5 Amazing Employee Perks Starbucks Offers — Even Part-Timers Get These

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5 Amazing Employee Perks Starbucks Offers — Even Part-Timers Get These
When I decided to pursue freelance writing as a career, I knew I needed an additional source of income. Or a winning lottery ticket.  A job seemed like the better bet. I applied to work at Starbucks because I had heard it’s an ideal place for a part-time gig. I could receive many of the same benefits as my friends who had full-time jobs, but I would only be working 25 to 30 hours per week! The Hidden Perks of Working at Starbucks Starbucks is known for treating its partners well. (“Partners” is what Starbucks calls its employees.)  Chances are, you’ve heard the company offers its partners retirement plans and fully covered tuition to Arizona State University’s online program for eligible full- and part-time U.S. partners. But after a few months, I began to realize that most partners at my store weren’t taking advantage of all the benefits Starbucks offered us — myself included. We either didn’t know about the perks or didn’t understand them. I decided to do some research, and it really paid off. Who knew working at Starbucks would help me listen to music for free? Or join a fancy gym for a fraction of the price? If you are a Starbucks partner, here are a few money-savers you may not know you have at your fingertips. 1. Free Spotify Premium My friends and family all know I’m cheap. Well, let’s say “frugal.” That sounds nicer. While planning my wedding, I was determined to find an alternative to paying hundreds of dollars for a DJ. I figured I would just get Spotify Premium so I could play all my music without dealing with ads or the tunes being on shuffle. Then I realized I was too… ahem… frugal, to pay $9.99 per month for Spotify Premium. Thankfully, a co-worker told me Spotify and Starbucks have a deal that gives partners free Spotify Premium. I signed up. (And, in case you were wondering, my wedding reception was the bomb.) 2. Free Coffee and Tea It’s no surprise that another Starbucks benefit is free coffee.  Starbucks partners get a free pound of coffee or box of tea every week. It’s easy to take this perk for granted, but a bag of coffee isn’t cheap. My first few weeks of working, I didn’t take advantage of this benefit. My now-husband also worked at Starbucks, so I didn’t see the need for both of us to get a pound of coffee every week. I mean, I’m a coffee addict, but that’s a lot of coffee! However, to those partners who don’t see the need to use the full amount every week, I fully encourage you to start. Did you know there are countless uses for your free bags of coffee? One of my co-workers volunteered with military personnel and took her free coffee to them every week. My husband gave his groomsmen bags of coffee as thank-you gifts. 3. A Jolt for Your 401(k) Please don’t skip this section because you think planning for retirement is boring and too complicated to understand. I’m amazed by how many employees don’t take advantage of this benefit. Many partners don’t know that Starbucks matches 100% of their 401(k) contributions, typically up to 4 to 6% of the employee’s salary. The company’s Board of Directors decides each November what the following year’s rate will be.  That’s free money that is growing on its own thanks to compound interest. I never missed it because I never touched it, and the government won’t tax me on it until I withdraw it. Set up your 401(k) plan online, and it kicks in after 90 days on the job.  4. Gym Membership Discounts This benefit is bittersweet: Sweet because everyone loves deals. Bitter because you are about to lose your excuse to skip going to the gym. Starbucks has partnerships with gyms that are always trying to attract new customers. For example, Starbucks has partnerships with GlobalFit, Gold’s Gym and Curves.  Discounted gym memberships just for being a Starbucks employee? That’s an advantage I never expected! Now you have a way to burn off all those free pumpkin spice lattes you drink on the job. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM Scholarships 9/9/19 @ 10:09 AM WORK AT HOME 8/30/19 @ 2:14 PM T Job Searching: Grit and Prayer 2/14/19 @ 9:54 AM Plasma donation 9/9/19 @ 12:26 PM M See more in Make Money or ask a money question 5. Starbucks Partner Discounts Emails In case you haven’t noticed, Starbucks provides employees a lot of goodies. They’re hard to keep track of, and new deals are always popping up. Guess what? You don’t have to miss out on any of them. I signed up for weekly emails from Starbucks. Once a week, I received an email about new discounts with companies ranging from AMC Theatres to Dell to Restaurant.com. It was the most foolproof way to make sure I didn’t miss an opportunity to save a little money. As soon as your manager assigns you an ID number, you can sign up for these emails.  Laura Grace Tarpley is a freelance writer who is always looking for ways to save money. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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These Side Hustle Podcasts Will Make Managing or Growing Your Gig Easier

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These Side Hustle Podcasts Will Make Managing or Growing Your Gig Easier
Podcasts are often an overlooked resource for entertainment, education and advice on niche topics — side gigs among them. They’re often hosted by everyday people in the thick of things. Some gain cult followings and build supportive communities before the topic goes mainstream. For anyone considering extra work, such feedback and support are crucial. The right side hustle podcast can be the perfect source of both. Need a Side Hustle Podcast to Stay Motivated? How About 9? Despite how side gigs are portrayed, there’s a lot more to them than downloading an app and making money in your spare time. Reality is more complicated. Your gig should be a purposeful endeavor that doesn’t merely cover bills.  Ideally, your side gig should have an exit plan that helps you meet a financial or professional goal. For those currently in the thick of things, you may find that hustle culture is taking a toll on your health or relationships. It can be a lot to stay on top of. But the good news is that there are a plethora of podcasts to guide you along your journey, from voices big and small.  1. The Accidental Creative Since 2005, author and podcast host Todd Henry has been cranking out episodes that include interviews and tips to spur creativity and productivity. New episodes of The Accidental Creative come daily or twice weekly, depending on your preference.  Daily episodes are three-minute snippets of advice while the twice-weekly episodes run for about 20 minutes and include full-length interviews and strategies. 2. Before Breakfast Host Laura Vanderkam dishes out daily episodes of Before Breakfast, a podcast that focuses on time-management techniques. As a mother of four, author, public speaker and host of two podcasts, Vanderkam knows a thing or two about managing time. Each episode aptly runs about five minutes, and it can be easily baked into your morning routine — ahem — before breakfast. 3. Freelance Creative Exchange Every two weeks, CreativesAtWork releases a new episode of Freelance Creative Exchange, a no-frills, tip-based podcast for freelancers, especially international freelancers.  Each episode, which runs about 30 to 40 minutes, takes a deep dive into a different freelance strategy. While the podcast is produced by a Singapore-based media agency, the content is universally applicable — covering such topics as scaling from a few clients to full-fledged business, pricing your services appropriately, using social media to further your reach and much more. 4. How I Built This Hosted by Guy Raz and provided by NPR, How I Built This is an award-winning podcast that’s built on a simple premise: interview the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs of the day and dive into exactly how they achieved success. Each episode documents the struggles and hurdles of the early stages of starting a business, and highlights how many now-household brands started out as side gigs. New episodes are published every Monday. Hunker down. They’re about an hour long. 5. The Rideshare Guy Harry Campbell is the voice behind The Rideshare Guy. The aerospace engineer turned rideshare-driver-podcaster-blogger started driving for Uber and Lyft in 2014. He created a blog and a podcast to dive into the differences of each ridesharing app. Campbell features a diversity of sources related to ridesharing and the gig economy as a whole. Some drivers, some researchers and even some CEOs. Episodes run between 30 and 45 minutes and are released every other week or so. FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM WORK AT HOME 8/30/19 @ 2:14 PM T Laptops 9/5/19 @ 1:32 PM Work from home Southern_MiMi 9/3/19 @ 9:44 AM HOW TO START YOUR OWN ONLINE TUTORING BUSINESS? 9/4/19 @ 10:05 AM See more in Make Money or ask a money question 6. Sidegig Previously, Sidegig was more talk show than podcast. Three seasons featured discussions and lessons-learned from three hosts, Preston Lee, Ian Paget, Ryan Robinson, who all ran businesses in addition to their 9-to-5s (and hosting the podcast).  All these episodes are still available to listen to, but starting Fall 2019, the show is getting a revamp: New host Brian Hull will offer up side gig ideas, advice and tips from guests. New episodes will be released every Friday. 7. Side Hustle Pro Host Nicaila Okame seeks to tell stories that no one else tells. So, in 2016, she started Side Hustle Pro, a podcast that shares the journeys of black women entrepreneurs who have created and grown their side gigs into lasting businesses. New episodes air every Wednesday and typically feature an interview with a successful guest. In 40-ish-minute segments, Side Hustle Pro covers big-picture advice like handling imposter syndrome as well as the minutiae like pricing your freelance services to attract the right clients. 8. Side Hustle School To best-selling author and podcast host Chris Guillebeau, a side hustle is all about creating a new opportunity that works for you, not some other business or side-gig platform. Every day, and sometimes multiple times per day, Guillebeau releases a new episode of Side Hustle School with that credo in mind.  Each episode features a unique side gig from his guest and offers resources on how to create a similar gig or business. Sometimes the episodes are hosted by the hustlers themselves. In June, The Penny Hoarder sat down to interview Chris Guillebeau ahead of his new book, “100 Side Hustles,” which is largely based on his podcast series. 9. The Side Hustle Show Every week, host Nick Loper shares advice on everything side hustle — moneymaking ideas, gig-launching tips, progress-tracking strategies and more. (Loper also brought some of his ideas to The Penny Hoarder as a freelance writer in years past.) The Side Hustle Show is now 350 episodes strong. Most episodes run for 40 minutes, but you can opt for edited versions of the massive archive to hone in on certain topics or to get minute-long sound bites. So before you download an app, before you commit to something you haven’t yet fleshed out and definitely before you spend any money on overhead costs, gain some perspective by filling all that empty air with the soundwaves of people who have gone before you. Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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When “I Do” Becomes “We Owe”: How to Pay Off Your Debt as a Couple

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When “I Do” Becomes “We Owe”: How to Pay Off Your Debt as a Couple
Marriage is about two becoming one. And along with all the good qualities you both bring to your marriage, you might each be crossing the threshold with student loans, mortgages and credit card debt from your life before the wedding. Although you may not legally be responsible for your spouse’s debt — that depends on your state’s rules — that whole for-better-or-worse thing probably means you want to help each other stress less about the money situation. So why not make tackling your debt the first big success of your new life together? We’ve rounded up tips from other couples that you can apply to your own debt-free goals. Strategies for Paying Off Marriage Debt as a Couple Marriage is, by design, supposed to be a long-term commitment. Although the discussion really should have happened earlier, talking about money now that you’re married is essential to tackling debt as well as planning for your future, according to Ariel Ward, Certified Financial Planner at Abacus Wealth Partners. “First of all, come together as a couple and have an honest conversation with each other about what the current state of your finances [is], facing the debt,” she said. “And also with that, talk about once we have this debt paid off, what are going to be our long-term goals around money.” Ready to stop stressing about finances and enjoy married life? Say “I do” to these savvy strategies. Think of “My Debt” and “Your Debt” as “Our Debt” One of the most important things to remember when you’re starting your new life facing a pile of debt: You’re in this together. “The couples that I see that have the most success have come to terms with what their financial situation is and they view each other as teammates,” said Ward, adding that they view themselves as co-owners of the debt, “even if one person brought more of it in.” About a year and a half into their marriage, Pete and Maria Sbashnig had not yet combined the finances of their blended family (each has two kids from previous marriages), so he figured it was time to see where they stood. Pro Tip Unless there is an extenuating circumstance, sign up for a joint bank account and become authorized users on each other’s credit cards so you both know where your money is going each month. Midway through listing their debts — which included two mortgages, a home equity line of credit, two car loans and over $60,000 in credit card debt — they realized their total debt was $332,000, putting their net worth at a negative $244,000. But rather than focusing only on their own bank accounts, the two decided to team up to pay off the debt. Pete brought in more income by taking side jobs umpiring baseball games, mowing lawns and helping his dad with his landscape business. Maria cut the family’s expenses by clipping coupons, cooking meals at home and limiting school shopping. Together they paid off $65,000 in 17 months while making less than $100,000 per year combined. Budget for Two When you’ve been budgeting for one (you have been budgeting, right?), you might be wondering how to turn that process into a debt paydown plan for two. By creating a budget together, you’ll both understand why certain expenses need to be cut, according to Ward. “It’s important to know where your money is going on a monthly or a weekly basis,” said Ward, who suggested using an app like Mint, which allows both of you to track expenses. “It is easy for couples to just assume the other is watching the budget … and maybe neither one of you is doing it.” Pro Tip When discussing your budget, set aside at least an hour when you know you can both offer your full attention. Make sure neither of you are tired or hungry — and turn off those cell phones! The Penny Hoarder contributor Abbigail Kriebs said she and her husband weren’t getting anywhere with their financial goals until they signed up for a budgeting class that forced them to talk about their financial situations, including struggles and insecurities they felt about money. They started setting aside time on Sunday afternoons to budget as a couple and discuss their living expenses, income and goals. By being honest about their spending and saving habits, they’ve been able to re-evaluate strategies to pay down their student debts. Earn Extra Money as a Couple Hustling is so romantic, right? Alright, maybe it’s not about flowers and candlelight dinners, but there are ways the two of you can pay off debt by working as a team. Finding a side gig that the two of you can do together allows you to find work you’ll both enjoy — or at least work you’ll enjoy doing because you’re together — according to Ward, who suggested dog walking as one option. The couples that I see that have the most success have come to terms with what their financial situation is and they view each other as teammates. “That could be kind of a fun date to go do together: You go pick up a dog to walk for 30 minutes, and you get paid for it,” she said. “And maybe not as fun, but… there are plenty of apps out there where you can put up an ad and offer to clean people’s houses, so that’s something you can do together as well.” Another option is to tag team your work, like Sam and Susen Meteer splitting their schedules to drive for Lyft. Sam is an elementary school teacher by day who gets behind the wheel on nights and weekends. On weekday mornings, Susen drops their kids at school and keeps on driving. Together, they can pull in $800 to $1,500 a week. FROM THE DEBT FORUM Student loans/debt consolidation 7/8/19 @ 1:09 PM Unsure How to Proceed 7/10/19 @ 7:39 PM From Debt to Debt-free to Debt again 6/30/19 @ 3:53 PM Travel Trailer Debt 6/25/19 @ 5:31 PM See more in Debt or ask a money question If your efforts to dig yourselves out of debt as couple still aren’t getting anywhere and it’s causing strife within your marriage, it may be time for outside help. “Talk to a marriage counselor that can help you learn how to work as a team on not just the debt but other things, or looking for a financial planner,” Ward said. “Sometimes it’s a good idea to seek outside help when you can’t solve things on your own.” Because getting out of debt together is a good way to start your happily ever after. Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer/editor at The Penny Hoarder. Read her bio and other work here, then catch her on Twitter @TiffanyWendeln. This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Budget You Can Actually Stick to

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Budget You Can Actually Stick to
If you’re anything like me, you’re perpetually swinging between vowing to cut all unnecessary spending cold turkey and humming “Treat Yo’self” as you order your third UberEats meal in 12 hours. Which one you’re doing depends on the day — and how long it’s been since your last paycheck. The result: a pitiful savings account balance, scrimping to pay the minimum on your credit card and feeling like you’re still living paycheck to paycheck even though your income has come a long way since your first job out of college. You know there is a way to solve this problem. You know that if you just create a budget — and by some miracle, stick to it — you could finally get the financial freedom everyone else seems to have already figured out. You also know budgeting is a buzzkill. But if you give it a genuine shot, we promise that we will, too. We’re in this together. How to Budget in 4 Easy Steps Creating a budget doesn’t have to be a grueling process. If you take some time to prepare and learn how to budget in a way that makes the most sense for your lifestyle, you can start on the road toward controlling your personal finances in no time. We’ve laid out exactly what you need to do in four pretty simple steps. Step 1: Know How Much You Make and Spend Before you can make a budget that works, you need to know your numbers. We like to focus on a monthly budget, since most bills are due once a month. Pro Tip Exporting your statements to a spreadsheet or using highlighters on printed statements can help you see patterns in your income and spending habits. Log in to your bank account online, and grab your last couple months’ worth of bank statements. While you’re at it, grab your credit card statements, too. How to Figure Your Monthly Income First, write down your monthly income. This should be your take-home pay for the month. That’s the money you earn minus deductions for taxes, Medicare, Social Security, health insurance contributions and allocations to retirement accounts like your 401(k) or Roth IRA. This is easy if you have a full-time, salaried job. If you are paid by commission, work hourly or have some other kind of irregular income (like freelancing), use an average of the last six months to get a rough idea. Self-employed budgeters can benefit by taking a step back each quarter to examine their income. “If you’re paying quarterly taxes anyway, you have this natural stopping point to look,” says Lillian Karabaic, CEO of Oh My Dollar! “It’s a good way to check on the health of your business.” But don’t just stop there. Add any extra money that comes in from your side hustles. Child support payments. Recurring bonuses or stipends. Financial aid payments. Include it all. How to Figure Your Monthly Expenses Your next step is the painful part: It’s time to log your monthly expenses. Start with the recurring monthly stuff, which may include: Your rent or mortgage Car payment Car insurance Cell phone bill Internet, cable TV and other monthly subscriptions (think: Netflix and Spotify) Utilities Debt payments Don’t forget to include non-monthly but recurring expenses, like the following: Vehicle registration fees Credit card fees HOA fees Professional association dues Annual subscription renewals To incorporate these non-monthly but regular expenses into your monthly budget, add up the total cost for a year, then divide that number by 12 to find out how much they cost each month, according to Bridget Todd, COO of The Financial Gym. “You might open a separate bank account for your annual expenses,” Todd said. “Then when the bills come, you don’t have to adjust your spending. It’s similar to saving for Christmas shopping” throughout the year. From here, you’ll want to start adding up your discretionary expenses. Analyze your spending habits. How much are you spending on shopping, eating out and drinks with friends? To get a full picture, you can put these things in categories. For example, movies, concerts and museum visits can all go under entertainment. Your gym membership, yoga membership and the drop-in rate on that one CrossFit class can all go under fitness. Look at a few months of statements to get an average for this part, too. That will give you a more accurate picture of your finances. Step 2: Set Your Financial Goals If you’re going to succeed at this budgeting game, you need to have an idea of what you’re hoping to accomplish. It can be a simple short-term savings goal like funding a vacation with your college besties. Or a long-term one, like learning to budget so your kid can go to college without student loan debt. And don’t forget about funding your retirement savings goal. Set a goal, and make it a motivating one — your financial plan could be the only thing that stops you from swiping your debit card to buy yet another pair of shoes this weekend. Next, get your priorities in order — literally. Write them down in order from most to least important to get an idea of where you want your money to go. You might not get your priorities right the first time, and that’s ok. It’s challenging to choose one option over another, and if the first list doesn’t work well, you can always rework it. Work to find a balance between “fun” and “responsible” spending. Pro Tip If you see any areas where your spending is out of line with your goals, now’s the time to fix it by outlining a new budget that directs more of your income to your top priorities. I take it a step further and mix my financial goals with my personal ones. For example, I tend to overspend on restaurant meals. But budgeting less for eating out means I cook more healthy meals at home, so I save while staying on track to accomplish my weight loss goals, too. Then, I can use the money I save to build up my emergency fund or pay down debt a bit faster and continue toward my goal of becoming debt-free. Step 3: Find Your Favorite Budgeting Method Once you have a complete picture of your finances, it’s time to pick the budgeting method that works best for you. The one you choose will depend on how much time and energy you have to devote to it. If you feel comfortable creating an old-fashioned budget worksheet in Excel, you can do that. We’ve got a few super simple ideas you can try if charts make your eyes glaze over. But even after you’ve picked your favorite budgeting method, don’t be afraid to bend it a little to fit your financial situation. Bare-Bones Budget You don’t have to spend several hours each month working on a budget. The easiest way to budget is to grab a pen and paper and simply write down how much you make and how much you need to spend on the essentials — like housing, utilities, food and debt repayment. You save the rest. Pro Tip When you make a budget, keeping it on a sheet of paper somewhere visible to you will remind you to rein in your spending. That’s it. You’re done. Need a little more motivation than a blank sheet of paper? Here are five ideas for creating a bullet journal budget. Zero-Based Budget The zero-based budget takes the bare-bones budget one step further. The goal here is to get to zero at the end of each month. It helps you account for each dollar on the way. Write down how much you make, and divide it to cover all your bills, savings and discretionary spending until you hit $0 at the end of the month. Although this plan encourages you to get down to nothing, the idea isn’t to spend without regard; it’s to make sure every dollar goes exactly where you intend for it to go every month. 50/20/30 Budget This takes all the guesswork out of deciding which expenses should stay in your budget and which ones need to go. With the 50/20/30 plan, 50% of your money goes to essential expenses like housing, utilities and your car payment. From there, 20% will go to financial goals like savings and investments. The final 30% is yours to spend [...]
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