How would I spent a stimulus cheque?
Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of discussion about the American government’s economic stimulus package. Both in the blog world and on social media, I’ve read a lot of different accounts from individuals about how they’ve spent or plan to spend the money.
Reading these accounts made me wonder: what would I do with an extra $1,200?
After spending some time thinking about it, here’s what I can up with.
Why I’m not receiving a stimulus cheque
The answer to this question is simple: I’m not receiving a stimulus cheque because I live in Canada.
The Government of Canada has introduced different economic measures as part of its COVID-19 response efforts, with a big focus on helping Canadian workers and businesses facing hardship.
I’m not going to deep dive into the elements of the plan. For the purpose of this post, I’ll note the Canadian plan does not dole out stimulus money the same way the American plan does.
As I have mentioned before, both our jobs transitioned to work from home in March. We continue to draw our salaries and I am very grateful for that. We’re not receiving any money through the Canadian plan — and that’s totally alright.
While we won’t be receiving any stimulus money, I have been reading and enjoying seeing how others have either used or plan to use theirs! Maybe it’s because I’m a little nosey (I used to be a reporter, after all) but I like getting a look into how other people manage their money. With all that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to write about how I would put a $1,200 cheque to use.
What would I do with a stimulus cheque?
Based on the criteria here, I believe Jeff and I would qualify for the full $2,400. For the purpose of this post, I’m operating under that assumption and splitting that total 50/50 – $1,200 each.
Much like I wouldn’t make plans for Jeff’s personal spending allowance, I’m not going to spend his (fictional) stimulus money, either. This post will focus on how I would spend my cut of our stimulus cheque.
With those things in mind, here’s how I would spend a stimulus cheque.
Donations – $400
If I received a $1,200 stimulus cheque, $400 would be earmarked for donations.
There are a ton of really great causes out there, but after thinking about it, there are five local organizations I would support.
The local community kitchen: Along with feeding people in our community, they also run a program that provides bags of food to students in our city.
Our local women’s shelter: They currently house 10 women and provide a comforting, supportive, safe environment that fosters and produces dignity and self-determination.
Our local transition house: They provide services for women fleeing domestic violence.
Two local SPCAS: We have two cats, adopted from two different shelters. We have had great experience at both, so I’d want to be able to provide some assistance to them as well.
I would take this $400 and split it evenly, giving each organization $80 a piece.
Restocking – $100
I’m just going to be real with you: I would take $100 out of the $1,200 and spend it at Bath and Body Works.
Once upon a time, I was one of those people who used to buy a lot of soap. Time, and the reality of a small living space, has led me to a place where I lean more toward buying a reasonable amount of fancy soap, purchasing more only when I am about to run out.
This is fine in normal circumstances. Low on soap? Just pop into the store and grab a couple more!
But that has not been the case for the last few months…which means we have maybe one more bottle of soap left.
Is fancy soap a necessity? Not at all. But…I like it. I figure if I have to wash my hands until they are cracked and raw, I might as well be using a nice smelling soap, you know?
So if we received stimulus cheques, I would be using some of it to stock up on soap (and honestly, I’d likely get a few candles, too, because that’s who I am).
Personal spending – $250
If we received stimulus cheques, I would set aside $250 for personal spending.
The first thing I’d buy? A new pair of Birkenstocks! My old ones are about four years old and the cork has seen much better days. I’m OK with this — I wore them A LOT over those years — and I will continue to wear them as inside the house sandals. But the time has come to get new ones. If I got them full price, they’d come to about $150 after tax.
I would use the rest of the money to buy a couple items for my wardrobe — in particular, I could use a few more work-appropriate t-shirts — and I might consider buying a couple books. I wouldn’t rush to spend the last part of this money, honestly.
Savings – $225
I would stash $225 of the stimulus cheque away into savings.
What am I saving for? Nothing in particular right now. But I do try to make a point to save a little bit of my personal money. I figure some day, I’ll find something I want to buy — and if I focus on saving now, I’ll have the money there and ready when that time comes!
Investing – $225
Last but certainly not least, I would take $225 for the stimulus cheque and add it to the TFSA I opened with WealthSimple.
Where we have been very focused on paying off debt, I have not invested heavily with this account, although I do try to put a little bit away every month. This would definitely give that fund a little boost!
Full disclosure: the link above is a referral link. If you sign up with that link, we’ll both get $10,000 managed free for a year.
Even though a stimulus cheque isn’t in our immediate future, I enjoyed thinking about how we might spend one.
Splitting that money in five areas — donations, restocking, personal spending, saving and investing — feels very true to who I am. Not only is a good reflection of the things I value, but it also helps achieve the goal of the stimulus cheque in the first place: stimulating the economy.
Did you receive a stimulus cheque? If so, how did you spend it? If not, what would you do with a stimulus cheque if you received one?