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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
I was on an Experian CreditChat Panel and was inspired therefore wanted to share some of my tips here. During this time we are all trying to cope with this COVID19 pandemic and the new norms. Some of us have never gone through anything like this before so we are learning as we go along. We are all trying to stay safe by practicing social distancing and staying in and sort of be quarantined.
5 Things to do:
1. Offer help to those in need. If you happen to have extra be sure to share during this time. Many people are suffering but some are not. Don't exhaust your essentials to give to others but if you have an abundance then consider sharing. If you do this, let the kids participate.
2. Continue to budget your money. It is extremely important to monitor what you are spending. A budget or spending plan is the best way to do so. Here is a free, downloadable, budget sheet you can use BUDGET SHEET. Budgeting is simple, write down all of your income and all of your expense and visit it regularly. Be mindful of dates as well.
3. If needed, contact your mortgage, rent and utility companies and make arrangements. Only do this if this is necessary.
4. Pay your credit card bills on time. If possible, pay the minimum balance and pay it on time. Paying on time is 35% of your credit score.
5. Spend more time with your family and BE PRESENT. What do I mean by that? Put the phone down. Play board games, cook, bake and organize closets together. Maybe each of you had a book and discuss the chapters as you go along.
5 Things not to do:
1. Don't panic buy. Buy things you need for your specific household. Right now the stores are staying open so when you run out of things you will have an opportunity to go and get more.
2. Don't spend more than what you need.
3. Don't sit around all day long in front of a computer and eat all day. Get up on move around and get fresh air.
4. Don't over consume the news. Watch to be sure you are current but don't consume it more than you need to.
5. Don't open any new credit cards.
Finally, please don't panic and get fresh air daily. Also, If you are one that may get a stimulus check put it to good use. Her are a few ideas:
Please remember to continue with your budgeting. Here is a free resource BUDGET SHEET
Leave a comment and let me know if you would add to either list.
There is a lot of things going on in the world right now with the Coronavirus and have been trying to stay current and hope you are watching the news to get the most up-to-date information BUT don't over consume it - please find a happy balance. As I learn of breaking news I am making that available in the It'$ My Money Squad Facebook Group.If you are not a member, consider joining for free by clicking here.
With so much going on it has clouded that fact that this is National Women's History Month. I am excited about the interviews I have had with a diverse group of fantastic women. They are sharing money stories and tips to help all of you.
Below are the episodes that I have released thus far.
Episode 42 - Saving your home from foreclosure
A consumer protection attorney defines foreclosure, how to prevent foreclosure and what to do if it happens to you. She walks through the various stages and where you can find a consumer protection attorneys in your area.
Sarah Poriss is an attorney in West Hartford, Connecticut who has made a career of working with people who are in some kind of financial crisis. She helps homeowners who are behind on their mortgages or are in foreclosure, as well as counseling people who are overwhelmed by
credit card debt, and who want to improve their credit scores. She is the author of Got Debt? Dispatches from the Front Lines of America’s Financial Crisis, a book of stories of working with people in debt over the last ten years, which is available on Amazon.com.
Soundcloud - Eps42 | Apple podcast- Eps42 | Spotify- Eps42 | Stitcher- Eps42 | Pandora- Eps42
Episode 43 Why you should invest in real estate?
Monick shares why all should invest real estate. She talks about how and why she got started investing in real estate and how you can as well.
Monick Halm is the founder of Real Estate Investor Goddesses. She is an educator and advocate for female real estate investors, and has a mission to help 1 million women achieve financial freedom through real estate. Monick is herself a real estate investor and syndicator, and owns, together with her investors, over 1300 rental units across six states.
She is also a #1 bestselling author, podcast host, Real Estate Strategy Mentor, wife, and mother of three amazing kids. In 2020 she is fulfilling a long-held dream and spending the year traveling the world with her husband and daughter.
Soundcloud- Eps43 | Spotify- Eps43 | Stitcher- Eps43 | Apple podcast- Eps43 | Pandora- Eps43
Episode - 44 - Lessons Learned When Buying A Home
Justine is the Founder of a real estate education site called Live with Plum, which aims to be the home buying guide for the modern woman. The site was inspired by her personal experience buying in NYC and seeing how little resources there were for female home buyers. She lives in NYC and originally hails from Singapore.
SoundCloud -Eps 44 | Apple-Eps 44 | Spotify- Eps 44 | Stitcher-Eps 44 | Pandora-Eps 44
To get an automatic notification of when future podcast episodes become available, subscribe to The Money Exchange Podcast on the platform for which you listen to podcasts.
Here are the links for easy reference:
Spotify | Soundcloud | Stitcher | Pandora | Apple
Spring is in the air, and it’s the perfect time to not only clean up around the house but to also spruce up your budget! Remember those money goals you set in January? Time to revisit them and make sure your budget reflects your financial needs for the remainder of the year. Don’t know where to start?
Here are 3 ways to Spring clean your budget:
1. Lower Your Grocery Bill
Food is a major part of the average family budget. Finding ways to cut your grocery bill can make a major difference in managing your finances. Try couponing or switching to store brands to save. You can also watch the sales papers to make sure you’re getting the best price for the products you use. It is a great idea to make a list so you don't buy things you don't need.
2. Automate Your Saving
Saving money is difficult for a lot of people. Whether it’s enticing clearance sales or your daily cup of coffee, sometimes the smallest purchases can throw you off track. In order to make saving easier, try automating the process. I call this "Pay Yourself First". Set up an online only savings account or at a local credit union. Determine a certain dollar amount to go into that savings account then automate it. Yes, have the set amount automatically deposited into the new savings account.
Another way to automate your savings to using is to try out saving apps like Acorns, which takes the change from your purchases and invests it for you. Find a way to save even if it’s only a small amount, each dollar add ups.
3. Clean Up Your Spending
While spring cleaning your home, think about cleaning up your spending as well. It’s the perfect time to cancel any subscriptions to services that you haven’t used such as gym memberships, magazines and things like that. Review your cable and cell phone terms and see if you can get better rates at another provider or by calling your current provider to negotiate the terms. Try calling your credit card company to get you interest rates lowered. The point here review things that are preventing you from saving or from saving more and cut it our or reduce the spending.
These few changes can help you make the most of your money for spring and the rest of the year. Good luck! Any additional ideas or things you do to "Spring" clean your finances, drop it in comments.
Need help. Let me know Contact Patrina
People are anxious about their tax refunds. When am I getting it? How can I get it faster? which places give the money right away and how much does that cost? These are the questions I hear in side chatter and online.
Well today I read, the refunds are now rolling up in bank accounts as we speak. Please use these funds wisely and don't spend it on something that will mean nothing to you in two months. Also, don't spend the money before you have it.
Here are 5 ways to consider using the refund:
1. Paying off debt
Use the money to pay off some off your credit cards or other debt. This will help you reach your overall financial goals quicker.
2. Increasing or creating your emergency fund
If you have an emergency fund, consider topping it off a bit. If you do not have an emergency fund, use the refund to create one. Life can happen at anytime. "Life" meaning you can get a flat tire or a busted water heater or things like that for which you may not plan for but must fix immediately when they happen. Having an emergency fund help reduce the stress knowing you have the funds to take care of it.
Investing in the stock market is another way to put the funds to good use. Robinhood is a fun and easy way to get started. Read up on it and once you decide it is the way you want to go use this and both YOU and I can get a free stock. https://join.robinhood.com/patrind1
4. Purchase a high yield interest CD
Check with your local bank or credit union for the best deal they have for Certificate of Deposits (CD). This is for when you want to sock the money away for 12 months or more. Future purchase of a car, college, house, etc...Do not go the CD route if you will need your money in the next month or so as you will have to pay a penalty to get tour money if you take it out before the end of the term at the maturity date. You want to compare interest rates to ensure you get the most for tour money for the term of the CD.
5. Open a Roth IRA
Open a Roth IRA. What is a Roth IRA? According to Investopedia - A Roth IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement savings account that allows you to withdraw your savings tax-free. Established in 1997, it was named after William Roth, a former Delaware Senator. Roth IRAs are similar to traditional IRSs with biggest distinction between the two being how they’re taxed. Roth IRAs are funded with after-tax dollars; the contributions are not tax-deductible. But once you start withdrawing funds, the money is tax-free. Conversely, traditional IRA deposits are generally made with pretax dollars; you usually get a tax deduction on your contribution and pay income tax when you withdraw the money from the account during retirement. Here is the link where you can find out more https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/rothira.asp
So if your refund money is about to roll in, think about the 5 suggestions I gave above or if you have other suggestions, put them in comments. The point being, don't buy something you will regret later and find a way to make the money work for you.
If you want to know when to expect your refund, the IRS has site called "where is my refund", here is a link https://www.irs.gov/refunds
Need a finance coach to help you along the way, I would love to work with you. Simply CONTACT PATRINA
I enjoyed a great all expense paid business trip to DisneyLand. We stayed at the Yacht Club Resort for 5 days, 4 nights. The hotel room, food, and some entertainment was all included. I took the Magical Express to and from the airport so transportation was free.
As a finance coach, I would be remiss if I didn't start the trip with a budget or spending plan. This was very simple - I am not going to spend more than $100 of my personal money. The best way to help me stick to that goal was to use budget envelopes. So I put the $100 cash in my budget envelope and I was ready to go.. I knew this goal was going to be hard at Disneyland - the happiest place on earth. I also knew it would be harder had I not set a goal.
Well the result is, I just missed my goal. I spent a total $109.50 of my personal money. It would have been less had I not forgotten to pack a pair of shorts. When packing I was so concerned with outfits for the events (sun dresses, skirts, sleeveless tops, bathing suits, flip flops, etc) everything but the kitchen sink but shorts or sunglasses. I had cough drops, gum, you name it, I had it in my gigantic suitcase. I know what you are saying, “you didn’t bring a pair of shorts to Florida” nope I did not. I needed a pair so I headed to get some. Although I missed my spending goal $100 or less of my personal money, what I got for the $109.50 was not bad. Here is the list:
When I think about it, being at Disney in all, where prices can be insane, this wasn’t bad at all.
I have actually been on this same business trip a few times and this was one of the best. I had great food, laughed a lot, relaxed a bit, danced, you name it and I spent the least amount of money. The other times I spent so much of my personal money I can’t even count. I travel a lot on business trips and in just three or so years ago a trip like this, when the entire trip is paid for, I would still end up spending and spending and spending personal money on stuff like more food, clothes I don’t need or loading up on souvenirs. Back then I didn’t start the trip with a goal or budget. Although I went tad bit over my goal - I was in control. I was aware of the amount of cash in my envelope which helped me stay close to the goal. I didn’t find myself pulling out my credit card buying a really cute skirt I saw as I already had cute skirts with me. Below is picture of me having breakfast with the Disney characters.
When I arrived to the airport a little early I was very tempted to get my family Disney t-shirts and said “Nah, they have plenty of shirts and I am already over my personal money spending budget”.
You need help sticking to a budget, check out the It'$ My Money Squad Facebook group or need a coach or an accountability partner CONTACT ME.
I have had my podcast, The Money Exchange, for a little over a year. I was recently asked, what did I wish I knew when I started my podcast? One of the things I wish I had known was I could record for free, yes $0.00, noting, zippo. When I first started my podcast, I thought it was important to be in a studio with expensive equipment, so I went on a search for one near by. I connected with someone who had access to a studio which he gave let me use at a cost and he was also provided editing services. This studio was 20 miles or 23 minute drive one way or 40 miles 46 minutes round trip and longer if there was traffic. I was excited and ready to record my 1st episode. I was then told the access to the studio was limited to certain days of the week and they time slots that were on a 1st come, 1st serve basis. I said, no problem - let's get started. I had guests lined up and I was ready to go. The picture above was in this wonderful studio. I was working with a great young man, who helped me get started. After a couple of situations where I had to reschedule guests due to the limited schedule or the studio closing due to weather, I decided to post a question in a FaceBook group asking other podcasters how did they record their podcasts. Many replied back with Zoom and a few shared with me the type of microphone and headset they used that would work perfectly with my laptop. I went on Amazon and purchased both, I believe it was a one time investment of $69-$89 but never used it. I am not that great with some types of technology so I was a little hesitant in trying this approach. Then one day a guest that I had tried to secure a date and time for the show could not make one of the available and said to myself I will try Zoom for this episode and I did. I am so glad I did. It was awesome! I was in the comfort of my own home and gained back almost 2 hours in my day on 'podcast" day. I still have to get it edited but using Zoom saves me time by not having to drive back and forth now I simply look my the schedule and confirm with the guest. I travel a lot, so using this platform also allows me the ability to record while I am on the road. It is so convenient and easy to use. Had I known this when I first started I would have been able to secure others guests and save a lot of time and money on the process.
Prior to Zoom:
In dollars, I paid for:
In dollars, I pay:
I am excited to share, The Money Exchange podcast is now available on Apple and Google Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Pandora. We have had great guest on sharing financial tips. Pictures below using my laptop and Zoom at home and on the road. Loving it!!!
Any questions on how I got started or other things I learned in my podcast journey, please leave a comment.
Unless you stick to an extremely tight budget, chances are you’ve been a little taken aback at one point or another when looking at your bank statement at the end of the month. While you might have been able to justify that shopping spree at Target when it happened, unnecessary expenditures like that can really add up. D on’t beat yourself up too much, though—most people spend way more than they save.
In fact, over 47% of Americans have no money saved for retirement.
Keeping that in mind, you can probably agree you should start spending less and saving more. But the concept of doing that can be daunting to even the most experienced saver, because where do you start with reigning in your spending? Luckily, there are steps you can take right now to start spending less, and they don’t cost a cent— because they are mind games you can use to trick yourself into reigning in your spending.
These tricks are as easy as deleting your credit card information from being automatically filled in while online shopping. This way, while you’re filling in the information for each and every purchase, you’re forced to take a brief pause to evaluate if the purchase is really worth it. Instead of hitting “purchase” without a second thought, you give yourself a second to think hard about whether or not you want the item, or if you’re buying simply out of convenience.
Another mind trick you can use to spend less money is something called the “stranger test” to help you evaluate the worth of a purchase. If you’re considering $100 headphones, picture a stranger standing in front of you with $100 in one hand and the headphones in the other. This causes you to think about whether you’d be happier with the purchase or the money—and most people will choose the money over the purchase.
This helpful graphic from Turbo Intuit lays out 6 more mind games you can use during your next shopping trip to help you save more and spend less.
Your brain—and bank account—will thank you!
Guest Blog Post From Emily Borst
Emily Borst is a digital content creator who helps Turbo Intuit create helpful and compelling stories worth sharing. Her background in digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to eco to lifestyle. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, crafting, reading, and eating her way through Austin, Texas. To learn more, connect with Emily on LinkedIn
It’s that time of year again. Time to start mapping out your spending for the two months where people usually overspend on dinners and shopping.
The holidays are a special time of year for sharing good cheer, great food and generous gifts with the ones we love. Before you head to the mall or plan that extravagant holiday party, consider how you could save some money this holiday season.
Here are 5 ways to keep your spending in check from now through December:
1. Create a holiday budget or spending plan
When it comes to the word “budget” many people often think of complicated spreadsheets and restrictions but no, no, no - a budget will help you plan your spending and ensure there no surprises at the end of the year. No matter how big or small your holiday spending budget, ensure it is realistic. Shop around to find the best prices for the things you want to buy.
2. Make a list
Shopping for the ones you love can lead to overspending. All of the sales will exciting and tempting. Trust me I know. To help avoid going over budget make a shopping list. On your list include the individuals you plan to shop for and a budget for each person. This will also help you narrow down the gifts options. You can actually get very granular and add the actual gift to the list so there isn’t room for overspending.
3. Start early
Many holiday deals begins after Veterans’ Day. This year in the US Veteran’s day will be observed on November 11th. Don’t miss out on savings by waiting until the last minute to do your shopping. Starting early will help you stick to your shopping list and allow you to shop around for the best deal and not pick up what is left since you started late.
4. Unused gift cards
Check in your wallet to see if you have either unused gift cards or some with small balances. You would be surprised how this can help you fund a gift(s). Example: small balances on several Starbucks gift cards may be enough to get a gift from Starbucks for a boss or coworker.
5. Unconventional gifts
Instead of going to the malls, maybe print a photo of you and your best friend, get a frame and a blank card (you can get both of these at Dollar Tree) and handwrite a heartfelt message.
Maybe a wall or desk calendar with pictures of the family for each month for a family member you don’t see often, along with a blank card with a heartfelt message.
Making your money stretch during the holidays comes down to preparation. If you set your budget, make a plan and start early you can avoid excessive spending and bring in the New Year stress free when it comes to your money.
For more helpful tips on making your money better for you, and a free set of budget envelopes, Sign up for the It’$ My Money™ Newsletter.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.