Organization is not an easy skill to come by. Now that many companies are running entirely sans paper, it doesn't mean that everything is more organized. The answer that many techies look to is task management systems, though it takes insider knowledge to know which will be the most effective. After trying a bunch of them, we found one that stood out. Trello is a task management system with an easy-to-use interface that makes assigning and completing tasks so much more organized. Here's what we love about it.
1. It's not fancy
We're traditionalists. We want something that works, not something that's going to look pretty but cause us a lot of headaches. Trello has a simple interface that works on a system where you can create cards with projects, simply explained. You can then assign these projects to people, then drag them to different columns that you name to indicate their level of progress. All you have to do is add your team members and that's that.
2. It's color-coded and integrated
You can also add labels and integrate with Slack, one of our favorite workplace messaging apps. Instead of seeing a sea of sticky notes, easily find the tasks that you need to prioritize. You can add deadlines that send you notifications as well, making staying on top of your tasks super easy. The other important part of Trello is being able to see your day to day tasks versus your week's goals, month's goals, and even year's goals. You can zoom in and out to make sure that you are optimizing your organization on a micro and macro level.
3. It's completely customizable
Some task management systems are cut and dry. They're just fancy to-do lists. Trello can be pretty much anything you want it to be, and is adaptable to any kind of work that you may do. Whether you run a blog or a factory, Trello is limited only by your imagination.
Anytime is the right time to get organized. Trello takes the work out of managing tasks. And it's free!
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.