SolveYourProblem Article Series: Money Stress
My Lack Of Cash Is Freakin' Me Out!

     

Will the Economic Stimulus Provide Any Stress Relief For Me?

With all the talk about bailout money and stimulus packages, youíre probably wondering if the economic stimulus will provide any stress relief for you. The good news is that it probably will help you, but how much it will help you depends on your situation.

If you have a traditional job, youíll benefit from the payroll tax credit that will directly increase your paycheck. Instead of waiting until tax time to benefit from this stimulus, youíll already begin to see a reduction in your payroll taxes which means a higher paycheck. For individuals, the tax credit is $400. That averages out to be about $33 a month. Any increase is helpful, but this isnít likely to save you from major financial stress.

If you have children, you may benefit from an expansion of the child tax credit which allows families to benefit even if they donít make enough money to pay taxes. That means that people with very low incomes will benefit. If youíre a college student, youíll also benefit from an increase in the tuition tax credit. You can write off more of your educational expenses than you once could.

Perhaps the best stimulus comes from buying a home. Homebuyers can expect an $8,000 tax credit if they meet certain conditions. Youíll want to talk to a realtor or accountant to make sure you qualify for this. If you own a home and are willing to invest in energy efficiency, youíll also be eligible for an energy credit.

If youíre unemployed, youíll benefit from a decrease in taxation from unemployment benefits. That means you wonít pay taxes on the first $2,400 of unemployment income. Above that amount and taxation begins.

For many people, the economic stimulus will provide some stress relief because it provides additional income for the household. However, if youíre having major financial stresses, the best way to relieve stress is to create a plan to improve your situation. For some people that means downsizing and lowering their cost of living, for others it means looking for higher paying jobs.

If youíre doing okay, but youíd like a little extra money this stimulus will be very good for you. But if you have major issues, you canít count on the stimulus to rescue you. However, through some careful financial planning, you can find a way to manage your money and your stress levels. The economic stimulus will help in small ways, but itís up to the individual to manage household finances.

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