In the past year, we’ve experienced some extremely hard times. Many people have lost jobs, lost income and lost lives. There have been many rough things that have come from Covid.
The US government has felt it was necessary to send out stimulus checks to Americans. The attempt is to help people catch up and to bring a boost to the economy.
Before reading this article, please understand that this is simply words of general advice. If you are in financial dire, you need to talk to a financial advisor personally to work through your financial situation.
But with Average Guy Finances, we try to address issues that affect everyday working Americans. With the stimulus checks that have come and are coming, in addition to tax returns that many people will receive, there will be many low and middle income people who will be given a large sum of money that could really help.
Many folks will completely waste the money because they might not be able to handle money. I’ve done that. So I’ve compiled a list of 5 Ways to Waste Your Stimulus Check. This hopefully will help people to consider the decision they make with their money that they receive.
1. Order monthly subscriptions you’d normally not order.
If you want to blow your stimulus, order a ton of monthly subscriptions you’d normally not order.
For the record, I’m down with streaming services and monthly subscriptions. There is nothing wrong with wanting one. But one thing to consider though is when you pickup a monthly payment, when you’re money runs out, you most likely won’t cancel that service until you’ve paid several extra months.
I have the subscriptions. I just like to keep my monthly expenses as low as possible. Whatever monthly payments I have, I try to keep the same in good and bad times. So I’m not telling you to get rid of netflix, but because you got a check doesn’t mean you should order a ton of subscriptions. Those monthly bills add up!
2. Purchase a car that will involve payments that you’d never normally consider.
“But I can make the payments.”
Famous last words. I see it all the time. Tax season comes someone gets a good check, a nice outfit and is driving a nice car. By November the outfit is worn and the car has been repossessed.
You have to live your life fully aware of the fact that tomorrow is coming. Don’t be overly optimistic to where you’re financial decisions are all based on best case scenarios that have never happened in your life. When that car was repossessed, you lost all that money you put down.
What if instead you took the down payment and bought a regular car that you can pay for in cash? No interest. No monthly payments. No stress that if I go in this restaurant, I may come out to find that the car lot came and got my car.
Pay cash for your cars and you’ll have peace of mind that luxurious cars can’t bring.
Otherwise, you can blow your stimulus check on buying a car out of your price range that’ll get repossessed in a year or less.
3. Purchase expensive outfits that you normally wouldn’t purchase.
If you want to blow through your stimulus check, spend it all on expensive clothing.
Many of us can be guilty of wanting others to like us or wanting to feel good about ourselves that we make financial decisions that screw up our situation.
I’ve met plenty of millionaires throughout my life. One thing I’m always surprised with is how they pride themselves in not spending a lot of money on clothing. They may have nice stuff but many times it’ll be second hand or bought at a heavy discount.
Then meanwhile, I know other people who are walking around with $150 shoes, $200 jacket, $100 jeans, yet can’t afford the light bill. And wonder why they always are struggling.
If you want to waste your stimulus, blow it on expensive clothes.
4. Eat out a lot more.
If you want to blow your stimulus eat out more.
I’m not even gonna front you, that burger looks good. And the wedges.
This is a tough one but it’ll tie in with our last way to not waste your stimulus check.
You can eat out. You can eat in. But you have to do it in moderation. If you’re spending $30/meal getting sushi or eating at a hibachi grill all the time, you’ll blow through money. Even eating fast food in the cheapest way is still more expensive then eating in.
Statistically eating at home almost cost half the price of eating out. Depending on how large your family is the margins can get even bigger. If I take my family to eat out, we’ll spend at least $35. If we eat at home, it’ll cost around $15. And the food is healthier.
If you want to blow through your money, eat out more, otherwise eat at home and save.
5. Don’t budget any of it, close your eyes and swipe away.
If you want to blow your stimulus, then don’t budget! Straight up.
That’s the quickest way to go through it. Don’t budget. But if you want to handle your stimulus well, sit down and write out a budget.
All budgeting is is designating a place for all of your money to go. It is you telling your money it’s place. There are multiple budget forms depending on how you are paid. Dave Ramsey’s Quick Start Budget sheet is a great place to start.
Budgeting probably won’t initially excite you. But I can promise, as time goes by, it becomes a lifeline in your life. An important aspect of it. I can’t go a month without budgeting.
So if you want to waste your stimulus check, don’t budget it. Just live life and close your eyes. You’ll wake up broke and wishing you hadn’t. Otherwise, budget that money and you’ll be extremely glad you did.
Thanks for reading!
Look for my next article, 6 Ways to Build Wealth with Your Stimulus.