This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Congress has passed a pandemic relief package that includes a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans. With the money being less than the first stimulus check, financial advisors are sharing tips on how to stretch those funds.

A financial advisor with Edward Jones, Cecilia Valle, shares it is important to set priorities.

“I’m going to say it probably like a broken record but start with your now bucket,” she says. “Start by making sure you can pay your expenses, that you have some emergency savings built up.”

Once that is established, you can start putting things in the “later” bucket.

“You can start to put aside for saving goals whatever those are maybe its a trip or maybe its retirement or education,” said Valle. 

Wendy Quintero, Executive Business Director of Financial Educator, says everyone should also remember to budget.

“This is your current situation, this is your plan for the future, now what do you need me to do now to start now to make sure you comply with this plan,” said Quintero. 

Our recommendation for those who receive the second stimulus check is to go to a Certified Financial Educator to help them diagnose their financial situation by doing a personalized Financial Analysis, to help them make a budget and plan for the future of their families, educate themselves on how to save, Invest, and Get Out of Debt with the Help of a Financial Educator.

Wendy Quintero, Executive Business Director of Financial Educator

Valle adds people should make sure to separate good debt from bad debt that they would use the stimulus check for.

“It’s going to be important to pay off things that have a higher interest than lower interest right? So always… your credit card, you’re going to have a really high interest in what you are paying,” said Valle. 

Charter Financial Consultant John Jett says people can start slashing spending now. 

“You should be slashing spending regardless of stimulus, I mean most people, they should understand they need to save at least 15 to 20 percent of their earned income,” said Jett. 

Government officials say direct payments could begin arriving to bank accounts next week.