Survey finds people prioritized needs over wants with stimulus checks

Needs prioritized in stimulus check spending

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Research has been published at Texas Tech University by Assistant Professor Sarah Asebedo and a team of doctoral students on ways people spent their first round of stimulus checks over the summer.

After surveying more than 1,100 people the team found 83% of respondents used some or all of their money on things considered needs. Another 55% percent used a portion on wants and 65% either saved or invested money.

“It was a natural question for us,” Asebedo, said. “The human behavior and decision-making around money is what I research.”

Some points included in the needs category were food or housing, though other categories were looked at. Some that fell under wants included hobbies and recreation, among other things.

Nearly half of those surveyed also used money for needs-only, she said.

“Some people had more immediate needs to put the money to,” she said. “And some felt that they could allocate at least a portion to something that they considered a ‘want.’”

The team also found optimism about an economic recovery was connected to the possibility of spending rather than saving.

“We saw those beliefs linked to more spending in the spending categories,” she said. “And people were less-likely to save.”

And as lawmakers in Washington D.C. continue discuss the possibility of another round of stimulus payments, Asebedo said she plans to also study how people may spend that money.

But that would have to be done a bit differently.

“We can’t really look at this next payment as one round. We really need to look at it as phase I and II of the second round,” Asebedo said.

Those who still have not received a stimulus check issued in December can track that here.

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