Spending Your Stimulus Check
Everybody is doing it. Every single person I know and probably every single person you know is checking their bank account waiting to see their stimulus check drop. Some people, of course, have already received theirs. Whether you're working or not, you're getting a check. Basically unless you make six-figures, you're getting the full amount. There are other restrictions too, like if you can be claimed as a dependent or don't have a Social Security number.
I think the whole idea of pushing this money out to people is amazing and vital for so many reasons. Everyone's lives have changed so much and money is always going to be a stresser during tough times. By giving the people money, some of their stress will hopefully be eased.
While I don't think anyone really plans on buying a tiger because they're "only $2,000" (thank you, Tiger King), I feel this post is important. I hope it can give people ideas or inspiration. Your money is your money and I'm absolutely not telling you how to spend it. I am, however, giving you ideas if you need them.
Pay Yo' Bills
This is an obvious way you can use your stimulus check. But I felt that if I didn't list it and I only listed my 'less obvious suggestions', I'd get some comments. So here it is. If you need to pay your bills, you can use your stimulus check for bills. There are many great companies deferring payments and granting extensions BUT that money is still going to be expected at some point. If you take care of it now, you don't have to worry about getting kicked with 3x your rent in three months.
Feed Your Family and Stock Your House
The other day there were families lined up for hours waiting to get boxes of food at Alameda Park. This kind of thing both warms my heart and breaks it. It's amazing that this opportunity exists to help families but heartbreaking that families are in such binds that they can't afford to buy the groceries they need. This is another one that I think is obvious. If you need food, toilet paper, or whatever, use your stimulus.
Now to the less obvious suggestions!
Invest in stocks / 401K
Don't need your stimulus check for bills or other necessities and want to make this money work for you? Invest in some stocks or dump it into your 401k. This option may not be as fun because you aren't likely to see an immediate reward but, in the long run, that $1,200 could turn into much, much more.
Invest in your dreams
I am all in on chasing your dreams right now. Going full force towards the thing that lights your soul on fire. I owe a lot of this recent energy to Rachel Hollis. I just finished 'Girl, Stop Apologizing' the other day and woof! She hits the nail right on the head. So many of us stop doing what we love because we're worried about what other people will say. Ridiculous! You want to do direct sales? Do it. You want to start a podcast? Do it. Whatever it is that you've been wanting to do, just go after it. Now is the time.
You can use your stimulus check to help fund your dream. If you're interested in pursuing photography, for example, you should probably have a camera. Good cameras are expensiveeeeeeee, friends. A nice DSLR costs a pretty penny, not to mention all the accessories and software you'll need to really thrive in the business. If this money can help your dream of running your own business, maybe investing in your equipment is the way to go for you.
Donate to a family in need
Some of you may want to just skip past this one and that's okay. I get it, I do. Most people are receiving this check, so why would you donate yours?
Well... if you're fortunate enough to not need this money, you may be in a position where this gesture is possible. There are families, believe it or not, who will need more than what they're receiving from the stimulus check, their jobs, or unemployment to run their homes. Certain medical conditions are so expensive that it's disgusting. The fact that some people have to weigh their options between having the medicine they need or paying rent just makes me sad and mad all at once. So let's say you know a family that could really use this extra help. Maybe donating your stimulus to help keep their household running is for you. I got this idea from an Instagram post where a person prompted others to 'Share Something They Did for Someone Else Today'. When I read it that someone had donated their check, it almost brought me to tears. It's the kind of thing that makes your soul feel good. Honestly, they inspired this entire post. So shout out to that incredible, anonymous person. You are a light!
Support Small Businesses
Small businesses are the pillars of our communities. There are so many amazing places out there and this pandemic is crippling them. Some are fortunate enough to have been operating under adjusted operations but many had to shut down entirely. A lot of the ones that are open are being overwhelmed with the flood of requests. So maybe, using your stimulus check to support small businesses is your thing.
Make a list of your favorite places. Then, buy gift cards to those places or utilize their curbside/delivery services. If they're not currently open, check their websites to see if you can purchase one online or message their social media pages to see how you can help get them through. This way, they're getting your support during a time they need it most. If they're open and you can use it now, great! If not, maybe it helps them pay a bill this month to keep them going until they can open their doors again.
Gift It Forward
This one piggybacks off the idea of using your stimulus to supporting small businesses. I love this idea so much. When I came up with it, I knew it was the right one for me. I'm very fortunate in my current circumstances and I am fully aware of the privileges I have to even consider this as an option. I still have a job (despite hours being cut), my finances were budgeted a little ahead, and I'm living at home. It would most likely not be possible if I were not living at home. This option is obviously not for everyone.
So let's say you want to pay it forward and help out local families but you also want to support your small businesses. Call your small business(es) of choice and purchase a gift card over the phone. Ask them to then use that gift card as a credit for the next however many sales it will cover. Boom. It's that easy. You just gifted it forward.
I love this because the people that will be receiving this gesture were already planning to support small business, so it acts as a thank you to them for shopping small versus big corporation. It's also a way of ensuring that the money you're donating also benefits the places you care about most. You can also gift it forward by buying your local first responders lunch or asking the coffee shop at the hospital to add a credit for the workers.
Ultimately, what you decide to do with your stimulus check is up to you. If you want to spend it on an online shopping spree because you need retail therapy? I fully support that too! Like I said, it is your money. Do what you want with it. The above ideas are just that - ideas.
Til next time,