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New Year, New Wallet

Updated: Apr 7



As a disclaimer, EnvisionCo Blog is reader-supported. Some links on this site are for additional informational purposes whereas some others are affiliate links (don't worry, these will be clearly marked as such). When you click through an affiliate link on our site and sign-up for a service or finalize a purchase, we may earn affiliate commissions. This of course is at no additional cost to you.


EnvisonCo Blog was born January 2, 2022 with the opening article, "New Year, New Me: All Starts with Time." The overarching theme, if I had to be forced to narrow it down, was how time seems to just slip away from us all. We want to enjoy life, but we also have things that we must get done. And there never seems to be enough time to balance it all. The article provided practical tips on how to take back your time by implementing simple time management tips. Owning your time.


Having become masters of our time, on January 1, 2023, we shifted to intentions with the article, "New Year, New Intention." It was a nod to New Year, New Me: All Starts with Time and a shift towards being more visible and available to my readers. New Year, New Intention was a shift towards recognition of what brings your life meaning and purpose. Determining your values and then designing a life on a trajectory that actually aligns with what you say is important.


Here on this first Sunday of 2024, I once again invite you to journey with me. New Year, New Wallet. This might be our hardest journey together yet. March of 2022 we examined one of the dimensions of wellness that we all attempt to bury our heads and act oblivious to its existence, finances. In fact, I added money as the fourth item in a list of items that are taboo for people to discuss. So how has the financial landscape been since our March 2022 article on financial wellness? Well, in their most recent article on finances and stress, CNBC had a lot to say in their article, "Why Americans Are Stressed About Money;" it opened with:


"90% of Americans say money impacts their stress level, according to survey."

In that March 2022 dimension of financial wellness article, we quoted an APA article that stated that approximately 64% of Americans report feeling stressed about money. I'm pretty sure that original APA article has been updated and replaced on the APA site. Data from a new survey has the number of financially stressed Americans at a whopping 90 percent. It does not appear that we are doing any better on the financial front. In fact, if my readers have applied my admonition from our very first article here at EnvisionCo Blog, New Year, New Me: All Starts with Time and the theme from our one year anniversary article, New Year, New Intention, I may survey and find that I have a throng of readers who now have more time on their hands to stress about the intentional life they'd like to live without the finances to live it. That's no bueno. The CNBC article goes on to state:


"About 65% report feeling that their financial difficulties are piling up so much they can’t overcome them. Roughly 40% report that they are currently taking no notable steps to secure their financial future. Over 40% wish that they could have a ‘fresh’ financial start."

With that data in mind, New Year, New Wallet is very much needed and very much relevant. Today's article will combine some of our previous thoughts along with the thoughts of the CNBC article to assist you with getting on track financially.


Strategy #1- Accountability Partner

When it comes to stress about money, the number one fallacy that we make is that we are alone. You are not alone. The statistics prove it. So regardless of what the smiling faces on social media are showing you, people are stressed, particularly about money. It is the economic times we are in. This is why of all the tips that I put forth, this one will be the hardest for you. Ask for help from an accountability partner. Get yourself an accountability buddy. Stop doing what you have always done by trying to go at this alone. The statistics are proving, that alone isn't working. Having an accountability partner will serve three purposes. First, it will help you let out some much needed steam. Second, you will have someone that can help you come up with ideas and solutions that you didn't think of. Third, it will hold you accountable. It's easy to make up pretty lies and poorly thought-out excuses to tell ourselves; it's a little harder to do so with another person. Which leads to our next strategy.



Strategy #2- Monthly Meetings

It will do no good to select an accountability partner without giving them something to well, account. So how did you do? This needs to be more than just a verbal check-in. Pen and ink to paper. Digits in spreadsheets. Copies of account statements. It holds you accountable for what you have or haven't done based upon what you agreed to with your accountability partner. And no skipping months. This needs to be a regularly, scheduled, monthly occurrence. Speaking of schedules, on to strategy 3.



Strategy #3- Google, Siri, Alexa Remind Me To

Technology both a blessing and a curse. But today, we are focusing on the good. I know we like to think of ourselves as fine tuned human machines that is on top of everything at all times. Right? The truth is, we are not machines. We are human. With humanness comes forgetting. Despite our well-meaning intentions, we forget things. Things slip through the cracks. This is where the beauty of technology can come in handy. You don't have to go it alone and try to remember everything. Whether you are in the Google fan camp, Siri fan camp, or Alexa fan camp, you have a digital personal assistant or two that can help you remember. Which is good. Because we know on time payments factor into our credit scores, which factor into the kinds of rates on loans we qualify for, which factor into how much money we shell out over time. These digital assistants can help you schedule reminders to pay bills AND schedule your meetings with your accountability partner. A win/win.



Strategy #4- Set a financial goal, both big and small

What do you want to achieve in the next 3 months? Six months? What do you want to achieve this year? The sky here is the limit. You and your accountability partner can get as creative as you like. Do you want to pay down credit card debt? Do you want to increase your savings account by a certain percentage? Is there a vacation splurge that you'd like to save up for rather than take out a loan for? Make it personal, beneficial, make it fun. Are there areas that you and your accountability partner have identified you may need to decrease spending? Or increase income? Write out your goals but don't forget to make them S.M.A.R.T.




Now let's put a little extra cash into our wallets. This next section is full of those affiliate links mentioned in our opening disclaimer. You've seen some of these before in some of our past articles. They work for me, and I hope they will work for you too!


Upside

This is a newcomer in my multiple streams side hustle lineup and has quickly become my favorite which is why it has dethroned Swagbucks as first in the list. With Upside, you get cash back on your everyday purchases (that you were already going to make anyway). So how does it work? Sign-up with my Upside referral link. Input promo code NT3G8 to get an extra $0.15/gal bonus the first time you make a purchase. You will link your credit or debit card to the app. Search the app for offers (gasoline stations and restaurants). Check-in on the app to let it know that you are at the gas station or restaurant. Shop using your linked card (their system verifies with the merchant so please be sure to use the same card you linked to the app). Upload a copy of your receipt to the app (however, if you check-in/claim offer, it rarely asks for you to upload the receipt). Receive cash back that you can cash out and send directly to your bank account, a PayPal account, or exchange for gift cards. https://upside.app.link/NT3G8 

DISCLAIMER: If you sign-up using my link and input promo code NT3G8, you will get an extra $0.15/gal bonus the FIRST time you make a purchase and I too will earn that same $0.15/gal bonus. I will also earn an additional $0.01/gal for every gallon you buy in the future. However, if you encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up with your unique referral link, YOU will earn the same commission.

To date, I have cashed out to my bank account $58.66 from Upside. I currently have on hold in the app $70.39 to cash out. There is no specific reason that I have not cashed out that $70.39 other than, I just haven't done it yet. I will make plans to do so next week because there is a stock I am interested in purchasing and that free money will go a long way to help with that goal!



Swagbucks

Companies desperately want your opinion and your engagement, and they are willing to pay for it. Swagbucks rewards members with free gift cards and cash for the everyday things they already do online. You can earn Swagbucks (SB) for shopping in-store or online, watching entertaining videos, playing games, searching the web, answering surveys, and finding great deals to earn points. You can then redeem your points for gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon or Walmart, to name a few, or get cash back from PayPal. To try it out, use my Swagbucks referral link to get started. https://www.swagbucks.com/profile/tecianay?rp=1

DISCLAIMER: If you sign-up using my link and earn 300 SB within your first month, I will earn a bonus 300 SB. However, if you encourage your friends to sign up with your unique referral link, you will earn the same commission.

Now I know my long-time followers have read about Swagbucks on this site before. You may be wondering, "Yeah I know what it says but how do you personally earn Swagbucks?" Well let's take the past month. Every time I go purchase gas, I upload a copy of my receipt into Swagbucks to earn SBs. With chain restaurants, every time I eat out, I upload my receipt to Swagbucks to earn SBs. When I went out of town twice in December once for leisure and the second time due to my mother's out of town hospital stay, I booked my hotel using Swagbucks and earned SBs for hotel stays that I was already going to do anyway. That's just the past month. Now think of 12 months and all the things you have to do anyway that you could be earning SBs for. When I have earned enough, I prefer to cash out my SBs for PayPal cash; however, there are a host of gift cards you can cash out for.



Chase Visa

Yes, I have included a credit card (which is debt I know but bear with me). There is a responsible way to use a credit card. Don't spend what you don't have and pay the bill in FULL. With my particular card, I earn 1% cash back for all purchases. Every quarter, I can earn 5% cash back on bonus categories selected by my card company. If you sign up using my Chase referral link, I will earn $50 if you get approved for a card. There are also perks for you. Select the card that fits your lifestyle and you in turn can earn $200 when you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from opening an account. https://www.referyourchasecard.com/18m/93UV8UYBC9


DISCLAIMER: Using credit is absolutely risky. Do NOT sign up for this strategy if you know you are unable to refrain from using a credit card ONLY for expenses you had to pay anyway. It is just NOT worth it otherwise. If you choose to proceed after this warning, for every person who signs up using my link and is approved for a credit card, I will earn $50. However, you will earn $200 in rewards when you spend $500 within the first three months of opening your account.

Personally, I use my Chase credit card to pay things I already have to pay for each month (gas, grocery, car insurance, cell phone bill, etc.) Rather than use cash or checks, I pay my bills with my credit card. Why is that? Cash back rewards. Just to give you an idea my car insurance plus whole life insurance policy with StateFarm is $170.07 per month. Yeah, I know that is probably highway robbery but it is what it is unless some insurance agent out there can get me a better deal (wink, wink). The point is, I have to pay that money every month if I want to remain insured. So rather than send them a check, I log-in to StateFarm's website and pay for it with my Chase card. I earn 1% cash back just for doing something I already had to do. The same is true for my AT&T cell phone. The same is true for the gas that I put into my vehicle using my Chase card that is connected to my Upside account that I eventually scan the receipt for into my Swagbucks account. Do you see the bigger picture now?



PayPal

PayPal has truly revamped how they do things since the last time I brought this offer to you all. We all know that the history of PayPal is to send money to friends or pay businesses for goods and services. However, when logging in to PayPal I see that they are making sure they remain relevant with the times and financial landscape. PayPal now has the capability of not only allowing you to pay for goods and services or send money to friends, but you can also buy crypto on their platform. Additionally, they have their own rewards program where the more you purchase using PayPal you earn points or "PayPal Rewards" for which you can redeem and turn those points into cashback. And because PayPal knows people like me do exist, they allow you to double dip (I was going to do that anyway but thanks for acknowledging it). What this means is say someone like me who has a credit card, I can use PayPal to pay for services thus earning rewards but can select my credit card as my preferred PayPal payment method (thus earning rewards). Then if I am really savvy, I can upload the receipts into Swagbucks whenever applicable and earn SBs. If you sign up using my PayPal referral link, we both can earn $10 cash back (1,000 points) when you sign up and spend $5 within 30 days. There is a limit of 10 referrals per year. https://py.pl/7nxvZ0Q5QhS

DISCLAIMER: If you sign-up using my link I will earn $10 cash back (1,000 points) when you spend $5 within 30 days of signing up. You will earn that same $10 (1,000 points) too. However, if you encourage your friends to sign up with your unique referral link, you will earn the same commission. Just remember, both you and your friends have to be NEW to PayPal meaning you have never had a prior account with them.

I haven't been using my PayPal personal account as much as I have my PayPal business account. My PayPal business account does not have the same perks as the personal account. However, when I logged in, I saw that I have 10 points in my PayPal personal account. I'm not going to do frivolous shopping because 2024 is all about getting my financial house in order. However, if I need to order from say Walmart.com using Swagbucks link so that I can get household items I already needed and was going to purchase and then I were to use PayPal to checkout with my Chase card being my preferred PayPal payment method, this would be a good and creative use of PayPal.



Google Opinion Rewards

Google Opinion Rewards primarily asks you about your recent shopping experiences. These surveys are quick, taking around 10 seconds to complete, and typically reward you with a few cents added to your account. By participating in surveys over a few weeks, you can accumulate enough Google survey rewards credit to spend in the Play Store. To use Google Opinion Rewards, you will need to sign in with your regular Google account. After signing in, you will receive an initial "test" survey. This survey serves two purposes: ensuring you understand your role in this mutually beneficial arrangement and gathering demographic information. Download Google Opinion Rewards now: https://googleopinionrewards.page.link/share.

DISCLAIMER: I do NOT earn any referral bonus or commission for referring you. So if you refer others to Google Opinion Rewards, just know that you will NOT receive any type of referral bonus. I do hope Google changes this in the future.

My experience with Google survey rewards has been that some questions are related to my online purchases but most of the other questions have been about my recent outings. I have earned enough to purchase at least one e-book. I currently have a balance of $8.18. Please be mindful that unlike the other offers I have shared with you (Swagbucks and Upside) Google Opinion Rewards do expire. I accidentally allowed some to expire towards the end of November. Oops. Don't be like me. Be better than me!



SoFi

Now that we have found you some creative methods to earn extra moolah, this next offering is a two-part offering. My hope is that you will use it to help you with Strategy #4- Set a financial goal, both big and small. But for now, a little more on SoFi of which I recently opened a checking and savings account to compliment the investment account I already had with them.



SoFi is a financial technology company and online bank headquartered in San Francisco, United States. It offers a range of financial products and services, including student and auto loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, investing, and banking. These offerings are accessible through both mobile app and desktop interfaces.


The interesting thing about SoFi is that they too have a referral program for which you can earn rewards. As of the writing of this article, with the SoFi Checking and Savings, you can earn up to 4.6% APY and pay no account fees. When you use my SoFi Checking and Savings referral link you'll get a $25 bonus.


DISCLAIMER: I will receive $75 directly from SoFi for each person who signs up using my link and funds their account with at least $10 within 14 days of starting their account. However, once you have signed up using my link, you will get a $25 bonus as long as your account is funded with at least $10 within 14 days of your opening the account. ALSO, you too will be assigned a unique referral link and will have the ability to earn $75 each time you refer someone who signs up.

How do I plan on utilizing my new SoFi Checking and Savings account? For me, it's more about the savings than anything. I really do want to make progress with setting personal financial goals this year and I want a new slate in which to track my progress. I already had a SoFi investment account so it wasn't too much of a leap for me to go ahead and open the checking and savings account. I have a new savings goal in mind but more on that next week.


But wait, I have more to say on SoFi. That's right. I have more to say on SoFi.


I personally hold my non-dividend paying stocks in my SoFi Invest account which I have had since June 2022. The amazing thing about SoFi Invest is that you can buy and sell stocks (or even pieces of stocks) with zero fees. My SoFi Invest comes with its own unique referral id link. When you use my SoFi referral link and open an active investing account with $10 or more, you'll get $25 in stock.


DISCLAIMER: I will receive $75 in stock directly from SoFi for each person who signs up using my link. However, once you have signed up using my link, you will not only receive $25 in stock but will also be assigned a unique referral link AND will have the ability to earn $75 in stock each time you refer someone who signs up.


For me, SoFi invest puts me in the unique position to access pieces of stock a little at a time that I otherwise would not be able to afford outright. That's the way I want you to think of it too for yourself. It is a way that you can expand your horizons by having your money work for you for a change. But how to fund such an account to have your money work for you? Just look at the examples above in options such as Upside, Swagbucks, and Chase rewards. Or signing up using my SoFi links and then introducing your friends, family, and networks to the same.


Yes, this new year is ripe for new opportunities for you and your wallet. Stress management and money are deeply intertwined. Ninety percent of Americans say money impacts their stress level. Let's journey outside of the 90%. Get an accountability partner. Meet with your accountability partner monthly. Use technology to set payment reminders and meeting reminders. Set financial goals for the next week, month, three months, six months, year. Use a few of my multiple streams side hustle lineup as methods to generate income flow into your life. I hope that this article has provided you with something useful as you embark on your wellness journey. Are there any opportunities you plan on signing up for? Do you have any personal income strategies that are working for you? Please share your thoughts or even advice you may have for us in the comments below. Again, as you begin this journey, do not worry about getting it perfect; just get it going. Until next time. Happy reading. New Year, New Wallet to you!



“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.” ~Albert Einstein

 

Here at EnvisionCo Blog, we try to keep ads to a minimum making our blog entirely reader-supported. We may feature links on this site for additional informational purposes. From time to time, we may feature other links which are affiliate links (and these will be clearly marked). When you click through an affiliate link on our site and sign up for a service or finalize a purchase, we may earn affiliate commissions. This is of course at no additional cost to you. However, if you like what you see and would like to make a donation to help us keep ads to a minimum, we would greatly appreciate it! Nothing fancy. We accept the price of a cup coffee with as much gratitude as we would the price of a tank of gas!





















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2 Comments


Ok ok you didn’t have to yell at me lol just joking🤣. This was a great way to start the new year with reminders on checking your financial situation. I definitely agree with the accountability partner. My cousin is mine. She may not know it 😂. It truly helps to have someone to talk to and help you rationalize and hold you accountable financially even though you may not like hearing no you probably shouldn’t do that 🤣.

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Replying to

Hey sometimes we all can use a good yelling at; I know I can 😂.


It's great that you have your cousin and your cousin is willing to stand up to you from time to time. ❤️

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