Public Display of Affection Insurance

The following post is a guest post from XO, Bettie, a finance advice blog from Tumblr. Bettie shares her story of how she learned the importance of renter’s insurance.

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My man thought it would be romantic to throw rocks at my window (à la The Rolling Stones) to announce his arrival.

Click! Click! THUD! My computer monitor was scarred from this public display of affection.

Now I don’t think my renter’s insurance payments were a waste of money…because even though I don’t own my apartment, I own my things in it!

My landlord has insurance for the building (and my broken window). My renter’s insurance insures my possessions within my apartment. Plus, if anyone injures herself within my apartment and she sues me, the insurance company will handle the claim (and pay up to the limit of my policy, less any deductible)! Handy with my monthly wii tennis tournaments. Ace!

Renter’s insurance gives me financial assurance, regardless of what happens to my expensive-to-replace set up in my apartment.

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Bettie’s Bio:

My friends and I jabber about the ins & outs of all sorts of taboo things…but never money. Society assumes that every working girl knows how to properly allocate her paycheck or has Daddy-Dearest subsidize it.

But not anymore! Join my fabulous & frugal journey to become financially literate.

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The High Cost of Being a Millennial

Twenties

This is a guest post from David Carlson, writer at Young Adult Money. If you are interested in writing a guest post please see the guest post policy.

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A majority of millennials – those who fall in the 18 to early 30s age range – will go through some major life events within a relatively short period of time. Not only are these life events usually incredibly expensive, but they also come at a time when salaries and pay are relatively low compared to later in life. Usually the first decade or so out of college is filled with “paying your dues” and trying to figure out what you want to do career-wise for the rest of your life.

Today I want to look at some of these major life events and how they impact the finances of those in their 20s and 30s.

College Education

Most young adults choose to go to college after high school. Problem is, the cost of attending college is rising at a meteoric rate. Not only is tuition higher than ever, the costs of housing, text books, food, transportation, entertainment, etc. all have to be factored into the equation. Most finance their college education through student loans. While there is plenty of debate about whether young adults are taking out too many student loans, the reality is that many graduate college with a sizable debt load.

Even if you are able to land a good job after graduation, student loan payments have to be factored into the budgets of many college grads for years after graduation. Let’s not forget the fact that many career tracks also require graduate school, advanced degrees, and expensive professional certifications.

Marriage

Most people see themselves getting married one day. While people are getting married later in life than they have in the past, many still get married before the age of thirty. Unless you have parents bankrolling your wedding, you likely will need to come up with $10,000+ in financing (not counting the engagement ring, fellas!). While your wedding day certainly will be one of the most memorable of your life, it’s important to factor in all the costs and consider different ideas for keeping costs down.

Kids

Most people have children when they are in their 20s and 30s. Not only do children cost a ton of money over the course of their lives, but they also require a lot of time. There are some bloggers out there who work full-time, blog on the side, and have children, I have to believe that my blog work would have to be scaled back if I had children. What would I do without my beloved side hustles? I also am amazed at people who are able to work full-time, pursue an advanced degree, and raise children all at the same time.

I know I’m not hitting on the specific costs involved with having children but I think it’s pretty undeniable that they are an additional expense that need to be factored into your budget.

Buying a House

Buying your first home, whether it’s a single family home, condo, or townhouse, will be one of the biggest purchases you will have made in your life. As you can imagine – or maybe even have experienced yourself – there are a lot of advantages to owning a home. You build equity instead of paying rent, usually get a lot more space than you would renting, and have a place to call your own.

The costs involved in purchasing a home can add up quick, and they don’t stop once you close on your house. Consider the following expenses:

  • Down Payment
  • Closing Costs
  • Unexpected Expenses
  • Decorating/Furnishing
  • Upkeep
  • Insurance
  • Renovations

The costs add up quick. Combine these expenses with all the other expenses that young adults face and you can see why so many have trouble keeping their personal finances straight.

The Good News

Despite the high costs of being a millennial, there is plenty of good news:

  • Time – While it may be hard to come up with money for a retirement fund with so many expenses, millennials have a long investment horizon where compound interest can work in their favor.
  • Income will Increase – In your 20s and 30s you are likely making the least you will make in your career; your income will increase over time. While this is not always true, it is for most people. This means if you can balance your budget today, it will only become easier over time.
  • Major Expenses are usually Worth It – Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your life. Your education will open up doors for you and likely increase your income.

If you are a college grad, gotten married, have kids, and/or bought a house, how did you plan and deal with the costs involved? How are you planning ahead for these costs?

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David Carlson writes at Young Adult Money where topics include saving money, making money, real estate, health care, careers and more. You can find him on Twitter @DavidCarlson1 and also follow Young Adult Money on Facebook and Twitter.

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Photo by stopnlook

How To Ensure That Your Workplace Is Happy & Safe

This is a guest post by Dominic Peters who works for Axiclaim. In this post Dominic will teach you about health ricks in the office – how to recognize them and how to prevent them. I’m so glad Dominic reached out to me to write this post. There are some tips here I would never have realized on my own. I think you all will enjoy what he has to share. Leave Dominic a comment at the bottom of the post.

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If you work in an office and not on a building site, you may think that your job is fairly risk free. There are however, some things which can pose the risk of injury and illness in the workplace.

The fact that you spend so much time at work means that if you’re unhappy there for any reason it can really affect your life in a negative way. Creating a sense of teamwork is important not only for your happiness, but also for greater productivity and higher quality of work. Here are some ways to stay safe and healthy in the office and some tips for boosting morale within the team.

Avoiding RSI

Repetitive strain injuries happen when stress is repeatedly put on a joint without time to recover. Those who spend hours typing and using a mouse are at risk from RSI in the wrist. To avoid it:

  • Take regular breaks
  • Make sure your keyboard is close enough that you don’t have to reach for higher keys
  • Keep your fingers and wrist level when typing
  • Buy a wrist rest for added support

Avoiding back and neck pain

To avoid straining your neck and lower back you need to make sure your computer set up is correctly, that you have a decent, ergonomic desk chair and that you have good posture. Hunching over and looking downwards at your screen can lead to serious back problems over time.

Image credit: Berkeley Lab

Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your legs at a 90° angle to your spine. Invest in a lower back cushion to ensure you maintain a slight arch.

Looking after your eyesight

The proliferation of smart phones and tablets alongside time at your computer screen at work means that staring at a screen for hours on end every day is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. Not only can this make ‘switching off’ and sleeping difficult, but it can also lead to eyestrain. Symptoms include:

  • Sore, burning, itchy or dry eyes
  • Twitching eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light

To avoid eyestrain take regular breaks, look away into the distance every once in a while and ensure that your office space and desk are well lit.

Keeping it clean

It’s a grim thought but nonetheless true that your desk can be a haven for bacteria, especially if it’s where you eat your lunch.

A microbiologist at the University of Arizona has even stated that ‘the desk, in terms of bacteria, is 400 times dirtier than your toilet’

Remember to wipe down surfaces, including the telephone and mouse, with antibacterial wipes. If you insist on eating at your desk, keep your keyboard out of harm’s, and crumbs’, way.

Keeping stress levels low

Stress is perhaps the most common risk to your health at work and can lead to a multitude of health issues, including sleep loss and digestive problems.

To keep stress levels low, take exercise during your time off and practice breathing techniques to help you relax at your desk. In some cases where conflict is causing you stress, you may need to speak to an unbiased mediator to resolve the issue.

Offsetting your sedentary lifestyle with exercise

Office jobs can make moving around during the day impossible, but sitting at your desk all day and then getting home and sitting some more on the sofa will lead to reduced fitness levels.

To ensure a healthy lifestyle and to combat signs of stress, take 30 minutes of exercise per day. A walk during your lunch break is a simple way to achieve this.

Out of office team building events

Spending the day with colleagues in a relaxed environment will help you to get to know them as individuals and make working relationships and easier.

Once you know someone’s personality, their strengths and their weaknesses, communication at work can improve.

Activity days where team members are asked to work together towards a common goal, and have a laugh in the process, will lead to a stronger team, boosted morale and better quality of work.

Celebrating life events together

If one of the team is getting married, having a baby or celebrating a birthday, marking the occasion in some way helps to make employees feel valued as people and not just worker bees.

Whether it’s a card signed by everyone in the office, a round of coffees bought in the morning or even an embarrassing ‘Happy Birthday’ sing-along, celebrating together gives meaning to working relationships and will put a smile on everyone’s faces.

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Author’s Bio
This post was written by Dominic Peters. Dominic works for Axiclaim – find their website here – who specialise in work related injury claims; he also loves writing about business and health and helping people to lead healthier, happier lives both in and out of the office. Thanks for reading!