Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dollar Stretcher for Parents


Dollar Stretcher for Parents

"Living Better...For Less"
October 21, 2009
Volume 11, Number 42



My $4590 U.S. Debt

by Gary Foreman

We're getting final estimates on the federal government's income and expenses  for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30th. The experts say that the federal  government spent $1.4 trillion more than they took in. Dividing the $1.4 trillion debt by 305 million people in the US means that during the last  12 months the federal government committed to $4,590 in indebtedness on my  behalf. Read More.

When Grocery Coupons Won't Work
We do not live in a town that offers double coupons or co-ops for food. There  are only two grocery stores. The price of gas lately doesn't even make it  efficient for us to go to Costco 180 miles away. Please offer some insight for  people who have situations similar to this. Read more.

   Real savings on all you do!

The Dollar Stretcher Discussion:
Fleece Snuggies

They seem to be "all the rage" this year. Post your preferences, substitutes,  patterns and opinions.

Dollar Stretcher Community Poll:
Buying Shoes

How much are you willing to pay for a new pair of shoes? We're not talking the fancy, crippling, high-heeled, toe-pinching things we sometimes have to wear. And we're not  talking the overpriced, guilt-inducing shoes for our kids' growing feet. We're talking   a comfortable, stylish, everyday pair of shoes for you. Take the Dollar Stretcher Poll!

Great Halloween Treats
Thoughts of Halloween often conjure haunting visions of buckets of candy, trays  of caramel apples and oodles of other sugary snacks. Although it's only once a  year, the aftermath of Halloween can linger for weeks as your child's stash of  candy whittles away. But why torture yourself? Why not make Halloween fun with a  few creative ideas to get everyone in the mood? Here are a few great party ideas  to keep the spirit of Halloween alive. Read more.

Your Pictures As Posters. Addictively Easy.     

5 Frugal Fall Fix Ups for Your Home Decorating
Fall is the perfect time to make some easy changes to your home, inside and out.  Decorating for fall doesn't always mean putting up the scarecrow or taping the  kids' fall leaves to the living room window. Here are some easy, quick and cheap  ways to update your home decorating for the colder months ahead.
Read more.

 Heat Loss 
Winter is approaching. Would you like to keep the glacial wind out of your  house? Are cold floors and drafts common in your house? Will you resign  yourselves to feel miserable the whole winter? A little time and work will keep the heat indoors, and as a result, your health,  your home and your wallet will benefit. Read more.

       Plan Ahead for Holiday Meals 
The weather might not be cold enough for a glass of eggnog, but now's a good  time to start planning your holiday meals. With food prices on the rise and the  seasonal shopping rush forthcoming, you'll toast yourself for thinking ahead. Read more.

 Homesteading Mindset 
Some of us can remember reading books like Little House on the Prairie and having the pioneering spirit awaken within our  hearts. The "homesteading mindset" is  somewhat romanticized or stuck in a time warp in this book's setting, but the  pioneering spirit of the homesteader is still very much alive in the population  of today. The necessity to develop a pattern of thinking and acting like a  homesteader is central to getting a family through tough financial obstacles. Read more.

  A Winter Wonderland Party 
I am trying to plan a surprise birthday party for my best friend. It will be  held in January and I was going along the lines of a "Winter Wonderland" theme. Can you give me some party suggestions? Perhaps some of the ideas will help  other people who are planning parties this winter. Read more.

 Saving Money through Inventory Time 
Curb instant panic attacks by taking the time once in awhile to  schedule an informal inventory. Taking stock of what you have lets you know what supplies are in the house  and what you need to put on your next shopping list. Read more.

Readers' Tips
Using a bread machine, deep cleaning hair, decorating for Halloween and more!

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Normal is Broke

Living With A Chain

How to Get a Job when No One is Hiring

When the jobs are hidden

To get a job, you have to find the openings that no one's advertising, and really impress your potential employer.

By Jia Lynn Yang, writer-reporter

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- David Perry, a longtime headhunter, says you're wasting your time if you're looking for job postings online. And he should know: he's often the guy on the other side helping companies lure new talent. Perry, who's based in Ottawa, says that in the last 22 years he has accomplished 996 searches totaling $172 million in salary. And the bottom line in today's economy, he says, is you have to tap the "hidden job market."

Perry's also the co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters" and he recently spoke with Fortune.

What's the "hidden job market"?

When companies say, 'We have a hiring freeze,' that doesn't mean they're not hiring. It just means they're not adding headcount. Every year there's 20-25% turn over. So in a 1,000-person company, 200 or 250 people are going to turn over, either through attrition, or someone moves. Those companies are still hiring but they don't want to tell you.

So how do you find these jobs?

What you have to do in a recession is map your skills to employers to where you know they have a problem you can solve. My advice to job hunters is pick 10 to 20 companies, no more, and pick companies you're interested in, and that you think you can add value to. That requires researching companies, and so that list may take you two weeks. If you're trying to crack the hidden job market and you know the job position you want reports to vice president, find that vice president on LinkedIn and look at his profile to see who else he's connected to and go ask them, 'What's this guy like to work for?' Do the research before you even pick up the phone.

How can you get someone's attention?

We can go into billboards, sandwiches - that stuff only works once. It's only for one person who figures it out once, once in a city. If you're looking for fun stuff, we have this thing called the coffee cup caper, 30% of the time it will result in an interview. You send an employer a coffee cup with a little $5 swipe card with a little note that says, I'd like to get together and talk with you over coffee. I'll be calling soon. And you send it by U.S. post two day delivery, and that gets registered. So when they've signed for it, you wait about 20 minutes and then you call them. And then you go, Hi, I know you just got my package.' You're proving you're imaginative and creative.

What something people should avoid during a job interview?

This drives me insane: I've seen people mentally deciding in the interview whether they want the job. That's the last place to decide. You go into an interview, and you sell like your life depends on it. You've got to get the job first. I've seen it thousands of times. There's this point in the interview, where people go 'Hmm, do I really want this? You can see their body change. The employer picks it up and it's gone. If the employer is telling you, 'I love you,' and you're not saying 'I love you too,' it's over with.

How about following up afterwards?

If you really like the opportunity, don't go home and write thank you very much. Go back and write a letter that says, upon further reflection of what we were talking about, here's what I bring to the table, here's how I see myself fitting into the organization, including a 30-60-90 day plan.

How can someone attract a recruiter's attention?

You have to go to ZoomInfo and LinkedIn and create a profile. All corporate recruiters and probably 20% of the headhunters in America have ZoomInfo accounts. When we start a search, companies aren't going to advertise. The headhunter goes to ZoomInfo, types in requirements that we need, like skillset, degree, city, functional title, and up will come anywhere from a hundred to several thousand people who fit that criteria. Then we go to LinkedIn and run the same search. If you're in ZoomInfo with a picture, we're going to call you first. Just reverse engineer what recruiters are doing so you get found.

How can you really impress a potential employer?

It hasn't worked in years just to bring in your resume, except only in the most junior positions. I concentrate on directors to CEOs, and the last interview for us regardless is always a Power Point presentation of what you've learned, pain points, and how you intend to fix that. Everyone talks about being a great leader and great communicator, so prove it. Don't go into an interview and treat it like it's just another business meeting. Your career is your biggest asset now - because it's certainly not your house. To top of page


August 2008 Dave Ramsey on Barack Obama

This was aired in August 2008. So was Dave right???