With the holiday season right around the corner and with all the shopping that’s about to take place, is it the time to be spending or saving? Well, I started to prepare for the holidays by engaging in some early cleaning and found some money hidden in the process, which led to our question today. if you had $500 or $600 lying around, or you found some cash, or came into a little money, what would you do with it?
I’ve got a few suggestions if you’re interested.
With the money I found while cleaning the house I could open an investment account. Why an investment account? Because some brokerage companies are currently offering signing bonuses when you open an account with them which would add to your investment account. One example of this is the Charles Schwab Starter Kit Account. There are at least three attractive things about this account. The first is that you only need $50 to open your investment account. The next thing is that this account provides videos and tools to help you with your investment. Finally, this account provides a value bonus of $101 worth of stocks in the five largest stocks on the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Index. Perhaps I should clarify. You do not receive one stock of the five biggest ones on the Standard and Poor’s Index. What you will receive is a $101 bonus in fractional shares of some of the largest companies on the index such as Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.
Another brokerage company that offers bonuses is Fidelity. While they offer similar incentives or services as Schwab, they also offer $50 bonuses for Youth Accounts for ages 13 through 18 years old.
Certificate of Deposit
Another option I can exercise with the estimated $500 I found recently is to open a Certificate of Deposit (CD). This should be a no-brainer consideration if you come across monies unexpectedly. The Federal Reserve started raising interest rates to control inflation. As a consequence, CD rates started rising and now we can find good investment rates for your $500. Some banks are now offering more than five percent for your $500 over only ten months.
This may matter now because if the Federal Reserve is expected to pause raising interest rates, then the yields on those CDs in the future may not be that high again and your $500 will not earn you as much in the future. Now, if you are concerned that you may need to access your $500, you can invest in a no-penalty Certificate of Deposit. Traditionally, if you withdraw early from a CD, you will have to pay a penalty. However, with a no-penalty CD, you can withdraw without any fees although these investments pay a lower interest rate for twelve months or less. For more information on this look at online Ally Bank at www.ally.com.
While I work hard for my money and value it, I am willing to spend $250 of my $500 taking more risk and investing in Peer-to-Peer lending. You may be wondering what it is and how it works. This form of lending eliminates banks and financial institutions and connects lenders to borrowers using certain platforms. They provide ratings or rankings of the creditworthiness of borrowers and credit scores among other vetting information. The platforms charge a fee for their service but the returns on your investments are rewarding. One of the more interesting areas of Peer-to-Peer lending is money for individuals to pay off their credit cards. Yes, Peer-to-Peer is riskier than borrowing from a bank, but the lending market is growing and exceeded $130 billion in the year 2022.
If you will consider crypto investing with your $500, why not consider peer 2 peer lending?
You Have Other Options for that $500
You can always pay off, or down on your debt, float your emergency account, or your retirement account if you do find $500. No matter what you do, make a wise decision, but just know that doing nothing is not an option!
THAT’S WHAT’S UP!
Today’s What’s Up is about new travel costs and procedures. If you plan to engage in European travel next year you will need to apply to obtain an entry pass via the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). The application fee costs $8. Once approved for the pass, it will be connected to your passport and valid for 3 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. The best course of action is to apply now for this pass in the event the price increases next year as the Olympics are scheduled to take place in Paris. And that’s what’s up!