#BISeattle16 Day 2

Dwolla CEOAfter Day 1 of Banking Innovation packed full of speakers from FinTechs and startups alike I was curious to find out what new information or bombshell quotes would come out of Day 2. The Banking Innovation Conference in Seattle was packed with speakers and Day 2 did not disappoint when it came to mic drop moments.

Ben Milne of Dwolla said in his session, “people who are out there to kill banks, pick a different fight”.  If that doesn’t get your attention from a startup about what this day contained, well than you don’t need to continue reading.

One of the ideas I really liked in the morning session came from Jill Castilla, President and CEO, Citizens Bank of Edmond in OKC.  As President and CEO she has seen troubled times for the community bank but pulled through utilizing innovation and social media.  Reaching out to customers in different methods and showing you care in a unique way has helped their bank excel.  They have since moved to unique micro-branches that are mostly unmanned whether it was through robo-tellers, digital ATMs and only have one location.  But it was important to note that, she helped to put her customer’s minds at ease through personal interactions online, talk about an innovative change management strategy.

Digital Panel
In the same session, Miranda Hill, VP & Manager from Wells Fargo Digital Labs describe something she was really excited about surrounding a live “test” branch that was now focusing on digital express tables.  Everything the customers can play with in the pilot and give real-time feedback.  This is a new approach vs. doing the traditional focus groups or surveys.  Now customers are playing with digital technologies in the setting where they could be using them in a less controlled environment.  To me this is so important because we can’t continue to only use traditional means to gain customer insights especially as “traditional” channels for banks are evolving.

The majority of the middle session was focused around the FinTech competition and the teams making their final pitches.  At the end of the 2 sessions with 11 team presentations – 8 minute pitches – the attendees voted and then it was up to the panel of judges to ask additional questions in a Shark Tank format to decide on the winner of Banking Innovation 2016.  The winner: SayPay which is a voice authentication platform that can be utilized to verify transfers.  As the team continues to work through all the use cases, they now have another award to add to their growing collection. Congratulations to SayPay. SayPay

During the conference, I had the pleasure of getting to talk to Steve Hoffman, the Founder and CEO of SayPay and he is such an impressive guy with a passion for his company which is so important to see from any startup that wants to succeed.  It was great to hear him describe his team and talk about their future goals. One tip I would give to anyone who is attending a conference where startups are pitching – pay attention to the team’s that are pitching, it may seem like the best time to catch up on emails but to that startup this is hundreds of thousands of hours of work wrapped into eight minutes.  To me, the best gift you can give to them is your attention because an attentive group only helps the passion shine through in their pitch and you can see a startups confidence grow with each word.  Steve reminded me of that as we spoke, and I definitely thought about some of the groups that I didn’t give as much attention too and for that I am sorry.  I am going to make it a point as I attend more pitches to give my full attention to the best of my ability.  There is a reverse side to that and it falls on the responsibility of the startups to have a pitch that is attention grabbing, easy to understand, and thought provoking.

The afternoon sessions were filled with quotes that I just loved because they all can be applied to so many things that are top of mind for many. Steve Streit, CEO of the Green Dot Corporation said something I loved, “If the product is not straight forward and self-explanatory we haven’t designed it right.” This is so true and the concept was seconded by a few other presenters. Ben Milne, CEO and Founder of Dwolla – noted the concept of consolidated control needs to become redistributed control within companies which to me is similar to the top-down, bottom-up, middle-out mindset.

Presenter after presented noted the concept of Innovation not being a job but a mindset.  If Innovation is going to work it can’t be a part time job, someone said and I think that is so true.  Innovation has to be engrained in you, it is not a function but a passion.  Innovation can be and should be in everything.  As we think about our customer’s behaviors, what do they want.  What methodology do we follow, the idea that Apple had of give the customer what they want before they know they want it or do we wait for our customer’s to tell us?

IMG_4946Marley Gray, Director of Technology Strategy, BlockChain & Financial Services at Microsoft said, “We always overestimate what you can do in one year and underestimate what you can do in 10.” Why are we in this mindset where in the near term we believe we are going to accomplish so much but when we plan ahead we are afraid to commit.  My thought is, are we afraid to commit to a 10-year plan when everything is changing so fast or do we not want to plan and have to be agile and adjust the plan to meet the times? Abhijit Bose, Head of Digital Intelligence at JP Morgan, summed it up though this is taken out of context, “Banks need to be more real-time then you can think about personalization.”  As we solve the problems of today we can’t all afford to act on the next generation of problems.

Nikhil Lele, Strategic Insights Leader at EY said something I thought really summed up the conference, “Innovation is the responsibility of everyone at the corporation, it can’t be top down or just a bottom up exercise.”  Now that I am back in Buffalo, it is time to start putting together a strategic plan for how to really get the message about Innovation and innovative thinking.  It can’t just come from me but I think I have a really good team in place that has the desire and passion to be innovative and think less like bankers and more like technologists who are ultimately trying to help our customers.quotes

Difference Are Key to Success

I realize it has been awhile since I last blogged and I apologize for that. Life has been crazy busy, work has picked up, training for the half marathon has picked up, trying to enjoy summer, taking some trips, and fitting in a semi-normal social life has been taking up most of my time.

So what has happened since I last blogged, well this could take a few posts but lets start with my career to date for starters.

I have said before that I will never regret my decision for going to RIT and spending my four years of higher education there. It taught me so much not only in the classroom, on the basketball court, but also about myself.

I learned that it is okay to be different, it is important to understand your strengths and weaknesses but not be afraid to stand up for who you are. It is important to be yourself and not allow peer pressure to make you do things you don’t want to do.

I think the most important lesson though that I learned from RIT was how to get along with all different kinds of people. How to understand that differences are what make a team stronger, make a company better, and make individuals better. Having the ability to not judge those for their differences in a negative way but see them as positives and see the amazing things that can come from collaborating among differences is a strength that I can only credit to the way I was raised and my time at RIT.

The team I am working on now has grown from 2 to 3. The new hire on our team is someone with a vast amount of experience from a different industry (difference #1). There is a generational divide between us (difference #2). And there is a personal experience divide (difference #3). Those are just a few of our differences but we also have a lot in common. We both have passion for Innovation, a goal to see the team succeed and a willingness to learn about each other.

Types-People-You-WorkWhat I have learned from her is that you a have a few choices when it comes to your co-workers:

  1. Be Friends
    1. Sometimes it is nice to have a friend at the office but walk the fine line of sharing to much personal information with someone you have to have serious conversations with.
  2. Fake It
    1. This doesn’t work for many if any because it takes to much energy and it will stifle creativity. This is probably the option I prefer the least and do not recommend.
  3. Simply be Co-Workers
    1. You do not have to be friends with all of your co-workers, frankly it won’t happen but you need to be able to be professional. I recommend not being “besties” with the people you work closely with because it becomes

The way our team is set up it would be impossible for us to not get along. We are in such close quarters and all open space that it is absolutely necessary to communicate. If something rubs you the wrong way, the other person may not realize it. I am learning in the workplace it is so important to keep honest communication. I think that is what is going to make our team succeed (of course we several other things) but honestly and communication is crucial to success of a small team and as we grow it will be important for new hires to see that strength in communication and continue it on.

As a team we are building the right way in my opinion, start small and build in reasonable and manageable increments. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Pilot everything and then implement. Life is good, I am loving my job, my team, the place I work, the company I work for, stay tuned for another update about the new area of the bank I am working in!

Transformational Leadership

Be the change you want to seeFirst let me say as an MDP who has been through Transformational Leadership at the bank I highly recommend given the opportunity you take it.

Tranformational Leadership is not a course that can really be described it has to be experienced and if that is to vague or ambiguous for you, you may not want to take the course.  But if you need a little clue into what the course is all about, it is focused on looking in on situations from the balcony, experiencing situations yourself, getting to understand the perception of you from others and behaviors you can change.  It is about understanding how you work in groups and being able to take a step back and work for the common good of the team rather than just yourself.

In the real world life isn’t always going to go your way but often times if you give a little you may gain so much more.  We did an exercise that really helped to show this.  It was case study and without giving away to much, it really showed us how things work in the real world surrounding business.  There isn’t always going to be a happy medium and sometimes giving a little can benefit the overall goal and big picture more than if you had stuck with your idea.

At the end of the course we had done several exercises that talked about “the drift” and the concept of getting caught in the drift.  Before I go on, the concept of the drift to me is the idea that you are stuck in the day-to-day working to get something done and never taking a moment to look up.  Then one day you take that chance to look up and you realize you have no idea how you got where you are.  At M&T it was explained to us that it is easy to get caught in the drift.  But is the drift necessarily a bad thing? It was explained in the course that if you realize you are caught in the drift and are okay with it that is fine, the problem happens when you don’t even realize you are caught in the drift.

Some people refer to this as being stuck in cruise control and just coasting through life.  For me, being caught in the drift is not something I think anyone at this age should ever be.  I love my life but constantly being on the go and working on new things is something I value because it makes life interesting.  There is a reason that I work at M&T, coach and train for races.  I love keeping my mind active.

Do you feel like you are caught in the drift? Do you feel Be transformationallike you are so far in there is no way out? What is the answer to pulling yourself out of your current drift and will you just fall back in our into a new drift? These are fears that people have everyday, it is normal!  You just graduated school you are now getting ready to start this great adventure called LIFE and a big kid job that is scary and you may not feel like you are in a drift because everything is changing or are you? You went to school because you felt you had to, you got good grades because you felt you had to, you worked hard, you graduated, you got a job, these are all these you did because you had too (for most of you) is that a drift? Think about it, do you know how you got to where you are today and why?  If so, did you make those choices for you?

But even by the end of the class I was confused, was I caught in the drift and didn’t realize it, had I just moved myself out of the drift? I had to go and ask our SVP who was running the course for a little bit of feedback; as well as, advice.  Read about what he told me in my next post.  I will also cover how to not drift through life.

Hello Real World…Here I Am

M&T MDPSo after all the waiting and anticipation of starting on the job, the first day is in the books! I can not believe that I can now consider myself a working girl.  All that hard work, time and effort put in all the books, test and presentations became all worth it on Monday, July 14th.

The first day started off in what seemed like a normal on-boarding for a new employee at a company.  M&T brought all the new T&BO (Technology and Banking Operations) MDPs (Management Development Program) together for an all-day orientation.  It was great because it was an opportunity to meet the other MDPs in our “bucket”.  When I say bucket I mean all of the MDPs who fall under a specific Executive Vice-President.  In my case it is Michele Trolli.  The 13 T&BO MDPs had the opportunity to sit down with Michele and be introduced to the bank from her perspective.  It was a rare opportunity that not many get and I was very excited to get to hear the only woman on the Management Group at the bank speak and be in charge of my department.

I want to note that I think woman in business and leadership roles are becoming more and more acceptable and common in today’s society.  When I walk into the office and even when I walked into a classroom at RIT (a school dominated by males), I never felt that I had to be quiet simply because I was a female.  I believe that your actions and your work speak louder than what gender you are.  I loved reading the book “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and was excited to hear that M&T has Lean In circles within the organization and I am looking forward to joining after getting settled.  But the female topic seems to be a topic that often gets discussed and I wanted to make sure I got Michele’s take on it but I wasn’t sure how to phrase it.  I think she knew what I was preparing to ask when I raised my hand because she said something along the lines of don’t be afraid to just say it, if we fear what we are saying or make it seem like a hard subject people won’t get over it and move past it.   I thought that was great and instantly I knew, Michele would be someone who I would strive to learn from and look up to at the bank.

women in business

What was interesting was being able to hear her talk about her direct reports and her experience coming into the bank.  She was not afraid to tell an embarrassing story or be real because as I was beginning to understand, that was M&T’s culture, real people doing real work.  Michelle is one of the “young ones” on the M&T Management Group and she has been with the bank for ten years – that is another part of the culture at M&T the average tenure is 10.4 years currently and you are still considered “new” if you have not been with the company for more than twenty years.

The next group of speakers brought in were the Senior Vice Presidents of T&BO, my SVP is Julieta Ross who recently joined the M&T team after a long career at Citi.  It was great to see that in a business with such long tenure the company understands outside perspectives are often necessary to keep moving forward and growing.  It was so nice to be able to begin to understand the structure at the bank as it pertained to our “bucket” and then begin to put the bigger picture together.  I thought it was great of T&BO to focus on its own sector rather than overwhelm us with the entire bank and its operations on the first day.

The rest of the day was focused on learning about the bank’s values, mission and culture.  It is impossible to understand a culture without actually experiencing it.  But for all the MDPs and most of M&T’s employees you are taken through countless interviews (I went through 12) so you meet a lot of people along the way and begin to see similarities (at least with M&T) among those employees and can pick up on the qualities that make up the majority of the company’s employees.  One common characteristic at M&T is that everyone seems genuinely invested in helping you and maybe that is just for the MDPs (I cannot speak for the traditional recruitment, hiring, on-boarding or career) but so far, everyone I have come in contact with has extended warm welcomes, well wishes and offered to assist in any way that they can.  M&T is invested in their future.working world

Learning about the culture it was great to see that M&T’s vision statement is a Be the Best statement.   “Be the best place our employees ever work for, the best bank our customers ever bank with and the best investment our shareholders ever make.”  That says something because if you are a happy employee your productivity is better meaning that customers are better cared for and have higher quality experiences within the branches or online.  As for the shareholders, a large portion of employees of the bank are shareholders and have a financial investment in the company; as well as it being their place of employment.

The day wrapped up with a Happy Hour at the Lodge with our SVPs.  This was very nice because we got to have 1-on-1 time with the leaders of our department.  It is important to remember when going to a company Happy Hour you are there to network and talk with people, not to eat or drink.  It was nice to talk over a glass of wine with Julieta and hear her vision for the department and the future of M&T’s technology.  She was another person who I was instantly excited to be given the chance to work under and learn from.  She seemed genuinely excited about having me join the team and was ready to help me with my future in the department and the company.  I was beginning to see that most people were excited about the new prospects and talent pool in the bank.

 I think that this is going to be a great opportunity to grow a career with the bank and I am excited to see what the future holds!

***This blog post is in no way endorsed by M&T Bank, the opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own.***

High School Can End

Cortland High School Over the last month I have had time to look back on what happened over my school experience.  I have been able to actually relax for the first time in 4 years, go on vacation (blog post to come) and to go home to spend time with my family and friends.  Spending time at home allowed me to realize how lucky I was to grow up in the town I did.  Cortland may be small and definitely has gone down hill since my experience going through the school system; however, it was the sense of community that formed my experience.  I love my neighborhood and I will be sad when the day comes in the next few weeks when my mom calls me to let me know the house has officially sold.

Senior PictureBut getting to spend time with my high school friends allowed me to reflect on how different my college experience was vs. my high school time.  Because of my busy schedule with basketball and school and co-oping in the summer, I wasn’t able to go home for more than a few days at a time during the four years so I hadn’t seen my friends more than a handful of times.  I realized how much I had missed them but I also realized that there were people in my town that hadn’t grown up since leaving high school…to put it simply, a lot of things were the same as if it were four years ago, only this time, I was different, along with a handful of others.  I am sure it is the same in a lot of other small towns but for me the only experience I have to go on is my own.

Catching up over drinks with some of the girls, I realized that my high school experience wasn’t as unique as I had thought in the sense that when I felt excluded, I wasn’t the only one.  High school was not my favorite time, I had my friends but I got used and walked all over just because I wanted to fit in.  High school is filled with “mean girls” or “popular people” that feel that they are better than others.  Sadly a lot of them don’t realize that they are the stereotypical mean person.  Now, I am not saying my school was like the movie, Mean Girls but I think every high school has their similarities.

I am very fortunate to have been able to go to a school like RIT because of its diverse nature, everyones willingness to except virtually everyone and how “real” most people are.  I think in high school everyone is trying so desperately to fit in and find their way or define who they are, they tend to just go with the crowd.

athlete quotesNow I am sure there are some that might read this and go, “what the hell is she talking about” because I appeared to have a really good high school experience and was friends with the “popular” people and don’t get me wrong, I did but it wasn’t my favorite time but I know I did not have it the worst, my situation could have been so much worse and I am sorry for those who were mistreated or victimized in high school by bullies, either mentally or physically.   I was never a victim of physical violence; however, I definitely had my fair share of mind games played on me.  Looking back on it, I think that high school was the way it was for me because I knew I had so much more in my future that was outside of this town so I just let it be and didn’t fight for something better.  By the end of my senior year I was sick of being taken advantage of, coming in second place for plans with people and ready for a change and ready to make my mark on the world at RIT and beyond.

friendsSo for those of you reading this, that felt like me in high school, the girl that didn’t want to go out and drink, who would rather watch a movie with her mom than be out trying to sneak into a bar, read a book on the weekend instead of hanging out at the mall, who put everything she could into getting better on the court for her team, or set a goal and did everything in her power to accomplished it, this post is for you.  Life is so much better when you are true to yourself, when you believe in yourself and know that you can accomplish anything you set your mind too.  Know that the mean girls in high school will probably still be stuck in high school (figuratively) in four years and know that if you allow yourself to get out of your town, you will be embraced for who you are.

I haven’t changed much since high school, though some would (and have) said I have changed.  But for those who believe I have changed, I have changed for the better.  I no longer allow people to walk all over me, I have grown up and believe in myself and try and better myself.  When I have a problem with someone I don’t spread gossip I confront that person nor do spread gossip that was shared with me.  However, in my opinion I am not far from that girl who choose to be home with her mom and sister watching a movie over sneaking into a bar. I would rather have a chill night with friends and some drinks than get hammered at a club.  I would still rather not waste hours at the mall and I continuously challenge myself in new ways mentally and athletically (though no longer for a team) and strive to reach every goal I set.

So to that girl in high school, who was just like me…I promise, life is so much better when you choose the way you want to live.

California girls

 

The Best is Yet to Come

2014

2013 had its fair share of ups and downs but I have come to the conclusion that the saying, “everything happens for a reason” is true.  The year started off with my team taking a trip to Boston.  It was a fun trip that sadly ended in a loss; however, it was a great bonding time.  A few weeks later the team ended up going on a huge run winning 8/10 of our last games.  It was great to know on the court, we were finally playing like a team.  Sadly it was just a little to late and we missed the playoffs by a hair.  But it gave us hope for the next season.  We now knew that when our team played together we could do anything and beat anyone.  We were arguably the best team at the end of the season.

While trying to balance basketball and classes in January, it was also time to plan for next year and that left me going on a flight to Cleveland for a job interview.  That same week I had to prep for the SAT on steroids, the GMAT.  Walking out of that test with big decisions to make made me realize, college was almost over and it had really just begun.  After the season concluded, I realized, in the three years I had spent in undergrad I wasn’t quite ready to be done with basketball or willing to leave my senior class.  We had some unfinished business to handle on the court together.  And we had four year long goals that still needed to be achieved.  With that big decision made,  it was time to get ready for graduation and begin to look towards grad school and prep for my senior season.

At the end of March, I took an amazing trip with my sister and mom down to Florida for their Spring break and to celebrate Easter and my 21st birthday.  The year was moving pretty quickly.  I spent most of the spring at baseball games cheering on the boyfriend and sitting with the other “baseball wives” at the games.

Graduation came and was a great time.  Sadly it wasn’t the best time for me because it meant the year was over and Brian was officially done at RIT.  He was off to Buffalo and I was so excited for him and his new job, it just meant we were about embark on a year of not being around the corner from each other but over an hour away instead.  After graduation we headed to the Luke Bryan concert at CMAC which was amazing.  Nothing beats an amazing country artist on a perfect hot summer evening.  A few weekends later we were off with another couple to NYC for a Mets game and a night in the city.

After graduation I continued to work at the agency downtown but moved up to full-time.  It was great to continue to learn about how to deal with clients and their different marketing needs.  It was a great learning experience and I am grateful for it.  That June I got to watch my sister graduate from high school and screamed at the top of my lungs when they announced her name.  She was off to play Division 2 basketball at Mansfield University. She inspired me so much in 2013 because she didn’t let the haters, especially on the court, hold her back.  I often think about how terrible her (mine as well) high school coach was to her during her senior year and the two years before that since I had left Cortland and wish that he had been fired before he could be so demeaning.  We both were so fortunate to have an AAU coach as good as Coach Harris was.  And now she was ready to leave her mark (as of right now they have not won a game and she is going to be having season ending surgery in a week but she continues to fight and I expect big things from her in the 2014-15 season.

California Girls

In July, at the same time Brian was starting his new job, I headed to California with my dad’s side of the family for my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.  The trip was a great break and a great chance to spend time with my family that I may not get to spend as much time with.  It was also a great chance to spend time with my sister. We may not have always gotten along but we had always had each other backs no matter what.

August brought another trip but this time with my mom to Myrtle Beach.  Spending a week with my mom and her boyfriend’s family was a nice little escape from the reality of the upcoming year.  I knew graduate school was going to different, work would be busy and basketball would be challenging so clearing my head was much needed.  Just before school began Brian and I, along with a few good friends saw Jason Aldean in concert at Darien Lake.  He was amazing but getting out of that concert was a nightmare (CAUTION to anyone who attends a concert there).

The summer had flown by and my relationship had been tested and continued to be tested but school was about to start, the “senior” year, the four seniors of the team had imagined as freshmen.  This semester tested me, mentally and physically but I made it through.  We had a great turnout for the first five Tiger Den events and we prepped for an even bigger Spring.  The students at RIT should get excited about the upcoming events.  The season has started out a little rougher than expected but we were just getting the kinks out.  And in the class room I pulled a 3.81 which wasn’t to shabby in my mind considering how much I had going on.

But here is the thing, 2013 was a year like many others, though it did have its own fun and unique experiences.  But 2014 will be a year like no other.  It is one of those things that I just know.  The number fourteen and I have always had a connection.  It was my lukcy number before it was my basketball number.  It has stuck with me from junior high to JV to Varsity and AAU.

2014 will bring a lot of big things.  Graduation from graduate school with my MBA with my girls by my side.  Big things are going to come on the court for my teammates and I.  My first real world big girl job that combines my MBA and undergraduate degree and all of my past work experiences.  I am excited to begin the journey outside of RIT and unlike last year at this time, I know I am ready because it is when I am meant to graduate and will have completed my time on the court. I have learned what I know I will need to succeed and I know that I will continue to learn as I enter into the workforce.  I never want a job I am bored at; nor do I ever want to have a job where I am the smartest person in the room always, because where is the fun in not learning new things?

2014 is going to be the best year yet and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Seniors

Graduating – Hello Real World

As graduation for me quickly approaches (12 days), I started to think about all of the skills I have acquired during my undergraduate career and thought I would pass along must know skills before graduating.  I was inspired by an article on saw on Mashable.  Here is my list that I have come up with:

  1. Online Banking
    • Soon, the days of banking off of your parent’s credit card, birthday money, graduation money or your student paycheck will be gone.  You will be receiving a real check from a real world job and it will be about rationing that until your next check.  I have had my own bank account since I was going into 11th grade (which I put my work paychecks in) and I have learned a lot about online banking and saving but I still have never had to pay real bills.  I have begun to learn in the last few weeks how automatic billing works so that I will only have to worry about managing the account funds.
    • I was very grateful for my mom starting me young.  It was important for me to learn the value of a dollar early on so that in college I did not squander my money.  One of my biggest recommendations is learn to manage your finances and start saving in college or even before like I did.  It will pay off in the long run.
  2. What is your personal brand?
    • Do you Google yourself? Do you know what shows up on the first, second and third pages of Google when someone searches your name? You should, because you beter believe that future employers will start to Google your name when they are deciding whether or not to hire you or even call you in for an interview.
    • Do you have pictures posted to your social network that probably should not be online?  Employers will also try to friend you on Facebook.  It may be time to delete those pictures from freshman year of you at the party funneling beer or playing pong.  Better yet, if you are reading this before going to college, don’t allow those pictures to get online.
    • What are your talking about on Twitter?  Are you talking all about partying? That may not be the best option because it can be taken the wrong way.
    • Is your profile private?  Private profiles, especially on Twitter can make people wonder what you are hiding.  Twitter was designed as a micro-blogging site and having your profile private is like having a private blog, what is the point?
  3. Learn to Network
    • It is never to early to start networking.  Developing those connections early on in your college career can be key to having more opportunities at the end of it.
    • I made it a point to have my professors get to know me; as well as, my academic advisor, my co-op advisor and other staff in my college and other areas of the university.  RIT is a large campus and I wanted to make sure I stood out amongst the 17,000+ students we have.
    • You never know who knows someone.
  4. Know how to Budget
    • This goes right along with online banking.  Most college students stay on a meal  plan all 4 years and never really have to go to the grocery store.  Your grocery bill can get expensive, especially if you do not know how bargain shop.
    • I recommend looking at the unit price instead of the regular price. This price can often tell you what really a good deal is or is not.  If it is something that you will use everyday, you can always buy a bigger jar.  However, if it is something that you will only use on occasion then why not buy a smaller container?
    • I recommend finding deals online and showing the store that deal (some will match it), buy the Sunday paper (it is the one with all of the coupons) or become a member at wholeseller like Sam’s Club or BJs.
    • I always buy my chicken at Sam’s Club because I can keep out what I need and freeze the rest in sandwich bags for a later date . When it is only $1.25  a pound compared to $4 a pound at the regular grocery store, I can not complain.  I buy spinach at the bulk food stores as well because the $4 container costs me just as much as 2 bags of salad would at a grocery store but I get twice as much, plus I eat a lot of spinach salads.

Understanding your way around after college can lead you to having more success with your money, relationships (both business and personal) and life in general.