Take Five: Surviving Divorce, Updating Resume, A New Way To Pay

“Most women are one man away from welfare.”– Gloria Steinem.  It may not be welfare, but the truth is that divorce can create a financial breakdown for many women. Mary Pilon has a great article in the Wall Street Journal about how to minimize the financial burden when a couple divorces.

Need to be more productive? Use a kitchen timer and read this post by Jen Dziura.

Upgrade your Resume is 10 easy steps. The blog, Dumb Little Man, has some good advice.

Last year, I bought my boyfriend a Mophie case for his iPhone and he loves it. Now  I hear that Intuit and Mophie have teamed on a credit card-swiping iPhone accessory called Complete Credit Card Solution that will allow any approved iPhone owner to walk out of an Apple store in as little as 15 minutes with the ability to accept credit card payments.

BTW, I am attending Finovate Fall here in New York City October 4 and 5th.

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Take Five: Opt-Out, Boost Your Savings and Take a Bookkeeping Seminar

Back in the day (early 90s), I used to get excited to get solicitations from credit card companies because I thought it meant that I was credit-worthy. Now I can’t stand getting them. If you hate receiving them too, then you can opt out.

How to avoid a tax audit: Being self-employed can unfortunately raise a red flag and be the focus of the IRS’s attention.  The good news is you can avoid a tax audit by not rounding off numbers, and deducting home office accurately.

A great way to avoid any problems with your taxes is to take a bookkeeping seminar. The Freelancers Union is offering an online bookkeeping seminar on September 29.

Improve your savings. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Invest smartly. Check out Plantly, a new site that creates an investment plan based on YOUR goals.

Former NFL Coach Job Gibbs Teaches Financial Literacy To Football Players

I was listening to NPR this morning while at the grocery and was intrigued by this story about footballers and financial literacy.

This summer, Gibbs partnered with Strayer University to offer Redskins players a primer on financial basics, from credit cards to maintaining a household budget. He uses his own life as an example of the money troubles that can come with million-dollar contracts.

This is great because a Sports Illustrated story last year found that 78 percent of all NFL players go bankrupt or are in financial stress just two years into retirement. This is the kind of education that most Americans need no matter how much money they make.

Seth Godin’s Foundation Elements For Modern Business

Seth Godin  has a great post listing important elements to consider when starting a business today. Here’s 10 of the elements, but you can read the rest on Seth’s blog.

  1. Build in virality. Consider: Groupon.
  2. Don’t sell a product that can be purchased cheaper at Amazon.
  3. Subscriptions beat one-off sales.
  4. Try to create an environment where your customers are happier when there are other customers doing business with you (see #1).
  5. Treat different customers differently.
  6. Generate joy, don’t just satisfy a need for a commodity.
  7. Rely on unique individuals, not an easily copyable system.
  8. Plan on remarkable experiences, not remarkable ads.
  9. Don’t build a fortress of secrets, bet on open.
  10. Unless there’s a differentiating business reason, use off the shelf software and cheap cloud storage.

No College Degree, Job Hunting, Renting: Shifting the Paradigm of the New American Dream.

What’s “The New American Dream”? The old American Dream is not so clear cut any more. Funny how I love watching “Mad Men” so much.  With all its secrets and decadent plotlines, Mad Men is pretty quaint and nostalgic. The show documents how the American Dream of owning your own home, getting a college education and having lifetime job security.

Now it is 2010, and that dream is so out of reach for some people that it just may be prudent to rethink it.  You can live a nice life without owning a home. There are plenty of people who live in New York City who rent including myself. Owning a home is not the only investment instrument on the block.  Plus, if you only buy a home with the idea that can flip it for profit in a few years, then you may be stuck with a money pit.

I have a college degree, but I also have college loan debt.  Higher education is so expensive with college tuition rising.  I am not advocating NOT getting a college degree, but it is not the only key to success.  Technical schools, community colleges and apprenticeships are other ways to get the skills needed for some jobs.

My parents always told me that if I got a good job, then I would have job security  and never worry. Nowadays, most people can’t imagine being at the same job for ten, twenty or thirty years.

I could go on, but the point is that Americans are not monolith.  Why should there only one standard  for the American dream?

Related:

Salon article, The fantasy of a vast upper middle class