The only thing semi-sane about Patrick Bateman is his obsession with beautiful business cards. The American Psycho is right. A business card says much about who you are. No, business cards shouldn't all look the same. How it feels is important and how it looks is important. Whether designing a card for a business or personal use, here's simple tips for a card that's professional and reflective of your personality.
1. Figure out the purpose
There's really two directions a business card can go: simple or quirky. Figure out which best fits you and your industry. The card should be the same level of formality as your industry. If you wear a suit and tie to work, chances are edible business cards are not the right choice.
2. Keep the content simple
It's a business card, not a resume. A name, phone number and email address are essentials. Even then, just a name and an email address can be enough. A company name and title are optional. It boils down to how accessible you want to appear.
3. Pick the right paper
Business card need to be printed on durable paper— an 80-pound cover is a good start. Beyond that, the texture of the paper can range. Smooth, linen and laid are the basic styles. If you want to skip the traditional route, metal, wood, leather, sandpaper and even food can be memorable options.
4. Also, pick the right font, color and finish.
A legible font in a font size of 10 or 12 is a good bet. Helvetica, Myriad Pro, Glasgow, and Garamond are basic fonts that are received well. San serif fonts tend to convey sleekness while script fonts are feminine. Again, the more creative your business in the more creative it can be. Special printing technics like embossing, debossing, die cuts, foiling, and more add a tactile element. Spot color, patterns, seam color and photos can enhance a card.
5. Negative space is great.
Empty space is visually appealing and makes the content easier to read. If you don't have any negative or empty space—it doesn't have to be white space, just negative— go back to the drawing board.
If designing your own business cards, isn't in your wheelhouse, there's websites that do it (surprise, surprise). Moo, Vistaprint and other sites offer customizable templates. Or hire a designer; it is an easy way to have a memorable card. Either way, be sure to carry business cards in a protective case.
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.