What You Can Do With a $ 1,400 Incentive Check
Federal stimulus checks are now arriving in bank accounts everywhere, if you have direct deposit set up with the IRS. Others will receive paper checks in the mail for each adult, child and dependent adult.
But how far will that money go – and what can you do with it?
$ 1,400 per person – that’s what most of us can expect from the latest federal stimulus.
Larry Flynn with Centennial Wealth Council says, “For those who really needed it, maybe lost their jobs or whatever, they really have to look at where their priorities are. If their savings account has been reduced, put it back in savings, keep it. That’s what the savings are for. ”
Some people have struggled to make ends meet for most of the past year, and $ 1,400 may not go very far. Doxo Insights data shows that the average monthly bills, not including rent or mortgage, are around $ 1,312 for the average household in Cadillac. In Traverse City, the average is $ 971. This includes things like your utilities, phone bills, car payments, and insurance.
“A lot of people are behind on these things. These bills continue to rise. Candice Hamel is the Executive Director of the Father Fred Foundation, where they help people in financial difficulty. “We definitely encourage people to put money on these payment arrears so that in the future they won’t be in another emergency.”
If you have credit cards or cash loans, consider making more than the minimum payment. Ray Jager is a branch manager at 4Front Credit Union. He says, “People have a lot of credit card debt that they could pay off. They could make more than the minimum payment. Spending a good chunk of money on your loan will certainly save you interest in the long run. So this will help you to pay off this loan faster.
Jager says he’s also heard from people willing to spend their stimulus dollars. “I’ve also spoken to people who may be looking to renovate their homes. I think we came to appreciate our homes last year. He adds, “I also find that a lot of people want to buy toys, maybe a new car, motorcycles, recreational vehicles. So they use this money for a down payment. “
Each financial advisor can give you different advice on what to do with that stimulus money. You can still spend, save, invest, or donate. No matter what you choose, you need to do what’s best for you with your financial situation. Jager says, “It will be a really good opportunity for people to assess their financial well-being and their health.”
At $ 1,400 each, if you have a family of three or four or more, it can add up quickly. “Having emergency savings, the general rule of thumb is 3 to 6 months of spending. It’s going to be a good opportunity. Here has 4 Before we offer a simple and cool rewards account that pays a great rate. We also have a unique program that encourages you to save. ”
Larry Flynn agrees with the savings strategy. He says you never know what can happen with a job loss or things like emergency car repairs. “Set aside enough money for a worst-case scenario or an emergency. If you have enough money set aside in savings and have some room to spend, then definitely spend. It helps our economy. ”
And if you don’t really need the incentives to make ends meet – besides saving, spending, or investing – you can always give. Flynn says, “I’ve talked to so many people who get the checks and really don’t need them. Many of these people will put it in their savings and it will be spent according to their own priorities. If I’m someone who has the money and I don’t need it, and I get a chance to donate some of it, then absolutely.
Hamel said to Father Fred: “These cash donations always help us. We just want to be able to meet everyone’s needs. ” The Father Fred Foundation said even with the stimulus, people shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. “What I encourage people is to always come to the Father Fred Foundation for help. We want to make sure families use these dollars as much as possible. Use it for those basic needs, also come to us for the pantry. She says the pantry offers more than the typical non-perishable items most people think of: things like fresh fruit, meat, and dairy. But Father Fred can also meet financial needs like than rent, utilities, medical bills and other emergencies. ”