I know what you may be thinking.  Isn’t journaling for preteen girls to write their current crush’s name inside of a hand-drawn heart?  Well, yeah.  But it’s also for us newly hired professionals who want to succeed and progress in our new careers!  It’s a great way to keep your productivity waaaay up!

I started keeping a journal this summer when I was planning my blog launch.  In it, I kept my daily to-do lists, my long and short-term goals, as well as ideas for the future.  The specific type of journal I kept is called a Bullet Journal, and let me tell you, it was so fun!  If you want to learn more about the Bullet Journal, or as us journalers call it, the BuJo, check out this super official website as well as these really pretty ones on Pinterest.

In todays, post, I am giving you a list of reasons why keeping a journal is especially important for productivity when starting a new job.

Why you Should Keep a Journal

Reflection

Keeping a journal can give you a safe place to reflect on the thoughts and emotions you have about your career.  Maybe you had a wonderful day at work.  It’s good to acknowledge what you did that day and what made it so great.  Or maybe your day wasn’t the best.  Writing about it can be a nice release of those negative feelings and can help you to not dwell on it longer than necessary so that you can move forward.

Motivation

Journaling is great for motivation.  Something that I love to add to my journal is a to-do list.  Checking something off of my to-do list is so satisfying and it helps me to celebrate each little win.  In an article in the Harvard Business Review called The Power of Smalls Wins, the authors’ research proved that making progress in meaningful work boosts emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday.  Writing in a journal can give you a place to keep track of that progress.

Keeping Track of Accomplishments

It’s also nice to keep a running list of all of your achievements.  If you do something awesome or get complimented on your work, write it down.  You’ll need to have these things on hand when its time for a promotion!

Planning

Speaking of promotion, do you know everything that is expected of you to receive a promotion?  If not, find out immediately.  Then you can write down all of these things in your journal.  And now that you know where you are going, you just need to make a plan to get there.  For example, being innovative in teaching is a part of my promotion requirements.  So each week I try to do something new in the classroom to see how my students react to it along with how well they grasp the material.

Related Post:  How to Plan for a Stable Financial Future

Ideas

A journal is a great place to write down all of your ideas for work, big or small.  Maybe there are colleagues that you want to collaborate with or service projects that you want to put together or be a part of.  Maybe there is new research in your field and you want to apply the results in your job.  The sky’s the limit!  I try to keep a running list of new activities for my students to work on in groups.  So far, the biggest hit was Derivative Sudoku.  Today, I’m trying a matching game with graphs of functions and their derivatives.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

How I use my Journal Daily

  1. I like to take 5-10 minutes either in the morning or the night before work to plan my day.  This typically consists of a To-Do list.  See my pro tip below.
  2. Throughout the day, I will write down any new ideas or goals that I think of.
  3. At the end of the day, I reflect on everything I’ve done and evaluate what’s working for me and what is not.

Pro Tip:  Try to keep your To-Do list short.  3-4 items is about all that one can manage without becoming overwhelmed.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post.  Using my journal helps me to stay focused at work and keep my productivity at 100%.  Tell me, do you currently keep a journal?  What type of things do you write in it?  If you don’t keep a journal, are thinking about keeping one now?

As always,

Go forth.  Look great.  Be great.

Toyin

P.S.  Feel free to pin this image and share this post!

Productivity 101: Why You Should Keep a Journal when you are Newly Hired | Bullet Journal

Yes, my friends, you read that title correctly.  It is budget day!  Today on Minted and Printed, we are discussing the 50/20/30 Budget Rule.  Have you heard of it?  It has a reputation for being somewhat of a “starter budget” in the personal finance world. 

The 50/20/30 Rule is an organizational way to budget by appropriating set percentages of your income to be used for your needs, wants, and savings.  It’s known as a starter budget because everyone’s goals and financial plans are different and dividing your budget up this way is a good way to see your finances more clearly.

Related Post:  How to Plan for a Stable Financial Future

Since we are newly minted professionals, I thought that the 50/20/30 budget would be a great place to start.  If you are like me, you have completed your first month of work and have gotten your first paycheck.   The first thing I did was print this Expenses Worksheet and start documenting all of my reoccurring expenses.  

The 50/20/30 Rule

To apply this budget, you need to know your take home income after taxes AND have a list of your monthly expenses.  Then you will need to categorize these expenses into three groups:  fixed expenses, savings, and flexible expenses.

Fixed Expenses:  50% of your income

According to the rule, 50% of your take home income should be put toward your fixed expenses.  Your fixed expenses are basically your bills and monthly essentials.  These are the bills you have to pay regardless of where you live and are typically the same for everyone, no matter what your future goals are.  Items in this list include the following:

  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Phone and Internet
  • Subscriptions
  • Student Loans
  • Car Payment

Savings:  20% of your income

The next step is to assign 20% of your income to savings.  This category is THE category to help set you up for a successful future!  The more money you dedicate to this category, the quicker you decrease your debt, and the faster you build your wealth!  The items in this list would include:

  • Emergency Funds
  • Savings Plans
  • Debt Payments
  • Roth IRA Contributions

Related Post:  How to Save $1000 Fast

Flexible Expenses:  30% of your income

Finally, leave 30% of your income for flexible expenses.  These are the expenses that “enhance” your lifestyle and may vary from month to month.  Make sure you choose your flexible expenses carefully because the items in this category can really make the most difference in your budget.  This is the category where spending can get out of hand.  Items in this list could include:

  • Groceries
  • Eating Out
  • Gas
  • Shopping
  • Entertainment
  • Hobbies

The nice thing about the 50/20/30 Rule is that you don’t need to have a super high income to make it work.  It’s based on percentages so anyone can use it.  This starter budget can serve as a road map for those of us who are just getting started in the real world.  We can use it to see what is ahead and are free to detour and create our own paths, which is exactly what I did.

My Starter Budget

I decided to take the principles of the 50/20/30 Rule to create my own budget that reflects my goals.  Remember, a budget is only successful if it has a purpose.  Right now, the purpose of my budget is to make me debt-free.  As I mentioned before, I have student loans from undergrad that I need to pay.  Therefore, I will use my 6 month grace period to pay off the interest that my loans have accrued and my budget will reflect this goal.

I will have a 4 category budget:  fixed expenses, flexible expenses, savings, and debt payments.  To create my 4th category for debt payments from the 50/20/30 Rule, I will take 10% of my income from both the fixed and flexible expenses categories.  So I will use 40% of my income for fixed expenses, 20% of my income for flexible expenses, 20% percent of my income for savings, and 20% of my income for debt payments.

Modified 50/20/30 Budget, My Starter Budget

This breakdown is what works for me.  You may have different goals and purposes for your budget so you have to find the right starter budget for you.

I hope this post has helped you think about how to make your budget work for you.  Let me know in the comments if you think you will use the 50/20/30 Rule or if you know of a different budget that works well for newbies like us.

And remember…

Go forth.  Look great.  Be great.

Toyin

P.S.  I made a customizable budget spreadsheet for you!  It’s in the resource library.  If you are a subscriber, you can access it.

Starter Budget inspired by the 50/20/30 Rule Budget

Also, it would be awesome if you pinned this image!!!

The Starter Budget, Inspired by the 50/20/30 Rule

Today’s post is all about the teaching outfits that I wore during my first week of work.  As you know, this August, I started my first real job!  My dream job!  As a Lecturer at the University of Georgia.  This semester, I’m teaching 3 sections of Calculus 1 and I’m really excited about it!  All of my classes have 19 students and I love that I am able to get to know them and that they can get to know me.

I really wanted to start the semester off right by choosing outfits to help me stand out as a professor and not look super young, like a college student.  However, I did notice that some of my students were surprised that I was the professor.  Oh well, I blame my parents…lol!

I decided to post this video so that you can see everything I wore during my first week as well as the reasons why I chose each one of these teaching outfits.

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Teaching Outfits:  First Week of Classes

Outfit 1

I wore an awesome pair of cropped cigarette pants from ASOS.  Cigarette pants are my new favorite work pieces to wear.  The pants are comfortable and help me look more put together.  I also wore these pants to a business casual reception at the President’s house (the UGA president, not Obama).  I paired the pants with a sleeveless button up and a beige blazer…because nothing says first day of classes like a blazer.

Outfit 2

The second day of classes for me was a Monday.  I knew that I would probably have a couple of new students who missed the first day or changed their schedules so I still wanted to look nice.  I wore another pair of pants.  These were high waisted, black trousers that I paired with a striped T-shirt and, one of my new favorite pieces, a camel duster!  This outfit fits so nicely with the new Professional Personal Style I found for myself.

Outfit 3

I decided to switch it up on Day 3 and wore a dress.  I got so many compliments on this printed shirtdress from Boohoo!  I loved how long it was on me.  I got it in Tall and it was perfect for writing on the board!  I didn’t have to worry about my dress riding up in the back.  To add pizzaz to my outfit, I added a statement necklace, which should come as no shock to you after reading How to Look Put Together in the Summer.  Thank you sissy for buying this necklace for me!

Outfit 4

By Day 4, I was exhausted.  I’m not used to teaching so many days in a row, so I decided to dress a little more casual.  I wore dark wash skinny jeans and a printed blouse with a cardigan to pull everything together.

These are all of my teaching outfits for my first week of work.  Please let me know if you enjoyed this or got inspiration for what to wear to work and I’ll post more OOTW videos.

Remember…

Go forth.  Look great.  Be great.

Toyin

P.S. Let me know in the comments what you wore for your first day at work.

Want to know how I found my new Personal Professional Style?  Check out my Style Guide along with this FREE Style Planner!

How to find your Professional Personal Style in 4 Steps + a FREE style planner

Shop These Looks

As a newly minted professional in my 20s, I think that it is important to prepare ourselves for a stable financial future as soon as possible.  I’ve read many articles about how important it is to buckle down and be financially stable in your 30s.  Because by that time, you should have your life figured out…so they say.

However, I think that it’s never too early to prepare yourself for a bright, successful future!  Personal finance is so important at any age.  Good money management can be that key skill that helps you lead a great life with low or no financial stress.

Often, people think that creating a good budget (don’t worry, we will definitely talk about budgets one day) is the best way to plan for financial success.  But really, setting and understanding priorities that the budget should reflect should be the main goal.

That is exactly what today’s post is about.  After you understand your expenses and have set up an emergency fund, it’s time to plan for a stable financial future.

How to Start Planning for a Stable Financial Future

Step 1:  Take a Reflective Break

Set aside 20 minutes of quiet time, with paper and a pen, to simply reflect.  Think about yourself and where you are now.  Are you happy with where you are financially?  Imagine yourself 10 years from now.  Where do you think you will be?  Where do you want to be financially?  Now imagine yourself 5 years from now.  What goals would you need to have accomplished to reach your 10 year goals?  What about a year from now?  Where do you want to be?  Write down your answers to these questions and think about what you may need to do to get you to those goals.

Step 2:  Identify Your Goals

Now that you know where you want to be, it’s time to write down some concrete, realistic goals.  Do you want to travel more?  Build your savings? Payoff student loans? Buy a house?  Start a family?  Plan a girls’ trip this summer?  Write down every goal, big or small.  You may find that some goals may be bigger or more important and some goals have certain prerequisites.

For example:  If your goal is to buy a house, you will need to figure out your price point and save for a reasonable down-payment.

Step 3:  Prioritize Your Goals

Figuring out which goals are most important to you is a very important step.  It gives you a starting point for making a plan.  Now that you have a list of your goals, rank them.  Assign a value to each goal that represents either how much energy you will spend on reaching them or which goal should be accomplished first.  

For example:  Two of my goals are paying off my student loans and buying a house within 3 years.  For me, since my student loans aren’t very high, I think that paying them off should happen before I buy a house.  Therefore, I’m going to make a plan for getting rid of my student debt, which will be reflected in my monthly budget.

Step 4:  Create a budget

Now that you know your financial priorities, you can now create a budget for yourself.  How much of your monthly income will you devote to reaching your financial goals?  Whether you are planning for a vacation, paying off debt, or saving for a pair of designer shoes, it’s important to keep track of your progress.  Make a progress report and post it somewhere, maybe on your desk or next to your bed, so that you stay motivated to keep with your plan.

What is one of your immediate financial goals?  Maybe we can work on them together.  Remember…

Go forth.  Look great.  Be great.

Toyin

P.S.  Pinning this pic would be so awesome!

How to Start Planning for a Stable Financial Future

I don’t know if you follow me on Instagram (@toyinsmiles), but if you do, you probably noticed that I wear statement necklaces a lot.  Particularly, I wear this black and gold chunky necklace…it’s my favorite and works with almost everything!  The reason I do wear statement necklaces is because they instantly make me look put together without adding an extra layer.  An extra layer that I don’t need to be wearing right now in the humid heat of the South.

Plus, everyone needs a signature look!  I guess the statement necklace is mine.  This post gives tips on looking put together in the heat.How to Look Put Together in the Summer without adding layers

How to Look Put Together in the Summer

Nothing looks more put together than a stylishly layered look, with booties!  So many of the outfits I pin and admire are styled with beautiful layers that complement each other perfectly in a unique way.  But what about when it’s hot outside.  I live in the South and wearing more than one layer is not an option in 100 degree humidity.

I’ve noticed that it’s not necessarily the layers that make an outfit look complete.  It’s the addition of a third or fourth piece to a basic outfit.  It’s called the Third Piece Rule and it can help you look perfectly put together in the hot and humid weather!  Just call me Dr. Suess.

Typically, a third piece is utilized via a layering piece like a sweater, jacket, or scarf.  I refuse to pass out from heat exhaustion for fashion!  I’ve come up with a few items to add to your summer wardrobe to help you look more put together when it’s hot and humid outside.

5 Pieces to Add to Look Put Together

Chunky Jewelry

One of my favorite accessories in my closet is my Chunky black, gold, and pearl necklace.  It goes with almost everything in my closet and instantly makes a plain, all black outfit look amazing!  I get compliments every time I wear it.  Chunky jewelry is a great way to go from basic to glam!

A Hat

A hat is an accessory that I have always loved but never had the occasion to wear.  I feel like when I was in school, it seemed rude to wear a hat when I knew I would be sitting in classes all day.  I didn’t want to block someone else’s view and I definitely was not going to show off flat hat hair by taking one off.  But now that I am an adult and most of my events don’t include sitting in classes (even though I stand in front of one), I can successfully implement hats into my wardrobe.  It may just be me but when I see someone wearing a stylish hat, they look so cool!

A Headband or Bandana

I love adding a headband or colored scarf to my top knots and buns to add interest to my look.  Plus they help to hide tracks while keeping your hair off of your neck (#weavelife/wiglife). Le’struggle.

A Colorful belt

Adding a colored belt to a tucked in look also gives visual interest and shows that you took a little more time to think the outfit through.  My favorite belt is a skinny yellow belt and surprisingly, it looks great with most outfits.

A Shirt (to tie around the waist)

Wearing a chambray or flannel shirt around my waist is one of my favorite trends right now.  It helps to make a short dress or leggings look like an outfit with intention.

Have you tried any of these pieces to look more put together in the warm weather? 

Thanks for joining me on my blog Launch Week!  I will now be posting every Tuesday!  Remember…

Go forth.  Look great.  Be great.

Toyin