How you might use your stimulus money

Most recently the Stimulus Bill passed the muster of Congress and the ink was put to the page by President Joe Biden.  Some may have already received their funds via direct deposit and for others the check may be in the mail. Of course, it could be a matter of weeks before it starts hitting other people’s bank accounts. However, if you get some stimulus money, what would be a good way to use these extra funds?  What can you actually do to stimulate your personal finances or help some other worthy cause with that money? There are a lot of things you may want to spend the money on, but what will be best for you in the long run?  Could it be that you have an opportunity to take a positive step toward financial health with this extra money. Or perhaps this affords an opportunity to help some area of God’s work in His Vineyard. No doubt every person’s situation is different, so consider the ideas below and apply them to your own situation.

  1. Pay off debts. Start with the urgent (rent, mortgage, utilities, car payment, etc), then catch up on whatever bills are left.  The Bible tells us, “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives”  Psalm 37:22  God expects us to pay our creditors (anyone we owe money to) what we have committed to give them.  Then we will be in position to be generous.
  2. Contribute to your emergency fund. Trouble comes calling when we aren’t expecting it – jobs can evaporate, vehicles break down, appliance fail, medical bills, etc.  Be ready for a few emergencies by setting aside some money that will only be spent on true emergencies.  Try to have at least one month’s living expenses in this account.  Financial advisors suggest building up to 3-6 months living expenses.  This can give a lot of peace of mind.  “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” Prov. 21:20
  3. Help someone. You may know someone who is so far behind that the stimulus check they get isn’t enough to get them out of their financial pit.  The money was given to pull people out of their personal economic mess, so if you aren’t in need, you could pass it on to someone who is.

Do this prayerfully.  You don’t want to enable people, but you could really help a conscientious person get out of the mess they ended up in due to their personal economic setback from the effect of Covid19 or other crisis.  Jesus spent so much of His time meeting people’s needs.  This could be a great opportunity for you to do the same.  You can read Matthew 25:31-46 to get an idea of what kinds of things God wants us to do for others.

  1. Give to your church and/or favorite ministries. We believe that Jesus is coming to bring an end to the pandemic of sin.  We don’t know how soon, but there should be some urgency to take the gospel to our communities and the rest of the world.  After all, there is only one thing we can spend money on that will last for eternity, and that is people saved by the grace of God. The need to support the Evangelism and outreach ministry is an ever-present reality. There are also needs in Youth ministry and Education at all levels within the conference.

We are daily bombarded by companies trying to convince us that we “need” their product or that we “deserve” what they can offer us.  Certainly, there are a long list of things that would be fun to spend money on.  Yet we are stewards of the abundant resources that come into our control.  It is better for us to accept God’s priorities, since He is seeking our own good as He encourages stewardship in all areas of our lives. As we are told in Scripture “It is better to give than to receive.” As Christians we want to honor Him with each dollar that comes into our possession.  Prayerfully commit all your financial resources to God and He will act on your behalf and give you what money can’t buy.  “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” Psalm 37:5,6

By: Scott Haakenson and Robert Wagley