According to a survey by Generation Y research and consulting firm Millennial Branding, 1 in 3 employers want their employees to have entrepreneurial experience. Knowing how to conceive, build, and promote a business idea is increasingly valuable in the new economy, even for those seeking more traditional jobs.
21. Learn to cook.
Replacing take-out and restaurant meals with home-cooked goodness can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the year. If you feel hesitant in the kitchen, a few hours with the Food Network or browsing foodie blogs will help get you in the mood. Investments in certain tools, such as cookbooks, immersion blenders, or quality pots and pans can also make the kitchen more enticing after a long day.
If you're a movie buff, you have a lot of new choices that are cheaper than seeing movies in the theater. Hulu Plus, Apple TV, and Roku are among your relatively affordable options, especially when you consider how much you'll save by skipping weekly trips to the theater.
Leaky windows and attics can drive up heating bills in the winter and cooling bills in the summer. Consider investing in insulation as well as a programmable thermostat, which can cut energy costs by 30 percent over the year. Smart power strips, which cut power to electronics when they're off, can also help reduce electricity costs. LED lights are another smart option.
Do you know what people really want for holidays and their birthdays? Money or gift cards. It might sound impersonal, but a survey by Discover found that such fungible items top wish lists for both men and women. In fact, the National Retail Federation went so far as to name gift cards as the hottest gift of 2012, because they've grown so much in popularity. The fact that fewer cards come with fees and many offer extra loss protection has also contributed to that trend.
The worst time to discover that your homeowners' insurance policy doesn't include reimbursement for water damage is right after a flood. Yet many homeowners don't understand the ins and outs of their policies, which can lead to nasty surprises. In fact, most standard policies don't cover earthquake damage, flood damage, or water damage from sump pump backups. (Homeowners have the option of adding supplemental coverage to handle these scenarios.)
The past 12 months have seen a series of high-profile security breaches, including at Zappos and Barnes & Noble. To make sure you're as protected as possible, consider changing your passwords regularly, reviewing bank account statements each month to check for errors, and being especially wary of hyperlinks to deals promoted over social networking sites. Hyperlinks embedded within emails should also be treated with suspicion.
When you're surrounded by advertisements and material temptations, it's easy to buy without thinking. But one organization, Jews United for Justice, urges people to first ask themselves a series of questions about the purchase. The questions include: "Is this something I need?" "Can I borrow, find one used, or make one instead of buying new?" and "Will this purchase enhance the meaning and joy in my life?" The group distributes credit card sleeves with the questions to encourage more thoughtful spending habits.