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Second Stimulus Check: How Would You Spent It?

Written by Nickel - 70 Comments

I’ve written in the past about the possibility of the feds sending out another stimulus check, and I just saw on the news that House Democrats are pushing for a new round of economic stimulus, so… Perhaps it will happen.

That begs the question…

What would you do with a second stimulus check?

According to a recent consumer poll, just 39% of respondents say that they would spend it, with 38% saying they’ll save it, and 18% saying they’ll use it to pay down debt. Of those who envision spending it, 21% said they would spend it on holiday gifts, whereas the other 18% would spend it on themselves and their families, but not on holiday gifts.

What about the first stimulus check?

Well… 33.5% of respondents reported spending it, whereas 29.3% said they saved it, and 37.1% said they used it to pay down debt.

Source: Dallas News

Published on November 6th, 2008
Modified on November 7th, 2008 - 70 Comments
Filed under: Economy

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. The first stimulous check went 100% towards my mortgage, if we got a second one that it would probably go into the savings account and used towards a vacation, with the balance being used on the mortgage.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 9:19 am
  2. Honeymoon.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 9:51 am
  3. Same place as the first one – savings account. Right now I’m not planning on purchasing any stocks until the first of the year or else I’d put it there.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 10:29 am
  4. The first stimulus check paid my car insurance bill… the second one would go a similar direction, depending on when it showed up. Either a car payment, or a credit card payment if the car’s paid off by then.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 10:29 am
  5. Same as the first – pay down debt.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 10:35 am
  6. I was initially surprised that the % of spenders has not decreased all that much, but then I began to wonder what they will be “spending” it on. Is it spending for themselves in terms of shopping and entertainment or spending for financially necessary reasons.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 11:46 am
  7. We would save it to spend it, most likely on groceries and a lease-breaking fee so that we can move in with relatives, unless my husband can find a full time job before it (hypothetically) comes. Ugh. This was not a good year to be a car salesman and then get injured.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 12:10 pm
  8. Pay my wife’s tuition for next semester.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 12:54 pm
  9. I remember in my economics class back around 2001 my teacher was talking about ways to stimulate the economy. His suggestion was to give a $500 check to every college student, obviously this was enjoyed by the class. His reasoning was that group would go and spend the money close to immediatly. They would go party, buy games, tvs whatever they felt like.

    He even pointed out that older persons would put money into stocks, or save the money in other ways and not “stimulate” the economy as well.

    I guess all the results we have seen are right, too many people saved it! Just give some money to those college students!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 1:08 pm
  10. If I got a second stimulus check I would either put it into the stock market, my roth IRA, or my 410k account.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 2:13 pm
  11. From what I’ve read don’t count on a stimulus check. What the Dems are proposing as a stimulus is an extension of food stamp benefits, unemployment insurance, and spending on public works (roads, bridges, etc.)

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 2:20 pm
  12. I think I already spent my second… and third, and fourth stimulus checks. So as soon as the government gives me them, I’ll use them to pay off debt.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 2:37 pm
  13. I would add to the buffer my automatic monthly bill pay account. Either that, or invest in nascar commemorative plates. (just kidding)

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 2:51 pm
  14. I doubt any substantive money will end up in my pocket as a result of another round of stimulus. However, if it does, I would use it to pad my emergency savings account. I did use the last one to buy a new tv (I’ve very patriotic), but this one will be used a little more wisely.

    At some point, I’m going to have to contribute to the trillion dollar deficits we’ll be seeing for the next few years.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 5:03 pm
  15. I spent it on my house. I am ready for my next home improvement project if the next one come thro’.

    Bharani

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 5:20 pm
  16. I didn’t qualify for the first, even though I’m middle class for los angeles. I would have saved it if I got it, I’m not one of those who think patriotism demands blowing money.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 6:35 pm
  17. Save 25% and use the remaining 75% against debt. Frankly, this is one check I don’t want to see in my mail box as I don’t think the government should be handing out any more money!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 8:10 pm
  18. Pay off the balance on my credit card, just like I did with the previous stimulus check.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 8:27 pm
  19. Pay down my college loans.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 9:28 pm
  20. @ phillip

    Investing isn’t stimulating the economy? Buying a share of stock in Apple is giving the company –and the economy– money just like buying an Apple product. No difference. Don’t knock investing stimulus checks.

    Some of us manage our finances responsibly and aren’t shackled by debt or a lack of self-control. We’ll do with our money what we want.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2008 @ 11:45 pm
  21. Well, I worked my butt off all summer long, worked harder than I have in my entire life. With the exception of a 10-day vacation and one 4-day weekend I literally worked every day from May 1st to Oct 1st, and some days were 16-hour days. My wife and I are trying to get our finances lined up before we start a family and she cuts back at her job. So to comment on what I do with another stimulus check? The same thing I did with the first one: take my wife out to the local Mexican restaurant for dinner. Because of our income, our first stimulus check was $23.62.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 12:19 am
  22. More worthless fiat currency to flood the markets. The Feds are printing it faster than they can give it away. But “The Messiah” will save the world and the economy.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 3:11 am
  23. I would do what I did with the first one: Loan the money back to the government by buying a savings bond.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 5:50 am
  24. My short term savings account for things like car repairs, gifts, vacations and unexpected expenses has been drained recently. I agree that a blanket stimulus for every tax paying individual is not the best bang for the buck the government could charge on the “we will pay it back later” card… but if I got one it would go in that account and likely go to holiday gifts and some new snow tires, unless something more unexpected comes up.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 10:34 am
  25. We owe the IRS so the last check went towards that debt and I would think another one would as well. I am fine with that…I hate owing the IRS.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 11:05 am
  26. I would pay off my old medical bills, and then pay down my credit card as much as I could.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 12:59 pm
  27. I got two $1200 stimulus checks…but alas, the IRS asked for one of them back. Since I bought 4800 25cent gumballs with my last stimulus check, this time around i think i will buy jelly bellys

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 5:13 pm
  28. Calling Barack Obama “The Messiah” doesn’t change the fact that the American people didn’t want your candidate in office.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 5:17 pm
  29. my candidate did not run. but i do hope the american people enjoy the tax and spend liberals that they just elected. the american people are too busy with dancing with the stars. they love outrageous promises. see you in 4 years!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 7th 2008 @ 8:24 pm
  30. Well, considering I just made the guidelines for a check, by getting a lump sum from disability, I would probably spend it on bills. I have a bad heart and can’t work, but I get a whopping 468. a month. This goes a long way towards paying my 490. house payment and all the other bills. I have no credit cards or any bills besides utilities. I don’t see why I now have to pay for medicare also. I also don’t understand why if you don’t have any money to start with, you won’t get any money to help. It’s always the ones that already have money. Save?? PSSSHHT!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 8th 2008 @ 9:49 am
  31. if we do receive another stimulus check, i will put it all on my 46″ sharp lcd hdtv. hopefully i’ll have it by the “daytona 500” in february.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 8th 2008 @ 11:18 pm
  32. Marie,
    The stimulus check is actually considered a tax refund. If people haven’t paid taxes, they don’t deserve a check. It is not considered a hand out. You have to pay for medicare for the same reasons I have to pay for my health insurance. If you don’t want to pay, please opt of medicare.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 9th 2008 @ 1:45 pm
  33. it would go into some type of investment vehicle or straight into my websites…..

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 9th 2008 @ 5:46 pm
  34. I would use it for Christmas if it comes by then.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 10th 2008 @ 1:14 pm
  35. spend on children christmas single mom with nooooo money

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 10th 2008 @ 6:38 pm
  36. I would spend it on Christmas gifts I believe, i’m tired of stressing about bills, my son and i deserve that much. By the way I LOVE BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA!!!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 10th 2008 @ 8:42 pm
  37. wow some well off people here who are able to just save it..The last one put brakes on the car which I ran down way to baddly due to not being able to get them fixed before that and grocieries that the kids were very thankful for ..Another one would not go toward christmas were forgoing that this year as we had to do birthdays it will go toward restocking the fridge,tune up ,oil change for the car and some clothes for the kids for school..

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 10th 2008 @ 11:00 pm
  38. I would use this to pay off some credit card debt and help buy my child’s christmas. I would also get a couple minor things on my vehicle fixed.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2008 @ 1:33 am
  39. so glad to see that people (some) have the options of what they will do with a possible stimulus check. many of of don’t have that luxuary. most don’t have a job, no insurance,our unemployment has ran out and we are not even counted as statistic any longer. some have gone done to 8-9 dollars an hour job due to supply and demand.and of course the staffing agentcys that find you a job but at a charge.some of us will do with out our medications, heating our homes.and some food.and santa is not coming to our house this year.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2008 @ 12:49 pm
  40. I know the checks they are thinking about get claimed, I know we end up paying it back in the long run.. just as we do with any loan. I feel if we get this check think of it as a loan that will be paid back in taxs. With that said I would LOVE another check, if it comes in time for Christmas shpping. As of none I am done with my shopping with spending less then $400 on a family of 5 plus (nieces, nephews, partents, etc). If I were to get another check it would be spent on Christmas, is it a good idea not always, should I save it? Sure probably should but I know by spending it, it keeps people in business, keeps my husband at work.You have to put money in the ecom. We all know this in order to get the US out of debt. Once the ecom. is back to normal we will all get back to normal. The faster we do this, the faster we will be back to the way we know.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2008 @ 4:15 pm
  41. I would just like to know from those of you who “cant afford groceries” or “cant do christmas”, how you are affording the luxury of the internet? I think I would do without before I deprived my children of those things. Don’t expect the government to come bailing you guys out too.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2008 @ 9:15 pm
  42. JJ as far as for my family the internet is more important than christmas ..It is a necessity that we chose over tv and cell phones or dinners out…
    I have two children in school and they are both required to have reports and other things done from a computer to pass the classes ,we tried going without it and using the library but your not always able to find an open computer and I work 2 jobs so i’m not home till after 8 at night and they close at 8:30 and it cost more to print the reprorts then it cost to actually have internet at home ..Were able to live without christmas and we make do with the groceries that are brought in.
    Its just that it would be nice to if possible be able to have some presents and a really nice dinner ..And I figure the taxes that are taken from me I deserve some back to use on my family..I’m not expecting the gov. to bail me out thats why I conserve and work hard to try and help myself .Besides hows giving me back money they took from me in the first place bailing me out??

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2008 @ 9:37 pm
  43. Most likely save it. If it comes, I don’t need the money right now, but inevitably I will a little bit more down the line..

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2008 @ 11:21 pm
  44. I still have my first stimulus money in a savings account- with the tax returns I received in spring. If there were to be another stimulus check coming, I’d have enough for siding on my house.

    So spend it would be my answer.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 12th 2008 @ 8:58 am
  45. If a check received before Christmas: A new pair of winter boots for myself, spend the rest Christmas shopping for family.

    If check received after Christmas: A new pair of winter boots for myself and a new pair of glasses.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 13th 2008 @ 9:45 am
  46. Mine would go the same place the first one went: savings.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 14th 2008 @ 1:03 pm
  47. You guys have savings and emergency funds… wow. Since it probaby would not arrive before Christmas time, and not long before or even possibly after the 2008 Tax season begins, I suppose I would spend it to pay up the car insurance and purchase some things for the new place, we will be moving soon. The tax return will go to debt, paying off the credit cards and trying to get one car note payment ahead…

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 15th 2008 @ 12:30 pm
  48. With regard to the comment about not having money for food and the Internet:

    A lot of things are like that. Things that weren’t necessities become necessary over time after the introduction of new technology. I don’t feel old, but I remember when every one didn’t a hav phone; ma bell would be like no and you just didn’t have one and had to make do. Microwaves and PCs came out not far from one another. I guess microwave technology was ready to go while PCs (I had a commodore 64) had to improve a bit… but now pretty much every home in the nation has a phone and a microwave. And it wont be long before all have computers.

    In my family the Internet is not a luxury it’s a necessity. I have school age children, and I myself prefer to be reading or learning something as opposed to watching TV. We have many interests and the easiest way to find information is via the Internet. So it has to be paid for like any other utility.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 15th 2008 @ 12:53 pm
  49. does anyone know for a fact we will get acheck before christmas?we are so desperate no xmas for me and son tell me please!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 15th 2008 @ 4:28 pm
  50. no replys to question yetxmas looks very bad thenno clothes shoes and underwearor stocks

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 15th 2008 @ 9:35 pm
  51. if we were to get this check before Christmas, I will spend it on Christmas Presents,if not I will spend it on things I cant afford, because of paying bills…like food and clothing.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 16th 2008 @ 9:36 am
  52. Christmas….worried about how to provide x-mas for my kids…I pray that they do and we get it b4 xmas. It would be nice because I know that there a lot of people out there wondering how they are going to be able to have a xmas at all.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 17th 2008 @ 12:16 pm
  53. Holiday gifts.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 18th 2008 @ 4:26 pm
  54. IF I WAS TO GET IT BEFORE CHRISTMAS I WOULD SPENDED ON GIFTS

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 19th 2008 @ 11:16 pm
  55. well its not good news obama cant give stimulus before xmas watch news and dont get hopes up like me single mom with no money for xmas it broke my heart

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 23rd 2008 @ 7:19 am
  56. Reva-

    Do not get your hopes up. Government and Obama cannot help you. If they would leave the markets alone, things would take less time to work out. By them interfering, they will prolong this mess.

    Stimulus checks arent entirely free, people have to pay them back, you know. Stop all the damn welfare!!!!!

    No Stimulus!!!!! Please!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 23rd 2008 @ 2:33 pm
  57. to whom it may concern im not on welfare im a hairdresser pay allllll kinds of taxes and it would be great to get my money back in stimulus for my son and i my son is a national championship basketball winner 21st centery scholar and will attend indiana university in 2013 where you get welfare is absolutely nuts bring stimulus on you person!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 23rd 2008 @ 2:41 pm
  58. EXCUSE ME ………….NICK PERSON

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 23rd 2008 @ 2:42 pm
  59. Stop it, you are butchering the english language. Seriously, I said I’m tired of MY Government giving welfare to people who do not need it. I’m pretty sure if you owned your own hairdressing shop and managed it badly, you wouldn’t get a bailout. Stimulus, bailouts, loans, etc. They all need to stop.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 23rd 2008 @ 3:52 pm
  60. Good luck, Reva. I hope all goes well for you and your son.

    Nick,

    The economy sucks. They gave us stimulus rebates, they gave the banks $700 Billion, and the only result is that now Financial institutions are begging for another $1,200 Billion. I have no faith whatsoever in our government, and I honestly can’t tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans in office. In that sense, I agree with you.

    From your tone, I am guessing that no one in your family suffers a chronic disease, and that you are not one of the 651,000 people who lost their jobs in October. I’m also guessing that you not only have enough food to eat, but that you are not a senior who is forced to choose between buying food or medicine. Good for you.

    Sh## happens, and sometimes its not your fault. Hurricane Katrina brought out the best in people who were eager to help families in need. Now, someone loses their home and the automatic assumption is that they are deadbeats and deserve it. But what do you do if your child is sick: Pay your mortgage, or buy medicine?

    If you are one of the 30,000 people that Citibank alone laid off, you are competing with the other 620,000 people who are suddenly in the job market. If you’re lucky enough to get ANY job, it almost certainly won’t pay as much or have good benefits. What do you do when you can’t pay your mortgage, Live in your car or move into the tent city at the dump? That’s a trick question: They repossessed your car too.

    This recession is a disaster, just like Katrina, but this disaster was cause by unchecked capitalist greed, instead of nature. Industry lobbyists bought legislation from both Democrats, and Republicans alike, and here we are.

    Even corporate leaders are suffering without their millions in bonuses, but at least wealthy people don’t have to worry about their dividends being taxed… There won’t be any dividends.

    So, when you sit down to your Christmas dinner, I’d like you to think about a few things besides what nice toys Santa will bring you:

    Think about American children who don’t get any visit from Santa at all this year. Think about the shame that an Unemployed American feels when he goes to a food bank to get a can of peas for his families Christmas dinner. Think about what it feels like to have a chronic disease and not be able to afford medicine. And most of all, think about “what if it was me?”

    Say hello to the three ghosts of Christmas for me.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 23rd 2008 @ 5:10 pm
  61. sara i do feel for you and the three ghhost of xmas od will not forsake and relion and rellion are the best to talk yes i do hair and my son is talented but i had stroke last jan. have cut hair since after 25 yrs we need that simulus right now for christmas and othe meds for me and something for my son now i just listen to the rest that reply good luck all!

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 24th 2008 @ 6:30 am
  62. sorry about spelling at 6 i morning i said god wont forsake and religion the world is horride with bad things do happen and i pray it gets better………reva

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 24th 2008 @ 6:38 am
  63. @Sarah (60) –

    You wrote: this disaster was cause by unchecked capitalist greed

    That’s leaving out a LOT, like the government that forced banks to make those bad loans, and the people who wanted to use them to buy houses they couldn’t afford. Companies won’t sell things that won’t sell, and they won’t sell things that will put them out of business unless they are forced to do it – companies do what they are told, and they cater to their customers’ needs… or they go out of business.

    Really, the problem was due to consumers demanding more affordable housing, and presidents (ALL presidents) who want to be able to say that “home ownership is higher under my watch than at any previous time.” The party could not go on forever, it had to end sometime.

    It’s just unfortunate that the government and the lending banks got so stupid that they’re taking the rest of us down with them.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 24th 2008 @ 7:05 am
  64. I agree with Daniel. The govt forced banks to give loans to all these deadbeats who couldnt pay them back. Government intervention is at fault here, as is always the case. Face it, there exists no better system in the history of the world than Free Market CAPITALISM. All these people advocating bailouts and stimulus are just borrowing against their childrens/grandchildrens future. The more money printed by the FED, is tanking the dollar.

    But I guess some people like standing in line for free hand-outs, instead of asking, what can I do for myself? If you give irresponsible people more money, who flushed it down the drain in the first place, where do you think it will go the second time?

    We need to get back to sound principles. Stop the socialism.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 24th 2008 @ 11:36 am
  65. Will pay my bills off

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 6th 2008 @ 7:29 pm
  66. I would pay my property tax before I lose my home. And the rest for christmas and car repairs. Even with my husband getting a better paying job and I work as well. But cant afford wanted items with our family of 6 and pay everyday bills. And no matter how much I send to property tax office they always hound me for more. Till my debt is paid in full. Its just to bad our elected government can get there head out there butts and do something for our economy now. Instead of waiting for us to go into yet another great depression. Yes a handout is great especial at this time a year. But that is short term. What about a year from now. How much more can our country take? First elect a @@@ president that wont even do the pledge. Thats right people! Look it up. Yall voted for him. I voted against. And there is so many reasons he should have never been allowed to run. To many voted for him based on his color. Forget the color of his skin. Its about our country! You will find out in the wash that is fixing to erupt. And all the petitions for investigation he is fixing to go threw. Will soon bite all you obama voters in the butt.

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 8th 2008 @ 4:03 pm
  67. please send the other check very soon ok we need it to pay some bills

    Comment by Anonymous — Dec 22nd 2008 @ 11:19 am
  68. poor, poor Reva…..I just heard yesterday that she passed away….I’m online doing a search on her name and came to these comments. So heart breaking. She was a good woman, and her son was her world. No more worrying about money, Reva. She will be missed.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 27th 2009 @ 10:05 am
  69. I would make my mortage payment and pay bills

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 25th 2009 @ 1:29 pm
  70. I miss my mom i searched her name on google because i miss her and i now i see what she had to worry about every day…

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 16th 2009 @ 11:32 pm

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