5 Smart Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
So, pretty much everyone in America has gotten their stimulus check from the federal government in hopes that we can bring the economy back up to speed. I know that many will spend the check on bills and groceries or on extra loan payments, but if you find yourself wondering what in the world to do with it, I am 100% certain that you can make a smart decision with this.
Before spending or saving a dime, I always recommend giving a portion to the Lord. Give during contribution time at your local congregation or give online, however your church conducts giving. I’m a fan of doing this as soon as you receive any type of income – AKA giving your "firstfruits" – so that you don’t miss the money you give and can be a “cheerful giver” as the Bible calls it.
After your offering is taken care of, there are several other ways to be smart with this new money. Here are my top ideas:
Make an Emergency Fund – If you don’t have one, make one. Here’s a fun fact: The average American cannot afford a $400 expense if it were to arise. Woah. $400 pop-up expenses are not uncommon, so we have to prepare! Put a good portion of your check toward a separate bank account solely for this purpose. You’ll have some security in the case of an emergency and won’t be left scrambling for cash when the time arises.
Invest in your EDUCATION – Sign up for that expensive training program you’ve been wanting to try, or take an online course that will help you level up your business. Whatever it is, investing money in your education now can create financial benefits down the road.
Invest in your FUTURE WEALTH -- Open a retirement savings account. You can usually do this at your local bank or brokerage firm. Do a little research on different types of accounts before you fully invest, but my choice is typically a Roth IRA. This type of account is taxed when you contribute your money, not when you take it out. The idea is that you’ll save tax dollars with this type of account and be able to save for retirement as you continue to contribute to it. If you already have an emergency fund, this is definitely a smart next step.
Invest in your HOME – Invest a little more equity in your home with improvements. Pave the driveway, fence in the yard, redo the floors. First off, these improvements can potentially increase the value of your home. Secondly, certain home improvements are tax deductible upon sale of the home. This could mean more bucks in your pocket down the road.
Invest in your COMMUNITY – If you’re dead set on spending your stimulus check, I would think long and hard about where you choose to shop. Our small businesses are taking a hit during this time, so try to support them the best you can. Wanting to splurge on a whole new outfit? You might want to visit a local boutique. Wanting to decorate your room? Local stores have you covered. Of course, a trip to TJ Maxx would be lovely, but I encourage you to spend a small penny at the retail stores in your community.
There you have it, folks. Of course, only you know what's truly best for you and your family, but these 5 ideas are my top ones for spending new money wisely.