Christmas is NOT a mandatory expense. If you’re struggling financially this year your friends and family will understand if you don’t buy them anything. Just let them know well in advance.
The tradition of extravagant gift-giving has gotten out of control. Focus on what’s important. Don’t let these corporations tell us what to do with money and drive us into debt. A nice photograph or personal e-card tells people you’re thinking of them and saves the planet from 25 million tons of garbage and 2.65 billion generic Christmas cards that is likely to end up in the trash in the US alone.
Pay Attention to the smell of your home when you come back from a trip – that’s what it smells like to guests all the time, you just get used to it.
Wash your walls once or twice a year (end of summer and end of winter are when I do it) – I use a damp microfibre cloth wrapped around a swiffer sweeper, and it really doesn’t take too long. Vinegar solutions can be good for deodorizing, but I find cleaners with a bit of grease cutting ability can be better for kitchen areas that get a buildup from cooking oils.
Burn a candle or boil some herbs/spices and fruit whenever you cook. Lemon peels and rosemary smell very fresh, as do orange peels with cinnamon/cloves. You can boil the same herbs for a few days – I have a small, old pot that I keep on the stove. Bring to a boil, let simmer for a few minutes and then turn it off. Save your peels and buy cloves/cinnamon in bulk or grow and dry your own if you’re not cursed with a black thumb like mine.
Wash your sheets and deodorize your bed/bedding regularly. Bedrooms stink. They smell like morning breath/bodies/dirty hair in very little time, everybody is nose blind to their own scent. Sprinkle baking soda on your mattress and vacuum after letting it sit. If it’s sunny, take your mattress topper/pillows/duvet and let them sit in the sun for a bit.
Those little air sponge things are great to help keep house odours down during the winter when you can’t air the house out without having to reheat the whole darn thing.
If you are planning on getting a four year degree and struggling financially, you can take your first two years of classes at a community college, then transfer
Make sure, though, that the 4 year school you’ll be transferring to will accept the credits from your 2 year school of choice.
Try to get rejected once a day
Not for anything in particular or even particularly important. You’ll succeed less than you think. Advice from an old professor. He was a photographer and would ‘try to get rejected’ getting into all kinds of cool places….he got into a lot of cool places.
Live by the rule: if something takes 2 minutes or less to accomplish, just do it.
You’ll notice how many things are really not that bad, but also how much accomplishing things is just a mental block.
If a family member dies, get a friend to stay at your home during the funeral
Sadly, thieves have taken to scouring obituaries to find places to burglerize and times their victim won’t be home. Obituaries usually name surviving family members and the time of the funeral.
When breaking up with someone, make a list of the reasons that made you break up with that person. If you’re thinking of getting back together, read that list
We tend to idealize our partners after a while. We forget their defects and the reasons that made us get away in the first place. This list is really helpful in those moments when we feel lonely and tempted to call again.
Replace “but” with “however”, “although”, or even just a pause so your listener avoids negating the first part of your sentence
When people hear “but” they automatically negate the first part of your sentence. This is why many people say “I’m sorry,but…” Isn’t a real apology — because whatever the second part of the sentence is trumps the sorry.
I’ve found its especially useful when you’re trying to avoid being accusatory or when you’re trying to bring up an issue without putting the other person on the defense because the pause required to replace the “but” will also make you consider how to phrase the rest of your thought better.
Person: You handled that customer well, but you can’t be so blunt.
Other person: you handled that customer well. However, next time you can try telling them in a kinder way.
When introverted and going to a party where you don’t know a lot of people, go a bit earlier. With less people you’ll be more likely to connect with some folks
One 18 inch pizza is more pizza than two 12 inch pizzas
Sometimes it’s better value to order a large instead of two mediums.
Area of circle = pi*r2
12-inch: 113.1 in2 x 2 = 226.2 in2
18-inch: 254.47 in2
Motivate people by giving them choices, even if the choices are illusory
People feel more valued or in control if they get to make choices about the task ahead. I learned from taking care of my nephew that if I ask him “What do you want for lunch?” It can turn into an endless thing about why I don’t have his favourite food or why we can’t go to McDonalds. Instead I say “Do you want pasta or toasted sandwiches for lunch?” He makes a choice and feels some measure of control even though I have maintained control over what I have to make.
This can be manipulative but if you’re managing a team of people with a lot less experience than you it can be tempting to map out every aspect of how they do a job. Some jobs are highly complex and time-sensitive and have to be done a certain way. Wherever possible find areas where people working under you can make choices or use initiative safely. They are more likely to take pride in what they’re doing and take ownership of the task if they have some measure of input.
Never give out any personal information on an inbound call
If it is an important call, and personal information is required, tell them that you will call their service back after googling their proper phone number; don’t call them back on a number that they give you.
Even if it’s a legitimate call, it’s better to be safe.
When you get into a relationship, make a real effort to hang out with friends who invite you to hang out with them
Once you are past the honeymoon period, make an effort to see your friends. You’d be surprised how easy it is just to settle in and feel like that one person can fulfill all your needs (or that the needs they don’t just start to seem unimportant). Maintaining your friendships, though, is actually really good for your psyche — it keeps you growing and grounded in a ways that are different than with your partner. Often there is a lot of inertia to socializing outside of a couples context or without your partner, particularly if you have a demanding job, but it’s worth it.
You might feel like you don’t really need your friends anymore, or that friends in general seem less important, but this is likely untrue and you could end up finding this out in a rough way. And just because you feel like you don’t need your friends doesn’t mean they don’t need you, or don’t notice you have disappeared.
If you ever feel like making a decision when in high emotion, wait 24 hours before committing to the action
My mom taught me this rule when I young, and I have lived by it ever since. Everyone has been in a situation where their emotions are high, and immediately create an idea of action in order to solve the issue. For example, your boyfriend pisses you off, and you decide that the best idea is to call him to bag him out. Or you’re excited about a new car test drive, or seeing a new gadget (take my money) amazon purchase etc., and you immediately decide to purchase it.
It’s amazing to see how your brain can process your choice of action over the 24 hours. When the emotions settle, you think more cognitively and can decide responsibly without the influence of your strong emotions from the initial creation of your idea.
I’ve personally noticed I’ve saved money, dignity, and relationships from just waiting 24 hours before committing to a high emotion decision. It’s something I wanted to share, and hopefully this advice can help someone who is in a similar situation.
Take pictures of your hair after a good haircut. If you ever need to see a new barber, a picture’s worth a thousand words
If you do take pictures, please get front, sides and back, IN NATURAL LIGHT. It is very hard to determine what kind of hair cut you are asking for when you are showing me a picture you took of yourself at a night club or other dimly lit settings.
If you’re buying a used car, make sure to check that the check engine light turns on when you insert the key into the 2nd position and the dash lights up. If not, it likely means they removed the bulb to hide a problem
Having a friend with or buying a cheap scan tool alleviates this but if you don’t have access to one this is a great way to double check you’re not getting ripped off.
When walking your dogs, make them sit and wait before crossing streets. This will make them hesitate about running into roads if they ever get loose. Works for kids too!
There are still 10,000 puppy mills in the United States. If you’re buying a dog, insist on seeing the breeder’s facilities There are many great dogs who need homes in shelters. Go follow your local humane society on Facebook.NEVER get a dog from a pet store.
Great idea for pet owners
Use the FORD method when you don’t know what to say in conversation
F – Family (Their S/O, kids, siblings, pets, family traditions)
O – Occupation (What do they do? How did they get into it? Where did they go to school?)
R – Recreation (What do they like to do?)
D – Dreams (Ask about their goals, dreams, and aspirations)
Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead, compare yourself to where you were 1-2 years ago. Whether it’s fitness or finance, use that as motivation for your own goals.
If you’re ever called by your bank’s fraud department hang up and call them back
I got a call from someone claiming to be from fraud department of my bank over the weekend. The call showed up on my caller ID as US Bank which is how I have it saved in my contacts. He said there was a fraudulent charge from American Airlines and I was on that their website booking a flight about an hour prior to the call. For a moment I thought it was legit but then he asked for a pin #. Just be careful because the caller ID makes it seem real. The actual fraud department said they have seen this multiple times with the caller ID showing as the bank.
To avoid the fake, cheesy smile on young kids when you try to take their picture, ask them to tell you a joke while you take it, but tell them that they should absolutely not laugh while telling it. Beautiful pictures every time of glee.