I still have the NBA Finals on the brain, so let's stay with that theme as we talk about money. A lot of parents are about to get a huge assist. Starting July 15, you can score six monthly payments of $250 for each child under 18 and $300 for kids under 6.
This is sort of a pre-game warm-up, giving you some of your expanded Child Tax Credit in advance instead of having to wait until game day (when you file taxes next year). The IRS estimates that about 90% of eligible parents will receive the money without having to do anything extra.
But some of you may have to go on offense and take a few steps to get yours. And beware, there is a salary cap. You can click here to manage your payments, submit information if you haven’t filed taxes. On that site, you can also check whether you are eligible for these monthly payments and there is a link on the page that chronicles questions and answers about the program.
New ball game
OK, let’s just talk about basketball directly for a moment. And I mean the actual ball. The end of this Finals will be an end of an era, too. After 37 years of using Spalding, the NBA is going back to the manufacturer who provided the balls for its first 37 years — Wilson. Take a look at the new ball, which Wilson will sell to you, too starting July 29. Understandable why they wanted this high-profile customer. Do you know the sales figures just for basketballs in the U.S. last year? If you guessed $242.6 million…swish. That’s the dollar figure reported by Statista.