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How to Make the Most of Your Stimulus Check

Don't blow it on vacation or lose track of this important windfall—decide where to invest, save or donate your stimulus money.

Many of us received some very welcomed financial relief this month in the form of stimulus checks. For some people, these checks will help cover the basic needs of survival, like paying rent and buying food. For others, they'll help fulfill other necessities like clothing, medical bills, or school supplies.

But what if you aren't sure exactly what to do with this extra cash? Here are three ways to consider using your stimulus check—save, invest, donate. You might choose one option or a combination of all three. No matter which you choose, you'll be putting that money to work for you in a way that matters and ultimately gives back.

1. Invest: Putting money away now will ensure you are secure in the future.

If you have a 401k with an employer match, it’s a great choice to make an extra deposit here. Why? Because you'll be taking advantage of free money. The more money you deposit, the more your employer will as well.

If you don't have a 401k, think about opening a traditional or Roth IRA at your local Citizens Bank branch today.

2. Save: Here's the chance to get caught up on important life financial goals and to protect yourself in case of emergency.

If you don't yet have an emergency fund, this is the perfect seed to plant and get a good jump on one. Experts recommend having 3 to 6 months worth of expenses saved in case of job loss, short-term disability, or a sudden expense or repair.

Think about other things you could save for too, the vacation you’ve been dying to go on, repairs for your home, your dream wedding -- the possibilities for saving are endless.

Ask your community banker to help you choose the right savings account for you!

3. Donate: If you can afford to give back, the benefits are not only for those in need but to your own health and well-being: giving can lower blood pressure, boost depressive moods, lower stress, and increase self-esteem.

Make a donation to a community organization directly battling the pandemic by checking this list on Charity Navigator, which vets worthy causes and helps you decide where your funds will be best used.

Contact your local chambers of commerce, to see if they are aware of funds to help the community and support local businesses.

For more advice on the best use for your stimulus check, talk with your favorite Citizens Banker today!

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