Wondering what to do with your stimulus check? Moffat County finance professionals have some suggestions
Many Moffat County residents will find $1,400 stimulus checks in their bank accounts in the coming days — if they haven’t received them already – following the passage of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
In Moffat County, roughly 5,000 residents will receive stimulus checks in the coming days, totaling nearly $7 million in funding. The funding comes directly out of the American Rescue Plan, which will send $1,400 checks directly to individuals making less than $75,000 a year and $2,800 to married couples making under $150,000 a year. People with dependents would also receive $1,400 per dependent. People making between $75,000 and $80,000 will receive smaller checks, along with married couples making between $150,000 and $160,000.
Though many receiving the stimulus checks will need the $1,400 for bills to get by, those that don’t find themselves in a paycheck to paycheck situation can use that newfound money in a smart way that not only benefits them, but the local economy as well.
According to Yampa Valley Bank President Dave Fleming and Bank of Colorado President Chris Jones, what one does with the stimulus check depends on each individual situation. However, there are ways to save the money for a rainy day, or “stimulate” the economy coming off of a tough year overall for the country.
“Some people will kind of take that money and say ’I’m going to just buy something I’ve always wanted,’ which is perfectly fine,” Fleming said. “If you were in a position that you didn’t really need it, that’s probably fine. Some of the people that get it that probably needed it more than others perhaps, but those that don’t should really consider putting it away for a rainy day.”
Fleming said that the ability to save it for a rainy day truly depends on each individual’s situation, but coming off of a year in which people lost jobs, missed days and weeks of work, and struggled financially, creating savings could be key in preparation moving forward.
“It really depends on the situation for the person,” Fleming said. “If you’re a person that doesn’t have some savings built, maybe you use that money to create a savings account and use a regular savings account for quick action if something happens.”
“It’s important to establish a rainy day fund; we’ve seen plenty of those [rainy days] in the last 12 months due to things out of our control,” Jones added. “The good rule of thumb with a rainy day fund is to have three months’ worth of income saved up, which will help if you unexpectedly miss work, or something important comes up financially.”
For those lucky ones that may not need to establish a rainy day fund or need to use the stimulus check immediately on bills, Jones and Fleming urge the community to use their money wisely and “stimulate” the local economy, should they be in the position to do so.
“From my individual perspective, shop local as much as you can,” Jones said. “You’re supporting friends, neighbors, family members and more. The first step is always locally to stimulate; that’s the backbone of our community and they’ve had a hard year.”
“I certainly would hope people — if they are spending on goods and services — consider spending it locally to not only benefit themselves, but to also benefit our local economy,” Fleming said. “In our market, local businesses can use all the help they can get. Some people understand that, some people understand the appreciation for that, some people don’t. If that money is spent here, it gives a little bit of a boost to our economy, which is a good thing for us.”
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