Money or family?

Mom came for a visit today! Yaaaay! We took a long walk, sat down for coffee and talked… A LOT.

Me with some of the dancers at a Christmas party
Me with some of the dancers at a Christmas party
Mom and dad started a dance school back in 1994. I’ve been a dancer since day 1, starting when I was only ten years old. Mom and dad worked together until 2010 when dad passed away. That’s when I left the big city and came back home to live with mom.

I started helping out at the dance school. At first I only taught dance class two nights a week, but then quickly moved up to five nights a week, then more. I also had a full-time job. I left for work at eight in the morning, got off work at five-thirty, and turned the music on at the dance hall at six. We’d finish at seven and I’d be home by seven-thirty – unless of course I was doing two groups that night. And if there was a dance contest or other event coming soon, I got even busier.

Read moreMoney or family?

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor

This AWESOME piece of writing is by John Cheese, originally publiched on

#5. You Get Charged for Using Your Own Money

McDonalds jobs…Let’s say you’re running late for work and hurriedly stop to get gas, paying with a bank card. In your haste you forget to write the $55 down (gas being $4 a gallon, you know). So while you spent the last week until payday thinking you had $50 in your account to absorb minor purchases, you actually were $5 in the red.

Read more5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor

Should I quit my job and start a business? (No)

dark early morningYou shouldn’t “should” anything.

After I googled “should I start a business,” it felt like the whole internet was trying to persuade me that indeed I should; that whatever job I had couldn’t possibly be better than running my own business, and that if I wasn’t working on a start-up already then obviously I had to “stop making excuses.”

My husband and I like the idea of having our own business one day. But currently, starting a business right now is not a good idea. We don’t have the money, and with a baby girl coming in Jan 2014, we’ll have a lot on our plate. We just recently got married (planned a wedding in three months which definitely soaked up all our energy during that time) and we’re still finishing up our apartment remodel. Don’t anyone dare tell me that we “should” be working on a startup or that if we’re not, we’re “making excuses.”

And what about you?

Read moreShould I quit my job and start a business? (No)

My husband and I want to start our own business… here’s why we can’t

just usMy husband and I want to start a business some day.

Right now, I work a nine-to-five. He works in shifts. Our time off doesn’t overlap a lot. We get a fairly decent pay and we make it work for now. But to be honest? At that rate, we’ll never be able to get ahead. We’ll be enslaved to our jobs for life.

We don’t have a problem with hard work. We know that startups take a lot of work – we each have had a failed try at starting a business – so we don’t mind working long hours. We’re doing it already at our jobs. But we think that having our own thing will let us work those long hours together and also pay more than a dayjob.

Is starting a business the only way to our goal of being together more? Let’s see.

Read moreMy husband and I want to start our own business… here’s why we can’t

13 tips: How to negotiate a higher starting salary for a new job during interview

There are two kinds of salary negotiations. One is when you are negotiating a starting salary & perks with a new company at the interview stage. The other is when you are negotiating a salary raise within a company you’ve been with for a while.

Let’s talk about the first kind: negotiating a higher starting salary for a new job.

job negotiation Here’s something no one will tell you: what you can get out of a salary negotiation is very much predetermined by your starting position. It’s not about using clever words (#3), deceipt (#13), or keeping a poker face (#1) (although that helps). But ultimately, it all starts with this:

Tip #1: Beggars can’t be choosers.

Who’s the beggar? Who is more desperate? Who’s got more to lose? Do you need this job more than the company needs to hire you of all applicants?

These factors outline the field where you’ll be tossing the negotiation ball around. And these factors are not set in the interview room; you come with them in the interview room.

Read more13 tips: How to negotiate a higher starting salary for a new job during interview

My money problems (and wins): the story

MONEY: it gets shit doneWhen I paid back my debts in March 2011, I thought I’ve seen the last of money struggles.

Those debts came from a 2500€ business loan and one small personal overdraft I had for 250€ (2009). I was planning on paying back the big loan from the revenue the business would generate; however, the business started slow and we couldn’t wait out long enough for it to pick up. There was some cash-flow (more like a trickle) but it wasn’t even enough to cover the monthly expences, let alone pay back the initial investment.

A debt of alsmost 3000€ was crippling to a 24-year old who made 350€ a month; and when you factor in living costs, I could only afford 150€ towards the loan. At that rate, it would take me about 18 months to pay it all back – provided that I didn’t buy shoes or clothes in that time, provided that my rent didn’t go up in that time, and provided that no emergencies happened in that time.

Read moreMy money problems (and wins): the story

Hate your job? Here’s how to cut the cord

I’m subscribed to Steve Pavlina’s email newsletter. This piece really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share it with you.

For more advice from Steve, visit : personal development for smart people.

Building a Foundation for Life Without a Job

I know many readers are interested in alternative ways of supporting themselves that don’t require becoming corporate slaves. I’ve gone about 20 years without a job now, so let me share some observations and insights to help you succeed on this path.

Read moreHate your job? Here’s how to cut the cord

Britney Spears interviews: hosts say “You know you’re lucky, right?”

Britney Spears 2002 interview at the Oprah show
Britney Spears 2002 interview at the Oprah show

I’m a Britney Spears fan ever since high-school and “…Baby One More Time”. After I graduated and became a working girl, I’d often watch her interviews to relax after work.

Britney would talk to Jay Leno or Oprah or some other famous host, and pretty much every interview she’s done – from 1999 to 2013 – would have something of this fashion:

Host: “You’ve achieved quite a lot for someone so young!”

Britney: “Thank you, you’re very kind.”

Host: “People tend to only see the glamorous side of your life – private jets and TV appearances and fancy clothes, – but is that all there is to it?”

Read moreBritney Spears interviews: hosts say “You know you’re lucky, right?”