- Get in Shape. Who thinks about getting in shape in January?! I write this while the weather people are predicting an arctic front about to hit us full steam ahead. Even going to the gym requires leaving the house! Instead, how about doing 10 push-ups when you get out of bed, and 10 push-ups before you go to bed. Oddly enough it will lead to adding sit-ups and crunches before you know it!
- Eat Healthy. Here’s the rub - healthy is a subjective definition. Try using a free journaling app such as My Fitness Pal to see what you actually eat now. Maybe you are eating healthy, maybe you are just getting too many calories. The other day I actually decided not to eat that cookie because I was too lazy to enter it in the app.
- Quit Smoking. Such a wonderful resolution, but ever so hard! A better resolution would be to research stop smoking programs. There are many free and effective ones such as Smoke Free NY. So for this one, instead of saying you are going to quit smoking say you are going to get help!
- Get Organized. Small steps here…when looking at your mountain of papers littering your desk, kitchen, or living room, it’s a daunting task. Instead of saying you are going to get organized, try going to an office supply store and getting a good shredder, some file folders and some labels. Each day, before you do your push-ups and go to bed, take the top 5 papers off the pile and shred them or file them.
- Get Out of Debt. That’s a rather daunting a task! In order to manage this herculean effort it boils down to paying more on your debts which means either spending less on other things or generating more income to pay off said debt. Therefore, a much more reasonable resolution is to create a budget. Need a guideline? Visit CNNMoney for the basics.
- Go Back to School. In resolution number 5, one of the ways to help with debt was to increase income. To do that you are going to need some skills! Be smart about it and consider a career school, such as Mildred Elley, where you only pay for classes that apply to the new career that you are considering. Underwater basket weaving need not apply.
- Get a Better Job. Another tough one! To increase your chances of a better job, you’ll need to promote your skills (or get some new ones by getting some career training) and network, network, network. So let’s change this resolution from “Get a Better Job” to “Rework Your LinkedIn Profile.” Remember to add your school to this one. Your alumni network can open major doors for you. Oh, and don’t forget to clean up your Facebook page while you are at it. According to a survey by careerbuilder, 1 in 3 employers reject applicants based on Facebook posts. This survey was done in 2012…I wonder what the statistic is now!
- Volunteer. Again, a very robust and ambiguous resolution! Fortunately a great first step for this one is to post on Facebook. Just post a status update that you are thinking of volunteering and ask if anyone has any great ideas for places or organizations that need help. Be careful though, you never know when a volunteer position may put you in touch with a great job opportunity! Feel free to post this request on our Mildred Elley Facebook Pages. We have lots of followers that can put you in touch with the right people.
- Stop Procrastinating. This one, to me personally, is impossible! So if anyone has any great ideas to help with this one please post below in the comments! (If this post makes it up by midnight, I will be popping that champagne cork for sure.)
- Take time for yourself. This one is tricky. The first thing you need to do to attempt this one is define what that means. Do you want to relax, do you want to improve your mind, do you want to go on an adventure? Sit down and really decide what that means to you. From there the path to taking time for yourself will make sense to you and only you.
Mildred Elley Blog
Being a student is stressful on your schedule, yes, but it can also be stressful on your bank account. The more time you spend in classes and studying means less time working. Which means less money. This temporary sacrifice is just that, however. Temporary. With your career training you will be more prepared to enter the workplace and earn a living wage to support yourself and your family.
But what do you do in the meantime?
Here are some helpful tips for pinching pennies from around the interwebs.
How much money do you spend on TV and cable services? There are more and more options every day for watching your favorite shows for a lot less money. Watch out for introductory pricing through cable companies and satellite providers. The initial cost could be minimal, but 6 months down the road your bill has grown without you even realizing it. What are some of your other options? This blog post can help you out. I recommend the Roku, too!
Textbooks can be really expensive. Have you considered sharing books with other students? Ask a student who has gone through the course before you to lend you her books. Also keep in mind the sellback value of your books as well. Companies like Amazon.com and BIGWORDS.com will often offer cash or store credit for used textbooks. Check them out!
Food and Gas:
Of course there are tons of ways to save money on the two great necessities of life: food and gas. Find 13 great ideas here, an article from CBS News. The first and most obvious move would be to combine the two, and choose a supermarket where you earn reward points that can be put towards your gas bill. Also: make sure you are clipping coupons when you can. It can be an added hassle, but if you save even $10 a week on groceries, that's $40 you have to spend somewhere else. Also, make sure you're not eating out every day. That will cause problems in your wallet as well as in your digestive track. Skip the fast food and make yourself an egg sandwich in your kitchen in the morning instead.
If childcare is an issue, try to team up with other parents and family members to trade babysitting duties. If a friend has a different schedule than you do, offer to watch each other's children and save money on a babysitter. Mildred Elley offers day, evening and weekend programs designed to allow you to cater your schedule to your family's needs. Whatever you do with childcare accommodation, though, make sure you have a back up plan, and a back up to your back up!
Anyone else have tips on saving money while working on your new career?