Hey Taylor: Bet you haven’t heard this question before (haha). Any tips for the best way to make my stimulus check count? Don’t love the idea of a handout so if I’ve got the money I want it to go to good use. - Nico
Hey Nico: Another month, another round of stimulus! The whole goal of these payments is to stimulate the economy, so that’s our job as recipients. Of course, there are a lot of ways to go about this.
Get your finances back under control. If you’re one of the workers who was hit hardest by this pandemic and the ensuing shutdowns, you need to use this money wisely. Do whatever you can to get back on your feet and comfortable. The economy does much better when more people are self-sufficient, so if you can turn a stimulus check into a new job, then you’ve done the best thing possible for your situation.
Shop local. As you’ve probably heard, big companies like Amazon didn’t struggle much over the last year. It’s the small businesses that took the biggest hit, so that’s where you need to spend if possible. Take your bike to get repaired at the local shop or donate some of your cash to an afterschool program that hasn’t been able to hold classes. Those of us who were fortunate enough to keep earning a paycheck should try to think of the ways we can help people who had a tougher go of it while things were shut down.
Go to restaurants. When you go out to eat, you spread the wealth very effectively. Cooks, wait staff, and food and drink vendors all take home a slice of that pie, so you can feel good about your choice to dine out instead of cooking at home. This is also a great opportunity to tip big, as we all know waiters and waitresses who could use a little extra padding in their wallets.
Get out of debt, invest, save for a home. If you’re all square on the points above, go ahead and use this money to better your life in whatever way you see fit. Pay off a credit card or open a brokerage account. If you’ve been meaning to start saving up to buy a house or a car but never felt like the money was there, this could be the first step. As soon as this money hits your bank account, it’s yours to use in whatever way you want. Don’t stress too hard about making the “right” choice with how to spend money that’s rightfully yours.
This is always a good question, so I appreciate you asking it. Hope everything works out!
Disclosure: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.