This is a time when many people in America are expecting to get some extra money into their bank account. Of course, this comes about every year at this time when tax refunds are hitting bank accounts. With the addition of an anticipated stimulus payment coming to a great number, though, the dynamic has expanded and can present a moment of opportunity.
Of course, there is a sizable number of people for who this is just a life preserver. For them, these financial infusions will allow them to finally catch up a little bit or put food on the table. And for anyone in that situation, that is exactly how that money should be used.
I want to speak to others, though, the fortunate ones who can afford to think about what to do with this money. And I think the best way to handle it may to be think about what you would have done with the money if it came 18 months ago.
Remember that time, when you used to sit at a bar or go to a basketball game?
Yes, things have changed radically in the last year for everyone, and the way we approach money may certainly have changed with it. For some, this may mean they cannot see an extra $1,400 without thinking vacation because they have spent too much time in their house. For others, this may mean immediately wanting to put it into the bank because the last year eroded any sense of security.
Just as our mindsets may have shifted radically from where they were a year ago, though, the upcoming year could be coming with a similar shift. There can be argument over whether or not (and how much) we will be wearing masks at that time, but all indications are that we will be in a much better place on the whole a year from now.
And that place will be so different because it will be so much closer to normal – you know, that place we may have been in 18 months ago.
So, if you are faced with choices about what to do with some of that new money, the best thing to do may be to use it as a bridge back to normal. I don’t necessarily think there are right or wrong answers as to how to use it, but the answers should be the right ones for every individual making it. To find that answer, I do believe it is worth spending some time asking our old selves what we would have done with it way back in 2019 before we make those 2021 decisions.
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