On Friday, the president inked the official bill granting millions of qualifying Americans payments to ease current or future financial hardship resulting from the spread of COVID-19. Before the bill was official, Americans were likely to say they would use a relief check to pay down debt and purchase necessities. Now that checks are to be cut and deposits are to be processed in just a few short weeks, CivicScience checked back in to see if anything has changed. 

In the second round of polling, CivicScience gave respondents the additional option to say they would donate the money they receive from the government. Among those who believe they would qualify for a payment, 5% said they would donate it.The percentage of respondents saying they would pay down debt stayed relatively the same (31%), but the lens of age shows some fairly large differences among the qualifying population.

Originally, 30% of Gen Z said they would pay down debt if they received relief money. Now that the payments are officially on the way – and since being given the option to select ‘donate’ – the numbers have shifted. The percentage of Gen Z who would pay off debt dropped to 23%. The percentage that would put the money towards savings also dropped. And Gen Z had the highest percentage for donating the money they receive (6%).

The data show that Gen Z is definitely the most likely to donate the money they receive (6%). 

Despite the additional answer option to donate a coronavirus relief payment, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers all increased in likelihood to use the money to purchase necessities. Gen X appears to be a little more set on paying off debt than before the stimulus package passed, and Boomers shifted more heavily towards savings. 

Anxiety over savings and investments has certainly increased in the last few weeks, and it’s clear that the majority of qualifying Americans (nearly  90%) see the value of demolishing debt, buying essentials, and simply saving before investing, donating, or splurging.