It's graduation season meaning thousands of recent college grads are embarking on their journey into "the real world," full of interviews, relocation, first jobs, and the transition into true adulthood. Exams have been scored, dorm rooms are cleared out, and the empty red Solo cups are left to dry out on frat house floors. Career time is here and college graduates are revved up and rearing to start their work lives with the same excitement and spirit they had as college freshmen.
Unlike colleges and universities, when it comes to where to start a career, the evidence isn't as cut and dry as a glossy brochure and a guided tour. That's why WalletHub, the personal finance website has released a report on 2017's best and worst places to start a career in the U.S.
WalletHub analyzed the 150 largest markets in the country and used 23 metrics to indicate which areas were the most career-friendly and which places flunked. These findings will be helpful for recent grads considering their current residence as a place to seek work or if relocation is a smarter move for their journey into the workforce.
Factors including highest monthly average starting salary, availability of entry-level jobs, job growth progression, affordable housing, workplace diversity, and more were weighed and measured, creating a formula for WalletHub to assess the best and worst areas of the country for newbies, maybe you, seeking a successful start to a brand new career.
The best places may surprise you, but for those living in or near these top cities, the news is surely welcome.
The top 5, according to WalletHub are Salt Lake City, UT; Orlando, FL; Austin, TX; Grand Rapids, MI; and Tempe, AZ. And for the bottom 5, Newark, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Augusta, GA; Montgomery, AL; and Toledo, OH, let's hope for the sake of the local economy and those who reside there that things turn around soon.
While Durham, NC didn't make the cut for the top 10 due to the overall findings, this city boasts the highest monthly average starting salary - $3,909 - based on the cost of living. And diversity in the workforce made Oxnard, CA a standout.
For the full list of rankings and more specific findings from the WalletHub study, see the entire report.
There's more than location that makes for a foot in the door, but knowing these facts can help young adults make wise career choices. But it takes personal responsibility and professionalism in order to make your way into the workforce no matter where your path takes you. Make a lasting and positive impression at your first interviews with these 4 tips for a better shot for hiring managers and business owners asking you back for a second meeting and the opportunity for work.
Graduation may be the end of an era, but as you embark on a career, new beginnings are right around the corner… just be sure it's in a city that welcomes you with open arms and plentiful opportunity.
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.