18 Items To Take To The Beach For A Great Day

Summer is in full swing.  If you haven’t been to the beach, now’s the time!  The water is still cold here in Michigan due to a late start to spring.  Still, that doesn’t stop people from heading out and having fun.  Here are some items to take to the beach for a fantastic day!

Clothing And Gear

  • Swimsuits.   Wear them or take them.  Just make sure you have them.
  • Towels.  These are definitely an essential for drying off or laying on.
  • Sunscreen. The sun is hot.  Make sure you don’t end up with a burn.  Take plenty of sunscreen.  We like both lotion and spray.
  • Bug spray.  Every once in a while, the bugs like to enjoy the beach, too.  Keep this and use only if needed.
  • Sunglasses.  Protect your eyes and avoid squinting with a nice pair of shades.
  • Blanket.  The sand is great but it gets in places you don’t want it to get.  Protect yourself with a beach blanket.
  • Flip Flops.  The sand gets hot.  Make your walk up and down easy on the feet with a pair of flip flops.
  • Shirt / Cover-Up.  You might need something to throw on without changing.
  • Change of Clothes.  The day at the beach must end eventually.  Nobody likes getting into a car sopping wet. Have some clothes available to change into.

Relaxing Time

  • Beach chairs.  We’ve got a couple of beach chairs that are easy to carry and don’t weigh much. These are a must have.
  • Sun umbrella.  You can get an umbrella to clip onto your chair or one to stick in the sand. Make sure it’s within reach, though, in case those winds off the water kick up.
  • Cooler / Drinks.  Bring plenty to drink, including water to stay hydrated in the hot sun.
  • Snacks.  Grab some stuff that’s easy to access and won’t make a mess.  Nothing that melts!
  • Something to read.  Have some fun on the beach but take some time to relax.  Bring a book, magazine, or Kindle.

Water and Fun

  • Toys.  Kids and adults like digging in the sand, right? Some shovels, buckets, and balls to toss are always a great find.
  • Floaties. There are few things more relaxing than floating around in the water.
  • Water Shoes.  If the beach is rocky, a pair of water shoes is a must-have to keep your feet happy.
  •  Money.  To go to the snack stand and purchase ice cream, of course!

If you’re heading to the beach this summer, have fun.  Remember, be safe and bring along the right stuff to make it the best trip ever!  Readers, are you heading to the beach this year?  What’s your favorite beach memory?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

20 Job Interview Red Flags

Are you interviewing for a new job?  If so, congrats on the new opportunity!  However, as everyone knows, not every job is perfect.  But, how do you determine what might actually not be the best job?  Sometimes, an interview can provide some great insight.  Here are some job interview red flags that I’ve experienced and heard over the years.

Job Requirements and Such

  • Nights & Weekends.  If these words come up at all, it’s a safe bet you might be expected to work off shift.
  • On call.  Are you expecting to be on call?  If so, great, but if not, watch out if this comes up at all.  You’ll likely find yourself on call sooner rather than later.
  • Filling In.  If you suddenly start talking about items beyond the job description, and how you’d be filling in, watch out.  This could be a permanent or way too regular thing.
  • Short Staffed.  If the words come up at all, watch out!  When they tell you in a job interview that they’re short staffed, they are probably always short staffed.
  • Mismatch from the job description.  If the job description differs from what they talk about in the interview, watch out.  My friend hired in for a job where the travel time was listed at 25%.  During the interview, they said it could occasionally be 50-75%.  Well, of course it was 50-75% all the time.
  • Learning a job on the fly.  I was hired for a job where I didn’t qualify.  But, they assured me that my background would make me a quick fit after I was mentored for a few months.  Then, after I was hired, the mentoring shrunk to a week.  It was doomed for failure from day one.

Compensation Issues

  • Introductory salary.  If you are promised a big raise after working there for so long, be careful.  Often, something comes up or they’ll find an excuse to get rid of you before awarding the raise.
  • Delayed benefits. If a company doesn’t want to give you benefits from the start, be careful.
  • Deflection to non-monetary benefits.  Some companies love to talk about the great rewards they provide beyond salary.  If they are trying to sell this as a way to offer less, look out.  After all, the free snacks in the lunchroom aren’t going to pay your bills, are they?

Interview Experience

  • Starting late. It’s poor etiquette to show up to a job interview late, right?  It’s also just as poor if you are brought in late.  Respect is a two way street.
  • Not answering questions.  You’re supposed to ask questions about the company and the job.  They should answer them.  If you’re getting the runaround, listen to the warning bells.
  • Interviewing from a list.  I believe that every job interview should be unique.  An interview feels comfortable to me when it flows based on the conversation.  I find it very off-putting when an interviewer is clearly running their way down a list of questions.  It feels as if they have no interest in getting to know you as an individual.
  • Not paying attention.  Have you ever had an interview where the person interviewing you was clearly distracted?  Again, a big red flag should wave here as it demonstrates a clear lack of respect.
  • Interviewing with other candidates.  I don’t want to sit alongside my competition.  Ever.  If this were ever to happen, I would decline the interview.
  • Anything off color.  Breaking the ice during an interview can help calm nerves.  But, anything off color is a no-no.  If any of that comes up, walk, don’t run, away from that job.

Culture

  • Stressed out looking people.  When you’re walking around or waiting to be called in, pay attention.  Are people happy looking or do they appear stressed out?  Do people look conversational or confrontational?  Getting a feel for how existing employees appear is huge.
  • Talking someone down.  Just as you should never bad-mouth your current employer or boss, nor should you hear anybody being talked about during your interview.  It’s unprofessional, and you know they’re probably talking about everyone.  Which would, of course, one day be you if you’re hired.
  • Political.  If politics comes up at all during an interview, be careful.  Unless you’re interviewing for a position in politics, there is no good reason for this to come up.
  • Turnover.  If it comes up that there’s a lot of turnover, this is a clear sign of problems.
  • The ‘forever’ club.  If it comes up that everyone else on the team has worked there for a long time, dig into that.  Many times a new hire, no matter how qualified, will be kept at arm’s length.  A good mix of experience on the team isn’t required, but can help.

These are some job interview red flags.  Some might apply and some might not.  You have to be the judge on whether they do an if they’re important.  What are some red flags you’ve used (or missed) during the job interview process?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Keep Your Summer Budget Under Control

Summer is right around the corner.  Before long the kids will be done with school. Grills will be filling the streets with smells of burgers and hot dogs. The ice cream truck will be jangling down the street.  Summer is the time to enjoy the world, and boy can that be expensive!  Your wallet can take a hit if your summer budget gets out of control.  But, you can keep things under control.

Here are a few summer budget tips so that you can have fun and keep your finances in check!

Shop For Travel Deals

Travel and leisure activities abound during the summer months.   These can add up to big spending amounts if you’re not careful.  The good news is that you can often find deals.  Look through Groupon or other apps.  Visit travel websites or those of places you’d like to go.  There are often specials.  If you want to get away, look for places like AirBnB.  This can reduce the cost compared to more expensive hotel options.

Pay For What You Can Afford

It’s tempting to go all out for that great family adventure. This is all great so long as you can afford it.  Summer fun is not worth going into debt for. If you can’t afford to pay off your summer fun, look for ways to cut back.

Save All Year Around

It may be too late to stash money aside this year, but make a plan for next year.  Stick a hundred bucks per month aside, and you’ll have more freedom next year.

Mix In Free Things

Summer doesn’t have to be all about money to have fun.  Picnics at the park are a free option, but still make great times.  Bike rides along local trails are another free adventure.  A hike along the woods?  That doesn’t cost anything at all if you do it right.  Working in some free options is a great way to keep your summer budget in line.

Enjoy Your Personal Space

If you have a patio or deck, summer is the time to use it!  Invite over neighbors or friends and enjoy some drinks or a dinner.  It’s a great way to have fun and keep money in your summer budget for other things.

Adjust Your Air Conditioning

A big cost that can blow a summer budget is air conditioning.  When it gets hot, you have to shut the windows and keep things cool.  That makes sense, but look for ways to reduce your A/C bills.  If you can, open the windows at night.  If you’re gone during the day, don’t run the A/C all day.  Change your filters to make sure your A/C is running efficiently.  If you can save $20 per month during the summer month, that can equal an extra evening out!

Consider Seasonal Memberships

Zoos, museums, and beaches often offer seasonal passes. If you use these options regularly, an annual pass can save you big time.  We use several annual memberships to our advantage.  On top of saving money, you always have a fallback plan if you can’t think of anything to do!

Hopefully these ideas help prevent your summer budget from stressing you out.  With the warm, long days ahead, having one less thing to worry about is all for the better!

Readers, what summer budget saving ideas do you have?  Please share in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

10 Practical Baby Shower Gifts Every Mom Will Love

Ah, the baby shower.  The time to give all that’s cute for the new life about to enter the world.  While many gifts will draw ooh’s and ahh’s during the shower, there are some that will bring those later.  These are practical baby shower gifts that every parent will appreciate when it matters most.

Diapers (Size 1 and 2)

Diapers are a fairly common gift.  But, here’s the thing, most diapers for yet-to-be born babies are Newborn size.  This is great except that many babies are out of this size in a flash.  While you can usually exchange unopened diapers for a bigger size, make it easy on the mom to be.  Give them the next size or two up.  When that Newborn size diaper just won’t fit, your gift will be at the ready.

Baby Wipes

Babies get changed pretty regularly.  Sometimes it seems like a changing happens every hour!  Baby wipes are always a great gift, and they’re guaranteed to be used.  It’s not something that any parent wants to run out of.  Trust me, they will appreciate some baby wipes.

Portable Changing Pad

Babies get changed everywhere.  Most registries include a changing pad, which is great for the house.  But when baby needs to be changed on-the-go, a portable changing pad is just the thing.  They’re pretty handy nowadays as they have spots for just about everything. Well, maybe not the dirty diaper, but that’s just as well!

Burp Cloths / Bibs

If it’s not coming out one end, it’s coming out the other.  Don’t ever think that babies can have too many bibs or burp cloths.  They can’t.  My advice: Go for quantity.  Many people will buy fancy bibs or burp cloths, which is fine.  But, if you get a larger pack of the no-frills variety, it means mom will have more.  They’ll definitely get put to use!

Onesies

As many clothes as baby will get, the onesie is always in style.  Parents can never have too many of them.  Grab a pack or two of plain white onesies and I guarantee you’ll save the day at least once.  Don’t forget to get a couple in bigger sizes too!

Lightweight Blankets

Many people will get really special blankets.  Some will have monograms or really fancy designs.  These will definitely appreciated, but so will some lightweight blankets.  These are great for on-the-go.  They even work in the summer when baby needs to be kept warm from air conditioning.

Fingernail Kits

Start off good grooming habits at a  young age with a nice fingernail kit.  For bonus tips, make sure that mom uses it before the baby goes to see the doctor.  The doctor will be very impressed with a well clipped baby!

Bouncy Seat

A great gift is a bouncy seat.  These can be picked up and moved anywhere, giving baby a safe, comfortable spot.  Plus, you can soothe baby with the bouncing motion.

Clothing For The Next Season

If baby is due in the summer, guess what they’re going to get?  A whole closet of cute summer things.  This is great until cooler weather arrives.  You can save the day by getting clothes in a larger size for upcoming seasons.  Make sure to provide a gift receipt because sizing can be a little tricky.

Book

We actually requested this at our shower.  We asked for people to bring a small book and to sign it.  These will forever make great keepsakes.

Those were some practical baby shower gifts that I know moms will love.  Will the items above steal the show during the shower?  Maybe not, but these will definitely make life easier for parents when it matters most.  That right there is a great gift that will be long remembered.

Readers, what baby shower ideas do you love that are practical and thoughtful?  Share in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.