One of the biggest reasons why Republicans have not wanted to immediately agree to another round of stimulus check funding is that they wanted to wait and see how the funds were being used by Americans.
Presumably, they wanted to make sure that these checks were actually needed and would actually help to stimulate the hurting economy.
Based on some early data and surveys, it seems like the stimulus checks are serving their purpose.
Many people are going out and buying things like home fitness gear, bicycles, arts and crafts materials, video games, and other nonessential needs.
The spending was such a large spike that CEOs from major super stores like Walmart and Target commented on the noticeable rise in sales.
But nonessential needs are not the #1 thing people have been spending their checks on.
Instead, it’s bills.
In fact, 30% of people said that they used their stimulus check to pay bills which included cell phone, utilities, cable, and rent.
“It’s alarming to look at how many Americans used these funds to keep a roof over their head and pay for necessities considering the federal government has not provided clarity about another round of stimulus payments being provided in the near future,” stated a report by YouGov.
“Americans are aware of how grim the near future could be, and they took the opportunity to use the stimulus funds to help prepare them for it. By paying off debt, consumers free up some credit so they can turn to it, should they find themselves out of a job in the near future.”
30% of recipients using their checks primarily to pay bills is a significant number. It tells you that at least about 40 million Americans are not in a secure a position to last very long without more aid.
This is something that many people including myself already knew but getting a more exact figure should help convince some lawmakers about the severity of the issue.
At this point, we’ve seen that lots of money is going back into the economy and that people are using the checks to keep a roof over their head, so I would think that this would be good news when it comes to considering a second round of stimulus checks.
If a second round were to happen, we could see payments start to come out by mid July. But that is assuming an agreement is reached within a couple of weeks of the Senate opening back up June 1.
It’s still also not clear if the government is okay with sending out a second round of checks to people when others have not received their first round. I think that could also be a major issue of contention considering that some Americans are not scheduled to receive checks until the very end of the summer.
It’s also possible that the government could offer a completely different option for stimulus checks. However, I think that is unlikely because it doesn’t address the immediate need for financial relief that so many people have.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.