Dating on a Budget

David Carlson, from Young Adult Money, and I have teamed up for a guest post swap! This week I wrote a guest post for Young Adult Money about Dating on a Budget. Next week, on Wednesday August 28th, I will feature a guest post from David on Ask the Young Professional! It was a great pleasure to work with David on this collaborative post swap. I hope readers from both sites enjoy a new perspective being features on the sites.

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Do you have a special someone in your life who is draining your funds? Or are single because you are afraid you can’t afford a relationship? Here are a few tips to save your love triangle between you, the special someone and your money.

Deals for Date Nights

There’s this great new thing where you can ask it anything and it will answer all your questions!  …It’s called the internet… The internet, especially Google, should be your wing man when looking for a deal on your next date night. I guarantee that you can find at least one coupon to a restaurant or event.

Don’t know where to start? Start by signing up for Groupon and Living Social. You will find deals to restaurants, wine tastings, movies; you can even find a romantic weekend get away!

For more Dating on a Budget tips read the full article at Young Adult Money here. I share more tips on Deals for Date Nights, Romancing for Free and Penny Pincher Presents.

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101 Secrets For Your Twenties

Have you heard? The secret is out! Or in this case the secrets… Paul Angone’s 101 Secrets For Your Twenties is out! If you haven’t read the viral 21 Secrets For Your 20s check it out for just a tiny glimpse through the key whole to what’s behind the door for 101 Secrets For Your Twenties101-Secrets

The best thing about these secrets is that they aren’t really secrets, they’re facts. Every single one of these “secrets” are so incredibly true! You just can’t realize it or figure it out yourself because you’re stuck in the middle of it. Paul Angone is the voice of reason who can give you that bird’s eye view into your life. He can be that voice of reason giving you the outsider’s view on the life of a twentysomething. After going through it himself why wouldn’t he be a twentysomething guru?

Each secret is told in a witty and honest way that you could finish the book in one sitting. Or don’t, instead read one inspirational secret a day for motivation. Do whatever fits your lifestyle. You can’t go wrong with these 101 secrets. Here are some of my favorite secrets:

#1 Sometimes surviving your 20s is nothing more glamorous than just holding on for dear life on the back of an inner tube like a kid being whipped around by a speedboat.

#6 Life will never feel like its’s suppose to.

#22 The grass is always greener on the other side, until you get there and realize its because of all the manure.

#52 Your ability to learn Wine 101 might be the difference between eating at the Adults’ Table or stuck in a folding chair with the kids.

#60 Our 20s are not about finding our home; our 20s are about finding the right place to build it.

#79 Knowing your Karaoke-Compatibility should be a required premarital exercise.

#99 Success in your 20s is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast.

And of course secret #101, but I’ll let you discover that your yourself.

If you don’t get a copy of this book you will certainly be missing out. Missing out on memorable stories, hilarious analogies (English class people) and seriously good advice. I know a lot of people who are already raving about this book. Check it out on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles or download it!

Have you read “101 Secrets for Your Twenties” yet?

If you have share your favorite secret below!

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Paul-Angone-Author-of-101-Secrets-for-your-TwentiesPaul Angone is an author, speaker, storyteller, humorist, and the creator of AllGroanUp.com – a place for those asking “What now?” His article “21 Secrets for your 20s,” on which this book is based, has been read by nearly a million people in 190 countries. Paul studied at Westmont College and then received his Master’s degree at Azusa Pacific University. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two beautiful girls.

Young Professional Advice From Friends: Lindsay Shoemake

This is a Young Professional Advice from Friends post written by Lindsay Shoemake at That Working GirlYPAF is a collection of voices from different ages, places and industries to share advice on starting off and being twenty.

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Young Professional Advice From Friends – Lindsay Shoemake

Your  twenties. The movies depict them as that magical time in your life when you’re walking down Madison Avenue to your own theme song, your hair looks perfect, you’ve nailed your dream job, and when it comes to dating? The men just can’t get enough of you. However, life honestly doesn’t work that way for us twenties-somethings.

As I sat at company happy hour yesterday afternoon, my boss mentioned something that stuck with me. She said, “Your twenties are the best-worst time of your life. You’re figuring yourself out and you’re growing, but nothing feels quite permanent.” And that, ladies and gentleman, hits the nail on the head.

Although I’m greatly leaning toward loving my twenties rather than loathing them, each and every day still consists of a lesson to be learned.

So far, I’ve tasted a lot of success, and I have to be grateful for it! For starters, I run a successful blog, That Working Girl, along with my two stellar interns, Catia and Stephanie. As a three-person team, we do a heck of a lot, and we have fun doing it. Running a blog is a ton of work, but it’s gratifying seeing how readers relate and respond – and when companies want to send you free samples! I also intern for one of the best PR firms in Atlanta (and I’d argue on the East Coast), Caren West PR. I’m living the life I dreamed of since I was a little girl, ogling the Atlanta skyline when my parents decided to take me into the city. I would always turn to my little sister in the car and say, “Look, we’re in ‘magic town,’” and now I’m living in it. Now that is truly magical.

However, it wouldn’t be your twenties without a little hardship and disappointment. After applying to 40+ internships in New York City and not landing a single interview, I’ve dealt with feelings of rejection from the one place I can’t get enough of. I had a blueprint for my life that I’ve had to completely scrap – I’m working from the ground up again, but I know there’s a rhyme and reason behind it. I’ve learned to turn criticism and disappointment into opportunities for growth with a lot of practice. I still get sad when I think of New York, but I remind myself that it will always be there waiting for me, if I just work hard enough and make the key connections.

So, a little advice for all of you fellow hard-working twenty-somethings out there? When opportunities don’t work out, don’t get down on yourself – we’re too young not to come across a second chance, or something even better. I’m a firm believer that doors are closed only for new ones to open, because I’ve experienced it time and time again.
Also, don’t expect your first job to be your dream job and where you truly flourish. Sure, it may happen for a few lucky ones, but look at job switches as stepping-stones when they happen. As you grow, your taste in work will change.

Most of all, have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously! When you quit smiling, you quit growing and enjoying all that life has to offer. When you feel the seriousness coming on, go grab yourself an iced coffee and watch re-runs of “Seinfeld.” I assure you, it works every time.

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LindsayShoemakeLindsay Shoemake is a creative visionary, blogger and “PR girl” living in Atlanta. When she isn’t blogging at That Working Girl or interning at Caren West PR, you can find her perusing new coffee shops, cuddling her Pekingese, Lily, or living full-out at a Fall Out Boy show (no shame). Catch more of Lindsay on Twitter, @VivaLaLindsay or Instagram.

I Need Your Help

I’m trying to get Ask the Young Professional up to par. I’m thinking of organizing my posts by a different topic a day. I want to run my ideas by all of you first…

My Plan for Weekly Post Topics:

MondaysYoung Professional Advice from Friends (YPAF), Inspirations and Advice

I already have a least a month worth of YPAF posts and can’t wait to see the rest of the submissions roll in! I think you all will really like this series. One post would be featured each Monday, going live at 9am.

I’ve been thinking about finding a way to integrate quotes, images and different media more. I thought picture quotes and songs would be a great way to kick off your Monday morning with some inspiring energy.

I might also include my random advice post on Mondays.

Tuesdays – Posts on Office Life

On Tuesdays I would post anything to do with career. From interviewing to advice on what to do at the job. (I’m also open to about whatever questions you might have in this area!)

Wednesdays – Posts on Finance

I will do my best to post more about ways of saving money and personal finance. I am thinking that my Money Saver series is a dud… I think it would be better if I just wrote a post as I get inspired or learn something new, verses making them so standardized and limited. What do you think?

Thursdays – Posts on Personal Life

I’d like to focus all posts outside the office about living the life of a twentysomething to Thursdays. In the past I’ve posted on love and taking advantage of life. I think its important for a young professional to think about him/herself as a professional out of the office. Think about what type of person he/she wants to be as he/she comes into adulthood.

Fridays – Reviews, Sneak Peeks and Announcements

I’d like to start doing a “What We Learned This Week” or “This Week in Review” post series which would be like a blog roll where we would discuss what happened this week in our lives and from other sites’ posts. I think it could be an interesting way to gather people together and start a conversation. Do you agree?

Weekends – I usually don’t post/write on the weekend… Is that okay with you guys? Should I be?

Extras/Bonuses:

I haven’t been featuring articles I like on this blog, but rather utilizing facebook and twitter for that. Have you been like that? Should I include them here too? And if you do think I should include them here too, is it ok to only bring them up on Friday’s “Week in Review” or would you like an entire post dedicated to them?

I’m thinking about doing reading reviews more often. I guess it wouldn’t be a review but more along the lines of what I did with The Defining Decade, share thoughts and lessons I’ve learned from the books I’m learning. They wouldn’t fall on a specific day, they would just fall on whatever day it most qualifies for. A book on career advice would go on Tuesday, a book about being twenty would go on Thursday. That sort of thing. Would you find this interesting?

Lastly, I would really like to have an advice column option set up but I would need your help to do it. I have my email for you to email me any questions you may have on any subject. Is there anything I can do to help you want to ask questions or make it easier to contact me? I would love to get more people involved and talking. That’s what Ask the Yo Pro is all about, creating a supportive community where we can grow and learn together.

I would love to hear your feedback. I really want Ask the Young Professional to be its best for you!

What else would you like to see?

Creating Good Habits

The twenties is notoriously known for a time of self exploration. Why don’t we try to challenge this concept with the idea of twenties being about creating yourself.

The way I see it twenty somethings have two extreme lifestyles; they are either the “No Worries Party-er” or the “Extremely Focused Worker”. The problem is I don’t think anyone truly wants to be just one of these people. Deep down I think twenty somethings search for a balance of these two extremes.

Instead of finding ourselves in our twenties, let’s create ourselves.

Who do you want to be? What type of values do you want to be made of? How do you want people to describe you?

The answer to these questions can help us both learn who we are and make it a part of who we are. I believe the honest answers to these questions tell us who we are at our core. We are answering these questions based on something deep within us. Knowing the answers to these questions provides us with the choice to follow through with taking action on these desires or not.

This is where creating good habits come in. A habit does not just live within us, it comes from repetitive action. If we want something to be a part of who we are we need to make the  daily conscious effort to act in that way. 

These habits can be a concept or a tangible action. A concept would be something like practicing being honest or empathetic. An example of a tangible action would be a healthy diet or having daily prayer or meditation.

I mentioned my resolutions for the year in a post 6 months ago. Two resolutions I’m currently putting the most focus on is being a better friend and adding a work out routine to my work week. I’m practicing being a better friend by choosing one person to reconnect with in a special way each week. I’ve downloaded fitness apps to my phone and signed up for yoga classes in the effort to get into a habit of working out. After awhile it will be natural for me to come home from work and start a ten minute work out routine and to make plans with a friend each weekend.

When I grow up into my full adult self I want to remember people are more important than work and I want to keep myself healthy. What do you want your future self to be like?

Last week I was inspired by a post form Ambition in the City, Reconnecting with Your Passions. Cristina talked about how she reconnected with her inner yearning for painting. I thought this was a fabulous idea. I also love to paint but haven’t since I graduated.

Do you have a forgotten passion? Unleashing these inner passions is another way to create good habits as you build up the new adult you. Go ahead and use your twenties as a positive time of exploration. Try new things. See if you have any undiscovered passions. Learn about yourself outside of your comfort zone. Just remember to come back to reality and get your butt to work.

Combining values, tangible actions and passions is how we create that balanced persona. Obviously taking the time to increase your work ethic and understanding who you are are essential to growing in your twenties, but remember to focus on all areas of life. Develop your work skills, live out your passions and desires, and introduce good habits into your life to create that future self you want to be.

What passions would you like to start again? What type of person do you want to be? 

Dr. Meg Jay from The Defining Decade – 30 Is Not The New 20

Check out my girl, Dr. Meg Jay! She’s on TED talking about her lessons for twentysomethings.

I did a post series on her book, The Defining Decade, where we learned about the importance of using our twenties to build of future in work, family and personal life. Listen to this talk, read some of my posts, and take the time to read The Defining Decade. If you learn and act, you will be better prepared than most of your peers.

“Thirty is not the new twenty, so claim your adulthood, get some identity capital, use your weak ties, pick your family. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You’re deciding your life right now.” ~Dr. Meg Jay

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3 Tips to Wake Up Better

Are you the type of person who repeatedly hits the snooze button in the morning? Or who could just sleep all day?

Here are three tips to get you up and going in the morning.

1) Put Your Alarm Clock Out of Reach

Moving your alarm clock to somewhere you can’t reach it will force you to get out of bed. This will prevent you from hitting snooze and turning back over under the covers. Try putting it under your bed or across the room.

2) Take a Shower in the Morning

Taking a shower in the morning can jolt you awake. I like to take a nice cool shower to wake me up. My Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Foaming Scrub also helps wake me up. The little bursting scrubbing bubbles have a fresh tingling sensation that really helps my face to wake up. That’s my bonus jolt of energy for the morning, a shower can help with or with out the face wash.

3) Eat Breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eating breakfast gives your body nutrients to get moving. It’s like putting gas in your car to get going. Running on low or no gas won’t get you far, and a quick gulp of coffee won’t get you through the day, just like a quick gas fill up won’t get you through your whole road trip.

These are three simple and easy tips o add to your daily routine. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Katie, this sounds like I’ll have to wake up even earlier, why would I want to do that?” Trust me, I never called myself a morning person, but I found myself more productive and awake by trying these three easy steps. I first tried waking up 5 – 10 minutes earlier to see how my day would go. My day was less hectic because I was on time. I wasn’t stressed running around trying to get ready in a rush and then hustle off to the next part of my day. Instead, my day started off calm and relaxing.

My Personal Morning Routine

My morning routine goes something like this… (I have to be to work at 9:30 and I’m about 45 minutes away.)

  • 7:30 Alarm clock goes off.
  • A quick morning prayer and/or read of my daily inspirational quote app.
  • Take a shower, brush teeth, all that good hygiene stuff !
  • Get changed, do make up, get pretty and awesome looking! Sometimes I put on a country music playlist in the background.
  • Make and have breakfast. It’s usually about 8:00-8:10 around this time.
  • 8:25 Start packing bag, putting on my shoes, grab keys, wallet and phone. I usually have my lunch in the fridge and key necessities in my bag ready to go.
  • 8:30 I’m out the door! Giving myself a little 15 minute window to be a little early or plan for the unexpected.

This is a normal daily routine for me when I’m going to the office. Some days I have time to sit and watch some morning television while I eat breakfast. Other days I make a breakfast sandwich or grab a granola bar for breakfast on the go. It all depends on how much I leave to do in the morning or how early I need to get into work.

Bonus Tip!

If you haven’t tried the app Sleep Cycle, download it! This app analyses your sleep cycle all night to wake you up during your lightest sleep. Waking up during your deep sleep cycle is probably the hardest thing to do. I love this app because I feel light and easy waking up instead of heavy eyes and a drowsy body.  If you use this app, you won’t be able to use tip #1. You need to have your phone charging and laying in your bed so the phone can run all night and analyse your body. I think it was free when I downloaded it, but now I think it’s a dollar. I think it is worth the try if your body really fights you hard in the morning.

Don’t think any of these tips will work? Try them for a week or at least once. Come back and tell me what you think!

How do you wake up in the morning? What is your morning routine?