These tips to spend your Third Stimulus Check came directly from Sandra Block‘s article on Kiplinger, dated March 11, 2021. See her article for the whole piece.
You may need your stimulus check for basic necessities. But, if not, consider ways the money can work for you. Here are Sandra Block’s ideas for your third payment.
Save Your Stimulus Check for Retirement
You have until April 15, 2021, to invest in a traditional or Roth IRA for 2020. The maximum contribution for a 2020 IRA is $6,000 — $7,000 if you’re 50 or older — so you can stash your entire stimulus check there if you don’t need it for anything else.
Pay Off High-Interest Debt
If you’re carrying credit card debt, you can free up a lot of cash by paying off those cards. If you manage to pay off the entire balance, you also eliminate a monthly expense.
Give Your Stimulus Check Away
You can deduct a portion of your donation on your 2021 tax return even if you claim the standard deduction. There’s an “above-the-line” deduction for up to $300 of cash donations. This new deduction was originally allowed for 2020 returns only. However, the second COVID-relief and government spending bill extended the charitable deduction for non-itemizers for another year. It also allowed married couples who file jointly to deduct up to $600 in cash donations (in 2020, the maximum a married couple can deduct is $300).
Shore Up Your Emergency Fund
Ideally, you should have three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a savings account. If you’re not there yet, your third stimulus check is a good start. We can help you set up a share account for emergencies, for your Christmas fund, or for any other savings goal.
Invest in a 529 College Savings Plan
Contributions to a 529 college savings plan grow tax-free, and withdrawals aren’t taxed if you use them for qualified expenses, such as college tuition and room and board. To research plans, go to www.savingforcollege.com.
Support Local Businesses
Buy a gift card for a local restaurant or other small business that has been forced to close or scale back operations during the coronavirus pandemic. This provides the business with much-needed cash during the shutdown, and you can use the gift card to treat yourself to their services when the pandemic is behind us.