Stimulus checks have begun getting delivered and if you are fortunate enough to be on the receiving end you may be wondering, what should I do with my stimulus check funds? I’m here to share a few ideas with you!
First let me start by explaining what this stimulus check is. The stimulus check, also know as economic impact payment, is an attempt by the federal government to provide some financial relief to Americans and help boost the economy due to the negative impacts caused by the current coronavirus pandemic. If you meet the requirements, you will receive either $1,200 as an individual or $2,400 as a married couple, plus $500 per dependent child. To receive the full amount, individuals must have had an AGI of $75,000 or less in 2019 (or 2018 if they have yet to file their 2019 taxes) or $150,000 or less for married couples. The graphic below from SmartAsset breaks down the phase out if you make over these amounts.
So, if you are one of the 150 million people receiving a stimulus check, here are some ideas for what to do with that money.
The stock market has been fairly volatile, but on those down days there are so many attractive stocks. Whether you have a regular brokerage account, a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, 529 Plan, SEP or any other type of account, investing is a good way to earn money on your money, so why not earn money on “free” money?
Add to Emergency Fund
If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us it’s that there is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. It’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund, but more now than ever. Whether your emergency fund is nonexistent, low or depleted, it may be a good idea to put your stimulus check funds towards building it up.
Using the stimulus check funds to payoff any debt you have been working on paying down is a great option, especially if you’re generally only able to make minimum payments on that debt. Consider putting the stimulus check money towards your student loans, outstanding credit card balances, mortgage, auto loan or any other debt you have.
Save for a House
Being quarantined in a 700 square foot apartment may have made you realize you badly you want/need more space, especially if you’re quarantined with one or more people. Consider putting the stimulus check funds into savings for a down payment on a house that you’ll buy after this is all over (although some people are finding creative and safe ways to still go through with the closing on their house during quarantine!).
If there’s a big home project you’ve been putting off due to lack of funds, then use the stimulus check money to put towards that project! For example, our sink had been leaking for quite some time, so my husband finally purchased one and had the time to install it himself, now that he no longer spends 3 hours of his day commuting back and forth to work.
If you’re receiving a stimulus check, but don’t need it, you can donate it to charity. There are many people who have lost their jobs or businesses. Non-profit organizations are struggling to provide services to those in need due to lack of funding during this time. Healthcare works are short on supplies. There are many different organizations or individuals who NEED this money to survive right now, so if you’re not one of them considering making a charitable donation of some sort.
This is a difficult time for us all, but hopefully the stimulus checks can help boost the economy a bit and boost morale for some of us. While it may not have a significant impact on you, the stimulus check could be helping others pay their bills. Whatever your financial situation is, if you are receiving a stimulus check be sure to do something meaningful with those funds.
How do you plan to spend your stimulus check?