Economic Stimulus Payment is Here, and Smaller Than Expected

Just checked the account balance, and our “economic stimulus” payment is finally here.  While others got theirs early, ours came when the IRS schedule said it would.

I am underwhelmed with the government’s “generosity” here: we only got $600 total, which breaks down to $300 each.  Apparently an E-4 at the top of the pay scale for that pay grade doesn’t make enough to get the full economic stimulus.  I really didn’t expect to get the full $600 for myself, since I only had an income of a little over $3,000 delivering pizzas only on the weekends, but sheesh … one would think the government would pay its active duty military enough of a taxable salary to get the full stimulus!  I had thought we were getting $900 for our “economic stimulus.”

Yes, I am griping (or whining, if you prefer).  We didn’t plan to do much “stimulating the economy” other than our trip to Florida next month anyway, but this just cut the amount I had hoped to sock away into the big emergency fund significantly!

Hubby asked for $150 of that $600 for himself.  I agreed without asking if that would go towards our vacation fund.  I have to trust that he won’t go blow it at the wargaming shop, but he indicated yesterday when we sat down to discuss money over coffee that he feels like he doesn’t have any money for fun stuff anymore, and it makes him feel poor.  Or maybe he plans to use that money tonight taking me out to a nice restaurant for our belated anniversary celebration (quite possible).

So, as it stands right now, our emergency fund will only be stimulated by $450.  So much for hopes and plans when they rely on the government.  I feel like our financial progress has slowed to a crawl, when last year we were running at full speed.

I know I should be thankful since we are out of debt now.  I know there are quite a few readers who are still working towards that goal, and are probably wanting to tell me to shut up LOL  But it’s a bit discouraging to see what should be the benefits of getting out of debt - extra money that no longer goes towards debt payments - disappear into the gas tank and at the grocery store and to school as tuition bills seem to go up even faster than the price of gas.

Where’s this “financial peace” I’m supposed to be feeling?  Expenses have crept up about 12% since the beginning of the year, while our income took an $800 per month hit.  This has resulted in over $1000 per month difference in the monthly budget numbers, and is probably why I am feeling so anxious lately.  This so-called “economic stimulus” payment doesn’t even make that difference up for one month!  Heck, it only covers two months of increased expenses, with a little left over for the anniversary dinner.  No wonder the latest CNN/Money poll says the average American doesn’t think it will help anything.