As a Veteran, after you have armed yourself with knowledge and security, ask yourself how the stimulus check can work for you?
Here are possible suggestions if you have qualified for the stimulus check of $1,200, $2,400, and additional $500 dependent benefits:
- Pay Your Monthly Bills – budget the stimulus check and attempt to remain current on your monthly bills (rent/mortgage, food, utilities, and vehicle), if possible, especially if your employer has reduced your hours or you have lost your job due to COVID19. Contact your creditors if you can’t make your payments due to COVID19.
- Pay Debt – this may be an opportunity for you to pay off or pay down debt. Consider using all or part of your stimulus to pay off or pay down debt beginning with the highest interest rate.
- Emergency Savings – Start or increase your emergency savings account for possible unforeseen circumstances in the future.
- By paying down debt and having a savings, you may qualify for a lower interest balance transfer opportunity. However, BEFORE applying for this opportunity, make sure your budget can meet the terms of the transferred debt to a new lower interest account. Also, make sure you understand the terms if you cannot meet the original terms and conditions, for example (1) know all the effects this will have on your interest rate (will it increase and exactly what the rate will be), (2) all penalties, and (3) the financial consequences should you need to add purchases/debts to this account, etc.
- If you do not have debt, maximizing savings’ interest is an opportunity for you to research. You may wish to consider higher yield opportunities for savings – a money market, CD, IRA, an annuity, etc. A personal banker at your financial institution can provide you with the details of the products they offer and you can compare their products with other financial institutions as well.
- This may be a time for you consider the future to include life insurance, children’s education, donations, etc.
- If you are financially stable, have savings, and are debt free – ask yourself how can you enrich your life and have some fun!
These are only some of the possibilities to consider. If you have any questions or would like to meet with Lori Mann, please call 330-564-8030 for an appointment.
April 28, 2020 – For the Summit County Veteran Service Commission by Lori Mann, AFC®, FFC ®