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    Job Search Resources - October 8, 2015 by admin

    When looking for a job, what is the best way to search for one? Nowadays, there are many resources out there for you to look through. I have narrowed them down to three major types to look at the benefits of each. The three types are the internet, newspaper, and through networking. Lets look at the internet first.

    Looking through the internet is a great way to quickly find jobs. It is actually the means by which I found my current job as a Financial Aid Advisor. Two helpful websites I looked at were monster.com and careerbuilder.com .  You can easily search for a job specified in your area of interest, and its also a great resources to look at if you are planning on moving and new a job in a new town or city.  One of the things I have found that are not so good about some of these sites are some of the jobs are spammed, and can be very misleading.  Lots of sales jobs are posted with misleading job descriptions to get a big volume of job seekers in the door.  Make sure you research a company before you go to the interview.

    Another means of finding a job is through the classified section in your local newspaper.  Every Sunday it is a good idea to take the job section of the newspaper and look for jobs in your area.  Most list mailing or email address where you can send in your resume and cover letter.  As always you need to follow up with these, do not expect someone to call you back always.

    A third and final  excellent means to acquire a job is through networking.  If you are recently out of school, contact your classmates in your area and ask them if there are any openings where they work.  I had two job offers this way and its a great way to easily get your foot in the door if you already know someone working where you are applying.

    Using all three of these means for finding a job simultaneously will improve your chances of finding a good job in your area.

    Easy Way To Get A Strong Personal Reference - October 1, 2015 by admin

    Having to get letters of recommendation can be a stressful thing to do.  You may not always feel comfortable going up to someone and asking them to write a letter on your behalf.  Here is what needs to be done to make this process easier.

    Build a strong relationship with the person from the start!!

    Whether it be your boss, professor, whoever keep this in mind from the beginning.  At some point you will probably need to use that person as a reference.   It’s best to start from the beginning building a strong relationship with that person.

    I’ll use a college professor for example. During thefirst day of class, make it a point to have yourself stick out in this person’s mind, even if its not necessary.  For example, stay after class and just talk to your professor about the class for a while.  Simple small talk like this will help you build a strong relationship with your professor.  Once a week make it a point to have a conversation with them.  When the time is ready, it will be no problem for you to ask them for a reference since over the course of time you have put in the effort to build your relationship with you professor.

    This pays off with the reference too.  This person can now truly elaborate on  how you may be an easy person to get along with, or how you stayed after class for help.  A strong reference can be the difference in getting a good internship, job, whatever it may be.  The key point here is to start from the beginning, and follow thought with building and maintaining a strong relationship.

    Does Internet Poker Cheating Happen?? You Bet! - September 26, 2015 by admin

    Like lots of other people my age, I started playing poker a few years ago about the time the poker craze started. With the startup and addition of many online poker sites, I have played my share of poker on the internet. I tried a few sites putting some money in here and there and in the long run I always lost whatever I put in.

    To me, something never felt quite right playing online. The hands were never like hands I saw at a live table and at times I felt like something fishy was up. A few days ago, a friend of mine pointed me towards this article and my suspensions were confirmed. It IS possible to hack internet poker software, and its happened. Take a look at this article from msnbc.com.

    Now I’m not saying this is common online, its probably not. But I for one will never put money into any online poker site again. I don’t trust the randomness of the cards, and now it’s been proven that through hacks it is possible for another player to see your hole cards. My recommendation to people who like to play poker is stick to playing with a group of friends. That way you can be sure you are not being cheated.

    Job Seekers, Beware of This Scam! - September 26, 2015 by admin

    “The money’s the same, whether you earn it or scam it.” – Bobby Heenan

    This is most likely the motto of Exam Services, a company that recently scammed me. (I DID get my money back!) We all know scams are out there and most of us don’t think we will fall for them. I personally had never been scammed before but that is exactly when you are most susceptible to a scam , when you are least expecting it. Here’s what this slick little scam is.

    I’m sure everyone has been out of a job at some point in their life and decided to browse through the Sunday classified in search of some job openings. Well if you happen to see a lucrative ad for Post Office job claiming to pay over $50,000 per year with full benefits, STAY AWAY! The ad lists a 1-800 number which when you call is really Exam Services. Here is what happened to me when I called the number.

    I was on hold for roughly five minutes when an operator came on and quickly said welcome to exam services this is so-and-so how many I help you. Now if you are not listening intently you will not hear the welcome to Exam Services comment because you were on hold so long and likely were not paying attention. This is your ONLY clue you are not with the Post Office, so if you miss that you may be out around $120. While talking to the operator I asked several questions specifically related to the Post Office job, all which were answered with the impression I was talking to a Post Office employee. During the entire conversation I was being given a pitch that jobs were available and that I would need these study materials to pass the exam. This is where they try and get you to fork up $120 to pay for these “study materials.”

    What the “study materials” really are is a worthless, but expensive study guide. You definitely do not need this to become a Post Office Employee. I do not know how this advertising technique used by Exam Services is legal but it somehow is. It is purposely misleading solely for the purpose of making poor, unemployed people pay money for something they DO NOT need.

    To sum up my adventures, I filed a complain with the BBB. After a few weeks I was contacted and informed I was entitled to a refund. So people please, beware of post office ads in the newspaper because I know they are out there, and spread the word of this sleazy scam!

    Do’s and Don’ts When Buying Your First Car - September 21, 2015 by admin

     

    It’s an exciting time when you go to purchase your first car. More often than not, this car will be a huge upgrade from the car that your parents let you drive. In my case, I was driving a 1993 Pontiac Bonneville which I couldn’t wait to get rid of. However, before you rush in and buy, here are a few Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind.

    DO:

    • Shop around for the best deal — Extremely Important!!! Chances are that the first dealership you stop buy will not have the best deal in town.
    • Do lots of research before you head to any dealership — If you are like me and you don’t have a great deal of knowledge about cars this is a must. Being knowledgeable on your subject is important when negotiating. I checked around on autotrader.com and cars.com to compare prices for the car model I was interested in.
    • Test drive — Always drive the ca before you purchase it. This should be obvious, but you want to drive it to ensure nothing is wrong. Try out everything you can think of and make sure you take it on the highway as well.
    • Make sure you understand everything completely before you sign anything — Once you sign,it’s nearly impossible to get out of a contract. Make sure all you questions are answered to your liking before you sign,

    DO NOT:

    • Buy the first time out — This is so important I had to put it twice. It can be tempting to want to get in the new car right away and drive off the lot, especially if you are being pressured by a salesman to buy. Remember, it is their job to not let you out the door without them making the sale. Don’t be impulsive and foolish. At a minimum, take a night to sleep on the idea and wake up with a clear head and make your decision. If you feel they have a great deal for you, ask them if that deal can stand until tomorrow while you think it over. More than likely once they see you are serious they will agree to that.
    • Do not go in tired or hungry — Like I said earlier, the dealers job is to sell you a car right away. Part of a dealer’s tactics is to stall and keep you there as long as he can. This is for a few reasons. First, that is less time you have looking at another dealership. Most people only have limited free time. If you were planning on hitting up a few dealerships on Saturday but the first salesman stalls and keeps you there all day you obviously are more likely to buy from him since it’s the only car you saw all day! When I went to my first dealership I remember I spent nearly all my Saturday in there. Also, people tend to make hastier and poorer decisions when they are tired or hungry. Before you go in, make sure you are rested, well fed, and comfortable.
    • Pay for things you don’t want or need — Make sure you carefully read the contract before you sign. If you don’t understand anything, ask! Don’t get conned into paying for something you do not want.

    Keep these tips in mind and you should have no trouble getting yourself the best deal on your first car!

    Win Money Playing Poker for Free - September 18, 2015 by admin

    So you like to play poker but don’t enjoy the risk of losing your hard earned money huh? Well I can completely agree with you there. But guess what, if it wasn’t obvious by the title of this there is a way you can win money and not have to risk any of your own.

    What I am referring to is River Chasers Poker Tour. All the information you need on this can be found at River Chasers. However I’ll give you a brief description now of what it is.

    River Chasers is a poker tournament that is held at local bars and restaurants around the east coast. It is held at several locations daily in the area you live in making it possible to play poker each night. Anyone can come and play, provided seating is available. I can only speak for the Central PA area (because that’s where I live!) but anywhere from 50-120 people show up each night, depending on the day of the week and the location. Prizes are $100 for 1st, a Hess $30 gas card for 2nd, and a hat and T-shirt for 3rd.

    Personally, I find this an excellent way to play poker which I love to do with the chance of winning some money. It’s a great way to improve your skills in live tournament style play. I’ll also add it’s a great way to meet people. A lot of people attend regular and even after the third or fourth time out you will most likely start to recognize faces.

    But for those of you looking for bigger things in your poker life don’t worry, there is more. Each night you play you have the chance to earn points through their player ranking system. Player rankings are based on the total number of players entered in each tournament. The top 30% of players at each venue earn ranking points. For example, if there are 100 players, the top 30 spots will be ranked. The 30th finisher would receive 1 point; the top finisher would receive 30 points. At the end of each quarter of the year, a Tournament of Champions is held. Entrance to this varies, based on the total number of ranked players in each region. Usually around the top 30% players per region advance. From there the top 10% of finishers from each Regional TOC will qualify to play in their Regional Championship. Top finishers at each Regional Championship will compete in the Year-End Championship. The winner of this tournament will be crowned Grand Champion and will receive our Grand Prize: a seat at the World Series of Poker Main Event!

    As you can see, River Chasers gives you the opportunity to play poker in your area just for fun, or if you are a bit more ambitious you can still win a seat at the World Series of Poker Main Event. And like I said earlier, it’s FREE to play! But some of you might be thinking well that’s great but I don’t live on the east coast. Well for starters do they offer online play. (I don’t know much information on that) However I’m sure with a little research there are tournaments similar to this held around the good old USA. So good luck to everyone out there in poker games, and maybe I’ll see one of you out there in a River Chasers tournament.

    Benefits of Budgeting - September 16, 2015 by admin

    Ah, the budget. It is a word we are all too familiar with but something none of us are too eager to do. I know when my father used to talk to me about making a budget I was all too anxious to change the subject. Why do I need to have a budget I would think to myself. I’m doing just fine.

    That was all before I moved out and lived on my own. Now that I have a steady stream of bills to pay and a limited income, I understand why having a budget is important. So first, what is a budget? A simple definition of a budget is living within your financial limits. Your expenses should not be greater than your income. In a world where too many people are living off credit and getting themselves into debt, budgeting is essential to maintaining financial security.

    Benefits of Budgeting

    • Budgeting will help you reach your financial goals
    • Budgeting will eliminate debt.
    • You will know when your bills are due
    • Your savings will increase
    • You will become aware of your spending habits
    • Helps you become organized

    Of course, there are many more benefits to having a personal budget set up than what I listed there. The list could be endless — the important point is creating and maintaining a budget is an important part of personal finance.

    First Auto Accident - September 16, 2015 by admin

    Being in an automobile accident can be a stressful time.  I know, because this happened to me earlier this week.  Thankfully for me the accident wasn’t my fault and the accident was not serious.  My car did need towed and repairs however.  Here are a few things to keep in mind if you ever are in an accident.

    1. Make sure everyone is ok.  Your car is secondary, people’s health and safety is the most important thing here.
    2. Once everyone is safe, call the police to make sure the incident is reported.  In my case, the accident was not my fault.  The police filed a report that contained information of me and the person who hit me.  The person at fault is usually listed at the top of this report.  It contains both your insurance information as well.
    3. Make sure your car is drivable, if not it will need towed.  In my case here, I was able to call my insurance company and they provided me with a tow truck as well as set me up a rental car.
    4. Keep track of any out of pocket expenses such as receipts for towing, car rental or anything else you may have to spend money on.  This can be reimbursed by whoever insurance is covering the claim.

    The main thing to realize is that this is not the end of the world.  It can be stressful not knowing what will happen and if you will be out any money.  From the experiences I had, both mine and the other person’s insurance company was corporative and helpful.  Before you know it your car will be back and running in no time.

    Ten Things Expats Should Know about Irish Tax - October 11, 2013 by admin

    Ten Things Expats Should Know about Irish Tax

    It’s been a while since we talked about costs here. But I got another email during the week from someone thinking of living in Ireland and one of the things we talked about was tax.  I’ve tried not to think about tax here as I moved back just when the government started piling on income levies and other strange charges. I know, I know; great timing!

    These are some of the interesting (ahem, maybe I mean relevant) things I’ve discovered this year:

    1. The tax year is a calendar year from Jan.1st to December 31st.  Logical; thank you!
    2. Only 183 days of that are counted as making you resident for tax purposes. They have also have a system where if you are resident for 280 days over two years that you pay tax for the second year.
    3. If you’re resident in Ireland for tax purposes then you need to also pay tax here on any income earned overseas during this time.
    4. Luckily Ireland has a double-taxation deal with over 40 countries which means you don’t have to stump up in both places.
    5. You should check the details of this before arriving here as each agreement is different. Don’t just assume your Irish employer’s accountant will understand your personal situation.
    6. There is another category for people who are ‘ordinarily resident’ here. This is people who stay for three years or less – i.e. most expat contracts.  You still need to pay tax on all income earned here and overseas but not on investment properties or on work which is carried out away from Ireland.
    7. If you are employed by a company here,  they take the tax out of your salary for you. It’s called PAYE: Pay As You Earn.
    8. Self-employed people can choose to pay annually in a lump sum or set up a direct debit payment based on self-assessment.
    9. EU residents can keep their Personal Tax Credits when you come here if you earn more than 75% of your income in Ireland.
    10. You can find any other information you need at the Irish Tax website.

    Have I missed anything important?

    George Carlin Talks Stuff - October 11, 2013 by admin

    I’m feeling the urge for a late Spring Clean. Inspired by this old George Carlin set – very old, it’s from a Comic Relief gig in 1986 but it’s so true. It’s worth watching but if you’re in a rush: Carlin says we label everything we own as stuff but everyone’s else’s belongings are s***.  Painfully true.  Every time I move, I shift things from the stuff category to the other one, and throw bags away.

    Well, not just somehow – I order things online or walk into shops and buy stuff. Stuff that usually seems vital to my existence but then sits there or gets forgotten.  Living in Ireland,  a fairly materialistic country, hasn’t helped as there is no incentive not to shop here.  Everyone claims to be shopping less due to the recession as this Deloitte report says, but this is clearly a relative term. I found the Carlin video on Vagablogging where Rolf talks about how our stuff actually owns us not the other way around.

    Two questions today: Are books and DVDS stuff? And how do you deal with your stuff build-ups?

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