Depending on your financial situation, you may feel conflicted about how best to use your COVID-19 stimulus check. The coronavirus pandemic has left millions of Americans unemployed, and the stimulus check has often gone to cover necessary expenses like rent, utilities and food. However, if you are still employed or in a financial situation where you can use your stimulus check for something else, here are six ideas on how to use it:
1. Save It
The best thing to do with free money is to save it for a rainy day. If you are in a secure financial position and do not have any basic necessities to cover, consider putting the $1,200 toward your general savings or a specific investment, like buying a new car or saving for a baby.
2. Spend It Carefully.
It is no secret that the pandemic has uprooted the global economy. The United States economy depends heavily on consumer spending to remain healthy, and consumers have been spending record low amounts since the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown. Depending on where you live, consider buying from a small business or getting takeout at a local restaurant. You’ll support small businesses during this difficult time and help stimulate the economy.
3. Donate a Portion.
COVID-19 has made things difficult for many people. Frontline workers risk putting their families in danger every day, and millions of people are out of work. If you can spare it, consider donating to a charity or non-profit of your choice. Just be sure to research the organization carefully to ensure your money is going toward your desired cause.
4. Pay Debt.
Many households are spending less overall, taking fewer trips and eating out less often. If you are still paying off student loans or owe significant amounts on credit cards, consider using the stimulus check to pay a portion of these debts off.
5. Make Smart Investments.
If you are in the financial position to do so, you may want to consider putting the $1,200 toward a smart investment. Maybe you are preparing to send a kid to college or want to put some extra money into your retirement fund. Whatever the reason, make sure you choose wisely and do not invest in volatile markets.
6. Cover Necessities.
You may feel secure in paying rent this month, but how big is your financial security net? If you are able to cover the monthly bills comfortably today, consider saving your stimulus check as a financial buffer for when things may be more financially tight. Setting up a realistic safety net in case there are any sudden changes to your income is a great way to protect yourself during an unstable economic period.
Making Stimulus Check Decisions.
Receiving $1,200 in the mail is a rare occurrence. If you are unsure how to best use your stimulus check, consider your financial situation and any areas where you need the most assistance. If your necessities are covered, perhaps you can put the money away for an emergency fund or use it for a smart investment. Whatever action you take, consider these six helpful things to do with your COVID-19 stimulus check.