The big, hefty federal stimulus checks that went out to just about everyone during the pandemic are long gone — although those who invested those payments wisely are still reaping the rewards.
Even so, a few select states are still lending a helping hand with stimulus checks of their own. Only a half-dozen or so states are sending rebates and other direct payments, according to Forbes, and they’re not nearly as big or widely distributed as the federal checks from 2020-21 — but in times of high inflation and a brutal stock market, every little bit counts.
If you blew through your federal stimulus but you live in a state that’s still writing checks, now’s your chance to grow that money instead of spending it this time around. Here’s a look at how money from the new payments could grow if you saved it or invested it instead of exchanging it for stuff.
The Most Common Ways To Grow Your Payment
If you’re lucky enough to live in a stimulus state, you might have a decent chunk of change coming your way. Here’s how it would grow through the most common investment and savings vehicles, considering their current yields or average returns.
- Savings Account: 0.06%
- 12-Month CD: 0.15%
- Stocks: Average historical growth of 10% per year (S&P 500)
- 10-year government bonds: 2.75%
Now it’s time to learn how those rates and returns would affect the stimulus money that’s being distributed in the six states that Forbes confirms are moving forward with payments. But first, the federal government is considering one last series of payments, too, but this time, in response to sky-high gas prices.
The Federal Government
In March, Democratic Reps. Mike Thompson of California, John Larson of Connecticut and Lauren Underwood of Illinois proposed a $100 monthly stimulus payment called the Gas Rebate Act of 2022.
It still has to work its way through the House and the Senate before it lands on the president’s desk for a signature, but if the bill becomes law, that would be $100 in your pocket every time the national average price for a gallon of gas goes over $4. If you get that $100 for a year, that’d be $1,200. Here’s how it might grow:
- Savings account (compounded daily): $1,200.72 after one year
- CD (compounded daily): $1,218.14 after one year
- Stocks: $1,320 after one year
- Bonds: $1,574 after 10 years
The government of Georgia is enjoying a historic budget surplus — and the state is giving much of that leftover cash back to the people. Those who filed tax returns for both 2020 and 2021 are eligible for rebate payments that are good for up to $250 for single filers and $500 for married couples filing jointly. For a single filer, that comes out to:
- Savings account (compounded daily): $250.15 after one year
- CD (compounded daily): $250.38 after one year
- Stocks: $275 after one year
- Bonds: $328 after 10 years
Eligible Idahoans can line up for their share of a $350 million rebate, which comes out to $75 per person or 12% of your 2020 Idaho state taxes, whichever is greater. Presuming $75, here’s how it could grow:
- Savings account (compounded daily): $75.05 after one year
- CD (compounded daily): $76.13 after one year
- Stocks: $82.50 after one year
- Bonds: $98.37 after 10 years
The governor of Indiana signed off on a one-time $125 tax refund for eligible residents after the state found itself with a sizable surplus at the end of 2021, same as Georgia. There are no income requirements and married couples filing jointly get $250. Presuming a single filer, here’s how your investments would pan out:
- Savings account (compounded daily): $125.08 after one year
- CD (compounded daily): $126.89 after one year
- Stocks: $138 after one year
- Bonds: $164 after 10 years
The biggest windfall out of all the stimulus states comes courtesy of the government of Maine, where qualifying residents will receive a direct payment of $850. The following is a look at how that might grow if saved or invested:
- Savings account (compounded daily): $850.51 after one year
- CD (compounded daily): $862.85 after one year
- Stocks: $935 after one year
- Bonds: $1,115 after 10 years
In 2021, the governor of New Jersey approved legislation that would give a one-time rebate check of $500 to nearly 1 million Garden State residents. Here’s how that money might grow for the New Jerseans who save or invest it:
- Savings account (compounded daily): $500.30 after one year
- CD (compounded daily): $507.56 after one year
- Stocks: $550 after one year
- Bonds: $640 after 10 years
In New Mexico, the governor signed a bill that includes a series of rebates that pay eligible single filers as much as $750 — married couples filing jointly could get up to $1,500. Presuming a single filer, here’s how it would grow:
- Savings account (compounded daily): $750.45 after one year
- CD (compounded daily): $761.33 after one year
- Stocks: $825 after one year
- Bonds: $960 after 10 years
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Current savings and 12-month CD rates come from the Federal Reserve of St. Louis. The 10-year government bond yield rate is from ycharts.com and the historical average stock market return is from SeekingAlpha. All calculations were made with simple investment calculators from Investor.gov, CIT Bank and SmartAsset.