A few months ago, we learned about this Philadelphia restaurant that banned tipping and is paying its employees a decent livable wage. The good news is that it not the only one.
Bar Marco, a Pittsburgh restaurant, joined the small but growing group of restaurants who are doing the right thing by paying their employees a livable wage and not having them rely on tips. All employees at Bar Marco get a base salary of at least $35,000, health care, paid vacations, 500 shares of the company, and bonuses (based on profits).
Bobby Fry, the restaurant’s founder, says that this approach has made his employees work harder and waste less. Fry told Entrepreneur, “Our water bill was cut in half, our linen bill was cut in half, our liquor inventory was lean.” Since getting rid of tips and adjusting its employees compensation, profits at Bar Marco went from about $3,000 per week to $9,000 per week.
A portion of these profits go back to the employees in the form of bonuses, therefore annual salaries at Bar Marco are expected to reach $48,000 to $51,000 this year.
I don’t know what it is about smart phones, but something happens to them around the two year mark after we buy them, and that makes me wonder. Brand new smart phones are awesome. They are fast and powerful, and everything works great.
It makes that 2-year contract that tends to come with new phones feel not so bad. I just know that I’m going to be happy with this new phone for at least two years. And then, like clock-work, around the 2-year mark smart phones start being not so smart. Everything starts slowing down, apps fail to open, or it takes forever to do a simple task.
Meanwhile, you see all your friends with their brand new phones being able to phone and do stuff. It makes you think that maybe your phone is just old and you need a new one to keep up with the powerful new operating systems and whatnot.
Piggy Bank Will Be So Happy!!!
Yes, you read that right. I am officially debt free!
It probably has been over 10 years since I have been able to say that statement, but I can finally say it once more. In fact, I’m going to say it again… I AM DEBT FREE!!!
It feels really good to be debt free. Now I know that any extra money that I have will go towards my savings and maybe, just maybe, I might be able to reach early retirement… early-ish.
The beautiful thing about all of this is that I did in less time than I have initially predicted.
Enjoy Your Refund!
Tax season is here and to many of us that means one thing… Tax Refund!
I know there’s a debate whether we should be getting a refund or changing our withholdings to get more on our paychecks, but that’s a discussion for a different time. Let’s not rain on anyone’s parade and let us enjoy our refund for now.
We all enjoy getting a tax refund. It feels like we just won a scratch-off. One of the reasons we love tax refunds so much is because we like to spend money and this is extra money that we can spend freely… or so I thought.
I used to buy all kinds of stuff with my tax refund – I bought my motorcycle with my tax refund – and it felt good for a few weeks.
That good feeling slowly faded when all that money was gone and I still had debt and almost nothing saved.
If this sounds familiar, here are a few suggestions on what you can do with your tax refund that makes you feel good for a long time.
Ice cream makes everyone happy
Many of us think we’re invincible and that we are going to live forever. And even though we’re living longer – around 80 years, which is about 30 years longer than people living 100 years ago – that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be healthy all our lives.
We all know having health insurance is a must, but many of us don’t know that health insurance doesn’t cover long-term care.
Long-term care is not medical care, but rather a variety of services which help meet both medical and non-medical needs of people who cannot care for themselves over a long period of time due to a chronic illness or disability. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with basic personal needs of everyday life, such as bathing, dressing, etc.
All I want for Christmas is You
Ahh Christmas is almost here. Christmas season is the best time of the year for many, but it could also be one of the most stressful times for people who are in debt and can’t afford to buy gifts.
There is just so much pressure put on us to buy everybody and their mother a little something something for Christmas. If you don’t, then you are just like Ebenezer Scrooge.
The pressure comes from everywhere. There are countless Christmas commercials telling you what you should buy, there’s Christmas music everywhere (doesn’t tell you to buy stuff, but it reminds you two months in advance that it is Christmas season and that you should start getting ready), and there are also those who keep asking, “What are you getting [INSERT NAME] for Christmas?” It is not even November yet!
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. It is a time to get together with your family and loved ones. Everybody seems to be happy – maybe tired of the Christmas songs, but happy – some of us gets a little break from work, and we get gifts.
Yes, I like gifts too. The problem I have is when people get into debt just to buy somebody else a gift.
No more annual fees!
Being an avid reader of personal finance blogs/websites for the last year or two, I’v noticed that there are two schools of thought when it comes to credit cards. Those who say credit cards are pure evil and avoid them at all cost, and those who embrace credit cards and use them to play the rewards game.
I’m in neither of these camps.
I definitely don’t avoid using credit cards. Not because I don’t think they are dangerous – they certainly could be in the wrong hands – but because they are very convenient. I use credit cards more that I use cash. However, I only use credit cards when I know I have the cash to pay for whatever I buy.
For example. I budget $150 for groceries per month, but instead of paying cash when I go food shopping, I pay with my credit card. I know I can’t spend more than $150 because then I’ll go over budget. At the end of the month, I take the $150 that are in my bank and pay off the credit card.
This allows me to not have to carry cash all the time and also earn some rewards.
Now, I like earning rewards, but I don’t play the rewards game. The game where you sign up for 10 or 20 credit cards and spend X amount of dollars a month to get X number of points. I’m impressed by the people who are able to do this, but I’m just not one of these people.
I spend what’s in my budget and if I get rewards then cool, and if I don’t get rewards then also cool. I don’t try to manufacture spending to claim rewards… or maybe not yet.
Cut the cord, man.
Okay let’s admit it. We’re TV addicts.
The average American watches 5 hours of TV per day, according to a report from Nielsen. Five hours a day! That’s a lot of TV watching. But that’s understandable, I mean how else are you going to keep up with the entire Kardashian family?
But just because we are addicted to TV doesn’t mean we have to pay over $100 a month to watch our favorite shows. And $100 is a low number. It is estimated that the average price of cable TV will hit $123 a month next year. That’s $1,476 a year!
I’m not suggesting you stop watching TV – I watch more TV than I’d like to admit – all I’m saying is that you should consider paying less for your services.
I haven’t had cable for over a year and I don’t miss it at all. True, I have to wait a day to watch my favorite shows, but as long as nobody ruins it by telling me what happens, one day is not that long of a wait. I’ve noticed that people nowadays are pretty good at not telling me what happened. They usually ask, “Oh man, did you see it last night?” No, and don’t say anything or I’ll karate chop you in your throat.
Anyways, below are a few ways you can replace cable and save money in the long run.
NJCU in ‘da house!
With the cost of higher education in the U.S. rising tremendously each year – over 500% since 1985 – it is no wonder students and parents get into so much student loan debt. I mentioned that there are proposals being written to try and change that, but until those proposals are put in place, we have to deal with this price gouging if we want to get a college degree.
There are a few things we can do to avoid student loans, like 529 plans and working through college, but the fact remains that we still have to pay for tuition – unless we get a scholarship.
A college education is becoming more and more of a necessity. Study after study has shown that people with a bachelor’s degree earn on average 66% more than people with only a high school diploma.
That being said, there are definitely ways to lower the cost of a college education. You could go to a in-state public school for example. But even if you go to an out-of-state school, you could potentially save a lot of money by living off campus.
Write it down!
The number one rule of wealth management is “Know where your money is going.” Don’t look it up, it’s an unwritten rule.
Everybody knows how much money is coming in every month. They just have to look at their paychecks. But not everybody knows where all of that money is going. Sure, they know about the big bills: rent/mortgage, student loan, car payment, utilities, phone, etc., but many don’t remember at the end of the month what they spent at the beginning of the month.
This causes them to always ask, “Where the hell did my money go?”
I certainly was one of these people. Every month I used to ask myself the same two questions. The question above and “What did I buy this month?”
I was really fed up with that routine so I decided to write down every single expense I made… I mean EVERYTHING. After a month I looked back at my spending and was able to figure out where my money was really going.