Coronavirus stimulus checks: 'We can’t really continue to depend on those things,' personal finance expert says

Denitsa Tsekova
·3 mins read

Even if you’re planning on getting another stimulus check, you should still be working towards building your savings and staying on top of your spending, according to one personal finance expert.

“Those stimulus checks definitely helped us through a hard time,” Kia Young, communications manager at America Saves, a non-profit campaign, said on Yahoo Finance’s On the Move (video above). “Now it's time for you to really think about what comes next. We can't really continue to depend on those things.”

The stimulus checks helped boost personal income amid the coronavirus pandemic, despite millions of Americans losing their jobs and wages. They also helped low-income Americans, in particular, to return close to their pre-pandemic levels of spending.

Personal income grew by 7.3% in the second quarter compared with the first one. Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance

Read more: Coronavirus stimulus checks: What it means for your taxes

While the pandemic had led to a 25.7% personal saving rate in the second quarter — compared to 9.5% in the previous quarter — Americans will have to start thinking about what happens when there are no more checks from the government to rely on, Young stressed.

“A lot of people talk about savings and they tell you ‘Oh you should cut back on things,’” she said. “Sometimes you have to consider that you might have to start thinking about adding an additional income.”

The next steps

If you have reviewed your budget and cash flow for the coming months and have decided that you need additional income, one route is by looking for jobs in the gig economy.

“The best step to take is based on your unique situation,” Young said. “If you make the decision that ‘Ok, it’s time to add some extra income,’ some ways to do that right now is we still have the gig economy.”

Looking for delivery jobs — particularly ones that have contactless options — is one option but with coronavirus cases across many states rising, those looking for extra income might want to consider remote work options, especially if they are in a high-risk group.

Read more: Coronavirus stimulus check: How to get one if you don't file your taxes

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Based on one’s skillset and previous experience, Young suggested to try looking for freelance writing opportunities or becoming a virtual assistant.

“Think about those talents that you already have that you might be able to turn into freelance opportunities,” she said. “A lot of people that have online businesses are really looking for support. A lot of organizations who had to pivot and mostly work from home now need additional support as well.”

Young appeared as part of Yahoo Finance’s ongoing partnership with the Funding our Future campaign, a group of organizations advocating for increased retirement security for Americans.

Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.

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