How Americans Would Use a Second Economic Payment

What would you do with another stimulus check? Sunmark Life Stage Advisory has a single goal: to help you make the most of your money.

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A second stimulus payment may be on the way. But just how would Americans use a second economic payment? In a Yahoo Finance-Harris Poll survey, a majority of those who responded said they would use another check to shore up their household finances instead of on nonessential items like gifts.

  • 53% of the surveyed said they would use part of the check to pay down bills.

  • 43% said they would go toward essentials.

  • 39% said they would put it toward savings.

  • 30% would use it to cover rent or a mortgage.

  • 22% would spend it on holiday gifts.

So how did people use the first round of stimulus checks? From an October study, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York asked households how they used their stimulus money. The survey, which included 1,300 households, found that the median payment per household was $2,400. According to the findings:

  • 36% of stimulus payments were saved.

  • 35% of the money was used to pay down debt.

  • 18% of the funds were used for essential spending, such as necessary daily living expenses.

  • 8% used for nonessential spending, such as hobbies, leisure, vacation, and other items respondents do not need.

  • 3% of the funds were donated.

Economists agree that the most effective way to bolster the country as it endures more fiscal fallout from the pandemic is for Congress to approve more federal aid, chiefly in the form of a second round of stimulus checks. According to a new survey from Clever, a real estate data company, 81% of Americans think a second stimulus check would be a huge help.