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Is your gym membership worth it?

Jungle Gym

Good morning Loves. I used to be the first to admit that a gym membership was a waste of money. I preferred to find less expensive (dare I even say free) workout routines such as walking outside and working out in my home. I refused to pay $45 a month for a gym membership to workout with hundreds of other sweaty people who have touched the same equipment. But now my mentality has taken a 180 degree turn and I am not pro-gym membership.

Things are going south (yet) but they just aren’t the same

Since I hit 30 years old it’s safe to say my body has changed quite a bit. I was never one of those skinny girls who eats salad and drinks protein shakes all day. I have always had “curves”, which is just a skinny girl’s polite way of saying I’m not skinny. Even though I’ve never been skinny or even thin, I am noticing that my body is just not the same at 33 that it was at 23. Places of my body are touching that shouldn’t be touching and that’s not OK with me.

My new body composition could be due to changes in my lifestyle over the last ten years. At 23 I was broke and couldn’t really afford anything, let alone nice meals. Now that I have a full time job and freelance side hustle I can afford to eat out, which I do a lot because I’m so busy and a really awful cook. I’m sure my income increase over the years and my change in lifestyle habits have played a major role in how my body has evolved.

In my 30s I need a little more motivation to get going and get to the gym. Sure some may say that looking good is motivation enough and boy do I wish that was true. In my 20s I was full of energy and I could function well on five to seven hours of sleep. Now I sleep for a solid 12 hours on the weekends and I like to take a power nap during the week when I get home from work. It’s probably not as dramatic as I’m making it sound but all that to say I need a little help to stay motivated.

Money is motivation to keep going

I decided to join a gym because I need a little extra motivation to start working out on a regular basis. What better motivation is there than money? I now pay $45 per month for my gym membership and I never regret it. I am not a fan of being locked into a contract because committing to anything really freaks me out, but overall my gym experience has been very pleasant.

I make sure I get to the gym at least three times a week because it makes the monthly cost worth it. I would hate myself if I paid $45 per month for a gym membership and never went. So other day I pack my bag and head to the gym after work. I carry my bag to work because if I come home to change my clothes I would never make it back out to the gym. I would rather change into my pyjamas than change into my workout gear. Going to the gym straight from work makes sure I get my money’s worth with my gym membership.

Photo by tahnyakristina

Friday Faves: DIY and romantic gestures

BB April 12 Easter

Good morning Loves.  Happy Easter.

I am off work today and I plan on enjoying every minute of it.  I hope you all have a great long weekend with lots and lots of chocolate.

Enjoy these posts from our personal finance friends.

NZ Muse – Romance is overrated: Why we suck at romantic gestures

Gen Y Finances – How To Write A Resignation Letter

Financially Blonde – Top 10 DIY Movies

Savvy Financial Latina – Keeping Things Simple With Your Finances

Budgets Are Sexy – It’s Yard Sale Season, Bitch!

Clever Dude – What Would You Do: Is the Customer Always Right?

Photo by Margaret Collins

Simple Ways to Cut your Car Maintenance Costs

gold piggy bank

[Article by Rachel MacDonald]

The last thing you want to think about when you purchase a shiny new car is paying for future repairs when it breaks down. Yet repairs and maintenance are major components of the overall cost of car ownership, and are important to consider as you work out a budget. There’s nothing worse than a massive and unexpected bill at the mechanic’s.

Slash your maintenance costs and have more to set aside for your next holiday by taking these preventive steps.

Become a more efficient driver.

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to reduce your maintenance bills is to keep your car in top working order. Well maintained cars are more efficient and in better shape. Keep a light touch on the accelerator and avoid slamming on the brakes whenever possible. You can also keep mileage down by combining multiple trips, carpooling, and seeking out alternative forms of transportation.

Keep a record of your full service history.

Getting your car checked out on a regular basis requires a bit of an investment, but it can help you save on significant repairs down the road and is well worth it. You’ll want to maintain documentation of your full service history, because this will help you protect your warranty. It can also help you sell your car down the road.

Take care of your tires.

Driving on under-inflated tires is an easy way to burn through unnecessary fuel and put strain on your car’s engine. At the same time, over-inflating your tires causes extra wear to the treads and reduces the tires’ lifespan. You’ll want to check your tires regularly to make sure they’re at the recommended level of pressure, and order replacements online to get better deals than what you’d find at the dealership.

Don’t be afraid to haggle.

If the thought of a trip to the mechanic’s sends you into a cold sweat, you’re not alone! Many of us rank it up there with visiting the dentist or taking an exam, afraid of the high bill that’s likely to result. If a quote seems unusually high, try haggling. You can ask for a breakdown of all the work the mechanic suggests, so that you can get a clear picture of the services rendered. The important thing is to ask for this before you agree for the work to begin, and ask for quotes from several other mechanics at the same time. This gives you added leverage when you want to bargain for a cheaper price.

Buy your own car parts.

As you look at the breakdown of a maintenance bill, you may notice that the most costly components are often the auto parts themselves. It’s not always in the mechanic’s best interest to get you the best deal on car parts. You can source parts on your own and benefit from added discounts. Try visiting a local scrap merchant, an auction site, or a specialty parts supplier along with staying up to date on the latest car news from sources like car sales. If you can find a better deal, hold off on the work until you’ve ordered them.

With proper care and a bit of haggling, you can downsize your bills in no time. These are just a few ways to cut the cost of car ownership just a little bit, leaving more money in your bank account to splurge on a new car when the time comes to trade it in.

Image Source: Poppy Thomas-Hill / Wikimedia Commons

Nail your next job interview

April 12 Suite Tie

Good morning Loves.  Let me ask you a question, are you in the market for a new job?  I am 33 years old and I’ve been to dozens of job interviews in my life.  Some of them went really well and some of them went not so well.

My embarrassing job interview

The most embarrassing job interview  I ever had was at a golf and country club.  I was 16 years old and I went for an interview to be a server in their dining room.  I didn’t realize it until I got back into my car after the interview, but I had black grease on my face the entire time.

That’s right, I walked through a country club, sat in the dining room and answered questions during a 30 minute job interview with black grease on my face.  Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

The worst job interview ever

A year after my country club catastrophe I had an interview at a popular steak house to be a server.  The interview was the most awkward 20 minutes of my life…and I was 17, a time when everything is awkward.  I didn’t know it then, but now as I look back I think the world was telling me that I just wasn’t meant to be a server.  The interview was going so badly that the manager actually stopped asking questions about the job and then asked me “If you could be a fruit, what fruit would you be?”

I was completely shocked and to this day I remember my answer.  I said “I would be a grape because I love to eat grapes.”  After that the interview was over.  The manager said he would call me within the next week because they were looking for someone to start the following weekend.  To this day I am still waiting for that call.

Prepare for your next job interview with these tips

As we get older the job interview process doesn’t get any easier.  There is absolutely nothing worse than feeling awkward and being uncomfortable in a job interview.  But if you want to advance your career we all have to do it.  The best tips I can give you for your next job interview are to be prepared, research the company to tailor your answers and know how your strengths apply to the job.

In today’s ever competitive job market employers want to know why should they hire you and only you?  It’s important to showcase the strengths that make you stand out from the other candidates.  You don’t want to be cocky but you should be confident.  Let employers know you’re the best person for the job.

Employers also want to know that you are enthusiastic about the job and excited to work for the company.  Employers want to know how long you plan to stay in the position and how long you plan to stay with the company.  That’s why employers always ask about your career goals, even though you are interviewing for a new job.  It takes thousands of dollars to search for, find and train a new employee; so employers  want a long term commitment.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long term commitment to job, but definitely to the company.

Photo by eecoy.com