Much Ado About $900

I was in New Zealand when a friend texted me and said ‘we can use Kevin Rudd’s money to fly to Asia.’ My response was ‘what are you on about?’ His next text resulted in a fevered frenzy of high fiving between me and my travel buddy, who was driving at the time, so you can imagine the logistics of it – ‘Kevin is giving us $950 to spend.’

Since then (a good two months) it has been all anyone has been able to talk about. Who gets it, what they get, when they get it. Who doesn’t get it, who should, who shouldn’t. Then it was $900, not $950, then there was the tense period of time where it seemed no one was getting it, and the man taking it to the high court was well on his way to being the most loathed man in Australia. Finance experts have weighed in (and the ego that is David Koch weighed out, revealing his self appointed title of finance guru is self appointed for a reason) and now it seems we’re on the home stretch towards a stimulus package to call our own. Once it arrives, all that’s left to do is decide how to spend it.

A quick visit to The Hon Wayne Swan’s website will reveal who gets the money and why and as of last week, payments started being made. So far Facebook has remained quiet, except for status updates demanding to know where the money is, so it’s safe to assume murmurs of the money taking up to two months to arrive in people’s accounts are more than Debbie Downer mutterings.

As airlines slash ticket prices to under the magic $900 mark, ebay keeps sending me ‘do you liiiike’ style emails and my credit card cops another large phone bill peppered with international texts, I can’t help but join the nation-wide yearning for my little stimulus incentive, to the point it’s no longer an anticipated treat but a necessity. Which says something about my fiscal shortcomings, I know.

For those of you who have not yet made up your mind, or for those who have made up your minds but are apt to change them at the last minute (for example: I shall put it on my credit card, versus, actually I might just go to New York and never come back) we thought now would be as good a time as any to kick around some ideas on how to stimulate our poor, struggling economy.

As with most things I life, there’s a clear division between ‘should’ and ‘want to’, which something like the sudden gift of $900 really seems to exacerbate. So let’s just say you should pay bills, put some away for a rainy day and give the rest to charity. Get that out of the way. Now, what do you really want to do?

Liv Hambrett (Me)

On the STA Travel website, down the bottom, there is a little section called ‘Travel on Kevin.’ This warms the cockles of my heart. Fifteen days in India, eight days in Costa Rica, ten days in Egypt, Malaysia, Japan, Fiji …  I know, I know, it’s not strictly stimulating our economy, per se, so if you’re a stickler for the rules then there are always super cheap domestic deals. Go skiing, finally get around to seeing Uluru (it’s more than worth it) or go for a coastal or country getaway. Tourism Australia will love you for it.

Sam Webster

Everybody knows the easiest way to survive a recession is to adopt to foods that are cheaper to make: two minute noodles, day old fruit and bulk bags of prawn chips are your best bet. But how does one switch off one’s lofty tastes for expensive fast food and grease? Repulsion. $900 buys just under 10,000 chicken McNuggets. Challenge your friend to a ‘nugget race’ and when it’s all over, you’ll be stuck on bland starchy foods long enough to survive the economic downturn.

In all seriousness, the stimulus package is designed to help the Australian economy, so however you spend it try and keep your purchases to Australian made products/Australian businesses. It’s not hard to allocate that $900 purely to Australia even if you wouldn’t normally shop locally. A good idea would be go to local markets and find some unique things for yourself, and help everybody out.

Sarah Ayoub

I’ll be putting it into the house fund. I’d love to put it into a Chanel bag, but that’s French and not Australian. I’m a true patriot.

Jess Paine

As part of the credit card generation, I suspect I am meant to have already spent it.  At least I now know that my car will be registered for another year.

Sandi Tighello

I want to do all those extra things – things I’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t got around to. First of all, I will pick up some new tyres for my car – I should have got them earlier but honestly, more exciting things always seem to take priority – like bags, or beauty products, or nights out and weekends away. Then I’m going to pick up some new tyres, I mean shoes, for my feet. I will use whatever money is left over for clothes, or for picking up a few books that have been on my list for a while. I plan on spending every cent of my $900 – yes, I could save it, or put it aside for bills, but the way I see it is that it has been handed out to be spent and I do plan on putting it all into my local businesses and Australian retailers.

Alyssar Helweh

It will go straight onto my credit card. Of course, where it should go versus where I want it to go is a different story. I’d really like a plane ticket to Europe or perhaps nine different new fragrances.

Goldele Rayment

If I ever get it, pay $260 owning on credit card, pay divorce fees of $400, rest for my trip overseas and shoes.

Brooke Jury

I’ll consider buying a new suit or art book. Then will think better of it and let it sit for future investment or travel.

Valeria Gosse

I am going to put that money where I can see it …. hanging in my closet.

Still stuck for divine inspiration? Revisit our 200+9 Things to do in 2009, or become a twit. We’ve been Twittering about this for the past couple of weeks – join us and the latest procrastination trend here.

McNugget image by h8rnet on Flickr

Chanel handbga image by Liu Wen Cheng

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