Everything I Could Buy With My Stimulus Check

I confirmed it’s on its way so I’m getting my shopping list ready

Cara Harbstreet (She/Her)
4 min readJan 6, 2021


Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

I’m blessed to live in the United States of America. We’re obviously handling the coronavirus pandemic with grace and competence. And thanks to the caring, compassionate legislators that run the show around here, I’m about to get a few unearned Benjamins.

I mean, how lucky, RIGHT?! I didn’t have to do a thing! These good folks at the top are so grounded in reality, they just knew I was hit by hard times and could use a windfall of bright, shiny money.

Praise be! A whopping $600 is en route as we speak.

But where to start…where to start….

My personal finances have long since been in order, seeing as how in my 30-something years of life on this planet I’ve accumulated student loan debt, a stack of credit cards to buy my avocado toast with, monthly rent that contributes exactly 0% to my net worth, and a job that doesn’t cover healthcare, any retirement savings, or paid vacations.

So maybe I’ll start there. Doesn’t a vacation sound nice?

After some quick research, it appears $600 can get me:

  • 1.8 nights in an Air BnB with a hot tub so I can soak away the stress of living through 2020 (or 1.2 if you consider the cleaning fees and taxes).
  • Most of a one-way flight to a foreign country where I’ll have to quarantine for two weeks. I’ll need that time to figure out how I’ll afford a return flight (or it’ll give me time to research how to expatriate and denounce my U.S. citizenship).
  • Some new luggage since I’ll undoubtedly be traveling more extensively in the near future.

But wait. Now that I’m thinking about it, perhaps that isn’t the most prudent way to spend this free money. The logical, rational part of my brain tells me to cover my ass and spend it on the essentials. My $600 is good for:

  • 50% of my rent, no utilities included. That’s basically one month, half off so clearly this is a helluva deal.
  • 1.3 car payments. But hey, I signed up for the pre-paid maintenance and I haven’t driven enough to need an oil change in eight months so I definitely…



Cara Harbstreet (She/Her)

Lover of carbs and puns, call me Cara Carbstreet | Anxious Millennial | Coffee Enthusiast | Non-diet Dietitian