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Feds Meet Without Increasing Interest Rates + How a Rate Hike Can Effect Your Pocket

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The Federal Reserve concluded its two-day policy meeting without increasing interest rates, although it’s expected the central bankers will lift rates before year-end. Thus far, the Fed has raised interest rates three times this year due to economic growth and inflation. The last increase set the target for the benchmark federal funds rate at 2% to 2.25%. But what does an interest rate hike mean for your pockets? According to MotleyFool.com here are 6 Ways a Fed Rate Hike Can Effect Your Wallet:

1. Get ready for higher rates on savings accounts

As the Federal Reserve increases interest rates, banks may feel compelled to pay a higher interest rate on your savings and checking accounts. Many regional and online banks are now paying close to 2% on cash kept in a savings account, while others are paying 3% or more on five-year certificates of deposit. As interest rates rise, the most competitive banks will increase the interest rates they pay to savers every time the Fed acts.

Of course, whether or not your personal bank will increase your interest rate depends on how hungry it is for deposits. One of the best indicators that a bank may choose to increase the rate it pays for deposits is its loan-to-deposit ratio, which divides its loans outstanding by the deposits its customers entrust with the institution. The higher the ratio, the more likely a bank will have to compete for deposits by increasing rates paid to its customers.

2. Your credit card debt will become more costly

While the Federal Reserve increases rates by increasing the federal funds rate, the increases affect other lending benchmarks, such as the prime rate, too. In the last three years, the prime rate has increased by 1.5 percentage points, while the effective federal funds rate increased by about 1.6 percentage points. The relationship between the prime rate and the effective federal funds rate can be a big deal for credit card users, particularly those who carry a balance.

If you look carefully at the terms and conditions of your credit card, you’ll likely find that the rate charged on your balance is calculated by adding a premium on top of the prime rate. Thus if your card charged an APR equal to Prime plus 10.5%, it would currently carry an APR of 15.25%, based on the current prime rate of 4.75%. That’s roughly in line with the last reported national average of 15.3%. Of course, if you pay your balance in full every month, as you should, the rate you pay on your credit card is irrelevant. Credit cards only charge interest when you carry a balance from month to month.

3. Auto buyers should expect higher APRs

One thing you should know about the Federal funds rate is that it is a super short-term (overnight) interest rate. Thus, when the Federal Reserve votes to increase interest rates, it has the greatest impact on short-term loans such as car loans, which are typically paid off over the course of 48 to 72 months.

Data from the Federal Reserve shows that the finance rate on 60-month auto loans has increased from 4.05% in November 2017 to 4.75% in February 2018, driven in part by the Fed’s decision to raise the benchmark rate. The good news, though, is that many auto manufacturers still offer 0% APRs to buyers with excellent credit. Plus, higher rates have a much smaller impact on affordability for short-term loans like car loans than they do to longer-term loans like mortgages. The difference between paying 4% or 5% interest on a five-year, $30,000 auto loan amounts to only $14 a month, which is a rounding error on a payment in excess of $500 per month.

4. Your insurance premiums could fall

It’s smart to shop around for auto or homeowners insurance frequently to get the lowest premiums, advice that is especially true in a rising-rate environment. Because insurance is prepaid, (premiums are paid before coverage kicks in), insurers are able to invest the money and earn a small amount of interest due to the lag in when they receive cash from customers and when they pay out cash for claims.

The insurance industry is extremely competitive, and insurers price insurance policies partly based on how much they can earn investing the premiums they take in from every contract. When rates are high, insurance companies can afford to charge less for the same coverage, since they anticipate making more money by investing the premiums for short periods of time. Of course, you shouldn’t expect that your car insurer will lower your rate just because interest rates are rising. Shop around, and if you find a lower quote, ask your existing insurer to match the premium, or be prepared to change companies altogether.

5. College financing costs rise

Current undergraduate students will see a higher interest rate on government student loans for the 2018 and 2019 school year. In the upcoming year, interest rates will rise to 5.05%, up from 4.45% during the 2017 to 2018 school year. Luckily, Stafford loans for school carry a fixed interest rate, so the rate increase only affects new borrowings, not existing loans.

Rates for federal student loans are set by Congress. The rate is based on how much it costs the government to borrow money for a 10-year term. Thus, when rates on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note increase, so do rates on government student loans. As the Fed has increased short-term interest rates, investors are demanding a higher rate from longer-term U.S. government notes, and federal student loan rates are rising in response.

6. Your mortgage payment may swell

Homeowners who have variable rate mortgages are likely to see their monthly mortgage payments increase with each increase in the Federal funds rate. That’s because variable rate mortgages are typically based on a short-term interest benchmark, such as the Prime rate or LIBOR. Both the Prime rate and LIBOR increase almost 1-for-1 when the Federal Reserve decides to increase interest rates, affecting anyone who has an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Luckily, people who have a fixed-rate mortgage won’t see their interest rates increase, and new homebuyers may just find that higher overnight rates have little impact on long-term 30-year fixed mortgages. Note that while the Federal funds rate increased by about 1.6 percentage points since the fall of 2015, rates on 30-year mortgages have increased only about 0.7 percentage points. That’s because mortgage rates are influenced more by long-term interest rates and the demand for mortgage-backed securities (packages of mortgages that are sold to investors). Fixed mortgage rates are affected indirectly by Fed policy.

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is the Head of Financial Education at BankMobile and Editor-in-Chief at Paradigm Money. The views and opinions expressed are those of Ash Cash and not the views of BankMobile and/or its affiliates.

The Daily Digm (News)

Is the Job Market Booming or Are People Seeking Entrepreneurship Instead?

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Job openings in the U.S. continue to exceed the number of unemployed people, with 1 million more positions available in October than those Americans actively seeking work, per the Labor Department. The information, real estate, and education industries were seeking the most help. Until March of this year, job openings never exceeded the number of those looking for work in the 17 years since record-keeping began. This leads to the question: Is the Job Market Booming or Are People Seeking Entrepreneurship Instead?

The truth of the matter is that a 9-5 can be taxing on anyone especially those trying to raise a family.  There are a lot of people who believe that it is far better to be an entrepreneur than to work under someone, as an employee. This is mainly because of the flexibility as well as the ability to create your own schedule. Being an entrepreneur allows you to plan your work around your life’s needs, so you can have your cake and eat it.

In the past, it was much more difficult to run a business and have a good quality of life, but because of technological advances, it has become easier to manage both. And this isn’t only small local ventures; the internet has made the world a smaller place, so many entrepreneurs are running global businesses.

Women are also starting to lead the charge; they comprise of about 10.6 million women all over the world and produce 2.5 trillion dollars in sales annually! It takes a lot of patience being an entrepreneur because it is a tough job to take care of other responsibilities while running a business at the same time. You must learn how to keep your cool during stressful times and be able to put out fires simultaneously. Overall, entrepreneurship is a great option in today’s day and age but always remember… Quality of life first!

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Amazon Battling Against Scammers + Why Do Scammers Exist in the First Place

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Amazon is battling a torrent of seller scams on its website and has sacked a handful of employees it alleges took bribes and fed inside information to independent merchants, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company has fired some workers from the U.S. and India as well as purging several thousand dubious customer reviews. It’s also curtailed seller access to internal data and worked to curb techniques allowing sellers to game the site’s search results to their benefit.

 These dishonest sellers and employees make things difficult for those who are trying to do the right thing. But why do scammers exist in the first place? The truth of the matter is that money is an important aspect of life and many believe that cheating the system is the way they know how to get ahead. Money started as a simple concept then it became complicated.

Bartering became was a system of economics for centuries. A fisherman would exchange his catch with the carpenter for a table. Cattle, clothes and other necessities were traded without cash tender. The introduction of money changed that system making it of greater influence in our lives. So, why is money so darn important?

Global Exchange. Money is important mainly because it’s a tool for global exchange. Simply put, it’s important because we have made it important. Giving up other systems to heavily depend on cash and its many forms. You may not provide a product or service needed by a person who creates a need of yours. You’d use money as a medium of exchange used to obtain wants and needs.

Time. Money in some ways buys time. The key is making money work for you by creating passive income – monies earned which a person is not actively involved. Examples of passive income are royalties from intellectual properties, rental properties, or a business you don’t have to physically operate to earn a profit. Passive income equals more time to other things you love such as traveling with family, volunteering, or working for fun (not out of necessity).

Allows You to Make a Larger Difference. More money can multiply you. Volunteering at the local Girls and Boys Club requires your presence. Being able to donate financially to multiple local Boys & Girls Clubs makes an even bigger difference. Your reach increases with the amount of money you possess.

While money isn’t the most important thing in the world, it does effect the things that are. Using your money strategically will afford you more time, expand your reach, and pay for some pretty cool experiences.  And ultimately managing our money responsibly will assure that we don’t fail. Face it we are too important!

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NYC Introduces Minimum Wage for Drivers + How to Slowly Crawl Your Way into Wealth

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Living in a big city may not be what it’s cracked up to be.  The cost of living seems to be going up while wages are going down. Well thankfully for cab drivers they may be getting some relief. New York City is introducing a minimum pay rate for drivers working for app-based services such as Uber and Lyft. Drivers must now be paid a minimum of $27.86 per hour, or $17.22 after expenses, which city officials say translates to a yearly increase of roughly $10,000. The new pay rates, which will be implemented in 20 days, were criticized by the ride-sharing services. The changes will likely lead to fare hikes for riders, said Uber but drivers are at least happy. But what about another worker?

According to a 2017 CareerBuilder report, 78% of full-time workers said they live paycheck to paycheck. And while the cost of living continues to climb there are ways to get out of this slow crawl to wealth. Here are four tips on getting out of living paycheck to paycheck and live life more abundantly. 

Live below your means. The more we earn, the more we seem to spend. Think about it when you made less than what you make now, you survived. And then when a raise came along or some random lump sum of money like your tax refund you either made a purchase that increased your long-term expenses or wasted it on things that didn’t shift your lifestyle in a financially positive way. Start living below your means. This may look like downsizing your phone plan or apartment. Pretend you have $100 to 500 dollars less than what you make on a monthly basis.

Set Financial Goals. If your money doesn’t have an aim, it will land anywhere. When you have a financial vision, you are more likely to end up where you’d like to be. You are careful enough to put aside tax money, mortgage payments, and other necessities; take the same approach to build wealth.

Aggressively Save. Think of a number that you don’t want to go below when it comes to your savings account. Let’s say you want to have no less than 10,000 dollars in your account. Save until you get there without spending unnecessarily. Remember put aside an amount that you feel comfortable with but an amount that will also get you to your goal in a comfortable amount of time. Once you have arrived, don’t go below it.

Change your words. Words are powerful. Chances are if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you aren’t able to do things you like. And that can cause stress and discomfort. And you may have the tendency to complain. STOP. Your words have the ability to build up and tear down. Choose to build up with money affirmations such as “I have an endless supply of cash,” “money is flowing to me,” and “I place no limits on the amount of money I can make.” (IG: @paradigmmoney). Before you know it, you’ll be financially free and loving it.

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