UNITED STATES─I hope you’re like me and received a stimulus check from the government that allows you to sustain during these unprecedented times right now. Yeah, we have a global pandemic, something many of us never expected or could have thought would transpire to us in a trillion years, but it has happened. States literally closed their governments, millions of Americans to numbers that one cannot imagine are unemployed, businesses are closed and money is tighter now than ever before.

You might be asking what does this have to do with that stimulus check. Well, what did you do with it? I was the biggest proponent at first that I was going to take that money and use it to buy a few things, but I stopped to think for a moment: I don’t know how long this pandemic is going to last. In addition, I don’t know if I’m even going to have a job America.

So my stimulus check went right into the bank to prepare for a rainy day; I want to have money that covers expenses not just for a few months. That is what we’re told, but who knows if for some God forsaken situation arises and I’m unable to work for a significant period of time? Then what. Precisely, not too many people think about that. I cannot tell you how many people I know who got that money from the government and used it to purchase high-end luxury items like 4k televisions, cars and items they just don’t need.

Now look, I can understand the notion of wanting to treat yourself, and this is after all your bills and expenses have been taken care of, but if they haven’t then what? I mean what if you just blew $1200, $1700, $2200 or more on items just for the sake of it? Did you ever take a moment to think about using those funds to pay off outstanding debt that has haunted you? I know I have and that’s precisely what I’m doing. I am one of the lucky ones: I have a job that is essential so I am required to go to work during this pandemic. It has been so chaotic that I don’t even recall the last time I had an off day people, that actually felt like an off day.

So I’m able to stack money on top of money that is the one thing this pandemic has taught me more than anything: I was spending a lot of money frivolously and stupidly. You sometimes don’t see what you’re doing until someone brings it to your attention. Once you see it then you realize, yeah, I need to do something about that. This COVID-19 crisis has taught me more than I could ever imagine. I have always been good with money, but I’m learning that I can be better. I can put more in savings, I can invest, I can be smarter how I approach paying off debt, and the list continues more and more people.

For so many Americans, we tend to allow money to control us than controlling the money we have. Let me give you the biggest piece of advice someone once gave me that never made sense until I got older. You can’t spend what you don’t have and even when you have it that does NOT mean you have to spend it. You are ultimately in control of what you spend and what you do not spend. If there is EVER the smallest glimpse of hesitation that means it’s something you don’t want or need. If that is the case you have the answer to what you need to do with that money people.

Written By Zoe Mitchell