If you’re in the mood for a humble slice of pie, try to figure out the best and worst ways Americans have spent their money. dunning checks. The truth is, none of us is in a position to judge. While the debate over direct stimulus payments has raged, it is undeniable that much of the funds have flowed through the economy, providing a kind of lifeline until vaccines can be developed.
What the data says
According to a recent report by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Americans were slower to spend the third set of checks than they were on the first. Following the first round of stimulus in April 2020, nearly 75% of households spent their $ 1,200 check on daily expenses like rent and groceries.
By the time the second set of checks for $ 600 was deposited in Bank accounts Across the country in late 2020 and early 2021, just 22% of Americans said they plan to use the funds to cover rent, groceries, or other household expenses. Instead, many hid this money in a emergency savings account.
After the third round of stimulus checks (for $ 1,400) issued in March, only one in five recipients planned to use the full amount for rent and other bills.
According to the data, high-income families were able to save the first checks. By the time the second and third checks were issued, low- and middle-income households were reluctant to spend the money due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. The need for funds was there, but with no clear end in sight, many low and middle income families did their best to stretch the dollars.
How ordinary people spent (or didn’t spend) stimulus checks
We know what the stats are saying, but to get a feel for what regular people did with their raise money, we took to Reddit, where anonymous posters tend to be honest about their lives.
What we found were many touching stories of people whose lives were improved with the help of the federal government. Whether or not they made sound financial decisions is up to you. We have shortened a few of these posts for clarity.
sdossantos97 wrote: “I threw $ 1,000 on one of my student loans and kept the $ 200 to myself.”
BigPharmaWorker wrote, “I finally splurged and bought a $ 16 moisturizer that I’ve been looking at for over a year. Other than that, [the money] stay in my online savings account and earn interest; however small it is. “
shebeast1313 wrote: “I plan to stock my pantry and buy some plants for a vegetable patch. [off] a few bills and looking at every penny I can. “
harlequin552 wrote: “I just found out that I was accepted into graduate school, only [t]hey didn’t give me any funding. I … probably won’t be able to juggle a job and the program, so I’ll save every penny I get from now on. “
abbyruth wrote: “I paid two credit cards, I fixed my bike… I also have a new helmet, a rain jacket, good comfortable sneakers and saddlebags. Now I only cycle to and from work… so I don’t have to pay money for public transport or for [Uber]. I work in a grocery store, so limiting my exposure to the public is ideal. “
The water heater had a hose blow. I paid the plumber because we found out there [were] several things are wrong with that. Also rented a machine to suck up all the water and save the carpets. The cat ruined the blinds on a window, so we bought a cheap curtain rod and some curtains. Too cheap of a rod because he already broke it so you have to [to be] replaced. Do not buy [a $1] curtain rod with a cat. My psychologist put my appointments on a tab so he’s finally paid. I had an ultrasound. It’s getting paid. The car makes a horrible noise. You have to go to [the] car doctor. I went to [a] doctor for what turned out to be a staph infection. Life is better.
As a disabled person, my income is very low. I have bills that often exceed my income. The relief from the stimulus has actually been a relief to me. After years of impulsive spending … I’ve made changes over the past year that have put me in a better financial position. However, I am still struggling. I took this money very seriously. I share a huge success.
This is what I used it for:
- I paid several hundred dollars to my partner who over time loaned me money.
- Saved money for [a] deposit on [a] new apartment.
- I paid my share of the rent.
- Paid telephone bill and other utilities including laundry for the month.
- Saved money for [a] nutrition program which has been very effective in combating my current obesity.
- Bought groceries.
- And I bought myself some nice things on Amazon!
Stimulus checks have helped a lot of people
It is impossible to look at someone (or see them online) and understand the weight of their burden. Dozens of Reddit users have said their stimulus checks go to medical debt, transportation to work, or food.
The good news is this: the economy appears to be on the right track. According to the National Retail Federation, gross domestic product surpassed its pre-pandemic peak in the second quarter of 2021. In addition, the economy is expected to experience “vigorous” growth throughout the year. And one of the engines? Federal government stimulus payments. So no matter how people used their funds, the money seemed to have done what it was supposed to do for a lot of people.
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