Almost everyone wants to learn another language, but not that many actually commit to this self-improvement project. This usually comes down to a lack of motivation. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to become proficient in a language and even more time and effort to become fully fluent. Without a concrete motivating reason, many people don't even start in the first place, or become discouraged and give up. But there are many benefits to learning another language, including ones that will very positively impact your career.
1. A second language looks impressive on a resumé.
The most obvious reason to learn a second language is to brag about it. And it is pretty impressive. (There's a reason some people lie about it on their resumé, after all.) It doesn't really matter what kind of job you're applying to, pretty much everyone will give you a second look. Taking the time to learn a second language shows incredible discipline and dedication. It's a decent boost to your resumé, even if you don't really need it for your chosen career path.
2. Knowing more languages significantly increases your job opportunities.
Ever wanted to live in another country? Knowing another language can help open those doors. Rather than being limited to English-speaking countries, you could be able to live and work almost anywhere. For this option, you might want to pick a language that is widely spoken. The first most spoken language in the world is Chinese. Spanish is second and English is third.
3. You can increase your contacts and build more relationships with a second language.
But maybe you don't need new job prospects. Learning another language can probably help you in the job you already have. If you work in business, learning the language most of your clients speak can go a long way to build trust and create long-lasting relationships. The same situation can arise if you're a doctor or nurse. Knowing another language can help even if you're law enforcement. The possibilities are pretty endless.
4. Learning another language improves your memory and decision-making.
Let's say you don't need a new language for any practical reason. Taking the time to study one can still help you immensely. Studies show that there are many, many benefits to becoming bilingual. The ones most applicable in the workplace are improvements to your memory and decision-making. People who know more than one language have to know a lot more vocabulary than monolingual people. Because of this, it's often easier for bilingual people to retain information like phone numbers or grocery lists. When speaking in any language, you have to be careful of what vocabulary you are using when. This kind of decision-making can make you more conscientious on the job.
5. Ultimately, the practice of studying a language can ultimately improve your English.
Studying a foreign language brings your focus to the mechanics of the language, including grammar, conjugations and sentence structure. Being aware of how another language works can also lead to you become more and more aware of how English functions. You'll be more comfortable with the ways it can be structured and how it can be manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator. That's a skill you need in pretty much any career path.
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.