Job Search Expenses – How Much to Spend on Travel, Attire, Education & More

I spent my first summer after college rigorously searching for a full-time job. Having graduated with a fair amount of student loan debt, I knew I needed to find work right away. That, plus the numerous costs associated with the job search process were going to eat into my savings quickly. I had to build a solid job resume, stock a business wardrobe, and support myself through unemployment until I landed that coveted first job.

Whether you got laid off from a previous position or are embarking on your first post-college job search, those costs can put a tremendous financial strain on you. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce those expenses along the way.

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What to Do With Unwanted Holiday Gifts – How to Return, Exchange & Regift

In National Retail Federation surveys about which gifts people want for the holidays, the number one answer, year after year, is a gift card. Many people would rather pick out their own presents than have someone else guess what they want – and maybe guess wrong. Sure, getting a gift card isn’t as much fun as being surprised with something wonderful that you’ve always wanted, or something amazing that you never knew existed. But at least there’s no risk of ending up with something that just isn’t right for you at all.

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Should We Get Rid of the Penny? – 8 Reasons to Keep It vs Eliminate It

According to an old superstition, it’s good luck to find a penny on the sidewalk. But whether or not you believe picking up that penny will bring you luck, one thing it definitely won’t bring you is wealth. Pennies are worth so little now that by taking five seconds to pick one up, you’re earning just $7.20 an hour – less than the federal minimum wage.

Pennies are so close to worthless that many people argue it’s time to do away with them altogether. A nonpartisan organization called Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny has attracted the support of economists from Harvard and Wake Forest University. Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona has twice introduced bills in Congress to eliminate the penny, and in February 2014, President Barack Obama argued during a YouTube chat that pennies were obsolete and a symbol of U.S. government waste.

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Is Graduate School Worth It? – Determining Whether to Get a Master’s Degree

Whether you’re coming to the end of college or you’re a mid-career professional dreaming of a new path, you may be considering attending graduate school. Before gathering your letters of recommendation and sending in your application, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Students should expect to spend significant amounts of time, mental energy, and money before a degree graces the wall.

According to education company Peterson’s, graduate tuition and fees at public institutions average $30,000 per year, and graduate tuition and fees at private institutions average $40,000 per year. If you plan to pick up a degree from an elite institution such as Harvard, expect to spend closer to $120,000 for the full course, according to estimates from TIME.

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How to Become a Billionaire – 7 Characteristics of the Rich & Wealthy

In 1916, John D. Rockefeller, the father of the petroleum industry, became the world’s first billionaire. Nearly a century later in 2015, there were 536 American billionaires of a total 1,826 billionaires worldwide, according to Forbes. That number may in fact be low – the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census estimates there were 2,325 billionaires globally in 2014, including 609 Americans.

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Is a Warehouse Store (Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s) Membership Worth It? – Costs, Pros & Cons

Smart-shopping blogs and magazines are teeming with stories about the great deals you can get on nearly everything – groceries, tires, vacations – at warehouse stores. Some financial writers even claim there’s simply no excuse for not belonging to a warehouse club if you live within driving distance to one. But there’s one obvious snag: Before you can fill up your cart with these bargains, you have to pay an annual fee of around $50 just to get in the door.

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