Millions of Americans have already received a stimulus check, and millions more will be receiving their checks in the mail in the coming weeks. And while the CARES Act sent a massive amount of money into the hands of Americans suffering economic hardship thanks to the coronavirus, for most Americans, the $1200 per adult won’t go too far.
A recent survey showed that 31 percent of Americans say the checks will sustain their financial well-being for less than a month, while nearly a third (32 percent) expect that the money will last from one month to less than three months.
Getting bipartisan approval for that stimulus package seemed to be a minor miracle, and it will be difficult to get agreement on any further stimulus packages. There are a number of proposals to get more money in the hands of Americans who need it, but none of these proposals have been signed into law.
And as the Financial Times recently reported, the bipartisan divide likely influences what most Americans fear about the coronavirus.
Still, some politicians are trying to push for another stimulus package. Representative Ro Khanna, D-California, and Representative Tim Ryan, D-Ohio are pushing for a package that would see every American who is over the age of 16 and makes less than $130,000 a year receive a $2,000 stimulus check every month for the duration of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Representative Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, and Representative Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington have proposed the ABC Act; with their plan, Americans would also receive $2,000 a month for the duration of the crisis; and for one year after the crisis ends, they would continue to receive $1,000 a month as the economy gets back on its feet.
For now, it would seem prudent for Americans to spend their first stimulus check wisely, and many seem to be doing just that. According to Money‘s recent survey, about a third of respondents said they’re putting at least part of their stimulus money towards savings (32%) while some are using it to pay back debt (17%). Only 3% of respondents said they’d spend the money on superfluous luxuries.
Meanwhile, the finance/investment site the Motley Fool offers this advice: “If you’re carrying a mortgage, ask your lender to put your loan into forbearance temporarily. If you’re a renter, explain your situation to your landlord and ask to be cut some slack. If you can’t pay your utility bills, ask your service providers for an extension. And if you owe money on a credit card, talk to your issuer about deferring some payments while you’re out of work or having a hard time making ends meet. A second stimulus payment may or may not be in the cards, but rather than sit back and wait for one, take steps to buy yourself some breathing room right now.”