Financial Freedom Gauge

Unsure about what you want to do with your stimulus check?

We think it would be a great idea to use this stimulus money to build your financial security.

This week marks the beginning of the stimulus check release to all eligible Americans. In this strange and uncertain time, we should be thinking long-term when making financial decisions. Unemployment is on the rise and people are struggling to make ends meet.

Below are 8 ways we encourage you to use your stimulus check to benefit your financial future.

Pay bills: Catch up on bills such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and credit card debt. You save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress when you stay on top of your monthly bills. Whether you pay them now or later, you are still responsible for the balances so working to make sure you are caught up is a win-win for you. In fact, paying ahead a few months can really help alleviate the stress of falling behind, while allowing you to save for next month’s bills.

Emergency fund: Did you know that many Americans struggle to maintain an emergency fund of $1000 or more? By setting up an emergency fund, you ensure that your bills will get paid in the event of a job loss, sickness, or some other setback. Saving the stimulus money for this fund is a great start to the recommended 3-6 months of savings you should have in case of an emergency. For some, who are waiting for unemployment payments to come in, or have no income, this emergency fund could make a difference.

Pay down debt: If you already have an emergency fund set up and you are caught up on all your monthly bills, consider paying down your high-interest debt. By decreasing those balances, you will save money and lower your monthly payments.

Add to your savings: Research local financial institutions that offer high-interest savings and checking accounts. Not only will your money be easily accessed, but it will be safe and secure while earning more interest.

Purchase essentials: Many people have dwindled their resources over the past few weeks so using the money to replenish essential needs, such as food, prescriptions, and oil can really help mend the road ahead. Be sure to look for ways to stretch every dollar by using coupons and checking for the lowest oil rates out there.

Purchase gift cards: By purchasing gift cards from local businesses, such as restaurants and salons, you are not only stimulating the economy, but you are helping small business owners who are struggling to stay afloat. We want them to have the ability to reopen and provide the services that we need when this is over.

Savings for kids: Consider saving the additional $500 stimulus for children under the age of 17 for college savings or school clothing in the fall. Investing in your children’s future is never a bad idea.

Invest: Right now, the stock market is a good place to invest your money. It is unfortunate that the stock markets took such as hit, but because of that investing is prime, so take advantage while you can. We suggest you reach out to a licensed professional for help with this.

If you are looking for help with your budget or need more information about the information above, contact me by email at Creynolds@newdimensionsfcu.com or call 872-2771. From drafting an effective budget, ideas on increasing savings, crafting meal plans, debt restructuring, to credit building; I’m here to help! Together, we will get through this and come out ahead!