How 28 Millennials Spent their COVID-19 Stimulus Check

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Recently, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Federal Government has passed groundbreaking economic stimulus legislation to help the economy recover from an essential “stop” to most businesses. As a result, many millennials across the nation have received a $1,200 stimulus payment. At the end of the day, most millennials seem to be spending the money responsibly, either putting it towards debt, padding their emergency savings account, purchasing items that they may have been saving for over time, or donating it to charity or helping others.

If you’re anything like me, you’re curious about how other people spend their money. So, I set out to find out what my peers actually spent their stimulus money on. Before I get into that, I do want to share what I spent mine on as well! I used mine to cover my rent/utility payments for the month of April and part of May. Since COVID has sent everyone home, I have been spending my quarantine at my parents house. I’m sure like many others, this leaves me paying rent for 2+ months for an apartment I am not living in, which is kind of an enormous (expensive) bummer. So, I’m pretty grateful that I could use it to support my landlord and cover some living costs.

Let’s get into what 28 millennials spent their stimulus checks on:

1. “My entire stimulus check went to paying down my student loans. I have been tackling $201k in student loan debt on my teaching salary for almost 5 years. I’m down to $48k and couldn’t resist sending such a large amount to them. “ – Diana Farmen, @Dianaonadime

2. “I used my stimulus check toward my credit card debit. Because of the check, I was able to pay the same amount toward my card that it would’ve taken me months to accrue. The most important thing to me right now is to pay off debt and save money; to put a large amount toward my debt was a huge sigh of relief. “ –Meg Parker, @meg__parker

3. “I sent it to my parents because they’re out of work and need it more than I do!” -Anonymous

4. “Put it all in my high interest savings account (1.5%)! I started saving automatically from my paycheck in January. Almost 6K saved! “ -Jen, @Jenmigs91

5. “Still deciding! We are tithing on it, and then we want to either invest it into retirement and/or use it for our savings goals.” – Anonymous

6. “I currently have the stimulus check in savings. After I bring in some steady income this month, I plan to use the stimulus money to fund my Health Savings Account.” –Anonymous

7. “I used my stimulus to increase emergency fund and stockpile cash for the time being. In a few months I plan to use about half of it to finish paying off the car loan.” –Anonymous

8. “ We donated part of it, spent part of it on big ticket splurges (a swingset for our 3-year-old ordered to our local Menards and an Oculus Quest my husband’s been eyeing), and are using the rest for local support. So far we’ve purchased quite a bit of local food (takeout and bread from a bakery). I’m also planning to make a purchase from an artist friend who makes flowers out of old books.”- Anonymous

9. ““I decided to use it to pay down a chunk on a 0% interest credit card whose promo rate will be expiring in February. I was on track to pay it down to $0 by that time anyways, but this will lower my overall utilization and gave me some piece of mind in these stressful times. I’m starting my own Financial Coaching business and opened this card specifically to earn rewards on all the start-up costs of my business. The stimulus check also has helped in freeing up more cash-flow every month to put additional money towards my Roth IRA and other retirement accounts!” – Katlyn Rochelle Viers, @katlynviers

10. “We immediately allocated it for savings for known medical expenses not covered by insurance so that we can use our paychecks for normal budget items.”- Anonymous

11. “We used a few hundred dollars of it on a chest freezer (have been discussing getting one for over a year). Some of it went to debt, and the rest to savings.” – Anonymous

12. “Paid off an emergency plane ticket I bought last year (yay! No more monthly payments) … Some on checking, rest in savings” –Cortney, @healthyfrugalcort

13. “Our full stimulus check went to our emergency fund. Both my husband and I are still working so we do not need the funds to cover necessities right now. We think it’s best to stash away as much cash as possible during this time.” – Vikki, @fiscallyfitfam

14. “Put it towards my 10k HVAC bill coming up in the next year. “– Anonymous

15. “I am using my stimulus check to enroll into the Accredited Financial Counselor program! This has allowed me to invest in myself without having a big financial burden upfront. “ -@Azizwahida

16. “In savings, will use to pay off debt after COVID” –Anonymous

17. “I bought myself lunch (poké) and saved the rest.” -Natalia, @notorious_nrb

18. “My husband and I have been interested in purchasing stock for some time and used this as our tool to invest. We were willing to take a higher risk because they were unexpected funds and we were financially secure whether we had the stimulus funds or not. Our first day of trading and our shared gained nearly 12%! Talk about a great return!” –Katelyn Borgschatz @yourpersonalfinancialcoach

19. “We put about half into our Roth IRA, used some to support small local businesses and another good chuck into self development.” – Amanda, @option.freedom

20. “I bought the Financial Coaches Academy and with the rest of the money we bought other items that have been on our list of things to buy. Like household items and car parts.”– Anonymous

21. “We used it to pay off debt!” –Anonymous

22. “I got a rabbit, and the rest will be split between savings and students loans.”– Anonymous

23. “First – Tithe. Then, put it in savings. If I foresee being able to keep my job, we will use a portion to pay of debt and a portion to purchase a car.”- @_Keirstin

24. “I will use it for bills when it gets here.”– Anonymous

25. “We paid off our car loan.” -Anonymous

26. “I used my stimulus check for rent. The rent I saved on this month will be used for next month. I currently do not have an income outside of my business so this helped to cover the rent for May.”– Kyala, @kyala_clegg

27. “I donated 3/4 of it to local covid relief efforts, and used my company’s matching process to double the impact! The remaining 1/4 I put into my high yield savings account.” -Anonymous

28. “Saved/invested in taxable brokerage.” -Anonymous

In Closing

It is pretty amazing that the majority of respondents used their stimulus check very productively! Clearly, fiscal responsibility during a time of uncertainty is at an all-time high, and now more than ever it is important to be paying debt and saving as much as possible. I hope this shed some light on what your peers did with their stimulus checks- how do you stack up?



Comments +

  1. John A. says:

    So interesting! I know a lot of my friends spent it on clothes, air pods, Nintendo switches, and other frivolous items. What pool of people did you poll? I wonder if that contributed to the overwhelmingly “responsible” response you got

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