Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Smart Living

  • Reassess Your Job Search For the New Year

    This month, many of us are making resolutions and setting goals for our careers in 2010. But if you're still on the hunt for a new job, don't think you're off the hook - the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reevaluate and fine-tune your job search. Whatever it is that's hindering your search, I've got tips to get you back on track.

    • If you're not getting responses to your applications . . . Take a closer look at your resume, cover letter, and the positions you're choosing to apply for. Typos in your resume, generic-sounding cover letters, or applying for positions you're over- or underqualified for can all keep you from getting past even the first level of screening, so take some time to ensure you're making the right impression on potential employers.
    • If you're getting lots of first interviews but no follow-ups . . .It's time to reexamine your interviewing style - and be as honest as possible. You need to consider everything from the firmness of your
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  • Savvy Tip: 3 Ways to Buy, Borrow, or "Steal" Travel Guidebooks

    You've booked transportation and accommodations, so now it's time for the fun stuff. Well, maybe research isn't always fun, but it definitely gets you excited for all the things to see and do once you arrive. In the spirit of smart shopping, I've gathered up three tips to get the best travel guidance for your trip and not waste money in the process.

    • Buy - Before opening that wallet, do your homework. When looking to purchase a guidebook, there are so many options it's hard to tell which is most worth your dollars. My tip: Check out the brand's book for your local city. If its suggestions seem spot-on for things you like there, and the tone is appealing, that can be a good source for any destination.
    • Borrow - If you're going somewhere for a one-time deal or looking to gather a lot of information at a small cost, that's where the local library comes in. Check out books beforehand, choose ones to bring, and return when the trip's done. Simple as that.
    • "Steal" - I
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  • 5 Basic Daily and Weekly Tips For a Better 2010

    When it comes to resolutions and changes, you can either jump right in or take growth one step at a time. When it comes to health and fitness you have to take a leap and maintain daily, and career and finance goals are the very same way. I've given you a short list of goals you can implement immediately, but do take a little time each day and week to ensure you are keeping up with your goals. Here are some basic tips for a positive year.

    1. Recharge Your Savvy Resolution Every Day - George Horace Lorimer once said: "You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." Hard to argue with that!
    2. Know Your Spending Style - Resolve to understand how you spend, i.e. what "triggers" you to pull out your wallet and hand over your cash.
    1. Resolve to Pick Up a DIY Hobby - Your version of getting crafty might be limited to stickers and colored pencils, but it's never too late to expand your horizons, especially if branching out
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  • 7 Things You Should Do This January

    Whether or not you set New Year's resolutions, there's always room for improving the order in our financial houses and the beginning of the year is a great time to start fresh. Kick off the new year and decade on an organized note and set yourself up to be in better touch with your finances in 2010 by following my January must dos.

    • De-clutter and Get Your Paperwork Organized - You know that pile of mystery papers and envelopes that's been growing for months? Pick a day this month to go through the clutter and mark it on your calendar. Whether you're sorting through credit card offers or credit card bills, de-cluttering will make you feel more in control. Tax season will be here before you know it, and it's easier on everyone if you have your paperwork in order.
    • Examine Your Budget -Take the reigns over your spending by examining where your money is going, and then create a spending plan for where you really want it to go.
    • Make Savings Goals - Saying that you
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  • 28 Handy Regifting, Spending, and Holiday Preparation Suggestions

    Holiday madness is upon us whether we like it or not. December is a dangerous month when it comes to spending and saving, but with a little effort you can keep your budget on track. Follow these practical guides so you don't make any seasonal money management or etiquette blunders.

    • Never Make These 5 Major Regifting Mistakes - If you choose to wrap something up from storage and put someone else's name on it, be sure not to make these mistakes that give regifting its sometimes tacky reputation.
    • 5 Ways to Spend Less This Holiday Season - Splurge is the word of the season, whether pertaining to eggnog or gifts.The holiday music and displays make it a festive time of year, but it can also be a pretty pricey time if you're not careful.
    • 8 Steps to Financially Prepare For the Holidays - The season of giving can influence our preferences for excess, whether it's a second helping of dessert or spending money we don't necessarily have. There's nothing Scrooge-like about
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  • 6 Signs Your Workplace Is Dysfunctional

    I had a friend who used to compare her workplace to a dysfunctional relationship. Her job made her unhappy, but she claimed she felt stuck, and wasn't sure that she could find anything better. Every time things at her company took a turn for the worse, she told her friends and family, "Things might get better! Things can change!"

    Clearly she's not alone - Office Space, Dilbert cartoons, and The Office are hilarious for a reason! But, it can be hard to spot a dysfunctional workplace when you're in the thick of things. Read on for six signs that should send you running for the door in any workplace.

    • Multitasking Is Frowned Upon - Rather than making you valuable being versatile makes you a liability. It's easier to maintain control if no one person knows too much, so dysfunctional companies like to keep everyone in extremely specialized roles with discrete tasks.
    • Meetings Are Pointless and Vague - At a dysfunctional company, meetings aren't places for concrete direction
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  • Venting at work is good for your health

    Turns out the strong, silent types at work are only hurting themselves. A new Swedish study of nearly 3,000 men found that the more they bottle up their frustrations at work, the more likely they are to have a heart attack - or even die of one.

    Researchers compared "covert coping" methods at work - staying quiet or ignoring a problem and hoping it'll go away - to "open" methods, like expressing anger or frustration in the moment. Men who used covert coping methods were up to five times more likely to develop heart disease.

    The study focused on men, but I think it's fair to assume that the results would be similar for women. It's also possible that women are more likely to use open coping methods to begin with. In any case, the moral of the study seems clear: find a constructive way to vent your frustrations at work, whether that means talking to a trusted co-worker, sitting down with your boss, or confronting the source of your stress.
    Photo courtesy of AMC

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  • The Most and Least Stressful Jobs Might Surprise You

    The personal lives of the Grey's Anatomy characters are more dramatic than most, and coupled with their chaotic jobs at Seattle Grace Hospital, it's no wonder they're constantly strung out. Surgeons have the most stressful jobs compared to all the rest, according to a recent list compiled by CareerCast. Twenty-one stress factors like deadlines, life-and-death situations, and physical demands were considered to determine the rankings, and given the pressure-filled long hours that go with being a surgeon, it's hard to think of a more stressful job.
    Here are the rest of the professions that topped the most stressful list; not that the job of photojournalist isn't highly demanding and tiring, but I'm surprised to see it ranked third.

    1. Surgeon
    2. Commercial Airline Pilot
    3. Photojournalist
    4. Advertising Account Executive
    5. Real Estate Agent
    6. Physician (General Practice)
    7. Reporter (newspaper)
    8. Physician Assistant
    And now for the least stressful jobs:
    1. Actuary
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  • Pack These Four Travel Essentials to Save Money

    You may not know what you need 'til you need it. I've had to purchase these four things while on vacation, and trust me, you'll save money if you bring them along in the first place. For things you could need a bit of but not enough to warrant the full package price, start this guide and get some packing inspiration.

    • Band-Aids of All Sizes - f new pumps, sandals, or sneakers hurt your feet, this vacation emergency may have you rushing to the nearest drugstore to purchase bandages. Since you probably already have them at home and don't want to buy a pricey big pack for a weekend getaway, stash enough Band-Aids (and other first-aid essentials) to last in a small container, like an empty Altoids tin.
    • Pill Packing - Stock your most used painkillers in a clean, empty contact case. Fits in your purse, and you can keep the different meds safe and separated.
    • Oops, You Missed a Spot - Stain removers, like Tide to Go or Shout Wipes, can help with spot blotting, but if
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  • 5 Tips For Surviving Black Friday

    Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, and it's also the day when countless Americans will be making seemingly small financial decisions at the same exact time. Shopping on the day after Thanksgiving has never been my thing, but over the years I've picked up a thing or two about using control while getting your discounted shop-on. Check out my tips for surviving Black Friday.

    • Choose Your Friends Wisely - Shopping with company can make your day a whole lot of fun, but make sure to choose those Black Friday comrades wisely. Those friends that manage to convince you that you'd be doing a disservice to womankind if you didn't buy those jeans? Go separate ways on this trip and take your pal who you can count on to keep you on track.
    • Plan Your Dollars - You should have already made a budget for holiday shopping, but if you're running a little behind in budget-planning then do it before your Black Friday excursion. Once you've determined an overall budget and
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