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5 Tips For Your Stimulus Checks
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You may have received the economic impact relief payment also known as the stimulus check. This was money deposited in your account. Eligible individuals received $1,200 and married, filing jointly, received $2,400.
So what you can do with your stimulus check?
Here are 5 Tips providing you have all of the essentials you and your family. The tips are not in any particular order. The tips can also apply if you are receiving unemployment benefits given the fact those benefits have been increased by $600 a week.
1. EMERGENCY FUND
Start or increase your emergency fund. The goal is to have 6 - 9 months in a high yield online savings account. How do you determine how much to save? To create an emergency fund you should use your budget FREE BUDGET SHEET to determine what your total monthly expenses are. Once you determine the monthly expense number and times it by 6 or 9 months.
Here is an example of a 6 month emergency fund for someone with a total expenses of $1,000.
$1,000 (monthly expense) x 6 (months) = $6,000
If you don't already have an online saving account try either Capital One 360, Ally or Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
Someone asked, "Do I need to work with a professional to invest?" The answer is yes, you can use a professional and you have the ability to purchase individual stocks from several different apps as well. One of my favorite app is Robinhood. Here is a link to ROBINHOOD. Using this link, you can open an account at Robinhood and as a result of doing so both you and I will get a free share of stock of a random company.
There is also an investing course called Perfect Portfolio that can give you tips to determine how to chose stocks that may work for you. Try PERFECT PORTFOLIO
3. PAY DOWN CREDIT CARDS
Pay down credit card debt. The best way to get the quickest wins is to pay off credit card debt that have the lowest balance due. Once paid it will give a great sense of accomplishment. Usually the suggestions given encourages you to pay debt with the highest interest rates however in these case it is about erasing the debt. Given that fact, if a lower interest rate card a smaller balance lets you knock that out and be done with it. Example: If you have 2 credit cards:
4. START A BUSINESS
What is that business that you have been wanting to start? Do you cook, do you bake do you sew, do you know how to create presentations? What other skills do you have? Well it is time to get started. Ensure you get set up structurally. Name your business, get an employee identification number (EIN) and open a business bank account.
Yes, donate. It is always good to give back. The amount doesn't matter it is the gesture that matters. Pick an organization or people locally that you know that are in need. They can be a part of your community, your church, or an oraginaztion that aligns to your heart and help out.
I hope this inspires you to use the economic relief money or stimulus check to pay off credit cards and create additional streams of income for you and your family. Also, if you have not received your check the IRS has a website site which you can check the status of your payment. Go here to CHECK STATUS
People who currently receive social security benefits will receive their stimulus checks within the next two weeks. They do not need to do anything to receive it. For those that will get a paper check, those will start to be mailed later.
Pay Yourself First is something I advocate with all. It is even more important once you get your stimulus check. If possible use the check to start an emergency fund. If nothing else, the coronavirus has taught us how important it is to be prepared for the unexpected.
For ongoing, one of the best ways to "Pay Yourself First" is to allocate a certain dollar amount to save, every time you get paid, have it automatically deposited to an online only savings account then FORGET ABOUT IT.
It is important that this dollar amount is included in your regular budget and is sustainable. What I mean by sustainable is, you should be able to consistently save this amount without blowing your budget.
So if this happens to be a good week or month of income and you start with a $100 deposit this pay period and the next and the $100 causes you to blow our budget that results in you taking some out of your savings that defeats the intended purpose of set and forget about it. The purpose is to see the money increase. So start small, put it in an online savings account and forget about it helps make it sustainable. I prefer you start with something like $20 per pay cycle and do the $20 every pay period. Then assess every 3-6 months to see if there is an opportunity in your budget for you to increase that amount being saved. This way your money is being increased and you are earning simple and compounding interest.
When searching for an online only savings account you want to choose the one that works best for your individual situation.
Things to consider:
The below are a few online savings accounts for you to consider. Note as I write this the information it is subject change. As an example the interest rate is something that is subject to change.
Capital one 360
- Capital one to another bank - 2-3 business days (48-72 hours)
- Will take 3 business days when requested before 1 am Et on Monday- Friday
- 1 day when requested before 7:30pm Et on Monday-Friday
Marcus By Goldman Sachs
- Wire transfer - 1 hour
American Express Savings
When you make the transfer it will let you know when the funds will be in the account you are transferring it to. So you may be saying to yourself, do I need another account for this money to be transferred to and the answer is yes.
For point of comparison of online savings banks interest rates to the local banks. Local banks are like 0.35% interest rates and local credit unions may be a bit more but by far the online only savings account will yield you. The key to earning interest on the money is keeping in the account and letting it accumulate over time.
I love the quote by M.K. Asante Jr. "When you make an observation, You have an obligation". This goes nicely with this topic. How? Because we have observed how what we knew as normal can change in the snap of a finger and we have an obligation to be prepared financially weather the storm.
Remember, the steps are:
Need help with your personal finances or more on this topic let me know CONTACT PATRINA
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