February 11, 2021
Many of you recently received another $600 check from the federal government to help weather the financial hardship of the pandemic. There may be another round of direct federal assistance in the near future as the Biden administration has proposed an additional $1,400 per adult payment.
For households that have been hit hard by the pandemic, calling these payments “stimulus” misses the point. They are a matter of survival, providing crucial help to keep the heat on and food in the fridge.
But for many households, the pandemic has not been an economic gut-punch. Those of you who have had the luxury of shifting from the office to remote work at home have likely not suffered economic hardship.
And it’s those of you who are financially stable that I want to talk to about how to use your stimulus payouts.
From a purely financial standpoint, you can guess what is at the top of my list. Building up your emergency fund. Saving more for retirement.
No news there, right?
But I am going to ask you to think beyond your financial situation. Right now, there are so many families suffering severe financial stress. If ever there was a time to Put. People. First—it is now, my friends.
While there is never anything wrong with continuing to build more financial security for yourself, I think there is an important opportunity right now for those who don’t “need” the federal stimulus to share it with those who do.
This is such a life-affirming stand-in-the-truth moment. If you still have your job, if you already have a good-sized emergency fund and you’re saving for retirement, I am asking you to consider giving your stimulus money to those who are in need.
Maybe it is a family. Or friends. Or the local food bank you see on the news struggling to meet the demand of those heartbreakingly long lines of cars waiting for a box of food. Or helping the family whose kids don’t have a tablet or basic laptop for remote learning. Or ordering a few meals each week from a local restaurant struggling to stay afloat. For those of you who are able to stay safely at home and get food delivered, please be as generous as possible in tipping the person making the delivery. Those front-line workers that are making your life safer and easier do so at risk to themselves, often at too-low wages.
I ask you to open your heart and your wallet to those around you in this time of need.