Job interviews can be really tough. Interviewers are looking for someone outstanding and asking the right questions can make you stand out.

Have you ever sat down and created a list of all the jobs you’ve worked during your life? The number may astonish you. My number astonishes me when I look at my list!

But what also astonishes me is that the approach to finding a new job and getting hired has its own set of unspoken and somewhat complex steps that one must follow in order to be successful.

For the purposes of not driving readers and job-seekers crazy who are reading this post, we’re going to focus on only one of the parts of your interview: asking pointed and targeted questions during your interview that communicate three things to your potential boss:

  • You’re actually interested in the job and you’ve done your research on the role that you’re being interviewed for. This is important to show your potential employer because there are many job seekers who forget to research the roles that they are applying for.
  • You’re motivated on a professional and personal level. No one wants to hire a person who lacks motivation. They are annoying to work with.
  • You’re actively engaged in your interview. Basically, you’re not going to sit in the interview and say nothing to the interviewers.

There is an art to asking the RIGHT interview questions and not alienating or freaking out a potential new employer. Before you begin asking questions, remember that each job has its own specific set of questions that you should ask.

Questions for a leadership role.

If you’re applying for a leadership role, then the questions you ask should also include things such as:

What leadership style are you looking for?

How many people would the person in this role be supervising?

But, to keep things simple, in this post we’re going to assume that everyone is applying for mid-level administrative/management roles without supervisory duties.

First, be aware that there are some questions that you do need to be cautious about asking when speaking with your potential new employer during an interview.

If you’re aware that you’re interviewing for a role that you consider to be a short-term opportunity, and only have plans on working just for 2 or 3 years in that role, don’t let it slip that you’re not going to be there for the long-run. Most employers expect potential employees to leave within two to three years, but they like to pretend otherwise.

Questions for entry-level positions.

If you’re applying for an entry-level job here is a list of questions that may be appropriate to ask your interviewers. You do have to feel out the energy of the interview before asking them. Each interview has its own dynamic so you will have to play this by ear.

Examples of questions to ask include the following:

How do you see the person in this role supporting the overall mission of the department that they are in and the mission of the organization?

This question is important to ask because it helps you know where you stand in the organization AND it helps you know how the tasks you may work on are viewed by your potential colleagues.

What opportunities are there for advancement for the person in this role?

There is nothing worse than being hired for a job and there is nowhere to go in the position. If that’s the case you as the interviewee may make the decision that this is not the role for you OR that it’s a short-term opportunity until you find an opportunity in another organization.

How do you evaluate people in this role?

Job evaluations are a huge part of how you get raises, promoted, and get the feedback needed to better your job performance.

If the organization gives feedback in a way that you’re philosophically opposed to, such as having your colleagues’ give input on your performance evaluation or a scoring system, you need to know so that you can strategically work in such a way to earn positive reviews because you understand how you will be evaluated.

By the way, I absolutely hate having colleagues comment on your job performance because more often than not, you may have a colleague who can’t stand you. And, if a colleague can’t stand you it makes sense that they may be less inclined to give you a fair job assessment.

Do you know your non-negotiables?

What benefits do you offer?

Is flex-time important to you?

Life insurance, health insurance, etc?

What’s your maternity/paternity leave like?

Be careful with this question because potential employers may worry that you’re about to have a baby. Is it the type of organization where there may be the potential work from home? If the interviewer hasn’t answered these questions, it’s reasonable to ask them.

What is the company culture like?

Do you have to wear suits/dresses?

Have casual Fridays?

Are there events after normal business hours and do you have to show up?

But, before you begin asking these questions make sure to do your due diligence and research the organization as much as you possibly can. Then, be honest about what you’re looking for in any future role you may be interviewing for. What is a non-negotiable for you? What are you willing to compromise on?

Knowing your non-negotiables will create a framework for which questions you should be asking during your next interview.

Have you used any of these questions in a job interview? Do you have any other good ones to add? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community

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While fun, dating isn’t just about playing around. Life’s too short to entertain situations that aren’t right for you. Say what you mean so you can find who you’re looking for.

I’m currently dating (again) after a much-needed break from the single’s scene. This time around has been a lot more fun because I’ve removed a lot of the pressure that I was putting on myself to “meet the one.” That pressure caused me to say “yes” to a lot of dates that should have been immediate “no’s.”

As I navigate the murky dating waters of 2017 I find myself becoming more and more confident about when I need to say “no” to a date and pass on what, at the time, feels like an opportunity that can’t be missed.

In fact, after I finish this post I need to text a guy that I originally connected with on Bumble. He seems pretty nice and if pictures are to be trusted…he’s handsome. But, we originally connected at the beginning (or was it the end?) of July. It’s now August 31st and we still haven’t gone out.

The reason was pretty reasonable. At the time we both went on vacations and were out of town for a couple of weeks. In fact, when he contacted me last week, I had basically forgotten about him because it had been so long since I had heard from him. When he reached out I was actually confused and surprised. But, I decided to say yes to meeting up the following week. But, to be honest, I wasn’t excited.

Are you on the same schedule?

That “yes” left me with that feeling when you want to say no to a date and don’t trust your gut. Originally I was concerned about the amount of travel that this particular gentleman enjoys. I love to travel too, but, what’s the point of starting something with someone who has basically indicated that he won’t be around that often? In fact, he’s heading to Latin America in a few weeks and who knows when he plans on returning.

I’m not looking for a booty call, those are easy, I’m looking for someone to get serious with. In fact, my initial thought was to pass on this guy because he’s just not around enough for what I’m looking for.

My initial “yes” made me feel a little desperate as if there weren’t enough matches out there for me. So I said “yes” to a guy who just isn’t that into being in town.

The thing is, saying “no” to a date doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have another date again. It just means that you’re sending out consistent signals to the Universe about what you will and won’t accept for yourself.

Do you need a break (up)?

Now, if you have been dating your person for awhile and you say no to a date, that action is filed under healthy communication and potentially setting boundaries, depending on why you said “no.” Sometimes you just need to take a break from people-even from your lovers.

When you are honest and kind about why you need space, that is part of establishing honesty and respect within your relationship. Because, in all seriousness, who wants to hang out with someone who needs space or just is not in the mood? I don’t.

Are your beliefs aligned?

Here are some other moments when you should feel confident about saying “no” to a potential date. If you had a first date and you discover your would-be new person has habits or belief systems that are out of sync with yours. Remember the post that I wrote about being ghosted?

Well, when we initially met, that guy shared some political views that are a complete 180 degrees from what I believe in. In fact, we had a really good conversation about all of the things that you never talk about on a real first date. And, during the course of that conversation, I kept thinking…seriously? You believe this sh$t? So, why on earth did I say “yes” to that date with him? Desperation.

I’m trying to meet the one…but, the one will have to be a heck of a lot more aligned with my belief systems than that guy was. If we had gotten serious we would have had problems every time the t.v. was turned on! And, no amount of makeup sex would have fixed those problems.

To be clear, here is a list of reasons why you should say “no”.

  • There is way too much time between the time you initially connect and your actual date. The only exception to this if you bump into each in person and sparks fly like in the movies.
  • Your initial gut feeling tells you that it would be a good idea to pass on this person. Not because they are good or bad, but, because they aren’t the right person for you.
  • You don’t have to agree on everything, but, if your personal belief systems are so out of whack that you will potentially argue every time the TV turns on, you probably should pass on that date.
  • If there are feelings of desperation connecting to your “yes” that should be a solid “no.” You will act crazy and clingy in this situation. Don’t be that person.

Dating can be stressful, exhilarating, and fun. Avoid unnecessary drama (and the appearance of leading people on) when you say yes to a date that should be a solid NO!

Have you ever said “yes” when you knew you should have turned a date down? Any interesting stories about that date that shouldn’t have happened? Tell us over at #Adulting Facebook community.

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Your retirement plans may be a bit different than your parents’ and you’ll probably need more money than they’ve saved up. It won’t be easy but here’s how to get there.

For many of us, retirement seems a million miles away. And, with more and more companies handing retirement responsibilities into the hands of their employees, many of us are wondering: how on earth do I retire with more than my parents?

Fortunately, it is possible to retire with more money than your parents-if you have a financial plan that you work ruthlessly.

Let’s be clear, your parents may have a completely different vision about retirement than you do. When conceptualizing your own retirement, you need to be clear on what retirement will look like for you and an understanding of what your monthly expenses will entail during the duration of your retirement.

Are you just dreaming about golfing or fishing in your old age?

Retirement in 2017 has become somewhat sexy and there are a ton of different ways to create the perfect retirement that reflects both lifestyle and your future finances.

You may want to embrace FIRE (financial independence retire early) and retire in your thirties. Your retirement may be on a boat sailing around the Caribbean. Or, you may want to live in a large house in your hometown.

Own your vision for retirement and then begin working a plan to move you towards that vision.

Look for ways to save more.

For those of you who are younger and are currently  in the process of deciding where to go to college, double down on going local. Local tuition is always cheaper than out of state. In fact, if you’re still in high school, earn college credits

In fact, if you’re still in high school, earn college credits at  a discounted rate before going to college so that you can decrease your time in school. With the money that you save on tuition, begin saving for the future.

Negotiate every financial expenditure with the idea of investing your savings for the future. Keep your housing costs as low as possible and work hard on keeping your overall monthly and yearly operating budget as low as possible.

Currently, I have a budget of $2500 for both my personal and business expenses and I’m aggressively working hard to lower that number. It took awhile to lower my expenses, but once I did, I’ve been able to reallocate my money towards financial choices that will serve me well in the future.

I also embrace the “keep it small” philosophy.  You’ve probably heard the buzzword “minimalism” and, in my view, keeping it small and simple is basically the same thing without the snazzy  black t-shirts that minimalists always seem to wear.

I’ll be honest and say that I have no interest in super sizing my home and having a larger mortgage. Keep your housing and car expenses low so that you can invest your savings for your future.

Finally, don’t drive away your savings by purchasing too much car for your needs. In 2016, CNBC reported that the average monthly car loan payment was $503. Imagine if you paid cash for a used car and used the money that you saved on transportation costs towards retirement savings?

You also need to earn more.

Look at every opportunity to earn more money and to save money on every financial transaction you find yourself in.

Earn more money.  Let’s be frank, financial conversations seem to always cover: paying off debt, spending less, and changing your habits, but never seem to cover earning more money.

As you look at your career and your earning capability, focus on careers that start with higher earning potential.

Don’t mind dealing with blood and can get scholarships? Think about becoming a nurse or doctor.   Do you love teeth? But, you don’t want to take on student loans to become a dentist? Become a dental hygienist instead. Do you love science and computers? Become an engineer of a highly specialized field or a computer coding badass.

Embrace a financial strategy that includes finding employment with an organization that matches your retirement savings. Increase your savings as you earn more (while being mindful of savings limits). Don’t let your lifestyle costs creep up, just bank your earnings so that you save more over time.

If you want to retire with more money than your parents, keep your eye constantly on your ultimate retirement savings goal and work your plan unapologetically.

Start a business. One of the best things about becoming an entrepreneur is access to retirement savings tools that enable consumers to save substantially more than for someone who is employed.

It’s not too late.

And, for those of you who started late, all of this advice still is applicable to you. But, in all honesty,  you’ll have to double your efforts and approach your long-term retirement goals with a single-minded focus and tenacity that someone who started early won’t have to deal with.

Have you begun mapping out your retirement plan? Are there any helpful methods you could share? Please join us in #Adulting Facebook community

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Jobs can suck hard. Don’t be the person that makes it worse. Get your co-workers on your side.

It has been awhile since I’ve worked in an office, but I still remember the people that I truly loved working with. And fortunately for me, I’m still friends with a large number of those amazing people.

It’s not easy becoming the co-worker that everyone loves. There are so many landmines to avoid when you’re in the workplace, and being “the co-worker that people love to hate” is not the title that you want to wear at work.  Let’s talk about all of the ways you can get your co-workers to love you without becoming the office brown-noser.

Always remember to respect other people’s time.

You don’t have to watch the clock obsessively, but be aware that people notice when you’re constantly late for work, meetings, or keep them waiting in general. After a while it stops being funny and just makes you look like a douche and unprofessional. And, seriously, those are two labels you want to avoid at work.

It doesn’t matter if you run constantly late for everything and everyone else in your life (even though it’s still annoying). Be self-aware enough to know that disrespecting other people’s time will ultimately make them dislike working with you.

Create a plan so that you’re on time and stick to it.

Can you hear me now?

Practice active listening whenever you’re in a conversation or meeting with your colleagues. I remember being constantly frustrated because I felt like people weren’t listening to me.

We would have discussions in one of the endless meetings that could have been an email. I would pipe up to make a point and then people would talk over me or ignore what I said – all the time. They clearly weren’t listening to me. It was so annoying and I felt disrespected.

Be the person who truly listens to others. We notice when you do. Offer thoughtful and kind responses to whatever proposals or questions that your colleague brings up. If you’re in disagreement with their comments, be kind when offering point of view.

It sometimes feels like people have forgotten the art of being tactful. At work, it still reigns supreme.

Don’t eat other people’s food.

They always find out who does it.

I’ll never forget the drama that ensued one year because one of our colleagues kept eating everyone’s lunches. I worked in education so it was normal for  everyone to bring  their lunch. We also had a ton of community food for everyone to take if they were hungry. So it baffled me when this person would eat the food that other people brought…but, they did. On and off for a year.

The worst part…it was just too awkward to call this person out. Instead, everyone gossiped about the fact that they were eating everyone else’s food. That person even helped themselves to  my Perrier and that was the end for me. Fortunately, this person left and things got back to to normal.

If you have nothing nice to say…

Gossiping will also get you shanked professionally. The thing about gossip is that even if you’re telling the truth about a person or calling out a situation, if you’re constantly gossiping, people will wonder what you say about them when they’re not around.

I have a very firm policy of whatever I say – I will say to your face. It makes life easier. But, at work you really should avoid gossip in general. If you find yourself in a group of people and they start gossiping just float away and say you have something else to do. If you still find yourself sucked in, just joke and say that you’ve got nothing to say and move on.

Know which topics are off limits.

For the love of all that’s holy-be self-aware enough to avoid talking about how young or old you or your colleagues might be. For some people it could come across as talking down to others (if you’re older) or, it could be perceived as disparaging other people’s age if they are older than you.

I’ve literally cringed when people begin talking about age at work. Just do your job and move on.

It feels like it’s obvious but for the sake of just stating the obvious-avoid talking about religion, race, or politics as much as you possibly can. Discussing any of those topics almost never ends well.

At my old job we actually were able to talk about these issues because we were all almost of the same mindset regarding all of those issues. But the typical workplace won’t have that high a level of value alignment. Leave the talk at home for people who have no choice but to listen to you.

By no means am I saying that you have to stop being yourself, never say what you mean, or pretend like you don’t have an opinion. But, what I am saying is that the self-aware worker is the one who is well-liked, listened to, and promoted in the office space.

Be that guy or gal. It’s not that hard.

Do you have any other tips for being a good co-worker? Or any stories about bad ones? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community.

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Intrigue leads to date number one. It should take more than that to get a second chance. Are there signs it’ll be a waste of time?

It was the end of a great date and I needed to pop into the restroom before we went on the Cruiser Ride. I had some reservations about him, but he was so cute! He was into me, leaning in, and talking about later (ahem).

But, when I returned, he wasn’t there. I had been ghosted, but at least he had paid the bill. Now, this was the first time that happened to me. You’d think I’d be upset about it. But I wasn’t.

He didn’t leave me with the bill. Besides, I should have listened to my reservations in the first place.

Let’s be honest. Should there even be a first date?

The first time we met was at a brewery.

I was with a group of friends and he was by himself, having a drink (or two, or three). This guy, like many people in Denver, was a new arrival. Somehow we ended up having a pretty lengthy conversation about the things that you’re not supposed to talk about when you first meet: politics and money.

I was surprised when he asked me out before I left, but I agreed to connect later. I didn’t think about it deeply because clearly we were too different. The initial conversation we had revealed the following:

  • He was way more conservative than I
  • He felt conflicted about life
  • He was prone to drinking way too much while out on his own

In fact, I was amazed by some of the things he said and believed because they were the polar opposite of my own personal belief system.

In reality, I probably shouldn’t have gone on a first date with him. But I loved that he worked in the financial industry. I’m a money blogger, so I find finances fascinating. He loved to travel and so do I. He loved his family and I do too.

And, hell, he was really cute. Seriously. Really cute. I was so enamored with the fact that I met someone in real life versus online that I ignored the red flags.

He made the decision for me about the second date.

Are you sticking to your standards?

When deciding on a second date, there are a couple of things you have to get real about. Those were the things I initially ignored in my first (and only two) meetings with Hot Finance Guy.

He drank. Like, a lot. I come from a family with relatives who died from the affects of alcoholism. I am not a big drinker. The amount that he was drinking made me uncomfortable. (And I’ve lived in Paris where they drink a lot more than in the U.S.!) This was actually one of my non-negotiables. I don’t want to be with some guy who drinks like a fish. In fact, I’m amazed that he looked as good as he did, drinking as much as he seemed to.

Ask yourself the following question before agreeing to a second date: would this behavior bother me if we got serious? For me? Hell, yes! This was already an issue. And it was never not going to be an issue for me.

The second way to assess if a second date is worth it is to ask yourself if the most important parts of your values and perceptions about people are in alignment. When we first met, he shared views with me that I just couldn’t wrap my head around. He wasn’t going to change and neither was I. No amount of good nookie would change how we view the world.

He had, to me, a lack of compassion towards others that I shouldn’t have ignored in the first place. Maybe I just appreciated the fact that he was upfront and honest about how he views the world. But we didn’t agree in our worldviews. Even if we had continued dating, this would have become a HUGE issue moving forward. I was already concerned about it.

He seemed conflicted about his life in general. Who needs a conflicted grown-ass man?

Finally, he didn’t seem as interested in asking about what who I was and what I was into. I actually thought this a little bit in that first date.

As I asked questions about his likes and interests, his questioning of me didn’t seem to match. Especially after I mentioned my training to do the Colorado Trail (too much walking I think?).

If you’re debating whether or not you should go on that second date, pay attention to the other person’s interest in you. Yes, he was physically interested (I could tell) but not beyond that, and that’s ok.

Pay attention to the clues.

Being ghosted was lame, but we weren’t going to be a love connection in the long-run because we were too different. I knew that I probably shouldn’t have bothered with that second date.

I’m not saying that the people you date should be exactly like you. But if the red flags are popping up everywhere, and you’re concerned about non-negotiable habits, then it’s obvious that it’s a one-and-done situation.

At least he paid for dinner before he left.

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You could spend your whole life chasing the dream of more money. But to what end? Figure out how much is enough – and be happier for it.

Have you ever thought about what it would feel like to acquire too much money? I haven’t had that problem, but do plan on discovering what this problem feels like in the future.

But, in all seriousness, how on earth do you decide how much money is enough for you? I have some ideas and thought I would share so that you can have an easier time figuring this out when you have this issue.

Consider your current life circumstances.

I thought I would approach this problem with some Michelle logic. First, it feels obvious the amount of money that you need will change given your current life circumstances. If you’re single and debt-free, the amount of money that you may need and want may be significantly different from a person who is in a relationship, has kids, and a few bills.

Likewise, your past and current life experiences may have a direct effect on how you arrive at the actual number that is your financial sweet spot.  For some of you, early childhood experiences of not having enough money may make it difficult for you to  imagine ever having enough. In fact, your childhood financial experiences may resonate through future decisions such as: the type of work you may choose to pursue, the way you would like to live your life, and even who you plan on marrying.

Figure out your financial sweet spot.

Here’s some general guidelines on figuring out how much money is enough for you.

Ask yourself, are you sick of your job and have lost interest in earning money in the way that you currently are? Yes, this seems a bit counterintuitive, but stick with me. Before I began working for myself, I worked at a university making decent money (especially when you factored in the benefits).

But, there came a point when I just wasn’t interested in earning more money. In fact, while I want to experience earning ridiculous amounts of money in the future, at that specific moment in time I just wanted to change my life. So, I focused on figuring out my lowest earning threshold. What was the bare minimum I need to make in order to live without eating ramen noodles?

I started crunching numbers and figured out what I could live on and still manage paying on my obligations. It was glorious….until, it wasn’t.

Don’t be afraid to shift your goals as your needs change.

My needs had changed. I now find myself looking at future financial goals and have realized that I want to make a lot more money than I currently am. And, I definitely don’t have a maximum earnings threshold. In fact, I felt like I wanted to earn as much money as I could possibly earn without burning myself out. I don’t want to place limits on my ability to earn.

I can honestly say that I look forward to pushing myself as much as possible to see how much money I can earn. In fact, for the next 12 months in my mind there is no “enough” it’s how much is possible? I spent time frantically crunching numbers, I looked at my goals and figured out daily earnings goals. Then I focused on how to achieve those goals.

Finally, spend some time focusing on what makes you happy? There are various studies that have linked happiness to money and studies that have found the exact opposite. There’s also a widely reported study that noted that people weren’t significantly happier when they earned beyond $75,000 a year.

Recently, I’ve gotten very clued into what makes me happy. And, knowing this has helped me zero in on how much money is enough. Some examples of what makes me happy include:

I’ve discovered that my needs aren’t that complicated or expensive.

I took a numbers and heart-based approach to deciding how much money is enough for me. Ultimately, I just want enough money that gives me stability and freedom. And, yes, more money is always better than less.

What are some considerations you use in determining how much money you need? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

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You think you need the same bling as your neighbor. But what if instead of keeping up with the Joneses, you’re actually keeping up with the Joneses’ debt?

I used to spend a lot of mental energy comparing my life to other people’s lives.

My home was never good enough. My clothes never had enough labels. And no matter how hard I tried, I could never live up to the people that I was comparing myself to.

Are you jealous of the Joneses?

I discovered the hard way that always trying to keep up with other people set me up to lose.

I didn’t have as much money as the people I was comparing myself to. I wanted their stuff, though. So I tried.

I didn’t have enough resources. Each time I tried to keep up with these people, I lost financially.

Why?

Because I had to use debt (credit) in order to pay for the stuff that the Joneses had, but I didn’t.

That sucked.

The long-term pain of those financial decisions that I made just wasn’t worth it. It has taken years to pay off the debt that I got into trying to keep up with people who could care less about how I lived my life. The certainly didn’t care about my financial well-being.

I had to hit financial rock bottom in order to change my perception of what was important for me financially.

I was broke, my mom had lost her job, and I was working at Starbucks trying to keep it all together. I was getting constant calls from creditors wanting their money and I wasn’t able to live up to my obligations making $9 at Starbucks.

At that point, I really hated the Joneses and I hated all of the bad financial decisions that I made trying to live a financial lie. Every day those financial lies bit me in the ass. Painful.

In retrospect, I wish that I’d just been honest about the fact that I was jealous of the Joneses.

No one cares about your finances as much as you do.

The Joneses don’t care about your finances.

Seriously, they really don’t. Especially if they’ve never met you.

Let’s be real. The Joneses (and everyone else) focus on their own personal finances. It is baffling to me how many people go into debt to purchase a lifestyle that they can’t afford to impress people that don’t know them.

So, I spend a lot of time being baffled by my own bad financial decisions trying to look cool for people who didn’t know me and weren’t invested in me having a strong and healthy financial life.

Think about every time you rushed to buy a new outfit for that trip that you’re going on two months from now. The people in that town have never met you, but you’ve made a decision to buy new clothes for people who have no clue what you were wearing before they met you. I used to do this. I would go on a trip (that I charged), then get new clothes (that I charged) and then go on a trip and meet great new people. Dumb.

The people in that town have never met you, but you’ve made a decision to buy new clothes for people who have no clue what you were wearing before they met you. I used to do this. I would go on a trip (that I charged), then get new clothes (that I charged), and meet great new people. Dumb.

These great new people don’t care that you bought a new outfit to impress them. They’d like you no matter what you wear.

It really pains me to think about this every time I send a payment to a creditor. What if I had saved that money and just paid cash for the same experiences, clothing, and trips? I feel like I made a deal with the Credit Devil. And the Credit Devil was laughing at me each time I made a bad financial decision based on envy.

What if I had used that money to pay off (or, at least make a dent) in my student loans? I realized that focusing on other people and what they had resulted in giving up my financial power to other people.

Are the Joneses really that rich?

Here is the final, and hopefully, most compelling reason you don’t need to keep up with the Joneses (or Kardashians): you have no idea what their financial reality really is.  

It is very easy to look wealthy without actually having cash money.

It’s also very easy to have money and lose it all.

Let’s work through a list of people who earned a ton of cash, people we all envied, but were actually broke or ended up broke.

  • MC Hammer: He tried to lift up an entire community by basically hiring an entire community. His heart was definitely in the right place. But he ended up going bankrupt even though he made millions of dollars.
  • Famous athletes: As reported by Sports Illustrated, almost 80% of professional athletes go broke once they retire. These are guys who typically earn millions during a short, sexy career running with or kicking ata ball. For those of us who cheer them on, it’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea that they could ever go broke. But, the numbers don’t lie. A majority of them do.
  • 50 Cent: This one falls under karma. He wrote a whole song called “Window Shopper” that basically shamed someone for window shopping.

Check out some of the lyrics:

“Man you’s a window shopper

Mad at me, I think I know why

Man you’s a window shopper

In the jewelry store lookin’ at shit you can’t buy

Man you’s a window shopper

In the dealership tryna get a test drive

Man you’s a window shopper Mad as fuck when you see me ride by.”

Nice.

Of course, he had his own financial troubles.

Here’s some real talk. No one will care about your money as much as you do.

No need to keep up with the Joneses when you know your financial stuff.

It is now easier than ever to get what you want for a lot less through comparison shopping, savings apps, and old-fashioned financial discipline.

Spend time learning how to manage your cash and grow your income.

And, always remember: unless you can get up close and personal with someone’s financials you never know what’s behind their financial curtain.

Don’t make financial decisions that will hurt you in the long run, trying to live someone else’s reality. Live your own reality-for less. Challenge yourself and see what you can make happen.

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Ready to just get out of town? If you have a long weekend, you can scratch your travel itch without spending a ton of money.

There is nothing better than getting away for the weekend.

Maybe you’ve decided to hoard your vacation time for an epic trip, but need to get away before taking your future bucket list trip. Fortunately, the United States offers a mind-blowing selection of great places to visit without breaking the bank.

These weekend getaways are fast, fun, and provide you with just the right scratch for your travel itch.

Denver

Ok, this writer may be a little biased because I’m from Colorado and have a website and podcast about…all things Colorado!

Denver is currently experiencing “a moment.” Years of hard work developing the city, a little notoriety (legal weed anyone), and a sick view of the Rocky Mountains creates one of the best weekend getaways. I guarantee you’ll come back for more.

Fly into Denver International Airport (DIA) via Denver-based Frontier, or travel favorite, Southwest. Hop on the train from DIA to downtown Denver’s Union Station, then catch a LYFT or UBER to your hotel or hostel. Dump your luggage and get ready to explore.

There’s really no bad time to visit Denver, but summer is a time when Denver truly throws down the welcome mat for citizens and visitors alike.

Enjoy free festivals such as the Denver Day of Rock held downtown and the amazing Chalk Art Festival that brings in talented artists from all over the world. Artists create insane 3D creative pieces using Colorado chalk and the street as their canvas.

Check out the ever-changing murals in the River North (RINO) district and catch a beer at one of the city’s numerous breweries. Denverites have more than a casual obsession with all things beer.

Love art? Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art designed by David Adjaye, recently voted the world’s best architect.

Denver has also become a foodie mecca with a ridiculous number of local restaurants pushing how Denverites experience their food. Check out: Bacon Social Club, Avanti, and Cholon to get started on exploring the culinary diversity of the city.

Chicago

The Windy City is literally tethered between land and Lake Michigan. The city takes one’s breath away as your plan circles around the lip of the lake and then heads towards O’Hare for landing.

While you might think Chicago is one of the more expensive weekend getaways, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to have a great time in Chi-town.

Once you land, hop on Chicago’s L (the train) to downtown. You will feel like you’re on the train for a while, but the ride is worth it. If possible try to stay near the Magnificent Mile, a shopping and food destination.

Catch a water taxi and pay $9 for a day pass. The water taxi ended up being one of my favorite ways to explore Chicago.

Need to get a workout in? Check out Blazin Cycle to see where their next stationary bike workout will be held.

Make sure you head to Millennium Park. It’s where you will find the famed Chicago Bean. They say it’s called Cloud Gate, but everyone knows it’s the Bean. Plus, Crown Fountain, also located in Millennium Park, is a fountain that every tourist should experience when visiting the city.

No trip to Chicago would be complete without eating some of the best food in the world. From local favorites like deep dish pizza, pierogies, shakshuka, and Rick Bayless’s nod to authentic Mexican food at Frontera Grill.

Huntsville, Alabama

Yep, this one is random in terms of weekend getaways. But, trust me, it’s a great town.

Think of it as the Austin of Alabama.

Huntsville is a quick 30-minute flight from Atlanta and apparently has “the largest per capita concentration of engineers in the U.S.” according to the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to being a beautiful little town with a lovely downtown. Huntsville is the epicenter of the Alabama craft beer scene. If you enjoy riding a bike and having a beer, hang out with the Bikes and Brews Huntsville crew and explore the town while sampling beer around town.

As one would expect, there is great food to be had everywhere. But, my favorite foodie experiences were eating boiled peanuts and having fried pickles.

If you’re looking for a relaxing time, walk around the lovely Big Spring Park and feed the ridiculously hungry koi that live in the ponds. Bring quarters so that you can purchase fish food to feed them.  

No trip to Huntsville would be complete without visiting the U.S. Space and Rocket Center which figuratively blew me away. See up close and personal one of the Space Shuttles and a Saturn V rocket.

Getting around town is pretty easy, just use UBER or LYFT to get picked up and taken to whichever area you would like to explore.

Wrap up your visit to Huntsville at A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard for some great music, beer, and a great time to be had in a truly unique space.

There is nothing better than taking three or four days to check out a new destination. Strategize your vacation hours and plan your trip the next time you have a three-day weekend. Take a day off of work and then you’ll have a nice four-day holiday that is fun, affordable, and relaxing.

What are your favorite weekend getaways? Let us know in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

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You won’t get everything you want. Not everything will work out. And that’s ok.

At this point in my life, I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve been rejected.

It’s a pretty humbling experience being rejected for the things that you want in your life: love, jobs, opportunities and more.

At a moment in history when it feels like people are pushing back from the notion that they even could be rejected from what they want, I would like to argue that the experience of being rejected is even more important than ever.

Rejection makes you tough.

Rejection gives you balls.

Not the real ones. The metaphorical balls of a person who has to learn how to dig in deeper, consider doing something a different way, or re-imagine how to reach goals that they hope to achieve because they failed the first time.

Do you remember when you experienced your first epic rejection?

For many people, it could be the experience of getting a rejection letter from the college that you had to get into. For me, it was Northwestern in Chicago. I actually was accepted by the other six colleges that I applied to. However, I got a big fat “no” from Northwestern, and it hurt.

Did that rejection end my world? No. I worked with the cards that I was dealt and ended up going to a university in the same conference and receiving an excellent education. I don’t wonder about “what if?” Because that ship has sailed.

Don’t focus on the “what if?”

Many people who experience rejection focus on the “what if?”

They ask themselves “what if I had married that guy/girl?” Well, you didn’t. You experienced something else instead.

Asking yourself “what if I had gone to Colombia instead of Australia?” is pointless. You didn’t.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

In fact, I would love to share some of the moments of rejection that I’ve experienced. Time to get real.

  • I auditioned for the Denver Broncos Cheerleading squad two or three times. One of those times I made it to the second or third round (it has been awhile) I didn’t get it.
  • I auditioned for the Denver Nuggets dance squad. I was rocking it out when the girl next to me fell, so I helped her get up. She got up and kept dancing. She moved forward to the next round. I didn’t.
  • I remember wanting to date this one guy who just didn’t seem to be that into me. We hooked up. Ahem. He still didn’t want to date me.
  • I’ve pitched a session or panel to a conference that I attend yearly. I still haven’t had a session picked. Plus, I’ve never won an award from that community and I still continue to attend and smile.

These experiences have taught me to manage these situations with short and long-term solutions. In the short-term, it’s perfectly fine to be devastated about an outcome that hasn’t worked out the way that you expected.

But it doesn’t help to sit around asking yourself “what if?” all the time. You’ll be much better off in the long run if you acknowledge the experiences you have had and dwell less on the rejection.

Grit and resilience through rejection.

Rejection is basically the other side of the reality that not everything will go your way. That’s a really good thing.

Suck it up buttercup, life doesn’t always work the way you want it to.

But that doesn’t mean you give up. It’s important to embrace strategies that will help you cope during those moments when you get kicked in the pants by life.

Keep things in perspective. Most people in the U.S. experience First World Problem rejections. We get rejected for the types of things that are beyond the dreams of most people. At the end of the day, you still have running water, electricity, and clothes on your back.

Understand that this is just one moment in time. Other opportunities to be accepted or rejected will continue to present themselves to you each and every day.

Embrace the experience, even if it’s painful. There is an old saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved before.” Rejection basically is an experience that people have when they put themselves out there and open themselves to the reality of a well-lived life.

Rejection opens new paths

I don’t regret falling in love with past loves that didn’t work out.

I am now able to look back at different relationships that didn’t work out and acknowledge my part in the breakdown of each relationship.

I’m also able to reflect on most of those relationships and remember the good and the bad without feeling upset about how those relationships ended. With time I’ve learned that every relationship has a season and that the ones that didn’t work weren’t meant to be.

I think of the jobs that I didn’t get and am amazed by how happy I am now that they didn’t work out.

Rejection has made me a much more empathetic, relatable, and thoughtful person. I’m sure if everything had always worked the way that I wanted it to when rejection finally knocked at my door I would have been devastated and ill-equipped to deal with it.

Finally, if you’re having a hard time dealing with rejection, check out the following celebrity stories: Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Jim Lee.

Remember, rejection offers a person two different opportunities: to become dejected or create fuel for the “next” thing.

What will you decide to do the next time you’re rejected?

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Liking your BFF’s post on Facebook isn’t the same thing as sitting down and talking to them. Get out there and connect with the people in your life.

Sometimes it feels like there is not enough time in the day to manage your own life. Let alone dealing with maintaining healthy friendships.

Scroll through your Facebook and look at your real life friends. You know the ones who held your hair back after you drank too much after the last break up. Just Facebooking those friends on occasion with a Like or a comment is not enough to keep those ties strong.

In super-connnected, cyber life that we lead, it has become easier and easier to slip into habits that change a deep and long-standing friendship into something that’s a bit superficial and hashtagable.
For those of us who take adulting seriously, we understand the importance of maintaining and nurturing the people in our life even though life often feels like it’s conspiring to keep friends apart. It’s important to remain close to friends as you move through life.

If you’re trying to figure out how to get your friendships back on track here are some simple and effective strategies that re-ignite a waning friendship:

Prioritize your friendships.

This feels so obvious, but prioritizing your friendships will create a willingness to put in the work needed to maintain the most important relationships in your life.

I wish that I could tell you that good friendships are easy to nurture, but they’re not. Friends get married, kids arrive, people get dogs, go into debt. Basically, life freaking happens and throws a metaphorical wrench into every relationship that you’re in.

As an adult not only do you have to prioritize the relationships that you’re in, you also have to figure out what “season” your friendship is in.

Sometimes you’re at the end of a wonderful friendship and it’s time to let go of that person and move on. There are other moments in a friendship when you may end up taking a break for a while but are able to reconnect later on with very little effort. Recognizing the stage that your friendship is currently in will help you to prioritize which friendships you should really be focusing on.

It can help you remain close to friends that match where you’re at right now.

Plan friend dates.

This may sound weird, but plan friend dates.

Sometimes friends get into habits that doom their friendship. If you’re always doing the same things, switch it up.

Instead of happy hour, participate in a Graffiti Run, compete against one another on opposing trivia teams, go to a corn maze, or check out your town in a way that is different from what you usually do when you hang out together. Remember, variety is the spice of life (and friendships too).

You might be surprised at how these dates can help you remain close to friends that matter most. It’s all about making time for the important people in your life.

Travel with friends.

Travel together or visit another if your friends live far from you.

My best friend, who basically is my sister from another mister, is English. She lives in London, is married and has kids. This friendship is a priority to both of us, but the reality is that our realities have changed and we live far away from one another.

Because of this, we prioritize visiting one another either in the States or in Europe. We’ve traveled together numerous times throughout the years and many of out trips resemble The Hangover movies. Even though she has kids.

When you travel with friends, the roles that exist in your “real” lives cease to exist. How can they when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and freaked out about the locals who have decided to help you out?

Create new memories with your friends that are special and specific to experiences that only you’ve experienced together (like a trip).

What happens when you have kids?

I love kids, but many people aren’t excited about them. Figuring out how to remain close to friends after they start having mini-humans is one of the big challenges of life.

When your friends begin having kids that may signal a huge change in how you interact.

After living in Europe, I have a very different view on interacting with friends with kids. Kids are always welcome. I make it clear to my friends that I’m flexible (because one day I will have kids too) and what I’ve found is that by being flexible I’m able to see my friends more.

I’ve also noticed that many of these friends suggest kids free events because they aren’t just parents. They’re people, too, and sometimes they need a break.

Be up front with your friends.

Finally, be clear about what you want from your friends.

Communicate what you expect from people in your life. They’re not mind-readers.  If you’re not clear about what you want from your friends, you’re setting yourself (and them) up for failure. If you’re fine seeing someone every once in awhile because you have work, kids, a spouse and extended family, go ahead and own it.

If you’re the type of person who needs a lot more one on one time with friends create opportunities to connect that are easy wins for everyone. Have realistic expectations of how the friendship should flow and remember to be kind with one another.

In an increasingly cyber world, it’s becoming obvious that it’s important to deepen our “in real life” friendships.

There’s no substitute for the real thing.

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