If you’re expecting an economic stimulus check this week, you might be looking for ideas on how to use it wisely.
Of course, there are many people right now dependent on those checks for their basic needs, to either replace or offset their missing or reduced income to pay their bills, cover their rent and put food on the table.
If you’re one of the lucky folks that still has their job, and is fortunate enough to not be laid off, furloughed or unemployed, you might be wondering how you can use this economic stimulus payment for GOOD, and not just blow it on a big screen TV.
If you have lost your job, you’ll want to check out this post on how to earn side cash doing transcription and captioning work from home.
Today’s post will talk about what to do with your economic stimulus check, how to put it to good use, and a few suggestions to consider.
Should you save your economic stimulus check?
So let’s say you are fortunate enough to still have a job, your spouse has a job and so far this current world situation hasn’t changed your employment status.
You’re one of the lucky ones! Right now, my husband and I are incredibly fortunate to both fall into this category.
While you might not have any immediate concerns about money, no one knows how this thing is going to go. Even if you have a safety net already saved up, you never know when your job situation may shift and you might find yourself in a precarious financial situation.
While it doesn’t necessarily “stimulate the economy” by putting this money in the bank, it can help your family build a very necessary nest egg in case things get worse for the economy in the coming months.
Saving is a very good option for those who aren’t going to be immediately dependent on those funds. It might sound more exciting to spend it on a new fun thing for the family, but until things are all clear, the smarter choice might be to sock it away for a rainy day.
Should you use your economic stimulus check to pay down debt?
This is going to depend on your situation, but in general this is probably a good plan! If you are able to pay down high interest rate debts with this stimulus cash, that might be a good thing!
If you already have a substantial emergency fund, paying extra towards your debts is a great way to go.
Even though your federal student loans are probably in automatic forbearance due to the CARES act, you can still make payments towards them while they are not accruing interest.
In fact, if you are able to keep making your payments like normal, this will help you get ahead and pay your loans off sooner.
The same logic applies to things like your car payment. If your interest rate for this or any other loan is not great, throwing all or even some of the stimulus payment at these loans will really cut down on the interest that accrues and help you pay things off early.
Should you invest your economic stimulus check?
You’ll want to consult with a financial advisor on this one but in general, investing could be a great idea right now!
The market may be starting to slowly recover, so snatching up shares while the prices are low could be good for your portfolio and good for the overall state of the stock market. A win-win!
Because the very nature of investments involves some risks, it’s important to consider that you could lose money when you invest your stimulus check, so keep that in mind. Make smart investment choices and only invest what you can afford to lose.
Should you donate your economic stimulus check to charity?
If you can afford to do so, there are a LOT of folks who could use the help right now. Whether that be through donating through a charitable organization, or simply purchasing necessities for a family in your community.
There are plenty of posts on Facebook and neighborhood community pages of individuals and families in need. You can also support vulnerable folks, people who are out of work or essential/health care workers.
Make sure you choose a reputable organization to donate to that will put your dollars to good use (and not just pad the pockets of their CEO) or donate directly to a family in need.
A great thing to do would be to find folks who are high risk, or a family who lost their income and deliver some basic necessities like groceries, diapers, masks or cleaning supplies to their door and leave an anonymous care package!
Should you treat yourself with your economic stimulus check?
Here’s where I am going to say something that might be a tad controversial with all those finance gurus out there.
Do I think you should “treat yoself” with money from your stimulus payment?
A little anyway.
Here’s why- mental health issues are a VERY real thing. We talk a lot about self care around here. And the trauma going on all around us right now is very real. We need to take care of ourselves, and understand that there is a real impact to our mental well being with all that’s going on.
So here’s my suggestion: if you can, use a little of that stimulus check to splurge on something for yourself or your family. Invest in some new board games, or books, or art supplies to help occupy your time.
A bouncy house for the back yard, a swingset, plans for a vacation when things go back to normal, whatever you think will give you something enjoyable to pass the time or look forward to.
Do I think you should blow the whole economic stimulus payment on frivolous things? Not at all, but there is some degree of benefit to be had from treating yourself to something to help offset the mental toll of everything going on right now!
What other plans do you have to put your economic stimulus check to good use?