Growing Into Our New Acorns + CNBC Partnership

Here are some key takeaways from this week to help you grow your knowledge.



“We can make a difference—in large and small ways—when we prioritize caring for the future." — Dr. Ivor Benjamin, president of the American Heart Association

(Today is National Wear Red Day, in support of heart disease awareness.)


Hi! I’m Kelli, the senior editor here at Acorns + CNBC. I’m also a certified financial olanner. In case you missed it earlier this week, Acorns and CNBC have announced a new partnership to bring you resources that will help you thrive financially. CNBC is known for being the most trusted name in business news. Now we’re excited to bring our expertise here to cover the things that matter most for you and your money.

We want to help you get growing by empowering you with the knowledge and know-how you need to invest in yourself and secure your financial future. Over this first week, we walked furloughed federal workers through strategies to recover from missing two paychecks and offered tips to help you protect your property amid the polar vortex.

There’s much more to come. We all want security, flexibility, and a safety net in our lives. Thinking about what it’ll take to achieve distant goals can be a lot, no matter where you’re starting from and what resources you have. So we’ll focus on micro steps you can take now that can help you generate momentum and make a major impact over time. Along the way, we’ll be giving you articles, explainers and other tools to help you build your knowledge. Here are some key takeaways from this week to help you grow your knowledge:


Ready, set, file.

Tax season began Monday. Since then, there’s been good news and bad news about your money. First, the good: The IRS announced Tuesday it will start sending out the first round of tax refunds on time in the first week of February. But the bad news is, it also expects 2.5 million fewer taxpayers will be getting a refund than last year. We’ll be back with you next week to explain why and to help you prepare; for now, get started by watching the mail for the key documents you’ll need.

Help for furloughed workers.

Federal employees are finally seeing some cash flow, with back pay from the partial shutdown landing in their accounts this week. Check out our guide to make the most of those checks and get back on track financially. You’ll also find details on financial pros offering free one-on-one sessions for advice.

Beat this, Geico Gecko.

Sixty minutes could save you thousands of dollars on college bills. (We’ll take that over 15 minutes and several hundred dollars for auto insurance.) You’ll just need to get your financial aid paperwork in ahead of state and college deadlines, many of which are coming up fast. Like, today, if you’re in Missouri or Tennessee.


Keep calm and stay invested.

Stay the course” doesn’t mean “do nothing.” There are still plenty of actions you can take during a market downturn to reinforce your confidence. A key step: Review your plan. (Don’t have a plan? We’ll help you make one.)


Turns out, money can buy happiness.

Spending as little as $40 on something that saves time is going to make you happier than spending that same amount on stuff, according to a series of articles in the Harvard Business Review.

But…$5,000 worth of happy?

OK, so most of us aren’t shelling out for Super Bowl tickets—which, by the way, have gotten even pricier since we talked about them earlier this week. (See below.) But the next time you buy a ticket for any popular concert, sports game, theater show or other event, take a lesson from Big Game ticket sales and scrutinize the seller.

And speaking of the Super Bowl …

INSPIRE: Big gesture for the Big Game

“It takes a team to achieve the dream,” the Los Angeles Rams tweeted last week, tagging a video of wide receiver Brandin Cooks surprising team custodian Alfonso Garcia with Super Bowl tickets.

Cooks arranged for Garcia and his 8-year-old son to receive the tickets and travel expenses for Sunday’s championship game in Atlanta between the Rams and the New England Patriots. "You mean so much to us," Cooks says in the video. "Everything you do does not go unnoticed.”


A moment of mindfulness. "Talent sets the floor; character sets the ceiling." — Bill Belichick, New England Patriots head coach


We’d like to hear the financial goals you’re fired up about and the milestones you’re hoping to achieve. Let us know your best strategies and successes. If you need us to tackle a specific topic, just ask! We’re in this together, so let’s get this conversation started. Send an email to getgrowing@cnbc.com.