Here’s how to tap into the vibrant, collaborative, and ever-inquisitive energy of Gemini season to get your money situation in order:
1. Get your Financial Lit On
With a greater focus on mental pursuits during Gemini season, it’s time to get your financial literacy on. Carve out some time to go deep on a topic that stumps you — how the stock market works, ways to save for retirement, or the difference between a checking versus a savings account. (We get it, these topics are confusing for just about anyone.)
2. Start Making Small Investments
Don’t stop there. As you learn the ins and outs of an aspect of money, take what you learned and put it to good use. Consider getting your feet wet with investing. Before you invest in the stock market:
- Make sure you have an emergency fund.
- Understand the risks of investing.
- Get rid of high-interest debt.
- Prepare for market volatility.
Remember: You don’t need a gazillion dollars to invest in the stock market. You can start small and boost the amount along the way.
Or look into contributing funds into an IRA, which can help lower your taxable income. You can also put money into your employer’s 401(k) fund and scoop up any matching contributions. Get that free money!
3. Know Your Cash Flow
Your cash flow doesn’t have to be a big question mark. One day you feel like a king, sitting on top of a pile of cash. The next day, a pauper, trying to hustle your friends for a few bucks.
Put on your analytical hat, and get to the bottom of your cash flow issues. Pull up bank and credit card transactions from the last few months. From there, you have a clearer idea of money pits. Too many happy hours with work friends? Or did you get a new gig and go hog-wild with clothes for work?
Besides the one-off expenses, look for patterns. Maybe you tend to blow half your paycheck when you get paid. (This is the Gemini way.) Then, use your newfound knowledge of your spending habits to create a budget.
4. Budget and Stick to It
Once you’ve honed in on some patterns, create a budget. A budget shouldn’t make you feel deprived. Instead, it keeps the guardrails on so you can make steady progress on your money goals. Ultimately, it’s a practical way to connect actionable financial habits to chase your dreams.
A budget should include the following:
- Basic living expenses (aka fixed costs)
- Variable living expenses (aka costs that can change month-to-month)
- Annual expenses (i.e., car registration fees, holiday shopping, annual memberships)
- One-off expenses (i.e., costs to relocate, buying furniture for a home office)
Once you’ve figured out your main expenses, consider the guilt-free budget. Pay yourself forward by stashing away a bit in savings, and the rest goes toward your costs. Then you can spend the rest without quibbling over going over budget in a single area.
5. Create a Separate Fund for Social Gatherings
As your social calendar will surely be poppin’, set up a separate savings fund for social gatherings, parties, and weekend trips with your tribe. It’ll provide a much-needed cushion for those spendy outings.
Besides setting aside a reserve for socializing, consider freebie or low-cost options. Express your willingness to spend within reason. But also let your pals know when you’ve hit your limit and would prefer a less-expensive way to hang out, don’t be afraid to toss out some suggestions.
6. Start a Side Hustle
There are many ways to make a buck, and your mind is swirling with ideas. Not sure where to start? Ask your friends and family what they think your strengths are. Then, figure out what you are good at and what types of things people might buy from you.
Plus, there’s the question of how much time, equipment, and money you would want to invest into your side hustle. If it’s more of a moonlighting scenario, where you’re doing it purely to earn an extra buck, then an easy side gig might be best.
But if you’d like to use your side gig as a stepping stone to a full-time job, then pour a bit more thought, planning, and strategy into your side hustle of choice. Gemini season is all about collective energy, so collaborate with folks whose advice you trust!
7. Sound Off on Your Money Goals
Gemini season is about self-expression. And while Mercury Retrograde might bring about mixups in communication, consider sharing your financial goals and concerns with others. Chances are, members of your tribe are feeling the same vibes.
8. Boost Your Credit Score
To figure out how to improve your credit score, think about what bumped it down in the first place. That’s the key to deciphering what steps you need to boost it. For instance, if being late — or missing payments altogether — caused your credit score to dip, then commit to staying on top of your payments.
When you sign up for a secured credit card, your credit limit typically matches your deposit. For instance, Chime’s Credit Builder offers a smart way to bolster your score. With Credit Builder, there’s no annual fee or interest. Plus, there’s no minimum deposit required.²