Managing your money during a crisis can be a daunting task. With many people starting to receive their stimulus funds, we are offering the following suggestions and considerations to our members on ways to best use your stimulus money.
Stimulus funds should only be used to purchase essentials. Cover groceries that you need or the cost of something crucial that breaks in your house. The question to answer is, “Does my household need it to survive?” If the answer is yes, use the money for this. If the answer is no, save it until the crisis is over.
To save your money, we suggest putting it in a savings account. You can open more than one savings account and designate one as an emergency fund. Savings accounts allow you access to your money when you need it. A fully-funded emergency fund will have six months of living expenses. If your emergency fund is not fully funded, your stimulus check can give your savings the boost it needs.
Don’t assume your income will remain stable. If you are working from home and don’t foresee any changes in your employment situation, you may feel comfortable using your stimulus for other purposes. We don’t recommend spending it. Even if you have a steady income with a full paycheck now, you cannot know for certain that will last. You may face layoffs, pay cuts, or reduced hours before stay-at-home orders finally end. Plan for the worst and save your stimulus money in the event of an income change. It is better to be prepared.
Are you using credit cards to cover necessities? When quarantines and stay-at-home orders end, paying off those charges would be a good use of leftover stimulus funds, as long as your emergency fund stays fully funded with six months of living expenses.
This crisis may have significant and long-term effects on our economy. To help you with financial advice during this time, La Capitol FCU has partnered with KOFE (Knowledge of Financial Education) to provide free educational resources to help you with your unique situation. Click here to visit KOFE and start exploring other tips and suggestions on How to Navigate the Financial Impact of COVID-19 https://lacapitolfcu.kofetime.com/financial-tips-for-a-pandemic/.
Thank you for allowing us to be your financial institution.