It’s Tax Season! The check is on the way, but before you look up and wonder where the money went, let’s take a few moments to engage in a few I(s) that won’t leave YOU broke.

Investigate– Take the time to first access or investigate where your new found financial freedom is needed. Do you have to have that? Do you need that? Two questions that must be answered before you can plan your next move.

Improve– Home improvement is never a bad idea even if you don’t own a home. Your apartment may need some sprucing or some new furniture pieces, that’s never a bad idea. Grab an Ikea catalogue or your latest home accessory guide and watch your money go to work in front of your eyes. This way you can actually see where the dollars went and never feel that gut wrenching despair of money burning through your hands with no true destination.

Invest– Here is where you get your grown woman on as you start to think about the word PORTFOLIO. Think about putting that check into a stock account and let it invest in your future. Now of course you will have to put more money in throughout the year, but what better way to get started than your lump sum income tax check. Many investment firms such as Edward Jones, Ameriprise Financial, or Merrill Lynch can help you navigate your first couple of thousand dollars to a fruitful end.

Imagine– If you are the creative type don’t let your funds leave your hands without funding your imagination. If you need those coveted new art supplies or you finally have the funds to buy that new piece of artwork, do that! Let those images of starting your own creative outlet emerge with your new seed money that will not take away from your everyday. The play that you want to direct and produce, the book that you want to finally write and have edited and self-published, the cinematography class that you’ve always wanted to take but could never find the funding…it’s here and it’s time!

Indulge-Okay, lastly, we know that our inner Beyoncé will not let us have any peace if we don’t get that slaying bag, or accessory, or dress. The inner diva voice that we can’t deny, but please promise to keep this calling to a minimum so that you’re not left hollering broke in the end. That will not be honoring our inner Cardi B…our true money moves.

Written By: Sabreen Shabazz-Straker, @threepeatteach

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