Are you planning on moving to a new apartment?
Before you spend money like it's going out of style, consider these four ways to save. You can move with ease of mind—and have pennies to spare!
Be Frugal with Your Furnishings
'Nice enough' is all you need i1.wp.com
"Fancy" is overrated. You can create a charming and welcoming ambiance without racking up your credit card bills. Use your flair for style sensibly by seeking out sales or even going for the "minimalistic" look. Less can be more after all, particularly in a pint-sized apartment.
Another tip? Get thrifty. As Unpakt suggests, "Scour the local yard sales, consignment stores, and sites like Craigslist to score quality furniture for less." You may not be able to pass down the pieces to your grandkids one day, but those tables and chairs will do just fine for where you're at right now.
Mull Over the Movers
Check around to get the best rates des.az.gov
Moving all your stuff from Point A to Point B can be a challenge, and it's so easy to call in a moving company to do your dirty work. After all—they'll do everything from packing your things to trucking them to your new pad. Strong men will unload, and some will even unpack your fifty-pound boxes. Sound tempting? I understand, but movers don't come cheap. There are other, more affordable ways to move your items to your new place that don't involve writing a huge check.
Rent.com has a smarter solution: "Renting a truck or van and moving your furniture yourself may be a much cheaper alternative. Self-service rental truck companies such as U-Haul have locations all over the country and offer affordable rates for daily rentals of their equipment." Put your muscles to task and money to better use!
Efficiency is Essential
Lights out www.mediashower.com
Along with rent, your monthly budget is sure to include electric and other utilities. Not only will being mindful of your daily routine be kinder to your wallet, but your eco-friendliness will also pay off in more ways than one. Shut the lights off when you're not home. Limit time in the shower. Do you really need to run the dishwasher every night? And why is the television on 24/7?
A few simple changes to the way you operate will start adding up to significant savings. Key Renter recommends, "You can invest in compact fluorescent light bulbs. These light bulbs are energy-efficient, and they last longer. You may also want to invest in a programmable thermostat." Two more ways to whittle down your spending.
Round Up a Roommate
Cut the rent in half and have double the fun www.baymgmtgroup.com
Now this plan won't work for everyone, but if you're single and seeking companionship (or at least someone to split the bills), hunting for a housemate can be a huge way to save. Even for a short-term arrangement, having a roomie can make the rent much more affordable. You may even be able to move into a larger or more glamorous apartment if you have a roommate to split the costs.
If you don't personally know anyone able (or willing) to move in with you, go online.
Smart Asset lists the 9 Best Roommate Finders on the Web, from Craigslist to Facebook and a bunch of others for matches all over the country. And don't forget to ask friends, family, and co-workers if they know of anyone who needs a place to live… and a new buddy, too!
Good luck with the move. Scratch "How can I save?" off your to-do list.
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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.