Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Economic Stimulus

DH and I were brought up by Depression-Era parents, so our first impulse with bonus checks and unexpected windfalls is to put the money into savings. I understand, however, that right now the stimulus amounts we are about to start receiving in our paychecks must be spent if the money is to have an effect on the economy. For some families, I realize that even that small amount can be a real windfall--the amount from both parents' checks may very well pay the electric bill or something. Because my DH is self-employed, he will not see a difference in take-home pay; the only immediate change will be in my once-a-month check. I have decided to spend it on things that will make a difference for my quality of life in some way. Of course, the easy way would be to buy yarn, but I've decided to give some real thought to spending this money responsibly yet meaningfully. A friend told me a long time ago that he had read in a book that many of the things that cause us stress every day are the little repetitive irritations that we can do something about rather than the big things that are out of our control. I've decided to work on some of those. I am also aware that we don't actually get the money until next month when the new withholding charts go into effect, but I'm practicing this month. So here we go:

Yes, that is a new laundry hamper/basket--with wheels. How does this enrich my life? For one thing, I was looking at one of my baskets a couple of weeks ago and remembering how my children used to play zoo with it. One child would be the outside admirer, and the other would be inside the "cage"--the upside-down basket. Those children are now 28 & 25. Enough said.

Furthermore, I now have a bathroom with one of those very narrow doors. Trying to carry a basket out is a chore because my elbows stick out too far. I have been carrying the basket to the door, setting it on the floor, stepping outside the room, turning around, pulling the basket toward me, and picking it up again. DUMB! I even tried one of those Rubbermaid ones that sort of fold like a purse on the top and can be carried in one hand. That one required contortions to get out that door. This new hamper is exactly the right width to go through the door, has wheels and a handle, and can be pushed ahead of me or pulled behind. Some reviews I read about the wheeled baskets say that they are not sturdy to roll to the apartment laundry building or down the street to the laundry. I'm only going down the hall and across the kitchen to the laundry room. Surely the wheels will be sturdy enough for that.

Just for fun, I'm putting a list in the sidebar of my blog detailing what I'm buying each month with my stimulus money. If I understand correctly, it should amount to $13 every two weeks. Is that a correct figure? I would have $26 a month?

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