Things Jobseekers Will Want to Know About HR

Things Jobseekers Will Want to Know About HR

If you are looking for new job opportunities, then you will want to learn everything you can about potential employers. But as you are reading up on the company’s history, you should also familiarize yourself with the current structure, including the Human Resources department. Here are 10 things that jobseekers will want to know about HR before their next interview.

What’s the Role of HR?

The Human Resources department has several different roles. However, most people don’t realize its full reach and participation within the company.

Your initial exposure to HR happens during the interview and hiring process, but they also handle other aspects of employee relations. The department is responsible for managing benefits, compensation, and career development. But, HR also monitors its employees’ behavior, assists with conflict mediation, assesses risks, and oversees legal issues involving the company.

Since it is responsible for sensitive, personal information, everyone in the HR department must use discretion and operate under a certain level of secrecy. HR can’t disclose information without having the proper authorizations. Otherwise, they may have to deal with some severe legal consequences.

What Should Jobseekers Know About HR?

For those who are currently in the job market, Human Resources will present the first opportunity to get your foot in the door. So, you should start by doing your research about the company. Understanding their HR policies is a great place to start. Here are 10 more things jobseekers will want to know about HR.

1. Human Resources is the best source of information for benefits and employee development.

Since they handle your benefits and provide opportunities for career development, HR is one of the best sources of information. It is a valuable resource for new employees who are learning their way around the company.

Additionally, they can tell you everything you need to know about the extent and eligibility requirements of your benefits. So if you have questions, HR is the place to find answers.

2. Not all information is confidential.

Many people assume that HR’s personnel files are strictly confidential. But, this isn’t true in every case. Under certain circumstances, such as when a crime has been committed or there is a harassment complaint, they must break anonymity.

The company is obligated to investigate claims and report them to the appropriate authorities. Although there are legal limits to what HR can share, employee information may be given on a need-to-know basis.

3. Human Resources may require your health information.

One thing all jobseekers should know about HR is what information you are required to share with them. In most states, you do not have to discuss your health information if you are calling in to use a sick day or PTO. As long as it doesn’t inhibit your ability to perform the essential functions of your job, you are not required to share any details of your medical history.

However, there are times when this information will be necessary to accommodate employees. For example, HR will need documentation if you are seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) so they can provide you with what you need. Or, if employees request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), they must have medical certification of their condition.

4. Confidence is great; a huge ego isn’t.

Having confidence in your skills will get you far in life and the interview process. When you speak with confidence, people tend to trust you more and want to be in business with you. However, an overinflated ego could kill your job prospects. If you really want the job, don’t assume you know everything and show a willingness to learn.

5. Your social media and online presence can impact your employment.

Nowadays, people document nearly every moment of their lives online. While social media connects us, it also blurs the lines between your personal and professional life.  Therefore, you have to be careful what thoughts, opinions, and pictures you share online.

A good rule to live by is if it’s on the internet, then assume that someone at work will see it. Even when things are set to private, there are no guarantees that your posts won’t be seen by the wrong person. And, you don’t want to sabotage a good opportunity by being careless, especially when you are searching for jobs. So, be mindful of your online presence.

6. Things you disclose to other employees can quickly get back to HR.

Becoming friends with your coworkers can greatly increase your overall job satisfaction. But, it can also create more gray areas in what you consider appropriate in the workplace.

So, practice the same caution with people as you do with social media. You must be careful who you trust and what you tell people. Once again, you never know who could overhear or what they will report back to HR. I’m not saying that you should discourage personal relationships with coworkers; just establish boundaries to protect yourself.

7. It’s wise to always conduct yourself in a thoughtful and professional manner.

In response to the previous point, the best policy is to always conduct yourself with respect and a high level of professionalism. This applies both in and outside the workplace. Even when you are off the clock, don’t assume that what you say and do is above reproach. Be mindful of your words and don’t put yourself in situations where your judgment could be compromised.

8. Human Resources can enact disciplinary plans.

There are several reasons for employee disciplinary plans. And, HR may get involved if there are behavioral issues or a need to improve your performance.

If the department is part of the discussion, they will monitor your activities and progress, share their insights with your supervisors, and contribute during the planning process. Don’t forget that you can discuss any questions or details at any point in the conversation as well.

9. They can discuss any details of your termination with potential employers.

On job applications, you will usually see a question about contacting previous employers. This could be smart if you left on good terms and they will speak highly of you. But if you were terminated, you should probably reconsider this.

Another thing jobseekers should know about HR is if they call, former employers can disclose information about their job performance and reason(s) for leaving. Should you have anything that could hurt your chances of employment, it’s probably best to leave it in the past.

10. They can give misleading information and incomplete responses.

As mentioned above, there are certain legal limitations to the information that Human Resources can share. Although “lying” may be a bit strong, HR often misleads people or omits information. They usually do this to protect the company from liability by keeping information secret until they make formal announcements about promotions, layoffs, mergers, new policies, interpersonal issues, etc.

It is important to remember this last point well. Because in almost every instance, the Human Resources department usually believes that it is better to err on the side of caution rather than tell too much and put the company at risk. While they can be a great resource, you should always act in a professional manner when dealing with HR.

What do you think people should know about HR? Share your thoughts below!

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Are These 7 Bad Behaviors Affecting Your Work Productivity?

Are These Bad Behaviors Affecting Your Work Productivity?

I enjoy all the conveniences of working from home: a flexible schedule, no commute, and the ability to allocate my time based on my needs. However, it can be difficult to keep my personal and professional lives separate. Although I was traveling less, it seemed like I was losing time and working later every night. After evaluating my habits, I decided to make some changes and become more efficient with my time. As I learned, I had many bad behaviors that were affecting my work productivity.

7 Bad Behaviors Affecting Your Work Productivity

Many factors can make you less productive at work. Here are my 7 deadly sins for work productivity.

1. Using Electronics Mobile Devices at Work

My devices are an integral part of my job. However, they are also some of my worst distractions for several reasons.

Surfing the Web

Although I only intend to take a short break, it can quickly turn into hours if I start surfing the web. While it can give my mind a break from the daily grind, it is easy for me to lose track of time browsing new articles, online stores, and clickbait. What was supposed to be a 5-10 minute break soon becomes 30-45 minutes of wasted time.

Scrolling Social Media

I tend to have the same issues on social media that I do when I surf the web. Therefore, it’s best to keep my phone outside my work area. It’s easier to focus on the work I have to do without the temptation of scrolling through updates.

Watching TV

Unfortunately, I can’t work in silence. So, I like having noise when I’m working from home alone. The TV provides great background noise, but if there is something that catches my interest, I quickly lose concentration. Instead, I listen to instrumental music to match my mood.

Although I always complained about them before, I now follow the same restrictions for the use of personal devices that corporations put on their employees. And if I do check my devices during breaks, I set timers so I don’t go down a digital rabbit hole.

2. Having Personal Conversations on the Clock

When I am working, I do my best to minimize personal calls. I have vastly improved this bad behavior, but I’ve also noticed similar things in my professional relationships that steal time.

I enjoy getting to know the people I work with, but there is a lot of wasted time with personal conversations on the clock. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend a few minutes catching up at the beginning of a call. But, we don’t let it dominate the conversation.

To help curb this habit, I have found ways to designate time for personal conversations outside business hours. I also make sure to turn off alerts, put the phone on silent, and set an auto-response when I’m working on an assignment. And although life will still throw surprises at you, my friends and family only contact me during the day for urgent matters.

3. Multitasking

I have always been a skilled multitasker with mundane things like household chores and exercise. But unfortunately, I was never as successful when doing it with work tasks.

If I try to do too many things at once, it can quickly become overwhelming. And, the quality of my work will suffer from it. Therefore, I prioritize tasks and give my full attention to work projects to ensure I’m producing better-quality content, free from distraction.

4. Doing Household Chores During Business Hours

When you work from home, it is very tempting to tackle the household chores between tasks or during breaks. Even today, I threw in a few loads of laundry and cleaned the kitchen between calls. While it took me less than an hour, the problem is the domino effect it creates. Once I complete one chore, I realize how many others I still have to do.

If I try to do more, I tend to switch modes from professional tasks to household activities. Then, it takes longer to remember where I left off. So, I designate time before work and during breaks to get small things done. I’ve also discovered that dispersing them throughout the week provides a better balance of responsibilities.

5. Not Taking Breaks

When I’m absorbed in a project, I easily lose track of time. Without realizing it, several hours may pass before I look at the clock.

Many people think this “workaholic” mentality is good for productivity. However, studies indicate that this is one of the bad behaviors affecting your work productivity. Sometimes, it even causes me to miss meals. So, I find it best to take breaks every 60-90 minutes to avoid fatigue and help me stay sharp throughout the day.

6. Procrastinating

After years of practice, I have become a master procrastinator. In the past, I’ve tried to justify it by saying that I work well under pressure. But in reality, I’m just adding more stress to my life.

Deadlines don’t change, but my approach has. Rather than trying to get everything done at once, I tackle large projects in stages to avoid racing to finish on time. Better planning has helped me to more efficiently manage my time and workload.

7. Not Keeping an Organized Workspace

Life gets messy, and unfortunately, so do I. When I get home, I often drop things as soon as I walk through the door. As you might expect, I do the same with my workspaces.

It can be time-consuming to clean up after myself. But, I’ve also learned that it costs me even more time when I’m not organized. It’s easy to lose important information, and then you have to spend more time looking for it.

In an attempt to break the bad habits affecting my work productivity, I spend Friday afternoons cleaning up my space. Sometimes this means going through old notes and to-do lists. And others, it is cleaning up my inbox and organizing my files. The weekly review also ensures I don’t miss anything important throughout the week.

Final Thoughts

Self-reflection can be difficult, especially when dealing with negative behaviors. However, it also offers new opportunities for growth. By identifying the bad behaviors affecting my work productivity, I have found ways to become better at my job and more efficient with my time.

What bad behaviors are wasting your time or holding you back? Share with us in the comment below.

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The Suprising Yet Important Future of Guage Charts

For everyone interested in improving their knowledge of data, this article is for you!

Gauge charts are an essential part of displaying data. In technology, they are used to show the progress of specific tasks or to indicate the status of a project. There are different gauge charts, but the most common is the speedometer gauge. This type of gauge indicates how close or far away a goal is from being reached. It can also be used to show the progress of a project. Gauges are essential for data visualization, but their future is unclear. Will they continue to be popular, or will new technologies make them obsolete? Keep reading to find out more about the future of gauge charts.

Gauge vs. Bullet Chart

A gauge chart, also known as a speedometer chart, is a graphical representation of data where the data is represented as a series of marks on a dial. The gauge chart is a variation of the pie chart, where a radial gauge replaces the arc of the pie chart. Gauges are a type of data visualization that compares a single measure against one or more other measures. They offer an alternative to traditional bar and pie charts and can be used to display data on dashboards and reports.

The scale is typically linear, but it can also be logarithmic. The gauge chart is similar to a bullet chart, but it has a more limited range. The data is plotted on a scale, and the gauge indicator represents the current value.

A bullet chart is a graphical representation of data used to compare a single value to a range of values. The data is plotted on a scale, and the bullet is used to indicate the current value. A bullet chart is a variation of the bar chart, which compares values and tracks progress. A bullet chart has a single, primary measure (e.g., current year revenue) and compares that measure to one or more other measures (e.g., previous year revenue, budget).

A gauge is suitable for comparing a single value to a target value or range of values, while a bullet chart is suitable for comparing a series of values. Gauges are easy to read since the arcs are arranged circularly around a central point. They also highlight differences between values, whereas the bullet chart is better at highlighting changes over time.

Will gauges be used in the future?

Gauges are one of the most commonly used charts in data visualization. They are used to track the progress of a specific metric over time. They were initially used to track the progress of a particular task or goal and were created and used by Microsoft Excel to track the progress of a project. Today, gauges are used in various applications like sales and fitness. They are also used to track the progress of a web page load time or the progress of a download.

Funky photo evocative of the future.

There are several benefits to using gauge charts, which include the following:

  • They can help improve communication and understanding of data – which is important for your personal finances.
  • They can help simplify complex data, making it easier to understand and act on.
  • They can help identify potential problems and opportunities early on, allowing you to better understand and manage your money.
  • They can help track progress and measure results, providing a valuable feedback loop.
  • They can be used to compare different data sets, assisting businesses in making informed decisions.

There is no definitive answer to this question as the use and future of gauges will likely depend on the user’s specific needs. However, gauges can help visualize the future state of a system or help plan for future changes. Additionally, these charts can help track and evaluate the results of a change. Overall, gauge charts are an effective way to present data in a visual and easy-to-understand format. This can help you make better decisions, improve communication, and grow your money more quickly. 

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How to Get Help with Spending Addiction

How to Get Help with Spending Addiction

We live in a society that encourages spending and thrives on consumerism. Every year, advertisers spend millions of dollars trying to convince us that buying things will make us happy or that we need to have the newest products. Unfortunately, the strategy has been very effective. So much so that people with addictive tendencies can cross the line into addiction. And, with the rise of online shopping, it has become even easier to fall into poor spending habits. If you think you have a problem, here’s how you can get help with a spending addiction.

What Is Spending Addiction?

Spending addiction is a broad term that encompasses patterns of both overspending and shopping addiction. However, according to Promises Behavioral Health treatment centers, a spending addiction is a compulsive and mood-altering behavior that involves making unnecessary, emotionally driven, and negatively impactful purchases.

Although it isn’t an officially recognized psychiatric condition, it shares many of the same symptoms and behaviors like other types of addiction. Spending addicts feel the need to shop compulsively as a means to relieve anxiety or make themselves feel better. Many people with a spending addiction also suffer from other mental health conditions.

What Are the Financial Impacts of a Spending Addiction?

In addition to the mental and emotional toll a spending addiction takes, it also has negative financial repercussions. When poor spending habits are left unchecked, it could lead to financial ruin.

The compulsion to spend has led many people to max out their credit cards which ruins their credit and bury them deep in debt. Others resort to taking out loans, lines of credit, or asking loved ones for money to support their habit. 98Those who are desperate enough may resort to illegal ways of supporting their addiction. Some of the long-term consequences of a spending addiction include bad credit, bankruptcy, unemployment, homelessness, criminal activity, and incarceration.

What Are the Signs of a Spending Addiction?

If you are asking yourself whether you have a spending addiction, it is probably a good sign that you need to re-prioritize your finances. However, it isn’t necessarily a sign of addiction.

The signs of a spending addiction are similar to those dealing with substance disorders or pathological gambling. Although not indicative of a full-blown problem, these are a few of the most common symptoms:

    • mental preoccupation with spending
    • gradually increasing the frequency of the behavior
    • continuing the behavior despite a desire to refrain from it
    • feeling distress or discomfort when you refrain from spending
    • binging in the compulsive spending behavior
    • experiencing a mood alteration or “high” from spending
    • failing to fulfill your responsibilities or obligations
    • continuing the behavior despite the negative impacts

How Do You Know When to Get Help with a Spending Addiction?

According to surveys and statistics from psychological evaluations, approximately 5-6% of all people are dealing with a spending addiction. It occurs across all demographics and affects people of all classes, backgrounds, and genders.

There are a wide variety of root causes. But, it usually stems from issues related to mental health, stress, grief, or loss. Those with a spending addiction may find themselves in a vicious cycle that can’t break. This can create a sense that they have lost control which perpetuates the cycle.

Those who feel they may suffer from a spending addiction can use the Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale as a starting point. It is a clinically recognized tool to assess the severity of your problem.

It’s important to remember that not everyone who frequently shops has an addiction. It’s also important to note that while spending addictions are common among people who suffer from severe depression, anxiety, and other mental/mood disorders, the two are not mutually inclusive.

However, if you think that you have a spending addiction, here is a general checklist of questions that made indicate it is time to seek professional help.

    • Is there a compulsion to buy things?
    • Do you hide your spending or lead a “double life”?
    • Are you spending money to numb your pain or avoid negative feelings?
    • Do you rationalize or justify the behavior?
    • Does it give you a sense of excitement?
    • Do you avoid people who confront you about the behavior?
    • Has it had familial, social, occupational, financial, legal, mental, or emotional consequences?
    • Have you become more isolated because of it?
    • Do you experience feelings of denial, guilt, shame, helplessness, hopelessness, or feeling that your life is unmanageable due to your spending?
    • Are you continuing the behavior despite escalating consequences?

Where Can You Get Help?

If you are ready to seek professional help, there are many places you can get help with your spending addiction.

The most effective treatment for addiction is behavioral therapy. This can be either individual or group counseling to establish healthier coping mechanisms for depression, anxiety, or impulse control. It can also incorporate family counseling for those supporting someone seeking treatment.

There are also several self-help and support groups in your community for people who are suffering from addiction. Compulsive Spenders Anonymous, Shopaholics Anonymous, and Debtors Anonymous have been especially helpful for those with a spending addiction. They rely on the same 12-step structure as Alcoholics Anonymous. Membership is usually free and run by fellow members who emphasize group support and sponsorship to cope.

Medication can also be an effective way to help those with underlying mental health issues. Mood-stabilizers and anti-depressants can reduce depression, anxiety, and the compulsion to spend.

While each can be effective on its own, treatment for addiction utilizes several treatment techniques, often used in combination to address the behavior. However, only a licensed professional can help you determine the best treatment for you.

Medical Disclaimer: The information in this article was gathered from medical journals, treatment centers that help those with addiction, and other published materials that have been reviewed by licensed professionals. It is not intended and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. If you are struggling with addiction, talk to your primary physician or other healthcare professionals to get the assistance you need.

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How To Lose Pounds While Gaining Cash

How To Lose Pounds While Gaining Cash

As someone who has struggled with my weight over the years, I know how hard it can be to stick to a strict health regimen. Finding the drive to exercise and the self-control to deny yourself guilty pleasures can be exhausting. However, the key is finding the right motivation. Some people are using monetary incentives to fuel their weight loss. Here are 3 ways to lose pounds while gaining cash.

3 Ways to Lose Pounds While Gaining Cash

1. Weight Loss Apps

With everything going digital, there are a ton of apps to help you on your weight loss journey. You can find mobile apps to help you track your diet, create an exercise routine, record your progress, and motivate you to reach your fitness goals. However, here are the three unique apps that use cash to motivate you.  Although the platforms slightly vary, the concept is the same: these apps put a price tag on your desire to get fit.


HealthyWage is one of the most profitable and widely used apps to lose pounds while gaining cash. You can place bets on yourself to improve your overall health and help you reach your fitness goals.

When you sign up, you set your goal and the amount you want to wager. First, you’ll need to open an account. Then, you use the prize calculator to set the time limit for you to lose weight. From there, it will determine how much you can win.

HealthyWage will reward you with cash for your efforts. But like any bet, you should be ready to eat the loss if you fail. If you don’t meet your goal, it is possible to buy more time to extend the bet. However, once you place the bet, there is no going back.

Members can also do a team challenge to help motivate each other. There is a $25 submission fee, but you could win up to $10k. If you do this challenge, you must verify your weight loss with a video call or in-person weigh-ins at a local Weight Watchers. These challenges offer good payouts for winners with an average purse of $1,400. And, there’s no points or prize system to convert cash.


DietBet is another excellent app to help you lose pounds while gaining cash. It won’t pay as much as HealthyWage. But, you can still rake in significant winnings. You can get started by becoming a member, then setting your fitness goals and choosing the program you want. There are three different challenges you can try:

  • Kickstarter – lose 4% body fat in 28 days
  • Transformer – lose 10% body fat in 6 months
  • Maintainer – maintain weight loss for 12 months

Like many other fitness apps, you have the option to do it on your own or join a team. Just be aware there is a fee to join which is based on the size of the team. Furthermore, the larger your team, the less you can win. And, there are also fees when you place a bet.

  • 25% for bets under $100
  • 20% for bets between $100-$249
  • 15% for bets between $250-$500
  • 10% for bets over $500

However, DietBet makes it easier to win your bets and reap the rewards since it focuses more on long-term goals. People lose weight more healthily by setting more realistic goals. While you won’t know exactly how much you can earn, you won’t need to convert or redeem points to claim your cash winnings.


Unlike the other apps that use winning money as the incentive, Stickk uses negative reinforcement (losing money) as a means to help you reach your goals. And, there are no limits on how much you can bet.

Instead of getting paid, you bet against yourself to lose extra pounds or stick to a fitness routine. When you join, you will sign a “commitment contract” to acknowledge that you forfeit the money if you give up or don’t achieve your goal. Then, you’ll be assigned a referee to make sure you adhere to the bet. If you lose, the money goes to a designated charity, person, or the app itself.

Then, Stickk assigns a referee to verify your weight loss or progress. Any long-term goals require a weekly report. However, short-term goals only need a final report at the end of the bet.

This app is a little different than others. Rather than motivating you with financial rewards, the fear of losing money keeps you on track. You can also invite friends and family to cheer you on and increase your chances of success.

2. Workplace Challenges

Apps are the only way to lose pounds while gaining cash. There is a long history of successful office challenges to help people get fit and get paid.

These are great for small office settings and inter-departmental challenges. When you first set it up, everyone needs to decide if the challenge will be individual goals or team competitions. Then they must agree to the timeframe, terms, and stakes. After this, you pool money and set the prizes beforehand.

Weekly weigh-in and visual trackers can help motivate everyone to commit to the challenge. It will also help to be around people who are supporting your goals. And at the end, the winner can claim their cash prize.

3. Reimbursements from Your Health Insurance

Although this may not be as fun as placing bets or holding competitions, your health insurance also offers you incentives to lose weight and improve your health. They recognize that a healthy lifestyle benefits their company since they will have fewer expenses. So, they pass the savings on to you to promote better health.

Some insurance companies offer reimbursement for gym memberships. This may cover the entire cost, or at least offer a discount. And, people with better overall health will pay lower rates and premiums which saves you a ton of money in the long run.

Tips to Stay Motivated

If you are having trouble getting started, here are a few tips that can help you reach your fitness goals:

  1. Find a workout buddy. Studies show that having a regular workout partner increases success. Having someone there to encourage and push you helps keep you focused. And, you can keep each other accountable so you don’t slack off.
  2. Choose a fitness plan you can stick to. If you hate to exercise or have limited time, it will be difficult to stick with a new exercise regimen. Be realistic with your goals and time commitment. And, choose an activity you enjoy doing and will want to continue long-term.
  3. Share your wins. Even if you don’t meet every goal, you should celebrate your wins and important milestones. Sharing your success with family and friends is also a great way to gain more support if you are struggling and need extra encouragement.

Losing weight can seem like an overwhelming goal. However, placing a wager provides excellent motivation to push through. But, when you make a healthy lifestyle your long-term objective, you win the greatest prize of all.

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Crowdfunding for Charity

How to Set Up Crowdfunding for Charity

Christmas is always a special time of year for my family, but probably not for the reasons you would expect. Sure, we get together and celebrate with all our usual traditions. However, the holidays are also a time to reflect on and share our blessings with others. So, every year my family chooses a charitable cause that holds special meaning for us and finds some way to support them. It is a good reminder of what the Christmas spirit is all about as well as the importance of giving back to the community. The birth of crowdfunding sites has opened up new possibilities and ways to help. If you are looking for ways you can contribute, here’s how to set up crowdfunding for charity.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a simple concept that has helped people raise millions of dollars for different causes. Instead of trying to get a single large donation, it takes a more grassroots approach of asking for smaller donations from a large group of people.

The platforms provide a secure online portal where you can make monetary contributions. Several charities, social justice causes, startups, and individuals seeking assistance through hardships utilize crowdfunding to raise money. If you are looking for a way to give back, you can donate to existing non-profits or charitable organizations that support national and international relief efforts. Or, you can find an individual cause to directly help people you know.

How Do You Set Up Crowdfunding for Charity?

Although it is easy to fill out the required fields and launch your crowdfunding cause, it takes more to lead a successful campaign. You must implement a good strategy and get ready to put in a good amount of work to see results. You can’t just set it and forget it, then expect the donations to come rolling in.

When you take the role of organizer, you will need to set the goals for the crowdfunding campaign, share important details of the cause you are raising money for, and find a way to reach the maximum amount of people possible. One of the easiest methods of gaining support is to post links, pictures, and updates through your social media. The more platforms you use, the more people you can reach.

However, one thing you must remember is to pay attention to the fine print. There are rules and fees associated with each platform. And, they all operate differently. Some will charge a small percentage to use their platform and also regulate how and when the funds are disbursed. Make sure to read them carefully so they aren’t any surprises later on.

What Are the Best Crowdfunding Platforms to Use for Charity?

So, the big question is how do you choose which site is best when you are crowdfunding for charity? There are dozens of platforms to choose from, and more popping up every day. However, every crowdfunding site is not created equal.

The top crowdfunding sites provide easy setup and maintenance, but they will charge you for it. Platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter are among the largest and most popular because they are user-friendly. In only a few minutes, you can have it completed and ready to start spreading the word. And, organizers can quickly access the funds when they are ready to use them. But, they require a 5% fee to use their services. While GoFundMe has no platform fee, it charges transaction fees for debit and credit cards.

Sites like Mightycause are much better suited for nonprofits and charitable causes. They have some of the lowest fees, charging only 1.2% for processing fees. And although they don’t require you to meet specific goals, they will give you access to free tools to help achieve them.

The Best Crowdfunding Platform for Our Christmas Cause

The Cause

This year, my family decided to think a little bigger. We are rallying support for a group of people who are often overlooked. Although society considers them adults, 20% of children who “age out” of foster care become instantly homeless. As they formally enter adulthood, they lose access to every form of support they had as minors.

To put it lightly, these kids are often unprepared and ill-equipped to take care of themselves as adults. They face greater obstacles and have a higher risk of dropping out, unemployment, teen pregnancy, abuse, and imprisonment. So, youth centers, such as the Flite Center, provide support to local teens as they transition into adulthood. In addition to providing basic living necessities, they also offer career counseling, resource navigation, and assistance to find housing and education.

Unfortunately, these centers are severely underfunded and are always in need of support. Therefore, my friend, her community, and now all our social media contacts are banding together to put together gift baskets with Christmas stockings stuffed full of toiletries, gift cards, warm clothing, and other necessities to make their lives a little easier. To help us with this task, we chose SignUpGenius.

The Crowdfunding Platform

Although any one of the crowdfunding platforms can help you achieve your goals, it is important to find the one the best suits your needs. The primary benefit of this crowdfunding platform for charity is that it allows you to itemize your list and assign slots for volunteers to sign up. It gives more flexibility to those who are contributing and makes it easier for the organizer to meet the donation goals.

Instead of just sending money, the platform’s design allows you to choose what you want to contribute. After creating a list of items to include, we provided the link to purchase them in bulk. There are also options to purchase gift cards or pay for an entire basket. For those who find it difficult to make monetary contributions, there is also a request for handwritten Christmas cards that can be included with the baskets.

However, SignUpGenius has another huge advantage: the cost. While they do charge a set monthly fee, they will not require a percentage of the money you raise. The lowest package starts at $8.99 a month, but they do offer a free trial for their premium plans.

In addition to the financial savings, their site will also help us save a ton of time and energy in preparation. Now, we can focus our efforts on community outreach and informing everyone of how they can help. This Christmas, we want people to understand that family isn’t always the people that you are related to. Everyone in your community is part of your family. And as a community, we can support each other and make it even stronger.

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5 Financial Benefits of Deleting Social Media Apps

5 Financial Benefits of Deleting Social Media Apps

Without question, social media has changed how humans communicate. While we now have access to a global network of people and information, constant communication also subjects us to a constant bombardment of advertisements, notifications, and promotional offers as well. For these reasons and more, many people announce that they are taking social media cleanses to detox from its negative side effects. Even if you don’t feel the need to declare it to the world, taking a break from social media for even 24 hours could be good for you. In addition to its mental health benefits, people are discovering that there are many financial benefits of deleting your social media apps as well.

What Are Some of the Financial Benefits of Deleting Social Media Apps?

1. It Removes the Temptation to Spend.

When I began clearing my home screen of social media apps, I didn’t realize how it would affect my spending habits. With so many embedded advertisements, I was frequently diverted to sites I never intended to visit. And, although I hate to admit it, also spend money I never intended to part with. My increased monthly savings was the most unexpected financial benefit of deleting my social media apps.

Deleting these and other mobile shopping apps I frequently use took away the temptation to spend. It’s as simple as the press of the button to have things delivered to your front door. When I saw the apps every time I opened my phone, it was harder to resist impulse buying.

Once I became aware of this bad habit, I also realized I was making unnecessary in-game purchases with some of my mobile gaming apps as well. Removing all of these has saved me a significant amount of money each month.

2. You Have Less Exposure to Targeted Advertising.

Speaking of embedded advertisements, social media apps are littered with them. The banner and pop-up ads are hard to ignore. And, if you spend hours each day scrolling, they become ingrained into your subconscious when you see them over and over again. This marketing strategy has proven so successful that 76% of people say they have bought something they saw in a social media post. Furthermore, many of the respondents said they didn’t even intend to buy anything before they made the purchase.

It has become even more effective since social media uses your search history to target items you have shown an interest in. If you have looked it up multiple times, they will continue to show you more ads. The more you see something, the more likely it becomes that you will buy it. So, reducing your exposure to marketing and advertisements can help you avoid spending money. This is good news for your wallet and your monthly budget.

3. It Makes You More Productive at Work.

Facts are facts. Most of us spend hours every day scrolling through social media. If you don’t believe me, check your screen time tracker. Not only will it show you have much time you spend on your phone every day, but it will also tell you which ones are your biggest time-suckers.

If you are constantly getting notifications or checking your phone at work, it can become a huge distraction. And, it could be affecting your overall job performance. By deleting the apps from your phone, you can greatly improve your productivity. Who knows…maybe if you aren’t so distracted, you’ll finally feel motivated to go after a raise or a promotion.

4. The Extra Time Can Help You Increase Your Income.

I can’t speak for others, but I was shocked to see that I was spending upwards of 4-5 hours every day on social media. Although I always complained that I never had enough hours in the day, now I had evidence why. The time we spend looking at the latest posts could be put towards more productive pursuits.

Instead of wasting this time on social media, I wanted to use it to improve my financial situation. I started by taking advantage of new opportunities and became more serious about investing. As I looked at ways to earn passive income, I finally found the courage to start my own business. Although this is how I chose to use my reclaimed time, you could use it to learn a new skill or earn a specialized degree that will increase your income.

5. It Becomes Easier to Focus on Your Goals.

Possibly the most impactful financial benefit of deleting social media apps was that it become easier to focus on my goals. Sure, there were times I felt I was missing out as my friends posted updates of their vacations and new purchases. However, reducing my exposure to other people’s irresponsible spending habits also reduced comparisons and envy.

Not having those incessant reminders allows you to reset your priorities and focus on what and who is most important. For me, removing the temptations to use social media made it is easier to achieve my financial goals.

Don’t Forget About the Health Benefits of Deleting Your Social Media Apps Either!

In addition to all the financial benefits, we can’t forget to mention the mental health benefits as well. Once I deleted the worst offenders from my phone, my sleeping habits immediately improved. I felt more energized when I woke up and less drained at the end of the day.

Psychologists have also noted that it can reduce your anxiety levels. By removing the obligation you feel to stay in constant communication, you eliminate the stress it creates. This allows you to relax and truly live in the moment. And, when we spend less time looking at our phones, we are able to focus on other, more personal modes of communication.

Although it may not be necessary to do a social media detox, taking a step back from our daily routines can give you a new perspective and appreciation. Going forward, I know that I can take a step back and then ease back into whenever I feel the need. However, once you begin noticing the financial benefits of deleting your social media apps, you may decide to take a permanent hiatus.

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Time Over Money: Reasons Why Time Is More Valuable Than Money

Time Over Money Reasons Why Time Is More Valuable Than Money

Time or Money: Which is more valuable? This has been a hotly debated topic throughout human history, yet the question still remains. Although, it seems pretty clear that the answer should be time over money. I would even argue that time is the most valuable resource. If you are money-poor but time rich, you may feel otherwise. However, people find many reasons why time is more valuable than money.

Why You Should Choose Time Over Money

7 Reasons to Choose Time Over Money

1. You can’t buy more time.

You can use the time to make money, but money can’t buy you more time. It is impossible to create additional hours in the day, no matter who you are. Time is the great equalizer. Everyone receives 24 hours in a day, no more, no less.

However, the difference lies in how you spend it. Someone who accomplished a great deal in their lifetime likely spent it learning and mastering new skills. One thing is for certain, though. Success requires time and hard work in order to achieve your ambitions. These things simply cannot be bought.

2. In the end, people ask for more time, not money.

When people enter their final days, you rarely hear them ask for more money. Most wish they had more time with the ones they love or doing things they never got to do. While money can greatly improve your quality of life, it cannot extend it.

Many people even keep a ‘bucket list’ of things they want to do before they die. The entire concept builds upon the idea that you have a limited time to complete them. If you are among this group, you already understand why sometimes you must choose time over money. You cannot put a price on memories and time spent with loved ones.

3. You need time to spend money.

You could have all the money in the world, but you would still need time if you wanted to spend it. While some may want to accrue money just for the sake of having it, most would prefer to splurge a little. The world’s elite has fortunes to support lavish lifestyles to last a hundred lifetimes over. However, it would still require more time than you think to spend $1 billion.

Money holds no value to you after you are gone. Certainly, it can benefit those you leave behind, but it has no use to you personally. Since you can’t take money with you when you die, it further proves that time is more valuable than money.

4. There is more potential with a day off than with a day’s pay.

The hours you spend at work are rigidly defined in financial terms. Your time has a set value when you are on the clock. Although, how you spend your free time is completely up to you. And what you do with that time is only limited by your own desires. Greater things have been achieved in a single day than with what you would take home after an eight-hour shift.

Furthermore, who you spend your time with is equally valuable. Being present and enjoying the company of friends and family is priceless. On the other hand, it is just as vital to ensure that you take time for yourself. Your mental health can also greatly benefit from some time alone and self-care. However, time is the essential factor.

5. Only time can heal certain wounds.

Just as time is the great equalizer, it is also the great healer. Some hurts run deeper than any scan can read. Modern medicine and technology are ineffective to treat these wounds. Even time cannot completely erase the scars. However, time does help the pain fade from memory.

Time also grants us the gift of perspective. It also grants us more objectivity as time passes. We can look back through new eyes to analyze and reflect. This distance can make it easier to identify our strengths and weaknesses, allowing us to grow as people. These kinds of lessons can only be gained through life experience.

6. You can’t regain lost time.

Losing money is a terrible thing. However, given enough time and wise financial planning, you can earn it back. Once time slips past you, there is no way to regain lost moments. No amount of money can recreate missed holidays, birthdays, and other important milestones. When you view time from this perspective, time becomes an invaluable resource.

Time is certainly not a resource I want to waste either. This point should also make you evaluate how you spend your time. Wasting time in front of a TV or with toxic people may not be the best use of it. Consider what you really want from life and who you want to spend it with. After re-evaluating, you may have a new set of priorities.

7. Choosing time over money promotes greater long-term happiness.

A recent study investigated the correlation between time and happiness. Specifically in relation to the survey question in which 80 percent of working adults wish they had more time with their families. Many participants responded that they constantly felt rushed due to the demands of their professional and personal lives. The term “time famine” describes the overwhelming feeling of these pressures.

Those who said they felt time scarcity were less happy and also more prone to depression and anxiety. Focusing on time over money can relieve this stress and promote greater long-term happiness. The key is time management. While these obligations will always be there, finding ways to save time can help us spend more of it with those we love.

Prioritizing Time Over Money

These are just seven reasons why time is more valuable than money. In truth, you likely already have more money than the time remaining. Perhaps you will feel the same once you realize that when the sands of time slip through your fingers, it’s gone. It may have you reprioritizing so you can maximize the sand still left in your own hourglass.

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How To Cope After Being Laid Off From Work

How To Cope After Being Laid Off From Work

Getting laid off or dismissed from service is one of the worst nightmares of every working adult. While you may diligently perform your functions, circumstances outside of your control may lead to you losing your job. It could be for financial reasons, because of a manager out to get you, or a global pandemic. While this is not the general rule, undoubtedly, some employers just think that their employees are dispensable members of a totally replaceable workforce. More so, there are cases where employees get injured and are fired when they return to work. That got them asking, “Can I be laid off while on workers compensation

This is why employees should always be vigilant in protecting their rights. Though the laws are generally in favor of the workforce, it’s always better to protect your own interests and know your local laws. Aside from that, it’s also essential for employees to learn how to save and invest. Cliche as it may sound but it’s true that you have to save for the rainy days. When you get wrongfully terminated, you can fight your case and win in court, however, that may take time. You need to survive and pay your bills while fighting your legal battle.

Save as much as you can

Whether you’re fully-employed, in danger of getting terminated or are thinking of resigning, you need to save money that would last you two to three months of being unemployed. This means that you need to have enough money to pay for your bills and leave comfortably for two to three months. This will give you a reasonable time to fight your cause and look for another job.

Saving up for this moment in your life should start the moment you took the job. If you save even a little of your monthly income, over time, you’ll see that you’ll have enough money to cover for emergency expenses. You can also invest what you save monthly to grow it passively.

Check your benefits and claim it

If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, the right to do is to fight for your rights. You can ask the help of a labor lawyer to establish your causes of action. However, if the company implemented a legal lay-off, then, the soundest option there is to accept the decision and move on by looking for better job opportunities. Before you leave, check what benefits you can claim.

If you’re not fully aware of all your benefits, you can speak with your company Human Resources Department (HRD) and talk about the following:

  • Ask for your severance pay, along with your eligibility for unemployment insurance, pension benefits, sick and overtime pay, and accrued vacation. If you didn’t lose your job because of your fault and you satisfy all the eligibility requirements, then there’s no reason why you can’t receive unemployment compensation.
  • Since severance packages are negotiable in most cases, take this chance to ask for more than the company’s standard offer.
  • Request your HRD for information on how you can continue with your life and health insurance benefits.
  • Check for options wherein you can handle your own 401(k) pension plan.
  • Inquire about any outplacement resources and request for a reference letter.

Plan your job search

To get back on your feet, you need to find another job immediately. But before that, check if you can claim unemployment benefits from your state. This will help augment your savings to pay for your monthly expenses. The benefit can also help get you ready for another chapter of your life.

If you can’t find a full-time job immediately, you can consider freelancing, part-time gigs, or a temporary position in the meantime. The money you’ll get from these gigs can help you survive until you land another full-time and better-paying job. If you’re gutsy, you can even start your own startup business. There are companies that grant loans for those who want to start a business.

Getting fired is not something an employee would wish for, however, if it’s inevitable, you must know that it’s not the end of the world. With a little bit of sacrifice, a conscious effort to get employed, and a decent amount of savings, you can get through the unemployment phase unscathed.