Finances

I made it! Well, almost. Today’s the last day on my Zebit challenge and I feel pumped. I’m not going to lie, I am going to splurge on a decaf latte tomorrow. But, I have really been reminded about how much money I waste on the little indulgences. I will definitely be mindful of my spending and be using my new mantra, “When I save, I win,” to fight the urge to purchase unnecessary items. Related: Zebit Challenge Day 6: My New Budgeting Mantra

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I was reminded today of a time when I really had to get creative with budgeting…. Related: Zebit Challenge Day 4: Enough Already, Time To Prioritize Kids were a major financial curveball for my husband and I. We really hadn’t thought through how much it would change our spending habits. While we went out far less (saving money on nights on the town), we spent a lot more on things for the children. I remember realizing our budgeting strategy had to change. Especially, since I had left my lucrative corporate job and was now freelancing and starting my own little company. Income was down and expenses were up.

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Today, I woke up sick. However, instead of being able to give myself the TLC I normally do when this happens, I couldn’t. It’s annoying, frustrating, depressing - and of course, stressful. It can be the same with car trouble, taxes, home repairs, medical bills, education expenses, and more. Related: Zebit Challenge Day 2: Budgeting 101

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I’m done whining. Okay, so I’m on a budget. No use lamenting over what I can’t have. It’s wasted time and energy. I’ve got better things to do. Related: Zebit Challenge Day 3: Budgeting Curveballs (Ouch, I’ve Been Hit!)

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Okay, I survived Day 1 of the challenge. The biggest thing I noticed was how much more I was thinking about money. Your thoughts get easily consumed with weighing the pro’s and con’s of even the smallest of purchases. That’s why I had to go into research mode… Related: Zebit Challenge Day 1: My Financial Stress Reality Check

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When Zebit asked me to take part in a 7-day budgeting challenge as part of March’s Financial Stress Awareness Month, I was intrigued, and a little hesitant. The idea of having only $7/day to spend is definitely sobering. I’m sure as you are reading this, your brain immediately went to thoughts of things you’d have to give up. So did mine.

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Once upon a time, in a land not so far from where you’re standing, (heck, it might even be exactly where you’re standing) the only thing a potential employer could know about you was what you put on your resume. Filled with information gleaned through references and the few details you chose to reveal during your interview(s). Related: Can Bad Credit Make You Unemployable? Those days are sooooo sooooo over. Today, a potential employer has no qualms about checking your social media profiles (which is why many believe that social media is the new resume). Some people have even reported that potential employers have asked for their social media passwords so that they could get a look at profiles that had been made private. (NOTE: No matter what a potential employer tells you, you are NOT obligated to share your password. In fact, asking you for your Facebook password (and your sharing it) is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service.) It doesn’t stop with your social media presence or online reputation. Some employers will also go as far as checking a candidate’s credit before they decide whether or not to hire someone. The primary thought behind this practice (while miles away from foolproof) is, "If you can't be trusted with your finances... how can we trust you for this job?" How do you like them apples? Here’s the thing: It might, for lack of better cliché, 'chap your hide' that your potential employer wants to do a credit check (and, to be fair, you do not have to allow them to do so… but if you’ve already handed over your social security number you probably can’t stop them from doing it), but having bad credit isn’t just bad for your job prospects. Letting your credit stay bad is terrible for your livelihood and your personal financial health, too. But you already know that. If all of this sounds like a myth or an urban legend, you need to know that it is not. Last summer CNN investigated the rumors that employers were using credit histories to deny employment. In addition to several interviews, they cited a study that found that one in ten people had been denied a very hoped for job because the potential employer didn’t like what they found when they ran a credit check. Those are some scary statistics! So what do you do? How do you make sure that your credit status doesn’t cost you that job that you need so much?

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