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What are you going do with the stimulus money? Are you wondering what you should do with the Coronavirus stimulus money that you are hopefully about to get from the U.S. government? I hear you. I’m wondering too. I’m curious just how much money we will get? Do you really think it will make a difference for most families, or even help?
Hang on, and I’ll share with you what you need to consider, before you cash the stimulus check that you are bound to get in the mail in the next few weeks. Promise me you will read this full post before you spend your stimulus money – ok?
This is a weird time of life, full of uncertainty. Just know I’m in the same boat with you and I understand how you feel. Before I dive in to this post too far, make sure you are doing your best to save your family as much money as possible.
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How Much Money Can You Get?
Have you heard that the U.S. Government is planning to give households stimulus money and also extra loans for businesses? Raise of hands – how many of you actually thought this would even happen? I didn’t. I thought it was funny at first, but it looks like this is going to be a reality for us all.
Right now, the U.S. Government is trying to balance out the economic hit that the Coronavirus is causing our economy – to the tune of $2 trillion dollars! Woah! That’s a lot of money! Most households who filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 will receive $1200 for each adult and $500 for each child, but this could still change.
For me and my household that would be $3,900! Wow! That’s a lot of “free” money! Money I wasn’t counting on at all. Of course there are restrictions to who will get the money and who won’t, but for the average American household whose annual income is less than $75,000 this can be a nice little income check to tide you over until all this Covid-19 craziness is over.
It feels like free money. Doesn’t it? If your spouse is out of work, and not being paid right now, it’s much needed money – but it doesn’t feel like enough does it?
If you are lucky enough to have a spouse that is still working, or if you yourself are bringing in an income, consider yourself very lucky. In that case, this stimulus money might feel like you just found some free money.
Have a Plan
No matter which boat you are in. You need to have a plan for the stimulus money, long before it shows up in your mailbox. The stimulus money will disappear as fast as it arrived if you don’t make a plan for it.
I know what you are thinking – Katrina, it’s time to do something fun with the money! Right?! Like go on a trip, buy a car, go on a shopping spree, or buy that electric bike you’ve always wanted so you can keep up with your kids. Maybe now you can finally get a 2nd dog (because, goodness, they can be expensive)! I know. I’ve thought of all of those things too!
I caution you right now, make a plan for your money, or it will disappear.
What You Should Do With The Stimulus Money
If your spouse is out of work and you are missing that paycheck to cover basic essentials, then start there. Food, utilities, shelter, and transportation. Those are your basic necessities. Take care of those things first. Using the stimulus money for these basic necessities is exactly what it’s intended for.
After that, if your spouse’s job is safe and you are pretty sure you can ride out this virus without too much of a financial impact, then it’s time to really think about what you will do with this “free” stimulus money.
Don’t be tempted to do something stupid with it. Make it count. I don’t know about you, but for me, I look at this money as a gift and I want to make sure I take good care of this gift our family is being given.
My husband, as of right now, is blessed to still be working. His job seems secure and most likely will be ok throughout the Covid-19 virus. I realize that could change at any moment, but as of right now, we are feeling semi-secure.
We are thanking God every day for His blessing over our family right now. If and when this stimulus money shows up in our mailbox, we have already talked about what we will do with it.
Don’t Blow The Money
While it would sure be fun to go blow the money on a trip to England to see our dear friends, that we have been trying to go see for the last couple years, we have decided we will be dividing the money up in a lot of ways.
What We Plan To Do With Our Stimulus Money
First, we will tithe 10% of the money towards our church. God calls us to give back to him all that we receive and that’s the first check we will write.
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2. Savings Accounts For Kids
Next, the $500 for each of our kids will go directly in their savings accounts and will be untouched by us or them for a long time.
Third, we plan to put some of the money towards braces for my daughter. Yep, fun times. She’ll need braces pretty soon and we like to pay up front, with cash, for orthodontic care because we have found an orthodontist in our area that gives a cash discount. Perfect. So, some of the money will go there.
After that we plan to put some of the money towards our fund to have the windows replaced in our house. We are on a 5 year window replacement plan with a local company that we love.
We are replacing a few windows each year over a period of 5 years. Each spring we meet with our sales rep and pick the next set of windows we need to do. It’s been working out great and we plan to put some of the money towards that.
5. Vehicle Replacement
Next, we plan to save some towards our vehicle replacement fund. I drive a 2006 Honda Pilot and love it. It’s my most favorite car that I’ve ever had, and I don’t ever want to get rid of it. I hope it lasts for a long time!
So far, it’s been an awesome vehicle, but it has 160K miles on it and I know it won’t last forever. We also have a 13 year old son, who will be driving before too long. While we are unsure what car he will drive or how he will go about receiving that car, we do know that in the next couple years we will need to get another vehicle. We drive used cars and pay cash, so it’s essential we save up a fund for that as well.
Finally, we plan to put whatever is left in our vacation fund to visit our dear friends in England.
Stimulus Money Won’t Go That Far
$2,400 doesn’t go too far when you are saving for a lot of things, but that is our plan. We may adjust our plans if our circumstances change.
As you can see, we don’t plan to do anything too crazy, but I’m happy we do have a plan of what we will do with the stimulus money so we are not tempted to blow it on something silly.
Just promise me that you will have a plan for the stimulus money – before it slips right through your fingers on eating out, movies, a new purse, and trip to visit your family. It will disappear fast and because “free” money doesn’t fall from the sky very often, make sure you don’t blow it!
Treat that money as a precious gift and use it wisely – money like this may not ever happen again to you and your family, in your lifetime. If you need that money to make it through the next few months, then don’t feel one bit guilty for using it to take care of your family.
Remember, don’t waste it! Don’t blow it!
Cut Your Expenses
Now is an excellent time to cut any unnecessary expenses that you can. Think about it – you can’t even go out for dinner right now, so save the money and eat what’s in your pantry! Dig through that freezer and get creative with your meals. Use up what you already have!
If you need ideas on meals you can make from what you have in pantry, or how to use your stockpile, or even how to get your family to eat leftovers – read these posts:
- 5 Easy Pantry Dinner Recipes You Can Make Tonight!
- How To Get Your Family To Eat Leftovers & Like It
- Use Your Stockpile – Frugal Friday Tip #16
Cut back wherever you can! Cancel any subscription services you don’t need and tighten that budget as much as possible! If you don’t have a budget – you need one! We use EveryDollar and we love it!
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Things Frugal Moms Never Pay Money For
Take a good, hard look at your monthly budget. There are probably a lot of things you can reconsider right now, or cut out completely.
There are at least 8 things you should never pay money if you want to be a frugal mom and keep your stay at home mom gig! Things like, a gym membership, new clothes, and so much more. Read this post – 8 Things Frugal Moms Never Pay Money For – for the full list of at least 8 things you should not pay money for right now!
Just to clarify – make sure you have a plan for your stimulus money that may be coming to a mailbox near you soon!
What do you plan to do with the stimulus money? Comment below and tell me!