Do you donate money to charity?
This is the question that I wanted to throw out to you guys today. With tax season here, many topics are going to be discussed on personal finance blogs. Donating to charity is a highly-debated topic that I want to get some feedback on.
Charity donates are tax-deductible. You can claim your charity donations on your taxes to get some money back. So not only do you get to help out a cause that you believe in, but you can claim this on your taxes to help you out a little bit.
You really do make a difference. Depending on the charity and your own beliefs, you can really help out and make change. As corny as that sounds, it’s true. While there are obvious scams, there are plenty of good causes out there, from donating drinking water to poor towns in Africa to helping troubled youth afford college.
I personally went out of my way to donate money for research to the hospital where my middle brother had open heart surgery as a kid. I remember spending a whole summer there when I was younger. I also remember that everything was free (from video games to game nights). I couldn’t help but give back to this great cause.
It beats blowing the money on something totally useless. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes spend money foolishly. When I do, I wonder how someone else could have benefitted from this. Do you ever think about this? A $7 drink at bar gets you a little buzz. What could this do for a starving child?
Giving money away leads to happiness. I found an old study that shows how giving money away can increase your own personal happiness. Allow me to quote this article:
“New research reveals that when individuals dole out money for gifts for friends or charitable donations, they get a boost in happiness while those who spend on themselves get no such cheery lift.”
That’s pretty funny because I always notice an increase in my personal happiness when I do something for selfless reasons.
With that being said, there’s another issue worth looking at…
Not everyone has the financial resources or ability to donate money. Most of us generally want to do good for the community. We just can’t always afford to take money away from our debt payments or retirement savings. That’s normal. No need to feel guilty. You can still help out.
What are some quick options for giving back without spending money?
You don’t need money to give back. You can give back in a variety of ways, depending on what your resources are like.
Have you recently donated any money to charity? How did you decide which charity to help out?Google+ Comments: 7 Read More
2012 is here! Man is there a lot of work that I want to get done. What about you? What do you have left to do? What do you want to start?
As much as I have left to learn and do, there’s plenty that I’ve learned over the years that’s worth sharing. Throughout high school and college I had many jobs that I didn’t care for at all. Sure, I could complain about these jobs. That wouldn’t be a fun post though. I wanted to have some fun and shared the good stuff.
You have a lot to learn from a crappy job. You can arguably learn from more a job that you don’t like than from your dream job.
What have I learned from working crappy jobs? I wanted to share a few lessons:
Knowledge really is power. Without any sort of education or knowledge your options are going to be limited. You won’t have any power at all until you learn something new. Why would you want to hold yourself back? This is why I become a fan of learning at an early age. On top of my formal education, I’ve always taken online courses, read books, chatted with successful people, and took weekend courses. Knowledge is power. Try to learn as much as possible.
You have to remember that there are so many better options out there. Don’t ever feel like you’re stuck. You never are stuck. The only person holding you back is you. No matter how poor things seem to be going, you need to remember that there are better options out there. When in doubt, just take the next small step. Do some research about that degree in computer science you’ve always wanted to earn, enroll in a college class, do something. You are the one in control of your situation, and you are the one who can change it.
You’re in your current position for a reason. You can blame the world for your problems. You can point to circumstances out of your control. That’s fine once in a blue moon. You eventually need to stand up and take ownership for your life. You put yourself in your current position. You can’t blame anyone.
It’s cool if you’re intentionally staying in an entry level position because you don’t want a stressful job or because you don’t care for money. All that matters is that you understand why you are where you are. I’ve been in many lame situations. I’ve learned to accept that it’s simply my own fault.
The good news is that there’s always a way out. Since you put yourself in that position, you can easily take yourself out. You can always take the next small step or suck it up and fight through the tough times.
I don’t want to say that you should “work smart” because that phrase gets thrown around too casually. I will borrow a quote from Seth Godin on working hard on the right things:
“Hard work is about risk. It begins when you deal with the things that you’d rather not deal with: fear of failure, fear of standing out, fear of rejection. “
Technically speaking, doing a job that’s considered hard work is the easy way out. It takes real effort to take risk. It takes even more effort to stand up after every time that you fail. Working on the right things will always be a risk. Are you willing to take this risk?
This is so true. Your attitude will always determine your altitude in life. This is a quote that I heard at a religion retreat in grade 7 and it has stuck with me ever since then. Do you ever see someone with a positive outlook on life stuck in debt and complaining about the recession? Nope. You always see the same negative people complaining about the same crap. You know how it goes, “we’re getting screwed on taxes,” or “I would get a better job if the economy was the booming.”
The excuses are always lame and the attitudes are always poor. We’ve all been guilty of having a poor attitude at some point in life. It’s a waste of time and gets you nowhere. A positive attitude is something that nobody can take away from you.
That’s what I learned from working jobs that I didn’t like in the past. You can learn a lot from your first job or that job that you just couldn’t question. Instead of complaining about the job, you can take your lessons learned and better yourself.Google+ Comments: 12 Read More
I’m not a fan of resolutions or any of that crap. I think I hate resolutions because my gym gets rammed every January and there’s a plethora of scrawny guys in Affliction shirts leaving their 5lb weights on the bench press. Perhaps it’s because I’m totally annoyed by friends that throw out insane goals, never reach them, and then complain about their failure. How are you supposed to look like a bodybuilder if you never did a pushup in the last 6 months? How are you supposed to reach your goals if you’re too busy complaining?
Alright, before I get too carried away, back to the original topic…
Did 2011 suck for you? If it did then we need to work on getting everything under control in 2012.
What can you do to kill it in 2012 and have a much better year?
You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t start working on anything. You need to produce something if you want to see real results. You need to actually sit down, focus and start getting real work done. You can consume all of the theory in the world, but it doesn’t mean anything until you finally start to apply it. I used to read about blogging, eBooks, and all of that stuff. I didn’t truly learn anything until I actually launched my own blog and then launched my own eBook a few years later. Doing is the best form of learning in my opinion.
There are no secrets or shortcuts here. Just remember that you’re not going to drown in sweat. If you have no motivation to get any work done, then you’re just in the wrong field. Time to cut your losses and move on to something else. If you have zero energy, then consider improving your diet or exercising more often.
If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. It really is that simple. You need to get your act together. If you’re not organized then you won’t know if you’re coming or going.
How can you get more organized?
I’m slowly working on this one. I gut my room out at least once a month. I want to have the most organized workspace possible. I try to keep all of my notes beside me. I also try to keep track of what I want to do, what I plan on doing, and what needs to be done. This why I’m not just idly sitting away on the compute.
I get caught up with this all of the time. I start reading and reading. I read so much and know so much, yet I do very little. It’s lame. You get nothing done when you’re consuming information and doing nothing about it. It’s cool to know a lot. It’s useless when you don’t do anything with this information. Stop consuming at a certain point. I recommend a steady ratio between consuming and producing.
If you meed the deadline of your new eBook or if you lose those 10lbs by January then you should reward yourself. When you have something to look forward you’re going to want to work harder naturally.
How can you reward yourself more often?
I could go on but only you know how to reward yourself for a job well done.
Negative reinforcement is the kick in the ass that we all need once in a while. I do this to myself all of the time. As I’m typing this it’s a Saturday night and I’m clearly not out. I didn’t hit a few goals and I thought it would make no sense for me to go out. Instead I stayed in to work on my goals and get some work done at the same time. I could’ve easily gone out, used the “it’s Saturday” excuse, and delayed my work again. Screw that. You need to punish yourself.
Those are my observations from the past and tips for moving forward.
How did 2011 turn out for you? What do you have planned for 2012?Google+ Comments: 6 Read More
Everyone’s always talking about social media and how you need to get on Twitter. If you’re not on Twitter or on Facebook your business is going to suffer and you’re going to go poor. You absolutely need to leverage social media to make it big. That’s all you ever really hear.
Do you ever stop to ask, what’s the point of social media? Why do I need to be on Twitter? Is it really the end of the world if you less followers than someone else?
Is there another side to social media? Can social media ruin you? Yes it can. Allow me to share a few examples with you on how social media has cost certain individuals thousands of dollars (and their jobs!):
Miguel Torres, a fighter with the UFC lost his job with the company over a tweet. I’m not going to repost the tweet because it was inappropriate enough to get him fired, but you can read the story here. Torres’ job is to beat up other men and hurt them. Yet he got fired for saying something hurtful on Twitter. Social media hurt him more than his competitors.
Helio Castroneves (3-time Indianapolis 500 winner) was fined $30,000 when he called a director a “circus clown” on Twitter. That’s a lot of money to lose over something under 140 characters.
A girl I never met, but worked with one of my former professors had a job offer rescinded when the manager at the company found a picture of her dressing like a you-now-what, drunk at a club. It was a photo that would help you with your job application at Hooters. Not as an engineer or teacher.
I could go on with the examples. Actually, I’m sure that you guys have plenty more examples of friends that did something totally dumb on social media. You get the point by now.
I’m by no means any sort of social media expert. I’ll go as far as to say that I suck at social media. I do know a few things that you need to know about social media.
I need to share a few things about social media with you so that you don’t ruin your life, your career, or your bank account balance.
What’s your audience? What’s your audience into? I run a blog aimed at 20-somethings so I’m not too concerned about cursing or saying something rude on Twitter or Facebook. If you run a service for account professionals or coupon-clipping parents, then you can’t be getting too wild on Twitter.
You seriously don’t know who’s on the other end. If your Twitter or Facebook isn’t private than literally anyone can see what you’re writing. This is cool if you’re promoting your new eBook and want massive sales. What if you want to post a thought about one of your friends on Twitter? What if you get too drunk one night and start ranting away?
I once heard a great rule about tweeting on the radio. It mentioned that you shouldn’t tweet if you’re hungry, sad, grumpy, lonely, or drunk. You never know what you’re going to say that you’ll up regretting a few minutes later. Once that tweet goes out into the world it can easily be saved and used against you.
Long story short, watch what you say because you don’t know who’s on the other end.
I don’t get the hype of disclosing exactly where you are. I’ve mentioned the city that I’m in a few times when I was travelling through Europe, but I never gave my exact location out. You just don’t know who’s out there. What if you made some enemies? What if someone is out to get you? Why even bother giving your exact location out unless you’re planning some sort of a meet up?
When you post a picture on Facebook or Twitter, ask yourself: would I want this on a billboard? Once you throw something out there to the world, everyone will have access to it. I’ve personally put up way too many pictures from parties on Facebook. One day my great grandkids are going to find a picture of me cross-eyed in a bar (with beautiful women of course). When I think about it, it’s pretty scary to know how many pictures we all have out there. We don’t know who’s going to have access to what what say, do, and post today, in the future.
What’s the point of this article? Don’t be a clown. Watch what you do on social media. It’s not where you are right now. It’s all about where you want to be. Think of the scandal that would come up if pictures of you passed on on the floor surfaced if you decided to run for politics.Google+ Comments: 8 Read More
“Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have brains enough to be honest.” — Benjamin Franklin
There seems to be an influx of transparency in the blogging world. There are more blogging income reports, people taking pictures of their guts as they try to lose weight, and posts about some sort of truth that I wouldn’t even share with my shadow. I wanted to join in on the fun. I’m not going to share any income stuff because I’m sort of private about that. I did want to be transparent about something else. But first…
Why should you be transparent? What’s the point of even being transparent at all?
We all love to see the flaws in others. None of us are perfect. We like to see that others are going through the same struggles as us. It’s comforting to know that we’re not alone when dealing with specific issues. When you’re fully transparent, others will see where you’re not strong and it’ll show the world that you’re not perfect.
If your results are impressive, you can build some serious social proof through being transparent. Transparency can do wonders for your brand when you show how much money you’re making, how many email subscribers you have, and how much work you put in. Being transparent when the results are outstanding also serves as a great source of inspiration for anyone that’s just getting started or feeling down and in need of a boost.
When you open up with your readers and completely reveal everything, you’re building a unique connection. It’s rare to find authentic and genuine people sometimes. This is why I feel that so many online users are gravitating towards those that are being fully transparent with everything that they do.
With that being said, I wanted to get into my own attempt at being transparent.
I wanted to run my own transparency report on here. Instead of using my transparency report to brag, I wanted to share the details about something I’m weak at. I spend a fortune on food. I train hard and I’m always on the go. As a result, I eat a lot. I eat well. I eat lots of protein. I don’t mind spending money on food. With that being said, I definitely eat out far too often.
I wanted to share with you how much money I spent on food in November. This is why I signed up for a Walmart credit card and used it to track my spending on food in the month of November.
I spent $394.25 on food in November.
This includes going out a few times, protein shakes at the gym, grabbing my own groceries always, and the coffees that I grab. I didn’t want to bore you with the details. Let’s just say that a $30 dinner on a Friday night doesn’t help my food bill. Neither does grabbing a few cups of coffee a day.
I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I guess it really depends on your situation. I wanted to be honest about one of my flaws. If you have any tips on how I can cut back on my food bill then please do share.
My challenge is simple. Reply with a transparent post on your blog or a comment of something completely honest below. I encourage you to open up and share with us.
Did you spend too much money this month?
Did you do something dumb?
Are you proud of something?
Share it here.Google+ Comments: 5 Read More
|How I Suck at Not Paying Debts||Hitting 6 Figures Income at 28|
|How I Get a Huge Income Raise Each Year||Making $125K Online in 12 months|
|How I Buy Blogs||Most Debated Articles: The Primerica Saga|
|How I Have Survived My MBA||What is So Wrong With Making Money?|
|How I run multiples blogs and makes money without burning out|