Tagged With twocents

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Recently while researching a vacation package I was considering booking, I noticed that while all of the customer reviews about the destinations, tour guides and mechanics of the trip were glowing, there were a few people who gave poor ratings for reasons that didn't seem like the travel company's fault: Their flight was cancelled so they missed a day; they got food poisoning so couldn't enjoy a tour; or they hadn't purchased travel insurance so they couldn't get a refund when they could no longer embark on the trip.

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Adhering to a strict financial plan is a lot like following a healthy diet. You do it because you know it will help you feel good now and set yourself up for the best possible future.

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I've long had a "to buy" list that I'll add items to throughout the year, pruning and updating as needed. Right now it's relatively short, including a water purifier, art for my apartment, and wireless headphones to use while running.

6

This weekend, I bought a bouquet of $8 peonies for my new apartment, a small celebration of sorts. The few dollars were tiny drops in the bucket of money I had just spent, considering the movers, increased rent, fees and everything else that comes with a move.

Unlike those costs, however, the flowers were rather impractical. Beautiful, yes, but purposeless. And so as I walked home with them in hand, I couldn't help feel a twinge of guilt. Sure, it was only $8, but with all the other money I had just spent, was it necessary?

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One of the first things I did after my first job offer was call my parents. I ran through the pros and cons, expounded on how it would help my career and marveled at the thought that I'd somehow landed a full time job in journalism, with benefits and everything. It seemed too good to be true.

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Life happens. One minute you're coasting towards graduation, ready to take on the world. The next, you've lost your job or haven't been able to find one in your field and you can't afford the rent any more. If you're lucky, your parents are both willing and able to let you move back in and regroup before you go back out into the world to live on your own.

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A lot of our thinking about money revolves around the gains: I'll invest X to get returns of Y per cent in the long term; I'll buy this couch because it will brighten up my apartment and make me happier. But when it comes to financial decisions, it's also important to consider what you'll be giving up.

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When you're going about your day-to-day, it's easy to put important questions about your career - what you really want to do, how you get there - on the backburner as you complete the tasks you need to get done now. And who wants to think about work in the few hours we have off?

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Everyone's nervous before a job interview, but there are plenty of ways you can amp yourself up and shake off the jitters. Of course you need to do your research on the company, and practise answers to the most common interview questions. The more you prepare, the more confident you'll feel. In addition, I like to listen to my running playlist before any type of situation in which I'm likely to be nervous but need to impress. You probably have your own tricks, too.