5 Tips for Negotiating a Salary


Whether you’re accepting your first job or have been working with your company for years, salary negotiation is an integral part of advancing in your career. Salary negotiations can feel a little overwhelming and be awkward, especially if you get pushback from your boss, but they’re still necessary if you want to be paid your worth. It’s also important to remember your boss expects you to try to negotiate your salary, so don’t worry about coming across as rude or unrealistic for asking for more pay.

Know your worth

The first step to negotiating your salary is to know what you should be getting paid. If you’re being underpaid, it’s important to attempt to get your salary as close to the average in your industry as possible. If you work for a small company or somewhere that the cost of living is lower than average, you’ll get paid less, but if you’re being paid less than the other people doing the same job in your company or even in your city or town, you should work to get an equivalent salary.

Prove your competence

While it’s important to negotiate your salary, it’s not very useful if the work you do doesn’t reflect the amount you’re asking for. When going into your meeting where you’ll be discussing salary negotiation, it’s important you can prove your value to the company. Write down how you’ve helped the company and what you do incredibly well that makes you believe you deserve a raise. Head into your meeting with this mental list so you can provide clear examples of why you should be paid more.

Consider other benefits

Your company might not offer you exactly what you’re asking for, but there are other benefits that could make up for monetary value. When negotiating, it’s important to take into consideration other benefits the company has. Do they offer great health care and plenty of vacation days? You might want to stay if you’re making less than you would somewhere else of there are quality benefits. Even if the benefits aren’t ideal, could you negotiate for them if they company can’t budge on your salary?

Communicate properly

When you’re negotiating your salary, it’s important you know how to properly approach the conversation and communicate well. You want to use positive language and make sure it doesn’t turn into a case of you versus your boss when negotiating. Use phrases like “let’s work together” and “compromise” in order to increase your chances of getting the salary you want. It’s also important to avoid bringing personal financial concerns into the equation; if you talk about why you need more money, it signals that you don’t care about the job and are only looking to help yourself out.

Practice beforehand

Like any speech or important conversation, practicing beforehand can make the actual event much easier. You’ll have your talking points prepared, know what you’re going to say, and will feel less stressed about it. Practicing also helps you anticipate pushback you may receive and be prepared for how you’ll respond.


Why You Should Invest in Experiences, Not Material Items


Recently, more and more people have come to the realization that spending money on experiences rather than things is a much better way to feel happier than simply buying the trendiest clothes or new gadget. There are plenty of benefits that come with investing in experiences instead of material items and there’s even science to back this knowledge up and millennials seem to have mostly mastered this mindset.

The science behind it

For a long time, it was believed that purchasing items brought people greater happiness because the items bought lasted longer than a trip or concert. However, after thorough research it seems like this initial conclusion was incorrect. Now, it’s clear people prefer creating lasting memories through great experiences rather than spend their money on something to set around their home.

Benefits to yourself

While you may have already realized this reality, if you aren’t convinced you’ll feel happier spending money on experiences rather than things, there are many benefits. Regardless of who you are, happiness in new possessions only lasts for a short time, while great memories from an experience last forever. You might also learn about a new passion or gain experience that helps you in another area of your life. Experiences define who you are, so make them great ones. Finally, when you own less items, you have more room in your home and do not have to worry about clutter. If you need to move, it can be done with relative ease and you don’t hoard items you don’t really need.

Benefits to others

Investing in experiences allows you to grow closer to the people around you. Whether you’re traveling with a friend or going to an event with your family, you’re making great memories that bring you closer together. You can also gift others with an experience, such as a festival or tickets to a concert. Giving makes you feel good and provides that person with a memorable experience. Also, when you’re happier, it helps you do better in other areas of your life, like your personal and professional life. You’ll be in a better mood and do better, which could lessen the stress of the people around you.

Benefits to the world

Finally, investing in experiences provides plenty of benefits to the world in general. First off, every event requires people to work it. If you attend a festival or concert, you’re providing money to the people working. With travel, you’re helping boost a tourism industry to wherever you’re going, which is often what a town or business relies upon. Avoiding purchasing too many items also helps cut back on pollution and waste, since you’re not contributing to the creation of those items and then discarding them.

Advice for Working Out in the Winter

No matter how dedicated you are to your fitness, the winter can be a difficult time to stay in shape. Nighttime comes early and the weather is terrible, so it makes you not want to head outside. Maybe you’re used to exercising outside, but it’s much more challenging to do so during the winter, though it doesn’t mean you have to stop. Whether you’re going to a gym or braving the elements, here are some tips for continuing to work out in the winter.


Wear appropriate clothes

Since the colder weather is setting in, you’ll want to be prepared for it. Get ready to change your exercise wardrobe, especially if you’re planning on working out outside. Have reflective clothes that drivers can see in the dark and enough layers and quality material to keep you warm. Even if you’re running for miles, the cold can still harm you if you aren’t properly attired. Avoid too many bulky layers as well, because it makes working out more difficult. If you’re staying inside, make sure you have warm clothes for when you leave the building.


Be germ conscious

When you’re working out at a gym, the winter is a perfect time for germs to spread. Wipe down machines before and after you use them, even if you aren’t actively sick. After your workout, shower, and avoid spending too much time in the locker room.


Create a reward system

The bleak weather can often make you feel like you don’t want to work out or maybe you feel like it isn’t worth it and you can get back into your routine in the spring. A great way to work around this feeling is to create a rewards system for yourself. Whether it’s a nice dinner, new workout clothes, or something else that motivates you, use this goal to get yourself to move.


Get in small workouts

There are going to be days when you just can’t motivate yourself to get in a full workout, but anything you can do is beneficial. Take time out of your day, even if it’s just half an hour, to move around a bit. Your body will be grateful and you’ll reap the benefits.


Workout with a friend

One of the best ways to motivate yourself to workout is by having a partner who holds you accountable for missed workouts. When choosing your workout buddy, find a friend you know won’t regularly flake on you or reinforce skipping workouts. You need someone who’s as dedicated to fitness as you are so you can push each other to stay in shape.


Change it up

A great way to get yourself in the mood for working out is changing up your regular routine. Get new workout clothes, start a new playlist, or begin a different kind of fitness regime. Having something exciting and different can help push you to keep focusing on your fitness and crushing your workout goals.

6 Tips for Dealing with Life After College

No matter how ready you think you are, graduating from college and firmly entering the adult world can be jarring. You might be heading off to grad school, but even then, you’ll eventually be done with school and no longer in such a structured environment. While being a full-fledged adult is exciting, there are also a lot more responsibilities you’ll realize and you’ll have to take complete control over planning your own future, since you no longer have a clear goal like graduation to work toward and set steps on how to get there.


Accept the changes

The first step to adjusting to life after college is accepting that it’s happening. You’ve been spending most of your life working toward graduation and everything else likely seemed fairly distant. Now, you need to seriously think about a job, your career, professional opportunities, what you want to do in the near and far future, and how to achieve those goals. You’re soon going to be financially responsible for yourself (if you aren’t already) and you may be getting married and starting a family sooner than you think. Acknowledge these changes are all possible and begin planning.


Find a routine

Something that’ll keep you sane now that you’re out of college is creating a solid routine. Try to go to bed and get up around the same time, make consistent plans with friends, and consider regular workout times or something else. As long as you have a routine, you’ll have something to rely on and keep you focused.


Make a plan

After you’ve gotten used to no longer being in college, it’s time to make a plan about what you want your next steps to be. What kind of career do you want in the long run? Where do you want to live? Do you want to buy a car or a house? Begin crafting one, five, or ten years plans and you’ll feel a bit more in control of your future.



While in college, it’s completely normal to frequently multitask and juggle various responsibilities like class, work, socializing, video games, and clubs, but once you’re out of college, it’s harder to do so many things. One big reason is you are now spending a significant amount of time each day at a job (hopefully), so you don’t have the short breaks you used to enjoy between classes. Realize this reality and instead prioritize what you want to do outside of work. Do you want to go to the gym or go home and watch television? Do you want to get dinner with your friends or run some errands? These decisions are very real out of college.


Create a support system

You might no longer live next door to your best friends and you might work somewhere far away from your family. However, it’s important to create a strong support system. Make new connections with coworkers or other people where you live or reconnect with people in the area if you moved back home. Regularly talk to your friends from college and your family, even if you can’t see them often.


Take care of yourself

Finally, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. You’ll have to adjust to a new schedule and phase of your life and it’s going to be stressful. Give yourself time to sleep each night, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and get regular exercise. Avoid becoming burned out or too stressed at your job and take some time to do something you enjoy each day.


6 Money Goals for Before You’re 30

A big part of graduating college and finding your first job is becoming financially independent. If you’ve completely relied on your parents up until this point and have never lived by yourself and been responsible for all of your living expenses, this change can be stressful and confusing. However, here are some clear money goals you should establish before you’re thirty. Then, start working toward them and making concrete plans to achieve financial stability and independence.


Get rid of your debt

By the time you’re thirty, unless you’ve bought a house, you shouldn’t have any debt left. You likely have significant student loans, maybe some credit card debt, and possibly a car payment. Create a plan now that allows you to pay off these debts by the time you’re thirty. Consider paying extra on the debt with the highest interest to get it paid off quickly as possible, even if it means cutting back on spending in other areas. You’ll feel an incredible sense of freedom once you’re debt-free.


Stop relying on your parents

A huge percentage of millennials rely on their parents for support after they’ve graduated college and moved away. It’s understandable that your parents want to help you out and the occasional assistance is understandable, but you need to learn to be an adult and take care of yourself at some point. Your parents are getting older and are going to need to save their money for retirement.


Start planning for retirement

The single biggest piece of advice many professionals say they wish they could give their younger selves is to start saving as much as possible for retirement as soon as you can. Most people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need for retirement and only start worrying about it once they’re past thirty. Worry about it now and build yourself a nice nest egg.


Save up for a home

As you’re approaching your thirties, you might be beginning to want to move into a permanent residence that’s your own. Unless you travel a lot for work and know you want to keep renting, or you already bought a home, you’ll want to have a nice-sized down payment saved up to use for your future home. Start saving up as soon as possible; the larger your down payment, the lower your mortgage!


Establish an emergency fund

You might be in perfect health and have a stable job, but we never know what life might throw at us. If there’s some reason you would end up out of work for a few weeks or months, it’s important to have an emergency fund that’ll be able to cover all your expenses for a few months until you get back on your feet. Most people aim to have at least six months in expenses, so aim for this number. It might take a while to build up, but it’ll be worth it.


Stick to a budget

Creating a budget and being able to follow it is the single best step you can take to set yourself up for financial independence and stability by the time you’re thirty. In order to meet any of these goals, you need to create a plan and follow it each month. You’ll need to plan out how much money you’ll put toward each goal every month in order to make your long-term plan a success.


How to Use Credit Cards the Smart Way

Credit cards are something we’re likely all familiar with. You’ve probably gone shopping to a larger store and had the salesperson ask if you want to open a credit card account specific to that store. It’s likely you always brush it off, knowing you don’t shop there that often or don’t want to deal with more debt. However, many people open credit cards, whether a store card or a regular one. The average household in America carries nearly $6,000 of credit card debt. Other studies show that about a third of Americans have at least one credit card.

You’ve probably heard horror stories of people getting into insane amounts of credit card debt they’re never able to pay off. Many people completely swear off of credit cards and believe they’re sure ways to get sucked into overwhelming debt. However, if you handle credit cards in a smart way, you won’t have to worry about dealing with outrageous amounts of debt. Here are tips on using credit cards and actually benefiting from them.


Online shopping

One of the best uses for credit cards can be to use exclusively for online shopping or somewhere else you think information could get compromised, such as a small stand or other place that appears to have low security. All too often, we make online purchases and then see that our account information has been compromised. It’s much easier to freeze and cancel credit cards and get the purchases taken off your statement than it is to do the same with getting money back into your bank account. By using a credit card for a purchase you would have made anyway, you can protect yourself from fraud.


Designated purchase

Sometimes, credit cards can be useful for a designated purchase. You might receive a lower car insurance rate if you set up an automatic payment, but don’t want to save your bank information, using a credit card becomes a great alternative. It’s also easier to track spending if the only purchase you’re making on that card is one kind.


Gain rewards

You can easily find credit cards that claim they have incredible rewards programs. Nearly every card now offers some type of reward. It’s important to avoid being drawn into promises of rewards and going for every card offered; take the time to research different cards and find out which ones offer the best rewards for you. Then, use that card regularly to make purchases you can afford and build rewards that are actually beneficial.


Build credit

A very smart reason to use credit cards is because they allow you to easily build your credit. By regularly using a credit card and not making late payments, you’re able to improve your credit score. This benefit is especially useful to younger people who don’t have any kind of credit score and need to create one in order to make larger purchases or rent an apartment. Spend smartly and avoid creating debt so you can improve your credit score.


Pay on time

Finally, the smartest way to use your credit card is by paying it off on time. If you carry a balance over from month-to-month, you’ll likely have to pay large amounts of interest, often around 20 percent of whatever the balance is. If you can’t pay off a large purchase in a month (or very shortly after), do not use your credit card. The problem with credit cards is people avoid paying off the balance each month, so it just accumulates and interest builds, which results in outrageous amounts of debt and you paying more than you spent in the first place.

A credit card isn’t something you have to be scared to use, as long as you’re following these tips and being smart in your spending. It could actually be something that benefits you.

Best Golf Clubs of 2017

The site Two Golf Guys put out a list reviewing the best golf clubs of this year. It’s a pretty good list, so I figured I’d take some time to talk some more about a few of the clubs that appear on it. If you’re planning on buying a new set of clubs this season, here are some clubs to look at.

TaylorMade M1 Irons: These clubs are great for high, straight shots, although it doesn’t shoot quite as high as the TaylorMade M2. The rounded head of this club moves smoothly over roughs and uneven ground. It’s a good club for picking up up yards–I’ve heard of people gaining as much as 10 yards by switching to these. Despite impressive game-improvement features, including a fifteen-gram tungsten toe rate that lowers and centers the center of gravity, it has a clean, simple design. Steel clubs are $1,000 and graphite clubs are $1,200 for this model.

TaylorMade M2 Irons: These have most of the power of the M1s but without the sleekness. The tech gives them a slightly sci-fi look, but it looks good on them. It has a heavy sole that gives it some real power, creating fast, high shots. It also scores great on accuracy and forgiveness, according to Golf magazine. These are a bit cheaper than the M1, at $800 for the steel and $900 for the graphite.

Callaway XR OS Irons: These are straight-shooting irons great for players looking to improve their distance. Once you get used to them, you can shape your shots a little, but much more emphasis is on strong and high accuracy/forgiveness. Nicely balanced, these give you a lot of control over distance, and their wide soles work on lots of types of ground. Note that these shoot higher than some players are used to. These clubs price at $800 for steel and $900 for graphite.

Mizuno MP25: For a lighter, livelier club, try the Muzuno MP25, which uses boron rather than straight steel. This club is fun to handle, with a smooth, well-balanced feel. It struggles a bit on roughs, probably due to its lighter weight. The Two Golf Guys rated this one very high on forgiveness, but some players may not agree–I suspect how well you do in that respect depends on play style. Clubs are priced at $1,000.

Cobra King Pro Irons: Two Golf Guys ranked this one for best style, which is fair: the Cobra King has a forged iron blade, which looks cool and powerful and is really fun to play with. But unlike many other forged iron clubs, it also has high forgiveness and a nice center of gravity. These are great clubs for a casual game if only for how satisfying they sound when they make contact with the ball. Priced at $1,099.