COVID-19: What Westword Readers Are Doing With Stimulus Checks

Millions of Americans received their stimulus checks this week.
Millions of Americans received their stimulus checks this week. WLTX via YouTube
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the federal government has issued millions of so-called stimulus checks, with most Americans receiving $1,200 apiece and $500 per child, as well as President Donald Trump's autograph. And while a glitch is being blamed for delaying funds for those who filed their income taxes using services such as H&R Block, the money began flowing into the bank accounts of many Coloradans this week.

In an April 12 op-ed, University of Denver law student Zigmas Polinauskas echoed suggestions of federal authorities by encouraging folks to spend it as quickly as possible, to give the economy a bump and put more dollars into the pockets of those struggling to survive. But is this how most people are planning to spend their stimulus checks?

We used our Facebook and Twitter accounts to ask Westword readers what they plan to do with the money.

Some of the answers were humorous, including the Joe Exotic gif below. Some were political. But other responses echoed with anger and frustration, and they speak volumes about the current state of the crisis.

Here's a sampling of the responses: 
Netflix / Tiger King
Pay my 2019 taxes

Now that Trumps name is on it I am planning a trip to Mexico!

Pay off some credit card balances

Put the $$ in savings. Just in case the ride gets even crazier.

Money in and out in 5 minutes. 30 days of no job/money coming in. $1200 is a not a stimulus. Nothing is a stimulus that goes strictly to cover financial responsibilities and that amount is far from covering it here in Denver.

Tuna sandwich at Snarfs!

I’m goin Italian, 12 inch, add bacon

If u dont invest it you will lose.

Tear it up. Especially if its got Trump's name on it

Right into my savings account.

I hear Denver Westword's mom is available. Let's see what she'll do for $1200.

Hookers and blow

If you're still working and don't need the money, donate at least some of it to a local cause.

Rent, food, and bills... It's 4 weeks of 40 hour minimum wage apparently meant to last 10 weeks... Not something to blow on stupid shit.

Wipe my ass with it. $1,200 is not sufficient for mortgage alone.

Pay my hospital bill from the virus. :-(

Putting it away. So far (but likely not for much longer) the two of us are hanging in there with 1 income but I have a feeling things will get worse before they get better.

I donated a portion of mine to the Angel Relief Fund through the Colorado Restaurant Association to help out hospitality workers in need. The rest will go into savings.

Might be buying a vehicle tonight lol

Pay rent and buy food since unemployment benefits for gig workers isn't even online yet

Put it towards my office rent that I haven't worked out of for a month.

We’re lucky enough to be able to put it in savings.

Save it for a rainy-er day than this.

Put it in the bank so we can pay it back to the Govt next year

I had to use mine to pay my property taxes, which DOUBLED this year. It's a crappy little house on a great big lot in a neighborhood that was, shall we say "less than desirable," when I bought it. And then I found out that the property tax relief program for seniors and disabled people is not in place for this year.

I’m holding it to pay the tax on it next year. Trump lies more easily than he plays golf where he cheats.

Paid off my one credit card so I could breathe.

Gonna roll it up and shove it up my ass.

Rent and car parts

The implication that these checks are some sort of a gift is ridiculous. Your tax $ at work. We earned this money and it’s taxed, retaxed and we are paying for it.

Right in the savings. I am an essential worker, but a penny saved is a penny earned. Everyone stay safe, we will get through this.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts