Did you get your federal stimulus check? Now what? Are you going to spend it, save it or pay down debt?
Financial planner Shane Stewart of Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators joined KSL Newsradio hosts Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to give listeners his Top 3 ways to spend your stimulus money.
Dave = save
Dave said he’s going to put his stimulus check into the family’s savings, even though Congress wishes most Americans would spend their checks by shopping in order to stimulate the economy.
“We have debts. We have savings. We have these other areas of our life where that money can go. So I think I’m in the save-and-invest group,” he said.
“Do you suggest that David is a monster because he wants to save at this time and invest it,” and not stimulate the economy by shopping til dropping, Debbie asked.
“No, I think Dave needs to do what’s right for Dave and that’s the point of this stimulus,” Stewart said. “They [Congress] want you to spend it on the economy, but they know that people are going to do what’s right for them. Sometimes, that is pay off debt or save it.”
Dave said he was feeling the pressure to spend his stimulus money in order to give a shot in the arm to businesses beleaguered by the pandemic.
“Isn’t that really what Congress set the money aside for — especially spending that money in the hardest hit areas of the economy?” he asked.
Save and spend
“You know local businesses, like restaurants and such, that have been hit hard by the pandemic. That’s the hope that . . . we will all spend in those areas,” Stewart said.
He added that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing (i.e. save it all or spend it all).
“You could still stimulate the economy by going out to dinner at a local restaurant or a local concert and still put some of that money away,” he said.
What should Dave and his family do (with their stimulus check)?
“What are the top 3 ways Dave, his wife and their four kids should spend their stimulus money,” Debbie asked.
Stewart said first, pay off any debt the family incurred during the pandemic, such as a high-interest credit card.
“Secondly, would be to order the things that you’ve been meaning to do that you couldn’t do because of the pandemic,” he said.
Third, Stewart advised replenishing your savings account if you have had to drain it during the pandemic.
“I would say, pay off debts if you incurred them. Go spend it if you’d like to. Save it if you feel like you want to or need to,” he recommended.
Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.
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