I realize that the question is a privileged one. For a lot of people, that stimulus is going toward (and probably not completely covering) rent, food or other basic living costs.
But for those of us who are in a good financial situation, the question quickly becomes: What do you do with the money?
I was lucky enough not to need the last stimulus payment, so I used it to buy a $100 gift card to a local restaurant, add a $200 credit to my account at my massage place and then donate the rest.
Since I am fortunate enough not to need this one either, I need to figure out what I’m going to do with it.
You’d think I would know already, but honestly I expected this payment to take a while — just like the last one — so I hadn’t given it much thought when I saw that the deposit had been made. Eek!
Thus I currently have no earthly idea where most of the money is going.
I say “most” because I sent $50 each to two GoFundMe campaigns that friends had created for people in their life. As for the rest…
I’m debating whether to get another gift card for the restaurant. I’m torn because I want to support local business, but I’m also trying to eat less takeout. Would a gift card tempt me?
As for the remainder (either $484 or $384 if I get the gift card), I’m not sure what to do with it.
There are tons of good organizations out there. My friend works for PETCO Foundation, which is giving grants for (among other things) programs to help people who are struggling financially to be able to keep their pets. As someone who was once broke but also deeply emotionally dependent on the company of an animal, I love that effort.
And animal shelters in general are important. Then there’s Planned Parenthood. And also the one my friend recently reminded me of: StopTheBacklog, which pushes to get rape kits processed.
Of course, there’s also the domestic violence shelter that I gave to last time. I have a bunch of physical items for them (pads/tampons/toothbrushes), but money is always helpful.
But honestly, I’m thinking of sending all of the remaining money to Feeding America. In late November, one in eight Americans reported not having enough to eat. Feeding America supplies food banks all the country, and apparently $25 means 250 meals. So imagine how many people $384 to $484 will feed.
That said, I’m already giving $150 of my monthly donations to this organization. But on the other hand, it’s ridiculous that so many people — anyone really, but especially this many people — are going hungry in one of the most prosperous nations in the world.
So I want to hear from you folks: How are you using your stimulus funds? Is it allowing you to buy something you’ve had your eye on for a while? Are you using it to support local business? Is it going to basic expenses? Is it going to charity?