6 Steps To Writing A Terrific Thank-You Note

6 Steps To Writing A Terrific Thank-You Note

Show your gratitude with personal and professional style!
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Did a friend do you a favor you could only hope to repay? Did you just get out of a meeting with an important connection at work? It’s time to thank the people who gave you their time by taking the time to show them your appreciation, in the form of a thank-you note. Whether you’re following up after an interview or letting a family member know you appreciate them, here are six steps to writing a thank-you note that will get your gratitude across.

1. Actually Thank Them

This might sound obvious, but it is easy to forget! The entire point of this note is to show your appreciation, so make sure that that is clear from the start. Use phrases like “thank you for…” or “I appreciate how…” and follow them up with exactly what it is that the person did for you. On that note…

2. Include Specific Details

Again, this might sound obvious, but it’s vital that you be specific about what the person you are thanking did for you. Did they give you their time? Did they give you a gift? (If so, what was it?) Did they meet you somewhere? (If so, where?) Did they give you advice? (If so, what was it? In this case, pick a specific piece of advice that meant something to you. There’s no need to hash out the entire conversation in a thank-you note, as long as you are specific about something.)

3. How Did It Make You Feel?

Here is where you get personal, and where your thank-you note will truly shine. In order to make it clear that you really do appreciate whatever it is this person did for you, and that you aren’t just going through the motions of thanking them, tell them how what they did made you feel. Do you feel happy? Appreciated? Supported? Encouraged? Loved? People like to feel that they’ve had a positive impact on you, so specificity is once again key here.

4. Sign Off With Well Wishes

This is a must-do for letters in general, and especially with thank-you notes. This person did something for you, and you want good things to happen to them, too! Phrases like “I wish you the best of luck with…” or “I hope you are having a wonderful day” are good, and it’s always nice to tell someone that you hope your paths will cross again in the future.

5. Write It Out

I recommend typing up your thank-you note first, so that spellcheck can help you out and you can more easily make draft edits. But after you have the thank-you note worded the way you want it, it’s time to hand-write it! As communication becomes increasingly digital, a hand-written note stands out as a sign that you put thought, time, and effort into expressing your gratitude. Go to a store and buy a nice card and envelope. Use a pen to write the note, and take your time while writing to avoid mistakes!

6. Delivery

If you’re going to see the person again in the next couple days, feel free to hand the card to them in person. Otherwise, look up their address and send it in the mail. If you put the thank-you card in the mail the day after the person did the thing you’re thanking them for, it will arrive just in time to give them a pleasant reminder!

Congratulations, you just wrote a terrific thank-you note!

Need an example of steps one through four in action? Here is a thank-you note for a hypothetical situation in which my mother took me to a restaurant and we talked about my future.

Hi Mom,

I wanted to thank you for treating me to lunch at One World the other day. It was great to get to spend some time with you; it’s been too long, and your advice and support about my future as always left me feeling loved and supported! I hope you are having a wonderful day, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Love,

Sophie

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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11 Best #GIRLBOSS Quotes For Your Instagram Caption

All you need is WiFi and a dream.
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If you’re anything like me, you think about Instagram captions more than the average human being.

It’s not because I’m afraid of sounding stupid, it’s because I want to project the best possible version of myself. I want someone to be scrolling through their feed, stop on my picture, read the caption and think, “Wow, that really inspired me to live my day with purpose and intention.” I want every girl to believe that she can be a #GIRLBOSS because without belief, we have nothing.

As silly as it sounds, I’m here to tell you that belief starts with your Instagram captions.

1. "Be that girl who wakes up with purpose and intent."

You know who she is. BE HER.

Perfect for: any pictures of yourself that you absolutely adore

2. "Raise your standards and the Universe will meet you there."

You are not the type of girl who settles. Keep not settling.

Perfect for: when you're raising your champagne glasses with your BFF's

3. "All you need is WiFi and a dream."

...and maybe an iced vanilla latte.

Perfect for: any photos that involve your laptop

4. "Empowered women empower women."

'Nuff said.

Perfect for: best friend pics

5. "Be grateful for what you have while you pursue what you want."

People think they need a DSLR camera to start a YouTube channel but all you really need is your iPhone. Just start with what you've got and the rest will follow.

Perfect for: simplistic shots in hipster coffee shops

6. "My goal is to create a life I don't need a vacation from."

You've gotta do what you love, right?

Perfect for: aesthetically pleasing desk photos

7. "If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got."

This one will have your followers reading it twice just to make sure they understand the meaning behind it.

Perfect for: pretty much any photo

8. "You've got to trust the process."

Trusting the process is one of the hardest things, but you've got to do it.

Perfect for: any progress pics

9. "If you are serious about changing your life, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse."

Quit making excuses!!

Perfect for: that time you accomplished something really amazing and everyone was jealous of you

10. "I'm too creative to have a 9 to 5."

The cubicle life isn't for me.

Perfect for: anytime you are expressing your true self

11. "Go after dreams, not people."

Don't ever go after people!!

Perfect for: ideas that are scribbled in cute notebooks with motivational phrases

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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11 Financial Tips For College Grads Who Don't Know Where To Start

Most people learn how to navigate their finances as they go, at the cost of making several mistakes and starting good habits later than they should've. Don't be like most people!

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Adulting is hard, especially when it comes to money. If you're like me and you took a personal finance class in high school or college, you probably don't remember much because the information wasn't relevant to you at the time. Well, now you're almost done with college and you're ready to be welcomed into the real world as a freshly-minted adult. Suddenly you realize that class was probably one of the most important classes you ever could've taken.

Here are 11 tips to start making money moves today.

1. Start building your credit

It may not seem important now, but it's a good idea to start building your credit early. In three to five years or so, when you're ready to apply for a car or home loan, you're going to want to be approved to get the best interest rates, and that means having a credit score of at least 760. See tips two and three for more on how to increase your credit score.

2. Open a credit card if you don't have one already

One huge factor in your credit score is how long your oldest credit card account has been open, so you want to make sure to start early. A first card many people get is called a "secured" credit card, which basically acts like a debit card so the bank knows you won't go all "Shopaholic" and max it out. Make sure to pay every single one of your monthly payments on time and in full. No excuses, no exceptions.

3. Make all of your student loan payments on time and in full

JUST DO IT.

4. Embrace the concept of paying yourself first

Paying yourself first is a concept that many millionaires, even billionaires, swear by. Decide how much of your income you want to save. Then set up a portion of your paycheck to deposit directly into your savings before you can even think about it. The rest can go to your checking account for spending on bills, food, rent, and other expenses.

5. Build a three- to six-month emergency fund

Did you know that 33% of Americans would struggle to pay $1,000 in an emergency? This is a serious issue. You don't want to ever experience living "paycheck to paycheck," let alone have a minor crisis throw your life upside down. That's why you're going to build this emergency fund before you do anything else with your money. Think of this fund as something that you can't touch until you absolutely need it. If and when that time comes, you'll know, and you'll be so grateful that you were smart and were prepared.

6. Open a Roth IRA

There are so many things to be said about Roth IRAs and why you should get one as a new college graduate. In short, IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. A Roth IRA is unique because any money you put into it is taxed now, so you won't have to pay taxes on it when you're retired and ready to use it. The main benefit: you also won't have to pay any taxes on the money you earn in the account. In addition, because you're young, you get to take advantage of the power of compound interest for a long time before you retire. This could potentially earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars. The best time to open a Roth IRA was yesterday. So go do it now!

7. Contribute as much as possible to your 401k

A 401k is basically an investment bank account that you can't use until you retire, and it will be taxed once you start using it (so it is not taxed now). Many employers offer 401k matching, and they open one up for you when you start your first job. If your employer offers 100% matching up to 6% of your salary, that means that if you can afford to put 6% of your income into your 401k, your employer will also contribute the exact same amount. Listen to me: this is free money. I like free money. You like free money. Take it.

8. Open a high-yield savings account

This is 2019. Don't keep your money in cash or in a regular savings account, where it'll depreciate 2-3% in value every single year it sits there. Get yourself a high-yield savings account, in which interest rates are anywhere between 2.0 and 2.25%, and watch your money make money while you sleep.

9. Start tracking your spending

Since it has become much easier to make quick and painless purchases these days, you should definitely be aware of your spending. I personally like to use a free app, like Mint, that does all the work for you because it puts all of your financial accounts (ie. savings and checking accounts, investments, loans, assets, etc.) into one place.

10. Create a monthly budget for each of your spending categories

These include food, housing, transportation, entertainment, subscriptions, health and wellness, and maybe more. You should know the things you always buy on a monthly basis and how much they typically cost. Comparing your budget to what you really spent after a month will show you exactly where your weaknesses are. Try to stay at or under your budget for each category every month unless there's an unusual event, like a vacation or a car repair.

11. Learn the basics of investing

Compared to the other tips on this list, this is one you can put on the back-burner for a bit. However, that doesn't make it any less important. It's critical for everyone who is financially independent to understand the basics of stocks, bonds, Exchange-Traded Funds, Mutual Funds, REITs, and more that you can use to diversify your portfolio, including in your new Roth IRA and 401k!

What are you waiting for? Up your financial game!

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