When that stimulus check money rolls in, it’s easy to be tempted by flashy purchases. But on your journey towards your healthy financial future, what are some of the smartest ways you can spend your next check? Here are a few ideas.
Put It Toward Bills
You can use your stimulus check to lift a little of the burden of regular bills. Or, if you’ve gotten a little behind in hard times, this is an ideal opportunity to catch up, or even get ahead on payments. It might not sound glamorous, but sometimes a little extra money can have the biggest impact in small ways.
Add to Your Emergency Savings
If there’s one thing that the last year has taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected. Putting a little extra toward your emergency savings can help ease some of the stress that unpredictability can bring. An RMCU savings account or money market account can help you get started putting more away for a rainy day.
Make an Extra Payment Toward Principal
Paying off the principal on your mortgage faster can help you save big in the long run. By making extra payments toward your principal, you’re cutting down on the amount of interest you’ll owe, which can translate into thousands of dollars off the final amount you’ll pay.
Pay Down a Credit Card
If you’ve been carrying a balance on a credit card, or you’re working to chip away at some debt, you might want to use some of your money from the government to get that paid off to zero. Catching up on payments will make you, and your wallet, happy. Use the SavvyMoney tool through RMCU’s online banking platform to see how paying off your balance could help your credit score as well.
Make a Retirement Contribution
Putting a little extra toward your retirement fund can be a big asset down the road, as growing investments and compound interest over time help your nest egg grow. Make sure you have enough to sustain you through your retirement, without worrying about outliving your assets or having to downsize your quality of life.
Save Up for Education
If you or a loved one plan to pursue higher education, stashing away some extra money for tuition can put your stimulus check to good use with an investment in the future.
Invest in Professional Development
You can make investments in more than just the stock market, real estate and your education. Professional development can be a valuable way to spend your money, paying out in the potential for career advancement or a raise. You might consider a new certification, a conference or training in a new software – all money well spent.
Support Local Businesses
Many local businesses have been struggling through these hard times as well. If you have a little extra to spare, Consider supporting local businesses with a meal out or the purchase of a gift for a friend.
Give Your Vehicle Some TLC
If you’ve been driving a little less this past year—between stay-at-home orders and canceled plans—this could be a great opportunity to take your car in for a tune up. Or if you’re ready for an upgrade, your stimulus check could go towards a down payment on a new ride that can take you further.
Make a Donation
If you have the means to make a charitable donation with your stimulus check, it can help spread the benefits of the money even further. Many nonprofit organizations have been hard hit as well, so contributing to a worthy organization can assist in more ways than one.
Spend a Little on Your Health and Wellness
When times are stressful, it’s easy to neglect your own health. Putting a little money towards your physical and mental health could be a great way to spend part of your relief money. Things like a subscription to an online fitness class, a new set of weights for a home gym, even online counseling services or a meditation app could help you feel well and happy.
For more on financial wellness and smart spending, visit the rest of the RMCU blog!
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- Creative Ways to Save for College
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