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How to Negotiate for More Vacation Time

2014 April 16

charlie_imageIn starting any new job, most people are worried about one thing. MONEY! In the my mind, Rod Stillwell’s request of Jerry Maguire is what I usually want to ask the hiring manager, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!” In all the commotion of deciding to switch jobs often the other benefits are forgotten about. One of those important benefits to consider is vacation.

When agreeing to a salary with a new company vacation time isn’t necessarily on your mind, and many companies will state upfront that “this is non-negotiable”. Or that all the other benefits are fixed and corporate wide.

Regardless, most employees or potential new employees hold a lot of leverage in justifying an increase in paid time off. However, walking this tightrope of being grateful for what you have vs feeling like you deserve more, is a balancing act that is tricky for even the best negotiators.

In breaking this problem down in my analytical head I see it coming down to “JUSTIFICATION”. Justifying why company XYZ should dish out more vacation for you. In looking at this problem, I decided to help lay out four justifications for more paid time off (either during the hiring process or for an existing employee):

  1. Previous Job Data – when pursuing a new employer, it can be helpful to show much PTO you were getting at your current job. If you had 10 years with your previous employer, and got 3 weeks vacation and potential employer X offers 2 weeks, then show them. Ask them to either compensate you with equal vacation time or increased salary. The important thing here is to come with proof on where you are at today.
  2. Ask For It At Your Annual Raise Time – at most companies I know it doesn’t say that annual raises will always be financial. Have you consider approaching your manager or HR manager to discuss being compensated with an increased amount of vacation time? Let’s break it down. If you make $75,000/year and typically get a 4% raise, then that would be an expected $3000 raise. If you also get 2 weeks vacation annually, then you could justify asking for 4 weeks per year. Math: $75,000/50weeks = $1500/week pay.  That $1500 * 2 weeks = $3000. $3000 is equal to the 4% raise you would have gotten. Seems kind of ridiculous to ask for 2 more weeks of vacation, but based on the math it is completely justifiable.
  3. Prove You Deserve It – often times employers need proof that you are going above and beyond your normal job duties. This is why I’m a big proponent of T charts. On the left side of the T chart provide bullet points of what is in your job description, and on the right hand provide proof of how you are doing above and beyond of what is required for your title. (If a job description doesn’t exist for your current job, then ask for it.) The big idea here isn’t to have an attitude of “I deserve it“, but show how you are putting in more than the average. Stick to being analyitical about the problem at hand, and be factual when you present it.
  4. Find Statistics On How Much Vacation People Get In Your Career Field – this negotiation technique is probably one of the most difficult, because a lot of the stats you collect can be considered subjective. It’s real important to have verifiable data by reputable agencies that isn’t just off some website you found on the internet. Provide data on what others get in your career field, and show how you should be getting more vacation or pay.

These are just four small ideas that my help you negotiate your vacation time with a new or current employer.

I’d be interested to hearing from our readers on, 1) have you ever negotiated your vacation time, and 2) what techniques do you use to negotiate vacation time?

Does Walmart’s Savings Catcher Work?

2014 April 14

aaron_image1As I was listening to some tunes via Pandora last week, an ad for Walmart’s Savings Catcher came on. They advertised that you could enter your receipt into their new “Savings Catcher” app and if they find a competitor’s advertised price cheaper than what you paid for it at Walmart, they’ll actually refund you the difference in the form of an e-gift card.

The idea sounded interesting, so I gave it a try on a recent short shopping excursion.  read more…

6 Ways to Save Money When Filing Your Taxes

2014 April 11

money make you mean

Americans spend $140 billion per year to comply with the tax code – that’s a lot of money. And, although that figure may be enough to tempt you to look for ways to cut back on tax prep services, H&R Block reports that consumers who prepare their returns themselves leave $1 billion dollars in unrealized tax savings on the table. Where’s the middle ground, then? If you’re looking for ways to minimize your tax obligation and keep your precious cash out of the hands of accountants and tax prep professionals, check out these six tips.  read more…

Money Hiding Spots From The Great Depression

2014 April 9

charlie_imageAfter the Great Depression, it was hard for lots of people to regain trust in the banks and the entire banking system. Most banks during the depression were over leveraged and had almost 99% of people’s money lent out in car, consumer, and home loans. As a result, when people started losing trust in the banks, then people started running to the banks to get their money out. Understandably, people were “once bitten, and twice shy” from the affects of this tough economic time in our country’s history.

As a result, people stopped saving their money in the banks, and resulted to hiding their money and valuables in their home. From talking with my Grandpa, he expressed how no one trusted the local banks. They were viewed as a bunch of crooks, and Grandpa still had a disgust for one particular banker who foreclosed on one of his dad’s properties. read more…

What Do I Do With Damaged Money?

2014 April 7

aaron_image1The other day I found a coin on the ground and it was defaced so bad that I couldn’t make out what its value was. I’m sure you’ve come across a coin or bill that has been pretty damaged as well (be it cut, missing parts, water damaged, burnt, etc). So, what can you do with it?

What is considered damaged currency?

damaged money

Via the Bureau of Engraving

With most of us carrying plastic as our means of payment today – coming across damaged money is becoming less and less of an issue. And yet, this still happens to us. Perhaps we accidentally have a $5 bill sitting in with some papers that need shredding and then right as we see the papers entering the shredder, notice ‘ol Lincoln’s mug getting torn into pieces.

Or more tragically, we have money stashed away in a drawer then our house goes up in flames and we come across it during clean-up.

According to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, damaged or mutilated money is

NOT CLEARLY more than one-half of the original note and/or, in such condition that the value is questionable and special examination is required to determine its value.   read more…

A Look Back at My Budget – 10 Years Ago

2014 April 4
by Aaron

aaron_image1I thought it would be fun to take a look back at my simple budget 10 years ago this month and see what I was buying with my money and what type of income I was bringing in. Granted, I was less than a year into my “get-0ut-of-debt” journey, but I was well on my way and was going to stick to it.

It’s amazing to think back to those times. I never thought I’d get out of debt. Fortunately, I had been given a couple of family loans (one from my mother and the other from a half-brother – which was yet to come). Although I ended up paying these back, they were able to give me some breathing room in that I didn’t have the accumulating interest.  read more…

Republic Wireless Review – One Month Trial

2014 April 2

charlie_imageLast month I had a friend from church approach me, and asked, “Have you ever heard of Republic Wireless?” He went on to say they offer the Moto X phone and a plan at just $25 per month. It really caught my attention, seemed like a great option and included unlimited texting/data. I had to try it out and see if this wireless provider was all that my friend had touted it to be.

Republic Wireless Moto X PhoneIn walking through the website and signing up for phone and service I was immediately caught by how easy to use and clean that the website was presented. With a lot of these discount cell phone service providers, you often find the website and ordering process cumbersome. Not Republic Wireless!

Since I’ve had the phone over the past month, I’ve had plenty of time to see the pros and cons, and weigh it against the other cell phone services I’ve reviewed (Virgin Mobile Review and Walmart Family Mobile Review) and currently use. Here are few of the key features of the phone and its services.  read more…

How to Make Money Online

2014 March 31

We’re in a time when traditional bricks-and-mortar jobs – especially the kind that pay a living wage and offer full benefits – are becoming increasingly scarce. At the same time, opportunities to make money online are increasing all the time.

We may even be in a major shift in the occupational landscape, one of historic proportions. Just as workers went from farms to factories more than a century ago, and from factories to office suites more than 50 years ago, there may be a shift toward Internet jobs taking place in our own time.

If that’s the case, where are the best job opportunities? When it comes to the Internet, there aren’t too many jobs, at least not as we traditionally define them. But there is incredible opportunity! That being the case, the question needs to be rephrased: where are the best income opportunities on the Internet?  read more…

How I Got Rid of Constipation, Acne, Belly Fat and Lowered My Depression Symptoms Without Paying a Doctor or Taking Meds

2014 March 28
by Aaron

aaron_image1I have to admit – I hesitated in writing this post for awhile. We aren’t exactly a health blog here. Or, are we Three Thrifty Doctors.  But after some deliberation and consternation (without constipation mind you), I figured if I could inspire or help someone else out with this post – so be it and may God bless him or her.

I guess I have to tell you at the onset to take what I’m about to say as my personal experience. I’m not trying to prescribe a diet or a way of life for you. Nor am I saying that going to a health professional or taking medicine is ultimately a bad thing. What I am hoping to accomplish here is to share my story and then also give you some food for thought before spending more money on doctors and drugs (which – I think – is our knee-jerk reaction in American life).  read more…

Five Things Every Kid Should Know Before Leaving Home

2014 March 26
by Charlie

charlie_imageThis past weekend I had the opportunity to go up to Minneapolis and meet up with my fellow blogging peeps, Aaron and Laurie (from TheFrugalFarmer.net). While in Minneapolis I stopped by the Mall of Consumerism. Whoops. Sorry. I meant to say Mall of America. Must have been a Freudian slip! :) While at the mall I did a little shopping, but also observed a lot of other consumers and their habits. For the most part, a lot of the mall shoppers were teens and younger couples (plus the occasional power walker).

While observing a lot of younger consumers I soon noticed a majority of them were wearing the latest Nike Air shoes, with a North Face jacket, wearing either Abercrombie & Fitch or American Eagle, and texting on the latest iPhone or Android phones. I felt like I was in a scene on The Truman Show. The scene where everyone was in the loop, and I was left out.  read more…