Stimulus Check Won't Last a Month for Majority of Recipients: Poll

More than half of Americans think that their stimulus checks will not last them a month, according to a new survey by YouGov for Bankrate.com, a consumer financial services company.

The latest round of $600 stimulus checks were agreed by Congress and the outgoing Trump administration, though some lawmakers had wanted larger payments to Americans.

While some have received the checks, others are still waiting. The Bankrate.com survey asked both those who have gotten the checks and those who anticipate receiving them. Of these, 71 percent said the check would be at least somewhat important to their finances.

The survey found that 53 percent of respondents believed the check would not last them one month.

A further 16 percent said the check would sustain them for one month to less than three months but 34 percent said the $600 would sustain their financial well-being for less than a month.

Significantly, 18 percent said the checks would not sustain their financial well-being at all and 12 percent said they didn't know.

When it comes to what the money will be spent on, 42 percent said they would put it towards monthly bills and 32 percent intend to spend it on day-to-day essentials, while 26 percent of respondents said they would use it to pay down debt.

Just 8 percent of those asked said they would put spend at least some of the money on discretionary or non-essential spending and 6 percent said they would invest it. Another 30 percent said they would add at least some of the stimulus to their savings.

"Ten months into the pandemic and more than 70 percent of those receiving stimulus payments say it is somewhat or very important to their near-term financial situation," Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst said in a statement.

"Americans receiving stimulus payments overwhelmingly say this money is needed just to keep up or to batten down the hatches," he said. "Paying monthly bills, using for day-to-day essentials, putting in savings and paying down debt were the most commonly cited intentions. Just 1 in 12 indicate they'll use any of this money for non-essential spending."

Lower earners, and women and those without a college degree are more likely to think the stimulus money is important to their financial situation, the survey found, with 57 percent of those earning $49,999 or less saying it was and 50 percent of women agreeing. Fifty-one percent of those without college degrees also said it was important to their financial well-being.

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan includes $1,400 stimulus checks, if he can successfully pass the plan in Congress once he takes office on Wednesday. This may be significant as a previous Bankrate.com survey found just 39 percent of Americans could cover an unexpected $1,000 expense from their savings.

Trump's Signature on a Stimulus Check Letter
U.S. President Donald Trump's signature can be seen twice as light shines through a letter printed in both English and Spanish that was sent to people who received a coronavirus economic stimulus payment as part of the Cares Act April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. More than half of Americans say the second round checks of $600 will not last them a month. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images