How Americans are Spending Stimulus Checks

Published April 2021
Image of Stimulus Check

As the latest round of COVID payments roll out, here’s a view of how Americans are spending their stimulus checks.

Key Points: 

  • Americans are choosing to save their stimulus check or spend it on essential items rather than non-essential items.
  • The best way for you to use your stimulus check depends on you and your financial situation.
  • With such a large check this time around, you can use your COVID payment for more than one purpose if that is what works for you.

Where is the Stimulus Money Going?

Even though one of the original purposes behind stimulus checks was to help the economy get back on track, many are not changing their spending habits. In fact, in a survey by where participants could choose multiple answers, only 13% said they would use their stimulus check for non-essential spending.

Blog Image - How Americans Are Spending Stimulus Checks(Source:

As you can see, most of those surveyed planned on or already used their stimulus check for their monthly bills, day-to-day essentials, paying down debt, and savings. This choice can still provide a boost in the economy, and retail stores and the like will be most likely to benefit. This is essential in an economic downturn like the one started as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York also found that the majority of Americans used their second-round of stimulus checks for savings or paying down debt rather than spending the money. Even though not all Americans have received or used their third-round stimulus check, the Federal Reserve Bank expects similar results for this round.

Best Way to Use Your Stimulus Check

Do what is best for you and your financial situation when it comes to deciding what to do with your stimulus check. Keep in mind that the best way to use your stimulus check may not be the same for your family and friends. Explore all of your options, even those outside the ones listed above, and don’t be afraid to mix and match.

It may be beneficial to include your debt as a factor in your decision. Getting out of debt can be difficult on your own but your stimulus check may be able to help you out. Even paying off one outstanding bill can be a huge help in managing your debt. If you find that your are still having trouble managing your credit card debt it may be a good time to consult with a Certified Debt Specialist at ClearOne Advantage and get a free savings estimate.

It may even be beneficial to you to use your stimulus check for multiple purposes. As many may have done in the Bank Rate survey, you can use some of your check to save and the rest to spend. If you choose wisely where to use your stimulus check, you may even be able to improve more than one aspect of your financial health!

What to Do with Your Stimulus Check

Take full advantage of the opportunity by looking over your finances before deciding what to do with your stimulus check. If your finances are in good shape, you can probably spare at least part of the check for non-essential items.

Your stimulus check could also go toward larger purchases or projects you’ve been wanting to get to. While the check won’t cover an entire bathroom renovation, for example, it could help get you started. It could also help you purchase that much-needed car, even if the check only helps with the down payment.

If you are struggling with your finances, you may consider using your stimulus check to pay off debt or start an emergency fund. An emergency fund can help keep you out of debt, or help keep you from going further into debt, by allotting funds for those unexpected bills such as car repair or medical bills.

Keep in mind that you can always save the money now and spend it later, especially if your finances have been impacted by the COVID Pandemic. With so many on unemployment or with medical bills due to the virus or other ailments, it may be difficult to save money during Covid. Your stimulus check can provide an opportunity to save, just in case.

If your stimulus check is not enough to solve your credit card debt, ClearOne Advantage can help. Contact one of our Certified Debt Specialists at 866-481-1597 to discuss your best debt relief options and get a free savings estimate today.

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Topics: Covid Debt Relief