The Daily Struggle (1)

Welcome to the Daily Struggle! Also known as every day that I’m not a billionaire-playboy-philanthropist. This post is really the “bloggy” part of a blog where I tell you about my day that is hopefully relatable. In other words, it’s an exaggerated Facebook post.

So today in the Daily Struggle I found myself getting all prepped for my eventual move out at the end of the month. What I thought would take days or weeks was resolved in minutes. Moving Gas, Electric, Internet, Insurance, and freezing my gym membership took a combined 26 minutes. This whole time I was ready for the goose chase that would have followed all these to-do-list items and yet here I am, a U-Haul away moving to what I think will be a great place to live. I’ve of course enjoyed my time where I’m at now but as they say,

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

I also finished all the course evaluations that professors normally beg for you to do and was able to have my Fraternity membership switched to Alumnus. Which I actually would like to have a mini vent session about.

I’m not one to name names, but I’ll just say this. When I ask for help, I hope you’ll be kind enough to answer my calls. I’ve spent 2 semesters chasing down people just to make sure I would be switched to Alumnus once I graduated.

They answer the phone when I talk about paying for dues, but not much else.

I was recently talking to a friend/brother of mine who is also graduating and mentioned how he had been switched to Alumnus recently. I check my profile and of course mine still said undergrad.  I do what brothers in my Fraternity have always feared… I reached out to nationals.

Do I snitch? Do I rip em a new one? Nah. I don’t waste my time making assholes pay for being assholes. I asked Alumni services to switch me and in a matter of 5 minutes… Done. No more dues. Regrets I have a few but it’s behind me with a life of opportunity beyond me now.

Just goes to show if you want shit done, do it yourself. Relying on others doesn’t give you the results you’re looking for. Even if it is their job, I say take the preemptive strike and learn what you’re capable of doing on your own.

Last but not least… Reginald.

Reginald is the newest addition to my “pack”. He’s a German Shepherd who traces his roots from recent championship bred lines with Czech Republic working lines. The result is this bundle of fur! And at 11 weeks old… Let’s just say Barkley isn’t the only chick magnet anymore..

Just waiting for May 31st before I can move my blog to a self hosted site.. Which hosting site will I chose? Tune in to find out!

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Remember Where You Started When You’re the Boss

We all start somewhere. Usually at the bottom of the Totem pole. It’s not exactly ideal but it grounds us, gives us our base, and helps us establish great work ethic along with a feeling of accomplishment for every indent we pass. It is “the grind” and it should be appreciated and revered as the most important stepping stone to our lives and careers. It should also serve as the most important lesson in humility.

For all the great skills and connections we make at this “entry” level, the amount of insight we gain can sometimes match the amount of stress we compile. Every job comes with it’s own atmosphere of challenges, it’s own set of restrictions. That’s why the most you can work in a week (at least in the U.S.) is 40 hours. Anything more and you’re rewarded with overtime. 40 out of 168 hours, nearly a quarter of your time in a week can be spent at work. Anything that takes up a quarter of your life will surely exhaust you.

But believe me when I say…
You have got to enjoy going to work.
Enjoy conquering the day!
When you’re older, more experienced, and finally in charge… things get a little easier.

Surely people will argue that statement with me. But if you present them with 40 hours of entry level work mixed with the accompanying low pay (again, you got to start somewhere), oh hey look they’re already gone. I guess the words “low pay” scared them.

“Everybody wants to be the King.”

So let’s fast forward a little bit shall we? Close your eyes if you have to but imagine several years, even decades, into the future where you’re running your company, at the top of the payroll, or living the life of a successful traveling blogger (my favorite kind of people!). You’ve got the money, the freedom, and your goals are now much bigger. Instead of worrying about the smaller tasks that keep the company running, you’re now wearing the shoes and expensive suits that come with taking care of the bigger picture.

Congratulations, YOU MADE IT!

Now what? Well once upon a time you wanted to be the king. Now you have to work on “staying the King”. Managing day to day operations, helping your company or business grow, providing direction for your subordinates. Life doesn’t get much better.

Annnnnd most importantly… it’s payback time! Remember when your boss treated you like crap? Time to take it out on those unsuspecting interns! Remember how you use to get away with the small stuff? Time to put restrictions in place that’ll prevent others from doing that! IN FACT, it’s time to nail those subordinates of yours to the cross and hand out restriction after restriction. Because everyone knows that a company is only going to be good if you litter the floor with caution tape. Ever watched Orange is The New Black? Remember how, no matter where Pepper turns she seems to break some obscure rule and gets rewarded with a citation for shots? There’s your reward system. There’s no need to implement an actual reward system because your subordinates already make money. You give them the reward of being employed. Next thing you know, they’ll expect you to smile at them and treat them fairly.

Don’t forget… you need to be in total control. No one applies to a new job without your knowing/blessing. You’ll need to get in touch with your companies IT for the potential of monitoring all web traffic. Facebook? Nope. A Blog site? Hell no! Are they talking about me? I NEED TO KNOW NOW! Speaking of monitoring… Cameras. I need a camera at every angle throughout the department. What? Security says 15 cameras for your department is too much? We’ll see how they feel when I tell the Board about their objection.

Ok, Ok. LET’S STOP. As you can see this is ridiculous. This is just plain weird. The only good point on here is to limit social media like Facebook at work. Everything else is boarding on how an actual prison is ran.

I want you imagine a steak. If you’re a vegetarian, imagine cauliflower. Now you’ve got all the seasoning, all the pots and pans, everything you need to make the perfect meal. You place your food in a pot and turn the heat on. Now time passes but the soft/raw food you were just working with has become this beautiful piece of art, ready to serve!

If it’s already cooked to perfection and it’s time to take it out of the pan… would you leave it in longer, turn up the heat, and disregard any warning signs like smoke?
If an employee has gone above and beyond to deliver exceptional work for your company, are you going to prevent them from moving on to a better job, pile a bunch of unnecessary pressure and restrictions on them, and disregard any noticeable signs of burnout?

If you say yes. You have become what you reviled when you were in the same position. You have allowed a deserved promotion or excellent career path to jeopardize you as a leader. You don’t see progress, only revenge. You’re not happy for a growing employee, you resent them and take their move as a personal attack.

You have become easily offended. And you must not allow yourself to sink into this common phase.

Turning it Around

Let’s start with the work environment you create. Some of the most successful companies in the world do not burden their employees with restriction after restriction. With a more open workplace, creativity is allowed to flourish and fluster. Companies like Google have seen their best work created by those who were allowed a touch of freedom. Hell Google is now ran by Sundar Pichai, an incredible genius who we can thank for applications like Google Chrome, Gmail and more. And, of course, it was just Mr. Pichai. He was in charge of the departments that would go on to create these wonderful inventions. If you don’t know much about him, I suggest reading up or viewing Youtube videos to get acquainted. After reviewing him, do you think he was the kind of boss who imposed restriction after restriction? Perhaps he tried to prevent his staff from moving into higher roles? I know! He must have taken ALL of the credit for the companies successes. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had no choice but to make him CEO right? WRONG WRONG WRONG.

The encouragement of freedom was well balanced by his demands. He expected great things from his staff but never made it a one sided affair. No great manager works for themselves. They know that by having the foundation, the entry level workers, at their best then the business will benefit greatly. When you pressure the subordinates with tales of, “do it for the company, the company is always watching, the company will feel the reprucussions, etc.” you do more damage and create more rifts than you could ever hope to repair.

Encourage them to be their very best. Implement the idea of working for each other. They shouldn’t have to feel that one small mistake hurts the company because IT FUCKING DOESN’T. But do you know what does hurt a company? A jaded employee. A burned-out employee. A disgruntled employee. Which all leads to a shortage of employees. “I heard <Redacted> was hiring!” “Oh TRUST me.. I use to work there, emphasis on use to..”

Does a sports team play for their coach? Are they simply trying to aid in his legacy? As the Legendary Bill Walsh once said, “Players don’t play for a coach, or for an owner. They’re not trying to win one for the skipper. Players play for each other, for their brothers beside them.”
When you’re out on that field you only have your teammates to help you. As much as a Coach, or an Owner, or even the entire city want to join you on the field of play they can’t. So play for the guys that are going to be in your huddle.

As the coach/manager, encourage this cohesiveness and lend a hand when appropriate. Micromanaging is a fancy word for “harassing”. You harass someone until they finally submit to your rules. They aren’t learning how to do something the right way, they are merely doing it your way so that you’ll leave them alone.

Encourage your employees to explore their career path and when the time calls, support their moves. You should not hoard your employees like they are “things”, like they’re your possessions. Be as involved as the employee is comfortable with. Some employees have a greater amount of pride and of doing things like applying for a new job on their own. They shouldn’t be forced to share their intention the moment they wish to act on it. They certainly shouldn’t be pressured by fellow employees to tell you because of the fear that you’ll ruin their chances. If this is the atmosphere you have created, you are no longer a manager. You are a “bad guy”, an obstacle in their path. People don’t take obstacles head on, they avoid them like the plague and do their best to go around them.

At the end of the day, want the best for your employees. Everything is temporary in our world. Be the best leader you can be, encourage your subordinates to be the best they can be. Have feelings of delight for your employees whether it’s something small like helping out a customer or wanting to move into a manager position like yourself. When you pave the way to success and create an atmosphere where people can feel like what they’re doing is important without dropping the world on their shoulders, creativity and success take center stage.

A company whose stock stands (as of today) at $954 a share and has been voted #1 place to work for 6 years in a row, Google understands the balance.*

So now it’s up to you to find yours.

*This post is not a paid endorsement by Google, I just enjoy using their company as a basis of understanding work place productivity.

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.

7 Words For Everyone Who Has Ever Doubted You

The other night I was at the gym. Restarting my fitness journey for the fourth, THE FOURTH, time this year. I tried to switch things up and listen to one of those YouTube videos with motivational music and speeches playing. Keep things fresh right?

I felt good listening to it because a lot of the speakers were people who could help a Jellyfish grow a spine, let alone get me through this workout. There was a point in the video where this young voice spoke and because of recent events… it really hit me. It was a rejection letter, one with zero filter, and it pointed out all the flaws in the applicant and while the language of the letter seemed to be directed at an actor/dancer for some esteemed school… It hit me hard. Because of my recent failures, INCLUDING JUST THIS PAST WEEK, I found myself having to just duck my head down and actually let out a little bit of pain.

Disclaimer… I did not cry. The gym was empty. I totally could have had a good man cry. I can’t really bring myself to do so anymore.

But it made me think of the doubt I’ve gotten. Look below and you’ll see some phrases that I’m sure you’re familiar with..

“You can’t do it.”

“You’re not tall enough, you’re not fast enough, you’re not smart enough.”

“We thank you for your application, but we have decided to go in a different direction.”

“He’ll never make it, he’s not committed enough.”

“The final tally, 33 votes THEM, 3 votes YOU.”

“Stop trying because you will never be good enough!”

DOUBT has always played a role in our lives. Whenever you have tried to do something that requires a lot of effort, a lot of work, and a lot of time you will or have undoubtedly heard a lot of people tell you that you couldn’t do it. Why? There’s many reasons why.

Your friends will tell you that those people are “haters”. That they’re just jealous.

Your parents will tell you that those people have failed and don’t want to see someone else outdo them.

But you. After you hear it so much. So much indifference. So much hate. So much doubt… it all starts to trickle into your mind as truth. Because if it wasn’t true, why would so many people tell you otherwise?

There is no doubt that this world is full of people who are jealous of others who have made it. When someone wants to be the next Tom Brady, we immediately disregard it. When someone decides they want to travel for a living, we call them crazy. When someone from a poor rural area proclaims that he’ll be as rich as Mark Cuban, we laugh and jokingly support them… not really support them. We say “you can do it” to their face while thinking up an uncountable amount of reasons they can’t. While we have all been doubted before, we each must admit…

We have doubted someone as well. You can argue that you haven’t. But somewhere in your life you were faced with a choice to support someone or shoot down their dreams… you chose the latter. And it seemed small. Doubting someone takes no effort at all. When Evander Holyfield said he’d beat Mike Tyson, everyone said the same thing, “Holyfield’s a real nice guy but my money’s on Tyson… by round 3.”

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, arguable one of the most prestigious schools in our country, and was called crazy for this. Walt Disney was fired early in his career because he, “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” There were 198 different football players, and 6 different quarterbacks in that 198, that were drafted in the 2000 NFL draft before Tom Brady.

And today Bill Gates is richer than all of humanity. Walt Disney has left a legacy as a theme park innovator and entertainment mogul. And Tom Brady just got his fifth Super Bowl Ring. In summary, doubt is supposed to wake you up and make you better.

With school ending, I have felt a wave of doubt creep in myself. I’ve had people doubt my intentions for no reason. I’ve been turned away from jobs and internship opportunities, I’ve left my bodybuilding and fitness life plummet, and don’t get me started on this blog… despite having just gotten my 2000th view since restarting.

I made the horrible mistake of doubters and unfriendly faces affect my psyche. Maybe it’s from being burned out from chasing my UnderGrad degree. Likely it’s from seeing so many successful people rise from nothing, and I feel like I should be there at their level.

I know I shouldn’t. But I see people get rich, famous, accepted into lofty career, and I sit here with plans-a-plenty.

We all get down. And when we’re down, that’s when we feed the doubt.

But that also set the stage for the comeback. Down 25 points going into the 3rd quarter. Bloodied nose and quivering legs while taking a beating from Iron Mike. $200,000 in debt with an investors meeting in 10 days.

These moments of pressure are what build diamonds! You’ve got the crowd dismissing you, bettors with their tongue-in-cheek looks on their faces, and they don’t have a clue that you’re about to turn things around.

You’ll be the fittest, the richest, most successful son-of-a-gun around but most importantly… you’ll be the happiest. And when you see those who casted doubt at your feet, said you couldn’t do it, or wanted you to quit. You will hold in your angry, you will bite your tongue if you have to. But if you just have to say something to them… say this.

You made a mistake, but that’s okay.

And then quickly walk off like a badass while the moment is fresh in their mind.

Why not say more? Let’s be honest. If you were face to face with someone who said you couldn’t do something and then you went and did it, you’d take off what ever filter you have installed in your mind and let loose a book of your fury. But you don’t need that, they won’t care, and it’s a waste of energy.

They made a mistake doubting your efforts. They should have supported or at least gotten out of the road. But your way of going through life isn’t aimed at making them better, it’s making yourself better that should be your target.

To end this post, I leave you now with Michael Irvin’s famous “Look up, Get up” portion of his Hall of Fame Speech. Not a Cowboys fan but had I been alive when this man was playing I think things might be different.

 

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.

Gym First, Everything Else Later

On today’s platter… the Gym.

I’m hear to tell you why the gym should not only become a very important place in your life but why you should make it a routine to go first thing in the morning when you wake up. Whether that’s 12AM like myself or 12PM, going to the gym in the morning sets the tone for the day and encourages a healthy regimen.

How so? Well let’s examine.

Obviously working out is a healthy activity for the body and the mind. You can improve your health by challenging you muscles and cardiovascular system daily, ensuring they are properly maintained and improved. This leads to breathing easier, looking great, and fitting those jeans that, let’s face it, haven’t fit in a few months. It’s also an incredible stress reliever as you have a means of focusing any unused or negative energy at a force such as lifting weights or running sprints into the point of exhaustion.

Because when someone’s pissed you off, what could be better than sprinting full speed ahead like you’re running right through them? #Beastmode

All violence aside there’s still the question of “why do I need to make the gym my first priority? I could just sleep an extra 2 hours and not eat so much to help balance it out.” While I’m sure that 2 hours of tossing and turning can be relaxing, I think that going to the gym early helps set a routine that is more productive and can lead to more successful opportunities that you won’t find sleeping.

You see people all the time, whether it is through social media or in person, rave about the gym. People have made careers from simply committing themselves to the gym. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posts nearly everyday from his vantage in Florida drenched in sweat and success. People like Steve Cook, CT Fletcher, Ana Cheri all have made livings from getting their big behinds in the gym and sharing with the world of their successes, their failures, and their advice for weathering tough times. It’s no surprise that their commitment to their routine has created a monetary advantage for them and have made life incredibly fun!

Working out first thing upon waking up sets the tone for the day. You work out, conquering those weights and obstacles, and are left feeling energized and looking good (Feel the pump!). The feeling of drowsiness is gone for the day and you’re more alert, more attentive. While everyone is fighting the snooze button, you’re wide awake and utterly prepared for any opportunity that comes your way. Make this a routine and you’re on your way to becoming a well oiled machine that stops for no small obstacle.

You feel better, you look better, and opportunities are much more abundant. Why is that? The best opportunities tend to appear when you least expect it. Some might equate your successes as a lucky break but being lucky is simply the crossing of opportunity and preparation. People only want to see the lucky break for the moment, but they don’t realize the years of hard work that preceded it.

“Lucky breaks” don’t happen often though. So the next time one crosses your path, are you going to be prepared? My advice, go to the gym. Go to the gym in the morning when no one is there. Don’t go with your friends and buddies. The less distractions the better. Just hook up some music, down that pre-workout, and get to work because you have an opportunity waiting for you… and it ain’t gonna wait for long.

 

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.

How to Handle Job Rejection

Before I begin I want to preface this post with the following; For the past year I have been trying my hardest, in vain, to move on to a bigger, better, more lucrative career path.

Aren’t we all?

This isn’t a dig at my current job. I’m thankful for the skills I have acquired and the people whom I have met. Each job that I have been so lucky to have been employed at has helped me grow as a person and as a man in the workforce. That said, it’s time to start doing more than pay the bills off.

With my graduation less than two weeks away I’ve done my best to apply for a number of jobs and internships that I feel will continue to help me develop as I ultimately chase my end goals. I’ve applied to fortune 500 companies, small start ups, and of course within my own workplace. Rejection after rejection I have found difficulty in maintaining my own sanity.

“To feel uncomfortable is to grow” and half a year later I feel like a hooker in Sunday Mass. There are some applications I have interviewed with repeatedly only to be turned away, others I don’t even know if I have been officially eliminated from the candidate pool because of a lack of notice. Those who do have the decency to get back to me use the same “copy and paste”…

“Thank you for your application. Despite your impressive background and qualifications, we have decided to move on with other candidates whom we feel are better suited for this job”.

If you clicked on this article, then you probably know how I feel because you’ve been in the same boat. You’ve wondered what more you could do. You think about who they may have passed you over for. You feel scathed from rejection, wanting your recruiters to know just how wrong they are and how you’re gonna make it while they make the mistake of dismissing you.

It feels unfair. It is unfair. But it’s a blessing.

“Everyone makes mistakes… especially recruiters” – Me

What should you do after being rejected for the up-teenth time?

  • Find someone to talk to. Holding your frustrations in will only hurt yourself.
  • Revisit your resume, LinkedIn, etc. Find something you can improve.
  • Understand that competition makes you better. A loss stings, but they teach you more than a win does.
  • “Keep your head up in failure, and your head down in success.” – Jerry Seinfeld.  You will make it. It might take a few trys but when you finally do, just remember how much you worked, how late you stayed up, all the sleep you loss making it perfect. And then remember that everyone around you is trying to do the same. Respect the competition, respect the grind.

 

But wait there’s more!

What’s the etiquette after you have been turned down? Do you send them a big fat email full of 4-letter words that start with “C” and “F”? Perhaps you see the recruiters/managers at your job, do you suddenly take longer to respond to their request? OH! I know, give them the stink eye. That’ll show them how wrong they are right?!

No, the option you HAVE to chose if you really want the ultimate “revenge”… Move on. Don’t treat anyone any differently. Don’t be bitter in “defeat”. Learn from it and allow it to make you a better person, not worse. When you chose to behave differently as a result of someone else’s decision, you are cultivating an air of immaturity. You’re thumbscrew, you’re crack in the armor is exposed.

“I’m glad I passed on Justin… he’s really such a jerk!”

That’s what they will think and say. They will not feel bad about rejecting you.. they’ll feel relieved. They almost had an easily disturbed employee join their department and bring their bitter attitude with them. Can you say, “Bullet dodged?”

Bite your tongue if you must but don’t show yourself in such a vulnerable, hurt position. There will be hundreds of jobs with thousands of applicants and you must learn to differentiate yourself from the pack. Acting bitter like everyone else will only make you into one of the many sheep. Be proud like a wolf, not allowing anything but your smart planning and tactful strategy to guide your way.

And if anything, take it from me. I’ve been rejected repeatedly from jobs and internships for over a year now. I’ve been passed over for reasons beyond me and if I allow it to get to me.. I’ll be passed over by many more. Part of starting a blog has been to give me a space to not only write, which is a passion of mine, but to eventually monetize. Would I have ever started a blog with this purpose if I found the very first job I applied to? Of course not.

It’s only when we face adversity that we find our purpose and means to succeed in life.

Keep on keeping on!

 

 

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.

 

Before Having a Kid, Try Having a Puppy!

Here you are. All finished with your undergrad, fingers are sore from all the essay writing, pockets are emptier than a Jacksonville Jaguar’s game (they’re an NFL team… no seriously. It’s not just Patriots and Browns). As fate would have it, you end up meeting that special someone and life is jus-

SKIPPPPPPPPPPPP

OK so you’re both moved in and pretty much everything is perfect. You’re engaged, careers are working out, loans are 3/8 paid off, and you guys feel like you’re ready to bring another member of the family aboard. You go through all of the logistics of having a child; the money element, the amount of supervision needed, the fact that when you travel on airplanes that you’ll be “that couple” with the screaming baby. It’s scary, it’s adventurous, and it’s scary. Lot’s of pacing is involved in this decision but before you wear out the soles of your slippers, I’m here to tell you about a wonderful alternative.

What’s furry, adorable, very attentive, and loves you the moment you scratch it’s head? A puppy! What’s always photogenic, loves to cuddle, and greets you with kisses the second you walk through the door? A Puppy! What loves you unconditionally, wants to protect you, and always puts you first? A PUPPY! 

Yes these adorable little creatures are the absolute best! Sure they’ll be some training involved. Accidents will happen. You’ll probably have to set a small budget aside for all their mistakes and destruction. But a dog will reward you in ways that a poop-covered baby doesn’t have the ability to do yet!

Let’s not forget, a puppy/dog will actually listen to you when it’s name is called. It will protect you from strangers and dangers even if it doesn’t stand a chance. Heck the little guy or gal will nab you tons of Instagram Likes!

Whereas a baby will make your lives hell for the first 18 years, a puppy will bring you joy from Day one and onward! You don’t have to worry about feeding it because a dog will scarf down just about anything. You don’t have to pay for school, vet visits will be way less than doctor visits, and having a dog will encourage you to go outside and get fresh air while they roll around in the wet grass. Sure a puppy/dog might be difficult to bathe every now and then, but it’s way more difficult to change a baby’s diaper WHILE it’s going potty at the same time.

Take it from me, a proud dog owner who feels that a dog can help change your life and bring happiness without so much maintenance. And if not me, take it from the good people at Collegehumor below.

Costs After College

Good morning, Good afternoon, and Good evening folks!

Today, we are going to dive into the world, the real world that is, of the many costs of living on your own after graduating from college! We’ll cover the most common expenses as well as a few outside variables to consider and I’ll even include my own tips when it comes to cutting down that monthly budget.

Before we go on… Budgeting. It’s the most valuable skill an adult can have in this day and age where everything we do has an unfortunate link (and burden) to money. Thankfully there are some great applications out there to help keep an eye on all of your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and spending all in one place!

My recommendation, and this is truly a must for everyone, is the app Mint by Intuit. If Intuit sounds familiar maybe you’ve used a well known website of theirs called TurboTax! Yes the same people who help make filing your taxes a breeze also have an amazing app for keeping all of your budgeting needs. Mint allows you to connect your bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, and more all in one place. Now instead of logging into your accounts one by one, you just pull out the Mint app and everything appears in one easy-to-read, easy-to-navigate menu! It also allows you to set a monthly spending log to help keep track of spending in a variety of categories. It even provides a monthly update on your current credit score which is important to know when applying for credit cards, housing, loans, etc. The best part is that this app is FREE so there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t download it and give it a try!

Mint - Internet

Download Mint Today!

     Ok, now onto the expenses!

     Now that you’re all done with college and ready to move onto conquering the world, you’re going to need a base of operations. Whether it’s a one bedroom for yourself or a two bed that you plan on having a roommate with, factoring in your rent will more than likely be the majority of your monthly spending. One bedrooms can run anywhere from $750-$2000 depending on which side of the globe you live on. My advice is that if you can’t pay off your rent with one of your bi-weekly paychecks, it’s probably a little too much. Try to find something cheap and affordable when you’re first starting out, after all you just got out of college. Save the dreams of grandeur and mansions for when you’ve made a career out of your degree (or a career out of your blog ;D).

     While we’re on rent, consider all the expenses that come with it. Utilities, renter’s insurance, internet, and possibly pet expenses! Utilities will usually set you back about 10% of your rent. So if you’re paying $900 for rent, consider $90 as a place to start for the price of gas, electric, and water. Renter’s insurance has also become a must for apartment communities and in general. For example, I use Assurant for my renter’s insurance and have four pay periods of $60.25. This covers everything from property damage to robberies. Finally, Internet. I personally use cox’s internet and only internet as I don’t feel the need to have cable when Youtube and Netflix provide me with everything I need. Internet can be expensive so consider your options and needs. Cox is the most well known but other companies like Centurylink and Xfinity provide much cheaper options. Unfortunately I live in an area where neither are covered yet. An important note before moving on… While I don’t have cable, which reduces my expense through Cox, I do pay for Netflix which is something I need to factor into my monthly expense. Always keep in mind that when you use alternatives that they may have cheaper costs but they need to be factored into your budget nonetheless. The old saying goes, “small bits add up” and that couldn’t be truer when creating a monthly budget.

     The next biggest expense you’ll have to consider, plan, and plan again will be your groceries and food expenses. Now this is the part that people tend to find out a lot about themselves. What you buy from the grocery store, the meals you have to go, the fast food, the Starbucks runs, all of this add up to an expense that most people can’t seem to stay strict on because of their stomachs. My advice on this is to make a plan and stick with it. Have a list of items that you always get from the grocery store, pick 4 or 5 times that you’ll allow yourself to eat out, and try to avoid places that charge too much for food. Yes Whole Foods is awesome.. but in a recent experiment I found that I could get the exact same Items from Trader Joe’s at about $32 less. If you can make it work, then by all means go for it.

     Next up is Car expenses. Now some will have car loans that they are paying off, but some may not. Briefly, I’d say try to keep the car payments below $300. I know the 2017 model looks really nice but you need to live cheaply and that means not shelling out all your money on a really nice thing. That goes doubly so for cars seeing as a myriad of problems can happen and then you’re left paying for issues you didn’t (and couldn’t have) planned for. Beside car loans, there’s insurance and gas to pay for. I myself have found Geico to be very good for insurance as I only pay $90 a month, although I’m sure there’s plenty of companies out there where you can get a better deal. I also only end up paying $80 for gas a month thanks to the fact I drive a car good with good mileage (All my Ford Fusions say HEYY!!!). My advice on this is find a car with good MPG, good reviews, and won’t cost you a fortune… a fortune that last 72 months at $300 a month. Good MPG will reduce the needs for gas and a good track record will end up being favorable to insurance companies, further reducing the cost of insurance. So strap into those Toyota Corollas and get comfortable!

    There is also phone payments. Some of you may be lucky enough to still be on your family’s plan but consider that the newest Iphone 7 will cost $649 – $769 which can be divided up into monthly costs. There’s also the cost of the carrier (ATT, Verizon, Etc). You’re looking at costs exceeding the $60 range, though I’m sure you can find a carrier that will be a little fairer towards recent grads as well.

    Lastly I want to go over some miscellaneous expenses that are a common but uncommon as well. The first is a gym membership which, let’s be honest, everyone in America ought to invest in. I’m not saying you have to spend $150 for your local Lifetime, Crossfit gym, or other luxury gym. But finding a quality gym with good equipment that works for your regime is an expense worth adding to the budget. You of course can always workout at a local park or track and stick to bodyweight workouts and save some good money as well! Before moving on, I know that supplements have gained quite a bit of following lately and I want to be the first to tell you that you don’t need to shell out $300 on stacks of supplements. Protein, fish oil, and BCAA’s get me through a month (sometimes two) without going over $100.

     You may also set aside some money for those times when you want to buy clothes, buy tech, go travel, fund a business, etc. My overall advice is to plan, plan, PLAN! Know what you’re going to spend ahead of time so you can adjust your budget accordingly. Don’t gravitate towards the most expensive choices and you find something that works. You just graduated from college so I know your smart enough to distinguish between the two.

And now for the Recap!

To put all the expenses to consider in one place;

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Renter’s Insurance
  • Internet (and Media)
  • Groceries & Food
  • Car Loans, Insurance, & Gas
  • Phone & Carrier
  • Miscellaneous expenses like; Gym Membership, Travel, Clothing, Etc.

Remember that it’s about budgeting properly so that you have a positive cash flow. The more your monthly income increases, the more allowance you can have but you must be strict if you want to get ahead!

Hope you enjoyed this post, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, feel free to shoot me an email at support@adviceaftercollege.com

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*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.