Spending Your Stimulus: How one expert breaks it down

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: via public domain.

The first round of stimulus checks should hit bank accounts soon.

A new survey by MagnifyMoney shows most of us plan to use the $1,200 from the federal government for groceries and bills.

We spoke to an expert Thursday about how the money should be used depending on an individual’s situation.

For Sarah Hickey, the money can’t hit soon enough.

“Scraping those pennies together,” Hickey said.

Hickey says, while she and her husband are both still employed, their income has been reduced.

And the combined $2,400 they are set to receive will go toward essentials only.

“We’re paying our mortgage; that comes first,” Hickey said. “Then, we’re gonna make a car payment. And, then if there’s anything left, it’s definitely going back to restocking the shelves in the cupboard, they’re getting a little bare.”

Dr. Shelton Weeks with FGCU says, for those with an income change, focus on essentials. Then, prioritize your debts based on their cost, interest rates and what you can’t defer. If there’s no change to your income, but you don’t have any savings, now is the time to create a nest egg.

“Normally like to see them have 90 days of cushion,” Weeks said, “Almost no one has that, so this advice almost everyone can use.”

If your income is the same and you have savings, consider putting some into the economy.

“We’ve all like to help folks around us right now which is very challenging with social distancing so one of the ways you might be able to do this is to support the businesses

And helping out neighbors is what Diane O’Hern of Fort Myers Beach plans to do with that money. She’s donating it all back to the community.

“I just feel it’s my Christian duty to do this,” O’Hern said. “I don’t need the money for my daily living, and I know how much some people are struggling.”

Anyone who still has questions about whether they qualify for stimulus money can learn using the Omni stimulus check calculator.

MORE: Survey Reveals How Consumers Will Spend Stimulus Money: Groceries, Bills and Savings Top the List

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