Havertown, Pa. couple donates $1,400 stimulus checks to local charities

HAVERTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- More Americans received their stimulus payments from the American Rescue Plan this week.

Those who qualify for the $1,400 payments are free to spend the money on whatever they want.

One Havertown, Delaware County couple did the unexpected with their stimulus checks.

"Our feeling was that this money should really go to help address the crying needs that are exacerbated by the pandemic," said Larry Passmore.

Larry Passmore and Maureen O'Ryan didn't keep the money. They donated all of it to local charities.

"There are a lot of people who need it, and obviously, if you need it, you absolutely should be keeping it. But if you don't, I think it is an idea that perhaps could spread," said Maureen O'Ryan.

The couple didn't really need the cash but wanted it to go to good use.

They made donations to organizations that address homelessness and food needs in the community.

" If you don't really need it, it seems to me that you ought to give it, and one way is to donate it to charity and there other ways to do it too, you can help individual people," said Passmore.

Professor Cindy Axelrod, with Temple's Fox School of Business, says before you start to spend the money, take some time to think about where it can be best used.

"The first thing to do is to step back and asset your personal financial situation. Take a look at where your bills are, where your savings accounts are, what your upcoming bills are," said Axelrod.

Axelrod says once you have a plan if any is left over, it's okay to use some of it for long-term investment.

"The first thing I would recommend is to invest in yourself. Put money away in an IRA or a Roth IRA," said Axelrod.

However you use your stimulus, financial experts say use it wisely and if you can afford it, donating to your community is a great way to stimulate the economy.

"People losing jobs, needing housing assistance, etcetera, etcetera. It was just a tough time for so many people that we really felt compelled to do something to help, and this was the way to do," said O'Ryan.

The IRS has issued $1,400 stimulus checks to about 127 million households so far.

The American Rescue Plan cut off payments for adults earning more than $80,000 and married couples with income above $160,000.
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