“I don’t want my money to flow through my hands like water flowing through my open fingers.” This is what a mom told me about her desire to spend her stimulus check responsibly. Recently I hosted a room on Clubhouse discussing money mindset, how our money mindset can influence how we spend the stimulus checks, and why it is essential to have a plan before spending your stimulus check.
I created this space on Clubhouse because I wanted to help guide moms and make them aware of how to plan before spending their stimulus money to ensure its spent in a way that aligns with their goals and values. There is a common quote that says, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” Therefore, plan before spending your stimulus check (or even your tax refund) I encourage you to create a plan for how you will use the money.
Here are 10 different ideas on how to plan before spending your stimulus check in a way that helps to advance the vision and goals for you and your family’s life. Before you decide how to spend it, I encourage you to spend time in prayer and meditation determining what your vision and goals are so you know what you are working towards. This will help you to choose the ideas that work best for you and your family.
1. Catch up on bills
If you are not current on your bills then start here first. Also, if you expect to have challenges paying next month’s bills, then use your stimulus check to either pay past due or upcoming bills.
2. Get ahead on future bills
Knowing your schedule, calendar, and upcoming commitments is huge. This will help you to properly plan for things on the horizon, avoid being surprised, and getting ahead on bills that you may forget.
3. Increase savings
The pandemic has shown us a deep need for emergency savings. Between job layoffs, runs on basic necessities, and the need to stock up, we need to have available cash to prepare for the unexpected.
4. Pay off debt
Reducing or eliminating your credit card balance will save you money on future interest payments and also help improve your credit score. It is also motivating to see your balances shrink, which will inspire you to keep going towards achieving your financial goals. If you don’t have credit cards, then think of other debt you may be able to reduce with a lump sum payment. This could include:
- Medical debt
- Student Loans
- Personal loans
- Car Loans
Often people want to invest, but one of the biggest investment mistakes that women make is they believe that they don’t have the money. Using your stimulus check provides you extra income that can be used to invest in the stock/options/bond market, an investment account for your children, or a 529 College Savings account. Therefore, you can use part of your stimulus check to invest or teach your children to invest. If you are interested in investing, then enroll in an investment course that can teach both you and your children how to invest.
Giving is so important. The benefits of service to your soul are amazing, but when you serve others you also open yourself up to receive blessings. If you close your fist to hold onto everything that you have, then you also aren’t opening it up to receive anything new. Giving and service don’t always mean money. Giving money is important, but you can give your time, treasures, and talents. I give 10% of everything I earn for tithes and then I give even more on top of that as well to church, non-profits, or directly to people in need. Therefore, I encourage you to search your heart and determine how much of your stimulus check to give. Ten percent is a great start!
Self-care isn’t selfish. However, unfortunately, many moms believe that motherhood equals martyrdom and they have to sacrifice every last ounce of themselves for their children. However, that isn’t true. Therefore, I encourage you to do something for yourself…just for you. If it feels selfish or uncomfortable, do it anyway. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be for you. One of the things I’ve started back up again is getting a regular mani/pedi. It’s amazing how great I feel after.
8. Use the money as seed money to start a business
Do you have an idea for a business? If you have an idea for a business, then use your stimulus check (or even your tax refund) as seed money to start a business. The cool thing about starting a business is that you are able to serve others, have additional tax benefits, and even position yourself to exit your 9-5 to have the freedom to live life walking in purpose, spending more time with your children and those you love, and doing things that feed your soul. Given that businesses require money to start, use your stimulus money to help fund those start-up costs. This extra money will help you to keep more of the money earned from your full-time job to use towards your other expenses.
If you are looking to create time and financial freedom through entrepreneurship, then book a complimentary 45-min call with me to talk more about turning your idea into a freedom plan. Click here to book your call today!
9. Do something fun with your children
I remember being in a conference and the speaker asked, “Who remembers what you got for Christmas as a child?” Almost no one raised their hand. Next, he asked, “Who remembers the vacations or fun things you did with your family when you were a child?” Almost everyone’s hands went up. Children spell love TIME. Therefore, one way you can spend part of your stimulus check is to do something fun with your children. It doesn’t have to be expensive. The biggest thing is planning uninterrupted, intentional time with your children.
10. Plan a vacation
I don’t know about you, but I need a vacation. Before the pandemic, I traveled at least three times per year with my children. Given the last year we’ve had, a vacation is on many of our goal lists and vision boards. However, one of the things that holds us back from vacationing (outside of a pandemic) is time and money. What if you could use part of your stimulus check to go on a debt-free vacation? What if you could use that stimulus to pay for the vacation before you leave and not have to worry about it after you get back? That would be amazing, right? Therefore, consider using your stimulus check to go on a family vacation or girl’s trip.
11. Save for a home
There are numerous benefits to owning a home, some of which include feeling like you have something special for you and your children, tax incentives, and the accumulation of equity. In the podcast episode, “The Single Mom’s Guide To Buying A Home” we discuss the benefits of homeownership, the home buying process, and the programs that exist to make home-buying more affordable.
If you are considering buying a home, then you can use your stimulus check to contribute towards your goal of homeownership by saving for your down payment.
12. Use it towards purchasing a rental property
If you desire to enter into real estate investing, then you can also use your stimulus check towards the purchase of a real estate property or to begin real estate investing.
Do you have any ideas for how to use your stimulus check? Please leave a comment below to share how you planned or will plan before spending your stimulus check.
Aisha Taylor is a single mom of twins, personal financial coach, work from home entrepreneur, and author of “Navigating the ‘Impossible’: A Survival Guide for Single Moms from Pregnancy Through the First Year of Motherhood.” Aisha has been featured in ESSENCE, Jet Magazine, and Black Enterprise. She is also the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal), a movement designed to equip single moms develop the strategy to live whole, financially free, and rooted in Jesus Christ.