It appears that the major economies around the world are arriving – albeit at different paces – at a turning point. After years of cautious talk about possible recovery, the clamoring from the markets for a raise in interest rates will surely soon lead to some action.
But what does this actually mean for those of us who aren’t active investors?
Most people are aware of the primary impact of a rise in interest rates: tracker mortgage, credit card and loan repayments will quickly increase, as well as the cost of new borrowing. So if you’re thinking of borrowing for a house, car or anything else it might be better to act sooner rather than later (and go for the fixed rate option).
So, bad news for anyone owing money. There is a silver lining, though: just as interest rates on your mortgage will go up, so it will on your savings. As you can imagine, that encourages most people to save their money instead of spending it, which is exactly what the government are hoping for. Keeping spending in check slows down the economy so that they can keep it in control.
Finally, if you want to use your well-timed loan or burgeoning savings account to buy yourself a holiday, you might find that an interest rate rise has the welcome surprise effect of making your foreign currency cheaper. That’s because high interest rates attract investors, which in turn makes local currency stronger. Learn spread betting with IG.
If, for instance, the Bank of England raises interest rates then British banks are suddenly more attractive to investors everywhere, and the pound becomes worth more in comparison to other currencies. That effect is slightly negated if all major economies raise their interest rates at the same time though.
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Restaurants rely on more than ambiance and the aroma of your favorite foods to get you to spend. They favor tricks to appeal to your mind — to get you in the door and push your bill higher. But there are ways that you can save money eating out at restaurants.
Restaurants hope that we don’t realize it, but a lot of energy goes into developing menus. They focus on every detail — layout, font, color scheme and so much more — every aspect designed to entice us to spend more money.
For example, have you ever noticed that many restaurants don’t put dollar signs next to prices? It’s similar to why casinos make gamblers bet with chips instead of real money. Dollar signs make us mentally associate numbers with a real cost. Leaving them off subtly makes us feel that the number isn’t associated with quite so high a price.
Most menus in national chains do not list food and prices in a straight vertical line down the menu. Customers can compare prices too easily this way. Instead restaurants often offset them from one another. It’s little tricks like these that force customers to work a little harder to understand and compare costs.
Save Money Eating Out by Minding Your Portions
Watching your portions can do more than help you keep your weight down — it can help you conserve your budget too. American restaurants continue to serve ever larger portions. Of course, with these increased portion sizes comes an increase in the price.
The worst thing that a consumer can do is simply ignore the fact that portions are excessive. You have to have a plan. Will you take half of your meal home with you? Split it with a dining companion? Or should you simply look for a smaller alternative? Your wallet and your belly will thank you for having a game plan and sticking to it.
Don’t Fall For ‘Free’ Gift Cards
I am a sucker for restaurants that offer deals if you buy their gift cards. You typically see these offers around the holidays or special occasions. Many restaurants offer a free additional $10 gift card if you purchase $50 in gift cards.
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