Could today be the day? You check your banking app and feel a leap of joy when you notice $1400 extra dollars have been freshly deposited into your account! Your long-awaited stimulus check has finally arrived, but the hard work has just begun… you must now decide where and how to spend your newfound cash. Let’s explore some smart options to invest, spend, or save your precious stimulus money.
1. Shop Local
The stimulus check is, after all, supposed to stimulate the economy. Skip the Target or Whole Foods order this week and support your community by spending your $1400 locally. Start a search online and find a locally owned grocery store, a mom-and-pop diner, or perhaps a cute candy shop to create local Easter baskets for the family. Dig a little deeper in your online search than just Amazon and you might just find your new favorite store!
2. Invest In Your Vehicle
Don’t wait for a major problem to arise before you take your car to the repair shop. Invest in your car by using the money in your pocket to help you stay on track with routine care and oil changes. Investing money in your vehicle will ensure it will be around to keep you safe for years to come.
Don’t have a car yet? Check out these tips to help you find your next vehicle, and put your stimulus check toward purchasing a car that’s right for you.
3. Save It
If there is no immediate need for the extra cash at this time, save it! If you don’t already have a savings account, this is a great time to open one that has a nice interest rate so you can see your money grow. Start a “rainy day fund” for the next time you have a medical emergency or a flat tire and need some money fast.
4. Invest In Your Education
While $1400 certainly isn’t enough to get you through 4 years of college or pay off your existing student loans, It’s still a nice chunk of change to invest in furthering your education. Check out course offerings on Coursera or edX where you can learn from the best college professors from Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton from the comfort of your home.
If you’re the creative type, prestigious schools like Parsons have moved almost all their classes online, offering continuing education classes in art and design for around $800 each.
5. Pay Off Your Debt
The average American carries $6,200 in credit card debt, and high rates of unemployment and pandemic-related family emergencies can make it feel impossible to pay it off. If you’re struggling with debt, you’re not alone. Consider funneling this extra cash straight into a credit card payment to lighten the burden, or eviscerate your debt entirely by exploring the best payday loans online.
6. Treat Yourself
Use your stimulus money to reward yourself after a strenuous, unprecedented year. Renovate the bathroom and find better ways to relax, or treat yourself to a vacation or fancy dinner. While you always want to be smart with your money, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a treat every once and a while. After all, what’s the point of having money if you don’t allow yourself to enjoy it a little? Bonus points if you buy yourself a present from a local shop!
Congratulations on receiving your stimulus check! Whether you choose to treat your partner to an expensive dinner, save for that dream vacation, or simply fix that rattling noise in your old car, spending your stimulus check locally and mindfully can bring happiness to both you and the others in your community.