A World of Difference: How to be Frugal but not Cheap

Spending Money

Times are tough and can get even tougher, especially on the wallet, so it’s very important that you save up for the rainy days. However, it’s not enough that you cut your costs, you also need to know how to do it right.

Yes, you can actually slash your expenditures the impractical or even annoying way. It’s called being cheap, and nobody wants to be considered as one. Instead, you should strive to become frugal, a person who knows the value of money and therefore knows how to spend and save it right. So, if you want to be frugal and not cheap, take heed of the following.

Buy Good-Quality Items

If you’re a person who is cheap, you will spend the smallest amount possible on everything. They wouldn’t mind if the product they’re buying is poorly made,  the only thing that matters to them is that they get to save a few bucks.

Unfortunately, in the long run, going for cheaply made items will cost them even more than what they originally spent, as they’ll need to spend on repairs or buy an entirely new one.

Frugal people, on the other hand, know when an item is worth the additional extra bucks, as they know that it will save them from having to spend for servicing or a replacement later on.

Don’t Miss Out

Don’t avoid going to lunches or dinner hangouts with friends or co-workers just so you can save on money. You’re missing out on a great opportunity to have fun with them.

It’s understandable that you’re trying to save and all, but there’s more to it than just finding every possible way to pinch pennies. After all, there are a lot of things more valuable than a few bucks you can stash away, like friendship and camaraderie. Besides, good office relations and connections can also be investments.

Spend On Needs

You’ve probably heard of people complaining about different ailments, back pains, heart constrictions and whatnot, but they make no plans to go the doctor’s because consultations are mighty expensive. Don’t be like them.

While they may be saving money for a rather expensive check-up now, they will definitely be spending a lot later on when these ailments and pains worsen. If they spent on their needs early on, they could’e saved a whole lot more.

This doesn’t just apply to healthcare – you can use this advice for a lot of other necessities, like having your own internet connection instead of paying for costly beverages and drinks just to get wifi in coffee shops, or getting a stored value train ticket instead of paying for one every time you ride.

There is a world of difference between the life of a cheap person and a frugal one, especially when it comes to quality of life, value for money, and the respect of people around them. So, which one are you going to be? That will not be decided by what you’ll pick, but by how you spend.

5 Billionaires who Hit Pay Dirt before Turning 30

If it’s hard enough to earn your first million before you’re thirties, then how much more earning a billion?

There’s no denying that it’s difficult, but that doesn’t mean impossible. Just because you lack years of experience doesn’t mean you also lack the ability to make big money. If you find that hard to believe, read about these young men and women that have proven that youth is an edge and not a disadvantage.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg – 29, $34 Billion

The first one on the list is perhaps the most famous twenty-year old billionaire in the world. It’s impossible that you haven’t heard of him yet, unless you haven’t gone online for the past five years.

If you’ve been using this social media juggernaut but have no idea who this seemingly geeky Harvard dropout is, then it’s about time you found out that he is one of the founders and the current head of the site you probably spend most of your online hours on, Facebook.

Dustin Moskovitz

Dustin Moskovitz – 29, $6.8 Billion

Although a lot more obscure as compared to the latter, Dustin Moskovitz is also one of the founders of Facebook. And being one of the pioneers of an internet giant that has changed life as we know it, it’s already a given that he has earned quite a handful out of it. However, in 2008, he left the company he co-founded and started his own software company called Asana, which is designed to help teams work effectively.

Evan Spiegel

Evan Spiegel – 24, $1.5 Billion

What were you doing at age 24? Going to a day job? Partying? Writing articles for a living? How about earning more than your parents? Well, the last was quite unlikely, but to Evan Spiegel, it’s definitely not. This mogul got his claim to fame and riches through the app Snapchat, which began as a project for a class in his undergraduate degree in Stanford University. The app is now worth $10 billion and is one of the top ten apps in the Apple Store.

Anton Kathrein

Anton Kathrein – 29, $1.35 Billion

Not all billionaires are self-made; some inherited the assets from their parents. But with great money comes great responsibility. You can’t just take what you’re given and refuse to let it grow. You have to keep the legacy and work from there, and that’s what Anton Kathrein did.

Anton Kathrein’s father ran the Kathrein-Wenke AG, a communications tech company, until his untimely death in 2012. Anton, who was just 28 at that time, did what was difficult but necessary – manage the business his grandfather built way back in 1919. And manage it right he did, as he gained the confidence of investors and his board members.

Perenna Kei

Perenna Kei – 24, $1.3 Billion

The young, mysterious billionaire character archetype is common in fiction, not so much in real life. If there’d be a person like that, the University of London double-degree graduate Perenna Kei would fit the bill.

Coming into the Forbes List from virtually out of the blue, she acquired 85% stake of Logan Property Holdings, a real estate company her father manages.

Young, wealthy, and successful – it’s easy to be envious of them, doesn’t it? Well, instead of wishing you were them, try to be like them. Who knows? If you’re young enough, you’ll make the list.

4 Quick Tips on How Workaholics can Relax during the Holidays

Workaholic

It’s finally Christmas time, the season with the most number of holidays! For workaholics however, it’s well, still a time for work. It’s normal to assume that there’s nothing wrong with such a lifestyle, but actually, being hard at work despite the many days off is ultimately unhealthy. After all, this time of the year isn’t for toiling, but for chilling around and spreading that Christmas cheer with family and friends.

If you consider yourself to be a full-on workaholic, read on to know how you can kick back and find your well-deserved holiday rest.

Engage in an Internet-Free Vacation

You can take a workaholic out of the workplace, but that won’t necessarily can’t stop him or her from working. Even if you take a workaholic to beautiful vacation destinations, he or she will be sending emails, reports, and other work-related things as long as he or she has the resources to do so. The only way to make this corporate juggernaut halt is to cut off his or her ability to go online. Without it, the workaholic will turn into a full-blown tourist.

Exclude Work in Conversations

Notice how your coworkers get bored when you talk about nothing but work during breaks and night outs? You can’t blame workaholics though since they’re somewhat plagued by this constant pressure that prevents them from letting go of their work. This obsessive nature stems from their fear and anxiety towards the inability to finish work properly and on time, and babbling endlessly about the job can get them riled up and want to work even more.

Emphasize that Everyone Else is on Break

For the workaholic to enjoy the Yuletide season, he or she must be reminded that the year-end Holidays is when friends and families gather to catch up, bond, and be merry. The workaholic must realize that an extra week of output is not worth sacrificing precious time with loved ones who may not be available until next year’s Christmas. It is only after this important realization that the workaholic can forget about his quota and start enjoying the things that matters most in the end. Because without family, what’s the point?

Create Auto-Reply Emails

If a single email can distract a disciplined professional from a well-deserved break, then imagine what more it can do to a workaholic, especially one who’s still trying to get the feel of what it’s like to be in an actual vacation. So if you want to have an R&R completely free from the bondage of demands and deadlines, make an auto-reply template telling senders that you are currently unavailable and won’t be able to reply until a certain date.

Work is one of the most vicious things people can’t get addicted to. Therefore, it’s only right to fight it and help those struggling with it. Happy Holidays, everybody!

“Say What?!” 5 Weird Jobs you didn’t Know Existed

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up? A Nurse? Scientist? Writer? Astronaut? Typical. How about a wizard? Or a ninja? That’s a bit fantastical, but not completely out of this world. What’s next? Oh! How about Frying Pan Bottom Scraper? Now that’s crazy – so crazy in fact it’s unlikely that it actually exists.

Well, if you check out this list of bizarre jobs, then the official position of Frying Pan Bottom Scraper would no longer sound as absurd as before. Whether or not you’re already working your dream job, we guarantee that you’re going to find these positions… interesting, to say the least.

Professional Sleeper

Professional Sleeper

In most workplaces, sleeping on the job usually is a no-no spoken in hushed tones. But for the Professional Sleeper, getting forty winks is not only a loud yes-yes, but also a resounding “Ka-ching!” Professional Sleepers are usually scouted by hotels to have them check their beds and blog about how good they are in sending people straight to Slumber Land. So if your coworkers catch you catching Zzz’s in your cubicle, tell them you’re preparing for a change in career path.

Pet Food Taster

Pet Food Taster

If you’ve ever been curious about how the food you’ve been giving to your pets, then you can ask your friendly neighborhood Pet Food Taster. Based on an article from The Daily Mail, Senior Pet Food Taster Simon Allison claims that he has tried each type of pet food to ensure that its smell, taste, and texture are both appealing to the pet and to, strangely enough, the owner. He only tastes it though, as actually eating pet food would leave him in “quite a different shape”. Now you know what to do on the first day.

Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie Writer

Have you been trying your luck at the fortune-telling business but have no talent with crystal balls and tarot cards? If so, then why don’t you try becoming a Fortune Cookie Writer? You can do it! After all, if someone was able to write four to five fortunes in a day, then so can you. Who knows? Maybe this is your fortune.

Gross Food Tester

Gross Stunt Taster

Remember the times when you felt sick and tired of the cafeteria food? Well, it could’ve been worse – you could’ve been a gross stunt taster. The job description is what the name suggests: a person that tastes a gross food item before it is used in a reality show. Live worms? Buffalo testicles? Cow eyes? Fair game. And if you’re worried for them, you don’t have to; the gross foods they eat aren’t harmful… except on the sense of taste.

Water Slide Tester

Waterslide Tester

Even if all you want to do in a waterpark is to conquer the water slide, you still have to pay the entrance fee. But if you’re a waterslide tester, you’ll be the one to get paid instead. So, aside from the fun and excitement, how much cash are you getting? If you jump into the right waters, you can get up to £20000 – which is a pretty high amount for someone who just splashes around all day.

So, were those strange occupations able to make you consider a change of field? Or do you still prefer your current job? Either way, what matters is you do what you love what you do, no matter how plain or bizarre it may be.

Excuse My Excuses: 5 of the Most Common Reasons for Tardiness

Late Rabbit

Once again, you’re huffing and puffing as you swipe your access card. You check the machine – you’re five minutes past the prescribed grace period. Then after counting the times you’ve been late this month, you realize that you’ve gone beyond the limit. That’s okay though, because your co-worker consoles you and tells you that he’s in the same predicament – or so you think.

Just because tardiness is a common occurrence at work doesn’t mean it’s excusable. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop employees from giving excuses, real or not, valid or otherwise, to be late. The most common among them are the following.

White Rabbit

Heavy Traffic

“Sorry Sir/Ma’am, but there was heavy traffic.” You’ve heard this so many times already that you’ve already lost count. Heck, you’ve probably used the same reason before.  Whether they are being honest or just making an excuse, it’s annoying. And if you think it’s not funny on a personal level, then how much more on a professional one? Yes, it’s undeniable that the country isn’t exactly the best when it comes to urban planning. However, since you’re already aware of this national problem, you should exert effort on leaving early.

Woke Up Late

This is never a valid excuse, especially in a world where alarms have existed for centuries. Your boss doesn’t care if you got drunk, had a movie marathon, or watched the night sky for the threat of an alien invasion. So, whatever your reason is and no matter how late it keeps you awake, wake up at the right time, leave at the right time, and get to work at the right time.

Alice in Wonderland

Had to Attend to a Loved One

Of course, there are also valid reasons for being late. After all, life’s not just about working, but also about personal relationships, especially family. However, make sure that you inform the workplace ahead of time so that they’ll believe you. And if you use this excuse a bit too often, people will start thinking that you’re making things up, so always be honest about your situations.

Averting a Sick Leave

You’ve probably had days when you think that you’re going to be unfit to go to work. And sometimes, as you test the waters, you realize that it’s just a false alarm. You spring into action, but you still run late. Still, kudos to you for being a dedicated employee. However, it would be better to text or call concerned personnel so that they’ll know you’re going to be late. Also, don’t force it; better to stay at home and rest than feign wellness and be unproductive. And oh, make sure you’re not contagious.

Alice in Wonderlnd GIF

Car Trouble

A car offers great convenience. But just like people, cars have bad days, too. Sometimes, they don’t start or even break down on your way to work. If you’re still at home and the former happens, leave it and go for public transportation; it’s just for one day anyway. And if the latter happens, it’s important to let your workplace know beforehand.

It’s impossible to be the perfect, never-tardy employee. However, it’s possible to minimize showing up late for work, and it’s your responsibility to do so. Fulfill that and you won’t have to use any of these excuses.

World’s Best Boss: 5 Qualities of an Appealing Leader

Michael Scott

Most TV bosses are stereotyped as stern suit-wearing tyrants who don’t cut their subordinates any slack. But not Michael Scott of “The Office”. Sure, he may seem lost at his job at times, but he never fails to be there for his employees when push comes to shove.

Each company needs a great leader like Michael Scott, and if you’re in a similar role as him, a significant amount of appeal is necessary in order to effectively manage your employees. If they respect you wholeheartedly, they’ll support you and trust your decisions even if things go south. Teamwork will come naturally and productivity will not be an issue.

Becoming an admirable leader can be complicated as certain lines must be kept to maintain professionalism, but it’s an achievable goal if you’re humble, self-aware, and open-minded. You ready to take that first step? Great! You can start by developing these five essential qualities:

World's Best Boss

Correct your Subordinates Nicely

When you were still an entry-level employee, you probably did something wrong that caught the fire of your boss. He or she probably yelled at you and embarrassed you in front of your peers. Of course, you weren’t pleased with such a mistreatment.

Now that you’re the one in his or her seat, you’ll find some of your employees committing a mistake or two. Are you going to do the same thing your boss did to you? Definitely not. Instead, talk to him or her privately, with your tone modulated. This way, the employee will see his or her errors and not your anger. If he or she does the same thing again, issue the proper disciplinary action to show that you’re serious.

Delegate, Trust, and Don’t Push Too Hard

As a boss, it isn’t your job to whip people into doing theirs. Instead, what you should be doing is assigning tasks to your employees while you do your own. And when you give them an assignment, you need to trust that they will deliver it right and on time.

It is okay to give them a gentle reminder or a push, but don’t badger them too hard. Doing so will make them feel incompetent, which can slow them down and lower the quality of their output.

Appreciate and Compliment

If you didn’t have any employees, then you wouldn’t be considered as a boss. That is why when an employee does a good job, don’t forget to show gratitude and commend him or her, amongst coworkers if possible. This way, your employee will feel more appreciated, motivating him or her to excel further in his or her work.

Be Approachable

Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you’ll be sitting in your office, typing away at the computer while your employees do their assigned tasks. They’re going to have questions, concerns, and other matters that require consultation from you. Don’t think it’s because of a lack of information on the task. Instead, treat it for what it is – an employee asking for help.

This is a good sign actually, as he or she chose to consult with you instead of taking unnecessary risks that may lead to serious errors. So let him or her raise whatever issue is at hand and respond in a kind manner. Not only have you helped an employee, but you’ve also maintained good relations.

Teach Employees to Decide for Themselves

It’s good that your employees can approach you and ask work-related questions. However, aside from looking after your employees, you also have to deal with you own workload. And if you entertain all their queries, your time will be eaten up. For maximum productivity on both sides, teach them how to decide when situations arise. If they decide wrongly, correct them politely and trust that they’ll do better next time. This way, they still won’t feel aloof towards you.

5 Cool Icebreaker Games for a Happier Work Environment

Office Activities

Although it’s fun and productive, life in the office can sometimes be boring and repetitive. However, there is a way to lighten up the mood and start the day energized – icebreakers! They’re simple, fun, and promote active participation and interaction among the people involved.

If you’re having trouble thinking what icebreaker to use, check out these five cool examples that will get everyone breaking into enjoyment.

Who Am I?

Here’s a popular icebreaker that’s always loads of fun. For this game, all participants will be tagged with a celebrity’s name on their back. Everyone must find out who that celebrity is by going around asking different people for clues. When they’ve gathered enough clues, they must guess who the celebrity is. Not only is it a fun game that lets people mingle with one another, but it’s also a good mental workout.

Two Truths and a Lie

It’s time for everyone to be a good detective – and a liar. In this game, participants take turns in telling two truths and one lie about themselves, so they better be convincing. After doing so, the ones listening guess which two are fact and which one is fiction. Perfect for small groups, this game is good for making people get to know each other.

Lost on a Deserted Island

This is a fun way to know your officemates in a more in-depth way. Everyone will be prompted to answer one question: if you were lost on a deserted island, what would you bring? Through this, you can know which among your colleagues are practical, funny, serious, or just downright crazy. To kick things up a notch, you can ask why they have chosen the said object.

The One Word Icebreaker

You’ve probably seen this done in movies featuring psychological exams: the lead is asked to either describe something in just one word. This game is basically just like that, minus the psychoanalysis. It’s nearly impossible to perfectly describe something in just one word, which is exactly what makes this game a lot more fun. Aside from this being a fun activity, this can also be used to find out what people think about certain things in the workplace. It’s enjoyable and generates feedback – HR Managers are gonna love this!

Do You Love Me?

Love is a game, they say. Well, why don’t we take it literally? This icebreaker works like this: a person is chosen at the beginning of the game. He or she will ask someone, “Do you love me?”. If the one asked says yes, everybody finds a pair within a time limit; a person who doesn’t find one will be “it”. If the one asked says no, he or she will mention a certain quality, and everyone that has that will be the only ones who will play next round. It’s a fun game for large groups and a good way to find people with commonalities in the office.

These games sound fun, don’t they? Well, find out for yourself and have a blast at the office with your colleagues!

Crisis at Work? Here are 5 Ways to Stay Calm and Effective

Jack Donaghy

Are you having troubles at work? Do you often find yourself worrying about meeting your deadlines? Can you remember the last time you weren’t catching up on quota? Stressing too much over your workload could damage your output quality. Don’t rush, don’t panic and stay focused! Here are five simple ways to keep your cool during times of crisis:

Set Definite Goals

Identify the position in the company that you’d love the most and turn it into a personal goal. When everything becomes tough and work is taking a toll on you, think of it as a challenge that will bring you one step closer to your dream once you overcome it. This kind of mentality will help you grow in more ways than one, because not only will it keep you on track, but it will also shape your career and ambitions.

Cut the Coffee and Sleep Properly at Night

One or two cups of coffee can help keep your mind alert, but don’t drown yourself with it! How can you remain calm if you’re overdosing yourself with caffeine?  Though it might keep you up for a few more hours, too much coffee will make you feel jittery and anxious. Try to take a quick nap during breaks if you’re feeling too tired. Remember, your brain can produce and take in more information when it’s well rested.

Abandon Procrastination

Prevent your work from piling up by not procrastinating. A lot of people have this harmful habit of cramming everything for the final minute. In the end, they struggle to finish end up settling with a poorly executed output just to meet the deadline. If you have extra time, spend it wisely by getting a head start on some of your work. This way, you won’t stress over the factor of time. You’ll can even go through it again and make sure that everything is perfect.

Deep Breaths

You have a presentation in ten minutes but find yourself going blank from panic. What do you do? Take a minute off and engage in deep breathing, which has been scientifically proven to slow down your heart rate and release body tension. Just sit up straight, inhale and exhale repeatedly while counting to ten.

Build Relationships

No man is an island. Work stress can be lessened if you know you’re sharing them with your workmates. Going through tough projects and tight deadlines will be easier if you have someone backing you up. Consult with co-workers if there are things you are unsure of. Some people find that extra pinch of motivation by working with a team. Build strong relationships with the people you work with so you can support each other when things get tough.

Remember to always work hard and do your best. If you want to impress your boss, then don’t let those panic attacks ruin your chances of earning a promotion! Just keep calm and stay effective!

Liz Lemon

The Manager’s Guide on Affordable Employee Perks

The Office

Aside from running the Internet, Google is known for being one of the best companies to work for. Aside from providing on-site doctors and medical services, this multi-billion dollar corporation also offers – are you ready – free lunch, dinner, massages, and yoga!

Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “But I’m only starting up! I can’t afford all those incentives!” Worry not dear reader, for you don’t have to push yourself this far to create a more fulfilling working environment. There are alternative perks for your small business that should keep your employees engaged and motivated. Here are some ideas:

Nap Room!

Have an unused room in your office? Why not revamp it by putting in a sofa, a carpet and an electric fan for an instant nap room? A 15 to 20-minute nap will sure to re-energize and reinvigorate workers, resulting in more productive work hours. A win-win for both parties, so better work on that nap room!

Break Room!

Instead of dressing up the unused room to be a sleeping area, put a Ping-Pong table or Xbox 360 Kinect games to help your employees de-stress after a challenging project. Because hey, employees who play together, works well together!

Free Snacks!

Seriously though: who doesn’t love food? They say the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. This also applies to your employees! Invest in a small Snack Basket and fill it with enough munchies for your small team to nibble on. And if you’re team performed exceptionally on one of those “Hell Months”, you can treat them to a fun karaoke night!

Bonus Day-Off!

Organizing a team-building is one thing, inviting your employees to watch a movie together is a whole different story! If the heavens bless your company with an idle week, set a free day for your team to enjoy together. Seize opportunities for quality bonding, but keep this is at a minimum so you don’t end up at a point where you’re actually spoiling them.

Open Forum!

Pinterest is known for its weekly Happy Hour where employees get to raise their concerns to the founders. Why not incorporate this in your company? This is something that a lot of large companies cannot offer right away due to the hectic schedules of the bosses. Not to mention that the company size will also be an obstacle in itself. But for small businesses, letting people speak their opinion about the management and leadership system is a perk that’s both valuable and priceless!

Employee Recognition

This has been one of the earliest and surest formulas for employee motivation, and with good reason! You can never go wrong with a pat on the back. Heck, even a simple “Employee of the Month” plaque is enough to boost anybody’s morale! After all, one of the best feelings you can get as a worker is your superior’s approval.

While these are just few of the many things you can do to keep office atmosphere light despite the heavy workload, we hope that you were able to gain some applicable insights. You can give your employees lovable perks without breaking the bank. Just give one or two of these ideas a try. Remember, a happy and engaged workforce is the most productive one as well.

5 Tips on Balancing Graduate School and Work

School and Work

Balancing tasks and priorities – even Superman struggles with it. And he’s the Man of Steel, you’re just man. You’re bound to have it worse! No matter how integral it is as a part of our everyday lives, juggling errands still takes us to the edge of our sanity, and leaves us there hanging. You’re only saved when you’ve already lightened the load. Phew. Fresh air…

Then another day comes. The world’s once again darker.

Imagine if you’re balancing work and graduate school: you come home after slaving away at your day-time job and the first thing that greets you is the pile of notes that you haven’t even begun to study. Deadlines, legwork, attendance—all demanded, leaving you exhausted. No fun at all, is it? Oh, and that’s your life. Sorry. But why don’t we turn it around? Here’s a few tips how:

Books

Prep the self

Expect twice the amount of work you’ll need to pull off in so little time. That way, you’ll be able to prepare. Allot a small period for rest and relaxation before plunging into the bloody second round. Pamper yourself with sleep and a massage, as well as an indulgence of good food. You know that once you’re back in the arena, your free time may cease to exist. So enjoy now while supplies last.

Prep the boss

Whether you’re a grad student paying for your own education or a professional pursuing further studies, you’ll have to inform the boss and the instructors about your situation. That way, they may be able to plan a schedule and workload that best fits you. They’re adjusting with you so be open to their questions and suggestions. Everything they say is meant to help you and them.

Explore financial options

Since you’re both earning with work and spending for grad school, better find a way to neutralize the expenses. With the tuition, books, and other necessary expenses, it helps to have a partner in the payment. Research financial options in your grad school or ask the office if they have reimbursement or stipend programs that will help ease your load.

Flex your schedule

Choose classes that offer online and night schedules. Also ask which instructors allow meetings in the weekends. Don’t overload your calendar. Make room for empty hours so you can easily adjust if other tasks take longer to finish. But not all extra time has to be spent toiling; have time for yourself, too. Invite friends over, both old and new. Spend time not just for working, as little breaks here and there make a difference to your body and brain’s performance.

Manage your priorities

Know which tasks have to be finished now, or can be finished now, and do them now. Don’t revert to your undergraduate tactics of procrastinating and valuing party time. You have so much more at stake now; better to know which tasks and events you have to value over others. Sleep must one of your top priorities, don’t forget. Now that’s one item on the list; the rest should be easier.

Enjoy

Yes, grad school is a new frontier, another world of learning, as is work. And in learning, you not only drain yourself of your energy and effort, you enjoy the new knowledge you acquire. If that’s not enough motivation, just think that if you find a way to find enjoyment in your draining lifestyle, all the work will seem as light as an eyelash.

You’re not up to the challenge without the assurance of a reward, right? And in successfully balancing graduate school and work, the rewards are greater than the toil. Seizing these tips brings you closer to that success. Now it’s up to you to plan your action.