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Nearly one-third of U.S. adults believe a $1,200 coronavirus-related stimulus relief check from the CARES Act is not enough money to sustain their lifestyle for one month, according to a new report from personal finance resource Bankrate.
Eight percent of these concerned respondents said they don’t think the stimulus check would allow them to sustain their financial well-being at all, according to Bankrate.
On the opposite side, 50 percent of respondents who anticipate they’ll receive a stimulus check say this money is important for their temporary financial situation.
Of this more optimistic group, 32 percent believe the $1,200 stimulus check can support them financially for a month or two while 11 percent believe the money can support them for three or four months and another 11 percent believe it can support them for at least five months.
Only 14 percent of respondents admitted that they are unsure of how long a $1,200 stimulus can support their financial situation.
“Even before the pandemic forced the economy to a standstill, just 41 percent of Americans were able to pay for an unplanned expense of $1,000 from savings. This payment will not be a financial panacea, but it is sorely needed by millions of households,” says Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride.
“For those already suffering from income disruptions, the payment will be needed for day-to-day essentials and monthly obligations,” he added. “Otherwise, padding the emergency savings is a much-needed step for many households.”
When it comes down to high-income households that make $80,000 or more per year, four in 10 said the stimulus money would not sustain them for a month. Thirteen percent don’t believe the money will be helpful at all, Bankrate reports, which is more than twice the amount believed by sub-$80,000 households.
Another 27 percent of households that make less than $80,000 per year have concerns about making stimulus money last for a month.
Meanwhile, 27% of those who make less than that are concerned with the money lasting one month.
For low-income households that make under $30,000 per year, nearly seven in 10 – or – 69 percent said the stimulus money is “very important to their near-term financial situation.” This is significantly higher than the 36 percent of households making $80,000-plus who said the same.
Only four percent of the lowest income households said these payments weren’t important compared to the 10 percent of the highest-income households that agreed with such.
For the most part, Americans already have plans for how they’ll spend their stimulus money. Half of Bankrate’s respondents said they would use their check on paying down their rent, mortgage or utilities. Outside of housing, everyday essentials like food, medicine or supplies were the next most common planned purchase at 41 percent.
Additionally, 30 percent of people said they would add their stimulus money to their savings while 25 percent said they would use the money to help pay down debt.
Twenty-two percent admitted they plan on using their stimulus money on discretionary, non-essential spending, which includes eight percent of people who plan on buying tickets for live events or vacations, seven percent of people who plan on investing the money and another seven percent who plan to use the money on something else.
Six percent said they are unsure of how they will use funds from a stimulus check.