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The Best Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check

By Vast Bank on 04.21.2020

If you’re one of the millions who will be getting a check, you might be wondering how to best use that additional tax-free cash. 

If you’re struggling with debt or with paying your bills, this check might come at just the right time. But if you have the flexibility to use your stimulus check for something other than bills, we’ve got some ideas for you. 

Here are 4 ways to best use your stimulus check: 

1) Pay bills

Prioritize paying bills  to ensure your month-to-month expenses are paid on-time to avoid late fees and penalties. Consider calling your mortgage and credit card companies to see if they are waiving fees or giving extensions to pay their bills due to hardships related to the virus. If you need extra time, call those companies and ask about exceptions. You’d be surprised to find out that many times, customer support representatives are authorized to make these exceptions over the phone. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call. 

2) Pay down debts

If your bills are covered, then tackle the next most important thing: your debts. Debts include credit cards, auto and student loans and mortgages. Use your stimulus check to pay down your highest interest debts first - such as credit card debt. Getting rid of high interest debts as quickly as you can. Can help you save on interest month to month. 

3) Consider investing

With lower stock prices, this might be a good opportunity to invest in stock as they bounce in the long-term.  Or consider opening an investment account for your kids. Of course there is always inherent risk when investing.   Speak with a financial advisor who will take a look at your current financial position and goals so that you receive personalized recommendations on how to best invest your money. 

4) Stick it in a High-Yield Savings Account

Deposit that stimulus check directly into a high-interest savings account for a rainy day. Love extra credit? Choose to save with a local community bank like Vast Bank. With so many unknowns right now, it may be helpful to have some extra cushion if you need it in the next few months. The power of compound interest is real. 

Related: Shop Local? Here's Why You Should Bank Local Too

Don’t need your stimulus check? 

If you’re not looking for extra help paying your bills, and your debts are manageable and you’re not going to invest extra money right now, there are a couple of ways to use that money for the greater good. 

  • Spend it on your local economy. Not surprisingly, just spending that money may help spur on your local economy. Try to spend your stimulus money with local businesses. Consider buying gift cards at your favorite local spots like restaurants, salons or coffee shops that take online gift card orders. 
  • Give to charity. One of the most straightforward and common ways to give your stimulus money away is to make a charitable contribution. These contributions can generally be made online, and you have the freedom to choose any charity that resonates with you. If you’d like to make a charitable contribution but you’re not sure what charity to pick, check out the Tulsa Community Foundation for help deciding where your stimulus check should go.

Depending on your current financial picture, you can use one or a combination of all of these suggestions to make an impact in your family and local economy. How do you plan to use your stimulus check? 

For more information about Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments, visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments

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