Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
As a freelancer writer, it’s unlikely that you’ll receive a Christmas bonus. Depending on your flow of work, you may also find it difficult to save for some of the more pressing expenses for the home. However, you could start saving for Christmas 2018 by using systems like Stash.
What Is Stash?
First, let me get this out there: I am not a stock expert. In fact, I am relatively new to the idea of investing money in businesses other than my own. However, my experience so far has been a good one.
[adrotate banner=”8″] Stash is a system I’ve been using since August of 2017. It’s a platform that lets you invest with any amount of money without requiring a transaction fee like other stock systems. For example, I started with $10 and haven’t looked back.
Stash is based using ETFs, or Exchange-Traded Funds. These ETFs are composed of many different companies simultaneously within a single share. This means the one share benefits from all the companies within it. For instance, the company Intel makes up 4.89% of the SCHD ETF while Home Depot makes up 4.7%.
Why is this important? Because of how ETFs are designed, they are less risky. If a single company goes belly-up, the others can pick up the slack.
What makes Stash such an attraction for many is that you can buy partial shares of an ETF. So, you can still own $5 worth of a stock that is actually valued at $100 without needing the entire amount.
Although the system provides free trading, it does charge you a dollar per month to maintain. This is until your balance grows into the thousands, at which point the monthly fee changes. However, I’ve still made more money using Stash than if I were to put it into a savings account…a lot more.
Using Stash to Save for Christmas 2018
Platforms like Stash are handy when it comes to saving for any large expense, including Christmas. Not only are most ETFs built with the best and most long-term businesses on the stock exchange, but the ETFs in Stash also provide dividends.
By the time Christmas 2018 rolls around, you could be sitting on quite a hefty amount of money. That is, as long as the economy continues to grow and you put in a realistic amount of money each month.
How Much Should You Put Away?
As a freelance writer, you need to pay close attention to your finances. Taxes, vacations, sick time, insurance and other monetary obligations need to be planned for in advance. Otherwise, you could find yourself in some seriously hot water.
Figure out how much you need to keep your bills paid while putting away a reasonable amount. A good way to do this is by calculating a percentage based on what you would pay if you were working full-time at a traditional job.
After this Christmas, I plan on putting at least 10% of my earnings into various investing platforms including Stash. In reality, this isn’t enough to pay everything I need. However, it’s a start – and I am perfectly capable of putting in more if I possibly can.
Finding the Right ETF
Exchange-Traded Funds are usually set up with a common theme or idea behind them. This means each will have a different collection of businesses powering the investment. Luckily, Stash arranges these in an easy to find manner.
For instance, I invest in the “Delicious Dividends” ETF on Stash simply because it has a higher growth and return rate than others. I also put money into “Blue Chips,” and “Do the Right Thing.” You’ll have to spend some time looking at what companies comprise each ETF to find one you agree with.
The only thing I don’t like about Stash at the moment is the lack of different ETFs available. Right now, there are only a handful of funds you can buy. However, this collection is made up of some of the most effective shares on the stock exchange.
The ETFs I buy into pay out quarterly dividends. These funds are based on how much of a share you have purchased through Stash. So, if you only have $25 in an ETF that is actually worth $100, you’ll only receive 25% of a dividend offered per share.
My first dividend payout from “Delicious Dividends” was $0.08. This was because I only had $10 invested in an ETF valued at $45 at the time.
Once you receive your dividend, you have two choices: you can pay yourself out by transferring the funds to your bank, or you can reinvest it to grow your account for Christmas 2018.
Personally, I suggest putting the money back into investments as it will contribute to how much the account is worth by the time you need it to buy presents.
Understand Your Risks
As with any investment, you need to understand the risks involved. Sure, ETFs are far less likely to suffer complete failure as opposed to a single company. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In the stock market, anything is possible.
Never put money into investments that you’re not afraid to lose. NEVER take a mortgage on your home to buy into something like Bitcoin. If stocks take a nose dive next year, it’s only Christmas 2018 that is ruined and not your lifestyle.
Am I afraid of losing my investments before next Christmas? Absolutely. But so far, everything has been working out so well…and I would hate for that fear to prevent me from having a more secure financial future.
Think of an investment as the hope the company will perform well in the years to come. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. Look for stocks that demonstrate longevity and invest for the long-term.
Planning for the Future
As a freelance writer, I often think about where I am headed from a financial standpoint. I’ve made twice as much this year as I did last, but that’s not saying I’ll have the same luck before Christmas 2018. Keep your eye on the horizon, but don’t let something shiny blind your sight.
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