No better time to practice fiscal responsibility than when a log of money falls in your lap.
With any luck, your stimulus check has already been deposited into your bank account. As we’ve said in previous articles, if you haven’t provided the IRS with direct deposit info, you’ll receive a check in the mail in the next few weeks, and a memo that the check was sent 15 days after that. For everyone who has already received their money, now the all-important question is what to do with it.
If your income has been directly impacted by the pandemic, then your course of action should be obvious: utility. Put the money toward important regular necessities like groceries, utility bills, insurance bills, and rent. Well, maybe not rent, since $1,200 is maybe half of a typical rent payment these days, but you could definitely use it for all of that other stuff if you spread it out carefully.
If you’ve still got a steady job and your income isn’t in danger, you can be a little more flexible with the money. The path I would recommend is saving it for an emergency, doubly so if you don’t have a particular kind of insurance. That said, I also understand what it’s like to have a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket, so if it’s in the name of your mental health, it’s okay to treat yourself to something cool. Just don’t use up the whole thing.
You could also invest the money, though I’d recommend being especially careful about that considering the current volatility of the stock market. If you really have no need for the money, well, there are a lot of reputable charities out there looking to help the less fortunate through these tough times. You won’t get a return, but you’ll make sure someone else gets food on their plate.
In the end, it’s your money, and you do what you want with it. Who knows, maybe we’ll get another stimulus payment before all this ends. Or maybe it’ll end first. That’d be nice, I’d prefer that.