The coronavirus stimulus check that will be going out to most Americans is what people are thinking about right now.  Is your name on the list? Well, if your income falls under the threshold of $99,000 (or $198,000 if you’re married), you can expect a check in the mail some time soon.  Each adult will receive $1,200 ($2,400 for married couples) plus an additional $500 per child under the age 17. For couples making over $150,000 and Individuals making over $75,000, the amounts are phased out by 5% for every dollar over the threshold amounts.  If you are making $99,000 a year or more as an individual, you will not be receiving a check. Married couples making a combined income of $198,000 or more, will also not receive a check.

Now of course, everyone is wondering when this coronavirus stimulus check will be going out.  The answer is not so cut and dry.  With that being said, what is most important right now is having a plan for how best to use this money for you and your family.

Below are five smart ways to use the coronavirus stimulus check

 

Your essentials should be covered first

Have you been furloughed or have you lost your job? Your check should go towards your bills and keeping food on the table.  Now would be the time to check in with your budget and cut out the non-essentials.  This means pausing or cancelling any memberships and subscriptions too.  Your budget now needs to be about essentials only.  You should then see how much you have in your checking and savings accounts.  That money along with the stimulus check, will help give you an idea of how far your money will take you.

In addition, start seeking out financial assistance as quickly as possible, you don’t want to wait if you don’t think you can pay your bills.

Boost Your Savings

If you are still employed and you didn’t suffer a significant pay cut, you are lucky.  There are more options for what to do with your coronavirus stimulus check.  Of course your essentials need to be covered first, but after that, you should definitely add this money to your savings.  More importantly, your emergency fund should see this money.  Standard advice says to have a minimum of three months of expenses saved up in an emergency fund.  During a time like this, you want to bump that up to six months. You can keep the cash at home but it also makes sense to have it in a high yield savings account.

Given the uncertainty of how long this pandemic will have the country shut down, many people do not even know if they will still have a job at the end of this.  So although you may be safe now, the future is still too uncertain.  So in other words, don’t be foolish with the money.

Essentials and savings covered? Now comes the future

If you are one of the lucky ones to be financially secure right now, this extra money should be used for your future self.  This doesn’t just mean to max out your 401k or IRA, this also looks like investing in yourself.  Depending on your profession, this could look like taking a certification course or starting a side gig.

Another way to save you money into the future, is to invest in expenses that will wind up saving you money over time.  This could be something like car maintenance, purchasing gardening supplies to grow your own vegetables and herbs or energy related home improvements like a programmable thermostat.

Replace an inefficient appliance

Buying energy efficient appliances are another way to save you money over time.  If you have an old refrigerator or washer/dryer that are energy inefficient, consider purchasing greener options.  You will most likely see a lower utility bill. You can always donate your old ones to charity.

Pay down debt

If you are in debt, save yourself a boat load of money over the long run by using the coronoavirus stimulus check to pay it down.  Even if the stimulus check doesn’t cover the entire amount, it is still worth it to make a dent.  You can also look into doing a balance transfer to an interest free credit card.  If your credit is good, they have some great interest free options.  If your credit is not so stellar, consider looking into a debt consolidation loan.

The coronavirus stimulus checkwill  help so many Americans

With these times being so uncertain, Americans are anxiously awaiting their coronavirus stimulus check to hit their bank account.  Whether you are lucky enough to still be employed or not, you need to think about the best way to utilize this money.  Making smart decisions now will help you feel more financially secure during such tumultuous times.