I went online to balance my checkbook this afternoon, and much to my surprise, there was a cushy balance. This is not what I expected upon returning home from vacation. I fully expected to tap our savings account to cover my shopping spree...and to ride things out a few more days until pay day. But much to my surprise, our tax refund had come in!
Woooohoooo! Just for a moment, I was pleased with those "hard working folks on Capitol Hill." And then I came back to reality.
I have to say that I am fed up with all the advertisements telling me how to spend my refund. And more than that, I am fed up with those who had their money spent well before the bill could pass through both Chambers of Congress.
I know times are tough. I find myself looking at our accounts at the end of each week wondering where the extra funds have gone. The cost of energy has us all crippled by our pocketbook. Gas to drive the car, food to feed the family, energy to heat the home and keep the lights on...we are all feeling the squeeze.
But I just don't believe that by burning my refund on a major purchase is doing my family any good.
Oh, believe me, I want to make a major purchase. I want a new oven. I want to makeover our basement. I want a new sectional for my living room. I want to go on vacation again. And the list goes on...
The sad part of this story is that the intent of these funds is "stimulation." You and I are supposed to stimulate the American economy with a major purchase. Giving businesses a boost, spurring manufacturing and securing jobs.
Yet, at this time - given the current economic conditions - I am putting my priority on financial security. I want the comfort of knowing that money is safely tucked away in my savings account, standing ready to help us out when we really need it.
So, thank you Lowe's, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and every other retailer who has given me oodles of ideas on how to spend my "stimulus check."
It is with much regret that I must pass over your enticing offers. Deep, sorrowful, aching regret...
And to our American economy, I am sorry I will not be doing my part to "stimulate." But let's be honest, if we all just sit around and wait for the government to bail us out of some hard times, will we really ever learn how to stand tall when the wind blows?