10 Ways to Create Your Own $1,200 Stimulus Check
As Washington continues to debate the terms of a second stimulus check to boost your budget during the pandemic – you don’t necessarily have to wait. Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating for months — and still haven’t agreed on a new relief package that would include another round of those $1,200 checks most people received in the Spring.
Well, if you don’t want to wait and could use another $1,200 – stop waiting! Here are 10 ways to find sources of cash and get a second stimulus payment your own way!
1. Reduce Car Insurance Costs
If you own a vehicle, it’s easy to get caught in the routine of paying premiums that’s exactly how you end up paying too much.
Drivers can save over $1,000 a year simply by shopping around regularly for lower auto insurance rates. Each time your policy comes up for renewal, compare rates from multiple insurers to make sure you’re getting the lowest price.
2. Track Lost or Forgotten Money
You may believe it but you may have money sitting in an old, forgotten account. It’s actually quite common.
In fact, 1 in 10 Americans, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, says the states return $3 billion in unclaimed property to its rightful owners every year.
You can search what’s in state databases of unclaimed funds by going to www.MissingMoney.com Here, you’ll find out about money left in an old checking or savings account, or if you’re entitled to life insurance proceeds from deceased relatives.
3. Mortgage Refinancing
If you have a mortgage on your home, you could easily create a $1,200 stimulus payment for yourself by refinancing to one of today’s low mortgage rates.
Mortgage data indicates that if you’re a good refinancing candidate and own at least 20% of your home, you could cut your 30-year mortgage rate by three-quarters of 1 percentage point (0.75) or better, and have a credit score of 720 or higher.
4. Saving on Home Insurance
Just like your car insurance, you can fall into the routine of paying too much for your homeowners’ insurance if you don’t shop around. Like auto, home insurance varies.
One example found annual home insurance rates in Florida can vary by more than $1,500 for coverage that’s almost identical. You could be missing out on discounts, as well. A popular one is for “bundling,” both your auto and your home insurance from the same company.
5. Turn a Hobby into Extra Cash
If you’ve special skills or talents, (come on you know you do!) Try turning it into income. Are you a writer? Web-savvy? Or good with construction or carpentry? Try looking up some gig work and see how easy it is to make some extra money doing what you like or are good at doing in your free time.
6. Pay Less for Online Purchases
Online shopping has increased dramatically since the Coronavirus outbreak. And like everything else shopping around will prove that Amazon isn’t the only online store with low prices.
Check out a free browser extension to automatically find you deals and coupon codes every time you shop online. Heck, before you know it you may have saved as much as $1,200.
7. Collect Forgotten Tax Refunds
Check with the IRS to see if you may be missing any tax refunds.
The IRS says the average refund paid to taxpayers in both 2019 and 2020 has been $2,741 — More than double the $1,200 COVID-19 stimulus check payment amount.
You can go back up to three years and amend previous returns if you were eligible for a refund but somehow didn’t claim it.
The IRS recently put out the last call for taxpayers to claim more than $1.5 billion in refunds from 2016 returns filed in 2017. Ask your accountant or tax preparer for further assistance if needed.
8. Get Smart with Student Loan Debt
So, the good news here is that payments on federal student loans have been suspended until the end of the year – but if you have debt from a private student loan, you’re on your own to make the minimum payments.
But here’s something you might not know: Interest rates on private student loans are at all-time lows — down to just 1% in some cases — and refinancing your loan can save you a ton. Depending on your debt this could save you well over the $1,200 stimulus check amount you’re waiting for!
9. Sell What You Don’t Use or Need
When was the last time you played with that old, mint, still in the box, Star Wars Action Figure? Probably not in a while. So, if your closets are full of old toys and other pieces of childhood memories collecting dust – it’s time to cash it in!
In fact, your toys from the 70’s or 80’s could be worth hundreds of dollars — maybe even more than a $1,200 stimulus payment! If you’ve never sold things on eBay before, it’s easy to do. There’s tons of similar sites that can help you sell your items to net you some cold, hard cash.
Or, use a buyback service that will take your old electronics, books, and movies off your hands, and give you cash for them.
10. Leverage YouTube
Gots knack for making viral videos? Or maybe you like being on camera talking about things you know a lot about? Either way, if your content goes viral, you could potentially make serious cash: Some of the best YouTubers earn $20 million a year. Now, it’s not easy and it’s anyone’s guess what can (or will) go viral, but why not give it a shot? Start by checking out ways you can make money on YouTube.
There you have it! With some determination, focus, and a bit of luck, you’ll earn that $1,200 in no time — without waiting on Washington!