2016 saw job turnover rates hit 17.8% - which is the highest it has been since the Great Recession. Machines are automating many jobs, companies are using the independent contractor route to avoid liability and higher compensation. Which means employees are less and less satisfied with what the workplace has to offer. Are you ready for an upgrade? Finally going out on your own, taking a raise at another place, taking time for yourself, or whatever other reasoning you can have for leaving a job - there's a classy way to do it. Sure we'd all love to mimc Dave Chappelle's classic "I quit" sketch, kicking over trash cans, flipping off supervisors and co-workers, and leaving a big fart in the room right before we leave - but burning bridges never helped anyone, and you never know when you may need a reference, or just to not have being an asshole as a stain on your reputation.
Make Sure You're Sure + Have An Exit Strategy
Having one bad day, then telling everybody off and going out in a blaze of glory looks great on TV, but in real life, this probably isn't the best way to go about things. First things first is the make sure that you are absolutely ready to leave an organization that you have invested your time, energy and hours on and vice versa. If you're sure staying isn't a viable option, then it's time to plan your escape. Save up money, find other job options, know what you're going to be doing with your time. This will make your transition period way smoother. Having a plan will also make enduring those last few days that much more pleasant as you'll already know the bright future that lie ahead of you.
Give Notice, Do It Face to Face
Best practice is to deliver a letter of resignation two weeks in advance and deliver it hand to hand. This can be both a terrifying and exhilarating experience. If circumstances do not permit for a face to face, email is your next best option. This is a delicate phase, but as long as you express gratitude for your tenure with the company, and that you are simply moving on, usually everyone remains amicable and very positive. You're not obligated to say much here, and you shouldn't. Avoid gloating about your new endeavor and going on negative rants about the current company. You're moving on, so let's leave on a high note.
How to Handle the Flip Out, The Counteroffer, and the Request to Stay for Longer
At this point, you've mentally moved on, you've laid foundation for your new beginnings and you've given your notice. No matter how professional you are, you never know how your soon to be ex boss will handle this. Sometimes people take it very personally when an employee wants to leave. They may yell or attempt to belittle, stand your ground, remember why you're moving on. Sometimes however you may be hit with a counteroffer - more money, more perks, better treatment. You have to decide for yourself if any of these incentives are reason for you to stay somewhere you've just made up your mind to leave. Sometimes an employer may request that you stay longer to help with your transition. Remember that while you have no obligation to stay any longer than you've given notice for, it can be good practice to see any projects you're working on all the way through. This is a good indicator to your new employer that you are team player who is aware of the bigger picture.
Get a Reference While You're Still Hot
After a great conversation and presenting your well written letter, now is the ideal time to ask for a letter of recommendation and/or a reference. Don't give too much time for this to linger, but capitalize while the feelings are high and in good favor. This will go a long ways down the line and it's a really easy request at the end of your resignation meeting.
Claim What's Yours, Leave What's Theirs
Clear your desk, your computer, your hard drives, etc. Everything that is yours that you have built that you are not under contract to leave with your company, you take. Contacts, resources, info, all of it, you worked to earn it, so don't rush out the door empty handed. Conversely if you agreed that certain things remain property of the company than leave those things - no need for lawsuits and pursuits against you down the line. Also make sure you check for any paid sick days, vacation time, bonuses owed, 401K and retirement savings. Often times there's some extra money and perks waiting for you upon your exit, but if you don't ask, don't expect your former employer to go out of their way at all to get any of it to you.
As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.