There are talks of a stimulus check which is officially referred to as economic impact payment by the government. This is a welcome development for a lot of people who are struggling to make ends meet. Several Americans were let go at work as companies tried their very best to adjust to the effects brought by the health crisis.
As people were ordered to stay at home, industries suffered massive losses and had to cut down on overhead. Sadly, this meant a lot of people were out of a job. This is why the stimulus money received when the pandemic hit early in the year was well-received. A new one before the year ends could help those affected the most get through the year on a high note.
The concern at the moment is if it will be given out and what amount it will be. Many reports are coming out that it will be about $600. But Business Insider shared that this amount might not last very long. Their survey revealed that on average, the amount can last a couple receiving $600 each about 6.72 days for homeowners and 10.96 days for renters.
The stimulus check might not be the same amount as the first ones given out but it is still extra money at the end of the day. How it impacts your finances is totally up to you. You can use the money to help you stretch out your finances and cover more ground. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Do you need the check?
This is the first question that should be on your mind when it comes to the economic impact payment given out by the government. A lot of people are affected where they lost their jobs or were asked to put in shorter hours during their shift. And for business owners, a lot of them had to close their doors and wait for things to go back to normal.
But there is a chance that you are not affected by all of these. You could still be putting in regular hours of work or your business is unaffected by the crisis. There are some industries that are able to continue operations throughout the health crisis. Most of these are essential industries people needed even when they were staying at home.
If you are part of this statistic, there is a good chance that you do not have much need for the stimulus check. When this happens, you can invest the money to help you make the most out of it. If you have it in you, helping other people could also be a good idea. Start looking at family and close friends who might need help.
Pay your bills
When you get your stimulus check, one of the first on your list should be your bills. At the very least, look at the most important ones you need on a daily basis. Utilities should rank high on your list since you need these to keep you and your family safe and comfortable at home. More than utilities, you also need to prioritize food on the table for your family.
You also need to make sure that you stay up-to-date and current with your payments. This is one of those times where a minimum payment on your dent accounts is acceptable. Your immediate concern is staying current on your account. This keeps you in good standing with your creditor. It also helps you manage your credit score keeping it from sliding down. This is important when you need to ask to reach out and take out a loan in the future.
Save for future emergencies
When you get your stimulus check but you are still getting by with your current income level, it might be a good idea to simply save that money for future use. Just because you get that check in your account does not mean that you need to use it the first chance you get. If you do not need it yet, set it aside.
Consider saving the money in a high-yield savings account as well. This gives you the chance to earn a little more than just putting the money in a regular savings account. You can also invest the money to help you increase your income over time. Keep in mind that there are tried-and-tested methods to slowly building wealth rather than get-rich-quick schemes.
Scams to watch out for
Speaking of get-rich-quick schemes, you also need to keep an eye on scams that have popped up with the stimulus check as shared by the FTC. There are a lot of thieves trying to take advantage of the situation and jumping on every chance they get to steal sensitive personal information from people. Here are some of the scams you have to watch out for.
Receiving text message about a second check
One of the most widely spread scams is when people start to receive a text message that they received the amount in their account. With this message, there will be a link you need to click in order to process the check. This link can lead to a variety of sites where you will be asked to put in sensitive personal information. Once hackers get a hold of these, they can begin to do a variety of things.
They can open a new line of credit under your name and begin charging thousands of dollars of purchases on it. There are even some who might gain access to and control your bank accounts. Once that happens, all your savings could be compromised. This is why it is important to note that the IRS will never send you a text message about the economic impact payment.
Receiving a phone call to verify personal information
This is similar to receiving a text message but this time around, you are getting a phone call asking you to verify your information. They will tell you that this is an important step to speed up the process of sending your check. If you are struggling to make ends meet and behind on a lot of payment, you might not think twice and provide information thinking you will get the money outright.
When it comes to economic impact payment, remember that the IRS will first deposit the amount straight into your account. If that does not work, the check will be mailed straight to your address. They will not call you about it and much more, ask that you verify your banking details or address on file.
Email attachments promising special information about your check
There are also some people who would try and make you open an attachment sent through your mail. They will make it sound like you need to open it so you can get access to special tools and expedite your check. For all you know, it contains malware and virus that can compromise your personal information and steal important files on your devices.
The stimulus check is meant to help and put in a little more buffer in your finances to get through the health crisis. There are a lot of ways you can use it depending on what your current situation is. The important thing is to make sure it strengthens your finances and help you get through this tough time.