One day, I accidentally left the car door unlocked and someone rifled though it in the night. They were kind enough to take nothing, not even the pennies in the change slot or the bottle of Hawaiian Punch in the backseat. These, of course, were the two priciest items in the car, automobile itself excluded. I am always careful to lock the car now, but it is really a great illustration of our finances during the pandemic.
You can’t rob me, I got nothing to take.
So, when I originally thought of this blog post, I was a little wary because I had read an article online saying you shouldn’t talk about your stimulus check because people will try to rob you. Then I remembered, oh yeah, my stimulus check is gone.
It was gone so fast my bank called to make sure I was okay. I am not joking. At 9am I started paying bills. At 9:15 they called, after the third large transaction. After explaining that yes, I was me, and yes, I was paying off a year of debt, they let me go on my way to spend further.
I know some people have fun plans for their stimmy, but we did not. I’ll tell you my big let’s-stimulate-the-economy purchases: a box of hair dye, a pair of everyday shoes, and a purse. Nothing fancy-the shoes are Sketchers. The purse is by god-knows-who, it’s just the exact style I was looking for in a summer bag; something functional and midsized. Went a little silly with the hair dye and got burgundy for the first time since I was 22. Those are my wild and crazy stimmy purchases.
Hubs went a little wilder and got a VR headset, which I knew was going to happen from the moment L came over with his, but he got it secondhand and paid about as much as I did for my items. He is extremely excited to show it off to my dad, which I am sure I will write about at some point.
Anyway, he got that and I got shoes and every other penny went to the bills. And last night, I slept like a baby.
See, I wasn’t worrying about the call I got last week from National Grid, warning me that they would be doing shutoffs again. I’d yet to hear anything from National Fuel, but that was sure to be next. We have been miraculously able to keep up with out rent payments during this time, and I do feel that we are truly blessed there, but the money going to utilities during the pandemic had slowed to a trickle. This affects me on a slightly personal level. When Mark and I moved in together oh-so-long-ago, the agreement was always that he would cover rent while I covered utilities. Of course, in a committed partnership over the years, you have to bend and sway in the breeze-sometimes one person is carrying more of the load than the other. But to me, utilities has always been my department. So yeah, when I dropped my entire stimulus on them yesterday, I felt like a champion, and I slept like a baby.
Also, new shoes.
Here is the sad part.
The sad part is that it had to come to this. It had to come to a check issued to me by the government that is supposed to help stimulate the economy, but for so very many of us is simply just a bailout. A band-aid. A temporary stopgap so that we can have one good night’s sleep before we have to get up and figure out how to keep the lights on next month. What I would have liked to drop my money on is a camping trip. I would have gotten a cottage for a week in Allegheny this summer, and invited all my friends and family. That’s what I would be doing if things were different. But, they’re not. Instead, I am thanking God for electricity and new shoes.