Due to the coronavirus epidemic, unemployment payments have seem a pretty hefty increase. The CARES act implemented an extra $600 per week for unemployment recipients, making their weekly payouts go up as high as $1050. This is much more money than many of these unemployed workers were making while employed, and this calls for some discussion. While many sites are talking about the moral implications, we aren’t here to drag you down with that. Rather, if you’re one of these lucky people, we are going to show you the best uses of your extra cash. With all of the stress surrounding you right now, it is time to figure out how we can better your life through it all.
First things first, the main takeaway from this epidemic has been the importance of liquid savings. Retirement funds are great, but if you don’t have liquid cash for emergencies, you could end up in some seriously sticky situations. So, start by making sure that you can get at least $1000 in savings. If you are already there, or pretty close, you should try to load up the savings until you have enough to cover 3 months of rent and bills. This will ensure that you don’t have to fear for your livelihood if emergencies come up later on down the road when you are back at your normal pay. The peace of mind itself is worth the effort here.
If you have a couple thousand on credit cards, it is time to take care of that. Got a car that is almost paid off? Let’s get that handled as well. If you are making more than you made at work, then dedicate all of that extra to paying off your debts. It may seem like a bit of a buzzkill, but getting these payments off your back will make your regular salary feel bigger. This is because it won’t be bogged down by monthly expenses related to your debts. There is nothing like the freedom of finally being out of debt, and the extra money in your pocket each months is a sweet bonus. The cherry on top of it all is the interest you won’t have to pay on things like credit cards. Do yourself a huge favor, and get the debtors off of your tail.
If you don’t have a vehicle right now, then you may want to get one. As we have discussed before, all you need is a few grand to get yourself a great ride. There are vehicles that are reliable, comfortable, and even fast in the $2,000-5,000 range. this shouldn’t be too hard of a range to afford if you’re making almost $1,200 more each paycheck. Once you have done this, you will be one of the lucky few to get out of this with a new (to you) ride. Even luckier, you won’t even have a car payment! This one is really only if you need a =car, or can get rid of your old one without losing money. For example, I sold my 2011 BMW 328i during this quarantine so I could ditch my payment. What I ended up with was a beautiful $4,000 1996 Corvette.