As you likely know, the U.S. government has approved a historic $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. That means every qualifying taxpayer is expected to receive a maximum payment of $1,200 sometime this month.

Now, for a lot of us, $1,200 can make a world of difference. But before you start making plans for that check, personal-finance guru Tiffany “the Budgetnista” Aliche says you might want to confirm that you have one coming. “If you’re single and you make over $99,000 [according to your adjusted gross income] or [you’re in] a couple earning over $198,000 [filing jointly], you’re not going to get anything,” she said during day 2 of the ESSENCE Wellness House Virtual Summit. The same goes for anyone who owes back child support or is listed as a dependent. Sorry
. . . those are the rules!

For those who do receive a stimulus check, Aliche says the first thing you should put that money toward is your essential bills. “Prioritize the bills that will help you maintain your safety and your health,” she says. She adds that your second priority should be padding your savings account, to ensure you have at least 6 months worth of basic living expenses stashed away for a rainy day. If those two things are in order, you can move on to paying down debt or investing in building wealth or your retirement savings.

These are money moves we can get behind! Click the video above to check out more of the Budgetnista’s stimulus tips.

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