We're always trying to make our dollars go as far as they can for us. Stretching them, investing them, putting to work and watching them double, it is our due diligence to tend to our dollars and see that they stay busy and stay growing. Which often brings up the question of what exactly is the best place to send our dollars off to work? What will achieve the proverbial most bang for our buck? This article aims to size up Money Market Accounts vs Savings Accounts, highlighting the pros and cons of each and detailing some of their histories as financial instruments.
Money Market Pros
One of the most appealing aspects of a money market account is the fact that it makes the ultimate stash house for your cash. With higher interest rate payouts than a traditional savings account, many prefer Money Market Accounts to park their cash. The added advantage being that this parked cash is also extremely liquid. High yields and high liquidity make this an attractive prospect.
Money Market Cons
There are instances however when you're money can be on the wrong tail of the rat race. If inflation rises faster than your interest rates, then you're loosing purchasing power, and quickly. Also while Money Market Accounts are generally touted as fairly safe vehicles, they aren't FDIC insured, so yeah, there's that to keep in mind. also make sure you stay weary and read the fine print. Some Money Market Accounts come bearing so many fees and charges that can
Savings Account Pros
Traditional savings accounts offer security, mental piece of mind, and unlike under your mattress, the money acrues some value over time. You also have more direct access to your money, and having it be FDIC insured helps you sleep at night, knowing your dollars are safe and sound.
Savings Accounts Cons
Unlike many other financial vehicles, savings accounts offer a very nominal interest rate, so watching your money grow in a savings account can be akin to watching paint dry. In addition, while you do have access to your money, there are federal limits to how much and how often you can access monies in your savings account.
In summation, there is no right nor wrong, neither better nor worse. And you don't have to be dead split to between the two. You can open both a Money Market Account and a Savings Account and start enjoying the advantages of both. Happy Investing!
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.