5 Things To Do When You Get a Raise at Work

It’s natural when you get a raise at work to begin to fantasize about all the things you want to buy. It could be that new iPhone you’ve been wanting or even a whole new wardrobe. However, money should be spent wisely on the things you need first. When all of your needs are met, then, and only then, can you splurge on some new toys for yourself.

There’s nothing wrong with going out for dinner to celebrate your raise though. But you do have to learn how to handle getting a beefier paycheck. Here are 5 tips on what to do when you get a raise at work.

1. Basic Necessities

We characterize basic necessities as food, clothing and shelter. There’s a little more to it than that though in our society. We have utility bills, mortgage payment, the cost of gas and all sorts of insurance policies. You should first make sure all of these basic needs are met. Are all your bills up to date? Are you sufficiently insured with your health, car, house and life insurance?

2. Financial Goals & Priorities

Most of us desire to quit our job some day and do a hobby for the rest of our lives. Whether it be opening up a restaurant, traveling the world or coin collecting. But none of these things are free. If you ever plan to stop working you’re going to need a sizable nest egg at retirement.

With your new raise, consider putting some more money away in your 401k retirement account. This holds especially true if you’re in your 40’s or later.

3. Fund Your Emergency Fund

Having reserve funds can offer peace of mind to some degree. It’s recommended to have 9 months of income stored away just in case. You never know when an unexpected expense will rear its ugly head, whether it be a medical expense or a costly home repair not covered by insurance.

4. Taking Care Of Your Debt

Almost every American has some debt, whether we’re talking about credit card debt, student loans, auto loan or a mortgage. If you have a debt with an interest rate of over 10% then you need to take care of this debt first, above anything else.

The added benefit of paying off your high interest credit card debt is that it will raise your credit score. It can increase your score so much that you can actually refinance your existing high interest auto loan or mortgage at a lower rate due to your better credit.

5. Philanthropy

Donating money to a great cause makes us feel all warm inside. Then there’s the added benefit of getting a tax break on our charitable donations.

It’s easy to become a mini-philanthropist. You just find a great cause you love and offer your financial support. If you don’t want to fork over your entire (or even any part) of your new raise, you can volunteer your time instead.

2014 Tax Day Deals and Freebies Round-up

Yes. Today is tax day.  I have one of my tax forms in the mailbox right now as a matter of fact.  It’s been 80° here the last couple days, and this morning it’s snowing out.  How appropriate for tax day!

With that said, today’s the perfect day to treat yourself to these freebies and deals–whether you’re getting a refund or had to pay up.

2014 Tax Day Deals and Freebies

Arby’sFREE small curly fries on April 15th. You will need to print the coupon which will be made available starting the day before.

Sonic – Happy hour all day long, 1/2 priced drinks and slushes for all on April 15th.

Boston Market – You can score 2 chicken meals for just $10.40, no coupon required!

Bruegger’s BagelsApril 12th through April 15th you can get a Big Bagel Bundle for just $10.40! That’s 13 bagels and 2 tubs of cream cheese.

Culver’s – They will be offering $2 Turtle Sundaes all day long on April 15th.

HydromassageFREE massages are available April 14th through April 18th. It is at the discretion of the business owner whether or not to participate in this promotion so you are strongly encouraged to call ahead to be sure that the location will honor this promotion and schedule a time for your free experience.

Office Depot – Through April 29th they are offering FREE shredding for up to 5lbs of documents…this could be a great opportunity to clean out those offices!

Schlotzsky’s – On April 1th you can score a FREE small Original sandwich with the purchase of a 32 oz. drink and a bag of chips. You can upgrade to a medium Original for just $1 more!

Hard Rock Cafe – This deal is for our adventurous readers! Sing your favorite song on stage and get a FREE entree from their new menu. This offer is only valid April 15th, and is available on a first-come first-served basis.

Melting Pot – Just say “cheese me, please” and you will receive 15% off your total bill on April 15th.

Mimi’s CafeBuy One, Get One FREE Breakfast or Lunch Entrees with the purchase of two beverages. This coupon is valid through April 19th.

Steak ‘n Shake – Purchase a $10 gift card and receive a FREE milk shake at you next visit. This deal goes through May 6th.

Papa Murphy’s – On April 15th you can order a Large Pepperoni Pizza for just $5!

Great American Cookie - They will be giving away a FREE cookie on April 15th, you can check for location here.

Regal CinemasSave $3 off the purchase of popcorn through April 30th, with their mobile coupon.

Big thanks to Rebekah at Bargain Blessings for putting this together.

Goalscape Review: Why You Will Love Goalscape

Life can get very busy when you get married, have kids, buy a house, and attend church.  Not only do your goals at work seem daunting, but your honey-do-list at home continues to grow, and grow, and grow.   I needed some type of to-do list that was easy, simple, and powerful.  After trying many project management and goal-setting programs, I finally found one that works for me.

Introducing Goalscape: My favorite Goal-Management program.

Goalscape Review

I have been in management position for many, many years.  I’ve overseen employees and projects in an office setting, a school setting, and a retail setting.  Every method I used to set goals and measure progress seemed to fail over time.  Sticky notes got lost.  Indexed cards ended up in the trash.  Every other paper-method seemed to get unorganized after just a couple weeks.

Then there were online services that would work for a day or two.  That’s right–some of the most popular online services that provide goal management and to-do list services usually failed to live up to the hype after a couple days.   Many of them are so expensive, they aren’t affordable for the average family.  The monthly service fees would send just about anyone running the opposite direction.

That’s when I found Goalscape.

Setup: An easy 10/10.  Installation is simple.  Setting up Goalscape is a breeze, and editing/moving goals is even easier.   Just watch the video to see for  yourself.

Organization: 10/10.  The pie-chart layout and visual representation of all the goals reminded me of I Corinthians 14:40, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”   When I open Goalscape, I can see all of my goals, sub-goals, and required tasks for each sub-goal all at once.

Ease of Use: 10/10.   Goalscape allows multiple options to add, edit, and manipulate your goals.  Not only are there sliders to edit goals, but the visual part allows drag & drop and other mouse gestures.  It also allows hotkeys–function keys that allow you to do what you need in just 1 click of a button.

Price: 8/10.   While Goalscape is not as inexpensive as a drive-thru value meal, it is definitely affordable.  It’s fairly-priced when comparing its features to other goal management services.

Let me know what you think about Goalscape in the comments.  If you have any further questions about it, I’d be glad to answer them. If you think Goalscape is right for you, pick up a copy or subscription here.  Get a free 14-day trial when you sign up!  Goalscape sales and offers will be updated regularly on this page.

*This post contains affiliate links, which allows me to continually provide you with the latest coupons, deals, reviews, and news from the couponing community.

Do You Bike To Save Money? (+ Sweepstakes!)

bike-save-money

Credit – flicker.com/malilatte

Can a Bike Save You Money?

Do you bike to work, school, or around town to save money on gas?  Last year I bought a bike to do just that.  But not only did I want to save money, I also picked up a bike for fitness, too.  With a little extra time, I can bike down to the local grocery store, enjoy the fresh air, save some money in gas, and put in 15-20 min of solid, calorie-burning exercise–all at the same time.  That’s what I would call efficiency.  Here, I’ll give you some reasons why I ride a bike, and a sweepstakes to win a brand-new bike.

So with that, here’s my top reasons why you should ride a bike.

6 Reasons Why I Ride a Bike

1. Save Money on Gas: Simply put, if you’re not driving your car, and you are using an alternative form of transportation, then you’re saving money, right?  If you are close enough to work/school/etc, and you biked there 3-5 days a week, that could add up to some significant savings.

2. Enjoy the Outdoors: It’s amazing the little things you don’t see when you’re driving 35 mph through the neighborhood.  I noticed the trees budding, the daffodils are starting to bloom, and lots of little creatures running and flying around as they prepare for spring.

3. It’s Fun: Don’t you remember how much fun you had riding a bike as a child?  I forgot how fun it was to coast down a long hill after biking to the top of it.

4. A Free Workout: So after you buy a bike and make back all of the money that you would have spent on gas, the bike will continue to provide you with free exercise.  You can’t say that about the stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical that’s in the basement, garage, or spare bedroom–even if you have used them and continue to use them.   It might have said you walked or cycled 5 miles, but that didn’t get you to work or school and back.

5. Skip Rush Hour: I hate being stuck in traffic, and you probably do too.  Last time I checked, the sidewalk doesn’t have traffic jams, even during the busiest times of the day.

6. Park at the Front Door:  Yes, it’s true.  You can “park” closer to the entrance than anyone else that drives.  At least that’s what I did the last time I biked to the grocery store.

And now the Sweepstakes opportunity!

My friends at Derailed are running a short sweepstakes, and it’s almost over.  I wanted to let you know about it before the sweepstakes ends.  Derailed offers dozens of skate, surf, hike and camp brands and makes them more available and affordable than ever.  For a couple more days, they have a sweepstakes open where you can win a bike, a digital Polaroid camera, a 3-month Bacon of the Month subscription, or one of 10 Derailed shirt/watch/sunglass packages. See the terms & conditions for full sweepstakes rules.  Sweepstakes ends on April 2, 2014.  Click the link to enter.

The Great Bike & Bacon Giveaway! Enter now to win!

If I don’t win the bike, I hope you do.  Happy cycling!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which allows me to continually provide you with the latest coupons, deals, and news from the couponing community.

Ultimate K-cup Brewing Guide – Free e-book!

Click here

If you have a Keurig, then this e-book is a must for you!  I have been tempted to get a Keurig myself, but I have gone a different route on coffee-making (cold-brewed coffee–more on that later).  But after reading this free e-book on Keurig K-cup coffee brewing, I might end up getting one just for the occasional cup of specialty k-cup flavors.

Cross Country Cafe has put this excellent guide together for you to get the most out of your Keurig, and I can’t recommend this enough.  They’re even offering an exclusive coupon when you download the free e-book.

Get your copy today, before the offer expires on April 30, 2014.

Download the free e-book “Click here” here.

Click here for more Cross Country Cafe coupons & deals.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which allows me to continually provide you with the latest coupons, deals, and news from the couponing community.

Printable Mall Coupons for St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

2014 coupons

Many stores have some St. Patrick’s Day sales in your area.  Check out these printable coupons for your shopping trips this weekend.  This may be the best time to pick up new outfits for Easter Sunday.

Thank you, YourRetailHelper.com, for putting this list together.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which allows me to continually provide you with the latest coupons, deals, and news from the couponing community.

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