For nearly a year, I have scrimped and saved to meet my financial goals.
Yes, I do budget a bit of fun into my life each month. I also allow an occasional purchase. (I have made two since January - a shirt from a thrift store that cost less than $20 and a chair from a used furniture store that cost less than $100.)
Nevertheless, I have dutifully delayed gratification on numerous fronts. No more, at least with this stack of cash. So here is how I plan to spend my stimulus money at locally-owned businesses:
- Buy a compost bin - I want to turn the mound of leaves and my vegetable scraps into fertile soil. I could probably save money by building one, but I rent my house and want the bin to be mobile when I move.
- Buy a new battery for my laptop - My current one has been kaput for months. (I will place an order with the independently owned Mac shop, not the one at the Mall.)
- Repair my broken TV - I dropped it off at a shop a few weeks ago. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.
- Have fun with my friends next weekend when we get together in Baltimore. (The airplane ticket has already been purchased.)
These are the rewards I am giving myself for diligently sticking to my budget and meeting my debt/savings goals so far.
They may cost more than $600. We'll see. If anything, the battery purchase can be delayed.
But I feel the need to grab the carrot and take a bite at least once in a while. Is that really so bad?