Make It Rain
According to The LGBT Financial Experience, a report published by Prudential, based on a 2016 survey, LGBT respondents were more likely to consider themselves spenders, compared to the general population. For some queer folks, spending is a way to impress unaccepting family members (“Hey, mom, look, I’m successful. Do you love men now?”), while other spending is merely to keep up with their peer group.
“Everyone knows the stereotype of ‘keeping up with the Joneses,’” says financial planner David Rae. “Well, there are gay Joneses too. [For some], having the latest iPhone or iWatch or car or whatever can begin to feel like a necessity.”
Must-Try Digital Helpers
Keeping an eye on your credit score is important and it can be difficult finding the right servicer to do so. Credit Sesame is a simple and free app that you can download onto your mobile device. It can help you keep an eye on your credit score and alert you when the score goes up or down, when a creditor reports something, and more. Credit Sesame is a great tool because you can check on the most important credit factors and your borrowing potential, while also getting your score free from TransUnion with monthly updates. The app (CreditSesame.com) also helps you determine if you are paying too much on credit cards and loans. The main benefit of an app like Credit Sesame is that it gets rid of the middleman of credit reporting agencies. With those, you usually have to wait for emails or letters in the mail to let you know how you’re doing. With Credit Sesame, it is a simple tapping of the screen.
Bill Shark and Trim
These do similar things: Bill Shark (BillShark.com) will negotiate with your satellite and cable providers, internet providers, home security, and subscriptions to lower your bills. It keeps 40 percent of the savings, which seems like a lot but isn’t if it’s something you don’t have time or energy to do yourself. Trim (AskTrim.com) will also renegotiate your internet and cable bills and analyze your subscription purchases to see if you want to cancel any. It takes 33 percent of any savings.
Tune In to Learn
Finally, a show that focuses on the specific financial nuances of LGBT folks. Queer Money — a podcast started by gay couple and personal finance bloggers, authors, and speakers known as the “Debt Free Guys,” David Auten and John Schneider — was actually inspired by their own money problems. Despite being financial experts in their careers, Auten and Schneider fell victim to many of the same everyday money mistakes we all make, and at one point found themselves overwhelmingly in debt. Together, as life and business partners, they managed to climb their way out of the hole (and stayed out) by developing a plan of four basic principles: 1) Use Cash, 2) Live Below Your Means, 3) Have a Financial Plan, and 4) Be Money Conscious. Their story was recently published by Yahoo! Finance in “How We Fell in Love and Climbed Out of Debt as a Gay Couple.” (Podcast.DebtFreeGuys.com)
Think financial planning requires meetings with stuffy old guys in banking suits? Nope. Afford Anything host Paula Pant dials down the financial lingo so the average listener can understand. Not only is Pant passionate about the subject, she helps her guests understand that financial planning goes beyond balancing a checkbook and making a budget. Pant’s no-nonsense podcast should inspire confidence that you can make better decisions with your money and your time.