For nearly all of us, having a job is a must. Aside from the money earned, we perform a duty of some sort that help keeps the world go 'round. Some folks love what they do, others can't wait for the clock to strike 5 (or whenever the workday comes to a close.) And while we all can't have our "dream job," whatever that may be, finding happiness in the work we do makes life so much sweeter.
If you are just starting to plan your career or are looking for a change to improve your overall life satisfaction, consider the following careers which have been determined to have a high happiness rate. Work can be wonderful when you've got a smile on your face!
Teachers have one of the most important roles in our lives. Their salaries may not reflect the hard work they do, but those who go into the profession do it for the love of children and the desire to make their futures brighter.
As told to Business Insider, teacher Cheryl Gferer described why teaching makes her happy. "My students teach me how to face challenges, how to behave with integrity, how be more than people expect of me, how to stand up after being knocked down. it is the most gratifying job I can imagine. I'm lucky to be a teacher."
Monster ranks teaching as one of their top 10 industries for job satisfaction. "Educators enjoy teaching the next generation valuable skills and knowledge that will help them achieve success," they explain.
Their lives are on the line but that doesn't mean firefighters don't find satisfaction in the risky role they've taken on. As per Business Insider, "They have a supremely important job that's also highly rewarding. They protect people and their most sacred possessions. Second, the work environment is a good one. They develop strong bonds by spending so much time together."
America's Job Exchange adds, "Studies have shown that people's job satisfaction rises with how well their jobs are respected by society. Therefore, it makes sense that firefighters would experience such high levels of happiness with their positions." And who doesn't have appreciation for the men and women willing to risk their lives for ours?
Physical Therapist atlanticptcenter.com
Forbes notes how "social interaction and helping people" make the job of a physical therapist one of the happiest. As per the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), "Being a physical therapist is very rewarding. You will work with patients one-on-one, see them progress through treatment, and know that you are really making a difference in their lives."
Not to mention job security and a nice salary. APTA adds, "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for physical therapists is expected to spike upward by an astonishing 34% between 2014 and 2024—a much quicker rate than average." Business Insider remarks on pay, "Salaries also tend to go up with each year spent in the field, rewarding a commitment to that career."
While many of us dread going to our accountant or tax consultant, the job lends itself to happiness. "This career made Forbes' 'Happiest Jobs in America List' and has even been named one of the greatest jobs by U.S. News & World Report," according to Nexxt.
As Monster explains, "A good work-life balance helps this industry nab the top spot—perhaps owed to the seasonality of the work. Reviewers in the field also heralded the fact that they're trusted to work autonomously. (They have) the ability to be relaxed and having never been chased for hours or orders by management."
Nexxt further describes why accountants are among the most satisfied workers, "Aside from good pay and job stability, accountants can be the happiest people on Earth due in large part to the job satisfaction that comes from helping people navigate rough financial territory."
If these jobs aren't your calling, consider these perks and plusses of what makes people happy at work, according to JobDig.
- A short commute
- Being in control of your own work
- They are listened to
- They are cared about
- They are given freedom
- Having mission-driven work
- Being challenged and able to grow
If you are lucky enough to find one or more of these examples in your workplace or can make it happen, happiness on the job can be realized.
Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.
Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!
Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.
Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh
Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.
The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.
Make the Inside Warm and Cozy
In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.
When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.
Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.
Make Your Home Less Personal
Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.
It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.
Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.
Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.
Entering your 20s means you'll quickly need to learn how to navigate the world of personal finances, much of which you probably didn't learn in college or high school courses.
Without any previous lessons on finances, it can be challenging to know where to start. Follow this guide as we outline the financial decisions you'll need to make in your 20s.
Setting a Budget
The first step to being a fiscally responsible young adult is setting a budget. Your budget will determine many future financial decisions, from where you can live to what splurges you can make. Look at the expenses you currently owe every month and your projected income to determine how much you should be spending on bills, daily expenses, etc.
Getting rid of your debt as early as possible is a critical step for newly independent 20-year-olds. However, some may not be able to get rid of debt as soon as they hope. Once again, look at your budget, then decide if you'd like to put more toward tackling debt now or pay your loans as they come.
While you may be able to hold onto your parents' insurance until 26, you'll have to choose your own plans sooner or later. From health insurance to renter's and car insurance, you shouldn't skip an opportunity to cover yourself in the case of an accident. Find a provider and plan you're comfortable with, and get your coverage as soon as possible.
Saving for a Rainy Day
Navigating how to save is another critical financial decision you'll have to make in your 20s. Living paycheck to paycheck is not a sustainable course of action. Even putting a small portion of your wages into a savings account can make a big difference—especially if an emergency you didn't prepare for occurs.
Starting To Invest
Investing is a scary topic for young adults, but it's a great way to build wealth. Starting to invest as a young adult will set you up for success on your long-term financial plan. However, be sure to conduct research before jumping into the market to decide when, where, and how much you'd like to invest.
Your 20s are an optimal time to learn and grow. One area of life you'll undoubtedly learn a lot about is managing finances. Use this guide to help you get started on the path to becoming a fiscally responsible adult.
Tax deductions can be tricky to understand if you're new to the finance world.
One of the biggest sources of confusion is knowing what you can and can't deduct from your taxes. Deductions can be a massive financial boon for a lot of people, yet not everyone files for them correctly. This causes people to miss out on money that should be theirs. We'll go over some of the most common tax deductions that are overlooked, so you don't get shortchanged when Tax Day comes.
When you start regularly giving to charity, even if the donations are small, you'll want to start getting itemized receipts for your donations. These receipts will help you write off these charitable contributions on your taxes. You can even write off supplies that you bought for use in a charitable cause or any miles you drove on your car while in service to a charity. Make those donations to the Purple Heart Pickup with an open heart, but make sure you get your deduction on top of that.
Student Loan Interest Payments
Student loans take up a significant amount of a lot of people's money. If you're one of these people, make sure that you get a deduction on the amount of interest you paid off in the last year. What's important to remember is that even if you aren't someone's dependent, you can write off the money someone else gave you to pay for said student loans. If someone else helped you pay off part of your loan, don't think that means you can't still get a deduction on that sum.
Child and Dependent Care Credit
If you have a reimbursement account through your job that pays for child or dependent care, you might be forgiven for forgetting about this particular tax credit. However, you can use these funds for a tax credit if you file for them correctly. This is hugely important because this is an opportunity to receive a full tax credit, not just a deduction. You're losing money you could be directly receiving if you don't file for this credit.
Jury Pay Given to Your Employer
A lesser-known tax deduction that often gets overlooked is the money you can deduct from jury pay you gave to your employer. It may not be the most exciting thing to come out of jury duty, especially after handing over any money you receive to your employer, but you do get to deduct however much money your employer made you hand over after you finished jury duty.
Credit for Saving
While this credit is more for people that are working part-time or for those that have a retired spouse, you can get a tax credit for contributing to a 401(k) or another retirement savings plan. This is also a great incentive for those that are just starting out in their careers and need another reason to start saving for the future.