This article was last updated on May 25
The IRS recently reported that most of the 2020 economic stimulus check payments have now been officially distributed. And in many cases the funds have already been used by eligible recipients to buy necessities or splurge on electronics and toys to keep entertained while stuck at home. So for those who have used up their stimulus check, or those that didn’t get their payment or weren’t eligible, here are a few not so obvious ways you can save or make some money now to recreate another stimulus check!
Call your auto insurance company (estimated savings $50 to $200)- Under new regulations and the fact that the likelihood of accidents is much lower since a lot less people are on the road due to Coronavirus induced stay/working from home conditions, many auto insurance companies are returning millions of dollars back to policyholders. So call your auto insurance company if you haven’t got this discount or shop around for much lower rates!
Call your credit company and ask them to waive or discount your annual fees (saving $100 to $200). If you have travel, entertainment or business credit cards that you cannot really use due to the COVID travel restrictions then call your credit card company and tell them to forgive or lower your annual fees or provide a free extension. I got this recently for my United Club card via a $200 statement credit.
Cut your home insurance ($50 to $100). Crime is lower as more people are home. So like cheaper auto insurance options call your insurance company for a discount on your next renewal or shop around for better deals that are definitely on offer.
Sell your junk (up to $200) One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Many sites have popped up that allow you to take a pictures and post an item for sale in less than 5 mins. With extra time on my hands I have sorted through my basement and garage and sold several items (in good condition) for over $300!
Enhanced Unemployment Benefits ($600) If you lost your job, got a pay cut due to a furlough or reduced working hours make sure you apply for your states unemployment benefits even if you think you will get a job soon. Because even if you qualify for $1 in regular state unemployment you can get $600 p/week in additional federal pandemic unemployment assistance (available through the end of July).
Review your tax withholding ($500 to $1000) While this may be boring it’s a good time to review your income tax withholding for the year ahead, especially if you are going to be earning less. By lowering your state and federal tax withholdings on your earned income (including unemployment) you could have quite a bit extra in your pocket now.
Getting your home chef on (saving $40 to $60 per week). Thanks to spending a lot more time at home, limited food options and because most people like some variety in their food, making your own meals will save you money, especially if you plan ahead when it comes to prep and online grocery shopping (couponing!). You’ll find you will cook healthier, have smaller portions and likely also make it a permanent habit. With the amount of information available online and from endless cooking shows on YouTube and on streaming services you should not have any problem finding simple recipes that can also be very cost effective.
Feel free to leave a comment below to suggest any other money saving ideas. I’ll keep updating as I find some more practical tips. We are after all in this together.