Smart ways to use the second Stimulus Check

Posted by Century Support Services on Feb 09, 2021

The second stimulus check offers a direct cash infusion to many Americans, and there’s a great deal of flexibility in how it can be used. If you have received or expect to receive a second stimulus check, how you should use it depends on your particular financial situation.

Here are five potential ideas.

1. Catch Up on Past-Due Essential Bills

One of the main reasons to distribute second stimulus checks so quickly is so that people who are in immediate financial need can use the funds. If you’ve fallen behind on essential bills as a result of Covid-19 (or due to unrelated circumstances), use the money to catch up on those bills. Rent, utilities, auto and other necessities should be taken care of before all else.

2. Shore Up an Emergency Fund

Everyone should have an emergency fund, and the role of a fund becomes even more important during uncertain financial times like these. Saving up even a little bit can help when something goes wrong, and having a well-funded account can greatly reduce financial stress even in a worst-case scenario.

Consider using the second stimulus check to start an emergency fund if you don’t have one, or shore up an existing one. You may even want to over-fund emergency savings during the pandemic, and readjust them when the financial uncertainty is over.

3. Reduce Your Debt Load

Paying down debt will also strengthen your financial position, both in the short- and long-term. Reducing debt better enables you to handle financial emergencies, as you have more free cash to direct toward those emergencies. You’ll also pay less interest in total, which helps you make more financial progress over time. Paying down outstanding secured loan balances allows you to own your home and cars instead of the bank owning them. This can relieve the worry about the threat of foreclosure or repossession.

The stimulus check is likely enough to get you started along a debt relief program. Debt relief programs require a manageable monthly fee, which is used to negotiate your monthly payments one at a time. Most people pay off their first debt within a few months, and any progress that’s made remains regardless of whether you ultimately complete the program. A stimulus check probably could cover the first or next month’s payment.

If you’re currently enrolled in Century Support Services’ debt settlement program but have an additional unsecured loan or credit card, contact Customer Care. It may make sense to enroll the additional debt into your plan, and part of your stimulus check to your reserve account to help with that addition to your program.

4. Increase Future Savings

If your immediate financial situation is comfortably secure, the second stimulus check can help boost future savings. This is an especially good use if you weren’t able to save up as much last year as you normally would have.

As you consider the future, keep in mind that financial strains won’t stop as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic is over. Vehicles, homes, appliances and other high-ticket items will still wear down and need to be replaced eventually. If you have leftover funds and know you’ll face a major purchase in the coming year or so, consider setting aside a little toward that purchase.

5. Help Others

Should you be in a position to help others, spending or giving your stimulus check in a way that’s beneficial to neighbors is a noble gesture. Consider making a big purchase at a local business that you want to support, or make a direct donation to charity. Either way, now is a great time to help others.

Use Your Stimulus Check Wisely

Before you spend your stimulus check, consider the many different ways that it can help improve your financial situation. You may use it to get caught up on essentials or to better position yourself for the future. In many cases, making an additional one-time payment to your Century debt relief program can greatly speed up your progress. That may be one of the smartest ways to use your stimulus check. Think about which of these uses will help in your situation, and make a wise decision about how to use the funds.