Hate going into the office day in and day out and always wished for a freelancer's life? Freelancers have some coveted perks surrounding flexibility and need willpower and a go-getter attitude to keep at it in order to maintain their careers, but sometimes their location makes it difficult to get their jobs done effectively. Then there are those places throughout the world which seem to be tailor-made to suit a freelancer's lifestyle perfectly.
That's where Hoofdkraan, a Dutch freelance platform's study of over 90 countries comes in handy. If you're wondering where in the world to work as a freelancer with the best set-up for success, be it good weather, speedy internet speed, varied and plentiful workspace availability, etc., their findings using 23 ranking factors will be useful for anyone willing and able to take their work virtually anywhere. Heck, isn't that what the freelance life is all about?
Imagine consulting from a charming café in Marseille or writing essays and books beachfront in Miami. Sounds like a dream compared to trying to drown out the endless noise at your local Starbucks or staring at a bare brick wall inside a shared (and outrageously expensive) workspace cubicle.
The study's top 10 findings all seem like wonderful places to visit, and if you can maintain and grow a freelance career there too, it's a bonus beyond one's wildest imagination.
The top ten best cities as per Hoofdkraan for freelancers are as follows, with some of their biggest perks as to why they were chosen:
1.Lisbon, Portugal. Lisbon is an inexpensive place to live, the internet is fast, and it's beach-adjacent. Sounds like a freelancer's dream locale!
2.Miami, Florida, USA. Miami weather is perfect, the internet speed is like lightning, and the quality of life can't be beat. Will Smith knew what he was rapping about!
3.Seville, Spain. Warm weather, totally affordable, and fast internet speeds make Seville a freelancer's home a great place to work from. Hola amigos!
4.Las Palmas, Spain. Another Spanish location with ideal weather, beachfront workspaces, and natural beauty. If you're not distracted by the dreamy surroundings, this seems like a blissful place to work from.
5.New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. There's so much to do in New Orleans; after work, the nightlife is second to none. Plus the internet is fast and the quality of life is extraordinary.
6.Bristol, United Kingdom. The high quality of life, safe surroundings, and a variety of places for freelancers to work from make Bristol a terrific choice for those seeking to head "across the pond."
7.Marseille, France. This small city feels homey, yet the nightlife is pumping. There are lots of places for freelancers to work from, and calling France "home" is something many people have only dreamt of.
8.Bratislava, Slovakia. While not too many people have even considered Bratislava as a place to freelance from, the area's low taxes, inexpensive cost of living, and fast internet make it something to think about.
9.Vancouver, Canada. Peaceful, natural, and close to the beach. Seems like a retreat, but as long as you can get your work done, Vancouver is an ideal place for a freelancer to make a living from. Plus, "freedom of speech" was ranked as a plus by the creators of the study.
10.Porto, Portugal. Safety is important, and Porto is considered a very safe place to live. Add the area's great weather and sandy beaches, and a freelancer can do their job well while enjoying the breathtaking surroundings.
For the full list which ranked 117 cities in all, see the full report.
Are you a freelancer? Here are some tips about obtaining health insurance you may benefit from. You may also be seeking a place to work from aside from your dining room table. Consider a co-working space for a little variety and human interaction.
Have you become inspired to move to one of these top 10 best cities for freelancers? The temptation is understandable. Working freely and in a desirable location make for a dream job scenario!
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.