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Stimulus Planning Tool

Planning for your Economic Impact Payment

Have you decided how to divvy up your stimulus check? Want to make sure the math checks out? Use our planning tool to figure out what’s best for you — whether that’s using your funds for immediate expenses, saving money for later, paying down debt or making a charitable donation.

Stimulus Planning Tool

Planning for your stimulus check

We've created a tool for you to get the most out of your stimulus check. Make your plan in less than two minutes.

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How much is your stimulus check?

$
Enter in a dollar amount greater than 0.

Stimulus Information

Amount available to allocate.
Enter in a dollar amount greater than 0.

Expenses that must be paid (e.g. rent, car payment, etc.) Learn more about help with immediate expenses
Enter in a dollar amount greater than or equal to 0
Amount to put into savings. Learn more tips to save money for later
Enter in a dollar amount greater than or equal to 0
Amount to put towards current debts. Learn more about help with paying down debt
Enter in a dollar amount greater than or equal to 0
Amount to share with others. Learn more about where to donate if possible
Enter in a dollar amount greater than or equal to 0
Amount of money to put towards other expenses. Learn more about other ways to spend your stimulus check
Enter in a dollar amount greater than or equal to 0

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Plan Summary

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Disclaimer

* The IRS Economic Impact Payments, also called stimulus checks, are automatic for most taxpayers. For more information on who is eligible and an estimated payment amount, visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center.

Immediate expenses

Using this money for day-to-day expenses and basic needs is what the stimulus checks were intended for. We recommend prioritizing your expenses and spending based on what can’t be put on hold. Make payments if you can, and reach out to your lenders, property managers or utility companies if you're struggling to pay monthly bills. Many of them will work with you throughout this challenging period. Here are some additional resources that may help:

It can be stressful to cope with sudden financial challenges. Remember that WSECU is here to help. If you have concerns, please review our resource page to learn some of the ways we can provide support during these challenging times or to find how to contact us about your situation.

Save for later

If you’re in a position to save, consider tucking this money away for a rainy day, planning for a future purchase or investing it. Here are a few tips for saving:

  • Emergency savings — Set aside money in an emergency savings fund and build toward the recommended amount, which should cover at least three months’ worth of your expenses. This will make it easier to deal with an unplanned expense or loss of income when life throws you a curve ball. Stimulus funds are a great way to jump start your emergency savings, but even depositing a small amount each month will help during an unexpected emergency, as this money will add up and grow over time.
  • Saving for a large purchase — Get a jump on your financial goals by saving for a down payment on a house, car, new appliance or other substantial purchase in your future.
  • Investing — Explore the many investment options available to help you grow your money. Because of market volatility due to COVID-19, make sure you are confident in your regular income before placing too much money in a non-liquid account or portfolio.

Pay down debt

If your basic needs are taken care of and you’ve saved money for an emergency, paying down debt is a great use of unanticipated income. Here are the steps to get started:

  • Step 1: Rank your loans and other debts from the one with the highest interest rate to the one with the lowest.
  • Step 2: Pay more than the minimum payment on the debt with the highest interest rate. Pay the minimum payment on all your other debts. Always check with your lender to ensure there are no pre-payment penalties.
  • Step 3: After you’ve paid off the debt with the highest interest rate, take the money you were putting toward that account and add it to your payment for the debt with the next highest interest rate.
  • Step 4: Repeat the process until you’ve paid off all debts.

Share it

If you’re able to donate a portion of your stimulus check, there are many ways to give back right now and a great need in our communities. We recommend donating to a registered 501c3 charity to be sure your money is put to good use.

Be careful. This is a time of increased scams and fraud, so be sure you’re donating to a legitimate nonprofit. Use tools like Charity Navigator, GiveWell and GuideStar to check the credibility of organizations you’d like to help or who may already be reaching out to you.

Food banks, COVID-19 community response funds and hospitals are just a few organizations that would benefit from the extra help, but any of your favorite nonprofits will appreciate the donation.

Other

Whether you spend your stimulus check on immediate expenses, helping a family member, paying down debts or something else, it’s great to make a plan. For more help and information on money management, visit our financial health resources.

Your perspective is important to us and helps us see where we’re hitting the mark and where there might be areas to improve.