(actually good) financial advice for 20-somethings

Actually Good Financial Advice for 20-Somethings gibbsongirl.com If you’re a young person today (Millennial, Gen Y, whatever you decide to call it), you’ve probably received your fair share of (awful) financial advice. Whether it was too vague (“Save more), too optimistic (“Just do what you love.”), or too darn accusatory (“Why don’t you kids move out of your parents’ basements, get a real job, and buy a house?!” Well…two words: student debt), we’ve seen ’em all. So it was a breath of fresh air to read a decent article on financial and life advice for people in our generation. To be fair, the article, posted by Time, is a tad bit vague and bit “inspirational,” but the advice is more valuable coming from folks who have actually proven their way financially and professionally. Here are some of my favorite quotations from the piece (read the whole thing here).

“Almost nothing you’re worried about today will define your tomorrow.”

-George Stephanopoulos

“There has never been an easier time to start a business…just start, and if you fail you can always go and get a normal job, but you will learn so much along the way it will be a great experience.”

-Hermione Way

“If only I knew then, as I know now, that there is wisdom in uncertainty — it opens a door to the unknown, and only from the unknown can life be renewed constantly,”

-Deepak Chopra

“Arianna, your performance will actually improve if you can commit to not only working hard but also unplugging, recharging, and renewing yourself.”

-Arianna Huffington

When a hiring manager turns the tables at the end of an interview and asks, “do you have any questions for me?” David Melancon, CEO of btr. says these three questions are important for you ask:

The questions are:

1. What qualities will a person in this role need to be successful in your company culture — as an individual and as a worker?

2. What’s the company’s position on education and development, including student-loan reimbursement and tuition assistance?

3. How does the company keep employees excited, innovative, and motivated?

-David Melancon

What’s the most valuable financial or career advice you’ve ever received?

Cheers,

Sarah

This post is #88 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima

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Best Advice I Can Think of for New Triathletes

So you want to race triahtlon? Best adivce for new triathletes on miaprimcasa.com

Triathlon Postcards

About a month ago, I competed in my first triathlon. Generally, I’m pretty relentless when it comes to researching something I’m about to seriously commit time and energy (and sweat and tears) to. When I trained for my first marathon, I read books, talked to experienced athletes, made friends with my local running shop, and otherwise drowned myself in any and all marathon knowledge. My foray into triathlon was different in only one respect: I researched even harder.

My mom is a pretty amazing athlete herself. She competed in her first half marathon this summer (having had very little prior running experience besides her training and coming away injury free- something I can’t boast at 23). Now, she says (and I plan on holding her to it!) she’s up for racing in the Finger Lakes Triathlon with me next year. So this list is for you, Mom! And anyone else who’s bold enough to tri.

IMG_20130908_123444

First things first:

Triathlons aren’t as intense as they seem. Not that you have to tell your friends and admirers that. I don’t mean to say that the race won’t push you to your limits (and beyond, if you let it), but that the triathlon community is actually very encouraging and supportive. There is nothing more relieving than sharing your pre-race jitters with a fellow athlete. And most are willing to relate. I got quick bike maintenance advice from a veteran Ironman and embarrassing wet suit tips (yep, I was the girl who tried putting her wet suit on inside out) from a group of young women triathletes. Nobody is there to judge you, and if you make it to the start line, you can be sure that you’ve garnered a whole hell of a lot of respect from everyone of those wet suit-glad athletes around you.

Great Reads:

From inspirational to super practical, these books were some of my best reads to jump start my training.

Triathlon 101

Triathlon 101 by John Mora

This is a great read for beginners as it breaks down just about everything you would need to know to race your first tri. It also has fairly detailed training plans for the most common tri distances, which is why I picked up the book in the first place.

Every Woman's Guide to Cycling

Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling by Selene Yeager

I recommend this book to my girl friends who are considering buying their first bike but don’t know where to begin. The author provides a great quiz and lots of details to guide you on the big purchase. She also gives lots of useful information on cycling in general (particularly with women in mind). I enjoyed reading a women’s-specifc book because, as a petite women, I felt like there might be some logistical things (like finding the right sized bike) that a more general cycling book wouldn’t provide.

Born to Run

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

An inspirational true story of a long-hidden tribe of ultra runners and the crazy American ultra champions who decided to race them. I’ve heard this book (rightfully) called the runner’s bible. It’s informational, inspirational, motivational, and reminds runners that as focused as our sport is on the individual, we are all part of amazing community.

Eat&Run by Scott Jurek

Eat & Run by Scott Jurek

Another inspirational non-fiction read about ultra marathon champion Scott Jurek and his experience with running…and you guessed it, eating. Jurek is a vegan athlete whose dedication to personal as well as physical and athletic health is inspiring. So inspiring that I immediately went on a six mile run after finishing the book.

9.8.13

Swim Drills:

The most difficult leg of the race for me (mentally, anyway), was and still is the swim. Unlike running and cycling, swimming requires you to focus relentlessly on technique and efficiency. Not that technique doesn’t matter for the other disciplines, but you can’t just expect to put hours and hours in the pool and see speed and endurance results. Swimming takes careful focus on techniques, a large part of which is breathing. I recommend taking lessons if you aren’t a strong swimmer or joining  a local swim club. Even having an experienced swimmer friend analyze your stroke is worth it!

Breath easy swimming tips and drills 

Swim drills for triathletes

Open Water Swim Wet Suits Triathlon

Open Water Swimming & Wet Suits:

It’s a good idea to practice at least one open water swim before race day. During the course of my research, I read horror stories about the massive difference between pool and open water swimming. It freaked me out considerably, since swimming in a pool was hard enough for me. I managed to squeeze in one open water swim with my wet suit in before the race and one thing I noticed: yes, open water is different, but you can do it because let’s be real, swimming in swimming. You might battle more waves, more people, and no guiding lap line in the water, but take heart that if you stick to your swim training you’re probably going to be just fine. If you can’t manage a practice swim during your training, I suggest trying to get a quick dip in the day before your race at the starting point. It’s a massive relief on the nerves to test out the waters!

And what about wet suits? My best tip: use one if you can! Wet suits provide more buoyancy in the water, which helps in swimming (obviously). It was also a relief to me to know that if I panicked in the water (which I did by the way), I could simply turn over on my back and float. I chose a sleeveless suit for my first race because I was using a rental and wanted the security of knowing I’d have free range of movement in my arms.

Choosing a triathlon wet suit

Online wet suit rentals

Buy and rent new and used wet suits from Xterra

Bike Maintenance:

For my first race, besides drowning in the swim leg, my second worst nightmare was getting  a flat tire. My local bike shop offered a class on changing a flat, during which I could change the tire on my own bike. It was the best research I could do, but I also reviewed some great informative videos to keep myself up to speed.

How to fix a flat tire

How to inflate a bike tire with CO2

Ok, now some straight up inspiration:

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Seriously, you can do it.

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Madison’s Good Style Shop & A “New” 60s Bikini

Good Style Shop Madison

Recently, and thanks to the suggestion of a friend, I visited the Good Style Shop, a vintage clothing store, in Madison. I was blown away by the atmosphere (electric, not too serious about itself, and very well organized) and by the variety and quality of the selection.

Good Style Shop Madison

This isn’t a shop that you have to spend hours digging through piles of 90s flannel before you find a proper 70s a-line dress; it has a wonderfully merchandised selection of dresses right in the corner. The shop also boasts a robust selection of vintage menswear, which is a refreshing sight to see. I was delighted to find a gorgeous 60s high waisted bikini, bullet bra and all, for $35. I’m going to have to channel my inner Pucci when I wear it on the beach this weekend.

60s Bikini

60s Bikini

Before I left the shop, I had a brief chat with the founder and owner. When I asked, “If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would it be?”, he said simply to never forget about work/life balance. At 23, when we started the shop (!!), he initially had trouble separating work from the rest of his life, understandably. He emphasized that the ability to balance is a valuable skill for any entrepreneur.

Certainly, valuable advice for any of us.

Good Style Shop Madison

Good Style Shop is located at 817 East Johnson St in Madison, WI.

Ciao!

Sarah