Crappy jobs are for teenagers. You’re above that. Actually, you’re not. You need to have at least one crappy job as an adult. Read More...

Bad jobs are the worst, but they make us better people.

At least that’s what my mom says.

When you have a crappy job as a teenager, you don’t know that it sucks. You don’t yet have the experience to know you deserve better.  When you’re young a bad job is a learning experience.

If you have a crappy job as an adult it’s a totally different story.

It’s probably safe to say we all want to wake up and go to a job that we love. We all want to make a lot of money so that we can enjoy all of life’s little luxuries.

But how many of us truly have the perfect job? 

Sometimes we end up in a job we’re good at because we have family relying on us to provide. Sometimes we stay in a job that we don’t necessarily love because the money is great. Or at least it’s enough to survive on.

What about having a job that you truly hate?

Having a crappy job as an adult isn’t the worst thing in the world.  It may not be ideal, but it’s not terrible and it can only be a temporary situation if you want it to be.

Here are four reasons every adult needs a crappy job at least once in their lifetime:

1. It’s humbling.

If you’ve been on the top and then been knocked down to the bottom, it’s humbling.  You have to struggle to work your way back up to the top.

Sometimes we take things for granted and a misstep is just life’s way of letting us know that everything we worked for can be taken away at any time.

It’s a good idea to hedge your bets and find multiple income streams through a part time job or side hustle to ensure the fall isn’t too far down — and the climb back up isn’t too high.

2. Bills still need to be paid.

How many people really do everything they want to every day?

I would like to take long walks on the beach and eat turkey sandwiches (made by a chef) all day, but that’s just not reality.

The reality for many adults is that bills are due every. single. month. You have to find a way to pay them.

Having a crappy job to make ends meet may be the way to do that for now. Suck it up. Part of being an adult is taking care of your shit through whatever means is available to you.

The good news is that it doesn’t always have to be that way. You can fix it down the road.

3. It gives you something to work toward.

If your current career situation is less than perfect, do whatever it takes to make it better.  Go back to school, learn a new skill, find a mentor, or seek career counseling.

It’s very easy to sit and complain about how terrible things are. What makes you a better person is taking action to improve your circumstance.  You will appreciate success so much more if you started from the bottom and worked towards achieving your goal.  That’s when hard work and dedication truly pay off.

4. It can be a learning experience.

Sometimes we get stuck in our own way of thinking and we can’t imagine another way of doing things.  Working at a less than perfect job, with a manager you don’t want to take orders from, and beside coworkers you don’t want to be around, can help you discover new ways to work.

Instead of spending your day hating your life, use the time to think of ideas to improve things.  It may even help you get a promotion and get away from your crappy job.

I’ve been forced to eat crow and work some less-than-stellar jobs. I mean one particular job where I prayed every single day that I would be laid off just so I could collect unemployment while looking for a better job. I know all about survival — and learning from shitty situations.

Let’s be honest, the adult thing to do sometimes is to suck it up and contribute your eight to 10 hours as a gainfully employed grown up until that app that you developed helps you strike it rich.

You might be surprised at what you learn along the way.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.

For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Encourage your partner’s inner groomzilla.

Your wedding day is a big deal. Some even say it’s the most important day of your life.

With reality TV shows like TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress and ABC’s The Bachelorette, it seems like everywhere we go people have wedding fever — and most of those people are brides. (Sidebar: what’s up with the Bachelor and Bachelorette never having people of color as the main love interest? I’m just saying.)

Anyway, our culture places the focus of the wedding day on the bride, her wishes, her wedding dress, and her family.  We even coined the term “bridezilla” for extremely self-absorbed brides.

But what about the groom?  I can’t help but wonder how often brides actually take their groom’s opinion into consideration. Since I married a “groomzilla,” that definitely wasn’t an issue.

Although it seems traditional for the bride to plan everything for the big day, from the flowers to the music, there’s nothing in the wedding rule book that says the groom can’t help out. Unless you’re my husband. He thinks he should be in charge of planning everything.

There’s a scene from the popular TV sitcom Friends where Monica and Chandler are planning their wedding. Monica says to him, “Just stick to your job.”  When someone asks Chandler what his job is he replies, “Staying out of the way.”  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Who says the wedding day can’t be special for both of you?  Who says men haven’t also been planning their wedding since they could walk?  No one.

Here are four ways to compromise with your partner to make your wedding special for both of you:

Ask his opinion.

Often grooms want to stay out of the way in fear of running afoul of their  bridezilla.  If you want him to help plan or take care of some of the tasks, an easy way to let him know his efforts are welcome is to ask his opinion.

Ask him about the cake flavor and photographer.  His answer may be “Whatever you think is best honey. I just want you to be happy.”  That may be true, and he may not want to give an opinion, but at least you asked and he can’t hold it over your head later.

Give him tasks.

Delegating some of the work when planning your wedding can help make the whole experience much better and less stressful.  After all, this is the first day of the rest of your lives together. Why not make it a joint effort?

Ask your husband-to-be which tasks he would like to help out with and give him things to do. Not in a bossy way, but in an it’s-not-all-about-me kind of way. Even if you really don’t want him to help, it’s always a good idea to make him feel like he’s made a real contribution. My hubby liked pointing to things that I made at the wedding so I’m sure that yours will like pointing to things he did as well.

Make an effort to include him.

If you want to include your groom in the wedding planning, schedule appointments at mutually convenient times. Don’t expect him to drop everything to meet you for dance lessons or to choose centerpieces. Instead, ask him if he has free time and book appointments that fit both your schedules.

It’s probably a bad idea to force your sweetheart to do things that he won’t enjoy, such as picking out your bridesmaids dresses, but he may want to help choose the food, the venue, or the music. You never know until you ask. My groom wasn’t really into the planning until we toured the venue. Suddenly, his inner groomzilla arrived on the scene. Be prepared for that too.

Take his opinion into consideration.

You may have been planning your wedding since you were in elementary school, but that was probably before you met your fiancé. If he has an opinion on the colors or music take it into consideration. Give it serious thought.

If it means a lot to him, it should be important to you. That’s how to compromise. It may not be exactly how you planned, but at the end of the day you have your groom and this is the beginning to your happily ever after.  If you can’t compromise on the details of your wedding, this is a foreshadowing of your ability to compromise on many other things that occur after the wedding.

Honestly, at the end of the day, it’s about the two of you and your families coming together to celebrate your union.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.

For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

It feels really great to save money, so do that. Read More...

Some people think that being frugal is the same as being cheap.

It’s not.

Being frugal is a lifestyle. Being cheap is a quality.  Neither is better than the other; they’re just both very different.  Being cheap is also considered a negative quality when in reality it’s another way of being financially responsible.

Being frugal ≠ cheap.

The difference between the two is that being cheap means you probably won’t spend money on anything of extreme value and you won’t pay for high quality. You are most likely to buy the item at the lowest cost.  And that’s O.K.  Being frugal means you plan where to spend your money and you don’t mind spending on quality as long as you’re getting the best deal possible.

Being frugal may also have a negative tone because frugal people are often considered cheap.  That’s a big misconception and, like I said, neither one is bad.  In fact, if everyone in the world lived a little more frugally and let themselves be cheap once in a while we would all probably have more savings and less debt.

Frugal = self control.

No one says that counting pennies isn’t smart. Well maybe they do, but they’re wrong.  If you take the time to compare prices, shop around, and really think twice before spending money, you have incredible self-control. That’s never a bad thing.

Avoiding impulse purchases and overspending (even on necessities) is a smart way to live because it makes sure you live within your means. It also helps you stay away from using credit cards just to make ends meet every month.

It may take more effort to say no to your favorite cookies at the supermarket because you don’t really need them or skip buying those new shoes because they aren’t on sale, but your bank account with thank you for the savings.

Saving is a natural high.

Think about the last time you saved $1.00 on bananas or $100 on a hotel room. Didn’t you feel great?  I know I did.  Saving money, even $0.50, is a great feeling. It means your hard earned money is going to work for you instead of you working for it.  Think about how much extra cash you would have in your pocket each month if you stretched every dollar to its possible limit.

Saving money is natural high and the only way to get that buzz is to spend less than you earn and buy things at lower prices than you planned.  Living on a budget is great, but living below budget is even better.

Use apps to make a grocery list to avoid impulse purchases and sign up for mailing lists to get weekly flyers. Find the lowest prices on everything from milk to bedroom furniture.

Being frugal gives freedom.

When you save money on one thing you can spend that money somewhere else.  Paying less for everything in your life opens doors for new opportunities.  Maybe being frugal helps you take an overdue vacation. Perhaps your frugal choices give you the new roof your house desperately needs. Maybe frugality helps pay off your student loans faster to avoid interest charges.  Whatever the reason, living on less helps you do more.

If you need motivation to save more money and live more frugally, make a list (or dream board) of all the things you want to do in life.  Prioritize these items realistically and start saving towards your number one goal.  You may even want to open a separate bank account to watch your savings grow.  Remember that every dollar saved is another step towards your goal.

All thanks to being frugal.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.

For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Starting a new job? Keep it simple.

Starting a new job is exciting – for both you and your new boss. Being hired means you were the best candidate for the job, but very rarely do those salary-worthy-qualities show up on the first day. Transitioning into a new role takes time. Although most companies offer a learning curve, your boss probably wishes you were the perfect employee on the very first day.

Of course, that’s not totally realistic. How can you be great at something you don’t fully understand? How can you contribute to a team when you’re not comfortable yet? Like I said, unrealistic. In order to be the model employee that was hired, sometimes you just have to fake it until you make it – especially in the eyes of your boss.

Here are four things you should know about starting a new job:

Hiring a new employee costs a crap-ton of money.

Before you even receive a paycheck your new company has spent a lot of money to find, interview, hire and train you. They saw something special in your resume. Prove them right by performing above and beyond expectations.

Very often new employees are shy on their first day, but being a wallflower isn’t going to help you climb the career ladder. Your employer invested a lot of money in you and it’s a good idea to make it worth their while. Contribute ideas, take notes, ask follow-up questions and do your best to fit in – but don’t suck up.

Your boss is not your personal confidant, no matter how nice they are.

So often you meet your boss during orientation and at meetings. You may even catch a glance of them in the hallway, but very rarely will they stick by your side during the entire on-boarding process.

A lot of companies have adopted the buddy system which assigns a senior level (but not management level) employee as a mentor for new hires.  The buddy system is more time and cost efficient because an employee earns less than a manager and the senior employee most likely know the ins and outs of your daily duties better than the boss in the corner office.

But even if you’re one of the lucky few with constant and daily interaction with your boss, don’t get too cozy. No matter how nice, warm, welcoming and inviting they are, they’re still your boss. They don’t want to hear about all of your weekend shenanigans and drunken debauchery. Save that for your real friends. You know, the people who don’t pay you.

Be on time — for everything

Being on time doesn’t only apply to starting the workday. It means being on time (or a little bit early) for everything from meetings to conference calls. The best thing to do is spend some time getting familiar with the office to ensure you know where you’re going and make sure you can get where you’re supposed to be on time. The last thing you want to do is be the new person and walk into a meeting room after the boss has already started talking. That’s embarrassing, even for a seasoned employee.

It’s O.K. to ask questions.

Being a know-it-all on your first day isn’t expected. It’s O.K. to ask questions when starting a new job. Remember that it’s always better to ask a question rather than make an error. With that said you have to take initiative and be proactive to try and figure things out on your own. Don’t take the easy way out and just ask questions for every little thing because that can get old and annoying really quickly.

Starting a new job is a fresh start for you to make a name for yourself within the company. Make a good first impression by being on time, take the time to learn and always give 110% on the job. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way up to the corner office with the nice view.

But you have to make it through the first day.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.

For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Recently married? Here’s something you’re probably tired of hearing. Read More...

Last year, I had the bright idea of getting married on Cinco de Mayo; that’s the fifth of May for the uneducated. It was the culmination of a 20-year-long relationship that began in high school. It’s been almost a full year since us two crazy not-so-young-anymore kids tied the knot, and you know what’s happened in that year? 

I’ve come to the realization that just about everyone on Earth has apparently chipped in on the cost of my uterus.

Not one single month has passed by that someone hasn’t asked me, “When are you guys having a baby?” As if I had somehow promised at the altar to spit out progeny as soon as a ring hit my finger and we hit the marriage bed. Apparently, there’s some part of the marriage contract that I must have looked over when I signed the dotted line. People want to know “why don’t you have kids already?” the moment your honeymoon is over.

I never knew that my body housed a communal uterus but, since I’m the only one who apparently didn’t know, let me tell you why it’s been so long in coming, this second appearance of our apparent Messiah who will spring forth from my unyielding womb.

Related: Delayed parenthood.

Putting off marriage and kids: it’s not the end of the world.

Admittedly, I’m a little long in the tooth for marriage. Everyone has been keen to make me feel like 37 is the new 47, so, thank you for that. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the number of people (perfect strangers included) who have given us the third degree over this subject over and over again — always unsolicited.

I’ve sincerely thought that no one has ever wondered how I successfully made it to the ripe old age of 37 in my woefully childless state. I avoided teenage pregnancy, skirted pregnancy in my twenties, and successfully navigated my thirties in a childless manner without having, I don’t know, a fist full of birth control and an actual plan in place.

I always want to ask people what they’re thinking when they ask me, “Why don’t you have kids yet?” 

I plaster on a fake smile, all while mentally cursing out the nosey bastard in front of me, and think: What if I can’t have kids? What if we’re suffering from infertility?  What if, like countless other women and couples in their thirties we’ve tried and failed? What if we’re in the process of trying to have kids, but it just hasn’t worked yet? 

What if, every single time you or anyone for that matter, decides to stink up the joint with your verbal diarrhea by asking me that same stupid ass question, or if you decide to point out how old I am, or if you refer to my dog as the only kid I’ll ever have, or say, out loud, that our lifestyle is just not cut out for kids, you are slowly twisting a very painful dagger over and over and over and over again at the center of deeply-rooted pain for us?

What if, with your innocent, well-meaning question, you make me want to strangle you every time your eyeballs move towards my stomach region? What if, you insensitive bastard, it’s none of your goddamn business?

The next time one of you asks me that question, I might just tell you to shut the hell up or I might just turn the tables and ask you why you and your lovely significant don’t try to pop out another one of your own clones that you clearly enjoy having since you’re so eager for me to join the club.

Oh yeah, and we don’t have kids because we don’t want any right now. 

Thanks for asking.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.

For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!