How to Spend Your Stimulus Check If You're Broke

Keeping food on the table and shelter over your head are important, especially during COVID-19. Using your stimulus check for necessities is smart and can often be helped further by asking for penalty-free deferred payments on your bills and living expenses.

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COVID-19 has knocked out the financial progress many had made over the last decade. Millennials have been hit particularly hard because we are one of the most vulnerable groups. This is a product of not having enough time to develop and employ our high income skills (opens in new tab) nor build enough wealth to weather tough times like we’re seeing now.

Fortunately, stimulus checks offered through the CARES Act are putting money in the hands of those who need it most. While some Millennials may have more flexibility in their budgets and can use these funds on any of the best investments for young adults (opens in new tab), many others need this money to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, among other pressing necessities.

How should you spend your stimulus check if bills are piling up and you need to use your check on necessities? Here’s a walk-through on the thought process about how to prioritize.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC (opens in new tab) or with FINRA (opens in new tab).

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Riley Adams, CPA
Owner, Young and the Invested

Riley Adams, CPA, is originally from New Orleans but now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he works as a senior financial analyst at Google. He also runs the personal finance site called Young and the Invested (opens in new tab), a website dedicated to helping young adults invest, manage and plan their money with confidence.