Here's How To Get The Most Out Of Your Stimulus Check

Ashley Rogers
April 20, 2020
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors, and we might earn a commission if you click on one. We are letting you know because, as our grandmother taught us, an honest penny is better than a stolen dollar. Now, back to filling up your piggy banks.

People around the country are starting to receive their coronavirus stimulus checks — up to $1,200 per adult.

The big question for a lot of people is what’s the absolute best way to use the cash?

We polled our Facebook Group “Let’s Talk About Debt” to see how most people plan to use the money — and for the most part the cash is going towards essentials, debt payments, building an emergency fund, investing, and charity. All really worthy goals!

Given how tight money is for most people at the moment, here are our top tips for how to achieve those goals using the stimulus check.

1. Invest It: Stocks Are On Sale — Start Buying Them With Just $20

 - Invest It: Stocks Are On Sale — Start Buying Them With Just $20

A lot of people want to see their stimulus check cash start to work for them — and the best way to do that is by investing it. From Essie Dodson in our audience, this is her goal:

The good news is, is if you fall into this camp, there couldn’t be a better time. During a recession, stock prices can drop by over 50%. If your favorite product (I love my iPhone) went on sale for 50%, wouldn’t you want to buy it? It’s the same with stocks – you can buy a piece of your favorite companies at a huge discount right now.

But knowing where to start investing can be hard. With the micro-investing app Stash, you can start investing with as little as $20. They’ve made it incredibly easy for anyone to start investing by offering a curated selection of 200 plus stocks and Exchange Traded Funds. Those ETFs and stocks pay dividends meaning you make money while you sleep! It only takes two minutes to sign up!

They’re even giving everyone $5 to sign-up now and get started.

Invest With Stash Today

2. Use It To Pay Off Debts: Create A Financial Plan And Then Get To It

 - Use It To Pay Off Debts: Create A Financial Plan And Then Get To It

A huge number of people understandably want to use their stimulus money to pay off debts.

If you have multiple debts, a financial plan can help you figure out how best to spread your stimulus check across all of them. Take Savology’s five-minute survey to get one personalized to you for free.

Savology will help you identify your financial strengths and weaknesses and provide you with a plan to help you manage your money better and meet your financial goals, the big one being getting out of debt. You’ll even get a report card to show you how well you are doing.

Again, Savology does all of this free of charge. Who can afford to turn down this kind of help with everything that’s going on?

Get a free financial plan

3. Spend It: Use Your Stimulus For Necessities And Save

 - Spend It: Use Your Stimulus For Necessities And Save

A lot of people are going to use their stimulus check to pay for food and other necessities.

If you are using the money this way, you should try and stretch the budget as far as possible.

Use Ibotta and you can turn all of your shopping receipts into gift cards.

It’s super easy to earn cash shopping with Ibotta without clipping coupons. Here’s how it works:

  • Before you go shopping, check what cash back deals are available in the app, select the offers you want and complete the required tasks to secure the offer.
  • Tasks include reading a fact, taking a quick poll, watching a short video and more.
  • Go shopping like you normally and buy the offer items you secured cash back for and whatever else you want to.
  • When you get home, provide proof of purchase by taking a picture of your receipt and Ibotta will scan it for cash back deals and.
  • Link a loyalty card to the app and purchases made with it will automatically be confirmed by Ibotta.
  • Cash back earnings will be credited to your account within 48 hours.

You can also shop online at participating retailers directly through the Ibotta app.  

Ibotta works for pretty much every major retailer, including stores like  Costco, Walmart, Target TJ Maxx, Macy’s and more.

Sign up today and get a $20 welcome bonus just for using the app!

Download Ibotta Now

4. Donate It: There Are So Many People In Need

Donate It: There Are So Many People In Need

There are so many people and worthy organizations in need right now, and if you can afford it you might consider donating your stimulus check to a worthy cause. Some people already have plans to use their stimulus check this way:

A few ideas if you want to donate the money? Feeding America supports hundreds of food banks around the country. The nonprofit Direct Relief is coordinating with public health authorities and other organizations to provide personal protective items like masks, exam gloves and isolation gowns to health workers responding to the current health crisis.

5. Build An Emergency Fund: You Never Know When You Will Need It

 - Build An Emergency Fund: You Never Know When You Will Need It

For those who can afford to set some or all of the stimulus check away, there is no better time (we truly can’t emphasize this enough) to start an emergency fund. The economy and the job market is on shaky ground, you can’t afford to waste this money. A lot of people seem to be on this page:

Make sure you don’t sock away the cash in a bank account that is going to start taking all of the money away in fees. One of our favorite no fee banks is the all digital bank Varo.

It’s a bank with no fees:

  1. No overdraft fees.
  2. No minimum balance requirements
  3. No foreign transaction fees.
  4. No ATM fees. Users have access to 55,000 completely free ATMs worldwide and even if you use an ATM with a fee, Varo won’t charge you one.

Other perks? If Varo receives a payroll notification before a user’s payday, it will deposit the money right away. Its savings account offers between 1.61% to 2.80% annual percentage yield for all balances, almost unheard of among banks. That means you earn money on your money.

If you want to sock away your stimulus check, this is one of the best bank accounts to do it with.

Get started with a Varo bank account today

Open a Varo bank account

Feature Image: Twenty20