Monday Night Finance- Volume 45

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Budgeting for Holiday Gifts at Every Price Range

With just a few days until Christmas, you may be racking your brains trying to figure out what to get for your coworker Steve down the hall. Maybe you’re trying to decide if you should get Steve a present at all. And if you are going to get him something, how much do you want to spend on it. Or perhaps you’re trying to figure out how to come up with a holiday gift budget. Do you know how much you want to spend on family, friends, and coworkers? If you’re struggling to figure out your last few items on your holiday shopping list, check out this article by Darcy of We Want Guac.

There is no more applicable scenario of “it’s the thought that counts” than when it comes to gift-giving. The most treasured gifts are those that are meaningful, and to reach meaningful they have to first be thoughtful. ~We Want Guac

Darcy breaks out her gift ideas into tiers ranging from zero dollars to over $50. Some of her most creative ideas were less than $10. She pointed out that you can construct a candy bouquet, which might cost over $30 professionally, for about $5. Darcy also gave some great stories about upcycling items she found in thrift stores. If you have more money and want to buy a more expensive present, you have more options. Darcy shared some pictures of gift baskets she constructed herself that looked amazing. For $25 she was able to combine books and treats and wine into an aesthetically pleasing gift. I think the moral of the story is that presentation can make a $5 gift look like a $50 gift and a $25 gift look like a $125 gift.

9 Money Lessons To Get You Ready For Financial Literacy

Are you financially literate? If so- you might be in the minority. Stephanie Faris of Money Under 30 reports that the number of financially literate individuals under the age of 35 keeps decreasing. While in 2009, 30% of 18-34 year-olds could answer 4 out of 5 financial literacy questions correctly. In 2018, it dropped to 17%. Why is financial literacy important? Financial literacy is a necessity for saving and investing enough to have a comfortable retirement. Today’s millennials will likely not be able to draw a pension like their parents and grandparents did.

History. Geometry. Science. All these subjects are important, which is why they’re taught in most schools. By the time you graduate, you can solve quadratic equations, but can you balance your checking account? ~Money Under 30

This article breaks down nine simple concepts of financial literacy that will help put you on the path towards a brighter financial future. The first one? Balancing a checkbook. Unlike ancient days where there were paper records for all of your transactions that needed to be recorded, most money flows into and out of checking accounts electronically. Therefore, the article recommends using a budgeting app, such as CountAbout to monitor your checking account. Beyond balancing the checkbook, the article provides resources to learn about managing credit, opening banking and investment accounts, and saving for retirement. Finally, it provides a list of companies that can help you on your financial journey.

Why You Should Be Streaming on Twitch

We often cover side-hustles on Monday Night Finance. Side hustles are a form of self-employment that you can do outside of traditional, “W2” employment to help you earn extra income. We’ve covered the usual suspects, such as Uber, DoorDash, Fiverr and blogging. However, have you ever considered supplementing your income by playing video games? While this seems far fetched, streaming services, such as Twitch, have made this a possibility.

Do you love playing video games? Have you considered trying to turn your passion for gaming into a full-time job? Well, that’s probably not going to happen with streaming on Twitch, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stream anyway. ~Partners in Fire

In this article, Melanie of Partners in Fire breaks down what Twitch is and why you should be streaming on this platform. Twitch is a platform where you can live stream events to your followers. A lot of people stream themselves playing video games, but in fact, you could stream nearly anything. Beyond the potential for making income, streaming on Twitch has many other benefits. It can give you a social outlet and help you build community during the social isolation of the pandemic. If you are interested in monetizing your Twitch performances, the article is a great resource on how to start making money. To make money on Twitch, you first need to become a Twitch affiliate. This requires that you have 50 subscribers, stream for 500 minutes over 7 of the past 30 days, and have an average of three live viewers at a time. This last requirement is the most difficult, and Melanie links to additional information on the best strategies to achieve this. Once you become an affiliate, you can make money by adding more subscribers, receiving “cheers” from your followers, and add revenue displayed during your gaming.