People are starting to get their $1,200 stimulus checks — and they’re mostly spending it on food

Monica Mileur packs grocery items into a box at Union Loafers restaurant Friday, April 10, 2020, in St. Louis. Some restaurants have turned to selling groceries and other provisions to customers as a way to help make up for revenue lost during the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Associated Press

More than 80 million Americans are expected to see their stimulus payments hit their bank accounts this week.

As of Monday, online finance company Netspend had processed nearly $US1 billion in government relief payments, according to The Washington Post. Most customers have been using their checks for groceries and food, as well as at pharmacies, the Post reported. Others are using their pre-paid debit cards to withdraw cash at ATMs.

“I’ve just been stocking up on food and paying all of the bills,” Daniel Ruffner, a Rochester man who received a prepaid debit card from Netspend, told the Post. “It’s nice to finally be able to see my bills go to zero.”

Most Americans who are eligible for a payment will receive $US1,200. The first set of people receiving the money are mainly those who gave the IRS their direct deposit information on their 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

Paper checks will be sent after April 24, Business Insider’s Tanza Loudenback reported.

For Americans like Ruffner, a cook who’s now out of work, the money comes as a huge relief.

But many Americans are still waiting.

Camilla Chavez, of Delaware, was notified that her money has arrived, but it remains pending in her bank account, according to the Post. The money was deposited on Friday, but millions are waiting for banks to clear the payments, the Post reported.

By the end of the week, the IRS plans to have a “Get My Payment” website up so people can check on the status of their money and include their direct deposit information, the Post reported.

Like Ruffner, Chavez also lost her job, the Post reported. It’s been a strain on her and her parents.

Her mother tested positive for COVID-19, and she and her husband have also had to stop working.

Chavez has been unable to get unemployment benefits, so her parents, who own her home, gave her a break on rent this month, the Post reported. She plans on using the relief check to pay them back this week.

“Losing my job and not working for four weeks now has put me in a position where I had to use my savings and put charges on my credit card,” Chavez told the Post. “This really put me in a tough situation.”

Read the original story at The Washington Post »

Let Business Insider know how you plan on spending your relief check by emailing Haven Orecchio-Egresitz at [email protected].