4 Tips for Handling Your Schedule as a Young Professional

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When you’re in college, you might think that you have a busy schedule and you’re prepared to juggle obligations and run on limited sleep. However, once you graduate and become a young professional with a full-time job, you’ll realize that you’re incredibly busy, but it’s different from what you experienced during college. When you’re in college, you have a clear path and schedule; you take classes at specific times, you have regular meetings, you do stuff with your friends who live nearby.

As a young professional, you’re spending at least eight hours at your workplace and then have a limited amount of time for your other plans. It’s up to you to plan your own schedule. You have to coordinate with friends’ schedules, find volunteer opportunities, discover networking groups and events, and make up your mind on what should be a priority and how you want to spend your time. For college students who thrived on being involved, having so many options on top of working full-time can feel a little overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to handle your young professional schedule and make sure you’re doing what you really want to do.

Prioritize events

The first step to take for managing your new, busy schedule is to prioritize your commitments and what you want to get involved in. If there’s a cause particularly important to you, make a charity that works with it your main philanthropic focus instead of trying to get involved with a variety of organizations. If you want to spend time visiting your family above everything else, plan around those visits. Decide what your focus is and how you want to spend your time and then work around those events.

Get plenty of rest

When you’re spending hours at work, going to the gym, attending a networking event, volunteering, and hanging out with friends, you probably feel like you cannot waste a second of your day sleeping more than necessary. However, being well rested is key to being able to manage a busy schedule; you’ll feel more inclined to stick to commitments and excel at work if you’re not short on sleep.

Talk to your friends

If you’re struggling to find time to fit in all the activities in your schedule and hang out with your friends or significant other, talk to them. Find out what each others’ schedules are and consider participating in events together. Attending a networking event together can be fun and help you branch out from your comfort zone. Volunteering together is a great idea and can be something you make a regular occurrence. It’s harder to stay in touch with friends once you graduate, so make the extra effort.

Plan ahead

You’ll feel much more on top of your schedule when you make the effort to actually plan ahead. Take time at the beginning of each week to look over your schedule so you’re aware of everything that’s happening in the week ahead. You don’t want to be caught off guard by an obligation or event you forgot. Add meetings and events to your phone’s calendar so you get reminders and write them down in a physical planner. You’ll be (and feel) more organized and do not have to stress about remembering everything.

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How Getting Rid of Clutter Helps You Out Financially

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More and more people are realizing the benefits of decluttering and focusing on living a more  minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism doesn’t mean you have to sell all of your belongings and own two t-shirts; it’s up to you how minimal you want your lifestyle to be. However, we can all agree that spending less money on new goods and getting rid of waste in our lives have many benefits, regardless of the extent we do it. One area decluttering benefits is helping you out financially, though this benefit might not be immediately apparent. Here are a few of the financial benefits you’ll get from decluttering your life.

Gain some money

One of the most obvious benefits of decluttering is that you can likely sell a fair number of items you’re getting rid of. Have a yard sale or find sites to sell things online, such as Craigslist or Facebook groups. If you have larger items, this method is even better, since you don’t have to worry about transporting them anywhere and can simply set them outside your home or wait for someone to come pick them up.

Lower your taxes

If you’d prefer to donate the items you’re decluttering or have things left over after a yard sale, it’s easy to find places to donate gently used goods, particularly clothes. You’ll be helping out a great cause and people in need while also lowering your taxes. If you itemize your tax return, you can list everything you’ve donated and write off that money.

Spend less money

When you commit to decluttering and living with less stuff, you’ll find that you’re spending less money on needless purchases. Instead of buying items you do not actually need, you’ll be more thoughtful with the money you’re spending. You realize that you do not actually need to keep gaining more useless goods and instead you’ll save and invest your money or use it to gain experiences and better yourself.

Greater productivity

If your life is too cluttered, it can be difficult to get a lot of work done and your productivity will suffer. You’ll often be distracted by the need to organize or clean instead of just tackling a task and getting it done. You’ll waste time searching through everything for the items you need in order to find one thing. Once you declutter, you’ll also save a lot of time cleaning because you’ll have less items to move and organize.

Avoid duplicate buying

It’s likely that there have been a few times you’ve bought something without realizing you already own it. You might look around for a specific type of clothing or item and not find it anywhere, so you go out and buy something new. Then, a few days or months later, you realize that you actually have duplicates of the item you do not really need. You might even sometimes intentionally purchase a duplicate item while your old one is perfectly good. Get away from this mindset and instead only keep items you’ll actually use.

5 Top Premier League Players Ready for an Upgrade

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As the Premier League reaches its close, we’re going to see some shakeup on various teams. New players are going to be scouted, some are going to be transferred, and others may be ending their careers. Fans of the English Football League who follow the teams in the Premier League are likely anxious to see how their favorite team fares in transfers and finding new players. Depending who leaves, stays, or joins a team, the tone can be set for that team’s entire upcoming season. So much of a team’s success hangs on how these transfers happen over the summer, so it’s important to pay attention if you want to have an idea of how teams will do in the upcoming season and what players to pay special attention to this year. For some teams, it can be beneficial to transfer some of their players. Here are the top players that could head to a new team.

Kieran Trippier

It seems likely that the Spurs may have been trying to move Trippier out of the starting lineup when they got Serge Aurier, but Aurier proved to not be as reliable as many would have hoped. It’s time to review this teams starting players and see if there are ways the lineup could be improved in a way that sets the team up for a much stronger season this year.

Antonio Valencia

At one time, Jose Mourinho referred to Valencia as “the best right-back,” but that’s no longer the case. Valencia’s playing has slowly begun to wane and his great performances are much less frequent than they once were. It’s time to focus on other players who can provide the assistance the team needs.

Cheikhou Kouyate

For his age and career length, Kouyate should be at his peak playing time. However, over the last season, Kouyate performed worse than he has before. He wasn’t nearly as accurate as he once was and his overall performance has suffered. West Ham needs to evaluate their training and players and aim to do better.

Ashley Williams

For a long time, Williams was at the height of his career and played incredibly well. He moved throughout football easily and was successfully anywhere he played. Now, his playing has been nothing like it once was. As newer players show him up and highlight his weaknesses, it’s becoming apparent he’s not the player he used to be.

Dominic Solanke

It’s time for Liverpool to evaluate their entire team and make some changes. Solanke is by no means a bad player, but Liverpool has drastically improved in the past season and they need players that reflect that new position. When Gareth Bale substituted for Solanke, he scored more goals than Solanke had throughout the past season. It’s likely Solanke will become an even more incredible player with time and training, but Liverpool needs great players now.

5 Travel Credit Cards to Seriously Consider When Taking Flight

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Choosing a credit card to maximize travel options can be overwhelming. The avalanche of information is often difficult to navigate, leaving travelers weary about the process of choosing the best card for their needs. However, the rewards pay off quickly if the right card is chosen. Here are some of the top credit cards for travel on the market today.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

This card is ideal for travelers not dedicated to traveling on a specific airline. Offering the most flexibility of any of the other cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred enables customers to convert points to a myriad of airlines, offering you maximum choice and value. For those looking to travel using various airlines, this card is the best option.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

Loyalists to Southwest Airlines will appreciate this card’s commitment to providing the very best value to its customer base. The Rapid Rewards card features exceptional benefits, offering 40,000 miles after only spending $1,000 in the first three months. The card also doles out bonus miles for booking travel with Southwest’s partners, including Hertz and Hyatt.

United Mileageplus Explorer Card

The premier benefits of this card make it another credit option for a travel credit card. Offering many of the same perks as its competitors, the United Mileageplus Explorer Card takes it one step further by also providing two complimentary passes per year to its venerable United Club lounge, as well as primary rental car insurance.

Citi/Aadvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Like the United Mileage Plus card, this choice also provides complimentary access to its airline club lounge. The Citi/AAdvantage outshines even United by providing access for all your guests and authorized users of the account. This card also features a large allowance for free checked bags, offering up to nine bags per trip.

American Express Gold Delta Skymiles Card

With a myriad of cardholder benefits, the Gold Delta Skymiles card offers a little bit of everything. From free checked baggage to discounts on airport lounge memberships to priority boarding, this card is a well-rounded addition to any traveler’s wallet.

The bottom line when investigating your travel credit card options is to choose the card that is right for you, taking into consideration your home airport and your own personal needs and preferences. Do some more research on your own and see which card would fit your lifestyle the best.

3 Tips for Getting the Best Possible Deal on Auto Insurance

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One of the most surprising things about car insurance is how much control customers have over the pricing. Some people may feel that more than a little effort and knowledge is required to successfully navigate the world of finding less expensive insurance, but if you put in the effort, you’ll be able to find more affordable options. Far too often, people feel stuck paying their current insurance and do not take the time to research other options.

Since car insurance is a legal necessity and since people would prefer to pay the minimum amount necessary to get what they want, a guide to improving the price for your next car insurance purchase is likely to be rather popular. That said, there is little magic in the world of insurance, so there won’t be many miracles, but there can definitely be a lower price for a better overall product.

Deductible

Simply put, if you increase your deductible, you will reduce your premium. The reason for this dynamic is because a higher deductible reduces the chances your insurer will be required to pay a claim. Insurance is designed to handle the kind of disasters that exceed your day-to-day budgets, so there is no reason to carry a policy with a minimal deductible.

Collision

If you are financing your car, you may have little choice when it comes to collision insurance, since your lienholder will insist that their property be restored in the event of an accident. However, if you own the car and it is old enough, you should definitely consider either dropping collision insurance or dramatically reducing the coverage limits. The worst of all possible worlds is one where you end up paying more in collision premiums than the car is worth in the first place.

Applications

The third and possibly most effective option is to apply for every discount you possibly can. Good driver discounts and driving class discounts are two of the best, as they have the highest potential for reducing your premium. If you don’t already have these advantages, you should find out how to get them or find an insurer that offers discounts for a good driving record. There are often club membership discounts and academic achievement discounts as well. Take advantage of them all, as over time they will save you a fortune in unnecessarily high premiums.

It is sometimes a good idea to consult a financial planner when it comes to any kind of insurance, as they will sometimes be aware of industry standards the average person isn’t. Take your time and make the best choice. It saves a lot of money down the road.

4 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

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Once you graduate college and begin your life after school, you likely realize how important a credit score is for various decisions. You may have had to deal with issues relating to your credit score beforehand, but it’s certainly something you must pay attention to now. Your credit score affects whether or not you can open credit cards, get a car loan, or get approved for a mortgage. Many landlords also want to know your credit score to see how reliable you are when it comes to making payments. You may have a low credit score or not much credit at all, but there are certainly steps you can take to build it into a respectable number. However, you need to understand that it takes time and hard work to reach an excellent score.

Open accounts with credit

For many recent graduates, you might not have much credit at all, which leads to a low score. The first step to take is opening accounts that utilize your credit; the earlier you take this step, the better. There are plenty of student credit cards out there that are easy to get approved on, or ask your parents to add you to one of theirs. Even using the card a few times a month and then immediately paying it off helps improve your credit score. Be aware that opening new forms of credit means a credit report will be pulled for you to be approved, which often temporary drops your credit score a few points. This drop is completely normal and goes back to what it should be within a few months.

Make payments on time

Something that seriously damages your credit score is making late payments. Even a single late payment on credit can lower your score. If you’ve been notorious for this issue and it’s what caused your score to be so low, change your methods starting today. Set alerts for when your payments are due or even set up automatic payments so you don’t have to worry about forgetting at all.

Regularly check your credit score

If you want to really make a difference in your credit score, you need to be aware of any changes to it, whether positive or negative. The more you familiarize yourself with the score and see fluctuations, the better able you are to make decisions that impact your finances. It’s also important to regularly check your credit score so if a fraudulent account is ever opened in your name, you can report it as soon as possible and prevent it from seriously affecting you. Credit Karma is a great resource to use and can be downloaded as an app on your phone.

Pay off debt

If you want to see immense improvement to your credit score, pay off current debt. Even paying off a single debt can boost your score several points. Make larger payments than required and avoid paying more interest than you have to. While paying off your debt, consider using the debt snowball method in order to receive the maximum benefit.

How the Red Sox Can Keep Their Momentum Going Through the Season

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For the Red Sox, the beginning of their season has been incredibly strong. While we’re barely more than a month into this season, the team has had a fantastic start. Unfortunately, for a short period of time, they seemed to be off their game, but they quickly remedied this issue. Now, they’re back on track and looking forward to a strong season. Here are a few ways the Red Sox can keep their momentum going and have a fantastic 2018 season.

Keep their offense strong

Already in the season, the Red Sox have shown their eagerness to go after pitches in the strike zone and it has helped them achieve some great success. When starting a game, the team starts strong and keeps this momentum going after gaining a decent advantage on the opposing team. This momentum is something important they need to keep going in the upcoming season. Being able to get in some great runs early on sets the Red Sox up for a nice lead and can help discourage the opposing team. A strong and strategic offense is a great key to success throughout the season.

Stay humble

An important part of sports is to remember to stay humble, even when facing incredible success. The Red Sox may be doing incredibly well, but that could always change, especially if they become too confident in their ability to win games and scale back their hard work. They need to be humble and appreciative toward other teams. Remembering the seasons that didn’t as well helps keep current successes in perspective. Humility is a great trait to have regardless of what you’re doing.

Work on good marketing

Initially, this tip may not seem like it could directly impact the players’ performance, but it certainly can. Great marketing helps present the team in a positive spotlight and spread the word about their successes. As fans voice their support and respond to the team’s marketing efforts, this support helps bolster the confidence of the players. When the players are more confident in their abilities and know the fans are counting on them, they’re more likely to do well in games. Successful marketing campaigns are a fantastic tool to use when trying to motivate players and show them how much their fans care.

Plan ahead

Finally, it’s important to plan ahead throughout the season. Something serious could happen, such as a key player getting majorly injured. What’s the game plan if an issue like this one would arise? Planning ahead for what the team will do and practicing according to this plan helps set the Red Sox up for success in case a problem occurs later during the season. The better you plan for an emergency situation, the easier it’ll be to handle it.