Valentine's Day can often be the bane of people's existence.

The societal pressure to go above and beyond for your significant other is extremely high every year, and can often leave couples feeling inadequate—or worse, unloved—if they don't go to extremes for each other. But we need to remember that Valentine's Day is about celebrating your partner, and taking time to acknowledge and appreciate the love you receive. Who says that has to come with a big price tag? Luckily, in New York City, there are plenty of fun and affordable events happening all around, and plenty of ways for you and your partner to have a special evening without dipping into your rainy day fund. Here are just a few of the romantic events happening around the city this Friday.

Whiskey and Chocolate Tasting Class

If you and your loved ones are sophisticated drinkers, King's County Distillery is offering a free intro lesson on how to properly evaluate whiskey. The lesson will also include pairings of gourmet cheese and will certainly be a fun, boozy, and affordable way to spend an afternoon.

Sahadi's Mozzarella Making

Who doesn't love cheese? This Valentines Day, people can come to Sahadi's in Greenwood and learn how to stretch and shape curd into their own Mozzarella ball! The shop will additionally pair the fresh cheese with wine, and a spread of Middle Eastern appetizers. Once the workshop is over, patrons will be gifted a goodie bag filled with olives, olive oil, and a fresh loaf of bread.

Love Thy Self: Pleasure Workshop

Acclaimed sex educator and love guru Lola Jean will host a special class for women and trans/non-binary-identified individuals this Valentine's Day in Soho. The class offers two hours of vaginal meditation, self-love affirmation, and guided lessons on pleasure. Toys, chocolates, wine, and essential oils will all be made available.

Valentines Day Foodie Festival

Rather than going to an expensive dinner, the Valentine's Day Foodie Festival is perfect for those looking to try an eclectic mix of tasty food on a budget. Located in Jersey City at the Midnight Market, the Foodie Festival is an all night food fiesta; with dancing, drinking, and over 20 different food trucks from all around the world. From 6:30 to midnight, head over and spend your Valentine's Day 'nomin away.

Friends of Single People Comedy Event

Laugh your way through Valentine's Day with Gowanus's "Friends of Single People" dating show event at the Littlefield performance and art space. Famous comedians from SNL, Late Night, and Comedy Central will be making an appearance to discuss their complicated love-life experiences, and it's sure to be an absolute hoot!

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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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