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A spending plan could help you make the most of your incoming stimulus check

Experts: Prioritize essentials, high interest debt
Posted at 5:22 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 21:03:17-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — As lawmakers iron out what the final dollar amount of these stimulus checks will be, it appears most people will be getting at least $600 and possibly more. So, what are some things we should be thinking about to the most of this financial relief?

"Make payments on essentials like shelter, like your car payments and so forth because those are things that you really need," said Director of UCCS Economic Forum in the College of Business Dr. Tatiana Bailey.

When it comes to managing stimulus checks, Dr. Bailey also wants you to think about credit cards and anything with high interest that can impact your credit long term.

"Always pay down the debt that has the highest interest rate and nine times our of ten that's going to be a credit card loan, sometimes they are 20% plus," said Dr. Bailey.

She also says it's worth making some calls to see if you can stretch your dollars a little further.

"If you do have any sizable debt payments whether that's mortgage, home equity, car, student loans, whatever the case may be you can call your lender and negotiate interest only payments or some type of a reduced payment. This will not negatively impact your credit and you won't be at risk of losing your asset," said Dr. Bailey.

If you qualify for a stimulus check, but are not behind on payments it's a good time to think about saving.

"Create some type of a rainy day fund because even for individuals who have not lost employment this is still going to be awhile. The best estimates are somewhere between June and August things will be starting to get back to normal as people get vaccinated," said Dr. Bailey.

For some people, this stimulus money won't be enough. Dr. Bailey urges people to learn about community services and programs like the United Way that can offer support during these tough times.

For more expert advice on how to best manage those stimulus funds check out the story News5 did back in April with the experts from Financial Peace University: https://www.koaa.com/rebound/taking-control-and-finding-hope-in-your-financial-situation