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Conflicting Reports: Is a poor attitude at work busting your budget?

Most of the time when you think about budgeting, you start to ponder how well you're saving money and if there's something you can do at home to save better, live smarter and actually have enough cash set aside that retirement isn't going to mean retiring at 75 or 80 years of age.

But what about work? Granted, you may not be totally interested in being a company or team player to the point that you're working 80 hours per week or killing yourself with stress in lieu of getting home at a decent hour or missing time with your family.

That said, your employer looks at you as a way they can make money based on your performance, dedication in the form of hours put in and attitude to determine if their investment in you is worthwhile. Nothing kills a company's bottom line worse than having an employee that is totally unproductive or mired in conflict with either management or other employees.

Companies don't get into business to lose money or break even. They want revenue and profits that outweigh their expenses month by month and at the end of fiscal quarters and at the end of the year when they're tallying up all their receipts so to speak.

Part of the reason companies do so poorly is lost productivity from employees. How well a company monitors this determines just how badly financially this is hurting them. Some organizations see lost time as the cost of doing business and assume that employees with bad attitudes or nothing positive to say still work and that if they're loafing for a few hours then so be it. They may even adopt the attitude that every company has some of “those types” of employees that aren't the most productive within the group. The tendency with that mentality is that a warm body working is better than having to go out, interview, hire and train a new employee. While that cost is significant and turnover at a particular place of employment is costly as well, think about what that lazier employee is doing to your financial standing.

If the average employee makes $20 per hour and they spend roughly, on average, eight hours per week being unproductive that equates to nearly three million dollars per year when you factor in that about 20% of your workplace falls into this category.

Now, eliminating that number of employees in one fell swoop is going to ultimately hurt your business plans, too. So you need to take a more realistic approach and begin weeding out the slouches and start supplanting them with movers and shakers that will give more effort than the previous employee.

Those companies that can identify this trend and change it rather quickly are the ones that will enjoy better profits and a bottom line that is keeps the company from the brink of eventual extinction.

Investment Blanker: Your car doesn't have to be a terrible investment

When it comes to managing money, monthly payments, equity and spending wisely, nothing is quite as frustrating and polarizing as that gas guzzling, expensive piece of change sitting in your garage.

You know you have a love and hate relationship with your car when it comes to the overall scope of your fiances.

On one hand, your car is practicality personified. It serves the basic need of getting you from point A to point B, something you simply can't cut from your budget given that you need to get to and from work and have a means of travel for, well, just about everything.

Your car, however, for that one aspect of your life it helps is one of the worst investments you'll ever make. Not only are you paying hundreds of dollars a month for the car, truck, van or SUV, but you have to factor in the one variable about a vehicle that is beyond annoying.

It loses value the moment you sign the papers and purchase it. As soon as those tires roll off the car lot, you're immediately in a deficit from an investment, equity and money standpoint. In fact, if you don't believe that, take your car back to the dealership less than a month or two after you've just bought it and take note of your purchase price versus what they're offering as a trade in.

Much less, right? You may have just bought the car but chances are that salesperson is giving you a few thousand dollars less than you just paid.

Take that into consideration, along with the unexpected repairs, gas, routine maintenance and depreciation and suddenly your car is your worst enemy. If it were a spouse, you'd be prepping the divorce papers as you speak.

But you don't have to make losing money on your car a rite of passage and could actually at least break even or earn a profit on your vehicle when trade in day looms large. First, the money saving starts at the point of sale. Research and find a car that you like with a high resale value right away.

You also want to make sure before you trade it in that you're not dragging, pulling, pushing or towing the vehicle into the lot. That is a sure fire sign that you're about to lose money. Often consumers believe they should run their car into the ground before trade in and “let the dealership handle the repairs.” That mentality isn't going to earn you any sort of profit, which ultimately is what your goal should be.

Losing money on a car doesn't have to be the status quo, unless of course you decide to make it that way.

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