For many Americans, our jobs are our lives, and it's only logical that we are willing to make sacrifices. We work long hours, we forgo lunch breaks, and we even uproot our lives to follow opportunity. For those of us wanting and willing to move to a different city (or country) for our jobs, it's important to consider some questions before making the choice.
1. What will it actually cost me?
Knowing that you will have a higher salary in a job outside of your current city is not enough to guarantee a better quality of life. Your adjusted cost of living will have to take into account items like your salary, moving costs, and city-specific costs. Before accepting a position, always be sure to check rents in that area to make sure you will be able to cover your new expenses. For help calculating the cost of moving to another city, you can calculate it here.
2. Have I dealt with what I'm leaving behind?
We all have family, and have to remember that any major life choice we make will ultimately impact them. But where does one draw the line between following personal dreams and staying behind with family? Talk to your family about this decision, and make sure they understand why you will be going through with it. If they're down to join you, all the merrier. But if not, remember, you can always take time off to go and see them!
3. Can I find a new home near my job?
Commute time is a huge determinant of job satisfaction, so it's important that you are able to find a new home near your job. Start your research now and don't get shut out of prime renting opportunities. Here are some tips from Sparefoot about apartment-hunting.
4. Do I see long-term opportunity for growth?
Moving for a job is almost like moving for a significant other. While of course, it won't always work out, you want to minimize that chance. Make sure that you know exactly what you're getting yourself into. Ask as many questions to your employer as will make you comfortable to know you're about to embark on a long-term change for the better. Make sure that you know everything you can about the company so that you can avoid surprises during your first month on the job. Your new employer should understand that this is a big decision and be open to transparent conversation.
5. Have I weighed the pros and cons?
The decision to move for a job is personal, and there's no general checklist we can give you. However, you need to consider what's important for you in a new city. Is an urban landscape more important to you then accessible nature? Are you willing to raise your family in this new city if you end up keeping this job? Can you make friends here? Make a list of things that are important to you and do your research on this new city. For starters, here are some really smart ways to meet new friends in a new city.
Moving for your job can be a difficult choice, but it can also be extremely fruitful. Think carefully before embarking on this new adventure!
For more information about moving for a job, click here!
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Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to grow in your current one, getting a certification can be a great way to improve your skills.
Anyone can put that they are proficient in a computer program on their resume but having a certificate can help you stand out amongst the competition and give credence to the strength of your skills.
But what's the best way to invest in yourself without breaking the bank? Some certification programs can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. We are going to walk through six of the best certifications you can get for $100 or less.
Who is it best for: Those who work with analyzing and presenting data.
Cost: $100 for Tableau Desktop Specialist; additional certifications are available for a larger fee.
More companies than ever see themselves as data companies. Being able to understand data and use it to guide decisions at your company is often critical to taking on a leadership role. Not to mention, being able to present the data in a clean, attractive, and compelling way can help get buy-in from others in your organization or clients. That's why Tableau is a great tool to have in your toolbox.
Tableau allows you to create interactive visual analytics dashboards. In layman's terms, you can take data; create graphs, maps, or charts; and then allow end-users to interact with these graphics to better understand the information. It's a fantastic tool allowing non-technical users to gain insights for data-driven decision-making.
Tableau Desktop Specialist certification starts at $100 and has no expiration date. There are many videos on Tableau's site to prepare for your exam as well as Tableau Starter Kits allowing you to play around and learn the different capabilities of the program. Tableau offers a 14-day free trial as well as free license for one year for students.
Additional certifications after Desktop Specialist are Desktop Associate and Desktop Professional. Those working with a Tableau server may also be interested in a separate certification as a Server Associate or Server Professional.
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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.