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Using the Economic Stimulus 2009 to Reach Your Personal Financial Goal
By Jo Ellen Fritz   View more articles by this author
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September 08

You have set a financial goal. Where will the extra money come from to fund that goal? Though it may not be considered a bailout you can look to the U.S. Government to give you a helping hand with the Economic Stimulus 2009. Unlike last year a check will not be coming in the mail.  For a majority of working families the refundable tax credit will show up in an increased paycheck through a reduction of income tax withholding.

If you qualify for this benefit (the phase out begins at $75,000 and ends at $95,000 for singles and $150,000 to $190,000 for couples) it will begin to show up in your paycheck no later than April 1 of this year.  If you're an employee, you will not have to do anything to earn your credit. The federal income tax withholding tables will be changed to provide for reduced withholding and therefore larger paychecks throughout the rest of 2009 and all of 2010.

Make the extra income work for you before it slips through your hands.  What goal are you trying to meet?  If it is to increase the amount in your ‘rainy day’ reserves consider setting up an automatic draft from your checking account to your savings account.  You will want to do this before you get used to spending this boost in your paycheck.  It is simple to open a savings account at your local bank or with one of the many banks online to build up your cash reserves.

Trying to pay down debt faster?  Set up an automatic payment through your bank’s online bill pay to have the additional amount go towards credit card debt or student loan.  Setting it up automatically can help you avoid spending this new found cash.

Needing to build assets to fund retirement? Consider opening a Roth IRA and have the money deposited automatically on a monthly basis to fund this account.  You can save up to $5,000 (and an additional $1,000 if you are 50 or older) in 2009 into a Roth IRA.  Don’t worry if you can’t fund the full amount- just $25 a month can add up over time. If you do not already have a Roth IRA you can open one up at your bank, discount broker or a mutual fund company.

Consider these options to meet your goal.  Remember to make it an automatic step so it is a painless way to reach that financial goal with ‘found’ money.

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Comment by CraigJason
10 Sep 2009 12:43 PM
This is very helpful. Thanks for writing!
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