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The holiday season can be a really stressful time, both mentally and financially. It is difficult to maintain normalcy when there's a number of people to think about, presents to buy, and gifts to wrap... all while life carries on around you. If you're looking for a great way to organize all the gifts you need to buy and keep track of how much you want to spend then check out Santa's Bag.

Santa's Bag

Santa's bag is a free app that has 4.5 stars, hundreds of reviews, no ads, and plenty of helpful Christmas cheer. Once you download it you'll understand why it's a favorite! With a combination of big picture and person by person planning you can get through the season remembering everyone's gifts with ease.

Santa's Bag

The main page is your overview. It greets you with a cheerful Santa, a Christmas Day countdown, and the breakdown of your budget. It will give you the number of gifts purchased already, the ones left to buy, and how that stacks up to your overall budget. All that is great but the main page is just the tip of the iceberg.

Import people from your contacts to seamlessly make your Christmas list, contact photos and all. This can make it easy to organize everyone you need to buy presents for like family, friends, and coworkers. Through contacts, you can put in budgets by person, keep track of gift ideas, the gift's prices, stocking stuffers, and the person's wishlist.

Santa's Bag

If you're not sure what you're getting someone then keep track of ideas on the app to come back to later! If two or more people are sharing a gift, then no problem! You can add multiple recipients to anything. Going person by person means that you can organize properly without leaving anyone out, getting too many or too few presents, and can stay on budget.

You've done the organizing and you know what you are getting everyone. Santa's Bag organizes each gift through the labels 'idea', 'need to buy', 'purchased', 'wrapped', and 'given'. That makes it easy to track each gift through the entire process.

Santa's Bag

Now comes the trip to the store, yikes. Nothing is worse than walking out with your bags to realize you forgot something! With Santa's Bag, you can go to the side menu and get your Quick Lists. Shop strategically by using either the total shopping list or go under favorites to see your list store by store!

Everything is pretty much bought online these days so don't worry, there's an online gift tracker as well. It seems like every year there is something that comes either too early or too late in the mail and can be forgotten, make sure nothing escapes your notice! Once you label a gift as online it will give you the new options of 'ordered' and 'received'.

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Santa's bag is here to help make everything easier this Christmas, so give it a try! It's made my shopping a thousand times easier and it can do the same for you. Be prepared this holiday season with the best app for making the holidays organized, on budget, and stress free.

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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

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 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.

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