The one-time stimulus check included as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act was meant to help Americans through a difficult time while the economy took a hit due to the lockdowns across the country meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. While most Americans put the payments toward rent, groceries and other necessities, some were not shy about using the extra money for stranger items. After Americans began receiving the stimulus checks in mid-April, retailers reported upticks in major purchases.
The Economic Impact Payment provided qualifying Americans with a $1,200 payment. Any American who filed federal taxes for 2018 or 2019 and earned $75,000 or less received the payment. Couples who filed together and earned $150,000 or less received double the payment. Dependents under 17 received $500, which was added to the parent who claimed them on their tax filings.
There have been several proposals in Washington for a second payment, although nothing has been signed into law yet. House Democrats did pass the HEROES Act, which does include another check, but it is not going to be taken up by the Senate. President Donald Trump has voiced support for another stimulus package but has been inconsistent when it comes to details about another payment. While we wait on news of a second check, here is a look at some of the strange items on which Americans have reported spending the money.
Stuffed Animal Zoo
86-yr old Nancy Connor of Pawtucket created a zoo in her yard. Using her *entire stimulus check she bought stuffed animals after noticing people were sad. “I’m handicapped I can’t go out there and do anything people love animals it was the only thing I could think of” 😍❤️ @NBC10 pic.twitter.com/G82NQQZi1p— Sam Read (@NBC10_Sam) June 19, 2020
Nancy Connor, 86, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island told WJAR she spent her entire stimulus payment on stuffed animals and statues to decorate her front lawn with. She created a stuffed animal "zoo" to bring smiles to her neighbors. "They come by, they walk and point and the kids smile it's worth all the effort I've put into it because everybody looks happy that comes by," she said.prevnext
Streaming and Video Games
Digital banking service Current and Chicago insurance startup Clearcover completed surveys on how Americans spent their stimulus checks, reports Business Insider. Clearcover's survey found that 9% of respondents used their payment on streaming services and video games. Current's survey showed 5% of spent stimulus money went to video games. People have to keep themselves entertained while quarantined.prevnext
Akerna, a cannabis compliance software developer, reported an increase in cannabis sales after the first stimulus checks were sent. April 15 "after the COVID-19 stimulus checks were received by many, was far and away the biggest Wednesday in the history of legal cannabis, with both ticket size and total revenue up over 50% compared to a normal Wednesday in 2020," the company noted.prevnext
Inflatable Dinosaur Costume
Why did we get our stimulus check and the first thing I bought was an inflatable dinosaur costume 🥴 pic.twitter.com/dCI5E7cJUj— destiny (@trujillo_rules) April 14, 2020
Just bought my kid this, thank you stimulus check 😂 pic.twitter.com/3futbT5pTI— Chelsey Taylor (@ChelseyMFtaylor) April 15, 2020
stimulus check hit this morning and i already bought yeezys ......i ain’t shit— saline......i mean saleen (@TGrandalex) April 15, 2020
'Warm and Cozy' Coat
With my stimulus check I bought this damn coat, really warm and cozy. But it’s not really the type of weather to wear it out now. pic.twitter.com/UPHTgioRsU— TRASH MAID (@MucusSnail) April 14, 2020
Just bought a bird with my stimulus check what y’all buy? pic.twitter.com/3GuWCzzYpo— Rob (@Robby_CT3) April 15, 2020
Paying the Bills
I paid my electric bill, car payment, paid off a small credit card, and bought a bidet. I also ordered a few tank tops since that’s my wardrobe now.
And just like that, it’s gone. 🤷🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/bPCDKbSyv3— Jennifer Dawson (@jdawson001) April 15, 2020