Did the Stimulus Checks Help People with Unexpected Expenses?
The brief’s key findings are:
- Before COVID-19, many households said they would have trouble paying a $400 unexpected expense.
- The question is how COVID, with its mix of job losses and stimulus checks, has affected households’ financial well-being.
- While the final impact of the three stimulus payments will not be known for several years, preliminary data suggest that:
- the first check served as a lifeline to cover essential bills; and
- the second and third checks helped many, even those who lost their jobs, build up savings or pay off debt.
- What remains unclear is how long these favorable balance sheet effects will last.