Use All Your Vacation Days Without Fearing for Your Job

Do not forget to follow up from a business conference.According to a recent report from the U.S. Travel Association, 40 percent of American workers don’t use all their vacation days. The fact that so many Americans feel uncomfortable taking the time off that they’ve earned is disturbing — but it doesn’t have to be this way.

I remember that when I was growing up, my mother, a high school math teacher in the South, got 15 paid days of vacation every school year. She always said, “I earned them. I’m going to take them.” That philosophy stayed with me when I grew up and started my own career.

Unlike most of my colleagues who roll over vacation days from year to year until they’re told they must use them –- my employer only lets you bank 60 — I closely monitor my time, take a few vacations throughout the year, and start fresh each January with a zero balance. That makes me an anomaly.

Many employees fear that if they take time off, their jobs won’t be there when they return. Some believe they’re more likely to be picked for layoffs if they’re not around all the time. Others think that they’re indispensable — the whole place will grind to a halt without them, so they can’t take a break. Our workaholic culture and fear for their careers holds others back: In many workplaces, there’s a stigma against those who take prolonged time away from the office.

Regardless of unofficial policies, office politics or stigmatization, you are entitled to the amount of annual vacation that your employer promised you in your contract, and they can’t officially penalize you for taking it. It’s yours in the same way that your paycheck is. You’ve earned your vacation days, and you can and should take all of them, without fear. Here’s how.

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Pros and Cons of No Exam Life Insurance You Need to Know

When Should You Buy Life Insurance

If you have been holding off on getting life insurance because you were worried about the exam that precedes a policy approval, there is good news for you. Not every kind of life insurance requires that you go through the exam procedure. Before you commit to no exam life insurance, you should be aware of all the pros and cons of doing this. Read on to learn more about these policies and whether it might be the right fit for you. Pros of a No Exam Life Insurance Of course, the process of applying for this life insurance is easier because you don’t have to go through the exam. This often eases a lot of your fears about the application and … Read more

Is the Gold and Precious Metals Turnaround On?

Is the gold and precious metals turnaround on? As global markets plunge, bullish momentum is driving up the price of gold and investors are standing up to take notice. The Dow Jones plunged by as much as 531 points on Friday 21 August – a massive drop that had investors scrambling to cash out before taking on further losses. The decline marks the biggest drop in 4 years, but it wasn’t the only index that was down. All around the world major bourses slid as news spread of weak growth and slack demand in China. Whenever an evaluation of the gold market is undertaken it is especially important to consider the state of equities markets. Why is gold and precious … Read more

A Quick Experian Credit Score Workout

Your credit score isn’t going to increase on its own. Well, it might, but only for a little while before jumping back down again. This is how the unobserved credit score works. Without specific action taken to keep your Experian credit score on the up and up, it’s never going to get much altitude at all. People tend to get discouraged with their credit scores. After all, they think, I’m careful with my money. I guess there’s nothing else I can do. In fact, there are plenty of things you can do to boost your credit score. Credit scores are subtle things, and until you start to understand the consumer behaviors that cause them to rise and fall, you’ll never be able … Read more

Reader Question – Can I Rent Out Property After Hiring A Property Manager?

This is the next installment in the Reader’s Questions Series, which highlights questions emailed to me by you, the readers of Money Q&A.

Be sure to find out at the end of this article how you can receive a free copy of Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover if I feature your money question on a blog post. If you’re not familiar with Dave Ramsey’s book, you should run right out and get it. It’s one of the top ten best personal finance books you should read. 

Today’s question comes from Jeff who asks about renting his house by himself even after hiring a property manager.

I have been working with a property manager for a few months now to try and find a renter for my home. My wife and I are moving and didn’t want to sell our home. After a few months of trying to find a renter, the property manager still didn’t have the home rented. I started placing my own ads for tenants and finally found someone. Can I still rent out my property to someone after hiring a property management firm?

Rent out property with a property management firmThis question raises a couple of red flags. It makes me wonder if you have chosen the right property manager. There are many questions to ask a property manager before you hire them to ensure that they are a good fit for your family and that you feel comfortable with their work. After all, you will be entrusting them with your most valuable asset, your home.

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Fitness As An Investment Tool

14382191717_331b04a04e_bThis is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.

Professional investors have pretty stringent definitions of what is and isn’t an investment. Depending on who you talk to, an investment may only be a narrow band of financial allocations, to which sophisticated improvements may be applied.

Such investors tend to deride lots of other forms of investment as mere speculation. But this is a very narrow way of thinking about investment, one which will leave most people out.

More broadly considered, investing is a simple allocation of a finite resource to a (hopefully) profitable end. Regular people make investments of time every day. They invest in products and appliances. They invest their attention in entertainment and conversation. These applications don’t often result in direct profit, but they’re investments just the same, ones which can be adjusted to start seeing more beneficial ends across the board.

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