In which I ask the interwebs for financial advice

… and, okay, ultimately I’m probably gonna listen to my wife on this more than y’all, but it’s not like I’m overflowing with other subjects to discuss today.

So like a lot of you (so many people are checking their bank balances online that the apps are crashing) we got our stimulus money today. Twelve hunnert for me, twelve hunnert for my wife, and another five hunnert for the boy. My wife and I mostly keep our finances separate; we divide up the bills, so, like, I pay the mortgage but she buys the groceries and pays for utilities, and any bills that are ours, like cars or student loans, are our own personal responsibility. The boy’s chunk of the money will probably end up going toward tuition.

We are not among the people who need this money. It’s nice; I’m never going to turn down cash, but we do not need it. We both have jobs that provide us with sufficient funds for our lifestyle and furthermore we are in a position where our jobs are at least less likely to go away because of the pandemic– she works in the health care sector, broadly speaking, and while disaster-related teacher layoffs are always a possibility I have enough seniority at this point that I’m highly unlikely to be affected by them, and they won’t happen until this fall at any rate. I may not like my job once everything shakes out, but there’s not a huge possibility of losing it.

(He said, casually knocking on wood afterward.)

So the question becomes what to do with it, and … well, like I said, I don’t have lots else to talk about at the moment. So:

  • OPTION ONE: SAVE IT. Probably the most obvious choice; the merits of saving money don’t even really need to be explained. Things are okay now; they may not stay that way, even if I think it’s probably likely that they will. Somebody could get sick; something could happen with one of the cars or the house, shit happens. Especially in the last couple of years.
  • OPTION TWO: PAY OFF CREDIT CARD. My overall credit card indebtedness has gone down enormously recently; I only have one card with a balance right now and $1200 would pay off a sizable fraction of it, but not finish it off. Yet. That said, the monthly bill for the card isn’t that high, and I’ve been paying twice that amount every month. It’s gonna go away (again, assuming no financial disasters) soon enough even if I don’t put this big chunk into it.
  • OPTION THREE: SAVE HALF, PAY OFF HALF. Probably the most reasonable option unless I decide to prioritize saving.
  • OPTION FOUR: BUY MORE BOOKS AND DICE. You can never have enough books and dice. This one is probably not the smartest idea, but would be the most fun.
  • OPTION FIVE: DONATE IT TO SOMEONE. The most socially responsible option since, again, I don’t need the money, but I think a certain amount of financial selfishness is warranted right now for the exact same reasons one might give to save the money. We’re not so well off that this money is nothing— it’s still definitely a good chunk of change– it’s just not immediately necessary for anything.

So, whaddya think? How much should I be tilting toward paranoia and safety right now? Or, alternatively, what are you doing with your $1200?


12:56 PM, Wednesday April 15: 610,774 confirmed infections (and over two million worldwide); 26,119 Americans dead.

6 thoughts on “In which I ask the interwebs for financial advice

  1. Krystal

    A combination of options 3 and 4. Pay down some debt, save some for potential future debt, and put a little back into the economy by buying a few things you love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m leaning toward spending on local businesses. Our jobs are not super-secure – I’m taking a pay cut at the end of the month and my husband may be running out of work to do – but $1200 isn’t going to make a huge difference to us. If it could help a local bookstore, restaurant, or entertainment venue that I value stay alive through the shutdown, that would be worth it to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Save it … nothing is certain, and no-one knows what the future will look like, no-one, and no matter how socially responsible we are, our first duty is to keep our family safe. That said, if let’s say somewhere around Autumn, it still burning a hole in your pocket, then decide what to do. in the meantime, if something specific catches your attention and sits well with your ethics, then, there’s your answer. 🙂

    Like

Comments are closed.