After the pandemic unfolded, the federal and state governments created ways for Americans to handle the new way of life financially.
Of these various ways, many don’t appear to be taking advantage of them.
Recent polls show Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck.
Related: Surprise $500 stimulus checks are being sent in these states, is one yours?
This means stimulus aid could really help those families struggling to get by.
A fourth federal stimulus check is not likely to happen again this year, but there are plenty of other ways to benefit from stimulus cash or ways to collect free cash.
Four ways Americans can take advantage of stimulus aid or get extra cash
One way millions of Americans have been getting additional help is by collecting advanced child tax credit payments.
Parents have been receiving monthly payments since July worth up to $300 per child.
Parents with children ages 17 and under are eligible for money.
They must male less than $150,000 as married couples or less than $112,500 as head of household.
July alone helped over three million children come out of poverty.
Related: Are you eligible for a boost of cash in your final child tax credit payment?
While these have been great for families, many have failed to take advantage of the program. One out of ten eligible families is missing out.
Those that failed to opt in must wait until they can file their taxes in 2022 to claim that cash.
Another way Americans are collecting cash is by using cash back tools for doing their regular grocery shopping.
Some can pay out as much as hundreds of dollars every year.
Related: $1,000 stimulus checks go out next week, is one yours?
Ibotta, on average, gives people up to $150 per year on cash back for groceries or online purchases.
TopCashBack gives its members an average of $345 per year in cash back.
Sign up bonuses can earn people money as well.
Some banks offer cash to open an account with their branch, but may require a minimum deposit.
Jobs are also offering sign on bonuses for those choosing to work for certain companies or within specific industries.
Cash back websites online also offer some sign on bonuses.
401k plans are also a way to collect cash, but you can’t use it until later. This is a way to help out your future self for whatever may come.
401k plans often offer an employer match contribution, which is pretty much free money. Some offer as much as 5% per paycheck.
If you get a $500 paycheck, your employer is willing to match you at $25 per week. This means every month your plan will collect $200; $100 from you, and $100 from your employer.
Unfortunately, a survey shows up to 17% of those who qualify to open a 401k plan don’t.
Related: 35 million families will lose child tax credit payments in three weeks, Americans call for $2,000 stimulus check
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