Over the last several weeks I’ve shared our plans to spend the economic stimulus check. Initially, we planned to divide the $1,800 three ways, saving some, spending some, and using the remaining amount to pay down debt. Then we leaned towards just putting it all in our emergency fund. In the end, we decided to scrap both plans. When I opened the mailbox last week and finally saw that check had arrived I made an impulsive decision, but not the kind I would have made ten years ago.
Debt Repayment is a Natural High
People who are clinically addicted to shopping often report a “natural high” experienced when they purchase something. The feeling is usually followed by post-purchase guilt over the expenditure, and is only remedied after buying something else. Well, I’m now addicted to the euphoric feelings produced by paying off debt. I took that $1,800 rebate check, drove right past Best Buy and Target, and immediately deposited it in the bank. The next morning I confirmed it had posted to our account and scheduled an online payment to my credit card in the amount of $1,800. And so after weeks of waiting for the check to arrive it was gone in a matter of hours.
Do I Regret the Decision to Pay Down Debt?
Not one bit. If I had used the stimulus check to buy a new sofa (something we do need), a 42″ plasma television (something we don’t need, but sure would be nice for football season!), or some other material purchase I would probably be writing a different article about buyer’s remorse and the dangers of impulse spending. However, I resisted the urge to spend the tax rebate check on such items, and was excited to see that credit card balance drop by $1,800 overnight.
It All Boils Down to Contentment
We are fairly content with our current possessions, and I would have to think long and hard to come up with something that I really want, or need, that I don’t already have. Sure, my vehicle is seventeen years-old, and the leg on our sofa is broken, and my computer was purchased around the turn of the century, but all those things still serve me well. The truck still runs, I repaired the sofa leg myself, and I’ve made some small upgrades to the computer to extend its useful life. No sense in replacing these things just for the sake of getting something new. So when that stimulus check arrived it was a relatively easy decision to simply drop it on our remaining credit card debt.
photo by: Daquella manera
How do you plan to spend (or how did you spend) your economic stimulus check?