Did you get a Stimulus Check? What did you end up doing with it?

by J. Money -

america money

Saw some stats on how people are using them, and thought it would be interesting to compare with our own community here :)

Here’s what SmartAsset.com found when they polled 1,300+ people:

More than half of adults – 52.09% – said they primarily plan to use their stimulus check on needs such as rent and food. Putting the money into savings was the next most popular category, at 21.56%.

And here’s a breakdown of ALL the responses, along with a nifty graph for your viewing pleasure:

  • Spending on Needs: 52.09%
  • Saving: 21.56%
  • Paying off loans or debt: 7.13%
  • Investing: 4.53%
  • Spending on wants: 3.19%
  • Donating: 1.06%
  • Other: 0.44%

stimulus checks breakdown

Surprising? Maybe? I was actually SUPER glad to see that it was “only” 52% who seemed to need the money that bad! Which of course is still a ton, but with the economy/pandemic the way it is I guess I assumed it would be much higher. Like maybe in the 70-80% range?

Loved seeing that donation category though! Even though it is *barely* there, lol… We didn’t get any checks due to #firstworldproblems, but I was secretly hoping we’d accidentally get them to help pump up our Community Fund :) Guess we just weren’t dead enough yet though! Haha…

Still, I’m glad to see at least a lot of the people who needed cash got some… And a lot of great saving and investing going on there too! A pretty fortunate position to be in!

So how would you guess this compares to our own community here? With people more in tune with their finances than the average American?!

I couldn’t wait until I published this article to find out, so I kinda cheated and polled Twitter first just for a sneak peek ;)

And boy what a difference!

stimulus check poll

Over 70% have used their $$$ towards future financial goals!! With *needs* dropping down to 3rd place and Saving/Investing locking in the 1st position with a solid majority!

If that doesn’t show the power of paying attention to this stuff year after year I don’t know what does…

I wish I could have broken down the answers more tightly as a TON of people mentioned donating their money and/or supporting their local community with it, but sadly Twitter only allowed 4 slots so I had to do my best there… (And I omitted “other” from the positioning just cuz it would have broken down into smaller amounts than the *needs* at 11.6%)

Still, a pretty interesting difference compared to SmartAsset’s poll! Way to go guys!! Obviously we can’t control *everything* in our lives and $hit still happens, but a lot easier to manage it all with a strong foundation than without one.

So yet again proof that the work pays off here when you focus enough 👍

How about you guys? Where did you put your check towards if you got one? Or are you one of the people still waiting to receive it?

Another stat I read said there’s apparently still 26% of eligible respondents waiting to get their checks in the mail :( Which is no small number!

If anyone desperately needs assistance – or knows of anyone else who does – please let me know and I’ll see if I can help. Hang in there!!

j. money signature

// Pic up top by Matthew Lancaster via Unsplash

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DJ @MyMoneyDesign May 18, 2020 at 6:35 am

Ours went straight into our emergency fund. If there’s anything that this pandemic has taught me, it’s that we could all use a little more buffer in our savings than we think.

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2 J. Money May 18, 2020 at 9:13 am

Amen on that.

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3 Saver May 18, 2020 at 6:56 am

I haven’t received my stimulus money yet. I will receive some, but not the full $1200. I owe every year (by plan), so the IRS didn’t have my direct deposit information. I plan to add the money to my brokerage account. My adult children each received $1200. They added it to their savings as well, whether it be their Roth, if it wasn’t maxed out, or their high yield savings account.
Generosity plays a huge role in my entire family’s financial legacy and we have continued to help others financially with our regular income. So even though we all technically earmarked the actual stimulus money as “savings”, we are also increasing our giving as well during all this.

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4 J. Money May 18, 2020 at 9:18 am

You’ve raised some savvy kids there!

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5 Nate May 18, 2020 at 7:54 am

We are blessed and diligent enough to have plenty of cash savings (I’m actually worried I have too much cash at the moment to be honest) and our investments are already at the level we want them to be. Our kitchen cabinets are in dire shape, so we’re using our stimulus money to hire a painter to freshen everything up. Getting something done in our home that desperately needed to be done anyway and supporting a local business. Good for everyone all around.

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6 J. Money May 18, 2020 at 9:18 am

I like it :)

Especially your cash “problem”, lol..

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7 Lisa O May 18, 2020 at 8:50 am

We received ours and spent 1/2 on a house repair that was needed…leaky water main! The other 1/2 is going to pay for deck repairs that were badly needed as well. The money helped us to do maintenance and keep busy. We are lucky to still be working but it is hard not to be able to just go when you want.

Praying for this COVID-19 situation to be gone soon!

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8 J. Money May 18, 2020 at 9:21 am

I know – what a havoc it’s made everywhere :( Let’s just hope we’re all IN IT – safely – when life returns again!!

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9 sfmitch May 18, 2020 at 8:59 am

Mine is scheduled to be deposited in my account this week.

I have no plans for the $$$ so I’ll just add it to my cash position.

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10 J. Money May 18, 2020 at 9:22 am

Oh good! I hope it arrives okay!

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11 Working Mom May 18, 2020 at 9:21 am

Thanks to YNAB, I can look back and see exactly where it went.

*10% off the top to give to Local Needs through our church (people struggling due to Covid-19 can reach out for direct assistance). We’ve also been contributing here from our normal income.
*$450 per child: Into their 529 plan to make up for market losses and keep their college savings on track. State tax benefit will help too.
*$800- Complete Savings for replacing our shingles (now fully funded over $10k, scheduled for Fall, not pushing it up until we make sure our income stays stable over of the summer).
*$500- Savings for a far-off vacation, put in high-interest savings
*$200- Savings for microwave that is on it’s last leg–will buy locally.
*$660- I agreed to let my husband spend on a fishing kayak + accessories and a kid’s size kayak purchased locally. He is a teacher and will be home with the kids March-August and this gives them something outdoors to do at area ponds and lakes. So far they’ve been used 1-2x/week and the family loves them.

For us it was a good mix of investing, savings, giving, spending and a compromise to benefit us both now and in the future.

We have not had our income cut (yet) and have been able to balance increased expenses (groceries!) with decreased expenses (daycare, gas). We’re riding out all the market losses, so not counting them as “losses” yet.

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12 J. Money May 18, 2020 at 9:24 am

Love that you know where every dollar went!! Haha….YNAB is the greatest – big fan of them here too and its founder.

Those kayaks will be cherished for many years to come too :)

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13 Jess May 18, 2020 at 9:25 am

I’m not a teacher but I work in education. Right now my job is there but if schools don’t reopen in the fall I doubt if I will be employed. So, my EIP went into a savings I’m calling my “help me to sleep at night” account. I feel fortunate to have that option when so many of my coworkers are needing it for immediate relief.

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14 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:25 am

A great perspective to have indeed :)

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15 Adam May 18, 2020 at 9:44 am

We had plans to donate the majority of it to local charities — and then I discovered the product line I support will be sunset, possibly along with my job, by the end of the year. A long-time coworker pointed me in February toward other safer internal positions that would become available later in the year but that was pre-All This Stuff. So we’re hanging on to our payment for the moment. We can maintain about the same standard of living (just saving much less) on my wife’s salary alone, but these days it’s nice to have a bit more cushion.

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16 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:30 am

Totally… And the one thing I’m learning about this financial journey is that the more you’re secure yourself the more you’re *able* to give as time goes on as well.

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17 Hannah May 18, 2020 at 9:56 am

Thanks to 3 kids, and the unexpected use of our 2018 income (when I was still working PT, and husband was still in school), we received $3900 unexpectedly in our checking account! What a fun surprise!

We happened to pay our quarterly tax estimates that day, so I say that Uncle Sam wrote me a check, and I wrote one back ;)

In reality, we hope to use it for home remodel expenses (this is a real home remodel, not a flip), but it will take months to spend since Rob’s business is busy, so he doesn’t have energy to focus on building out our new house.

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18 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:31 am

That’s funny that it came the same day :)

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19 Debt Free in RVA May 18, 2020 at 10:10 am

We did Tithe 10 % as their is a lot of need now.

We took the other 90% and invested it in QQQ and VGT funds as these tech dominated funds are outperforming the market. We also invested in GLD as it is doing well.
Thanks for the article!

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20 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:32 am

Gonna go look up those first two – not as familiar with them! (As a coin collector I def. am with gold ;))

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21 Chickenwizard's DivBlog May 18, 2020 at 10:22 am

Stuck mine in savings while my wife bought a bicycle since she was always using mine.

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22 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:32 am

heyyy now you guys can ride together! How cute! ;)

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23 Christine May 18, 2020 at 10:24 am

Mine went right back to Uncle Sam. I had messed up my withholding so I ended up owing that and then some. Pffffffffftttttt.

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24 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:32 am

that is never fun :(

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25 Crystal Stemberger May 18, 2020 at 10:41 am

We put the stimulus $2900 and our unemployment deposits into a separate pandemic account while we live off of our cash savings. If the government doesn’t do anything hinky about wanting it back in some way before our savings runs out, we’ll use it all to replenish our 12 month emergency fund. So…I guess we’re pretty much using it for our actual bills in a roundabout way.

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26 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:36 am

A good time to be super conservative for sure!

I take it not many people are needing dog services right now? :(

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27 Heather M May 18, 2020 at 11:05 am

We’re using it to repair/replace our failing chimney. So it’s kind of a need and a want. Without the stimulus, we would have had to wait longer to save money to do the project, but now we can be sure the damage doesn’t get any worse. Also, I owed taxes this year, so if there is any leftover, it’s going right back to the government.

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28 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:37 am

Do you have a nice old gingerbread type house by chance??

Every time I think of chimneys my mind goes right to those adorable old ones, haha…

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29 J May 18, 2020 at 11:11 am

My husband and I split ours up: he decided what he wants to do most with his half and me with my half. We are pretty good about discussing our combined money goals, and we are both still working (for the time being). He used his part to pay off some expenses that he had been floating on a credit card (some related to increased medical expenses this year). I sent my mother a portion of mine (she’s a school bus driver), and put the rest into a HYS account.

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30 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:44 am

You had me at “We are pretty good about discussing our combined money goals” :)

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31 MMKate May 18, 2020 at 11:18 am

So it was all supposed to go into my Roth IRA, but my refrigerator overheard that I had come into some money and crapped out 2 weeks ago. Split with my home co-owner (mom)…so only about half of it went into my IRA.

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32 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:44 am

Sneaky refrigerator!!

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33 Caroline May 18, 2020 at 11:22 am

Haven’t got ours yet! We are not direct deposit people. We’ll split it, 1/2 for joining a community share agriculture [CSA] which we’ll get 17 weeks of veggies and fresh eggs beginning in mid June. The rest will further the nest egg.

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34 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 7:46 am

AHhhhhh that CSA sounds so cool!!! Have always been curious about them but never really looked into yet!! I want fresh eggs so bad!

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35 Ashley May 18, 2020 at 12:39 pm

I sent most of it back to the government to pay my taxes!

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36 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 8:05 am

The circle of life! Lol…

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37 GJ May 18, 2020 at 2:11 pm

We got our $3900 check the first day. Since we are not in a position of financial need or uncertainty right now, we are consciously choosing to *not* save it and use it for it’s purpose: to stimulate the economy. Our self-imposed parameters are to spend it locally and through individuals/small businesses. Here is the breakdown so far:

– $390 to our church’s benevolence fund to help those in our community who need it most

– $800 to hire a laid off carpenter friend to repair a section of our gate/fence that was a safety hazard for our kids

– $2400 to a local sprinkler business to extend our system to the back yard so we don’t have to haul hoses around watering all summer

– $200 at a local nursery in plants and garden supplies

– balance TBD, but possibly hire a person to do some heavy labor digging and shoveling on a necessary yard project we’ve been dreading

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38 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 8:07 am

Love that idea of keeping it local like that…. well played!

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39 Amy May 18, 2020 at 3:59 pm

My husband and I each got $1200 for a total of $2400. I used $400 to donate to the American Red Cross and local food banks. I am holding the rest of it for now. I haven’t decided what to do with it yet.

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40 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 8:08 am

And that’s a gift on its own – thinking about all the ways you can use it! Haha…

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41 Carol in Mpls May 18, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Mine came right away, and was deposited into my emergency fund for down the road. My seasonal job was education-related, and it went *poof* when all this came down. Thankfully, I’ve got some unemployment, and that weekly payment, for however long that will continue. So glad to have ample savings, and then the backup savings to boot.

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42 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 8:11 am

All those years of moneying is def. helping out now!

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43 Debbie May 18, 2020 at 6:55 pm

We used it to max out a Roth IRA. Since we retired in late Jan. this is the last chance we’ll have to contribute.

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44 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 8:12 am

Oh wow! That’s an interesting thing to think about!! We’re so used to putting $$ aside every month that it’s wild to consider the day when you’d stop!

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45 Debbie May 19, 2020 at 8:32 am

Yes, it’s a whole different mindset of no longer funding any savings vehicles! Now it’s all about managing/using those funds in retirement!

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46 Melanie May 18, 2020 at 8:56 pm

We spent our money on food, medicine, rent, bills,and on our C.R.A.M group to help addiction and mental health. We are self supported and on disability ourselves. We ask for no donations from anyone.

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47 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 8:22 am

Going now to look up that C.R.A.M. group – thanks for helping out your community!

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48 Tina Rittenhouse May 18, 2020 at 9:06 pm

10% tithed to pay down my church’s building mortgage and the rest went to open a 529 for my nephew.

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49 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 8:23 am

All for other people – that’s amazing :)

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50 Randall Nelson May 19, 2020 at 3:41 am

Hell no

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51 Megan May 19, 2020 at 3:03 pm

$1000 to student loans and planning on donating $200 to the food bank but it’s still sitting in my account at the moment.

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52 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Are you hoping to deliver it in person vs electronically? It always feels much better doing that for me :)

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53 Wallet Squirrel May 19, 2020 at 3:03 pm

I actually feel guilty, I just stored it away in my Savings Account as I build up a down payment for a house. I feel bad because I’m not necessarily stimulating anything right now.

Maybe a feel a little better when I buy that house. =)
-Andrew

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54 J. Money May 19, 2020 at 4:30 pm

You’ll be stimulating a lot once you buy that! Haha….

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55 catseye May 20, 2020 at 3:33 am

I was out of work for two months and the stimulus could not have arrived at a better time! I’m using it to pay bills this month and for next month’s rent. I have been unable to get any unemployment funds yet because of the overwhelming number of claims and outdated technology. I hope to get backpay eventually.

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56 J. Money May 21, 2020 at 8:29 am

Oh good!! I’m glad i came when it did!! And I hope even more so it’ll be the last time you need to worry about $$$ for a while! :)

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57 Amy J. May 20, 2020 at 10:34 am

I had planned on putting mine in my emergency fund when I first received it. However, my HVAC unit decided to break a couple weeks ago, so I paid that $1200 toward a replacement unit.

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58 J. Money May 21, 2020 at 8:30 am

Isn’t it wild how that happens sometimes??

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59 Liz May 21, 2020 at 7:28 am

We put it against our mortgage principle. We already have a sizeable refund and my husband’s job is pretty secure.

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60 J. Money May 21, 2020 at 8:30 am

Good position to be in :)

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