Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Smart Living

  • 4 Ways Job Hunting Is Like Dating

    Source: 4 Ways Job Hunting Is Like Dating

    Dating and job hunting both have their ups and downs, and sometimes both of them can feel like emotional rollercoasters. It's really hard to find a job that's just right for you, and the journey to find it can be as hard as looking for love. Here are a few ways finding your potential partner is just like looking for a job:

    • There's a criteria. People have checklists in their heads for a potential partner and have certain criteria such as religion or family values. Keep in mind that your employer is also looking at you to see if you meet the requirements they're looking for. To get a better sense of the kind of person they want, carefully look at the job description, read more about the company and its culture if you can find information on it online, and look up LinkedIn profiles of people who hold similar positions in the same company.
    • You wait by the phone. After the interview, you're left hanging and waiting for your potential
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  • 6 Personal Finance Tips For Forgetful People

    Source: 6 Personal Finance Tips For Forgetful People

    Your intentions may be good, but sometimes your memory ruins your best attempts at trying to save more. Being forgetful when you're managing your finances can actually be quite damaging. For example, if you continually forget to pay off a bill, not only will it result in penalty fees, it may very well lower your credit score. And lower credit scores will cost you in many ways, which include being charged higher interest rates and fees when you're trying to take out certain types of loans. For those of you who are prone to forgetfulness, read these tips:

    • Automate: If you're like most people, you'll have to transfer money to several accounts - savings, bills, investments, and more - every month. Make your life simple by scheduling these payments. Automating is great because you're paying off what needs to be paid off first and you'll never forget to move your money to where it needs to be.
    • Use Mint alerts: Sign up for a
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  • Inside Scoop: What It's Really Like to Work For Oprah

    Source: Inside Scoop: What It's Really Like to Work For Oprah

    Judging by the warmth and empathy Oprah Winfrey displays on TV, it's easy to imagine what a wonderful person she'd be to have in your life. But have you ever thought about what she would be like as your manager? I talked to Janet Lee, an interior designer who specializes in small spaces, who shared her experiences with her former boss, Oprah. Janet was formerly a senior field producer for The Oprah Show - talk about a dream job! Read on to find out what it was like to have Oprah as a boss.

    • She Picks the Right People:

      If Oprah were your boss, you'd be working with top notch people. Imagine what it would be like working with people you respect continually and learning from each other every day.

      Janet says: "When I finally got to Oprah, I felt like I reached the Ivy Leagues of television. In all aspects, everyone who worked for her were the top of their game. Whether it was lighting, design,

    Read More »from Inside Scoop: What It's Really Like to Work For Oprah
  • 7 Tips to Negotiating the Raise You Deserve

    Source: 7 Tips to Negotiating the Raise You Deserve

    If you're upset about your pay or the promotion you've been wanting for a while that never came, it's time to ask for it! Make sure your manager knows that you're gunning for a raise this year and bring it up at your annual performance review, which should be coming up for many of you. Jim Hopkinson, author of Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You, shared a couple of tips for savvy professionals to use when negotiating for a pay bump. Here they are:

    • List your achievements. "From your first day of employment, you should maintain a simple document that lists your accomplishments. Keeping this updated will give you ammunition to use during a performance review - or bullet points for your resume if you decide to move on."
    • Be seen. "Get noticed by volunteering for new and high profile projects and becoming more involved in the company as a whole."
    • Find the money position. "When
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  • How to Be Smart About Bidding For Hotels

    Source: How to Be Smart About Bidding For Hotels

    If you know how to play the Priceline game, you might be saving a ton of money on your travel digs. But there is a technique, and there are plenty of forums, like BiddingforTravel, that share tricks to gaming the bidding system. CNN recently spoke to the founder of BiddingForTravel, Sheryl Mexic, who shared some tips to winning hotel bids.

    • Priceline is the best choice for US hotels. Sheryl says Priceline is a better deal than Hotwire because "Priceline will accept a bid at their cost or higher and their profit comes from overbids," and Hotwire generates profits by building them into their set prices.
    • Detecting a hotel on Hotwire. One attractive feature of Hotwire is that it lists hotel amenities, which makes it easier for consumers to figure out which hotel it is. Users can use BidGoggles, which is a free tool that will help you figure out which mystery hotel you're looking at on Hotwire. It does this by combing through
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  • Back to School: The Best Student Discounts

    Source: Back to School: The Best Student Discounts

    One of the best perks of being a student is the discounts you get when you flash your student ID. Perhaps the retailers sympathize with the amount of new things a student has to purchase at the start of the back-to-school season. Or maybe they are simply cashing in on our buying spree. Check out the awesome discounts students get to enjoy on electronics, clothing, and more.

    • Clothing:

      Club Monaco: Mid to high-end clothing line, Club Monaco, gives students 20 percent off as long as they bring their ID.

      J. Crew: Bring your photo ID and you'll get 15 percent off. If you have an .edu address, you can get that discount if you're shopping online or over the phone.

      Banana Republic: Your college ID will get you 15 percent off if you bring it to the store.

      Topshop: Get 10 percent off when you bring your ID to the cashier in the New York store. If you want that discount online, you

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  • Is It OK to Use Student Discounts If You're No Longer in School?

    Source: Is It OK to Use Student Discounts If You're No Longer in School?

    Mac laptops, $200 off, and 20 percent off monthly cell phone bills? Some of these student discounts almost seem too good to be true. Recently a sales person told me in confidence that he will let me use my student ID discount even though I graduated a year ago. I couldn't help thinking about the ethics behind doing so.

    If you could enjoy student discounts even if you were long past the point of being a student, would you take advantage of them? Take our poll here.


    Related Content:
    What Do You Think of Paperless Receipts?
    Cute Back-to-School Laptop and Tablet Bags For Under $100
    Back to School: The Best Student Discounts



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  • 9 Things You Need to Stop Paying For

    Source: 9 Things You Need to Stop Paying For

    We live in a consumer nation, where it has long been the case that many of us are encouraged to spend and to pay it off with money we don't have, which then racks up our debt. This mentality has shifted little during the recession; people are gradually spending less and saving more. However, there are still a lot of things we're paying for that we don't need. Here are nine things you should be getting for free:

    • Books: Don't buy books. Instead, borrow them from the library or from a friend, and explore sites that will let you swap books with other people such as BookMooch, PaperBackSwap and GoodReads has a section dedicated to swapping. Alternatively, there are plenty of wonderful free ebooks on Amazon if you're game enough to try an indie author.
    • Cable: A record number of Americans are canceling their cable services, reports the AP. Paying for cable almost seems pointless when you look at all the free options out there such
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  • Guide to Leaving a Job With Your Grace Intact

    Source: Guide to Leaving a Job With Your Grace Intact

    It's hard to say goodbye in your personal life, and sometimes, even harder in business. If you are one of the lucky employees who finds a better position or simply decides to move on from your current job, take heed. It's tempting to sign up for a new adventure without closing up your current one, but following standard etiquette can go a long way. Here are some suggestions for leaving your current workplace with class, grace, and your dignity intact.

    1. Give at Least Two Weeks Notice - You should resign from your current position as soon as you accept another job. Employers typically expect two weeks notice, but try not to screw the company over. If your position will be hard to fill, give your employer ample time to find a suitable replacement. You can tell HR and your manager and request they keep the news private until you're closer to your departure date.
    2. Don't Drop the Ball - Sure, you are moving on to bigger and
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  • 5 Sneaky Ways Supermarkets Get You to Spend More

    Source: 5 Sneaky Ways Supermarkets Get You to Spend More

    Do you ever wander through the grocery store and end up spending more than you were budgeting for? Don't beat yourself up over it - supermarkets actually have several different strategies to trick customers into blowing bucks. Be on the alert and watch out for the sneaky psychology tactics these stores will try to use on you.

    • 10 For $10:10 for $10 sounds like a great deal. However, you'll get the same savings even if you only buy one item, according to the New York Times. A grocery store survey recently found that people bought way more items when they see 10 for $10 deals vs. five for $5 and one for $1 sales. Even if you aren't buying 10 items, your mind will trick you into thinking that the item is such a great deal that you end up buying more of it.
    • Growing Carts: No, you're not shrinking; it's the grocery carts that are growing. The larger the cart, the more likely you'll end up spending more, so try to stick
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