On Your Side: Five smart ways to spend your stimulus check

If you lost income because of COVID-19, pay your bills with that money.
However if you feel your job is secure, you're probably having conversations right now with your family on what to do with this money.
Here are five smart ideas.

1. Pay down high-interest debt

"If you are carrying a balance on a credit card, a thousand dollars on that, assuming you don't charge it back up ... $1,000 on that can probably save you a couple hundred dollars a year," said James Philpot, who teaches finance at Missouri State University.

2. Deferred Projects

These are things that need to be done, but you've put off. Do you need new tires? Do you need to replace an appliance? Is your AC unit ready for the summer heat?

3. Home remodel

You'll get the most bang for your buck with a bathroom or kitchen remodel. However, that could cost several thousands. Perhaps spend a few hundred dollars on a smaller project and you'll enjoy it immediately since you're home. Spruce up an outdoor space. Or you don't have to break a sweat. Listen to this idea.

"$1,200 might go a good ways towards closing cost on a refinance of a home. You would be turning that $1,200 into a monthly savings stream which could be very worthwhile," said Philpot.

4. Invest it

Add it to your retirement fund or put it toward a college fund. If you're spending this money on kids, tell them.

"That's a really good opportunity to help your kids learn about managing money. I'm not saying you should hand it over to them. I'm saying you should let your child know what's going on. Be straight forward without scaring them, depending on their maturity level, talk about finances and what this means," said Kenny Gott with Piatchek & Associates.

5. Donate it.

Consider helping people who are really struggling right now. Maybe give to a family member or friend. Donate the money to a non-profit.

Don't forget that emergency fund. Experts say you want at least $1,000 in a savings amount.