President-elect Joe Biden is headed to the Oval. Here’s what his policies could mean for your money.
COVID-19 relief: Biden’s in favor of a national mask mandate and working with governors to impose more state and local restrictions, if necessary. And just days before his inauguration, he proposed a new $1.9T economic relief plan. Here's a taste of what's in it: $1,400 direct payments, $400 in extra weekly unemployment benefits, a $15 hourly federal minimum wage, and 14 weeks of paid leave for caregivers. TBD if it’ll pass. But with Dems in control of Congress, there's a chance.
Your move: Prep your budget for spending more time at home. And if more stimulus money comes your way, put it to work. Think: showing your emergency fund some love, paying off credit card debt and/or investing. Bonus: if you can afford it, you could also donate some.
Student loans: Biden has said he would make four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free for students whose families earn less than $125K. And cancel $10K for all federal borrowers.
Your move: If your student loans are on pause until February, add the minimum payment back into your budget now so you’re ready to restart as soon as the gov says, ‘go.’ But consider holding off on making extra payments until it’s clear whether the new admin will discharge debt soon. If you have private student loans...sorry, these plans won’t help. But you may be able to help yourself to a lower payment by refinancing.
Taxes: Biden says he won’t raise taxes for most Americans. Instead he’d focus on getting more from corporations and people in the highest tax bracket. He’s also proposed raising the child tax credit from $2K to $3K per kid, plus giving parents an extra $600 for each kid under 6.
Your move: Boost your tax savings now by taking advantage of all the credits and deductions available to you.
Healthcare: Biden plans to expand the Affordable Care Act and let people choose between public health insurance and employer-based plans. He’s also a fan of bringing back the Obama-era “individual mandate” penalty for not having health insurance.
Your move: Make sure your insurance matches your needs. (Change things up during open enrollment if it doesn’t.) And take advantage of ways to save. Like signing up for an HSA or FSA, only going to in-network docs, scheduling preventative appointments, and opting for generic, 90-day supplies of prescriptions (if your doc and insurance approve).
theSkimm: The Biden-Harris admin has some ideas to mix things up. Be sure you’re making smart money choices for yourself, whether they’re able to push their proposed policies through or not.
Skimm'd by: Ivana Pino, Stacy Rapacon, and Elyse Steinhaus