Whether you have received one in the past or this is new for you, the big question is “what is the best way to use my stimulus check”? This question is on a lot of your minds right now so I’m going to break down for you the best decisions you can make with your stimulus money (or tax refund) that may be headed your way soon.
What is the best way to use my stimulus check?
In the simplest terms, the best way to use your stimulus check is make sure that your basic needs are met first. This is not the moment to be investing in bitcoin, retirement funds or even paying down debt without first ticking off these others boxes. I am recommending these things for your stimulus check (or really any influx of money you have coming in) in this specific order on purpose.
Many times you may feel pressured to choose items lower on the list to be “smart” about your stimulus check but you don’t need to impress anyone here. The most important thing you can do with this stimulus check is put yourself in a position where you feel less stressed and more secure. That’s your key goal with your finances anyway right? Be secure, live the life you love. Ok, here we go!
- Get current on all your bills – if you are behind on any payments, use the money first and foremost to get caught up. Nothing will bring you more relief than getting out from underwater with your bills.
- Start breaking the paycheck to paycheck cycle – if you do not already have a budget in place that is helping you break out of living paycheck to paycheck, now is the time to do it. Any influx of cash you can get that goes above getting you current should be used now to get you ahead of your bills. Not sure how to structure that? Read how to make a simple budget plan and download the Bulletproof Budget Template for free to get started.
- Tackle consumer debt – this step is only once you are funding all your monthly expenses, savings and spending 90-days in advance. Why not do this first? Because cash is king when the economy and jobs are in flux. Paying extra on your car is great but it won’t pay your power bill if you get laid off. It’s not a bad thing to reduce your monthly bills by paying off debt but it should not be done at the expenses of cash on hand for basic needs and bills.
- Optimize large debts – if you are at this point it may be worth considering a refinance of your mortgage, moving to a 15-year loan or other steps to reduce overall liability. If you have the cash on hand for the near tear, no consumer debt and the extra cash to work with this can be a solid strategy.
- Invest – finally, invest. This can look like many things, it could be in real estate, the stock market, foreign investments, bitcoin, you can sure get creative here.
How you might be tempted to use your stimulus check
It can be hard not to want to get a bit of cash and do something “fun” with it. If you know my philosophy by now then you know that I insist on including pleasure in your budget so don’t think I’m moving into the austere finance camp here.
I’m not. I also know that while that quick hit of pleasure hormone will feel super good – you will likely also feel the weight of guilt and shame if you don’t also use some money to make some strategically important moves with any stimulus check you receive right now.
Looking out for you and always wanting you to live long and prosper my friend!