Over the past couple of weeks, Americans have begun to see the economic stimulus checks show up in checking accounts, savings accounts, and now in mailboxes across the country. Now, obviously, if you are unemployed, laid off, or otherwise furloughed, and haven’t received your first unemployment check, you’re probably going to use the money to pay bills, buy groceries, and just keep your head above water. But, what if you’re one of the ones who is still working, have started receiving your unemployment (bolstered by the extra $600 weekly federal money), or don’t need the additional money. What are you doing with your stimulus money? Are you one of the many who have made the trip to the local home improvement store? Have you purchased new electronic toys online?
If you haven’t spent your stimulus money, you may want to consider saving as much as possible, and here’s why.
Even though we’ve all been led to believe that the economy will just magically bounce back once we’re allowed to officially reopen those businesses that were closed, the simple truth is that it’s just not going to happen that way. Already, the Governors of nearly every state are considering “phased” reopening plans, meaning that it’s going to be a slow, steady, uphill battle to dig our way out of the economic hole that this virus has created for us. Many businesses, large and small, simply may never reopen, and those that do will open with a much lower capacity, and likely, a much smaller staff at first. And that means that many of us will not be going back to work right away – some of us won’t go back to the same jobs at all.
There’s also the very real possibility that other businesses will ultimate close weeks or even months after the “reopening,” simply because the lower volume of business, coupled with the loss of income over the past two month, will cause those businesses to falter and die long after the pandemic is over. That’s why, even if your job is totally secure, you may want to hold on to your stimulus money for now – at least until the wrinkles all shake out once everything is open again.
Remember, at this point, nothing is certain.