Blog Posts by POPSUGAR Smart Living

  • TGIF: How to Improve Your Friday Habits

    If you've worked all week then you're probably beyond thrilled when Friday rolls around. You're just hours away from freedom, fun, and maybe even an end-of the week cocktail. Instead of slacking, use these tips to end the week on an upswing.

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  • 10 Questions to Ask Before Booking an All-Inclusive Vacation

    Whether you're running right out to schedule an all-inclusive vacation, or if you're just not sure of the point, check off the questions on my list before you book - I've come up with things you should ask yourself, fellow travelers, and even the resort to make sure you get the most budget bang for that (often) budget buck!

    • What Are the Meal Choices? - The same food . . . again? You may not want to hit up the buffet line for seconds for the second day in a row if you see the same stuff and many all-inclusives do themed weeks (e.g. Monday Mexican Cantina, Tuesday Italian Trattoria, etc.) so you only have one cuisine available each day.
    • Are There Set Meal Times? - Larger all-inclusives with incorporated à la carte dining plans have several on-site restaurants to choose from - be warned, the "good" one may be packed each night - so check to see if you need to make reservations in advance and look at the flexibility of dining hours, too.
    • Are Drinks Included? -
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  • Small Ways to Save Big When You Eat Out

    People are definitely eating differently thanks to the recession. But cutting food costs doesn't mean you still can't enjoy eating out. Tough times for consumers means empty tables at restaurants - and to fill them, restaurants are making menu changes and slashing prices, or offering discounts. Just take a look at how you can save on your next meal out.

    • Make a Reservation - Many restaurants now partner with free sites like Open Table and DinnerBroker to give discounts to diners who book their tables ahead of time. Using the site to reserve a table could score you a 30 percent discount for an early dinner time and additional reward points to earn you a gift card to one of the site's partner restaurants.
    • Look For Coupons - Check your local papers for casual eateries in your area offering coupons. Another way to snag coupon deals? Pick up a copy of the Entertainment Book in your area. Though the price of the book varies depending on your city's location ($10 to $30), it
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  • Peek at a Luxurious Office on Wheels

    Perhaps it's just me but, when I'm not at work, I try to actually not work since I can surely squeeze in extra me-time. But let's say it was one of those work days that needed to continue on well after nightfall or with a horrendous commute - if this new concept car showed up in my driveway, what working luxuries would I find inside? Find out in the gallery!

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  • 5 little tips to help kick-start your work week

    A case of the Mondays is unavoidable. We can't hit rewind and relive the relaxation of our weekends - but we can eliminate some of the stress with a few tricks to put into practice over the weekend and first thing Monday morning. Just take a look at how you can make the most of your Monday back at the office and kick off your week on the right foot.

    • Practice Smart Weekend Habits - Regardless of the temptation to totally hibernate and avoid all responsibility during the weekend, running errands on Saturday while banks and dry cleaners are open can save you from panic Monday morning if you've forgotten to pick up clothes (and have nothing to wear to work). Smart habits on the weekend can save you from a stressful Monday morning - even exercise on Saturday or Sunday can help you to clear your head before the weekly grind begins again. Remember that a healthy work-life balance is vital to being happy and productive at work.
    • Cook Up Something in Advance - Use your Sunday to
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  • 6 must-have millionaire habits

    Acquiring wealth isn't a priority for everyone, but it's safe to say that most of us want to live comfortably. Whether you're striving to gain a financial peace of mind or shooting to be a cash money queen, these six basic habits of millionaires will help you land on your feet.

    • Learn From Your Mistakes - Don't dwell on the mistake, focus on the lesson. Many of the wealthiest Americans on this year's Forbes 400 list endured some tough obstacles in their careers, but they learned from those experiences to keep them on the right track later on.
    • Look For Value - People who have money to spend don't skip the process of comparing prices and seeking out deals just because they can technically afford to pay for the most expensive item. They look for value.
    • Find Your Niche - Think you'll hit the jackpot by doing something everyone else can do? Not likely. Most people who earn big bucks have found a niche that increases their demand and therefore, their paychecks. Not
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  • The best buys at warehouse clubs

    Almost every list of saving tips includes some mention of buying things in bulk. But if you're not the Gosselins or the Duggars, are warehouse clubs (like Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale) really that great of a deal? The answer is yes - if you know how to shop smart. Read on to see which products make sense to buy in bulk.

    • Beverages - From sodas to Vitamin Water, drinks are cheaper at warehouse clubs. Even if you aren't in the market for a two-liter bottle of tequila or an entire case of beer, you can always use a cheap flat of sparkling water, and some warehouse clubs have great deals on single bottles of wine.
    • Paper Products - Sheet for sheet, buying paper towels and toilet paper in bulk just makes cents (sorry). As long as you have somewhere to store all those rolls, you'll save big bucks over your local drugstore or even big-box store.
    • Meat - Some clubs, like Costco, offer higher quality cuts of meat than your local grocer, and for a much lower price
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  • A few reasons hiring managers haven't called back

    It's one thing when you don't receive a reply from an employer after sending your resume and cover letter, but things get more personal when you don't hear back after a job interview. Waiting for a response is stressful and it's easy to let your mind run wild when coming up with reasons the employer hasn't called. Was it your hair? Should you have answered a certain question differently? Put the kabosh on your what-if thought process; usually an employer hasn't called back due to one of these eight reasons.

    • You Didn't Follow Up - Don't expect an employer to make the first move after you've interviewed. Following up after a job interview isn't an optional gesture; it's mandatory if you want to stay in the running for the position. Initiating communication after your interview, even if it's just an email to say thank-you and you're enthusiastic about the opportunity, separates you from another candidate who wasn't thoughtful about her follow-up.
    • You Contact Info Was Wrong
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  • 11 golden personal finance rules to live by

    Working hard and being smart with your money aren't things you just should do because they seem virtuous; these behaviors ultimately allow you to get more enjoyment out of life. You'll have no regrets when you're able to accomplish what's important to you because of your savvy ways. These are 11 golden rules that I try to live by:

    • Live Within Your Means - In order to be truly independent, it's imperative to live within your means. Your freedom is limited by owing money to anyone, whether it's a credit card company or a family member, so set yourself up for an unrestricted life by saving for the things you want and spending with a plan.
    • Work Hard - Your job and the salary you command are your biggest assets in building wealth. Do your best at work and take the steps to make yourself indispensable to set yourself up for the highest level of success.
    • Research Before You Act - Whether you're comparing travel package and a la carte prices for a vacation or looking
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  • Where to score delicious birthday freebies

    Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? Not only can you score a free lunch on your birthday, you can score a free steak dinner if you play your cards right! Plenty of restaurants go beyond the standard complimentary dessert, and will spring for your entire meal. One thing to note: most of these deals require you to sign up with the restaurant's club or email newsletter in advance, so be sure to plan ahead!

    • Black Angus - Head in to Black Angus on your birthday and get a free steak dinner! Be sure to sign up for the Black Angus Prime Club in advance.
    • Don Pablo's - Habaneros Club members receive $10 toward an entree on your birthday. You can find Don Pablo's in Texas, Florida, and most East Coast states.
    • El Torito - If you're in California, Oregon, or Arizona, El Torito's got a free birthday entree with your name on it. Register for the Bull Ring email club for your coupon, plus get a free guacamole just for signing up!
    • Benihana - Like your
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