Coronavirus stimulus checks: How to spend a second round, according to personal finance expert Chris Hogan

Stephanie Asymkos
·Reporter
·2 mins read

If a second wave of stimulus checks does materialize, it can be an opportunity for Americans to do better, according to one expert.

“It’s important for people to really take note of how did they handle it the first time around and really want to make sure that you’re doing better,” Chris Hogan, author and financial expert, told Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker (video above).

Hogan attributed the pandemic and the economic uncertainty it’s brought for tapping into the public consciousness and sparking a “saving mentality.”

Amanda Geno has been able to keep paying her rent and other bills largely because of enhanced unemployment benefits enacted under the CARES Act. (REUTERS/Faith Ninivaggi)
Amanda Geno has been able to keep paying her rent and other bills largely because of enhanced unemployment benefits enacted under the CARES Act. (REUTERS/Faith Ninivaggi)

The prevailing sentiment is that another wave of $1,200 stimulus checks would be a welcome windfall for qualifying Americans, but the likelihood of another round still hangs in the balance as Congress debates another aid package.

Hogan laid out the three scenarios Americans are likely to identify with during this time of economic uncertainty and the best ways to earmark a second stimulus check based on their most pressing needs.

What to do

If you’re unemployed, furloughed, or your hours were reduced

Hogan suggested going into “conserve mode” to “preserve” your stimulus money to pay for necessities like housing, groceries, and utilities.

Moreover, he said, those who are financially struggling should be their own advocates when it comes to communicating with creditors and lenders and keeping them apprised of their situation without overpromising payments they won’t be able to fulfill.

People who lost their jobs wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at an Arkansas Workforce Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S. April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
People who lost their jobs wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at an Arkansas Workforce Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S. April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

If your job is stable and you have debt

Hogan advised using your second round to “attack debt” and get out from the vise of paying interest.

If you’re living debt-free

Take the extra cash injection to boost your emergency fund that should contain three to six months’ worth of expenses. If your emergency fund is already flush, invest in the market.

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Yahoo Money sister site Cashay has a weekly newsletter.

Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Money and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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