6 Character Traits that Can Nail a Promotion

Gunning for a raise or promotion? Better start happy-coworkersmaking nice with your coworkers.

People who initiate friendships at work, offer their colleagues help and engage with office mates at social events are 40 percent more likely to get a promotion, according to a 2011 study by Shawn Achor, a lecturer on psychology at Harvard University and author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.

While skills, experience and results delivered are obviously factors in career advancement, one’s likeability is also a key component of workplace success. If you’re too competitive (or too much of a brown-noser), you can alienate the very coworkers who could be crucial to your success. After all, bosses don’t want to promote people who are disliked around the office. Even if you’re not hanging out during non-office hours, you’re probably spending more time with your colleagues than with your non-work pals. So building relationships may be one reason that 30 percent of those polled by Monster said that friendships make work a lot more pleasant.

Click here to see what steps to take to win over your boss and your colleagues.

Tagged , , , ,

The Changing Economics of Student-Loan Debt: How to Pay It Off and Startup

President Obama may soon sign into law piggy_graduate-590x393a new student-loan bill that reduces rates for brand new borrowers. But the rising cost of college will surely continue to hit students where it hurts: Their future.

College students who funded their education with borrowed money, left school in 2011 with an average $26,600 in student-loan debt, up 5 percent from $25,250 in 2010, according to the latest report from the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success.

Saddled with such a hefty debt load, many young entrepreneurs might put off or even forgo starting up, as launching and failing may put them in an even worse lurch. For those who proceed, they’re forced to juggle heaping monthly payments with the costs of starting a business. It’s a challenge some shy away from, but there are routes millennials can take to startup without student-loan debt wrecking their companies.

Click here to read more about how young entrepreneurs can eliminate or reduce their debt loads.

Tagged , , , ,

Living an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle On a Budget

Combating a number of medical problems, greenliving-e1349182295634including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and severe reactions to chemicals and artificial products, Kimberly Button decided to adopt eco-friendly living habits in 2001, which not only improved her health but also paid off financially. She started using natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda, which meant no harmful chemicals and no fragrance residues. She also gave up sodas and prepared drinks and began drinking only water.

A lot has changed in the 12 years since Button, a freelance journalist based in an Orlando, Fla., and author of “The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home,” modified her lifestyle. Over the past decade, enhanced technology and growing consumer demand for natural products and organic foods have transformed the way many U.S. manufacturers do business. Even the razor business has gone green: Schick, for example, now sells a $10 “intuition naturals sensitive care razor,” with a shaving solid that’s made from natural Aloe and Vitamin E. The product’s packaging is manufactured with no artificial colors and is 100 percent recyclable.

Looking to go green? Click here for effective ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle without wrecking your budget.

Tagged , , , , ,

How to Make Sense of a Credit Card’s Terms and Conditions

A zero percent introductory interest terms_conditionsrate sounds great. So does a juicy rewards program. And who couldn’t use a sweet $100 sign-up bonus? We’ve all seen credit card commercials touting such offers, but most close with those dreaded words: “terms and conditions apply.”

Digesting the high volume of information contained in a credit card offer is not only time-consuming for many people but headache-inducing. While it’s up to you as the consumer to make sense of the fine print, you can avoid most of the grunt work by asking issuers these right questions. Click here to read on.

Tagged , , ,

Who Says Personal Finance Software is Dead?

With the proliferation of online money-management-software-packagemoney-management tools, many consumers assume financial desktop software is defunct and worth burying in the graveyard of outdated computer products. A number of experts, however, say desktop products are arguably more important now than ever for keeping your financial information secure.

Storing your sensitive information online can put you at risk, says Jill Duffy, a writer and software analyst at PCMag.com. Duffy says websites that don’t offer “bank-level” encryption and security features may be vulnerable to hackers. Consequently, managing your money offline can help prevent your finances and identity from being compromised. And thanks to a selection of sophisticated software, tasks like creating a budget, strengthening investing strategies and saving for retirement have never been easier – as long as you know which programs to use and how best to use them.

Click here to see four software programs that can help you take more control of your money:

Tagged , ,

The Financial Benefits of a Stay-at-Home Parent

Before Lance Somerfeld’s son was born in baby-mom-readingJuly 2008, he was working as a sixth-grade teacher at a high-need public school in the Bronx, earning a salary of roughly $45,000. He left his career to be a stay-at-home dad, wanting to be involved in his boy’s early milestones—milestones Somerfeld’s own father missed while he worked a full-time job throughout Somerfeld’s childhood.

The decision to become a stay-at-home dad also made sense financially. “For a quality day care or a nanny, it would have cost us about my take-home salary,” Somerfeld says. “Why would I pay someone else to take care of my child when I can do it for the same cost?” His wife’s job as a corporate actuary also served as a financial cushion.

The decision for a spouse to become a stay-at-home parent has significant financial consequences. In many cases, losing a source of income is too much for a household to bear. However, for families like the Somerfelds, the monetary benefits and the extra time spent with their children outweigh the costs.

Click here for more on the financial benefits of becoming a stay-at-home parent.

Tagged , ,

Gambling Addicts Seduced By Growing Casino Accessibility

Before 2005, Sandra Adell had never set gambling addictfoot in a casino. But when a friend of the then 59-year-old professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison asked Adell to accompany her to the Ho-Chunk casino about 45 minutes away from her home, she obliged. As Adell walked through the casino floor, she thought to herself, “Why in the world are all these people here?” She sat down at a machine, and by the time she got up, she was hooked.

“I thought that the casino had become my personal ATM,” says Adell, author of “Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen.” Early winnings convinced her the casino was where she belonged. She quickly distanced herself from her social circle, foregoing meals with friends and family to spend time gambling. “All I wanted to do was play the slots,” she says; it was all she could think about.

Gambling addiction can grab hold of people and morph them into someone who only cares about their next bet. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, an estimated 2 million adults in the United States meet the criteria for “pathological gambling,” and 4 to 6 million are considered “problem gamblers.”

For more on gambling addiction, click here to read the article.

Tagged , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.