Confession Time: I steal sugar packets

I have a confession…

I “steal” sugar packets from restaurants. All the time.

I look at is as a way to be frugal and save money by not having to buy my own sugar. Others see it as stealing and think that the restaurant provides condiments for their patrons to use while dining and not as a take home souvenir.

Does anyone else share my compulsion? Or, do you think this is stealing?

Things Daddy Warbucks Doesn’t Want You to Know

moneydiaries

Ever wonder why the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor(er)? I did. As a kid who grew up in a middle class family I was always envious of the kids who seemed to have it all.

Now, as a full-time adult – both professionally and personally, I can tell you that the concept of being “rich” is broad and most of the time there are no set rules to boosting your bank account.

So, I decided to research the topic a bit more and find out just how the 1% do it. Here are a few basic tips that have helped me along the way:

  • Think differently. OK, I know what you’re thinking…rich people are all just a bunch of pompous bozos who thumb their noses at the rest of society…right? Wrong – or, at least that’s not the complete picture. People with money have it because they think differently than you or I do. They’re willing to take bigger risks because they KNOW that will give them greater results. They are passionate, ambitious and incredibly action-oriented. And it’s not because they were born with some divine right (although some are born into wealthy families.) They’re just people, like you and me. Learn how to think rich here.
  • Look for bargains and negotiate. That’s right, the people with money are pros at pinching pennies. They all know how to find bargains and then negotiate the terms of the sale. After all, saving money and earning it is their JOB.
  • Know your account balances, credit score and what you’re worth. This one probable sounds like a no-brainer… or, maybe not. Throughout college I waitressed on the weekends to help cover expenses, and I based my account balance off of how much cash was on hand. I was afraid (yes, afraid) to look into my credit score and I couldn’t tell you how to balance a checkbook. Getting older and having some serious student loans to repay has changed all of that. And, in the process, I know what it’s like to “invest” in my future through savings and budgeting. Oh – and I now keep an eye on my credit score. 😉

Want more tips? Here’s an article I enjoyed with 23 tips on how to become a cash king!

Beware of “Fad Diets”

Recently my boyfriend and I have transitioned into a gluten free lifestyle. Recently, the production of gluten free products has skyrocketed; or, at least the promotion of them has increased.

To me, going gluten free is the latest “fad diet.” (Much like Atkins and the South Beach Diet.)

I know quite a few people who have jumped on various diet bandwagons, only to succumb to temptation a few months later. Initially they feel great – rejuvenated, born again, so to speak. And then reality kicks in – extreme fad diets are hard to follow and frequently unsuccessful.

A mere 77% of people who pledged to lose weight as a New Year’s resolution maintained their pledges for 1 week but only 19% for 2 years.

That’s a lot of determination gone down the drain and even worse is the failed diet rebound. Nearly 65% of dieters return to their pre-dieting weight within three years.

The_Diet_Cycle_20101

Photo source: poconohealthsystem.org. Check out their PowerPoint for good and bad advantages of the different types of diets!

Do you have any tips for sticking to a diet and staying on track with an exercise regimen? I’d love any advice!

Now, to get back to this delicious sandwich…don’t judge…it’s Day 2 of the Gluten Free Diet. Let’s just say I’m taking it slow.

Your College Degree Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

I was one of the lucky ones when I graduated college. I had “real-world” experience in the form of 5 summer internships and a 4-year part-time job as an editor on the student newspaper.

You’re probably thinking “Wow. What an overachiever.” But really, I wasn’t. I was just another college kid looking for any (ANY!) way to get ahead of everyone else. At the encouragement of colleagues and professors, I put more effort into getting articles published, gaining experience, than I did in acing my exams. I wanted to be a writer and would do whatever it took to make that dream come true, even if it meant failing and then re-taking a class or two…or three.

In a study released earlier this year, AfterCollege reported that “14 percent of this year’s college seniors have steady, career-type jobs lined up for their lives after graduation. Thus, 86 percent of America’s college grads — about five out of every six — have zilch in the way of career prospects for their post-campus lives.”

That figure is down 6% from 2013.

After finally graduating with a C- average and more than a lifetime’s worth of stress-induced anxiety, I can tell you that in the end my grades and coursework didn’t matter. What people wanted to see was what I had done with my time in college, beyond coursework.

My degree was essentially a way to check the box beside “Must have 4-year degree or equivalent experience.” And let’s not kid ourselves, no matter how insignificant your degree might seem, if you don’t have those 4-years under your belt, you’re not going to get a call back interview.

It took me 3 months to find a job after college. Now, in my day-to-day workflow, I’d say the only “training” I use from my studies are the typing lessons I took in middle school. (Thanks, Mrs. Benson! You rock!)

What the University and High School guidance counselors had marketed as ‘THE GATEWAY’ to financial and personal security, was now nothing more than a piece of paper (that is, if you could afford a copy of your diploma) and a basic way of saying “I can comprehend [insert subject here.]”

My advice – apply for as many internships as possible, attend all most of your classes and earn your degree. In the end, you’ll be better off and your family will be happier.

Are You a Movie Buff?

Ask my boyfriend and he’ll tell you there aren’t many movies I haven’t seen. This can make date night especially difficult when he doesn’t want to watch something I’ve already seen AND new movies aren’t available on HBO® yet.

But, I can’t help it! I’m a ‘90s kid – I grew up binge-watching Disney movies, eating way too many Lunchables® and obsessing over my giga pet™. #RIPkitty

Ok, so as it turns out I’m NOT technically speaking an actual movie buff. But so what if I can’t name every director, producer, songwriter for every movie I’ve ever seen ever. I like collecting my ticket stubs and looking back on all the movies I went to. I like movies because of the stories they tell – for the characters’ triumphs and tragedies. I like the emotional combinations of music and climactic scenes! (Can I get an “Amen!!”)

I don’t need to be a walking/talking movie trivia card – I’m just fine being another obsessive movie consumer whose main concerns are if they’ll open early on Thursday night, or do I have to wait until Friday, and if there will be extra scenes after the credits. The struggle is real, people.

Happy movie watching!

(Are you a movie buff? Or, do you just really, really like the smell of hot and buttery popcorn??)

Leave your favorite movies in the comments below!