The One Thing I Didn’t Think About When I Got Married

Budget WeddingI read about 30-40 personal finance articles every week, and there seems to be a recurring theme about being financially ready for big life events.

They talk about how much money you need to have saved up before you buy a house. They caution you to have a huge emergency fund before you have a baby. And marriage! Oy! You better think twice before you join accounts or take on your fiancé’s debt! That could mean bad news for you, they say.

So can you can guess what I didn’t think about when I got married?

Money!

When I met my husband, I was only 18 years old. On one of our first dates, he took me out in his beat up old green Jeep, and I remember distinctly that we stopped at a traffic light, and it completely died. After about 5 minutes of waving the traffic on, it finally started back up again, and we continued on our way.

He didn’t have a ton of money. All I saw was someone who worked hard each and every day. I had never met someone who went school full time and worked full time. I was impressed with him! At 21, he was paying for everything for himself, and at the time, he was exhausted, but he was still supporting himself.

Still, I didn’t agonize over who paid for dinner. I didn’t wonder if he was a good saver. I was only a college student, and we saved our pennies from our side jobs to travel to different cities and backpack across Europe. He worked so hard and gave (and still gives) me the kindest, most thoughtful gifts. Now, looking back, I know what a sacrifice many of them were for him.

I didn’t even realize he had a bit of credit card debt until we had been dating for three years, and he told me about it one night, prefacing it with, “You should probably know about this…”

Honestly, when he told me he had credit card debt, I didn’t even think twice about it! It didn’t make me want to break up with him or think twice about marrying him. I was in love! I was young! I wanted to be with him forever.

Now, almost 8 years after we first started dating, we’re still going strong. We’ve been married for three years. We’ve traveled (and lived) all over the world. We got ourselves into credit card debt and we got out of it. We made an emergency fund. We made a plan to grow the fund. We’re planning a big trip for next year. Plus, that awesome work ethic that initially made me attracted to him? Now, he’s in med school, and it all paid off.

So you see, ladies, go for the guy who will do absolutely anything to ensure you have a good life, not the one with the flashy car and the big bank account.

I guess what I’m trying to convey is that you do not have to have a perfect financial life before you get married! You do not have to have all your ducks in a row! Just ask your grandparents who have been married for 40+ years. They didn’t worry about the other’s assets or income or net worth. So, why should you?

Marriage is about love not money! If I would have turned my nose up at the hubs’ old jeep that day when it broke down, I would have missed out on the best love story I’ve ever known.

Top Job Interview Tips You Need To Know

As you know, I’m a big believer in working hard and side hustling. Everyone, regardless of their background and experience, should be able to get some kind of job, whether you work for yourself online or want to work in a corporate office. If you are struggling with securing a job, today is your day. Enjoy the post below, brought to you by our guest poster, Gary Dek. Gary is a personal finance blogger and freelance writer who focuses on investing, budgeting, credit and debt, education and career advice, real estate and mortgages, saving, and car and life insurance at Gajizmo.com. Gary graduated from a top-ranked university with a finance degree and worked in the industry for 3 years before working online.

 

Thanks for sharing, Gary!

 

You scoured the classifieds, filled out countless job application forms, sent out more resumes and cover letters than you want to think about, and you finally got an interview. Don’t think the hard work is over yet; employers will always interview multiple candidates for the same job, so now you need to stand out from the crowd. Interviews are a lot like dating – you have a short period of time to present yourself and see if there is a fit.
Unfortunately, in the case of an interview, most of the decision-making power is in the employer’s hands, so if you really want the job, you need to absolutely “wow” the interviewer. Having a positive attitude and engaging in conversational pleasantries is not enough, but with a little research, preparation, and the right mindset, this can be achieved. Often times, it is the simple things that win people over – factors that make you think “I can’t believe I didn’t take 5 minutes to do that right.” Here are 9 job interview tips that every candidate likely knows, but won’t implement or actually take the time to perfect. 

1. Research The Company

Like anything, preparation is the key to success in an interview. Visit the company’s website and find out everything you can about their past, present, and future projects, their mission statement, their executive management team, and possibly your interviewer. Don’t forget to research news articles and press releases, especially ones that tout new projects, acquisitions, or contracts the company has been awarded. Be certain you understand the responsibilities and duties of the job for which you have applied. A phone call to the HR department might provide helpful information, but some companies do not allow HR employees to answer telephone inquiries about jobs. It only takes a few minutes to call so it’s worth a try. Interviewers typically ask if you have questions to find out how much you know about the company and if you are truly interested in the job. Be sure to prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer to clarify the job description or the mission of the company. Intelligent, well-thought out questions indicate a genuine interest in the position and the company. Avoid asking questions about salary, benefits, holidays, sick pay, or vacation time. That discussion should be reserved for after you receive an offer. Maybe consider asking questions like these, but be prepared to offer your opinion as well if the interviewer turns around and asks you for input:

  • “What kind of person do you think will succeed and advance at this company?”
  • “What is your favorite and least favorite part of your job?”
  • “Where do you think the [insert industry] industry is headed, and where do you see growth and innovation within the industry in the future?”

2. Know How To Get There

If you do not have a GPS or navigation system on your phone or in your car, be sure to bring a map, write down directions, and view the location online to get an idea of where the office building is. Getting lost could make you late, frustrated, nervous, or sweaty, so have the interviewer’s phone number in case of an emergency. You should carry enough cash or tokens for public transit and have enough gas to get to where you are going without worrying about being stranded. Keep a pen and pad in your purse or briefcase for taking notes during the interview. Even if you already mailed a resume, bring three copies in a protective folder and a list of questions to ask the interviewer. If the job you are applying for involves art, writing, photography, or drafting, bring a portfolio with examples of your work. A copy of the complete job description will help remind you of key points during the interview.

3. Be Cognizant of Your Body Language

Job Interview During an interview, the applicant who appears confident and relaxed has a major advantage. Avoid fidgeting, slumping, bouncing your feet or other nervous habits. Keep your arms at your sides or on the arms of the chair since crossing your arms is a defensive gesture that will make you appear anxious or worried about a particular line of questioning. Make appropriate eye contact with the interviewer when answering questions, but don’t stare. While this may sound complicated, the most important thing is to act natural, the way you would in other social situations.

4. Realize You Might Have To Answer Unexpected Questions

While most interviewers ask the same questions, one may occasionally ask a question you did not expect. Take your time to consider the question and give a brief, to the point answer. Do not clear your throat or shift around in the chair trying to buy time. Just relax and take a minute to formulate your answer – answering quickly does not get you extra points if your answer doesn’t adequately address the question or is simply the wrong answer. Especially when it comes to technical questions, take your time to think of the different angles and possibilities. Some interviewers like to ask trick questions – I would know, I did it sometimes if I wanted to challenge an applicant. Lastly, make sure that your answers relate to your education, experience, and ability to perform the job. For further research, I’d suggest you read “How To Answer 20 of The Most Common Interview Questions”.

5. Schedule The Interview At The Best Time

The best time for interviews is middle of the week in the middle of the morning or the middle of the afternoon. Try to schedule your interview for a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday since Mondays and Fridays are usually the busiest working days, or employees are just not in the mood. For example, Mondays can be slow and frustrating if an interviewer’s weekend wasn’t restful , and most employees are so anxious to start the weekend on Friday that they may not actually give you the consideration and attention you deserve. Additionally, try not to schedule right before or right after lunch and avoid rush hour traffic by scheduling appointments well after the start and before the end of the business day.

6. Remember, Timing Is Everything

Well, maybe not everything, but if you really want the job, it is crucial that you be on time for your interview. Allow an extra thirty minutes for traffic delays or, in urban areas, to find a parking space. If you arrive to the interview early, check your appearance, review your notes and spend the time preparing for the interview. Do not go into the business more than 10 minutes before the scheduled time since arriving too early can make you seem desperate. For example, I am in the finance industry and my interviews tend to be part behavioral questioning and part technical-based. I always plan on arriving 20 minutes early so I can sit in the car and review some ratios, steps to a discounted cash flow analysis, how different balance sheet and income statement items flow and affect each other, factors for risk analysis, etc. The point is to get my mind working on the line of questioning to come.

7. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Job Interview

When researching the company, find out if they have a dress code and dress just a little more formally. If the dress code is business casual, men should add a sports jacket or a jacket and tie for the interview. Woman can wear a dress, skirt or pants with a coordinating jacket for a little extra polish. You should look like you will fit right in with the rest of the employees. Some experts suggest that formal business wear is most appropriate for an interview. An interview expert once stated “Dress for the job you want, not the job you applied for”. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a degree specializing in the field. If you have the necessary skills and are confident you can do the job exceptionally, come dressed like a professional who is perfect for the position.  Obviously, hair should be styled, nails neat and trimmed, and clothing should have no stains or tears. Women should wear appropriate cosmetics, applied with a light hand, and minimal jewelry. Facial hair should be freshly trimmed or shaved. Provocative clothing is never appropriate for an interview, so keep hemlines and necklines modest. Dress shoes should be shined, and if you are wearing a suit, please, no white crew socks. If you are not sure about the company dress code, it is best to dress up, not down. The way I’ve always looked at these things is: if presidential candidates worry that colors, fashion styles, and looks will influence a voter’s opinion and eventual vote, why won’t your interviewer judge you based on them? Be careful about vibrant colors (bright reds, blues, yellows, purples, etc.). Some people may subconsciously associate these colors or tastes with certain ideologies, inappropriately or not, and thus treat you accordingly. Try not to give anything away – stick to a navy or dark blue suit, a white shirt, and a dark blue or dark red tie and socks.

8. Have A Start Date Ready

If an interviewer asks when you would be able to start the job, be ready with an answer. If you are already employed, tell them that you need to give your current employer two weeks notice before you can start. Telling an interviewer that you will leave your current job without notice will have him wondering if you would do the same when leaving a job with his company. If you are not employed, tell them you can start immediately, or at the beginning of the next week. Being prepared to start the job right away may be a factor in getting an offer, so gauge the situation and answer accordingly.

9. End The Interview On A Positive Note

At the end of the interview, ask the interviewer about the next step in the hiring process, thank him for the opportunity to interview, and offer a firm handshake. Get a business card and follow up by sending a thank you note. This helps keep you on the interviewer’s radar. If you do not hear back from the company right away, wait about a week and call back. Even if you do not get this job, there may be other opportunities, and it is good practice to make sure the employer knows you are interested in working for their company in case of future openings. While even the best interview will not guarantee the offer of a job, a poor interview can mean losing an opportunity of even potentially being considered. Preparing an interview strategy and following through can help you outshine other qualified candidates and get a good job even in this tough economy. Worst comes to worst, learning from your past mistakes will prepare you for the time you have a shot at your dream job.

 

Thanks again, Gary, for all all the helpful information. If you would like to contribute a guest post to BudgetBlonde, please e-mail me at Cat [at] BudgetBlonde [dot] com.

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