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10 Best Ways to Use Your Tax Refund and Stimulus Check

With tax refunds and stimulus checks hitting your bank account, you may find yourself with extra cash. Whether you decide to go all-in paying down debt or split it a few different ways, it’s best to have a plan of action. At Farmers & Merchants Bank, we’re always here to be your neighbor that offers sound advice, so we’ve gathered the 10 best ways you can use your stimulus check and tax refunds.

Pay Your Bills

Consider putting some money towards any credit card balances or loans. Paying these can take a huge load off your shoulders so you can focus on other things.

Beef Up Your Emergency Fund

If we’ve learned anything this last year, it’s that life is unpredictable and it’s always good to have an emergency fund handy. We recommend calculating your normal monthly spending for rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, and car payments and multiplying that number by three to six months. With emergency funds, it’s better to have it when you need it with a bank you already trust. Learn more about FMB savings accounts today.

Save for Retirement

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement! Consider adding a portion of your money to your existing retirement account or even open a Traditional or Roth IRA with us to boost your retirement savings that much more. Check out our IRA rates here.

Set it Aside for a Future Vacation

Want to take a well-deserved vacation soon but don’t have all the plans set in stone? That’s A-ok! You can still start setting aside money for that vacation fund, even if you don’t know where you’re going yet. 

Invest It

Not sure if you need it right now? — invest it! If you’ve been wanting to learn more about investing, there’s no time like the present. This is a great guide on how to start investing.

Save for Your Kids

Let’s say you want to put a little money away for the kiddos. You can open or contribute to a 529 Plan for college and you can write off your contributions. Talk about a win-win. Another great option is signing up your kid(s) for the Star Savers Club.

The Star Savers Club is free for all kids from birth to age 18. When your child or grandchild joins, they’ll get tips all year long to encourage healthy saving and spending habits before they go out into the real world! Star Savers learn real-life skills such as:

  • How to save money
  • How to budget
  • How to use your money to give back to the community
  • And much more!

The best part? We mail out goodies throughout the year!Ready to sign your child or grandchild up? Just stop in and talk to a banker about joining the Star Savers Club.

Shop Local

Supporting local businesses is a great way to give back to your community and stimulate the economy. Take that extra cash and shop at a local business, where your dollars matter even more.

Donate to a Worthy Cause

There are quite a few youth shelters, local schools, and charitable organizations that would greatly appreciate any size donation. It’s a great way to put your stimulus check to use for those in need.

Learn a New Skill

Have you been wanting to improve your professional skills or learn something new, but couldn’t make the financial investment before? Now’s the time! Take some of your money and sign up for an online training or certification class to master a new skill or take on a new hobby.

Treat Yourself

It’s been a tough year for everyone and it’s important to treat yourself every once in a while! If you’ve had your eye on an expensive item that you couldn’t buy before, it may be time to splurge and click “Buy Now.” Just be sure to do your research, read reviews, and do some price comparison before you treat yourself!