Jobs

Employee Stock Options: Do I Invest With A 10% Discount

In other words, this would mean that you have an attractive piece of cake placed right I front of you. It is laden with all the sweetness, you ever wanted have. However, the catch is, one piece of that and you can forget the rest of the dinner because your hunger can only take in that much.

The same analogy goes in for investments. You start investing in stocks and end up putting too many eggs in one basket, the risk automatically rises. Going by the current trend among organizations is to provide a discount to employees who buy their stocks. Now understandably this is done to make things more attractive for the buyer. However, there is a certain thing one needs to keep in mind before indulging in that cake. Even before that let me tell how this thing actually works.

A set amount is of your monthly income is debited off and put into an escrow account. Twice a year, and this may vary from company to company, the money set aside in that escrow account, will be used to buy stocks, either at their lowest prices at buy in or during close, whichever is deemed cheaper. Add to it the employee discount that can vary from 10% to 15%.

Now, you can go ahead and immediately sell it if you want to and earn a 15% bonus, but again these numbers do keep changing.

Now, the thing which you need to keep in mind regarding stock options and the way to hold it. The first one, which we discussed, is for immediate selling and is called an ESOP (Employee Stock Options) and the other one is called RSP (Restricted Stock Purchase). Now what happens in the latter is akin to what one will do to the usual stock and shares i.e. hold on to it for a period in time. Now, chances are that the value of your stock may fall below your discounted price and that you may be facing a loss. If you are willing to sell it within a year, then you do act a short term investor, which may always be a bright idea, especially with company stocks. You may want to hold on to it for a longer period, which again has its risks, but has benefits too. The idea is to keep on checking the prices and the profits you would make.

As for starting a dinner with a cake and missing out on the rest of the food, investment to needs to be diversified. Having a little of most is a much better idea than stuffing oneself with only very few.

How Beneficial Is Working Significant Overtime

Are you working more than 80 hours a week? Is over time working leading to happiness? Are you able to balance your life? Working significantly overtime does not always mean more earning or more happiness.

Many end up working overtime because of the greed of earning more. Stop for a minute and analyses, are working overtime consistently landing to increase in happiness quotient?

Research states that consistent working of significantly overtime is because of any one of this

  • Badly defined job role: Maybe you have accepted a job that is poorly structured, which doesn’t have clear job boundaries. So many times, you end up doing every one job.
  • Your skill and Job description doesn’t match: Have you ended up being in the wrong job? One of another major reason anyone spends loads of overtime because the lack of skill to job smartly.
  • Bad time management: Another reason in this connected world is bad time management, at the office do office work, at home be at home. If you are consistently doing overtime may check your time priorities and allocation. Maybe you are not able to finish job within allocated time due to multi-tasking like doing online shopping, Facebook during work which is breaking your theme of work and every time you break your flow you need to restart to gain speed.
  • You are “YES” person: Saying NO is an art. Don’t accept jobs if you are already loaded with work and if you think. It is right to say No with right reason. Otherwise, you end up accepting everything and spending overtime consistently at work.

 

However, stating all the above, there are some cases where you are working overtime for the period, which does not qualify for consistently working overtime. For example, a lot of accounting jobs need to put extra hours during financial year ends due to business needs and the way business conducted. That is not because of your time management or lack of skill. This kind of overtime happens for short period with correct business reason.  Another such example you are working on your start-up project, where you end up spending loads of time until your idea becomes reality. This is a clear example of passion driving overtime. However, be aware you are a human being you get stressed, you need to revitalize for better thinking and being ultra-productive.

So Working significant overtime consistently surely leads to stress, fatigue making you less productive and innovative. This creates a loop of overtime and stress. Get out of it. Get refreshed, do what makes you happy, spend time on health. A good mind can do wonders in minutes. Be active and alive.

$10 For A 40 Hour A Week, Do I Still Travel?

Let me begin by asking a very simple yet a pertinent question? How much is time really worth to you? Or what is the value of your time?

The answer to the first question will, of course, be similar for most of us. Time is really worth for all us. It is because of its finite self and the limited shelf life we all come with. And that quickly takes me to the second question. What is its value?

Can time be quantified?

The subject for this article will answer it best or perhaps it will give it its best.

Let’s begin with some math first.

A 1-hour commute can roughly translate into 60 miles one way. That would mean 120 miles two ways for a $10 an hour job. So supposedly while traveling let us assume you will burning roughly 7 gallons of gas at $2.5 per gallon. That is $17.5 of gas every day. Now, that figure can vary from $17.5 to $20. And I am talking every day. For an $80 a day earning you will spend almost $20 on gas does not add up to a good career move.

Traveling times are a sheer wastage of limited resources. I do agree, left with no other choice one has to travel great distances or risk the effects of unemployment. However, even if a minimum wage job is available at a distance which is quite comfortable, my advice would be to go for it. Unless that travel time is compensated by an extraordinary rise in pay or a career defining move, it really is not worth wasting so much time.

Instead, save that two and a half hours, which ideally would have been spent in transportation, and use it to diversify. Make use of that time to learn a new skill, add something new to your resume, probably exercise and rest, the list is endless.

So can time be quantified?

Yes, it surely can. Depends on whether you do want to make an attempt to use it wisely. The return you get in terms of financials, knowledge or even emotionally does it make it a worthwhile effort.

For centuries, mankind has been in the grips of the time versus money dilemma. Do I save two hours on a direct flight or $90 while taking a direct flight? It is not an easy question to answer primarily because we are yet to ascertain the priorities at hand. Set it first and then automatically you will be able to judge it.

Daily Financial Advice Mallard 2-24-2014

Daily Financial Advice Mallard 2-24-2014

Bring extra quarters to work whenever you find a pre-1965 quarter, switch with your own. Each pre-1965 quarter has a melt value of $4.20.

As we have discussed in other articles having a job as a cashier at a store is not glamorous and at times can be downright boring. One of the best ways we have found to pass the time and to possibly make more money is by being on the look out for old coins. Also check if it is ok with your manager first but often times they will just be happy to know their employee is actively looking at every coin while on the job and being good with money is definitely a skill they want to make sure your have as a cashier. Whenever you see a coin that is old or a bill that is old hold on to it might be worth more than “face value.”

Old quarters such as those made prior to 1965 are actually made of silver and as such have a value of the price of silver not the $.25 that the coin is really worth.

Five Smart Financial Moves if You’re Starting a New Job

Making the switch to the new job is often an exciting experience,one where the new challenge and and new opportunities help make one look forward to reporting to work. But before everything is done and dusted, there are a number of steps or precautions that you need to ensure are in place before you start off on a new job.

Financial Moves Before a New Job

Taxes

You need to make sure that your job takes into consideration the tax requirements of whichever area you are working in, so that you do not get a rude awakening when calculating your net income. This is important because apart from federal taxes, taxes may vary from state to state in the United States or if you are working abroad. The methods that the firm uses when filing returns is also important, so that your federal mandatory earnings may not be misplaced.

Benefits

You need to take into account what benefits accrue to you, and how these affect your net income and your standard of living. These of course should include health insurance, housing and transportation allowances, meals as well as allowances that ease the execution of your job, like travel allowances.

Pension Fund Schemes

You should always query what schemes are in place in terms of pension or saving schemes, as these vary from work place and are critical to securing your future livelihood as well as your future finances. Sometimes firms develop their own schemes which have slightly higher returns and encourage their employees to invest in these schemes and it is aspects like these that one should look out for. Firms also work closely with different schemes that offer them preferential rates. You may want to examine these options as well.

Direct Personal Savings

Despite all official saving schemes that one has in place, one would wisely have a way of putting aside a nest-egg of sorts. This may be in the forms of direct remissions from your salary to that particular savings account that you put aside for a rainy day. When you are starting on that new job, try and ensure that this practice, if it has been in place, is maintained, or if it hasn’t, then now would be a good time to start.

Credit Management

In a society or economy that thrives on deferred payments, managing your credit is an important aspect of daily financial management. When you start on a new job, ensure that pending credit payments can be servicing in a planned and systemic manner, one that helps keep interest payments from accumulating as well as ensuring your credit rating remains good.

Several other aspects of financial management come into play when starting a new job but these five should at least get you on the way to making the transition to financial security significantly easier.

What Websites are Best for Finding Jobs

Finding good sites for jobs is not always an easy thing to do. Before you go and look into every option out there, you have to know which ones are reliable. Some might not offer the type of results and assistance that you need, leaving you unable to find a job, or at least find one quickly. In some cases, these sites can offer you a way to improve your visibility as well as your attractiveness to employers. This will help you to become employed, stay employed, and develop multiple connections with professionals like you. This will help you to move up in the world much more quickly and with far greater results than you could experience alone. We have compiled a list of what websites are best for finding jobs below.

best websites for jobs

LinkedIn

This is one of the most famous job related websites. This is social media for professionals. When you make your account, you will be found by many people in your professional field. You can publish information about yourself and your history so that people know more about you. Since this is social media, it is a great way to begin developing professional connections. You will be able to find people of all backgrounds and levels in your field. This will help you to go further than many other job websites can take you. You will leave a positive and lasting impression on people that lets you move up in your career. You will have more connections and fewer issues with meeting new professionals in your area.

CareerBuilder

It is hard to ignore popularity and size. CareerBuilder is one of those sites for jobs that nearly every person has visited. It offers several benefits for job seekers and makes it easy for you to work it into your current life. You will be able to post several resumes, which can be either public or private, and you can be mailed when a job comes available. This makes it easier to find a good job quickly, all while remaining private about it if you need to be. It is easy to take advantage of this and, with the many jobs available for people of all backgrounds, you can see exceptional results.

Monster

It is going to be difficult to cover job websites without mentioning Monster. This is another popular and trusted option that many people turn to for work. You can find many jobs here, though not all will be entirely trustworthy, as well as quite a bit more. Monster offers tips and advice for people trying to get into a job, along with features so that you can make yourself invisible to specific companies. This will help you to find a job that you like quickly and without problems from others.

Craigslist

While it may not be the most powerful or greatest of the sites for jobs, it is one that offers a large number of options. You can find careers from all across the world here and, because of its massive popularity; you can even find some that you might not find elsewhere. While you do have to be careful with trusting all of them, this is a great way to become employed more quickly.

Should I Use a High Deductible Health Care Plan?

Expenses for medical services can be very costly these days. For a person to go without health insurance is a dangerous financial risk. If a major illness or accident occurs a family can find themselves facing enormous medical bills. Medical expenses quickly add up and the inability to pay them can wipe out someone’s finances entirely. Many hospitals refuse to see patients who are uninsured unless it is a dire emergency.

At this point the patient is usually just stabilized for transport to another hospital that accepts the uninsured. Often people choose to take the risk of going without insurance because they think that they will not be able to afford the insurance premiums. Or they simply choose to take the gamble of going without health insurance because they are normally healthy and seldom need to seek medical care. Most health insurance policies offer many different packages to fit a variety of budgets. Health insurance deductibles affect the amount required for the premium, choosing a higher deductible will result in a lower premium.

This option is better than having no insurance at all. With a higher deductible a person has more out of pocket expenditure initially; however once that deductible is met the insurance will then cover whatever portion of the expenses they are required to pay. The insurance policy will specify the exact amounts of the deductible, what procedures are covered by the insurance, and what portion the insurance will pay. Most people are surprised to find out how quickly they can meet their deductible within a few physician office visits. If a major illness strikes and hospitalization is required that deductible could be met in as little as one day. A bill for the deductible amount is going to always be a better option than having to pay the entire bill for a hospital stay out of pocket.

One benefit to having a deductible is that a person knows exactly what amount they will be responsible for paying. There will not be any big surprises because they know what to expect. For people living paycheck to paycheck surprise bills can really throw off their budget. By knowing the exact amount required to meet the insurance deductible they can plan accordingly. High deductible plans are a great option for those looking to save money on insurance premiums and most people are in a safe position to take advantage of these savings.

People with chronic illnesses such as diabetes might find it more beneficial to go with a lower deductible, however for those who are generally healthy there is no need to pay a high premium for insurance that they may not even use.

Another benefit to having a high deductible is being a healthier person. Knowing that they have a high deductible often encourages people to take better care of themselves to avoid getting sick in the first place. This is a win-win situation, they are saving money on their health insurance premiums while getting healthier in the process.

The Pros and Cons of Taking an Unpaid Internship

As you progress through college, you will begin to notice more and more of your classmates pursuing internships in cities all over the United States and even the world. While this sounds like a luxurious experience, it can often be anything but. Companies world-wide are aware that they can hire college students as unpaid interns. Instead of being paid monetarily, these students are “paid” with the knowledge they gain through their experience, and must receive college credit to make the free labor legal. Interns usually must put in more hours than other paid employees, and do work that is far less rewarding.

Unpaid Internship

While most people would question why anyone would sign up to work in this kind of environment for no pay, internships have become an essential stepping stone for anyone trying to enter a professional field after college. Not only are they expected, but oftentimes they are required. It’s not all torture, though, when pursuing this type of job. There are a ton of positive aspects of these internships as well. The connections made can be invaluable, but it depends on the effort you put forth in your work. It is easy as an intern to be a small fish in a big pond, but if you make yourself heard, you can meet and impress some of the most important people in your industry. Once you have garnered these contacts, it is vital to keep in touch with them as you approach graduation. In such a competitive job market, if a position is available and it comes down to you versus an opponent who did not intern for the company, it is likely you would be the favorable candidate.

In addition to meeting some fantastic people in your industry, internships can often be parlayed into other opportunities. If you have multiple impressive internships on your resume, an employer will be more likely to hire you over someone who has little to no experience whatsoever. Taking an unpaid internship shows you are willing to sacrifice compensation to pursue something you are truly passionate about, and that you care about excelling in your field. Also, employers will often be sympathetic to financial needs. Many will allow interns to work three or four days a week, which would allow for a second job that pays. Though you will be busy, you will also be building out your resume even further.

In the end, choosing to pursue an unpaid internship is a decision you have to make based on your wants, needs, and abilities. If not, there are other ways to prove yourself. You can get involved on campus in various organizations pertaining to your interests, and pursue leadership roles that will impress employers. Unfortunately, though, because internships have become such an integral part of college education, many employers will expect to see at least one on your resume; so, if there is a way to pursue one, it will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.

Turning Hobbies into Cash

College is full of shuffling between classes, writing papers, working, spending time with friends, and trying to find time to breath amongst the hustle and bustle. Trying to get in a decent amount of hours at work during the week while still trying to get in enough time to study can drive even the sanest person to the brink of insanity. And usually, the job really is not even something you like very much. If you are not stuck behind a greasy grill all day, you could be stuck stocking shelves at some big block store. Have you ever thought, “I wish there was a way I could do something I actually like?” Or maybe, “I wish I could do something that would make me more money, but take less time?” Well, I have good news for you! Every college kid has at least one hobby that can be made into a money maker with a little work. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

1) Write

Writing can be a huge money maker for students, especially students who are studying journalism or English. Newspaper, magazines, online blogs, and more all offer freelance writing jobs. Freelance means you are not on contract with the group, company, or organization and can write about whatever you want. You can also, however, take on a writing position in a company where you will be given assignments to write. Begin a successful blog! Once you have a loyal fan base, you can begin putting advertisements up. Every time a reader clicks the blog, you make money. Often times student newspapers on college campuses also pay for writers. Making money writing is all about how much you put into it. Plus, writing experience looks great on a resume. Writers can make anywhere from $5 to $15 dollars an article.

2) Babysitting

Do you like kids? Maybe want to own a daycare someday? Then babysitting is a great fit for you. Not only will you be gaining experience to build your resume, you will be making money. Babysitting allows you to set your own hours and your own hourly wage. Also, babysitting allows a lot of downtime, which means extra time to study or just relax. If you want to look like a real professional, take a babysitting course at your local Red Cross. This course will certify you in CPR, the use of an AED, or automatic external defibrillator, rescue breathing, and other lifesaving maneuvers that will make you look that much more appealing to any parent.

3) Crafts

Do you feel content with a needle and thread in your hand? Do you spend your free time picking out the best colors and designs for necklaces? If your passion is handmade crafts, then your passion has money value. Etsy.com is the perfect place to begin posting your crafting skills to sell to the public. EBay would also be an excellent source as well. If you are confident in your abilities as a crafter, put them to the test on Etsy or ebay. You can set your own prices and work up from there!

4) Tutor

Are you proficient in business calculus? Is sitting through Spanish class a walk in the park? Do you offer your helpful services to friends all the time? Then you may be just the help that someone needs. Better yet, you are help they are willing to pay for. Start advertising your skills and tutoring services and watch the academically in need flock to you. Schools often times will pay you to tutor for them as well. With tutoring, you are able to set your own prices either per hour, per session, or per day. Schools will usually pay minimum wage or slightly more. If you are good at what you do, your students will advertise for you by boasting about the A’s you helped them get!

5) Cooking or Catering

If you are a culinary or bakery student, or just someone who has proficient knowledge in the kitchen, cooking and catering would not only be a fun way to make some extra cash, but build your resume as well. Hold a taste testing party, offer free samples to local businesses, and send letters with your business card, price sheets, and menus. If they like what you do, you can expect calls as soon as a week later. Who knows? This could even become a future business venture. The opportunities are endless!

Hobbies can become opportunities with just a little time and effort. Opportunities that can make you money and can even make you a future career. Build your resume, build your bank account, and build onto your future goals. The opportunities are there, now go get them!