The pandemic has hit a lot of the US population very hard, with many going jobless for months and having to come up with money for rent, food, and other bills. With this in mind, I’ve put together a guide on how to properly spend the upcoming $1400 stimulus checks to help alleviate your current financial situation.

  1. Shiny Cardboard!

Gambling, but with a twist! Various rare and shiny cards in Pokemon, Magic:The Gathering, Weiss Schwarz, Vanguard, Yu-gi-oh, and more can go for hundreds of dollars if sold to the right bidder. If ya get just lucky enough, you might pull enough shiny cards to make a profit off of your pandemic relief. Food is overrated anyways, you can just eat the bulk.

  1. Invest in ram-yun

So let’s say you’re not the biggest fan of literally eating cardboard. That’s fine. Spend all the money on ram-yun ramen! With $1400, you’re really rolling in the dough, and that’s not enough to cover rent anyway (ever since your roommate got sent to the hospital) so invest in a food source that’ll really last. You need to make it to vaccine times without getting the short end of the COVID stick, so with this much ramen you’ll be able to make it all the way until August when they’ll run out of the vaccine and have in person classes anyway! And you’re getting spicy ramen.

  1. Invest in your future!

It’s old fashioned advice, but you invest that $1400 dollars now in your favorite stock that’s going to the moon, you can make your money work for you! You need to spend money to make money you know. As long as you have $20 bucks to get food for 2 months, clearly you can invest that stimulus check into the future. A future where you hopefully have not died of starvation and can reap the $20 profit.

  1. Go to Costco (and buy a freezer)

Perhaps one of the only actual tips on this list: Go to freaking Costco! Toilet paper, paper towels, free samples, whatever food you want. What else could you possibly need? I went to Costco 2 months ago, spent $100, and I still haven’t run out of the food that I got there. The cost-effectiveness of going to Costco is almost enough to offset the 3 months of rent that are overdue on your apartment. Also, you might want to invest into an extra freezer for all of the food you’re getting. You’re definitely not going to be eating all of that by yourself any time soon.

  1. Donate the money to your local favorite PAC

Do you never want to see a disaster handled like this again? Well have hope! If you donate all of your money to the political action committee of your choice, you’ll have taken the next stop of democracy and supported YOUR favorite candidate to change the way the world works around here. Change starts with you and your wallet, so take that money that the government gave to you and give it right back to the democratic process!

  1. Play Genshin Impact … for about 15 minutes

The world sucks and you’re gonna die anyway. Why not spend that stimulus check on a game that’ll pump dopamine into your brain? Genshin Impact! A waifu game that plays like Breath of the Wild and is free to play? That sounds amazing! And it is amazing! Flying around Mondstadt and Liyue while killing hilichurls with your party is great fun. But you know what, you’ll need to spend money if you want to gamble wish for your favorite impossibly cat-eared electro sword girl. And once you get one copy of your favorite cat girl, well, you have to get another copy to buff their abilities obviously. And another, and another, until you’ve maxed out their abilities. And now you have to grind for the level-up materials and gamble for weapons! What do you mean you’re already $5000 in debt?

  1. Don’t. Can’t spend what you don’t have after all.

First off, the majority of the people reading this will be college students. A lot of whom have been claimed as dependents on their parent’s taxes in 2019, which is unfortunately one of the disqualifiers for getting that sweet, sweet COVID cash. It doesn’t matter how much you pay your own way right now, or how your financial future is looking, or if you were hit by a recent firing/layoff, you will remain poor. Rue the day that high school never taught you how to pay taxes like the rest of us, and suffer.

There are many ways to spend $1400 to improve your life, and if you’re going to ignore your bills and be in debt anyway, these might as well be the ways you do so.