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Illustration for article titled Six Things Our Readers Are Buying With Their Stimulus Checks
Photo: Katie Harp (Unsplash)

“What are you buying with your stimulus checks if you aren’t using it to pay with bills” is the question I asked everyone on Monday morning’s edition of Co-op. Most of you weren’t helpful at all and tried to drag me, BUT! A select few of you did give me a snapshot of what they were either planning on buying or did procure with the lone $1,200 check the government so helpfully and willingly gave us from our own tax money. Not only that, but there were enough submissions from people who pointed out a bunch of charities that are doing great things during the COVID-19 crisis, so be on the lookout for a part two of sorts soon.

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As far as product recommendations, some things were practical, and other things were just straight hedonism, which I wholeheartedly support during the age of coronavirus. Some people buy things to cope with, and we won’t judge them for it.


Asus ROG Zephryus 14G Ryzen CPU | $950 | Best Buy

Asus ROG Zephryus 14G Ryzen CPU | $950 | Best Buy
Asus ROG Zephryus 14G Ryzen CPU | $950 | Best Buy
Graphic: Ignacia Fulcher

I bought a new laptop. See, I have a gaming desktop, but with my four-year-old stuck at home all day with me it’s not like I can disappear into my computer room all the time. So just to get some work done while my kid’s playing on her own I’d been using a cheap-at-the-time laptop so old it originally came with Windows 8. I tried spiffing it up—I replaced the mechanical drive with an SSD, upgraded the RAM, and even replaced Windows with a Linux distro, but it was still kind of heavy.

It had an unpleasant keyboard and trackpad, and it had a very dull 1366x768 display with some of the worst colors I’ve seen on a computer in ages. Even before the whole COVID-19 pandemic, I was already thinking about picking up even something relatively cheap, but I was having a hard time justifying the expense. But, we’re fortunate enough that my wife and I are both still working from home.

We have our savings, and since the pandemic is keeping us home we’re actually spending less than we used to, so I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I can spend my stimulus guilt-free. I decided to kick in a little extra and bought the new Asus ROG Zephyrus 14G with the new Ryzen CPU. Very happy with it so far.

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Green Mountain Pellet Grill | $310 | Amazon

Green Mountain Pellet Grill | $310 | Amazon
Green Mountain Pellet Grill | $310 | Amazon
Image: Amazon

I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to retain my job, and side hustle during this time, so I used mine to purchase a Green Mountain Grilling Pellet Grill.

Tushy Bidet | $79 | Amazon

Tushy Bidet | $79 | Amazon
Tushy Bidet | $79 | Amazon
Graphic: Ignacia Fulcher

I’m putting part of it toward a toto bidet/Japanese toilet thing. Helps the environment, leaves ya with a super clean feeling, and in the next toilet paper crisis, you’re sitting pretty.

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3D Printer | $290 | Amazon

3D Printer | $290 | Amazon
3D Printer | $290 | Amazon
Graphic: Ignacia Fulcher

I purchased my third 3D printer and used the rest to overpay some bills; the printer so far has done a great job and hasn’t had any failed prints and has been generally stress-free, which my first two printers I cannot say the same about. Auto-print bed leveling is pretty much a must for me on future purchases now.

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iPhone SE 2020 | $300 | Best Buy

iPhone SE 2020 | $300 | Best Buy
iPhone SE 2020 | $300 | Best Buy

I got a new iPhone SE 2020 that I’m going to surprise my wife with. She currently has an iPhone 6. I wanted to upgrade to an iPhone 7, and I was planning on getting her a used iPhone 8. The rest we’re going to donate to our church. God has taken good care of us. We still have our jobs and are able to work and I know that many people reach out to our church so we want to help be a blessing to others.

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HP Laptop 15t | $450 | HP

HP Laptop 15t | $450 | HP
HP Laptop 15t | $450 | HP
Graphic: Ignacia Fulcher

I spent most, but not all of it on a laptop for graduate school that I start (online, thankfully) this August. I have been living without my own computer for nearly five years, using my phone, Kindle, and my work laptop to string together all the digital to-dos that need to get done. That’s not sustainable for me much longer, especially as I am trying to get all my personal stuff off my work devices.

I don’t know what I am doing when it comes to technology purchases, so my brother made some suggestions in my price range. I went with this option, including some upgrades and Office.

I’m a little nervous about having made the purchase, both because it is a huge chunk of money for me, but also because my job right now is only guaranteed through June 30, meaning, if I get laid off, all the money I have saved for grad school becomes my “living off of” fund until I get a new job, but I suppose I will need this computer even if I have to withdraw from my program.

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Commerce Editor. Brooklyn born, Long Island raised. Black and Latina. Obsessed with skincare and '90s R&B. Actually went to Journalism school. Cares about social justice and Black writers.

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