CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Members of Congress scrambled back to Washington Friday to vote on the emergency coronavirus rescue package that would send money to nearly every American taxpayer.
The $2.2 trillion plan would help many Americans struggling financially right now.
Some of the things included in the plan are additional weeks of unemployment benefits, loans for small businesses that don't lay off employees and $1,200 checks for most adults, plus $500 per child.
That quick influx of cash is something many people will need. The economy is crippled by the coronavirus and a record 3.3 million Americans filed unemployment claims. Simply being handed free money sounds enticing but financial experts say the way you use it really matters.
It’s a lifeline in the form of a check, $1,200 for individuals who earn less than $75,000 a year.
"That money is meant to help. It’s meant to put that in some pockets to ease some pain, maybe for some folks it gives them a little flexibility to spend some money to keep the economy propped up,” says Chris Hobart with Hobart Financial Group based in Ballantyne.
Simply put, it's a safety net and it should be treated that way.
“If we have bills that have to be paid, make sure those are being taken care of. If we have expenses that are a must, we need to focus on those,” said Hobart.
People who already have savings should look at this as a way to help others and the economy. Spend it at a local business, on takeout food, or gift it to someone who needs it.
“Will this money be a solution for everybody? Hardly. But it is a good way to inject a lot of capital into the United States economy to at least make sure we don't hit some sort of mega depression or something like that,” says Hobart.
If everything goes as planned, Americans can expect this money in about three weeks. It will be a direct deposit if that’s how you get your tax refund. If not, they'll mail a check to your house.