Students spend stimulus on stocks, savings, self-care

 The latest round of COVID-19 stimulus checks are hitting bank accounts. Graphic by Elizabeth Wong.

From shopping sprees to student loans to car payments, University of Rhode Island students plan to spend their stimulus checks in many different ways.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, also known as the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, has started its third round of stimulus payments, providing millions of Americans financial relief during the pandemic.

The IRS will be distributing this money based on income reported on 2020 tax returns, or the most recent tax record it has, according to Forbes.

“Individuals earning less than $75,000 per year will receive a $1,400 payment (as will heads of household earning less than $112,500 per year) and couples filing jointly earning less than $150,000 per year will receive $2,800,” according to an article from Forbes that gave an overview of the checks’ distributions.

Eligible families will receive an additional $1,400 for each dependent, meaning that some URI students will be receiving that money.

Cassie Hill, a freshman at URI, said that her stimulus check is being put towards her tuition.

“Although I would love to use the $1,400 on a vacation, I think this is a great opportunity for me to invest in my education,” she said. “I’m a full-time student, and I work about 20 hours a week, so this was a nice little bonus. My hours got cut at work because of COVID, so I’m really grateful.” 

Much like Hill, other students have decided to invest their COVID-19 relief payments into essentials for college life.

Freshman Jessica Gullusci plans to put the money towards her off-campus housing next year.

“The lease requires each of us, who are moving into the house next year, to put down $1,600 for a security deposit by next week, so I decided to use my stimulus check to pay for it,” she said. “It helped me so much because I didn’t need to rush around, trying to scrape money together in order to make the amount I needed.” 

Jill Simonelli, another first-year student, is in the same situation as Gullusci and is planning to put the money towards future housing. 

“I’m using mine to pay for some of my sorority housing and will be saving some to have spending money on the weekends,” she said.

Some students are hoping to turn the $1,400 into more by investing their stimulus checks into the stock markets.

 Jake Fox, a senior at URI, and Jason Feit, a junior, have both invested their money into stocks. Feit said that he invested $500 into Triteras (TRIT), a financial technology company and $900 into Paypal stocks (PYPL).

Fourth-year student Jefferson Pun also invested part of his money. 

“I’m putting half of the $1,400 into a car, a quarter into savings and then I’m splitting the last quarter between bitcoin and the stock market,” he said. 

While many students are using their stimulus to pay off tuition or towards other important payments, some students are planning to do something nice for themselves.

Isabella Martino, a freshman, plans to indulge in some self-care and spend the money on herself. 

“I’m going to shop with it!” she said eagerly.To see if you are eligible to receive a stimulus check, use the IRS payment system here. If you were claimed as a dependent by your guardian in 2020, check to see whether they have received their stimulus payment or not.