Getting a new job offer is a very exciting time, but an offer is really just the beginning of what can be tedious and long negotiations.

Many new job seekers can get so carried away in the excitement of landing a new job that they completely forget to take a careful look at the offer. Negotiating the salary is something that many job seekers either fail to do or do incorrectly.

I can certainly relate when it comes to job offer jitters. In one of my first “real” jobs after college, I excitedly accepted a job without even knowing how much the salary was. Needless to say, that was a big no-no.

Whether you’re new to the workforce, or a seasoned vet, avoid these mistakes during salary negotiations so you can make more money.
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Cash tops the list of popular graduation gifts year in and year out. If it’s your turn to don a cap and gown this year, congratulations – you probably pocketed a significant amount of change along with your achievement. Based on the National Retail Federation’s 2016 Graduation Spending Survey, most people expected to spend about $53 on their grad gifts. If even 20 well-wishers gifted that amount, you’d have over $1,000.

So, what are you going to do with it?

Since we tend to view graduation gifts as a form of “extra” money (a psychological money trap known as mental accounting), it can be tempting to quickly reach for that wish list. Before you do, though, consider these four ways you can use it to both celebrate your achievement and give yourself a better financial foundation for the future.
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Job security is something many of us take for granted too often. Whether it’s because of poor business or the fledgling economy, layoffs often times take employees by surprise. Even if you’re performing well at work, you should always be prepared to lose your job just in case. As with anything in life, you never know what could happen and that includes losing your primary income.

So what do you really do if you get laid off? Taking these 5 steps will help you get back on your feet more easily:
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retire early
At the end of this semester, I will be taking early retirement from my job as a college professor. I will have just turned 54 years old. How am I able to quit my job at such a young age?

I actually started a retirement plan over 30 years ago. Despite some setbacks and detours, I was able to stick to that retirement plan. I am looking forward to reaping the rewards of my financial decisions soon.

I have listed here the most significant financial decisions I made throughout my adult life that most impacted my ability to take an early retirement.

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Congratulations! You’ve just landed yourself a big promotion a work, got a substantial return on an investment, or maybe even won the lottery. Whatever it may be, an increase in income always warrants celebration. Many people get too excited and increase their spending habits too much in response though. As a result, they only find themselves back where they started or maybe even worse.

Lifestyle inflation is hard to curb with any increase in income. The temptation to spend is real and definitely hard to avoid, no matter how determined you might be. After all, you’ve worked so hard for it, and you should be able to enjoy it. However, it’s important to be mindful of what you do with your extra income at the same time. While it may be hard, making wiser decisions now will set you up for a better financial future in the long run. If you’ve recently found yourself in a position with more income, here are some tips to help you curb lifestyle inflation wisely:

Understand Your Goals

It’s easy to spend money but saving it is much harder. Before you go out and make a big purchase with your new found income, take a moment and understand your short-term and long-term goals. Where do you want to be in 5 to 10 years? What do you need to change now to get there later? Re-evaluating your goals will help you plan better for your future and also remind you of the challenges you might face and the decisions you need to make now to get there later. While a raise today seems significant, it might only be a dent in the bucket in the long term.

Re-Examine Your Budget

You should always re-examine your budget on a regular basis but it is especially important when you get a raise. First, ask yourself this – would spending more in any categories make you significantly happier? Would keeping your budget as is negatively effect your standard of living at all? If the answer is no to either, consider keeping your budget the same. While you might want to spend a little extra here and there, keeping your spending habits the same will save you more.

Transfer to Your Savings

As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. You should consider automatically transferring excess fund directly to your savings account. You can set this up to occur monthly or biweekly so that you won’t forget. This way, you’ll watch your savings account grow nicely over time. However, it’s also a good idea to start thinking about how you can invest these savings as it grows. Investing the money wisely will help you get more return over time.

Prioritize Your Debt

How to pay off debt should be one of the first things you think about if you owe. Letting debt sit over time of course builds interest. If you have extra funds to put towards paying your debt down, you should definitely consider it. Once it’s all paid off, you’ll feel a burden lifted off your shoulders. You’ll then be able to really enjoy a lifestyle inflation if you choose to.

Splurge a Little

Lastly, it’s ok to splurge a little. Often times when people talk about lifestyle inflation, there’s a definite negative connotation attached to it. Yes, many people take it to the extreme and start spending money they don’t really even have. But with smart, strategic decisions, you can still enjoy a small boost to your lifestyle while saving for your future. So go ahead, invest a little bit of the sum on yourself. You should be able to enjoy it. Just don’t make it a common occurrence.

financial crisis
You would think high interest rates and recent years of higher inflation would devastate people’s finances, but the data keeps telling us that the economy is still humming along nicely. Still, have you thought of what you would do if you experienced a financial crisis recently? A sudden job loss or a medical emergency could leave a family without it’s usual income. Even if a healthy severance package was given or a large emergency fund existed, you wouldn’t want to keep on living as if nothing happened. You’d still want to cut your expenses as much as possible if a financial crisis occurred. You’d want to conserve the funds you had until a normal flow of income returned.

How much could you quickly cut from your monthly budget if you experienced a financial crisis?

I went through my monthly expenses and added up the things I could quickly cut:
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