California

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 17:  A huge crowd of tourists, shoppers and locals walk up and down Powell Street in San Francisco.
BluIz60 / Shutterstock

California's second round of stimulus began in late August, as Gov. Newsom told the state's taxpayers in a video message to "look out for checks either in your mailbox or directly in your account."

The payments are going out in waves, and the third batch was scheduled for Tuesday. California residents are receiving $500 to $1,100; you get more if you have dependents and did not qualify for a first-round stimulus check early this year.

The nation's most populous state is using its own money to make the payments — not federal funds.

Quirks in the state's tax system, the rising stock market and other factors have left California with a huge budget surplus that it's tapping to send cash to residents earning $75,000 or less. The round-one checks went to people making $30,000 or less.

Florida

In recognition of the special difficulties teachers have had navigating their way through the pandemic, Florida has been doling out $1,000 checks to its educators.

The Sunshine State also is paying first responders — including law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and firefighters — up to $1,000 as a thank-you for the many sacrifices they've been making throughout the crisis.

New Mexico

New Mexico’s stimulus program devoted $5 million to helping low-income residents who weren’t eligible for federal stimulus checks. In August, more than 4,000 households across the state received up to $750 in emergency financial assistance.

The state's Human Services Department said the entire $5 million was not paid out, and that a second round of checks would be issued "within the next couple of months."

Tennessee

Earlier this year, Tennessee's state legislature passed a bill providing teachers with hazard pay for making it through the worst of the pandemic.

Lawmakers had originally proposed a 2% raise for educators, but it was ultimately replaced with a one-time payment of $1,000 for full-time teachers. Part-timers will receive $500. It's expected the checks will be mailed out by the end of this year.

Texas

While there’s no statewide program for COVID relief payments in Texas, some local school districts are providing their employees with stimulus checks in the form of retention bonuses.

In the Dallas suburb of Irving, the bonus is as much as $2,000. In nearby Denton, teachers will receive $500 and a 2% pay increase. Several Texas school districts have approved pay raises for educators instead of direct payments.

What if your state isn’t offering extra stimulus?

Hands counting bills, American cash
Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

If you don't qualify for a state stimulus check or your state isn't offering them, you'll need to find fresh relief on your own.

  • Deal with your debt. Credit is convenient, but it doesn't take long before expensive interest catches up with you. If you're juggling multiple credit card balances and other high-interest debt, fold them into a single debt consolidation loan to pay off what you owe faster and more affordably.

  • Cut your insurance bills. If you haven’t shopped around for a better rate on your car insurance lately, you might be paying hundreds of dollars too much each year. A little comparison shopping could slash your auto premiums. The same trick also works well for finding a cheaper rate on homeowners insurance.

  • Stretch every dollar. Can you drop subscription services you're not using? Can you downgrade your phone plan to save a few dollars every month? And finally, are you getting the best deals when you shop online? If you're not sure about that last one, try using a free browser add-on that automatically scours the internet for better prices and coupons.

  • Turn your pennies into a portfolio. Make some money in the stock market, even if you don't have much cash to play with or much experience with investing. A popular app can help you invest just "spare change" from everyday purchases — and turn your pennies into a diversified portfolio.

About the Author

Sigrid Forberg

Sigrid Forberg

Staff Writer

Sigrid is a staff writer with MoneyWise. Before joining the team, she worked for a B2B publication in the hardware and home improvement industry and ran an internal employee magazine for the federal government. As a graduate of the Carleton University Journalism program, she takes pride in telling informative, engaging and compelling stories.

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