On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The $2.2 trillion involved in this act is purposed to provide immediate financial aid to individuals, families and businesses impacted during the Coronavirus pandemic. And supposedly, we are to start receiving this aid very soon! So . . . how do you propose to spend your “stimulus money”?
Talk about “loaded questions”! Everyone will have their own individual ideas on this, of course, depending upon their own individual situations. Obviously, many will have no choice but to use it just to live day to day for necessities. Thousands will welcome this stimulus money just as they would a paycheck, trying to make it stretch as far as they can for as long as they can because they haven’t had any paychecks in a while. A record number of Americans are awaiting unemployment compensation and this money will help fill that gap.
One thing to remember though is that the money coming from the CARES Act is not being handed out based on financial need. This is a universal program and some recipients may not necessarily have that immediate need. Let’s take a look at some possible suggestions for good use of your money if you have kept your job or are on a more solid financial footing:
- Ensure income – Even if your job seems secure, you might want to hold your money, as many could still become jobless or have a specific need during this unpredictable time.
- Start or build up an Emergency Fund – An account should cover 3-6 months of monthly budget items, including rent (mortgage payment), utilities, groceries – you get the idea.
- Pay on high-interest debt – Credit cards are a prime example; pay them down.
- Pay off debt – The more you can pay off now, the more you will save in interest later.
- Help the economy – Spending at local business may help ensure that they will not close.
- Donate – There is great need right now to financially help those organizations actually delivering services to those in need.
- Invest in your future, your goals and dreams – Now is possibly the time to start investing.
Have a great weekend!