What People Are Spending Their Stimulus Checks On

From much-needed dental work to a literal garden of hope.

Getty

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

The $1,400 checks from the American Rescue Plan have been hitting bank accounts across the country, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been curious about how people are spending their new infusions of cash. Here are just a few plans from a recent audience callout, as well as a friendly invitation to subscribe to our newsletter to join in on similar conversations, daily news hits, and much more. 

A literal garden of hope

My fiance and I will both be getting the full $1,400, for a total of $2,800 coming into the household coffers. We plan to use it for getting our organic vegetable garden/orchard going this year. We just purchased a new house in February, with a lovely huge garden area, complete with an established compost bin. Buying seeds and seed starter supplies, plus soil amendments will make the stimulus the gift that keeps on giving.  The rest will go right into savings. —Shannon

Long overdue health check-ups and car maintenance

When my next infusion of funds arrives, I hope to do what I’d planned for the first two: get my vision checked (my bifocal specs are waaayyyy out of date) and get my car fixed so it doesn’t overheat so easily…I’m on Social Security and have a part-time job that nets me $73 a week. Woohoo! If I can, I’d also like to pay off my credit card debt (it’s small) and maybe get ahead on utilities and phone accounts. That’s about as frivolous as I get these days. —Susan

Focus on grad school

I’m an older graduate student who went back to school after my kids grew up. I lost the job I used to pay tuition and fees because of COVID. My refund will help me not have to take time off.  That makes me overjoyed!!! —Jules

Housing charity

The last one went to the local food bank. The local food banks are doing ok at the moment, so it will go elsewhere, probably housing. The important thing is to put it somewhere it will be spent quickly instead of sitting in my savings account doing nothing. —Walt

Furniture to finally welcome guests after a long year

When I relocated from Westchester County, New York to Salem, Massachusetts in late January 2020, I expected visits from my grandchildren, as well as the family members I left behind in NY. After spending the entire month of February sick with a constant non-COVID cough, the shutdown went into effect, and so no guests could visit. For the first time in my life, I spent months without touching another living creature.

I think I’ll buy some furniture so that my home can be ready to welcome my long-awaited guests this Summer (fingers crossed!). I haven’t felt any enthusiasm for setting up my home since I live alone, and it was too sad to be getting ready to see those I love most in the world until now. It will be fun to get out and get to know my new neighborhood.—Claudia

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate