Stimulus Checks Are Likely a No Go in 2022 -- but You Can Boost Your Income With These Tips

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KEY POINTS

  • Many Americans received a $1,400 stimulus check in 2021.
  • A stimulus for 2022 seems unlikely based on current economic conditions, but those in need of extra money still have options.


You may not be getting a government windfall, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost.

Last year, millions of Americans got a financial lifeline in the form of $1,400 stimulus checks that were approved as part of the American Rescue Plan. Since then, the public has been holding out hope for a fourth stimulus check to hit their bank accounts. But as of now, that's looking unlikely.

While we started off 2022 in a rocky fashion due to the omicron surge, it thankfully hasn't led to a massive uptick in unemployment -- at least not so far. Since the economy is strong and the labor market is loaded with job opportunities, it's hard to make the case for a fourth stimulus check -- even at a time when inflation is wreaking havoc on many people's budgets.

If you were hoping for a stimulus check this year, the good news is that you can still take steps to boost your income to compensate for not getting one. Here's how.

1. Fight for a raise

These days, many companies are having a hard time retaining staff members and hiring new ones. Your employer may be more eager than usual to accommodate you, and that could mean agreeing to a raise.

Before you ask for one, though, do some research to see what the average worker in your area with your job description makes. Sites like Glassdoor are a good resource for this. If you earn an annual salary of $55,000 but see the typical worker with your role and experience level earns $60,000 to $65,000, it'll help to put that data in front of your employer.

2. Boost your skills to land a promotion

Your employer may not want to give you a raise for no specific reason. But that doesn't mean you can't earn one by growing your skills and working your way up to a promotion.

Think about the skills you need to succeed not just at your current job, but at a job that's higher up the chain. And then carve out some time in your schedule to build those skills. You can also try enlisting the help of friends and colleagues (both current and former) who may be willing to serve as mentors for you.

3. Pick up a side hustle

You may only manage to eke out so much money from your current employer. If you want a more substantial income boost, look at getting a side hustle. That gig can be something you do for a couple of months, or you may decide to uphold it for the rest of the year if it works for your schedule.

Having an extra income stream could make it possible to not just cover your bills more easily, but also, work toward other goals, like paying off debt and padding your savings account. If you're worried about managing that gig on top of your other responsibilities, you can always try finding something that lets you set your own hours, like driving for a ride-hailing company. That way, you can start slowly and ramp up your hours as time allows for.

The absence of a stimulus check may be a bummer -- but that doesn't mean you can't grow your income in other ways. You may have to take matters into your own hands, but if you play your cards right, you might enjoy a much larger payday than a fourth stimulus check would've given you.

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