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Ways to Spend Your Next Check From Uncle Sam

A few ideas on what to do with your stimulus check. How will you spend your money?

The federal government likely will send you another check before long. Both chambers of Congress have drafted or passed new coronavirus relief bills that authorize a second round of stimulus payments.

Provided that the Senate and House of Representatives can agree on a final bill to be signed into law, it will call for Uncle Sam to send more stimulus checks to taxpayers.

Use it to live

Hopefully, this is obvious: If you need the money now — to pay rent or utilities, or simply to buy groceries — take what the government gives you and spend it.

An emergency fund

If you already have an emergency fund — or simply want to start one now — putting your government check into such a “rainy day” account might be a wise move.

Benjamin Franklin wearing sunglasses posing for the camera: shutterstock_1708057714

Pay down debt

If you already have a fat emergency fund and feel comfortable that you can use it to ride out a lengthy downturn, consider using the money you get from the government to pay down credit card debt. Or, you can even make an extra payment on your mortgage or auto loan.

Put it toward refinancing

Homeowners may be better off using their check to help cover mortgage refinancing costs rather than to make an additional mortgage payment. Mortgage rates are hovering near historic lows. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.99% as of July 30, down from 3.75% one year prior. The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate loan fell from 3.2% to 2.54% during the same period.

Spend it on fun stuff

If you already have money to burn and want to spend a little on something nonessential to take your mind off troubled times, be our guest. In fact, the government probably would see you as a team player, since spending that money will help keep the economy afloat as it sails through very rough seas.

Donate

If you don’t need the money, give it to a good cause. When we finally lay this pandemic to rest, you’ll feel good having done your part to help.

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