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Here Are Some Options For Using Coronavirus-Related Stimulus Money

Millions of Americans are getting a financial boost to help them through the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The federal government will be sending amounts of up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples and $500 for children. While some people will need the money to cover immediate needs, others might consider paying down loans, reinforcing their savings or maybe even making investments.

For those who are already struggling, the money will help pay for groceries, medications or other pressing needs until they can find their financial footing again.

For others with a bit of financial flexibility, it might be time to start or rebuild an emergency savings fund that can be used for future unexpected needs. Ideally, experts recommend emergency savings that could last for 3 to 6 months of expenses. Any start you could make on that would be helpful.

Another option for the money would be to pay down existing debt, such as credit card bills or loans. By doing this, you’ll pay less in interest fees over time, and get rid of monthly payments so you can start saving more money for future needs.

If you can afford it, you could invest some of the money for the long term. While there are no guarantees, investing in the stock market can help your money grow significantly over time. But as current conditions have shown, the ride could be bumpy at times.

You could also elect to spend some of the stimulus money to help your favorite small businesses that have either had to cut hours or temporarily close their doors during the pandemic. They could use that lifeline to help recover, as could local charities such as food banks or shelters.

To see if you qualify for the federal stimulus, visit irs.gov/coronavirus. The money will either be directly deposited into an account at your financial institution or a check will be mailed to you. Don’t forget that you can use mobile deposit from your banking app to put the check into your account at any time of the day or night.

The money is coming. Be sure to use it the best way possible to meet your needs.