Skimm Money: Stimulus 3.0, Big Tech, and Windfalls

Published on: Mar 12, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
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Well, it’s been a year. Literally. This week marked the pandemic's official one-year anniversary. Related: What is time? We don't have an answer. But we've got this week's money news covered.

Headlines, Skimm’d 
  • Stimulus 3.0 is a go. President Joe Biden signed the $1.9T relief package into law yesterday. We Skimm'd what's in it for you here.

  • International Women’s Day hits different. Monday's IWD theme was "Choose to Challenge," encouraging all those for equality to call out what's working against it. Which is a lot now. In a recent survey, nearly 60% of Americans said the pandemic's made the workplace worse for women. And 22% of women said they've had career setbacks.

  • Goldman Sachs is investing $10B+ in Black women. Its new initiative aims to narrow the gender and racial wealth gaps and positively impact 1M Black women by 2030 – a move their research says could create up to 1.7M US jobs and boost GDP by up to $450B a year.

  • Are you still watching...someone else’s Netflix? The streaming service disagrees 'sharing is caring' and is telling some users to get their own accounts.

Make Good (Money) Choices

If you feel a windfall coming your way…

Don't blow it. Before spending your stimulus check, tax refund or work bonus, make a plan for how you can use that money to improve your financial situation now and later. Future You says thanks.

If you can't believe you've lived a year in a pandemic...

Think about all that’s changed about work and money. From how many of us live at the office now to “stimulus plan” becoming regular vocab outside of Econ class to the stock market’s wild moves. (More on that below.) Oh, and that buying groceries is a thing that happens online now for a lot of people – a trend experts say is here to stay. (Psst…we’ve got recs to make meal-planning easier. And a little more fun.)

If you love credit card rewards…

Play it cool. Unlike one man who gamed the system, earning rewards off buying $6.4M worth of gift cards in two years. Some of which he used to buy money orders. Which he then used to repay his credit card balances. Still following? In the end, he got more than $310K in rewards...and now owes back taxes on some of it. You can still play the rewards game (without catching the IRS's attention) by getting a card that rewards your normal spending habits, like extra points on groceries or gas. And by remembering to activate any rotating rewards, like for special spending categories or specific stores. Win (less sketchy) win.

Asking For A Friend

Q: What's going on with tech stocks right now?

A: Buckle up. Over the last few weeks, shares of popular companies like Apple and Tesla fell hard, sending the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index into correction territory before starting to rebound earlier this week. (A correction = a 10%+ drop from a recent peak.) Meanwhile, the Dow Jones – an index of 30 large US company stocks – hit a new record.

One reason why: tech stocks that soared during the pandemic are expected to take a backseat to businesses poised to profit more from the economic recovery. Think: banks, consumer brands, and energy companies – some of which are in the Dow and have contributed to its rise.

Your move: take a step back. If the market's ups and downs make you nervous, try not watching so closely. But if you still can't stand the thought of losing any money, consider adjusting your long-term investing strategy to something you're more comfortable with.

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Skimm'd by: Ivana Pino, Stacy Rapacon, and Elyse Steinhaus