After a couple of written warnings, the wife and I finally got our economic stimulus rebate check in the mail this week. Most of it is now safely NOT stimulating the economy in our money market account. Regular listeners may recall the wife and I are saving up to pay cash for our next vehicle--which we won't be buying until we have a baby. And since the wife isn't pregnant this month, it means we won't be buying that vehicle until at least February of 2009.
And even then, the check really isn't doing its job. We had every intention of buying a nice used vehicle to accomodate a growing family--so the rebate really isn't getting us to spend any extra. Sure, it's helping us to our savings goal faster--but it's not creating any "extra" spending. Since we are getting to our car-saving goal faster, that does speed up the timetable for the next major expense we'll be saving for--a new driveway. But that likely won't happen until next spring--and will the economy still need stimulating then?
In a way, I feel a bit un-patriotic by not spending the check on a new hi-def TV that I would really LIKE to have--but don't NEED to have right now. We Americans save less than one-percent of our income so the wife and I are just two of the "wierd" ones as Dave Ramsey likes to call us. Of course, the Federal Reserve is punishing us for our frugality by keeping interest rates artificially low so that our savings doesn't generate the additional revenue it could.
The other portion of the check is on its way to our Roth IRAs--where again it will not be stimulating the economy--but it will be growing tax-free to ensure a relaxing retirement. Hopefully, then we'll be ready to "stimulate" the economy--which will likely be slumping again under the crushing weight of universal health care, infant kindergarten programs and year 45 of the Iraq war under President Chelsea Clinton.