Millions of Americans who expected to receive a second stimulus check amid the continued economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic may not see the $1,200 for some time, if ever.
With negotiations ending in a standstill as Congress left for summer recess until early September, Americans likely won't receive any sort of stimulus money until October at the very earliest — and only if Congress and the White House can agree on a deal.
The House and Senate have another big piece of legislation on their plate when they return: the September 30 deadline for deciding the federal budget for the next fiscal year. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time for coronavirus relief talks
Whatever happens, it's not a great idea to count on receiving this windfall of cash. CNBC Select has rounded up some ways you can make the most of the cash you have now and even earn some more while we wait and hope for another round of stimulus checks.
Many financial experts advise that in times of economic uncertainty, the best thing you can do with any extra cash that you have on-hand is to save it.
While conventional wisdom says to have three to six months' worth of living expenses saved in an emergency fund, don't be tied to this rule. The guidelines vary depending on your individual circumstance.
If you don't think you can save months of living expenses right now, don't let this discourage you. Any amount that you can put into a savings account will help you, and it adds up over time. For example, you can save $1,000 in a year by setting aside just $20 each week (less than $3 per day) in a high-yield savings account. Thanks to compound interest, which is essentially earning interest on interest, your savings will grow quickly.
Online high-yield savings accounts are better than the traditional savings accounts offered by your typical brick-and-mortar bank because they offer an higher annual percentage yield (APY).
It's also important to find an account comes with zero monthly fees and no (or low) minimum deposit or balance requirements. A good place to start is with one of CNBC Select's top-ranked high-yield savings accounts:
For savings beginners, Sallie Krawcheck, former Wall Street titan and CEO of digital investment platform Ellevest, says that her number-one piece of advice is to automate your savings by setting up direct deposit. This means that every month a certain amount of money from your checking account or paycheck will automatically transfer into your savings account. By scheduling a small, recurring deposit of a set dollar amount that you choose, you can quickly get into the habit of saving.
Managing your cash shortfalls during this economic crisis doesn't have to be unbearable. In fact, there are a few mental tricks that can help you budget better during this time.
Mariel Beasley of Duke University's Common Cents Lab, a behavior science lab focused on the financial well-being of low income people, offers strategies that financially strained families can use to organize their spending. Here are her top three budgeting tips:
With unemployment claims still at a historic high, it might not seem like the best time to go job hunting. Yet, there are some ways you can earn some extra cash even amid the continuing pandemic.
Many companies are hiring part-time employees right now, including grocery stores, food delivery apps and even some retailers. Some types of remote, full-time gigs are available for recruiters, sales account executives, customer service representatives and computer support specialists, online jobs marketplace ZipRecruiter recently told CNBC.
You can also earn money from your couch by getting creative.
If you have a laptop and access to Wi-Fi, download (for free) and use a browser extension like Qmee for all your searching needs. With each Qmee search result that you click on, you earn some money back into your pocket.
And if you have some down time, get paid to take surveys online through Survey Junkie, Swagbucks and Vindale Research. You don't need to be an expert on the survey topics and there are tons to choose from, including answering questions about sports, new technology or providing your feedback on health and beauty trends, products and services.
For those who have use quarantine as an excuse to clean out their closets these past few months, Facebook Marketplace. The online store allows you to sell pretty much anything, from pet supplies to clothing, and posts your priced products to your surrounding community. Think of it as a virtual yard sale.
For the purchases you need to make, such as on essentials like groceries, make sure you're thoughtful about how you pay for them. When cash is low, every dollar counts.
A simple way to make your money stretch further is by using a cash-back credit card that matches your spending habits. For example, if you're already spending a lot on groceries or gas, these expenses can actually earn you cash back when you charge them onto a credit card that offers bonus rewards in those categories.
CNBC Select's top picks include the Citi® Double Cash Card for no annual fee, Apple Card for iPhone users and Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card for average credit applicants.
Used strategically, cash-back credit cards can earn you hundreds of dollars a year and thousands of dollars over time. And when money is tight, every penny really does help your bottom line.
2% cash back: 1% on all purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill
No current offer
0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases
13.99% - 23.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, the Apple online store, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other Apple-owned properties) on Uber and UberEats, at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app and on Walgreens.com, in T-Mobile stores, at Nike, at Exxon and Mobil stations and at Panera Bread, 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases
10.99% to 21.99% variable
See our methodology, terms apply.
1.5% cash back on all purchases
See our methodology, terms apply.
Information about Apple Card, Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings, Ally Online Savings Account, Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings, Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account, and Varo Savings Account has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.