What a $600 Stimulus Check Can Actually Buy You in America
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (11598418c) United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat of California) walks past reporters at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Last night - after months of delay - Congress finally reached an agreement to pass a $ 900 billion COVID-19 relief package to narrowly avoid a government shutdown. This package follows the Coronavirus Aid, Aid and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was achieved and passed last spring.
While the vote will take place today, the package's key provisions include: Aid to Small Businesses, including more than $ 284 billion in forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program and $ 15 billion in funding for live venues , independent cinemas and cultural institutions; ”$ 300 per week for improved unemployment insurance benefits; $ 25 billion for rental support and extension of the eviction moratorium.
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It will also provide $ 82 billion to education providers such as schools and colleges, including helping to safely reopen classrooms. $ 10 billion for childcare assistance; $ 13 billion for the Supplementary Nutritional Support and Child Nutrition Benefits Program; $ 7 billion to bolster broadband access to help Americans connect long-distance during pandemic; Funding to support the distribution, testing, and tracking of coronavirus vaccines, as well as health care workers; and a tax credit “in support of employers who offer paid sick leave”.
This second stimulus package also includes a direct payment of $ 600 to people earning up to $ 75,000 - half the payment of $ 1200 per person agreed upon by the first stimulus and far from what most people expect. Children also get $ 600, up from $ 500 under the CARES Act. But how far will $ 600 really go for essential expenses?
Healthcare: For example, the $ 600 stimulus check would pay one month of health care bills for one person. In 2020, the average national cost of health insurance is $ 456 for an individual and $ 1,152 for a family per month, according to eHealth.
Rent: Unfortunately, the check doesn't even cover half of it. The price of an average bedroom across the country as of Q2 2020 ranges from an average of just under $ 1,690 for a studio apartment to over $ 2,017 for a large three-bedroom unit, according to a report from Rent.com.
Child Care: The Center for American Progress "Where Does Your Child Care Dollar Go?" The tool shows that the stimulus check only covers a small part of your monthly childcare costs. The average cost of providing childcare in a center in the U.S. is $ 1,230 per month and the average cost is $ 800 per month in a family nursery.
Credit card debt: For credit card debt, the stimulus check would pay about a tenth of that - the average credit card debt of Americans reached $ 6,194 in 2019, according to Experian.
Groceries: Value Penguin estimated in June 2020 that the average American household of 2.5 people spends about $ 550 on groceries each month, so at least that vital expense should be covered.
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