We've all been there. Mid-afternoon hits and we are ready to hit the sack. That post-lunch laziness sets in but there are still hours of work left. Many folks reach for a cuppa Joe, and that caffeine kick does the trick. The rest of the day is manageable thanks to that much-needed pep. But what if coffee isn't your thing? Slug it down, or find something that tempts your taste buds as it provides that energy surge to get your engine running? The latter seems logical, so here are some coffee alternatives that will get you over that mid-day slump, leaving you super-sharp and alert.
Refreshing and slightly sweet, nature's coconut water is a pleasing pick-me-up that is natural and light. One reason you may feel tired mid-day can be due to dehydration. According to WebMD, coconut water is, "super-hydrating, with more potassium than four bananas." It is low in sugar, so you will not suffer that spike and crash like you might with super-sugary sodas and juice drinks.
Trueself recommends drinking coconut water straight up or making a tasty coconut water-based smoothie. "Mix 1 cup of coconut water with 1 cup of berries and ½ banana. Top with coconut flakes." Make one at home before work and keep it in the office fridge for when you feel that slump surfacing. A few sips and you're good to go 'till closing time.
With matcha, mid-day slumps have met their match. Go for the green stuff and you'll be on "go" until it's time to go home. According to Dr. Axe, "Matcha is an excellent alternative to coffee. A two-gram serving contains enough caffeine to give you an energy boost and is delivered slowly to your body over a period of 6-8 hours." No jitters, only steady and reliable energy to make every workday moment count. Sip some throughout the day and you will never be sidelined by a sudden slump.
What makes matcha so magical? As Trueself explains, "Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that stimulates alpha brain waves, and the EGCg content revs up your metabolism."
Maca is amazing when it comes to giving you a boost without the buzz. Livestrong explains that maca root offsets the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which "causes the adrenal glands to slow down and function at a less than optimal rate, causing extreme tiredness and a general feeling of malaise. Maca can be found as a whole food, powder, liquid, tablet, or capsule." It is versatile and proven effective.
As per Trueself, maca tastes buttery and nutty, making it a nice addition to a simple smoothie. Whip one up in the morning and let maca's magic keep you energized and on-the-ball from sunrise to sunset. Check out this easy-to-make maca milkshake recipe courtesy of Trueself, made with milk, fruit, cashew butter, and maca powder. An energy-boosting blend.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know it keeps Mr. Sandman at bay too? According to Shape, "A simple apple is a great energy-boosting, mid-afternoon snack. Full of vitamin C, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, an apple can deliver a boost of energy and stabilize blood sugar."
As Stemilt simply explains, "You don't need expensive supplements or drinks for energy. It you're perpetually dragging, get more sleep and eat healthy, fresh food." The crisp and juicy snack is portable and delicious. And remember to stick to the whole fruit rather than juice which can have lots of added sugar that will bring you down as fast as you spiked.
Chocolate, you had us at hello. But aside from dark chocolate's decadent taste, it can be a nice mid-day slump stumper too. As long as you keep your portion size in check, you will avoid over-indulging yet get the pick me up you are after.
According to The Hearty Soul, "It contains antioxidants that will give you energy. Make sure that it's dark chocolate, as milk chocolate contains added sugars which may give you an initial feeling of more energy, but will result in a crash in all likelihood, with a net result of feeling more depleted than before you ate it."
For even more snacks with a caffeine kick, check out five recommended by Topdust. From peanut butter to popcorn, these caffeine-infused treats are unique and energizing.
When you're not crazy for coffee, energize with an alternative.
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.