How is it March already?
It's been almost a year since the pandemic shut everything down here in California.
My nephew was born on Leap Day, February 29, 2020, and we were still fortunate enough to be able to go to the hospital and see him in person! (Below is the little guy just hours old...)
He's now officially one. How time flies! This year, to me, feels especially like it's flying by!
This weekend wasn't just my nephew's 1 year old birthday...Ha! On Saturday, the U.S. House also passed the $1.9 Trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. It's going to the Senate this week.
When the bill passes (and I do think it will), those making under $75K and couples making under $150K will get $1400/$2800, respectively. The bill would also increase the additional federal weekly unemployment benefits from $300 to $400.
Right now, the current $300/week added to unemployment expires on March 14th. And although the PPP is not part of this bill, I want to make sure you know that the deadline to apply for PPP is March 31st, AND we're still in the two week window for small businesses with 20 or less employees to apply. This 14 day exclusivity period closes on Tuesday, March 9th, at 5pm ET. So, if this is YOU, what are you waiting for? It's time to apply. Again, if you don't get approved, then you're just where you are now. However, if you do get approved, you will have a bit more breathing room in your business. And it's 100% forgivable, as long as you are using at least 60% for payroll.
So, when do I expect the stimulus checks? I would say if the Senate can approve the bill this week, you could start seeing checks in your bank accounts or in the mail, by mid to late March.
What would YOU do with the $1400?
I'm not advocating counting your chickens before they hatch. However, I do believe in planning for it.
Like the last two times we got stimulus money, I do not think it should go towards credit card debts. Instead, it should go towards what you really need. Do you need the money for your rent, mortgage, food, and utilities? Use it for that first. We all need a foundation.
A couple of weeks ago, Dave Ramsey discussed the stimulus check on Fox News saying:
Dave Ramsey: "I don't believe in a stimulus check because if $600 or $1400 changes your life you were pretty much screwed already. You got other issues going on. You have a career problem, you have a debt problem, you have a relationship problem, you have a mental health problem — something else is going on if $600 changes your life.”
It really angered a lot of people who needed this money. Sure, it's not life changing money, like a million dollars would be, however, it can make a huge difference to some people trying to get on unemployment. It can cover the month (or 6 months) it may take to get on unemployment. That's what I mean when it comes to covering your needs. And yes, $600 doesn't do too much. That doesn't even cover 1 month's rent. However, $1400 may make a big difference.
If you have your basic needs covered, then I would put it into a savings account because when we're in crisis, we need to expand more than we need to shrink down...so that we don't go into panic or anxiety. Again, it's the foundation that helps our minds not go into fear. It's strange that Ramsey said what he said about the stimulus check because his #1 Baby Step: Save $1000 into an emergency fund. He advocates that you save $1000 even before paying off your debts. So, I'm not sure why he would say he doesn't believe in the stimulus. Instead, he should've just told everyone to save $1000 of the stimulus check into a high interest savings account!
Now, if you have your basic needs met, and you have a sizable savings account (at least 6 months for those of us with inconsistent incomes), then I actually want you to spend a little money on what you know will help you to get you to higher incomes. Is that hiring someone to redo your resume? Pay for someone to help with the children or to take on tasks that takes you out of your zone of genius (like someone to pull the weeds and do yard work)?
Once that's taken care of and you still have some money left over, then and only then, should you tackle debts. Don't use it to pay for student loans, at this time. Those should be either deferred or have a small interest rate. Instead, I suggest paying off the credit card with the smallest balance.
Again, I would love to hear how you plan to use your stimulus check. Please subscribe and comment below. Also, do you have any questions about any of this or about your financial life, in general? If so, email me at: email@example.com. I would love to help!