A Second Stimulus Check Is Unlikely. What to Do If Money is Tight
Are normal Americans like us going to get a second stimulus check or not? It’s totally up in the air.
A few months ago, back when the COVID-19 pandemic first wrecked the economy, we all got stimulus checks to the tune of $1,200 per person and $500 per child. Ever since then, politicians in Washington, D.C., have been locked in a stalemate over whether to do it again.
As of mid-September, Democrats and Republicans remained deadlocked on a broader relief bill that would include more stimulus checks.
What happens if you don’t get another $1,200 check? We’ve got six ideas for how you can make up the difference in your bank account:
1. Clean Out Your Closet
Take a hard look at your closet. Over the years, you’ve probably collected all kinds of things you don’t really need anymore. Comb through your items and, if you haven’t used them in a while, sell them and make some money.
You don’t need to go through the hassle of having a garage sale, either. Try selling your items online. Market clothes and other random knickknacks to folks in your area through an app like Letgo.
Or if you have old CDs or DVDs — or even smartphones — try selling them to a platform like Decluttr. You scan your items’ barcodes with the app and then print out a label for free shipping. Toss ‘em in a box and be done with them.
You might be surprised by how much money you can make just from cleaning!
2. Cancel Your Car Insurance
Here’s the thing: your current car insurance company is probably overcharging you. But don’t waste your time hopping around to different insurance companies looking for a better deal.
Use a website called EverQuote to see all your options at once.
EverQuote is the largest online marketplace for insurance in the US, so you’ll get the top options from more than 175 different carriers handed right to you.
Take a couple of minutes to answer some questions about yourself and your driving record. With this information, EverQuote will be able to give you the top recommendations for car insurance. In just a few minutes, you could save up to $610 a year.
3. Find Out if the Government Owes You Money
The government could owe you more money than just a stimulus check. Did you know state treasuries throughout the U.S. have had more than $40 billion in unclaimed funds at one time?
To see if you have any unclaimed money, check with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. (Beware: There are several look-a-like sites out there. Be sure you’re searching legitimate ones.)
Kelli Howell, a reader of The Penny Hoarder, performed a quick search and found unclaimed money in her husband’s name. Sure, it was only $56 in an old insurance claim, but that’s not bad for an unexpected check, right?
4. Sell Stuff on Etsy — Even if You’re Not Crafty
Countless people shop on Etsy to find the perfect birthday present, bachelorette party supplies or customized T-shirts. And now that everyone’s stuck inside and bored, they’re turning to Etsy for entertaining craft projects.
That’s where you could make some money.
Sure, traditionally items sold on Etsy must be handmade or vintage, but did you know you can also sell craft supplies and tools?
This alleviates the hours you put into your work and simply allows you sell the supplies to folks who want to tap into their creative sides.
For example, Janet Berry-Johnson, a CPA and freelance writer, told The Penny Hoarder she earned an extra $200 a month on Etsy — without crafting a single thing.
She loves cross-stitching but knew selling her own designs wouldn’t be a moneymaker. Instead, she decided to buy kits and patterns at local thrift stores for a few bucks each and marks them up anywhere from 400% to 1,200% for Etsy buyers.
5. Make Money Delivering Food
Sure, jobs are at a premium right now, but food delivery is booming. The people stuck at home are tired of cooking — so they turn to takeout. That’s where you enter the picture.
A number of apps like Doordash or Uber Eats will pay you to pick up and deliver food on your own schedule. All you need to get started is your preferred mode of transportation and your smartphone.
You’ll deliver things like coffee from Starbucks or food from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A or Five Guys. You set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make is up to you.
Jose Neri, from California, reported earning $500 to $600 a week working just lunches and dinners.
6. Sell Your Used Books
Full bookshelves are cool — there’s no doubt about that. There’s something about that colorful Instagram-ready aesthetic that screams “I’m educated, and I’m not afraid to show it!”
But let’s face it — a lot of those books are just collecting dust.
Whether you’ve got a pile of novels you read once and have no intention of reading again or a stack you’ve never read in the first place, it’s time to look at how you can make money by selling your used books online.
There are a number of popular platforms to help you do this, like Amazon, AbeBooks, Etsy, Decluttr and Letgo.
Maybe we’ll all get a second stimulus check. Or maybe we won’t. If we don’t, you can still help cushion the blow.