Last week Bush announced a $150 billion economic stimulus plan that would give rebates to households and individuals with gross incomes under $75,000. The checks will go out to some 117 million households beginning in May, 2008. It works like this: Single taxpapyers with receive $600. Couples receive $1200, and those with children receive $1500. People who make at least $3,000, but don’t pay taxes, will get $300. Bush would want you to squander this money–something many of us do already–to help boost America’s sagging economy. I have other ideas.
1. Buy a plane ticket. I put this first because I am being honest about myself. I love to travel. But really, exploring the world will open your mind up to the endless possibilities there are in life. Meeting new people, and getting outside of your comfort zone will make you smarter and stronger in any situation you may encounter. So get outta town!
2. Pay off a credit card. All of it. I just paid off two major bills this year, and let me tell you-it’s a wonderful weight off my shoulders. Not to mention that I am two steps closer to owning a home.
3. Save It. Don’t Listen to Bush. The problem that Americans have is that we spend too much money–more money than we have, on things we don’t really need. That is one of the reasons why we are in this mess in the first place! So put it into an account that you can’t touch, like a CD, or a Roth IRA, which is better than a traditional IRA. You’ll thank yourself 6 months, 6 years, and maybe even 6 decades later.
4. Invest It. I just got a payout from a stock that I had invested back in 2003. I was a little low on funds at the beginning of this month so when I opened up what seemed like a typical stock update letter and saw it was a check, I was beside myself. Pick one or two companies that you actually USE. For instance, I read magazines, and I use soap. So naturally, I would invest there because I am a consumer of those things. It’s simple.
5. Give to Charity. You don’t have to give it all, but why not start being a philanthropist on your own scale? You don’t have to be old, or come from alot of money. A simple donation to the local food bank, to an arts organization, or to an HBC will always be appreciated. And you can add that on next year’s return!
Remember, living lavishly does not consitute breaking the bank and living excessively. Living lavishly is living wisely and abundantly.