Everyone has made rash purchases in their life, both large and small. The feeling that you won't have an opportunity to buy something again can lead you to jump the gun but can leave you with feelings of regret later on. If you're looking for some budget friendly guidance and need some help walking away with your wallet intact then here are some tips.


Think before you Act

If you can't think of any good reason to buy this other than "I want it!" then walk away. Will this purchase make you a better person? Will this have a vast impact on your life? Think about how long this purchase will affect you. Will you reap the benefits for 5 minutes? A day? A year? If there is no long lasting effect is this an instance of "moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips" for your wallet? If you can justify your purchase in the moment then buyer's remorse is just around the corner.


Be Honest With Yourself

Do. You. Need. This? Honestly and truly do you need this? Don't try and lie to yourself. Even if you end up buying something be honest about the reasons why you feel you had to make that purchase. Understanding your past purchasing patterns can help you in the future. If you have a pattern of not being able to avoid getting a pair of shoes at the store's annual sale but you also can't spend anymore money on shoes then you should know to avoid that sale.


Does it really fit in your closet?

Before you buy an item of clothing think about whether you own something similar to it. If you're buying something close to what you already own then walk away. If you don't own anything like it then think about where it would fit into your wardrobe. How many items could you pair it with? Will it still fit if you gain or lose a couple pounds? How often would you really wear it? Break down the price by how often you think you'll wear it and see if it's really worth the cost.


Keep A Guardian Angel in your Wallet

Whether it's Terry Crews from Everybody Hates Chris or it's Adam Scott from Parks and Recreation let your favorite financial guru lead you. Even if you don't have a favorite fictional cheapskate then put something to remind you of your financial priorities. Having something physically in your wallet to remind you of your responsibilities can stop you from making reckless purchases.


Buy One Get Another at Half Price!

This may seem like a good idea but it's another way to get people to spend their hard earned money on something they might have otherwise walked away from. If you walk up to the front and they let you know that you can get another item at a discount then take a pause. Is there something that's coming to your mind that you are excited about owning but couldn't justify the price before? Then rejoice and go grab that item! If nothing comes to mind and you look around for something, anything, to get a discount on then walk away. If you could get those shorts you kind of like for $10 but you aren't excited about them…. then let them go. That $10 could be spent towards something you actually want, or even something you really need.

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Developing further skills can boost your career at any stage.

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.

Tableau

Tableau's data visualization capabilities are comparable to Domo and Power BI.

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.

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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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.

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