Soon many Americans will begin receiving a stimulus check from the Federal government as a way to put money directly in the pockets of families struggling to manage during the coronavirus pandemic. Single adults with gross income of $75,000 or less may receive a one-time check for $1,200. Married couples with gross incomes less than $150,000 who filed jointly will receive $2,400. Families will get an additional $500 for each dependent under age 17.
So what should you do with the money you receive? How you use your relief stimulus check is up to you and your family. It is being provided to continue to meet the needs of your household. But, here are five ways you could consider using your stimulus money:
- Catch up or keep your monthly necessary expenses current. Focus on maintaining your “four walls" first – food, housing, utilities, transportation. If you have any past due expenses, take care of those by making a payment and setting up a payment plan with the service provider.
Not sure of all of your expenses? Complete a personal spending list and budget to help find out!
- Consider saving a portion for future bills and expenses. This can be especially important if you are not currently facing a shortage, but may be in the future due to reduced income or job changes.
- Start or give your emergency fund a boost. Ideally, having three to six months of necessary expenses is ideal, but having some reserves is always better than none at all! Even during this challenging time, try to build or maintain a habit of saving money in a reserve account for emergencies. A Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU) TrueSaver® or Money Market account is a great place to do so.
- Refresh your grocery stock. You will want to continue to maintain a supply of at least two weeks of groceries in your home. Create a list and allocate a specific amount of your stimulus funding toward stocking up on basic food items. A WPCU Money Market account is a great place to store your cash, and still have access to it when you need it the most!
- Consider giving. After you have taken care of your necessary expenses and saved, and if you are not facing income reductions or job changes, you may consider donating to a local organization. Many organizations are supplying food and other resources to families, and continue to provide essential services during this time. In addition, the Federal CARES Act has made some provisions to support charitable giving during the pandemic.
For more information regarding Economic Impact Payments, please click here.