No Stimulus Check No Problem, Create Your Own

A good number of people expected a second stimulus check by Christmas, and many others held out hope for another stimulus check by the end of the year.  Well, with the year winding down it looks like the chances of getting another stimulus check are zilch.  And the stimulus package pitched by the incoming Obama administration looks less like a tax stimulus package and more like increased federal spending on infrastructure projects–great for our interstate system, but not so great for those looking forward to an economic stimulus check.

We The People, Without A Bailout

Since it appears we can give up on the idea the government will bail us out, even though they have bailed out numerous industries, I say it is time to bail ourselves out.  Yes, it is possible even in rough times. I frequently get asked how it is possible to save money when you are not even earning enough to cover expenses.  Well, that’s a good question.  And with rising prices and falling wages, it only gets tougher.

However, at some point we all need to give our financial picture an honest assessment.  Have we really cut out every single thing possible?  Are we really maximizing every single earning opportunity available? Chances are we are not, because to cut deeper or earn more requires making some extremely tough sacrifices.

No one likes the idea of living without cable television or cell phones, or working a 40-hour a week job and then picking up night and weekend work.  But the hard truth is that is often exactly what it is required to claw your way through a financial turnaround.  I know because we have had to do those same things.

I won’t lie to you; it was hard work and it hurt to be away from my kids while I was working two jobs and going to school at night. But we scraped and we sacrificed for a short time to get things under control so that we can enjoy the rest of our lives without financial worry.  We’re not quite there, but we are on the right path.

How To Create Your Own Stimulus Check

So rather than sitting around complaining about the government not bailing us out, or giving us yet another stimulus check, we have decided to create our own.  The last stimulus check was for $600 per individual.  That’s $50 per month, or roughly $25 per paycheck, or $12.50 per week.  Most people can easily spend $12.50 eating junk food in a week, or buying cups of coffee in the mornings on the way to work, or playing the lottery.  By simply eliminating those activities you can come up with $600 per year to add to your savings account.

The current federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour.  To generate $50 per month one would only need to work about 10 hours (allowing for taxes). That’s 2.5 hours per week. Could you work an extra couple hours a week at your current job?  If not, could you pick up a part time job a couple nights a week, or work one full Saturday a month selling newspapers?  Sure you could, if you really wanted to.  I know people who have worked much harder, and overcome much more difficult circumstances to become successful. So instead of blaming the government for not cutting another check, or bailing you out, I encourage you to join me in a plan to rescue my own household finances.


  1. Great post! Eating out (even cheap places like we do) absolutely adds up. This is one of the things we have to give up as we go on our financial “diet” in order to reach our goals. All those little things (a pop here, a latte there) add up.

  2. I’m going to try to save an extra $20 a week. I figure I can squeeze it out of our gas budget since the prices are still low. I’m not going to change our budget though because I believe that the price of gas is going to go back up. But I still feel like the saving is “found” money.

  3. I wanted to open a Christmas Club savings account at the bank, like I did years ago, to save up for property taxes, ($772 this year) which come in Novemeber here. However, I found that they no longer have Christmas Club accounts that transfer a preset amount each month from checking and dispense it to you in November.

    I realize there are online plans, but I am NOT an online banking person, so maybe this will help others who also do not bank online.

    So – talking to the new accounts gal, we worked out a good alternative plan. Due to my age, almost 55 (the requirement for the waiver), she waived the $300 minimum opening deposit for another savings account. And due to my age, she waived any other transfer fees, and set up $60/month automatic withdrawals from checking into savings. This will give me an account dedicated to property taxes – and I’ll know I have it without scrambling at the last minute because this year my kids all seemed to need personal loans from the Bank of Mom all at the same time 🙂 I know I won’t touch savings, but checking has always been an easy “yes” for them 🙂

    So, just saying, talking with your banker may open up some options and even waivers to you 🙂 It never hurts to ask and to explain what you want to do.

    This will be over $600 – so it’s my personal stimulus plan 🙂 and just when I need it in November!