Stimulus, anyone?

I’m just curious if anyone has directly felt the results of the stimulus package or new economic policies recently. Here are some ways in which they have positively impacted me lately, from more direct to less direct:

– I was able to claim the $600 tax credit on my 2008 taxes (I think because I didn’t receive it the year before but was eligible this year)
– I will be able to claim a 30% rebate on the installation of an energy-efficient tankless water heater on next year’s taxes (and if I decide to replace my old windows later this year, on that too)
– I refinanced at a rate of 4.65, which will save me $200/month in payments, and a good friend did the same and will save $400/month, and I know of at least two other friends who have refinanced for big savings and/or reduction in loan period
– I have one friend who avoided foreclosure of her home through the new program
– Seems like my SEP-IRA has rebounded a bit

Now if only this were my first house, I could have claimed that sweet $8000 tax credit on buying it last year! Oh well… On the plus side, my cousin and his fiance are buying their first house at very good prices and will get the rebate, so yay :) It was a foreclosed house and they are putting a lot of work into it, but in the end it will be a very good deal for them.

Stuff that is less reassuring… WA Mutual got taken over by Chase. I suppose that is neutral and still fall-out from the original issues. Nothing seems to have changed (we have an non-profit account there that I manage as Treasurer). My bank reduced my credit line from a really ridiculously high level to a somewhat more reasonable level (amounts not listed to protect the innocent) because I pay it off each month and never get anywhere near it. To me, that actually seems like a bright move on their part, a tiny bit of fiscal responsibility. What a concept – give people only the level of credit they actually need/want.

What about you? I usually wouldn’t talk this much about personal money, but it’s interesting to see when/if a government policy actually makes a difference. I haven’t heard of anyone I know getting or keeping a job due to the stimulus money, though I know organizations that have benefited from it. Have you?

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One thought on “Stimulus, anyone?

  1. Marty Hale-Evans says:

    This is a little late, but yes! We had a couple of substantial benefits during the recent couple of months we were both unemployed. The most important one is the provision that covered 2/3 of our COBRA payment. Since that took the payment from around $2200/month to about $750/month, it literally allowed us to keep any kind of coverage (when you’re unemployed, who can pay $2200/month??) So, not only were we able to continue getting our medications, but we won’t have a break in coverage when new insurance starts. This is huge.

    The smaller one I remember immediately is that we recently found out that an increase to unemployment benefits was provided, retroactive to mid-February, so we got a little bonus check for the unpaid difference from the weeks Ron drew unemployment, which was nice.

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