5 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Seasonal Job This Year

A seasonal job can be more appealing than you think. When provided an opportunity to generate some extra income, you should take it. There is even more incentive if it means reaching your financial goals faster. Finding those opportunities can be few and far between, but a seasonal job is a great option to earn some extra money during the summer or around the holidays.

Seasonal jobs are a great way to make money while incorporating your hobby.

Seasonal jobs are a great way to make money especially by doing things you already enjoy.

5 Reasons to Consider a Seasonal Job

1. A Variety of Seasonal Opportunities 

Other than the obvious reason, seasonal jobs exist in a variety of interesting fields. If you have a specific hobby, you could look into seasonal positions using your skills. For instance, if you are an avid skier or snowboarder, why not work a winter at a ski resort? Not only will you get some extra time on the slopes for a (possibly) discounted rate, but you also get to make money working somewhere that actually interests you.

However, you don’t need to travel to find a season job. The same idea applies even in your local community. If you enjoy shopping, ask about job opportunities the next time you visit your favorite stores. In addition to working in a place you like, you can also get employee discounts.

2. Greater Potential to Travel 

Are you looking for an excuse to travel more? If you don’t have a full-time job or a remote position, you may want to consider a seasonal job. Vacation resorts and tourist destinations often have many temporary employment options. During the high season and holidays, many places are glad for the additional help. You can use this type of job as an excuse to see a new place while also keeping your bank account stable.

3. Flexible Schedules with Seasonal Jobs

Often, seasonal positions entail working outside normal hours, particularly when you are working at a store. Because of this, you have the perfect chance to earn side income in addition to your full-time wages. This allows you to make more money and worry less about fitting an additional job in your schedule. Putting the extra money toward investment opportunities or savings accounts would be an excellent use of funds.

4. Obtain New Connections

The more people you meet, the more job prospects you create for yourself. As you expand your network and gain a good reputation around the workplace, you leave your footprint. This is important for networking and obtaining references for future employment. Just remember to make that first impression long-lasting and favorable.

Some seasonal positions also intend to keep the best of the best. If you can see yourself working your way up the company ladder, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door. In addition, if you are currently looking for a full-time job, this is just another way to help you along your career path.

5. Learn New Job Skills 

There is always something to gain from every job, whether it is learning a new skill or grasping a concept of smart business. Seasonal jobs improve your resume in multiple ways. First, they increase or enhance your expertise in a new industry. It can even be something as simple as better customer service skills. Second, it improves your interviewing skills and builds your overall resume.

Not only do you learn new things, but you are also absorbing this information in a short amount of time. This is also an excellent point that can be included when applying for your next position.

How to Find a Seasonal Job

If you are unsure where to begin searching for a seasonal job, the easiest and most convenient answer is online. There are literally dozen of job sites out there that cater specifically to seasonal jobs and temporary position. A quick search will bring you to local postings in your area.

Another great way to land a seasonal position is to start asking around. Friends and family are great resources, so utilize them! Some of the best seasonal jobs may not even be advertised. Furthermore, you can also ask about available positions in stores and places of business you visit often. If you are hesitant to be in public and prefer to work from home, there are also sites that can help you find ways to work remotely. You never know what opportunities are out there until you start looking.

Overall, seasonal jobs have the capacity to be quite the rewarding experience. They offer several benefits from the people you meet to the different opportunities they provide. Moreover, you can test the waters in new career fields. It allows you to see where you want to be and consider what you want to do for the rest of your life.

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How to Plan Your Staycation

staycation

I love a good staycation. The truth is that I don’t like traveling all that much. It’s important to me to travel now and then – either to see my family or to experience new things. Nevertheless, I find travel stressful. I don’t find it relaxing. I’m one of those people who come home from a vacation feeling like I need a vacation. That’s why I always try to wrap up any trip with a few staycation days before I return to my regular life.

What is a Staycation?

A staycation is exactly what it sounds like – a completely relaxing, rejuvenating, energizing vacation that you take in your own home. You might take a staycation because you need a break but don’t really enjoy traveling. Or perhaps your travel options are limited due to cost or other limitation. Whatever the reason, a staycation gives you the benefits of a vacation without having to leave your own home or hometown.

Figure Out Where You Will Stay

I love my home. I’m always happy to take my staycation right in my own home. I save money. I enjoy the peace of my own place. All of my craft supplies and books are right there with me. I don’t have to pack a thing.

That said, it’s also possible to take a staycation in someone else’s home. This gives you the chance to enjoy your own city in a new way. Some options for that type of staycation include:

  • Petsitting or housesitting for someone in your city who is going on vacation
  • Swapping houses with a friend who lives in a different neighborhood
  • Renting an AirBnB, possibly even in a shared house to get to know someone new
  • Staying in a local hotel or even hostel to get that vacation experience
  • Camping in your own backyard

Plan Your Staycation Itinerary

When you go on vacation, you probably have a plan for what you would like to do each day. You should plan similarly for your staycation. If you’re the type of traveler who likes to book just one or two things and leave the rest of the day open, then do the same with your staycation. On the other hand, if you love taking tours and seeing all of the sights, then use your staycation as a chance to stay busy learning new things about the place where you live.

When I plan my staycation, it typically involves a combination of structured time and free time. I might make a list of things I want to visit (museums, theaters, walking tours, and art galleries are my favorites). I also brainstorm a list of things I want to enjoy at home (books, art projects, lounging with the dog). Personally I find it helpful to make these lists to remind myself of what I want to do so I don’t get stuck in the habit of doing chores and errands. This is a vacation after all.

Make A List of Rules

In keeping with that vacation mode, I also make myself a list of rules to remind myself of the things that I don’t want to do on my staycation. My list usually includes:

  • Don’t overbook myself.
  • It’s okay to watch TV but not all day.
  • Set an email vacation responder and don’t ever check email.
  • Likewise, stay off of social media.
  • Do all chores before the staycation and none while I’m on my break.
  • Try at least one new thing each day.

Everyone’s needs are different therefore everyone’s staycation will be unique. As long as you think it through, it can be one of the best vacations you’ll ever take.

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Van Life: How Much Does It Really Cost?

Van Life

Van Life

Van life seems to be trending in recent years, and it’s a trend that very much interests me. There have been many times my boyfriend and I have contemplated living this lifestyle for a short period of our lives. It seems like a great way to explore the country and reconnect with what is important in life.

So, this week, I decided to do a little research about what it would take to take part in van life. On paper, it looks marvelous and care-free. But, is it really as great as it sounds? Let’s find out.

First of all, there are several sites dedicated entirely to van life, like this one. Turns out, van life is not such a new thing after all. Granted, the one mentioned is mostly just awe-inspiring photos of this lifestyle, but still dreamy nonetheless. What this movement celebrates, though, is home is not a location but a feeling…an experience. That is definitely something I can live with.

Sunsets like you’ve never seen, adventures, a simpler way of life, and stories that develop along the way…these aspects of this way of life all sound so appealing. But, what does it really take to live on the road and how much does it really cost you?

Before you start

Before even considering something like this, there will be initial expenses of course.  Along with purchasing a van, you will most likely need to do some renovations to it in order to make it a suitable living space. This couple featured in Outside Magazine was able to renovate a cargo van they found on Craigslist simply by following a helpful online account. Spirit Van Life provides very specific details to followers on how to get turn your van into your home on the road.

While you can do the updates yourself to save costs, there are many details to know and keep in mind as you build your home on the road. In the minimal square feet, you will need to decide will this be used for long-term trips (a month or more at a time) or just shorter excursions. This will determine how much wattage you’ll need for electricity or if solar power is feasible for you (Solar Panels are roughly $450 a piece and a generator is around $400-$2,000, depending on how much solar power you want to use). Costs for updates can be $2,000 to $3,000 in repairs and supplies, depending on how customized you want to go. There are cargo vans available with most of the conversion already done for you available on sites like Craigslist, but you may end up paying more for the vehicle. These used vehicles seem to run, on average, anywhere from $1,600 to $10,000.

You could make the starting costs fit into a specified budget you create for such a venture; however, be realistic. You could luck out and spend $5,000 to $7,000 on the lower end and $10,000 to $12,000 on the higher end. To see if it is worth doing, see how much you would be saving versus renting an apartment each month with all bills included.

Another thing to think about before you begin is do you want a recreational vehicle or the van? With an RV, you likely have the luxury of a shower and toilet, but you have to pay to stay in RV parks while you have more flexibility with parking a van in public.

For the electrical work of your van, it may be worth hiring someone to do this to ensure it is done correctly. Again, you need to choose your source of power supply and know how much you’ll need for your adjusted lifestyle on the road. For instance, if you are a digital nomad, you may need a lot of electricity considering the amount of time you may spend on your computer. Because it will be for a much smaller space than your typical home, you may only have to pay a few hundred dollars for such work. Just do your price checking and align with your budget as best as possible.

Reaching out to friends with construction knowledge may be a great start for you and your new “home.”

On-going costs

With the vehicle logistics primarily out of the way, it’s time to weigh out the regular on-going costs of van life. Here is an idea of what to expect based on my research:

  • Fuel: How often you plan on driving around along with the weight of your van both obviously play key parts in your gas mileage. I would expect to get less than 20 miles to the gallon. If you plan on being flexible on your travels, you can map out your gas and fill up in areas where gas is cheapest. If you plan on driving up to 1,000 miles per month you may be spending $200 or more in fuel alone.
  • Food. Don’t overdo it with your food. One thing people seemed to mention consistently was how food can go quicker in vans, especially in hot weather conditions. Van lifers, as I’ll call them, suggest not buying more than you can realistically consume in a decent amount of time. Limit your restaurant eating to help save your budget and look for farmer’s markets instead. Plan your meals out to avoid food being wasted. Because you aren’t buying as many groceries, you should expect to spend less in a month on the road than you would living in a house or apartment. But, depending on the quality and type of food you purchase (organic, non-GMO, etc.), you may be looking at close to $120 per week in groceries. This amount can definitely be reduced though.
  • Parking. Depending on where you are in the country, you may have some great opportunities for parking by a view. Highway 101 rest stops in the West Coast have several beautiful stops along with cleaner restroom facilities. A Walmart parking lot is always a good go-to from 10 p.m. on. Chances are, you’ll also run into quite a few other van-lifers. Lastly, another common option would be camping sites as they are available. There are some really affordable camping options out there, and we bet they will still be cheaper than staying in a hotel.
  • Gym memberships. Say what? Yes. It appears that some of the folk in van life purchase corporate gym memberships so that they have access to a shower while on the road. Not a bad idea considering a membership at Planet Fitness is $10 per month. Plus, it is a nice way to maintain activity if you aren’t very active on the road (my guess is, you still are). But, another option for hygiene are truck stops that may offer showers at a fee as low as $10. Plan on taking limited showers while on the road.
  • Internet services. While some people get by with free WiFi in public places while traveling, that may not be a realistic option for writers like me with regular deadlines. You could use your cell phone as a hot spot or look into 4G internet services.

One thing to keep in mind for van life, other than the initial costs and keeping aside money for any unexpected expenses, is the fact that some cities do not legally permit you to park on the street if you are living in your van. In those areas, it will be best to stay at a campsite. Luckily, the Bureau of Land Management offers free camping on public land as it is available.

There can surprisingly be a lot of costs that go into van life, but planning ahead will help to prepare you financially as much as possible. You don’t need to buy and fix up a van all at once; spread it out over the course of the year and take a little time researching and planning this new life.

Is this something you’ve been wanting to do or have done? If so, what would you add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.