Maximizing your savings
Don't count on interest rates to help you grow your nest egg, said John Waggoner at USA Today. The last time you could get a five-year certificate of deposit yielding more than five percent was in 2000. "Since then, savings rates are lower than an ant's basement." The most you can get from a five-year CD these days is two percent, and the average money market fund yields a paltry 0.01 percent. Savings rates probably won't go up until unemployment falls, so you may "just have to wait it out." But one solution is to split your savings among a mixture of Treasury notes, bonds, and stocks, which all have different yields. Just remember that each investment comes with a different kind of risk, so keep some of your portfolio in cash.
Startups vs. corporations
Considering a job at a startup? asked Drake Baer at FastCompany. Finding a job is always "a matter of fit," and finding the right one can be tricky. Startups are a great option "if you're trying to figure out which path you want to take," thanks to the diverse experience you'll get and the many hats you'll have to wear. "Corporations have stricter confines," which may work well for those who know what career role they want. Startups might also offer more autonomy and freedom to take your own initiative, while corporations can provide structure and "institutional knowledge that you can draw from." And if you want to have more influence, a smaller company may be a better fit — but you'll carry more responsibility and in many cases, more risk.
Quit paying full price, said Hadley Malcolm at USA Today. "Armed with a few insider pointers, we can weed out the truly great bargains from the ones that just appear to save us money." One cardinal rule: Always talk to the salespeople. Store employees can "alert you to promotions you didn't know were happening or offer you a better deal than what's advertised." Remember that when it comes to clothes, "if it's not on sale yet, it will be." Retailers often discount their merchandise after six weeks, so come back later to see if items have been marked down. And if you shop online, try "cart abandonment." Add an item to your shopping cart, and then leave the page. "Depending on the retailer, you'll likely receive a coupon or promotion email to 'tip the purchase'" within a few days.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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