Most stimulus checks will be used to pay household bills, survey finds

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Experts say the $600 checks won’t go very far in the average household

A majority of Americans (59 percent) say the funds from their second stimulus payment will be used to pay household bills, according to a survey from bill pay service doxo. 

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults found that about 6 out of 10 people plan to use their stimulus check to help pay household bills. Utilities, cable/internet, rent, mortgage, and mobile phone bills topped the list of expenses that Americans will immediately put the funds toward. 

But given the amount that consumers pay per bill each month, the funds aren’t likely to provide significant financial relief for most citizens. That’s because the average U.S. household spends about $1,782 on expenses each month, according to doxo’s research.

“It is very encouraging to see that nearly all U.S. consumers believe that the government’s latest round of stimulus checks will help them improve their own financial health in the coming year,” said Jim Kreyenhagen, VP of Marketing and Consumer Services at doxo. 

“However, with more than half of Americans planning to use the money to pay household bills like utilities, cable/internet, rent and mortgage, it is also discouraging to see that - according to doxo’s data - unfortunately, the $600 checks won’t get them very far.”

Paying bills

Eleven percent of those polled said they planned to use their stimulus check to help keep their family fed, and 10 percent said they will use the money to pay off credit card bills. But among those who plan to put the money toward household expenses, doxo researchers say the stimulus payments will only cover some expenses for about a month. 

The survey found that most Americans are relatively optimistic about what’s ahead for the nation’s economy. Most respondents said they believe the U.S. is on the road to economic recovery. About 83 percent believe it will take 10 months or more for the U.S. economy to recover. 

However, almost half of respondents (41 percent) said it would likely take over a year for their own finances to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

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