When you receive your stimulus payment, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed by the options available for utilizing it. However, there are numerous ways that you can spend the money that will help improve your family’s quality of life. You can make the most of your stimulus payment by saving money, paying down debt, and purchasing items that will help improve your family’s daily financial life.
Start an Emergency Fund
If you regularly live from paycheck to paycheck, you understand the stress that this can create. Setting aside some of your stimulus payment as an emergency fund can help prevent future stress. Consider putting $500-1000 into a savings account, depending on your family’s income and expenditures.
Pay Off High-Interest Debt
It doesn’t make sense to put your money into a savings account if you’re only paying the minimum on your credit cards. You may actually be losing money. Instead, use your stimulus payment to pay off high-interest debt. This can free up money in your monthly budget, allowing you more flexibility.
Buy Emergency Supplies
Over the last year, it’s become increasingly common to see items disappear from store shelves. Purchasing a few extra groceries and masks, stocking up on a month’s worth of prescription medications, or buying some extra formula and diapers to stick in a corner of the closet may help you feel more secure. If you already have a basic food stockpile, consider items like water filters, a weather radio, or sleeping bags. Customize the supplies that you need based on your geographical area and the items that your individual family needs.
Equip Your Home Office
Remote working can be difficult, especially if your home isn’t correctly equipped to do so. If your company has you working from home for the foreseeable future, you may want to spend some of your stimulus package on equipment to make your home office more comfortable. Consider items like a second monitor, chair cushions, or ergonomic equipment to make your working space more comfortable. If you’d never intended to work from home, setting up your home office correctly is an important step that can help you feel more comfortable in the space. Correct ergonomics can also help prevent injury from using computer equipment incorrectly.
Invest in Household Items
Consider purchasing household items that can lower your weekly or monthly living expenses. Investments like a chest freezer, sewing machine, instant pot, or high-quality mixer all cost quite a bit upfront. However, they can lower your expenses dramatically and help your family be more financially independent. For example, always purchasing meat at the lowest possible price and freezing it for later can free up quite a bit of wiggle room in your monthly budget. Using an instant pot or slow cooker to make dinners on busy evenings instead of paying for takeout can save your family hundreds throughout the year.
Utilizing your stimulus payment for savings, debt repayment, and careful spending can help dramatically improve your quality of life. You’re the only one who knows what will work best for your family. However, we hope that some of these suggestions can assist you as you plan out ways to use your stimulus payments to work towards your personal financial goals.