Economic Stimulus, our Patriotic Duty

The U.S Treasury Department’s check to our household arrived last week.


Being the responsible monetary managers that my husband and I are, we opened a spreadsheet and began to prioritize how we could allocate this money wisely.

Here are our preliminary columns:

piano for our children’s practice music lessons (2/2)
home renovation since our living room is already ripped up waiting an infusion of cash & do-it-yourselfer time (0/1)
upcoming family budget vacation to visit my dearest friend in Arkansas (Read: gas money only) (4/3)
upcoming BbWorld conference on which my husband is accompanying me soley because of Steve Wozniak, the proximity to the Grand Canyon and the StarTrek experience (Read: buy his plane ticket, rental car, food and tickets, but this was budgeted anyway so should it count so that we can spend a bigger wad or not?) (3/4)
paintball marker for Laura because she bought one for Ed two Christmas’ ago and he is wasting it by not going paintballing (1/5)


The total cost of all the items was around $3000. Clearly the priority system would kick in.

Now let’s analyze the husband/wife negotiations that took place. First you will note we are an exemplary couple who love our children (agreement and high placement of piano and family vacation).

Secondly, and I am assuming a 50% or better male readership here, -you need to know we bought the paintball marker for me last night It is sweet! I can’t wait to take out all my bottled rage and hostility on other paintballers… In fact, it’s this gun right here:

But those of you considering how you are going to pull off your patriotic duty may be wondering how the negotations went -considering I thought my number 1 priority was the home renovation while my husband thought it was pointless to allocate any money at all to it, and that the paintball marker should be number 1.

Gentlemen, listen up- this is how it worked. First, you get your wife to buy YOU a paintball gun for Christmas or your birthday, very very legitimate, right? Then, exercising extreme forebearance, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, go to a paintball field and play with the gun. Take it out and do target practice, sure, invite the family, get your wife to shoot it too. So, then about a year later, suggest that SHE come paintballing with you. Have the financials ready on what it will cost for the evening and where the money will come from. (Sell something on EBay if necessary). Keep back, for now, the annual membership and how much that will reduce the cost…. Also, let her come up with the fact that her Christmas present to you has been a near total waste because you never use it.

Then, to get her off her high horse about the do-it-yourself home renovation, remind her that do-it-yourself means the two of you must allocate time to this project and that since you are so busy working and doing volunteer work and raising childen and serving on committees, if you allocated the US Treasury Dept’s money to it, it would be some time before, realistically, you’d be able to use the materials you so bought. This means that you can use the previous method of budgeting the renovation piecemeal over the next 2000 years -because that’s how you will have both the money AND the time together.

Savings? If your spouse wants to put this money into savings, if savings even makes it onto this list, you’re lost already. Just put the money in savings. Try again in 6 months or so.

But not if in the meantime the car breaks down or the washing machine goes on the fritz or the roof springs a leak.

One thought on “Economic Stimulus, our Patriotic Duty

  1. After spending time with you guys this past weekend, I can really just hear this whole conversation playing out in my head. You guys are too funny. Hope to see you all again soon!

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