day. They also come in a wide range of colors and meanings if you want to get poignant with your Valentine bouquet.

Rose Color Meaning
White Rose: innocence
Red Rose: love
Pink Rose: sweetness
Yellow Rose: friendship
Orange Rose: desire or admiration
Lavender Rose: love at first sight or enchantment
Tulip

Tulips are an elegant flower that can come in literally any color. They are the perfect flower to show sophistication along with simple beauty. Tulips generally signify perfect love, so you can easily just get a bouquet in the recipient’s favorite color.

Tulip Color Meaning
Red Tulip: true love
Purple Tulip: royalty
White Tulip: forgiveness
Yellow Tulip: cheerfulness
Lily

Lilies are a striking flower that can’t help but be noticed. As a whole, the lily flowers represents devotion and purity. They are also associated with motherhood and rebirth, so if you’re looking for a flower to give the mother of your children, this is the flower for you.

Lily Color Meaning
Calla Lily: faithfulness
Day Lily: a mother’s devotion
White Lily: virtue
Pink Stargazer Lily: prosperity
Red Lily: passion
Orange Tiger Lily: confidence
Carnation

Carnations are the perfect gift to get someone who was born in the month of January since carnations are the birth flower of that month. But they are a flower that also comes in many many colors with lots of different meanings you could use.

Carnation Color Meaning
Red Carnation: love
White Carnation: pure love
Pink Carnation: gratitude
Purple Carnation: impulsive
Orchid

Orchids are a wonderful plant to get someone who loves to decorate their home and who wants to keep their flower for a long time. When cared for orchids can continue to bloom for years to come.

Orchid Color Meaning
White Orchid: elegance
Purple Orchid: admiration
Yellow Orchid: friendship
Baby’s Breath

Though the baby’s breath flower doesn’t come in many colors, it is a common flower used to fill out beautiful flower arrangements. It is a symbol of everlasting love and the sincerity of someone’s feelings.

Daisy

The daisy is a bright and cheerful flower that stands for innocence, purity, and cheerfulness.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums are a popular flower. They make very full bouquets and can effortlessly adorn the inside and outside of your home.

Chrysanthemum Color Meaning
White Chrysanthemum: devoted love
Red Chrysanthemum: deep passion
Violet Chrysanthemum: get-well soon
Iris

The iris may be one of the most regal looking flowers. They have an elegant, royal look that can be perfect for representing your feelings this Valentine’s Day.

Iris Color Meaning
Purple Iris: wisdom
Yellow Iris: passion
Blue Iris: faith
White Iris: purity

The possibilities for how you can celebrate this day of love are vast. There are gifts and flowers for every situation. Use this guide to help you plan your Valentine’s Day to really make it special this year.


How to Become a Morning Person

how to become a morning person

As humans, we all struggle with a lot of common things. Losing weight, eating healthy, working out, not procrastinating, and waking up in the morning.

But becoming a morning person might be in your best interest if you, like many people, have an early morning schedule. Most people need to get up between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning to have enough time to get ready and get to work.

In fact, about 85%of people get up early in the morning but only 22% would have an early morning schedule if they had a choice. So becoming a morning person would make this one aspect of your life more manageable and even maybe enjoyable.

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Just like eating healthy, exercising, and drinking enough water, sleep is an important part of our physical health that you may be forgetting about. Your body needs sufficient sleep and quality sleep in order to perform important internal functions.

Why Your Body Needs Sleep:

Many things in your body need sleep, like your brain, lungs, heart, and muscles. When you’re sleeping your whole body slows down. Your heartbeat and breathing get slower, your temperature drops, your muscles relax, and even your brain activity takes a beat.

All your systems decide to take a much needed break while you’re asleep. One system that especially needs this break is your brain. While you’re sleeping more cerebral spinal fluid pumps through your brain than when you’re awake. This spinal fluid literally cleans out the regular, everyday buildup in your brain and might even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Your body is also able to focus more of its efforts on healing and repairs while you’re asleep. Because other functions are able to shut down, your body can work overtime fighting off illness or repairing muscles from everyday wear and tear or exertion.

1. Get into a Routine

The number one best way to successfully become a morning person is to establish a routine that you stick to every day of the week. The best way to successfully stick to a routine is to make your routine something you actually look forward to.

Download a Free PDF Printable for My Daily Routine Template.

You are going to want to set both a morning and evening routine. It might look something like this:

Morning Routine Example

It’s also a good idea to schedule some daily exercise into your day first thing. This will make you feel more productive, get your body energized and ready to go.

  1. Stretch
  2. Make the bed
  3. Drink a glass of water
  4. Brush teeth
  5. Shower
  6. Get dressed
Evening Routine Example

The purpose of an evening routine is to wind down at the end of the day, relax, calm yourself, and prepare your body and mind for sleep. Avoid doing activities that wake you up, and search for activities that relax your body and mind.

  1. Tidy up
  2. Prepare for the next day
  3. Get into sleepwear
  4. Plug in your phone
  5. Read a book

Download a Free PDF Printable for My Daily Morning/Evening Routine Template.

Make your mornings worth waking up for by planning things that make waking up worthwhile.

Think of your favorite way to get going, and put that in your morning routine. Then think of your favorite way to wind down and relax, and put that in your evening routine.

Here are a few examples to get you started on your own list:

  • Create a morning and evening playlist for how long you have to get ready in the morning or for bed.
  • Use your morning or evening time to write a daily journal entry.
  • Go through emails.
  • Read a book.
  • Schedule some family time.
  • Meditate.
  • Listen to podcasts.
  • Do a simple puzzle.
  • Read the news.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.

If your body is on a schedule, it’ll perform better during the day, and make things like falling asleep, sleeping well, and waking up when you need to, easier. Wake up at the same time on weekends too so you never throw yourself off.

2. Get a New Alarm

The way you wake yourself up can also have a large impact on how easy it is to get out of bed in the morning. It’s common for alarms to be, well . . . alarming.

But waking up so abruptly is actually not the best way for your body to wake up, according to a study done by the National Institute of Industrial Health. It’s better to wake up gradually, and more naturally.

There’s a reason waking yourself up naturally on a Saturday is so much easier than getting up to a loud alarm sound all at once. This study found that “self-awakening” was a better, and even healthier way to wake yourself up each day.

Natural Alarm Clocks

There are some alternative alarm clocks you can use to help yourself wake up more gradually in the morning.

  • A sunrise simulator alarm
  • Morning sounds alarm clock
  • Leave the blinds open to wake up natural lighting
  • Quiet, gradual alarm that builds in volume over a period of time
  • Set the timer on the coffee pot to wake you up with good smells
  • Set your smart home devices to turn on lights at a certain time

3. Exercise Daily

You might not think about this, but exercising daily can actually help you sleep more sufficiently. Working out keeps your body fit and helps regulate your body. You’ll find healthy sleeping patterns easier when you stick to a healthy fitness pattern.

Many people have argued that your body receives the most benefit from exercising in the mornings. If this routine works for you then go for it, but recent research also suggests that just working out at the same time each day is enough to see all those benefits.

4. Eat Right

If you haven’t figured it out yet, your overall physical health can greatly impact how much quality sleep you’re able to get each night. The same thing goes for eating well.

According to studies done by the American Society of Nutrition, your diet can impact the quality of your sleep. Eating a balanced diet fool of diverse, healthy foods is important to your body’s overall wellbeing and ability to function at full capacity, even in its ability to sleep efficiently.

Avoid Food and Caffeine Before Bed

Drinking caffeine too close to bedtime can keep you from falling asleep on time. Likewise, eating too close to bedtime can have a lot of adverse effects, like acid reflux, heartburn, restless sleep, nightmares, and even weight gain. Unless weight gain is something your body needs, then eating later in the day might be a good weight gain tactic for you.

Your metabolism is yet another thing that needs to slow down and take a break throughout the night. This is why the first thing you eat in the day is called breakfast because you’re breaking the nightly fast your body needs to reset for the next day.

5. Go to Bed on Time

You can’t get great sleep if you don’t give your body enough time to do what it needs to do while you’re asleep. That is why your goals should be set toward getting quality sleep each night. Understand sleep cycles and how they work can help you make that happen.

You’ll ensure you get quality sleep each night by sticking to a strict bedtime that allows you to get plenty of sleep each night.

6. Get Quality Sleep

There are different tactics you can use to help you sleep more comfortably, and therefore more soundly, each night.

  • Wash your sheets every 2 weeks
  • Shower before bed to get clean and wind down
  • Research what mattress is best for you
  • Get a sound machine
  • Get a humidifier
  • Get a fan
  • Keep your room cool and your bed warm

7. Get Enough Sleep

Different age groups need different amounts of sleep each night. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of sleep for your age group.

amount of sleep

For example, newborns need the most sleep. They need around 14 to 17 hours every day. Infants need 12 to 15 hours, toddlers need 11 to 14 hours, preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours, and school-age children need 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night.

quantity of sleep

As you get older you need a little less sleep. Teenagers need around 8 to 10 hours each night, young adults need 7 to 9 hours, adults need 7 to 9 hours, and older adults need around 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

So if you’re wondering, “how much sleep do I need?” wonder no more! Use this simple chart to figure out how much sleep is best for you, and then plan your sleeping schedule accordingly.

8. Limit Screen Time Before Bed

The lights from the screen of your phone, computer, tablet, or TV can strain your eyes and keep you awake at night. But cutting out some relaxing phone scrolling before bed can be hard to do.

There are two ways to make limiting screen time before bed easier. You can either replace evening screen time with a screen-less activity that you find equally enjoyable or you can turn on night mode and blue light filters on your screens to help reduce the strain on your eyes.

Many devices even come with timers you can set so your phone will automatically turn the blue light filter on in the evenings. But don’t give up too quickly on finding other things to do before bed that doesn’t involve screens.

Instead of watching TV or being on your phone before bed, you could read a book, draw a sketch of the day, take a soothing bath, write in your journal, or have a bonding talk session with a loved one.

At the very least you can turn things on night mode or turn the blue light filter on, or turn the brightness down on your screens to give your eyes a much needed break.

9. Don’t Do Homework in Bed

This idea can apply to a lot of things, like drawing, writing, reading, watching TV, and even eating, but the main idea is that you should use your bed for sleeping, and not use it as a kind of bedroom desk or seating area.

This is because using your bed for more than just sleeping can actually train your brain to stay alert in that place. If you work in your bed, then your bed becomes a place to think about schoolwork or other things.

Instead, set up a comfortable desk space that you can use to take care of things like homework and other personal business.

10. Destress Your Life

Stress can be a huge factor in the kind of quality sleep you are or aren’t getting. Destressing your life throughout the day can help you get better rest at night! Sit down and think about the common stressors you have in life. Then brainstorm with a loved one about how you might better alleviate those stressful aspects of your life.

Financial strain can be a big stressor in many people’s lives. That’s why Check City makes it easy to get a Payday Loan so you don’t miss any important payments before your next paycheck comes in.


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.


Cheap Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Weekend Getaways on a Budget

Sometimes a long vacation far away can actually be more exhausting than relaxing.

That’s why a weekend trip somewhere near you can actually be more rejuvenating.

Not only that but weekend trips are less expensive, you don’t have to take time off, and it can be just what you need to prevent burnout and keep your energies and spirits up.

The Best Weekend Getaways

The best weekend getaways cater to your personal preferences and desires so you can get the most out of your short trip.

Some people are looking for weekend getaways near me, where they can be close to home but still take a break from their lives. Others are looking for cheap weekend getaways, so they can enjoy a vacation without spending too much. Then there are people looking for group weekend getaways or the best weekend getaways for couples.

Different people look for different things in a vacation. Some people are history buffs and want to see some historical sites and go on tours. Others will want to go where there is lively music, or botanical gardens where they can walk and be with nature.

Other people have specific requirements for their vacation. If you have kids you might need a family-friendly option, or if you’re a couple you might want something more romantic.
Start asking yourself what kind of vacationer you are before you get started on any solid plans.

Take a moment to sit down and write a list of things you must have in a weekend getaway. This can help you decide the key elements of your weekend trip budget.

Make a Budget

weekend trip costs

The more days you stay away the more your trip will cost.

Which is why weekend trips are so great! You can vacation without breaking the bank simply by leaving for fewer days.

According to Budget Your Trip the average daily cost of a vacation for just one person comes to about $224. This means that a 2 day vacation would cost $448, a 3 day vacation would cost $672, and a longer 4 day vacation would cost $896.

But you can save even more on a weekend getaway by cutting areas of your budget and making smart, money-saving choices.

Download a Free Printable PDF for a Weekend Getaway Budget.

weekend trip budget

A vacation budget usually includes at least 4 categories.

Transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.

According to ValuePenguin the average cost of transportation for 4 nights is $224, lodgings are $150, food is $155, and entertainment is $52. A 4 night trip, from Friday to Monday, can cost a total of $581.

These 4 budget sections are what you’ll need to figure out before going on vacation. Though there may be other things to consider depending on your personal preferences. For example, you might want to add a souvenir budget or create separate budgets for each person going on the trip.

Transportation

transportation

As with any trip, you’ll need to figure out what transportation you’ll use, how much it will cost, and how you can save in this category.

The farther from home you go the more expensive transportation costs are going to be. This doesn’t mean you can’t go far away for your weekend trip, it just means transportation will take up a larger portion of your budget if you do. You might have to make sacrifices in other areas of your budget, like which hotel you stay at if you want to go somewhere farther away.

Since it’s just a weekend trip, longer trips will also take up more of the little time you have to get away that weekend. But if you go somewhere close by, then you’ll have even more time to enjoy your destination. Try going on a road trip instead of flying since driving is generally cheaper than plane tickets.

You should also try and book accommodations that aren’t too far away from everything. That way you can easily walk, ride bikes, or use trails like the boardwalk or river walk to get wherever you want to go while on vacation.

Lodging

lodgings

If you book your accommodations well in advance then you are more likely to snag some deals.

If you want to get in the habit of taking weekend trips, then try getting into the habit of researching prices every so often. That way you’ll see when prices go up and down.

You can also save on lodgings by choosing Airbnbs, hostels, or campgrounds to stay at instead of expensive hotels. If you go on trips very often, then investing in a trailer or some quality camping gear could actually save you money in the long term.

Food

food

Eating out can easily become the most expensive part of a vacation. But you can save tons of money on food by packing your own meals and snacks.

No matter where you end up staying you can always bring your own food. If you’re going camping you can pack food bags and coolers full of nonperishable foods. If you’re going to a hotel or Airbnb you can find one with a kitchenette so you can make your own meals instead of spending tons of money eating out.

But remember to keep item number 1 in mind! Maybe eating out while traveling is a big part of a vacation for you. If this is the case, then just calculate restaurant expenses into your weekend getaway budget.

Entertainment

entertainment

There’s nothing more disappointing than coming back from a trip where you didn’t have time for everything you wanted to do.

You don’t want your weekend trip to feel like a waste of time. There might be specific things you want to do to entertain yourself while on vacation, like see a movie, go to a specific restaurant, see a show, go on a guided tour, or visit the zoo.

Create a vacation schedule for yourself so you don’t miss out on anything or unexpectedly spend money on tickets for something once you get there. By creating a schedule for entertainment ahead of time, you’ll know how you’re spending your weekend and how much each activity will cost. That way you can include your fun in your budget and not feel bad later for spending more than you thought you would.

Entertainment can also be the most flexible part of your budget and an easy place to cut costs. Maybe instead of paying for an expensive tour you pick up a cheaper tour guide booklet and see the sites yourself. Or maybe you can find free things to do like go to a public beach or nature park.

Download a Free Printable for a Weekend Getaway Schedule.

More Weekend Vacation Budget Tips

weekend getaway tips and tricks

Now that you know how to save on your 4 key weekend budget categories, let’s go over some other ways to trim your weekend budget.

1. Split the Costs

One great way to get the most out of a weekend vacation while still saving money is to bring a group of people and split the cost. By renting a cabin with a bunch of friends or family members, you can stay at a really nice place for a much more reasonable price.

Transportation costs can also be alleviated by inviting friends to tag along and help pay for gas.

2. Pack Light

Packing light will not only make your life easier, but it can save you in the long run. By not packing too much you won’t lose as many items in the hustle and bustle of traveling.

You also won’t have to pay extra traveling fees for having tons of luggage.

3. Don’t Spend Money Once You’re There

If you plan carefully and bring your own things, you can get away with not spending money once you reach your destination. Eat your own food and bring your own entertainment.

There are plenty of things you can do for free on vacation, like outdoor activities or going to state parks. You might actually enjoy just reading a good book by the poolside instead of filling your weekend with expensive and busy activities.

4. Look for All-Inclusive Options

Some resorts and cruises can be all-inclusive, meaning that you pay for your stay and they provide everything else. All-inclusive trips can also give you the best deal since one payment will pay for all categories of your budget. All you have to worry about is showing up.

5. Put Vacations in Your Budget Now

Planning ahead will always save you more, and that includes planning for your vacations now. Put away a little money each month into a fund just for trips. Then once you have enough to cover your vacation budget you can go, relax, have fun, and not worry about the money your spending because you saved it all up specifically for this.

6. Use a Prepaid Debit Card

Have trouble budgeting your spending once you’re there? Just get a Prepaid Debit Card and use that for spending on vacation. With a prepaid debit card, you won’t be able to go over budget and can protect yourself from your own money spending habits.

7. Long Weekends

Plan to go on vacation during a long weekend. That way you don’t have to use paid time off, and you can get an extra day or two of relaxation and fun into your weekend. Having a long weekend to look forward to can also make work more bearable, and give you a time frame for saving up.

8. Most Popular Weekend Getaway Locations

If you want to travel somewhere really popular, you definitely want to look for deals. You can use websites like kayak, travelocity, trivago, or airbnb to find deals on transportation, lodgings, and fun times. You can also use sites like the Crazy Tourist to see reviews about popular places and help you decide where to go and what to see on your trip.

Here are some examples of how you can use these sites to your advantage.

Getaways in San Diego

Trips to Santa Barbara

San Antonio Vacation Packages from $658

Las Vegas Weekend Break Hotels

15 Best Romantic (Weekend) Getaways in Rhode Island

New York City Weekend Breaks

Best Weekend Deals Los Angeles

San Francisco Cheap Vacations


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