Be Broke at 25 Not at 75: Why You Should Save Now

Nerdwallet just released a study that says “New Grads Won’t Be Able to Retire Until 75.” Yes, that means you. You will have to wait 50 years before you retire if you were fortunate enough to be born in the early 90s or late 80s.

Why is that?

Well, mostly student loans and high rent costs, but let’s be honest, you already knew that…

What can you do about it?

Well, clearly the obvious answer is save more money. Yes, you’re thinking… well, I have those student loans and high rent to pay! Yes, I understand that but opt for the bus a bit more and your Ubers a bit less. Actually eat the food you purchase from the grocery store instead of throwing it out. Learn to cook meals with said groceries. Kick expensive habits, i.e. weed, cigarettes, alcohol, designer anything, and cancel that gym membership you’re not using.

Why can’t I just wait?

Well, because of compound interest. There is literally not been a single chart that compelled me to save more money than this one below. Don’t be Bill. Bill screwed up. $5000 is $416 a month and even less if you’re using a tax-deferred plan like a Traditional IRA or that employer plan you keep meaning to put money into.

compound interest


But I’m afraid to invest, remember what happened in 2008?

I get it. It’s scary to toss all your money where you don’t have access to it and you may lose money but that’s why you (should) have an emergency fund! The rest of the money you put in the market, you won’t (or at least, shouldn’t) need for 40 years so really it doesn’t matter what’s going on with it til then.

Daniel Sheehan, a certified financial planner on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor platform says, “My advice to millennials I speak with is to realize that throughout the history of the investment markets, there have always been traumas… For those who invest wisely — allowing the market time to do its work by compounding — there isn’t a better way to invest for their future than the stock market.”

Essentially, shit happens. So, be there when the good shit happens too!

Fine. I get it. What can I do to get started?

  1. Contribute up to your employer match into your retirement account because it’s a 100% guaranteed return.
  2. Figure out how much you can stand to contribute to your tax-deferred retirement account. Remember it’s pre-tax so here’s a nifty calculator to figure out how it will affect your take home pay. It’s not as bad as you think! Save 20% and you’ll likely be able to retire at 62.
  3. Check out the article from Nerd Wallet that gives you more steps to make sure you have cash when you’re in going grey.

Trust me, it’s worth a bit of discomfort now to not be eating cat food when you’re in your 80s!

4 Quick Ways to Enhance Your Google Analytics Data

(Originally posted on the Betamore blog)

#1 Enable Demographics + Interest Reports


Adding one little line to your tracking code will allow for rich data about your site visitor’s age, gender & interests. Once you have that data you can create segments to see how your female visitors behaviors differ from your male visitors or what movie lovers are looking for on your site.


  1. Go to Admin > Property Settings
  2. Enable Demographics and Interest Reports
  3. Go to Tracking Info > Data Collection
  4. Enable Advertising Reporting Features
  5. Update your tracking code:


Example Result:



#2 Set Up Google Webmaster Tools


When you want to see what keywords are driving to your site and all you see is (not provided), Google Webmaster Tools can solve that. What Webmaster Tools does is aggregate your search queries to eliminate “(not provided)” and allow you to reclaim your keyword data.


  1. Go to Admin > Property Settings
  2. Select Adjust Webmaster Tools
  3. Under Webmaster Tools Site, select Edit
  4. Add Your Website Property
  5. Verify Your Website Property


Example Result:



#3 Bot Filtering


Having spam traffic in your analytics throws off all your data. There’s advanced settings that will allow for more bot filtering, but this simple step will help you begin to eliminate some of that.


  1. Go to Admin > Property Settings
  2. Enable Bot Filtering


#4 Set Up Filters


This can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it, but filtering allows you to get only the real data you want. You can exclude IP addresses, remove spam, change all your URLs to lowercase, and much more. Get started with “Three Google Analytics Filters You Should Be Using Today


  1. Admin > Filters


Example Results:


12 Money Questions We’re Not Asking Our Friends, But Should Be

We need to talk about money. It’s 2015. We talk about literally everything else at this point. Scroll through any feed you have and you’ll see people complaining about their relationships or lack thereof, articles about new positions to try, someone you went to high school with saying something mildly racist, defenders of guns, people against guns, people discussing their open relationships, people not vaccinating their kids and countless “I Side With” political quiz results. How did salary become the only thing we’re NOT allowed to talk about?

Are you in credit card debt? How did you deal with it? Does it all stem back to that free t-shirt from freshman year?

When I was 18, I just racked up debt because that was future me’s problem–thankfully I had a small limit. I had to figure out, on my own, what balance transfers were, how grace periods work, how valuable 0% interest is, and just how awesome an 800 credit score feels. It would have been great to have a friend around that could have stopped me from treating all my friends to dinner or tell me just because I have that credit limit, doesn’t mean I should spend up to it.

Next time you’re out to lunch with a friend you trust and they whip out their credit card to split the bill, ask how they like the card and slowly ease that into a conversation about your current or previous debt. Just because you got out of debt before, doesn’t mean you won’t relapse. Know you have that friend around for support.

Are you saving for retirement? Are you taking advantage of the company match? Have you figured out what a Roth IRA is yet?

Now that I’m older, I’m one of those weird people that get all warm and fuzzy when they save money. It’s like a runner’s high but without all the sweat. Allocating money into my 401K, Roth IRA & savings account is the highlight of my week. Most of my friends, not so much. I’ve taken it upon myself to be the nagging friend telling them to take the free money their employers are offering up. In your 20s, saving for retirement seems ludicrous when you have crippling student loans, rent you can barely afford and you’re still borrowing a friend’s Netflix password but the power of compound interest is too good to pass up.

Even if you’re not comfortable investing quite yet, it’s nice to have that one friend that is– view them as your aspirational goal. This is a good convo to have with someone higher up than you at work but only by 2 or 3 years. Learn from them, ask how much they’re putting away, how much they’re investing and where. Before you know it, you’ll be compounding interest like a pro!

How much was your mortgage? What exactly are closing costs? Is it insane to make a 30-Year commitment when you’re 25?

I’m at that point in my life where some people are buying houses while others can barely afford their bottomless mimosas. So, we’re all pretty confused. Since undergrad, I’ve been told that buying is cheaper than renting but I also really loved it when my landlord delivered my packages directly to my apartment. Why give that up for doing your own plumbing and a novel sized stack of paperwork?

The “cheaper to buy than rent” philosophy would mean a lot more to me coming from people that actually did it. Mortgage calculators, PMI, scrounging together a year’s worth of rent, surprise HOA fees, trying to figure out if you should work on saving 20% (does anyone save 20%?)–this is a lot to take the word of anonymous interneters. Talk to your friends, talk to your parents, talk to your boss over a casual Friday lunch. Get as much info as they’re willing to share.

How much do you make? How much of that goes to taxes? How do you know if you’re filling out your W4 right?

First of all, is there some class where they teach you how to fill that out properly that no one ever told me about?

Anyway, this is a biggie for most people. No one wants to disclose how much they make (even people that work for the government where it’s public information). Why is that? People worry that they’re underpaid, and their friends will judge them/pity them, or overpaid and they’re friends will ask to borrow money/resent them.

You need to get over that. We all need to get over that. I’m not saying slap your salary on the side of a truck like that Life Lock dude, but disclose it to people you trust, especially co-workers. Why? Because if you’re unhappy with your salary, you figure out what your earning potential can be or if you should have asked for more during negotiations. If you’re happy with your compensation, you can be an advocate for someone that you think deserves more.

As one of those people who’s salary is public information, I’m always checking out co-worker’s salaries and scoping out their Linkedin pages to see what skills I’m lacking to get me to that next level. I also take the opportunity to chat with friend’s about salary so we know what student loan programs to take advantage of, what tax credits we should plan for, and all those little intricacies in life where it’s nice to have a salary-buddy (a friend close to your salary) to complain to and share triumphs with.

So why talk about money? It’s those little conversations: “How much extra are you paying for HBO?” “How are those travel points working for you?” “How much is your car insurance?” that open the doors up for the bigger ones: “I’m turning 26 and I have no idea how much my health insurance is going to cost.” “I have $90K in student loan debt and I’m not sure how I’m going to pay it off.” “I don’t think we’ll ever be financially stable enough to have a kid.” That’s what friends are for.

Using Google Analytics with Accordions & Carousels

We just did a new website redesign with a combination of accordions and carousels. These two design components are flashy but I’m not always certain if they’re necessary (or if anyone actually cares) so I wanted to be able to track the clicks on both the carousel & the accordions.

It took some searching and I was able to figure out how to use jQuery and Google Analytics event tracking to do this thanks to a blog from

Tracking Accordion Clicks as Google Analytics Events

So my accordion is designed with h4 as the accordionheader, as follows:

<div class="accordionheader">
<h4><a id="name" href="#name">Header Test</h4>

In order to track the click, I used:

$('h4').click(function() {

var linkText = $(this).text();
ga('send', 'event', 'accordion', 'click', linkText);

What this does it triggers Google Analytics to send an event when the h4 is clicked. The event is labeled as category = accordion, action = click and linkText refers to the text of the h4. If you wanted to make sure you tracked only opens, you could get fancy and mess around with accordion jQuery but I like to keep things simple.

Tracking Carousel Clicks as Google Analytics Events

So this seemed like it should have been easier because essentially, you’re just tracking clicks, but because a link could exist in the carousel and the page, I wanted to make sure I knew where that click was attributed to. I also wanted to track every time the carousel slide in order to accurately calculate ratios of impressions vs. clicks.

I used cbp-fwslider for my carousel. First my slide is encompassed within a unordered list with each slide as a list item, so each slide looks like this:

<li id="slide1">

<a href="link.html" target="_blank"><img alt="img01" src="images/6.png"></a>

<div class="carousel-caption-right wordwrap">
<small>Dummy text.</small>

<p><a class="web-seemore" href="link.html" target="_blank">Link Text</a></p>

<p id="captionone"><a href="Link" target="_blank">Link Text</a></p>


So then in order to track, I used the below code:


$('#cbp-fwslider').on('click', function() {
ga('send', 'event', 'slider', 'slide', {'nonInteraction': 1});
$('#slide1').on('click', function() {
var slideID = document.getElementById('slide1');
var slideLink = slideID.getElementsByTagName('a')[0];
var slideURL = slideLink.href;
ga('send', 'event', 'slider', 'slide1', slideURL);
$('#slide2').on('click', function() {
var slideID = document.getElementById('slide2');
var slideLink = slideID.getElementsByTagName('a')[0];
var slideURL = slideLink.href;
ga('send', 'event', 'slider', 'slide2', slideURL);
$('#slide3').on('click', function() {
var slideID = document.getElementById('slide3');
var slideLink = slideID.getElementsByTagName('a')[0];
var slideURL = slideLink.href;
ga('send', 'event', 'slider', 'slide3', slideURL);


What’s important to note is that the slide simulates a click on #cbp-fwslider so an event is sent on the simulated slide click. the note on NonInteraction set to 1 is to denote that this event should not affect bounce rate.

Following that, each slide’s ID is handled by their list-item ID and upon click of that list item three variables are set:

  • var SlideID = looks for slide1 on the page
  • var slideLink = looks for anchor (a) in the above mentioned slide1
  • var slideURL = identifies the URL within the above-mentioned anchor in slide1

Once these are defined, Google Analytics sends an event category = slider, action = click, label = the URL of the link as defined by the SlideURL variable.

This should be repeated based on how many carousel images you have. Just make sure you update the areas in yellow.

(Photo Source)

Asking for a Raise Template (MadLibs Style)

About a year after undergrad/getting my first real job, I emailed my bosses and asked for a raise. I asked for a 33% raise and ended up with a 25% raise, so I didn’t do so bad. To put in context, I worked for a small company and took on a lot of key roles so I had some leverage in my request. Here’s a template for what I did if you’d like to give it a try:

I’ve been at COMPANY full time for almost 10 months now. Obviously, I love the job very much and enjoy seeing COMPANY grow and expand.

That being said, in the last 10 months, I have been an intricate part of developing and implementing plans for PROJECT, PROJECT, PROJECT, and countless other large and small clients. As these PROJECTS recur, I believe the experience I’ve gained will be essential to the development of these projects.

I feel that I have been able to exceed many of the expectations set forth upon me, while taking substantial burdens off of COLLEAGUE, COLLEAGUE, COLLEAGUE. In addition, in many companies my roles in part as a NAME OF PRIMARY ROLE, NAME OF ADDITIONAL ROLE, NAME OF ADDITIONAL ROLE and NAME OF ADDITIONAL ROLE are often separate jobs. Obviously, I understand the nature of our company and know it is necessary for people to fulfill many roles in order to be effective.

As I initially came on in an entry-level capacity (though having X years of experience in the INDUSTRY), a position did not initially exist for precedence. Due to no precedence and overt job description, it was difficult for me to properly assess a suitable and fair compensation for myself. As my job roles have come into fruition, I have taken into account similar jobs within the INDUSTRY.

With these things in mind, I think my compensation should reflect my work ethic, numerous roles, experience, and my current enrollment in an EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM. I am requesting a pay increase to $XX,XXX. While I know this is substantially more than my current salary of $XX,XXX, $XXK is the average salary for those with similar jobs in the METROPOLITAN AREA as well as significantly less than similar jobs at COMPETITIVE COMPANIES (obviously I’m taking into account their much larger client-base).

As I plan to remain in this position for some time, and there is no current means for a “promotion,” I feel an increase in my salary would suffice as a way to note my job roles that now involve dealing with JOB ROLE, JOB ROLE, JOB ROLE. I am also taking into account this pay raise would make my salary stagnant for some time.

If we’re not in position to allow for a pay raise, or if you feel my work is not up to this level of compensation, I am more than willing to hear alternative options, or recommendations for improvement. I would like for you to consider this proposal and speak with me about it whenever you have some time this week or next.

Comment to let me know how it goes or if you have any questions!

jQuery Accordion Open Automatically

Working with jQuery Accordions I ran into two issues that seemed to be simple but turned out to be a hassle since answers were all over the place from using Python to C++ to it can’t be done. So, after a lot of testing, I found a solution that worked for me for two jQuery accordion issues:

Automatically Have Accordion Open on a Page

I was designing a faculty page for work and really wanted it to open up to the first faculty member when someone arrived on the page. To accomplish this I took the standard jQuery for the accordion and added one additional line:
$( "#accordion" ).accordion({
heightStyle: "content",
collapsible: true,
$("#accordion").accordion("option", "active", 0);

What this does is select the first accordion div to be opened on page load. Obviously, changing the 0 to a different number will edit what opens.

Assign IDs to automatically open an Accordion from an Outside Link

This was a bit more complicated to figure out but essentially what I wanted to do for work was to list out courses and upon clicking the link it navigated to an accordion style page that opened the correct corresponding accordion:

$( "#accordion" ).accordion({
heightStyle: "content",
active: false,
collapsible: true,
var hash = window.location.hash;
var anchor = $('a[href$="'+hash+'"]');
if (anchor.length > 0){;

Then also added to the accordion headers:

<div class="accordionheader">
<h4><a id="name" href="#name">Header Test</h4>

I found this trick via OpenStack and it got little recognition so I wanted to assert that it works.

(Image via

I’ve Always Been Afraid to Break the Rules

I went on vacation with my boyfriend and his parents to a nice timeshare right outside of the Vegas Strip. His mother found out there was an owner’s lounge with a great view of the strip that she wanted us to hang out at later that night. After we got back from our night out, the four of us grabbed some bowls or ice cream and headed up to the balcony to check out the view, we actually asked the girl at the front desk how to get up there.

About five minutes after we got up there, security came and informed us the room was actually supposed to close at 9 and asked us to leave since it was well after 9 and they needed to lock up. Before the security guards could even finish their statement, I grabbed my bowl and headed back inside. While I’m grabbing my bowl, my boyfriend’s mom starts arguing with the security guard, saying we’re just eating ice cream, and we’d be done in less than 15 minutes. The security guard replied that they were just doing their jobs and had to close up. I didn’t stick around for the end of the discussion.

Separately, my boyfriend and his dad both tried to get me to come back in while she continued arguing with the security guard. I refused. I know they had the best intentions, but as a black girl in America, the immediate response to an authority figure asking something of me is to comply quickly and peacefully, even in the company of three white people that I’m close with.

As I watch people that look like me get gunned down or locked up for loitering, trespassing, resisting arrest, or running from the cops, I watched the same situation unfolding and I wanted no part of it. My immediate feeling when the security guard arrived was not one of safety but of fear and the immediate instinct to remove myself from that situation.

After the security guards left and allowed them to remain, I still did not return to the balcony. As I sat in the lobby waiting for my boyfriend and his family to finish so many thoughts ran through my head: “What if they come back with reinforcements?” “What if we get kicked out of the hotel?” “What if some less understanding guards come back?” “What if they call the police?” “It’s their word against ours.”

Then I thought, what’s it like not to be afraid? What’s it like to freely question authority?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of cops, security, or anyone trying to keep order all the time. I walk down the street greeting officers I pass without hesitation, but when put into even a slight gray area, I err far to the side of caution. I don’t speed. I don’t go where I’m not supposed to. I never touched a steering wheel until I was legally old enough and never had a sip of alcohol before my 21st birthday. I never wanted to give anyone an excuse to make me a statistic.

So, as I hear a middle-aged white woman stand up to a security guard in this nice Vegas hotel, when I see twenty-somethings walking around affluent neighborhoods with open containers, when I hear about crazy parties where the cops showed up, when someone tells me about the time they were doing 90 in a 65, when I hear all the innocuous rules people break on a regular basis, I hear courtroom charges, handcuffs, tasers, and bullets. I feel panic. I feel the need to flee. And they, the people that could very well be my family one day, don’t understand why.

A few days after all this took place, I heard a Ted Talk “How to raise a black son in America” by Clint Smith where he recalls being reprimanded by his father: “Son, I’m sorry, but you can’t act the same as your white friends. You can’t pretend to shoot guns. You can’t run around in the dark. You can’t hide behind anything other than your own teeth.”

Hearing this five minute talk made it clear to me, that I wasn’t the only one that felt this way, that I wasn’t the only one that didn’t hate authority but was always taught to fear it just in case.

(Image via

Google Apps/Gmail GoDaddy Connection Refused Error in WordPress

So, I was working with Contact Form 7 with a client and for the life of me couldn’t get any forms to send to the client’s email which I had setup with Google Apps. The site is hosted on GoDaddy. So after some extensive Googling, it appears that I discovered a possible solution.

Download & Activate WP Mail STMP & configure the settings:

This allowed me to send a test email to my personal gmail account and to the client’s email account associated with the website with no problem but I was still unable to get the contact form to work.

To get Contact Form 7 to work, I had to make one more change:

Instead of using the primary email, I used to temp email Google assigns when an account is created, which you can keep for as long as you want. You can find it in your Google Account. Pretty sure this all have something to do with MX Records, ports and a whole lot of other complicated things that aren’t worth getting into but regardless, it worked…

How an Album Goes Platinum Before It Goes On Sale: How to Market Media in the 2010s

The Setup

Jay Z announced during the 2013 NBA Finals in a Samsung commercial that his 12th studio album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” would be released on July 4th. The album would be available for free but only to the first one million Samsung Galaxy phone users, via a Jay Z branded app. For the rest of the public, the album would be available three days later at regular retailers. Samsung purchased the albums from Jay-Z for $5 each, making Jay-Z five million dollars before the album’s release as a part of a 20-million dollar marketing partnership.


The app was made available on Once installed, the app requires access to the user’s email accounts and social media, including an active Twitter or Facebook account for users. For nearly each action taken within the app, a post is made on the user’s accounts documenting the action, such as: “I just unlocked a new lyric ‘Crown’ in the JAY Z Magna Carta app. See them first. #MagnaCarta.” Many cried that the apps permissions were invasive, had questionable privacy practices, and required too many steps. One million users did sign up despite these issues, which aided in providing additional exposure and awareness for the company and the album.

The Outcome

Most importantly, this deal caused music industry leaders to address the album, resulting in additional free publicity and a lasting legacy of influencing change. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) did change a long-standing rule that albums could not count towards their Gold & Platinum program until after 30 days from the release date. Now, instead, digital albums can count from day one while physical copies still require 30 days. The RIAA counts albums shipped rather than albums sold, so physical copies that were unsold could be returned. Billboard, in a letter delivered by their editor, deemed that the purchased albums by Samsung would not count towards Jay-Z’s chart rankings because customers did not meet the $3.49 threshold. Therefore, while the RIAA marked “Magna Carta Holy Grail” as Double Platinum, Billboard says Jay-Z sold only 528,000 albums in its first week. Regardless, Jay-Z still hit number 1 on every U.S. Billboard chart.

Why Is It Important?

This deal led to immeasurable brand exposure for Jay-Z and Samsung. While this endeavor most likely did not generate additional sales of Samsung phones initially, it does align Samsung as an innovative company that can promise exclusive and relevant content for its consumers. Marketing tactics serve as yet another “feature,” available to customers, that will not be offered through competitors such as Apple (iPhone). The music industry, as a whole, has obviously been attempting to revitalize and reinvent itself over the past decade to varying success. Billboard and The RIAA addressed the changing landscape with the release of this album. While music sales have been down and streaming sites are struggling to monetize properly, phone providers are eager to get into the music streaming business because fans are eager to have that feature available to them. “Magna Carta Holy Grail” is one step in a larger picture that includes brand integration, exclusive content, streaming media, fan interaction and social media integration. This equates to a music-centric user experience that is completely a product of the 2010s. Even if this is never replicated again (novelty must be taken into account for its success), Samsung and Jay-Z will be known as innovators that were on the forefront of this new user experience where music has to be much more than music to make waves.


Are The Grammys Still Relevant?

Reuters, Courier-Journal & The Washington Post all make points. Some tote the demographic is irrelevant (CBS’s older demo), some say they’re too inclusive with too many categories, while others say, all their categories is what sets them apart (outside of being in a small pool of options anyway).

Are the Grammys only as significant as the live performances, thus pushing the actual winners list to afterthought rather than purpose? A list to be viewed the following day like the fashion lists? According to Nielsen, The 2012 Grammy’s managed to garner more viewers than The Academy Awards for the first time in 28 years. With the countless options are all awards shows becoming obsolete or a the best way to weed out the best of the best?

If you’re watching, why? If you’re not, why? If you would be watching but you have to catch The Walking Dead, that is completely understandable.

Further Reading:
Are The Grammys still relevant? –
Are The Grammys still relevant? – a’tris