OUR VIEW: Using stimulus check wisely

Published 5:34 pm Friday, April 17, 2020

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A total of 80 million Americans were expected to receive their government stimulus check this week, and the rest are expected to be made over the next few weeks.

The checks, which could mean as much as $3,400 for a family of four, have been trending on Twitter and have been the talk of other social media platforms.  Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said this week that almost 1 million Georgians have filed for unemployment.

To put that in perspective, that’s one in every 10 Georgians.

A lot of people are hurting right now and depending on unemployment claims and their stimulus check to make ends meet. If you’re one of the fortunate people who haven’t had a dip in income and have job security, then you should feel blessed.

We’re not financial experts, but many who are have published ways to use your stimulus check.

Obviously, if you need to pay bills or groceries, that should be your first priority.

If you’re not in an emergency situation, other recommendations include using it to start a rainy day fund for if things get worse. Emergency funds should have between three to six months of savings.

However, if you are one of the lucky ones with no worry about the state of the world, financial experts recommend paying down debt or even donating part of the stimulus check to people who have been affected. There are countless nonprofits in Troup County helping people who have been affected by COVID-19.

Whatever you do with it, we encourage you to use it wisely. At some point, the world will be back to normal. But until we know when, it’s hard to pinpoint what “normal” will look like when we get there.