How Will Americans Spend Their Emergency Stimulus Checks?
With the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacting the lives of millions, this week the United States Congress has been attempting to pass a massive stimulus bill that would offer relief to some workers and businesses. As of this writing, the details of an apparent deal reached in the Senate are not available but it is currently expected that individual adults making under $75,000 a year (based on your adjusted gross income) will receive payments of $1,200 with an additional $500 being paid for any children they have. Regardless of what the final numbers turn out to be, the question is what will Americans use the money they may be given for? A new poll conducted by CivicScience and published by Axios sought to find out.
Conducted over two days (March 23rd and 24th), CivicScience’s survey asks 2,308 adults in the United States what they would use the bulk of any funds they received from the federal government in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly the top response was to pay down debt or keep current on bills, with one-third of respondents giving this answer. Additionally 27% of those surveyed said they planned to save the money, making that the second-most-popular response followed closely by “purchase necessities” with 26%.
While those three answers made up the bulk of responses, 6% stated that they’d use most of their funds to treat themselves to things they wanted. Although that might not seem like the most financially prudent plan, it is worth noting that part of the government’s hope for these proposed checks is to help get the economy growing again following this sustained closure. With that in mind, 4% of respondents said they plan on investing their found money. Lastly, another 4% had other plans not specified by Axios or CivicScience.
Overall this means that the majority of citizens plan on spending their stimulus checks in one way or another instead of saving them. As mentioned, that could be good news for the economy at large. Also interesting is that, as Axios points out, the results of this stimulus-centric survey aren’t remarkably different from polls asking what Americans expected to spend their tax refunds on. Therefore, despite the tax filing deadline being pushed to July, it’s possible that some taxpayers will have two injections of cash with which to spend.
At this time, there are still many unknowns ahead as the U.S. looks to overcome this national emergency. While the health of citizens is obviously paramount, there is a lot to be concerned about regarding the economy. With any luck, hopefully current efforts on both fronts will allow all of us Americans to overcome these trying times and bounce back after they’re finally over.