We all remember those people in elementary school that were perpetually associated with the "T" word: tardy. We rolled our eyes at them. We consulted the imaginary watches on our wrists. We tapped our feet disdainfully. Unfortunately, not much has changed since elementary school. People are still late and they get away with it, blaming traffic, the kids, or just a "bad day." But why should we let them? Being on time is important, and President George Washington agrees. It doesn't matter whether it's to a doctor's appointment, work, or lunch with an old acquaintance. Tardiness not only succeeds in annoying everyone else who has any respect for time, but it can send some very powerful messages and assumptions of which you may (or may not) be aware.
1. "I don't assign importance to this thing I am expected to."
Being late makes people assume that you don't care, even if in your mind, you do. We all know about the 15-minute grace period, but those that arrive on time (or early) are considerate enough to not delay what needs to be done.
2. "Other people will understand and cover for me."
This may not always be the case. If you are habitually late, others may have to scramble to make up for your absence. It offsets the balance of a day and even though people might be nice about it, you don't know what they're really thinking.
3. "They won't start without me."
Oh, they will. And you will just embarrass yourself when you have to interrupt everything to announce your presence.
Here are a few tips on how to start being on time and stop annoying your friends, your coworkers, and your family.
1. Go to bed earlier.
Oversleeping is one of the world's favorite excuses for being late. Don't set 100 alarms that you will sleep through. Instead, make an effort to change your sleeping schedule. If you are oversleeping, that means you are not getting enough REM sleep to feel well-rested at the hour in which you are supposed to wake up.
2. IPA before 9am
No, we don't mean that kind of IPA. We mean, "Income-Producing Activity." If you really want to impress your boss (or yourself), do some heavy brainwork before the sun rises. That extra little effort will go a long way, and much like a good breakfast, will inspire you to make good decisions for the rest of the day.
3. Consider FIFO
First In, First Out is a method of inventory valuation, but can also be applied to you. The earlier you arrive to appointments, work, family parties, and more, the sooner you're likely to be able to leave and fill your evening with other fun activities. It's smart, it's impressive, and it gives you a lot more flexibility.
It's easy to chalk tardiness up to a bunch of lame excuses, but being on time (or even early) has many benefits that can set you up for success.
Here's more on how to stop being so late!
- Always Late? Learn to Be On Time and to Stop Making Excuses for ... ›
- Always Late? How To Be On Time — For Real | TIME ›
- How to Stop Being Late for Everything Once and for All | The ... ›
- 3 Ways to Stop Running Late - wikiHow ›
- Lateness and Punctuality | a site for the chronically late and those ... ›
- The Real Reason Some of Us Are Chronically Late | Psychology ... ›
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.