Find A Job - Part Two

In the pre-internet days when looking for a job your options were searching the help wanted ads in the newspaper, word of mouth from friends and family and cold calling. “Get out there and find a job” was literally how you did it. I remember several times driving to a business district (or walking if I was between cars) and going door to door asking if they needed help and filling out applications. I didn’t have a resume, and I don’t remember any of my friends having them either. A folded up, handwritten piece of paper stuck in my wallet held my employment history.

Times have changed just a little since then, and we all have a few more options.
Following are a few online resources that might help with your search. Check out Part One of this series for more sites.

Jobster – No jobsite list would be complete without this one or the next. Register, post your resume, search for jobs and sign up for email job alerts.

Monster – Pretty much the same features as above. Make sure to check out the extensive Career Tools section.

Retirement Jobs – For the over 50 crowd. Their goal is “to identify companies most-suited to older workers and match them with active, productive, conscientious, mature adults seeking a job or project that matches their lifestyle.”
I searched my area in Iowa using four different keywords and the returns averaged 28 jobs each.

The Riley Guide – You have to see this one to believe it. Once there, take the time to explore everything this incredible resource has to offer. From their home page, “The Riley Guide introduces you to the online job search, listing many online sites and services that are useful for your job search. We do not post jobs nor resumes but instead point you to the places that do.” Clicking on the A-Z index will give you a good idea of how extensive this site is.

Summer Jobs – They offer “summer jobs and seasonal staff positions with camps, amusement parks, resorts, national parks, hotels, environmental organizations and more.” I searched for Iowa on this site and found one job. Most of our summer jobs here involve corn in some way, so I was not expecting much. There are a lot of jobs listed outside of Iowa to look for, however, and make sure to check out their articles and advice section.


Search for Scholarships

It’s that time of the year again for high school seniors. Testing for the ACT & SAT, filling out the FAFSA, gathering and sending transcripts, college applications and letters of recommendation are all part of the annual hectic last few months of the high school experience. Not to mention Prom, Post-Prom, finals, Senior Skip Day and planning the senior kegger, it can get a little stressful keeping it all together. This article is about finding scholarships, but I will offer a little advice on the kegger: you should probably skip it. By the time of the big night most parents already know the time and location, which means the police will too. There are plenty of other fun, and legal, things to do.

I have two kids currently attending college and both have been awarded scholarships. A good place to start your search is with the high school counselor’s office. They have binders full of information sent to them by schools all over the country. Ask your parents what they did if they attended college, and if their employers offer any scholarship programs. Ask your teachers about their experiences finding scholarships. Search online.

Once you start finding opportunities you will be filling out a lot of applications and writing a lot of essays. Make sure to save copies because they usually can be revised and reused. Start early and apply for everything you think you might have a chance at. Keep in mind many colleges offer in house scholarships that you are automatically considered for when you apply for admission and are accepted.

While you will find many scholarship resources on your own, the following list is a good starting point for your search. Don’t stop applying for scholarships after you are accepted by a college as they are available throughout your time as a student.

College Scholarships – “New scholarships are posted monthly. This free quality information includes all of the details you need to apply now, including eligibility requirements, deadlines, amounts, contact name, address, phone number and website of the scholarship sponsor.”

College-Scholarships – “We have put together an online directory of college and university admissions office email addresses and telephone numbers, college scholarship and financial aid office email addresses, and links to the home pages and online applications of more than a thousand colleges and universities. And, we have assembled a page of links to the very best college and university admissions, college scholarship, and financial aid pages on the web. You will even find information on graduate schools, the GRE and GMAT examinations, MBA programs, the TOEFL, community colleges, historically African-American colleges, and campus life.”

Scholarships – “Create a profile and get personalized information on college scholarships and grants that match you! Our college scholarship database is updated constantly, offering the most current, relevant and accurate college scholarship opportunities. Improve your chances of winning; search for scholarships when you begin applying to colleges or even earlier.”

FinAid – “FinAid was established in the fall of 1994 as a public service. This award-winning site has grown into the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools -- on or off the web. Access to FinAid is free for all users and there is no charge to link to the site.” This is an excellent site.

FastWeb – My personal favorite. On this free site “each FastWeb user answers a detailed questionnaire about themselves. The site then uses this data to generate a personalized suite of information of scholarships, colleges, internships, jobs, and more. At the heart is FastWeb's industry-leading scholarship database — the most comprehensive and accurate compilation of national, community, and college-specific scholarships available anywhere. Updated continuously by the company's own dedicated research team, FastWeb's database contains over 1.3 million scholarships worth over $3 billion.”

Good luck, and don’t forget to write those thank you letters when you receive your awards!


Investment Clubs

An investment club is a group of friends that organize to pool their money and invest in the financial markets. A possible advantage (given the state of the markets currently) of forming a club is the strength in numbers concept, and the diversity of ideas and experiences that the individual members bring to the group.

If you are interested in forming an investment club begin by talking with your friends. Discuss your interests and what kinds of experiences each of you have with investing. Most sources agree the ideal membership size is 10 to 15 people. Begin researching different websites and books about investment clubs and investing in general. Two great resources are The National Association of Investors Corporation and their Official Guide.

Members will need to agree on monthly contributions and what the financial goal of the club will be. Decide on how often you will meet, usually monthly, and where. Agree on a name for your club and draw up the necessary contracts and agreements.

Read what the SEC has to say about investment clubs. Most likely you will not need to register with them as long as every member participates in the investing decisions, you don’t offer securities to the public and you don’t have more than 100 members. Check the NASAA website for the securities laws for your state.

Some other resources include Investment Club Help and American Association of Individual Investors.



Use What You Have and Cut the Clutter

Using what you have on hand before going out and purchasing something is one of the basic rules of living frugally. This can be a great way to both save money and get rid of clutter.

If you are looking for something different to wear for the day dig into the back of the closet, or check that tote in the basement. Dig into the back of the pantry if you can’t find the ingredient you are looking for. Wanting to change around the d├ęcor? You might start by looking in those mystery boxes in the basement or attic.

Recently my wife decided to round up all the items from around the house of a particular collection she has. Once she saw all of them together she realized that
1) she had way more than she thought and 2) she didn’t even like some of them. The result was a paring down and putting the unwanted for sale online. Last fall I was cleaning out along a basement wall to make way for replacing a drain pipe and came across an unopened box of brand new dinnerware. Neither one of us could remember where it came from, or how long it had been down there. We didn’t need new dinnerware so up on Craigslist it went!

When you think you are out of something, want something different or are feeling the want to go out and buy something, stop and look around. You might be surprised at what you already have.


Sell Your CDs & DVDs

I have music in my collection that covers the spectrum of sonic reproduction formats from vinyl to compact discs. My movie collection includes VHS and DVDs. Just a few years ago I was finding vinyl records, in good condition, for from $1 to $3 each, but prices have been rising. Eight track tapes are still floating around flea markets and garage sales to be had for a few dollars per groovy carrying case. Tape cassettes are down to fifty cents each, usually, and VHS tapes have fallen from a used price of $4 to $5 to an average of around a dollar now. Can CDs and DVDs be far behind in the face of Blu-ray and MP3 formats?

Offline places to try to sell them include independent music shops, which also usually buy and sell DVDs and games. Pawn shops will not pay much, but used book stores usually have multi media sections and I have found they will pay a little more than most.

Online there are the usual Amazon and eBay options, and I have even sold CDs from my house using Craigslist. Other online options include:

The CD Exchange: Your CDs and DVD’s must be in excellent condition and include all of the artwork. Fill out their online form listing what you have and they will email back what they want and what they will pay, either by check or store credit.

Wherehouse: Pretty much the same procedure as above except you can search their website to see if they want your items and how much they will pay. They are also a little more forgiving about the condition, such as a few light scratches are okay.

Second Spin: You can also search for what they want and they also accept games, like the first two.

Swap A CD and Swap A DVD: These are swapping sites, which strays a little from the gist of this post, but they do give you another option. Swap Tree is another swap site.


Give Your Doctor a Checkup

Most of us assume when going to a doctor that they are capable and know what they are doing. While the majority of them are caring, disciplined professionals we all read several times a year about doctors being sued for malpractice, disciplined by a state medical board or even having their licenses suspended or revoked.

If you are thinking about looking for a doctor or would like to investigate your current doctor, consider using the sites below. The amount of information provided by each state varies, but anything obvious or glaring should show up. Educate yourself and keep your family safe; give your doctor a checkup.

Doctor Scorecard: “This site is being built and operated by people that are free from ties to medical businesses, medical associations, hospitals, clinics, doctors, and even free from patient advocacy groups. This site is not part of a business and is not controlled by a company. This means that this site is a fair and unbiased location where we can exchange our experiences regarding doctors and medical businesses. We don't take sides and try to stay out of the rating system as much as possible.” Read more here.

Doc Finder: “It remains the only combined public online physician database in the nation that has its direct source of data from state government licensing boards and that also remains free of charge to the public.”


Find A Job - Part One

If you are looking for employment along with the rest of the current seven percent or so of the population that are jobless, here is a list of some sites that might help remedy your situation. Some are mainstream, while others might be a little off the beaten path. If you are thinking about striking out on your own check out these work at home ideas.

Career Builder: “As the U.S.'s largest online job site, put over 1.6 million jobs in front of poised job seekers wherever they are - at home or work - in print and on the Internet. More than 23 million unique visitors come to the site every month to check out opportunities in every industry, field and job type.”
The site is owned by Gannett Co, Inc., Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company and Microsoft.

Cool Works: “Cool Works® is about you finding a seasonal job or career in some of the greatest places on Earth. Get a summer job in Yellowstone, Yosemite, or another national park. Find a summer job as a camp counselor. Ski resorts, ranches, theme parks, tour companies and more are waiting for you. Let Cool® show you the way to live out your own amazing adventure!”

Indeed: “Indeed is a search engine for jobs - with a radically different approach to job search. In one simple search, Indeed gives job seekers free access to millions of employment opportunities from thousands of websites. includes all the job listings from major job boards, newspapers, associations and company career pages - and we continue to add new sites every day.”

Jobs 4.0: “Jobs4.0 is the leading source of job opportunities for candidates 40 and over. Jobs4.0 means real jobs at great companies that value diversity of experience.”

Job Board Info: “ is a career portal designed as a resource for job seekers, employers and recruiters to access the country's leading career and industry niche sites.”

Have you tried any of these? Any luck? I will post another batch soon.


Use Your Library

I was thinking about adding my Secret Library Tip to the very end of this post but decided to appease the blog speed readers out there and offer it up first. Check the library dumpster. You don’t think they can possibly sell, or even accept, every magazine or book donation they receive, do you? Even the items they try to sell, but don’t, can only sit there in the “Friends of the Library” section for so long until they get bumped for the next incoming batch. Libraries also have to continually turn over their own inventory to make way for the new. If these materials can not be sold fairly quickly as a library fundraiser, into the dumpster they go. Recently my city introduced 96 gallon roll-out carts for recycling, which makes it much easier to dig through all those discarded books and magazines. If you don’t add them to your own collection when finished reading you could pass them on to friends and family or donate to a thrift store. Bonus Secret Tip: the larger used book chain stores do the same thing. Go around back and dig in!

I love to use my library’s online catalog to order books, movies and music. Once I receive an email notice that all of my materials are gathered at the branch I frequent I just walk in (after checking the dumpster) go to the holding area for my stuff and check out. There is no charge for books or music and movies are one dollar each.

They also have audio books and a selection of current newspapers and magazines to read. My favorite branch also has a community room that is used by various organizations and individuals to offer lectures, performances and discussion groups, all for free. The Friends of the Library fundraising shelves offer magazines for 25 cents, paperbacks for 50 cents and hardbacks for a dollar.

While there you can also surf the internet, get help with research from the librarian and request books they don’t have through the inter library loan program.

It’s your tax dollars being spent to offer this incredible resource, so get out there and use your library. And don’t forget to take a peek in the dumpster.


Get Your Free Tickets

Do you plan on visiting L.A. or New York? Are you a big fan of talk or game shows? If you answered yes to both you should check out this site on how to get free TV tickets. They also provide information on how to become a game show contestant, a movie extra, a talk show guest and even how to have your case heard by Divorce Court or Judges Alex, Judy, Mathis and Hatchett.

TV Tickets provides free tickets to shows such as Two And A Half Men, Dr. Phil and Good Morning America, among others.

On Camera Audiences offer free tickets to a variety of shows including American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.

New York Show Tickets can get you discounted tickets to Broadway Shows and free TV tickets to shows such as David Letterman, Rachael Ray and Saturday Night Live.


Carnival This Week

The Buck List participated in one carnival this week. The Carnival of Personal Development has articles on budgeting, investing, setting goals and managing debt, among many other topics. Take some time to check them out.


Offer Your Services for Barter or Cash

Offering basic services to neighbors, friends and family is a time honored form of making some side cash, bartering for something you might need or trading a skill for a skill.

Start by assessing what your skills are and asking your friends and neighbors what they might need done. Work out the bartering details or payment and set a date.

Just walking around your neighborhood could give you some ideas. Why does the grass always get so long at that house before it is mowed; do those people really want those bushes that big; that garage looks like it hasn’t been painted in years.

Outdoor work to offer is obviously based on the seasons, such as raking leaves in the fall, snow removal in the winter, gutter cleaning in the spring and summer mowing.

I currently shovel snow for my disabled neighbors. We also have gardens joined together and in the summer they water and we weed. If we cook a large batch of something or just want to share we will give them a plate or bowl full, and they do the same in return. We also watch each others property and pets when the other goes on vacation.

Recently my nephew designed some Cafepress images for me in exchange for my building a gate for his dog pen. We also did some hauling together for awhile. A good buddy of mine has several yards he mows in the summer, as did my kids before they left for college. Both of my kids have offered babysitting services and my daughter walked dogs for a time. Another way to barter services is to form a DIY Club.

I have found that if you make it known what you have to offer you will find all of this kind of work you can handle.


One Way To Get The Most Out of Your Chicken

I decided to share a quick post on an example of how we try to be frugal with food. Our grocery store had a sale on chicken hindquarters, so I bought a 10 pound bag for $3.99. I layered the whole bag in our roaster and cooked them at 325 degrees for 3 hours. The meat was tender and easy to debone, and the meat went into three quart size freezer baggies. The bones and the rest went into a pan, covered with water and slow boiled for an hour. The broth was strained out into a bowl and allowed to cool so as to skim off the fat. Three 24 ounce containers were filled with the chicken broth and stored in the freezer for future use as a base for soups such as chicken and noodles or potato soup. The meat was also frozen for future use in soups or casseroles. That’s three chicken meals starting at $1.33 each, and “free” broth. Pretty frugal!


Some Work At Home Ideas

How do you know if a work at home offer is legitimate? In today’s economic climate many people could be asking that question. In addition to this list here are a few more sites that present work at home options. Every couple of weeks I will post a handful of different work at home ideas. was started by Cheryl Demas in the 1990’s as a home business to help others find legitimate telecommuting work. Her site offers advice, work at home job listings, message boards and more. A great resource.

Arise – They “offer the certification courses you need to become an Arise Certified Professional, which signifies that you have the basic skills and knowledge to be a customer interaction specialist. As an employee of your Virtual Services Corporation, once you are certified as an Arise Certified Professional, you choose which clients to serve, when you work, and how many hours each week to work.” They offer opportunities in customer service, sales and tech support.

Solo Gig – “Sologig is the niche community where top contractors and consultants connect with those quality employers looking to fill contract and consulting positions quickly and efficiently.” Their employer categories include engineering, creative, law, clinical, sales, finance and IT.

Mountain West Processing – As of this writing they have transcription openings. They also note that all editors are promoted internally and that they currently have no research openings.