• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

'Family stimulus checks' from the child tax credit

Unhappy Family Sitting On Sofa Looking At Bills
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Through December 2021, most households with children age 17 and younger received monthly cash payments through a temporary expansion of the child tax credit. Households got a total of up to $1,500 for kids ages 6 to 17, and as much as $1,800 for each child under 6.

In 2022, the credit will provide duplicate second helpings of money that families can collect through tax refunds.

Some lawmakers and advocates for policies that fight child poverty favor a permanent expansion of the credit, but Congress has failed to agree to keep it going for even one more year.

Don't miss

Large pool of untapped rent assistance

apartment buildings in New York City
Anastasios71 / Shutterstock

Close to half of $46.6 billion is still available in pandemic funds to help struggling renters, according to the latest U.S. Treasury data.

Despite red tape that has slowed states and local housing programs from giving out the cash, some places are getting their acts together.

For instance, significant improvements were made during the fall. Los Angeles gave out $72 million and Illinois distributed $177 million. Illinois tenants and landlords who qualify can request one-time grants of up to $25,000.

Money for distressed homeowners too

Open door to a new home with key and home shaped keychain. Mortgage, investment, real estate, property and new home concept
Michael Dechev / Shutterstock

If you've had trouble keeping up with your house payments and utility bills, you can still seek financial relief through a $10 billion mortgage assistance program that was part of a massive federal stimulus package.

You can receive money if you have a loan balance that, in most parts of the U.S., doesn't top $548,250.

Find a financial adviser in minutes

Are you confident in your retirement savings? Get advice on your investment portfolio from a certified professional through WiserAdvisor. It only takes 5 minutes to connect with an adviser who puts you first.

Get Started

Aid for food workers

This photo illustration of Ben Franklin wearing a healthcare surgical mask on a one hundred dollar bill.
Ricardo Reitmeyer / Shutterstock

The government is recognizing workers who helped put food on tables during the pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a program to help repay grocery, farm and meat-packing workers for their out-of-pocket expenses on protective equipment, child care, lost wages and other costs.

Eligible people can receive up to $600 in grants, which local agencies and nonprofits will be distributing in 2022.

A price break on your internet connection

African american kid raising hand near laptop and mother at home
LightField Studios / Shutterstock

Another government program offers discounts on computers and internet access needed for jobs, critical health care services and virtual schooling.

Families who meet income requirements can get monthly discounts of up to $50 on broadband service and a one-time discount of up to $100 to buy a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers, under the Federal Communications Commission program.

Contact your broadband provider to apply for an eligible service, or sign up at GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

Other ways to stimulate your finances

businessman holding coins putting in glass. concept saving money for finance accounting
lovelyday12 / Shutterstock

If you aren’t eligible for any of these stimulus funds — or you are, but the assistance just isn’t enough — here are some tips to help you to find relief on your own.

  • Lower your debt. Take a look at the interest you’re paying on your credit cards. The higher the rate, the longer it will take to pay down what you owe. A lower-interest loan to consolidate your debt can help you erase your balance faster.

  • Pay less for your online spending. Many of us are doing more online shopping, especially since the start of the pandemic. There are easier ways to compare prices than spending hours looking at different screens and scanning through various sellers. A free browser extension will automatically search for lower prices and coupons.

  • Reduce your mortgage payments. If you own your home, the largest payment you make each month is probably your mortgage. A smart refinance can save you hundreds of dollars in lower interest. That frees more money to pay off your home faster. Refinance rates are at historic lows.

  • Invest your spare change. Round up your everyday purchases to make every penny count in your favor. A popular app helps you use your nickels, dimes and other “spare change” to build a diverse portfolio.

What to read next

Noel Fletcher Former Reporter

Noel Fletcher was formerly the insurance and taxes reporter at MoneyWise. Prior to joining the MoneyWise team, Noel wrote for various U.S. and international business magazines, newspapers, syndicates and wire services, including Reuters. For fun, she writes books, takes photographs and enjoys adventure, travel, history and a good cup of coffee.


The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.