Knight Voices

What Should I Do With My Stimulus Check?

By Brody Smith

Guest Writer

As the third round of stimulus makes its way to Americans the question remains, what to do with it? For the few college students receiving a check spend it wisely because $1400 can only get you so far. That being said, I’d like to dive a bit deeper into different ways for college students to utilize their stimulus check. 

  1. First, I believe It’s imperative college students establish a fiscal responsibility and a great credit score. There is no reason for any student to be paying 25% interest monthly on our credit cards. Therefore, paying down any outstanding credit card debt should be first on your list as a college student. This will increase your credit score over time and open up more doors such as getting a better interest rate on your first mortgage. If you don’t have any outstanding credit card debt, congratulations! You can make some different choices as to where you want to put this money. 
  1. After your credit card debt, it might be best to stock the fridge and cover living expenses! It’s no secret that prices of living and food are going up, so this stimulus could be of serious support for those who need it. Unfortunately, you won’t see any financial returns from this, but a full fridge is good for the soul. 
  1. If it’s not a debt you put this stimulus towards maybe the better alternative would be to open up an investment account. As I trade in the financial markets, I often come across articles along the line of “if you had invested the first stimulus you would have X amount today.” It’s never too early to start investing and building a financial cushion, especially for those who have taken on large amounts of debt to pay for tuition. TD Ameritrade offers a wide variety of investment accounts, there are no account minimums and their support team is extremely helpful. Plant a seed now and watch it grow over the years!
  1. For those who are more risk-averse and would like to have a guarantee of their money, another option would be to find a high-interest savings account. It may be a bit more difficult to find an account that gives you 1-3% back on your money however if one comes along make sure to take advantage of the opportunity. However, these accounts normally have minimums so it would take most if not all of your stimulus to open up such an account. If you can’t find anything that suits your preference in return, stash that stimulus away in a traditional savings account until interest rates increase.  
  1. Maybe investing isn’t your style or you already have parents or people who invest for you. In that case, my fourth suggestion for college students receiving a stimulus check would be to invest in their mental and physical health. Purchase some workout gear or weights to maintain a good physical activity regiment, or maybe some higher quality skincare/health products to keep you going strong through this pandemic. 

Whatever you choose to do with your stimulus make sure it is invested for your own best interest. If that’s paying down your bills or starting an investment account, go for it. For those who don’t see the value in investing, take to your mental and physical health. Whatever you do, do it wisely. 

Brody Smith is a senior majoring in finance from Belmar, NJ.

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