Some of you might have received $1200 from the US government or will do so soon. For many Americans this is money desperately needed to pay their bills. This is not true for everyone receiving this payment and that’s what made me wonder. How would or should someone spend those $1200 if they are indeed a windfall for them? Here are some options that come to mind:
1. Save it
Of course you could keep the money and put it into a rainy day fund. That’s not what the government wanted you to do but in those times of uncertainty we could all reach a point where we’ll need every penny of our savings.
2. Support local businesses
We’ve heard a lot about buying local. We’ve seen the invitations to purchase coupons for when stores are going to re-open. I like that idea but there is one big caveat: many stores might not open again or go out of business anyway. In that case your investment is lost and your intention did not materialize.
I like the idea of directing that money towards the big community in need. That was it’s original intention. $1200 could make quite a difference for many local food banks or the countless other organization providing various forms of support. I saw one post today suggesting to donate to the Biden campaign. The interesting play is that the check you might be cashing has Mr. Trump’s name on it. It’s certainly a clever play.
4. Invest in yourself
Collectively we are better off if we beef up on our education. You could embrace the concept of positive egoism. You’d invest in yourself by taking classes and learning a new skills. Ideally those skills could be applied to better the lives of others. In that we’d all be better off by that $1200 of public money spent on you.
5. Invest in production capabilities
This is similar to #4. Instead of investing in your education you’d invest in something that would allow you to become more productive. You could purchase a sowing machine to make masks. You could purchase a faster and more stable router for your home or a computer to improve your online access. The caveat might be that many of those products are made overseas and will lead to a net outflow of some of your investment (not all of it).
6. Buy Popcorn
I just threw that our as an example of what not to do with that money. You’d gain weight and clog your arteries. The popcorn maker is happy but there is no positive lasting effect from that purchase. Neither you nor society is better off. There are countless other things on what NOT to do with those funds.
Maybe you are inspired to make a smart choice. I’d also like to hear your best ideas :)