The Beauty of a Cosmetology Degree

Cosmetology is the practice in which a professional beautifies the hair, skin or face. Cosmetologists may be hair stylists, makeup specialists, nail technicians or skin specialists. In order to become a cosmetologist, you must attend cosmetology school and get your license. With the average cost of school being about $20,000, this isn’t a career to be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are ways you can save on your program of choice.

Cosmetic set on a white backgroundHere, we’re looking at what to expect from cosmetology education and how to save money in the process.

Saving money on cosmetology school

Among the tricks to saving expenses include:

  • Only take out loans for money that you need – Students oftentimes get themselves in trouble because they take out more money in loans than they actually need. If you need a loan to help pay for tuition or for a portion of your living expenses, that’s understandable. But if you request more loan money to pay for your expensive eating habits or fine taste in clothing, that’s unnecessary. Get into good money habits when you’re young – the results will pay off immensely.
  • Look into cosmetology grants – There are two types of grants – need-based grants and merit-based grants. Need-based grants are based off of your income. Merit-based grants are awarded to students who qualify for reasons other than low income. These can include anything from being a single mom to being a certain ethnicity. There are millions of dollars available in grants and scholarships; it’s up to you to get awarded them.
  • Choose a less expensive school – While some beauty schools cost tens of thousands of dollars, that doesn’t mean all of them do. Do an extensive search in your area on the cost of several different schools. Find one that fits or comes closest to your predetermined budget and go with that one. After getting your license, you can gain experience and work your way up to where you want to be. Once you have 10 years of experience under your belt, it won’t matter what school you graduated from.
  • Work part-time while in school – Most cosmetology schools offer classes at night. Consider working as a receptionist at a salon during the day and going to school at night. Yes, you will be extremely busy, but most cosmetology programs are only 9 months to 2 years, so you can make it work. If the school of your choice only has classes during the day, pick up a serving job part-time to bring in some extra money. The less debt you have when you graduate, the better.
  • Take your licensure test immediately after graduating – If you’re forced to wait a few months to take your licensure examination, apply at salons in the meantime instead of sitting around. There are salons out there that will hire people who have completed their program of study but are still waiting to get licensed. Another benefit of taking the test as soon as possible is the information is still fresh on your mind.

Get into a program, study hard and stay focused.

Take out minimal, if any, loans and look for grants and scholarships.

It won’t be long until you’re a licensed cosmetologist and gaining a reliable and steady influx of clients – and a steady paycheck!

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She writes on saving money, small businesses and travel.


Is Your Present Job Costing You Your Retirement?

In the wake of America’s biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression, many find themselves working at jobs that not only pay less but also provide far fewer benefits than was the case before the slump.

For those looking beyond their working years to what hopefully will be a financially secure and comfortable retirement, the outlook for reaching their goals may seem very gloomy indeed.

But with a little strategic planning, in time you can move from a low-paying job now to a more lucrative position that will allow you to set aside more savings for the future and your eventual retirement.

And if you play your cards right, you may land a position with a company that offers a retirement savings plan such as the 401k that allows you to grow your money at an even faster pace.

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Advance Planning Is Key

Like anything worthwhile in life, retirement requires advance planning — lots of planning.

You need to decide what sort of life you want to lead after leaving the workplace and, most importantly, the level of monthly income you’ll need to pay the way for such a lifestyle.

To achieve savings goals, you first must decide how much you’ll need to save to support you in your retirement years.

Without savings goals, you have no way to gauge just how much should be put aside in savings each month to accumulate your retirement nest egg.

Survey Findings Alarming

Nearly half of all American workers 45 and older have made no attempt to calculate the amount of money they’ll need to save in order to finance a comfortable retirement. This alarming statistic comes from a 2013 survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to helping develop sound employee benefit programs.

Not surprisingly, the same EBRI survey indicated that far more American workers expect to be working longer before retirement than was the case a decade ago.

EBRI’s 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey also revealed that only 67 percent of those surveyed believe they will have enough money to cover their basic expenses during retirement. That’s down sharply from 80 percent in 2012.

Breaking down the 2013 data even further, 24 percent of respondents are very confident they’ll have the money they need to cover basic expenses, while 43 percent describe themselves as only “somewhat confident.”

Get a Plan Started

The most important step you can take toward retirement is to draw up a plan that can serve as your roadmap to the life you hope to lead after your working days are over. The earlier you start this plan, the better. However, it’s never too late to put a plan into place.

You’ll find a wide array of online planning tools that can provide a framework for your retirement plan. CNN Money’s Retirement Planner is a simple tool that can get you started. Or you can use one of the online templates as a model for a retirement planner of your own design.

Save for Retirement

Ideally, you should be stashing away 15 percent of your current gross income into a retirement savings fund.

If that’s impossible given your modest current earnings, save as much as you possibly can. If and when you move on to a better-paying job, you can try to increase your savings to compensate for the years when you were unable to save as much.

Take full advantage of your employer’s savings plans, particularly 401k plans in which the employer matches your contributions, at least up to a certain percentage point.

Another worthwhile investment opportunity available from many employers is an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, which allows vested employees to purchase company stock at a discounted rate.

Typically, employees put a specific amount of pre-tax earnings into an ESOP fund that is used to purchase company shares at, say, 85 percent of face value. Assuming the company is solid financially and doing well, that amounts to an instant 15 percent savings, which can add up quickly over time.

If you are currently working in a job where no such employee benefits are offered, your search for a better-paying job should also take into consideration what benefit plans are available from prospective employers. Whether you work for company that sells real estate, markets various products and services, specializes in mobile payments or offers various financial investments, take advantage of what your employer offers you.

Timing Your Retirement

While most individuals dream of retiring as early as possible, that might not be a viable option for you, particularly if you’re getting a late start on your retirement plan or if you’re now unable to save as much as you’d like for the future.

Working a few years longer, however, can pay significant dividends, particularly when it comes to the size of your Social Security check each month.

Forbes magazine estimates that an unmarried worker earning $50,000 a year would get a monthly check of $1,011 if he took early retirement at age 62 in mid-2013. If he waits until the full retirement age of 66, the check would increase to about $1,420.

Postponing benefits until age 70, the worker would receive a monthly check of $1,972, almost twice the amount of the monthly benefits from early retirement.

About the Author: Jay Fremont is a freelance author who has written extensively about personal finance, corporate strategy and social media.


Collaboration in the Workplace: A Goal or Mission-Critical

Collaboration is the latest buzzword in the business world. Businesses are deploying collaboration software, hiring community managers, and employees are being told to “work together.” Collaboration sounds like a good thing, but, do you know what effective collaboration looks like?

crowdEphraim Freed, self-proclaimed Internet Nerd, defines collaboration as two or more people (team), working together (processes) toward shared goals (purpose.) In the workplace, collaboration often takes place in the form of a team, a network or a community.

Teams include members that are focused on a joint goal or product, such as a presentation, completing a project, writing a report, or creating a new design or prototype.

Networks are systems of people who share information and services usually around a common interest.

Communities are made up of members with shared interests and who want to learn from each other, building and sharing knowledge, they are not necessarily focused on achieving a specific goal.

In each of type of collaboration, new ideas are generated and explored. However, collaboration is not a one-time event nor is it easy to implement without practice. Collaboration is a process that continues to get better over time. The more people collaborate, the more significant their working relationships become and teams are better able to share and discuss ideas, leading to more successful results.

Strategies for Successful collaboration

According to this article in the Harvard Business Review, there’s a big difference between working together and truly collaborating with one another. Collaborative activity is the “secret sauce” that enables teams to come up with innovative new products or creative, buzz-worthy marketing campaigns. Chris Jones, an IT Strategy & Change Management consultant, agrees with the idea of a “secret sauce” of ingredients for driving effective collaboration. Jones’ recipe includes engagement, authenticity, respect, positivity, and focus.

In the video below, Apple CEO Tim Cook describes his strategy for hiring people who will focus on collaboration and deliver the “magic” that happens when great minds come together.

What is the best way to ensure that your team is successful collaborating?

Sarah Maynard shares three tips for encouraging collaboration in the workplace; communicate, visualize and acknowledge.

  • Communicate by sharing ideas with your coworkers, contacts, managers, and anyone who will listen.
  • Use visuals to help communicate your ideas and clarify your ideas at the most simplistic level. Visuals are a great facilitator to aid strategic thinking and planning. Acknowledge the work that your team is doing.
  • Give credit when a team member has contributed a good idea, hard work, or even good constructive criticism. Collaborative relationships work best when team members feel appreciated and valued.

Dr. Carol Kinsey Gorman shares her 7 insights for collaboration in the workplace telling us that collaboration is a leadership issue which requires a change in the attitudes and behaviors of people throughout an organization. Some of them include:

  • Collaboration is essential for organizational change whether the change involves creating new products, services, processes or a total reinvention of the organization.
  • Success dictates that the individuals impacted by change be involved in the change from the very beginning.
  • Visioning is a team sport. Today’s most successful leaders guide their organizations not through command and control, but through a shared purpose and vision. These leaders adopt and communicate a vision of the future that impels people beyond the boundaries and limits of the past.
  • Diversity is crucial because it makes people to consider perspectives and possibilities that would otherwise be ignored. Group members who think alike or are trained in similar disciplines with similar bases of knowledge run the risk of becoming insular in their ideas. Instead of exploring alternatives, a confirmation bias takes over and members tend to reinforce one another’s predisposition. Relationships are critical to the outcome of any collaborative effort.
  • Collaboration is dependent upon well-developed personal relationships among participants.
  • Trust is the glue that keeps it all together. Trust is the belief or confidence that one party has in the reliability, integrity and honesty of another party.
  • Finally, don’t forget that your body language matters.

Do you encourage your team to collaborate? What tips can you share to help others lead their teams to work better together? Post a comment with your ideas!


Video: Active listening: Pep Rosenfeld at TEDxBinnenhof

Pep Rosenfeld is one of the founders of Boom Chicago as well as the artistic director. Rosenfeld writes tailored presentations and campaigns for companies as well as hosts events like Next, TEDxAmsterdam and Spin Awards. He is a political junkie, interested in current events in America, the Netherlands and Europe.


STREB – An artist-driven community institution

I saw a SLAM (@STREBSLAM) performance in Williamsburg yesterday. What a great way to spend the day!

Read the Review in the NY Times – Daredevils Take Flight and Land Safely Near Your Lap
‘Forces!’ at the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics

Watch this video by founder, Elizabeth Streb, about STREB: Streb: How to Become an Extreme Action Hero

Here are some of my own videos from the show:

#fly #streb #steps #extremeaction #slam #brooklyn #dance


What most schools don’t teach – Coding!


Video: The Power of Words

This short film illustrates the power of words to radically effect change.


RSA Animate – The Power of Outrospection

Introspection is out, and outrospection is in. Philosopher and author Roman Krznaric explains how we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves.


Goal-Setting: Starting the New Year Off Constructively

As 2013 quickly approaches, many of us will be thinking about how we can start the New Year off productively. Goal-setting is an important activity; for individuals and for businesses.

How do you set goals? Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

SMART Goal-setting for the 21st Century – a post I had written a while ago – http://nancy-rubin.com/2011/10/12/smart-goal-setting-for-the-21st-century/

7 Good Habits of Highly Successful People – http://www.briantracy.com/blog/personal-success/seven-good-habits-of-highly-successful-people-goal-oriented

Here are some ideas for Goal-Setting in the classroom:

Lesson Plan – SMART Goal Setting – http://www.ccd.me.edu/careerprep/CareerPrepCurriculum_LP-7.pdf

Setting Goals and Using Feedback to Attain Them


Tarot Cards: Reading the Subconscious

I have to confess that I am fascinated with Tarot Cards. There are different decks of Tarot Cards but the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is probably the most popular. It is a 78 card deck designed by Pamela Colman Smith under the direction of Arthur Edward Waite (according to the box.)

The Rider-Waite Tarot website has a great page with pictures of all the cards in the deck.

The Tarot deck is made up of the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana. The Cards of the Minor Arcana represent the energy, emotions and activities of our daily lives.

The Minor Arcana is divided into 4 suits:

  • Pentacles represent business, money, material possession, practical skills and tangible accomplishment.
  • Cups are cards of emotion and reflection and indicate spiritual authority, contemplation and inner feelings.
  • Swords indicate temporal authority, leadership, wisdom, ideas, creativity and decisiveness.
  • Wands indicate practical strength, productivity, confidence, physical power and self-reliance.

The Major Arcana, also known as trumps, are picture cards that represent principles, concepts and ideals. They are numbered one through 21, with the 22nd card (the “Fool”) marked as zero. The Major Arcana cards represent strong, long-term energy or big events in some area of life.

This site also has descriptions of the cards – http://www.psychicguild.com/tarot_about.php

There are different ways to read the cards but one of the most popular is the Celtic Cross reading and it is the easiest to get the desired result for the most questions. This video shows a Celtic Cross reading:

Placement of the cards and Significance in the Celtic Cross

Here is an example of how to read the Celtic Cross – http://www.biddytarot.com/how-to-read-the-celtic-cross-tarot-spread/

1 – The Heart of the Matter

2 – What’s Crossing You

3 – The Root Cause

4 – The Recent Past

5 – Possible Outcomes

6 – Immediate Future

7 – You (The Querent) personal feelings

8 – The Querent’s Environment

9 – Hopes and Fears

10 – The Outcome (based on all the other cards)

http://www.tarotelements.com/1278/how-to-read-the-celtic-cross-spread-like-a-pro/


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