Money is still a taboo subject among family and friends, which is why many of us do not know what is the normal amount to have (or aspire).
But luckily, there is an easy calculation to know the exact dollar amount you need to have on hand in your checking account:
It’s a month or two of your living expenses. That’s! So if between rent, utilities, groceries, fun things budgeted for your kids, and paying off debts, you spend $ 5,000 each month, then you should have $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 in your checking account.
Here are some tips: It may not be smart to keep more than two months of expenses in your checking account. If you can keep it closer to a month, that’s even better. Why? Because it is likely to earn you almost zero interest, when you could be earning road more with your money elsewhere.
Here are the first things to do with your money once you’ve saved a month or two of expenses to cover your bills:
1. Build an emergency fund and keep it in a safe place
If you don’t currently have an emergency fund, start one now. Having this safely stored, but readily available, can keep you from getting into trouble.
You need to find a place to store it safely, but still earn money. Under your mattress or in a safe you will get nothing. And a typical savings account won’t do you much better. (Ahem, 0.05% is nothing these days).
But a debit card called Aspiration allows you to earn up to 20 times the average interest on the money in your account (plus up to 5% cash back).
It’s not bad at all!
Enter your email address here for a free Aspiration Spend and Save account. After confirming your email, securely link your bank account so they can start helping you earn extra money. Their money is FDIC insured and they use military grade encryption which is nerdy language because “this is totally safe.”
2. Maximize your retirement savings account (and get more from your boss)
Putting money out of your paycheck into your 401 (k) is literally one of the smartest things you can do for your future. And if your employer matches each contribution, that could mean hundreds of thousands extra dollars in your account when you retire. It’s free money!
But if you can’t take advantage of this employer benefit because you need all of your paycheck every month, a company called Lendtable will give you the cash.
We know it sounds too good to be true. But if your employer has a 401 (k) matching program, this is money that has already been allocated to you. By using Lendtable, you will be able to unlock that money for free.
Let’s say you make $ 50,000 a year and your employer matches your 401 (k) contribution by up to 4%. If you deposit $ 0 into your retirement account this year, you will receive $ 0 from your boss. If Lendtable loans you 4% of your salary that your employer is willing to match, you receive $ 2,000 from your boss, less Lendtable’s fees. (This comes from the extra money you have earned, so there is no sacrifice on your part.)
It takes three minutes to answer a few questions about your eligibility and sign up for an account.
Once you’ve obtained the full matching amount from your employer, LendTable will take the money they loaned you, plus a small portion of your earnings. If your retirement account provider applies a penalty for withdrawing money, Lendtable will cover that too.
The risk to you is basically non-existent, so not taking advantage of your employer’s combination with the Lendtable offer would make Future Millionaire You bow your head in shame. Start here.
3. Invest. This app gives you up to $ 200 in free stock to get started
If you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing after you’ve put money into your emergency fund, you are not alone. But guess that? You don’t really need that much, and you can even get free shares (worth up to $ 200!) If you know where to look.
Whether you have $ 5, $ 100, or $ 800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.
Yes, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both beginners and investing professionals love it because it does not charge fees and you can buy and sell stocks for free, with no limits. In addition, it is very easy to use.
What is the best? When you download the app and fund your account (it doesn’t take more than a few minutes), Robinhood deposits a portion of the free shares into your account. However, it is random, so the shares could be worth between $ 2.50 and $ 200, a good boost to help you build your investments.
4. Insure up to $ 1 million in life insurance; Rates start at just $ 16 / month
Sometimes you need to spend some money to earn money. Obtaining life insurance in case something happens to you is one of those cases. It’s a good place to invest a few dollars each month, once your checking account and emergency funds are in good place.
For example, have you thought about how your family would do without your income after you are gone? How will they pay the bills? Send the children to school? Now is a good time to start planning for the future by looking at a term life insurance policy.
You’re probably thinking: I don’t have time or money for that. But your application can take minutes and could leave your family up to $ 1 million with a company called Bestow.
Rates start at just $ 16 a month. The peace of mind of knowing that your family is well cared for is priceless.
If you are under 54 and want to get a quick life insurance quote without a medical exam or even getting off the couch, get a free quote from Bestow.