Monday, April 28, 2008

What are you doing? - Tia

So as most of our American readers probably already know, the stimulus rebate checks are on the way earlier than expected. I've even read a couple of accounts of people getting theirs over the weekend. Now I'm not a financial wizard by any stretch. There are times that I can't even balance my checkbook correctly and it's really easy because everything is rounded. So maybe I'm just lost on the premise of the whole stimulus package thing. I understand that the hope is that we will get the money and spend it on things that will stimulate the economy. But here's what I don't understand:
- $600 really isn't that much money. Not in the long run. (And I know that they said we won't have to claim the money on our taxes next year, but frankly I don't buy it.) With the rise in gas prices (I paid almost $60 the other day to fill my tank), the rise in food prices and the general slump in the economy, how is this little bit of money really supposed to help over the long haul?
- With credit card companies raising interest rates and fees, how is the laymen supposed to ever get out of debt? (By the way, if you have a Discover Card, Wamu or BofA credit card, you need to WORK YOUR ASS OFF to pay that debt off. All three of them just raised their rates. Discover raised their penalty rate by 31%, Wamu by as much as 100%, and BofA rates tripled. Damn the naysayers, pay off the debt and close the card. Your credit score will take a hit for about 6 months but will rebound NICELY afterward.) Anyway, if the common working class person is getting hit on all sides how is this paltry amount going to help if it all has to go to debt? If you use all of it to pay off debt but you're still in debt, what's the point?
- Isn't all of the stuff that they're expecting us to buy made in Japan, China and everywhere else? If we buy all of this stuff, doesn't it ultimately stimulate the economy of those countries?
- Didn't we get a "stimulus" rebates before during Bush's first term? Umm....not that I'm frowning at the money but CLEARLY it didn't work as well as it should have because we're worse off than we were last time.
Anyway, that's my take on the whole stimulus thing. I'm not going to front, I got mildly excited when I heard that the money was coming earlier. I have been eyeing this black stratocaster for a while now and thoughts of getting it this week began dancing in my head. But I'm thinking that those thoughts are just going to have to be a flights of fancy for the time being. Because even though getting the guitar would take less than a 3rd of my stimulus check, the idea of putting that money in my savings and watching the amount creep up excites me WAY MORE than being a bad ass rocker chick.
So what are you doing with your money? Is it going to savings? Or are you going to pay off the man? Or are you going to go out and get that shiny black strat you've been drooling over? Holla back and let us know if you've gotten your dollars and what you're planning to do with it.

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