A young family playing with a toddler under a box at home.

How to spend your stimulus check

Many Americans will be receiving, if not already, a stimulus check of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child as part of the federal government’s coronavirus relief efforts. This money is intended to help U.S. households weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic and pump some extra cash into the economy by supporting consumer spending. However, the best use of your stimulus check depends on your individual financial situation. Here are five ideas for how to spend your stimulus check.

1. Cover the basic essentials 

Start with the necessities and pay bills that require immediate attention like making payments on your mortgage or rent and staying current on your utilities.  

2. Pay down existing debt

Kick a portion of your debt to the curb by using the money from your stimulus check to pay down debt, especially any high interest credit card debt you may have. 

3. Build your emergency funds

If you have little to no debt, consider putting at least some of your stimulus check into an emergency fund. Even if the money isn’t needed right away, having it available for later is a financial cushion that provides some peace of mind. 

4. Invest for the future

Save the money for retirement by putting it into a Traditional or Roth IRA. 

5. Support local businesses 

Consider spending some of that money locally to support businesses that are hurting from the coronavirus impact like buying your family some nice takeout dinners from your favorite restaurants.  
Think carefully about how you can get the most out of your stimulus check money. Hopefully this extra cash can help you stay financially stable during uncertain times.
If you're eligible, you can track the status of your check through an online portal on the IRS website called Get My Payment. Millions of people qualify for the coronavirus payment, so receiving the money could take time.

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