The Fletcher household witnessed some intense negotiations this week, rivalling any high-level business meetings I’ve ever attended. The topic of discussion? The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, or more specifically, how my wife and I were going to spend our stimulus checks.
Each of us is set to receive a $600 check, but our perspectives on how to use this windfall couldn’t have been more different. My wife, ever the pragmatist, proposed using the money for practical purposes like paying bills, prepaying for next year’s heating oil, or even (*gasp*) adding it to our savings. Sensible, but admittedly not the most exciting use of funds.
Meanwhile, I was feeling the patriotic pull that these government checks seem to inspire. My plan was to stimulate the economy by spending the money on fun items (or “junk,” as my wife so eloquently put it).
Perhaps my attitude is influenced by my work in equipment financing. After a day immersed in interest rates and payment schedules, the prospect of walking into an electronics or hardware store with $600 of “free” money is incredibly appealing. For example, I’ve had my eye on a new gas grill that, coincidentally, would cost $467.75 after taxes. This would leave just enough for a new DVD player and a few movies if I take advantage of a ‘buy three get one free’ deal. It’s almost as if the government planned it this way!
So, I made my case: I spend all day talking about interest rates and smart financial decisions. Let’s shift the conversation to BTUs and high-speed car chases for once. To sweeten the deal, I promised to cook dinner three times a week all summer on the new grill. That seemed to clinch the deal.
After agreeing to my proposal, my wife proclaimed she’d spend her check on whatever she wanted (which, in her case, means clothes). This was my intended outcome, but since I had to agree to cook, I felt it was only fair that she make a concession as well. The compromise? Let’s just say our clothes shopping trip will now include a visit to a certain specialty sleepwear store with the initials VS.
Married life sure is an adventure. And thanks to the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, it just got a little more interesting. Stay tuned for more of our life’s amusing anecdotes and insights from the world of finance!