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You have been at your current place of employment for some time and you know you are doing a great job. Even your manager/boss has acknowledged it. Seems like the perfect time to ask for a raise in salary. But sometimes, "Ask and you shall receive" doesn't go quite so smoothly.

With budget limitations or cuts, company rules and regulations, or some other barrier put in place preventing your boss from being able or wanting to grant you your wish, getting a raise isn't always doable. That said, there are other avenues to explore and negotiate that can add value to your bottom line.

More money per paycheck isn't the only way to find the perks and plusses you're seeking. Here are three valuable things you can ask for when a flat-out raise is flatlined.

Travel Reimbursement

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Most of us must commute to work, be it by car or public transportation. Gas isn't cheap, nor are tickets for busses, subways, and trains. Parking fees can add up, as can tolls and car maintenance. And the further you must travel to and from work, the more you'll have to shell out.

As suggested by mindbodygreen, "Calculate the travel expenses you plan to incur each month, and ask for a stipend to help ease this expense. If it means you'll be at work and meetings on time and safely, your company just might build this allowance into your contract." Fast Company adds, "You should at least be reimbursed for mileage you drive on behalf of the company."

While travel reimbursement may not add up to the amount in salary increase you'd hoped for, the savings will add up over time. Plus, there will be another chance to ask for a raise in the future, and now you'll have your travel covered too!

A Flexible Schedule

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A better work-life balance can be as rewarding as a pay raise. A more flexible schedule can provide a relief from stress and the ability to successfully manage your life. According to Forbes, "In a recent survey by Adecco, employees said work-life balance was as valuable to them as their salaries."

Fast Company notes, "Time off and flex time might not seem like a compensation boost, but having the ability to shift your hours or work from home can cut commuting expenses and give you better work/life balance."

Ask your boss if you can avoid traffic by starting the work day later and staying later, or coming in early and leaving before rush hour. Discuss working remotely a few days per week if your job allows for it. Perhaps you can take the night shift or work weekends.

The more you have control over your work schedule, the more satisfied you'll feel. It may not mean more money, but time itself is precious.

A New Title

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"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but when it comes to a job title, some come off a lot better than others, in terms of importance and value to the company. Just because you can't get a monetary raise doesn't mean you can't get a boost in business. You may not even gain new responsibilities with this new title, but it can give the impression that you are more seasoned and higher in rank. Plus, if, and when the time comes to seek work someplace else, your more impressive title will jump off your resume.

As per mindbodygreen, "A new title can be just the thing to reflect all of the interesting projects you're working on and to boost your confidence and that of those around you." Harvard Business Review adds, "It's a signal both to the outside world and to your colleagues of what level you are within your organization. Your title can also have a big impact on your day-to-day happiness and engagement."

Raise your hand for a raise, but if your boss can't put their money where their mouth is, perhaps one of these three alternatives will make you feel appreciated. Good luck!

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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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