Nicholas’s Story: Learning the Ways of the Stock Market

Meet Nicholas, an Amazon delivery person who lives in New York City.

How do you like New York?

I’ve lived in New York City all 22 years of my life. There are so many jobs and public transportation runs 24/7. Though lately, the transit system has been running 20 hours a day instead of all day. It’s not a popular opinion around here, but I think people are better off getting their own vehicle because public transportation always has delays.

What’s your profession?

Right now, I’m doing deliveries for Amazon and I’ve been doing so for the last three years. This has always been a weekend type of thing, and it’s always come in handy during times like this. I had another job in the past, but I was laid off due to COVID.

I also do focus groups and surveys online during the week whenever possible. The little extra income is nice.

Walk me through a day in your life.

Recently, I got into following the stock market. I already live on the East Coast, so it’s easy for me to wake up before 9am and look at the daily news and how it influences the market. From 9am to 4pm, I stare at the screen and the market going up and down. Of course, I shower and brush my teeth in between.

On the weekends, I go to my Amazon delivery job, come home, rest, and prepare myself for the next day.

Tell me more about your experience with watching the stock market.

It was good until today. I watch the numbers go up and down throughout the day. I’ve been day trading, and I discovered that it’s a lot more expensive than just investing. I learned that I’ll have to save more money for taxes next year. Right now, I’m learning about tax deductions and what I may qualify for.

Day trading is just a lot more riskier than normal “set it and forget it” investing. One day you could make thousands of dollars, and the next day you could be back at square one. I saw the gains people were making and thought, “Maybe I should give it a try.”

How are you and your family coping with what’s going on?

We’ve been collecting unemployment and saving as much as we can with the funds that the state offers.

What was it like filing for unemployment?

Compared to my parents, filing for unemployment was easier for me because I had W-2s through my job. My parents are both self-employed, so the process was more difficult for them. The government asked for documents they didn’t have.

Other than that, I claimed late and it made me regret not filing for unemployment earlier. I was supposed to get my shift job back in June, but then I got laid off, so I didn’t start collecting until after I was officially laid off.

I didn’t know that you could still work while collecting unemployment insurance. So, right now, I can work and also receive unemployment insurance, but I get a reduction on the amount of funds I’d receive.

Have you had to dip into your savings to help weather what’s happening?

Yes, I have. I had to dip into my savings before I filed my unemployment claim and started receiving unemployment insurance.

What’s your proudest financial achievement?

I’m starting to manage my money better nowadays. I used to have issues with spending.

Since the pandemic started, I’ve been making more money online doing surveys and participating in focus groups. In fact, I now make more in supplemental income online than I do from my regular weekend job. The additional money I’ve earned has been helping me save more and invest. I don’t know what jobs there might be in the future, and it’s nice to have some savings on the side.

What does money mean to you in your life?

It means financial freedom. To me, money is happiness. I can achieve happiness when I put my money to good use.

I had student loans, and I was able to pay it off using the unemployment insurance I received. I didn’t have to stress about that debt anymore.

How do you feel about SaverLife?

It’s a great website that gives you many financial topics to look at. The site definitely helped me save money, and it’s how I discovered investing. I like the $5 you could win with Scratch & Save.

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